Ok, So Where is Rich….lol…

Last year after we were done at Adventureland, we came back home and Rich worked the harvest season for a local farmer.  He has helped him before.  But because we arrived on Oct 1 he missed a couple of weeks.  We also had to leave early cause we needed to be in Harlingen by Nov. 1.  So we tossed the whole idea around on how he could work the whole season this year.  The best answer was for him to go up alone and I stay here.  We couldn’t both go as I am working at the theater, and I need to be here by Nov. 1 when the park officially begins the Winter Texan season, and I begin my duties.  If I had went with him for several weeks, and left the motorhome in Texas, we would have had to tie it down to the concrete patio, because of Hurricane season.  We didn’t want to do that.  I realize now after Hurricane Harvey how important that is.  Also what about the cat?  Kitty would probably have a heart attack in the car heading north.  He doesn’t like change….He’s an old man.  lol  Then how would I get Kitty back down, if I took the train back down?  So this was strictly a financial decision.  I stay in Harlingen and keep my job, and Rich drove home and works for the farmer for approximately 8 weeks till harvest is done.  So that is where he is.  He is staying at Scott and Brandys and driving the semi from the fields to the Elevator.wp-1491479408704.jpg

So Rich decided to take my Lumina as I was having problems with it.  About once a week it would not start.  I would call him to come to the Dollar Store or to the Cinemark 10 after work.  He would turn the key and ……BINGO…..It would start.  He said, “How can I fix something that we don’t know what’s broken”.  Well unfortunately he’s right.  So I learned that if it didn’t start, wait 10 minutes and it would.  Now that means I can’t buy any ice cream or popsicles, as I might end up waiting in the parking lot for 10 or more minutes for the car to start……lol…..So we decided he would drive it back and trade it.  He drove it all the way to Illinois, ……No Problem…..Went up to Canada to visit to our Canadian friends Kathy and Glen at their campground…..No Problem…Back home to Illinois…..No Problem….So one morning he decided to use my key instead of his….Guess what????  That was the answer.  He Had a Problem….It is was the coded key.  My key had problems and his did not.  Funny isn’t it.  All over a lousy key.  But before he left, we looked at the web site of a local car dealer we usually go to.  We picked out a car we liked.  I left it up to him to get a good durable car, and trusted his decision.  Well turns out my sister-in-law, Connie, liked the Lumina, so she bought it and Rich bought the Chevy Equinox that we had seen on line.

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I know I’m going to love it.  Rich has really been enjoying it.  He also decided to move up from the ANTIQUE flip phone, to a real …..SMART PHONE….I told Tammy to take him and help him out with a purchase.  He insisted he would not get one if he couldn’t pay cash.  He would NOT do the payment plan on AT&T like the rest of us do.  So Tammy took him to a place that sold refurbished phones and he bought a Motorola for $100.  He now has a new toy…..He has been busy learning.  Tammy and Cameron has taught him so many things.  He’s learning so much on his own.  I was afraid he would get frustrated and go back to the old flip phone.  I know now he won’t.  He is enjoying it.  He has it programed into the Bluetooth in the car, downloaded Pandora, and is now learning about pictures.  His Email is set up, also Google account so he can store pictures in the cloud.  So Far No Facebook.selfie

Here’s his first selfie in the car.  Cameron and him were playing one night when he first got the phone and the car.  Cameron said the were laughing so hard they had tears in their eyes.

The fields were late this year, so he is getting some other things done.  The rental house needed a few things.  We have a new tenant.  Hopefully this one works out.  We haven’t had a whole lot of good luck.  Poor Tina has to take care of them for us.  This last time I posted the house on Craigslist to rent.  Tina had immediate response and was able to rent it fast and choose who she wanted.  So much better than FB sites.  They always had young irresponsible kids wanting to rent.  He also has been doing a little work around our house.  The garage roof has some issues.  Of course he also spends time in Scott and Brandys bar.  “ONE PAWZ PUB”  Taco Mondays and Karaoke on certain Fridays.

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But they finally started a little over a week ago in the fields.  They have more corn this year than soybeans.  They have most of the soybeans done, and were started on the corn.  Now of course it had to rain off and on several days, so that puts everything on hold till the equipment can get back into the fields.  This are a couple of Richs photos with his new phone.  Its quite good.  I’m impressed.  IMG_20170928_143950732.jpg

This is the truck he is driving.  The farmer picks the corn or soybeans and loads the corn from the combine into the farm wagon.  The tractor brings the wagon to the truck on the edge of the road and fills it.  Rich drives the truck into McNabb to the elevator where they unload it.  There the elevator sends it to the dryer and also stores it for the farmer, until it is sold later and trucked to the river and loaded on a barge.  So as it stands now it might be close to Thanksgiving before he’s done.  The farmers goal is to be done by then.  That is rather late, as he was done earlier last year.

So here at the Park, the Winter Texans are beginning to arrive.  Their trickling in, but it wont be long and they will come flying in.  You’ll see many campers and Motorhomes on the highways.  They will be going all over in the Rio Grande Valley.  I gave my notice at Cinemark 10 they other day.  I only have 2 weekends to work.  Its been a good run, but the time has come to be done.  Its time to start thinking about fun things to do this winter.  I’m got many ideas already, so time to begin.  First thing we are having is a Halloween Party.  One of the girls here Paulette, loves Halloween.  Its her favorite Holiday.  So she is decorating and coming up with great ideas for a fun party.  She even found a cool Piñata..FB_IMG_1507928278949.jpg

Look whats going to be in it……….lol…………Its an Adult Piñata…..She even wants us to do Apple Bobbing????   Now just think…..Old People have false teeth…..We might have a tub full of teeth.  The apples will still be floating……hahahaha….Yea,  I’ll let ya know how that turns out….20170101_001600.jpg

I’ll close this time with a photo fromOne Pawz Pub”.  Scott and Brandy’s bar.  Remember last Christmas, Rich was down at 77 flea market by Brownsville and bought a clown skeleton???  We called it Sally.  She road on the back of the golf cart for a couple of weeks.  Well, Sally has taken up drinking at “One Pawz Bar”.  She has perched herself by a table and is looking pretty comfortable.   She brought friends also.  lol

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Hurricane Harvey, 2017

We were very lucky.  “Harvey” missed us.  It came in on shore a little over 200 miles north of us.  It directly hit Rockport, Port Aransas, Victoria, Refugio, and Port Lavaca.  Corpus Christi was just a little south of the eye.

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One thing we realized down here in Texas living near the Gulf is, Hurricane season is taken very seriously.  The weathermen are always reporting on storms coming off the coast of Africa.  We knew this season started in August and ended the first of Nov.  Here is Eastgate we knew that all annuals or anyone who left their camper here for storage, had to anchor their units to the concrete pads.  Now after this past week, I understand why.  438842BA00000578-4818354-Hurricane_Harvey_is_expected_to_become_a_major_storm_once_it_mak-a-80_1503611478314

This storm started a week or two earlier as a depression #91.  As they watched it cross the Atlantic it escalated as it reached the Yucatan Peninsula.  It slowed down over land and then as it crossed into the Gulf of Mexico it started to escalate from a tropical storm to Hurricane.  They initially knew it could come ashore as a Category 3, but the warm waters escaladed it to Category 4, which meant it contained winds of over 125 mph.  It was predicted to land a little more south.  The Rio Grande Valley started to prepare.  Everyone was stocking up.  South Padre Island closed all beaches and they started boarding up windows.  If the winds reached over 45 mph, they would close the bridge to all traffic.  They have an Emergency text system in place for their residents, that you can get this information as it develops.  We took down our screen room, and put in all our awnings.  When Rich put up the shed, one of the requirements was also to anchor it.  So he constructed a wire anchor system that runs through both sides of the shed and is anchored to the concrete.  The park went around putting all the pool chairs and anything loose away.  They also inspected some of the homes of people who were not here and made sure everything was safe as possible.  We were suppose to receive up to 70mph winds at one point.  Also 4″ – 6” of rain.  Well, not a whole lot happened.  I woke up at midnight to hear the pitter patter of the rain.  The wind wasn’t bad.  It was suppose to escalate in the morning.  Nope, we were very lucky.  It came ashore around Port Lavaca, which is a little over 2 hours north on the coast.

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We caught some of the outer wind bands but not fierce.   Up around Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Victoria and Port Lavaca, it destroyed the towns, hotels, homes, Rv Parks, and Boat Harbor’s.  Some of the smaller towns evacuated.  One of the Winter Texans from last year, said she had workamper friends in one of the parks.  They could not leave until all the guest campers were gone.  Then they could leave.   I don’t know if I like that or not.

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The towns were really tore up.  The rain was horrible.  They said that some areas around Houston could receive 50″ before it was over.  Just imagine that much rain and it comes ashore at 125mph.  “Harvey” came ashore and hovered for awhile.  It actually moved like it was a drunken soldier on shore.  It was downgraded finally to a tropical storm, but the tail end was still feeding the bands over the Gulf with water.  It continued to rain.  Houston started to flood.  Houston is a very low city.  It is only 50 feet above sea level.  It was built on flat marshy ground. It is prone to flood but nobody expected it to flood this much.  Reports started to come on tv of all the rescues.

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The interstates started filling up.  Some of the drivers just didn’t understand.  They continue to think they are almighty and can drive right through, including semis.  We seen reports of so many people just walking through the water to safety.  Abandoning their vehicles or homes.  The 911 calls were coming in.  People were beginning to be trapped in their homes.  The water kept rising.  Some were in their attics with nowhere else to go.  They were advised to bring an axe with them so they could chop a whole in the roof if needed.  …….”Get out of your house”…..”Stand on your roof”….  “Bring a piece of material with you that you can wave to draw attention”.  The calls kept coming in.  The people were told they were on the list.  But the Emergency people couldn’t help until daybreak, and even then, it was still impossible in many places.  Finally you seen boats coming down the streets.

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Individuals were going out with their own boats, canoes, airboats, even jet skis.  They were going out into the neighborhoods and picking up people and bringing them to high ground.  The local Convention Center opened up for the victims.  They kept running short of cots for them to sleep on.  Some people slept the night on the floor.  But at least they were safe and dry.  This flood had overwhelmed everyone.

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The news showed so many people being rescued with dump trucks.   Many times they used ladders to help the people get in and out.  So many people, young and old were carried through the water.  In one case, Nursing home residents were trapped and needed someone to come get them.  No one came.  Finally the nursing home owners were so devastated and helpless, they took a picture of all these poor people sitting in chairs and the couches waist deep in water looking so forlorn.

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I can’t even imagine their thoughts.  I’m sure they thought they were at deaths door.  She sent the picture to her daughter for help.  Her daughter put it out on Social Media and the news.  In less than 2 hours, Help Arrived.  Here’s all those people today smiling, happy, warm and dry.  So Happy to be Alive.  How awful for them.

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The National Guard was called out.  National Guard brought in around 30 helicopters for air rescue.   The US Coast Guard also brought in their helicopters Every available resource, was called in.  Fema, Red Cross, so many agency’s arrived, their was help arriving from all over the US.  Even the Border Patrol from the Rio Grande Valley came with over 30 different types of boats.  Of course all the news people arrived.   The reports and pictures on tv were constant the first 2 days.  It was ongoing for so long.  The storm stagnated in the Houston area, then went back out over the Gulf.  It reentered east of Houston around the Beaumont area and headed north west, slowly dissipating, but did much more damage and dropped a lot of rain in the Beaumont area.  They faced so many dangerous issues.

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Now they also had floating islands of Red Fire Ants.  They had come out of the ground and attach themselves to each other and become a floating colony.  You certainly don’t want to get into a nest of them.  Also, now the bayous had filled up and the city had to release some of the water in the reservoirs so they wouldn’t break.  Now Alligators were also swimming in the water along with Snakes Sewage and Chemicals had been leaked into the waters by now.  It was so dangerous to be in the water, but many had no choice.  Now here it is a week after “Harvey” landed, and the city still has water.  They said it may take weeks in some areas to totally empty.  Another occurrence they may find is floating caskets.

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With the ground being so saturated, some caskets may just surface and float.  How awful it would be to come across a casket.  The latest count of deaths was 39, which I thought was pretty good.

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Through all of this their is always “HERO’S” that give selflessly of themselves and their money.  In Houston Jim “Mattress Mack” Mcingvale has 2 very large furniture stores called “Gallery Furniture”.

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He opened his doors to anyone who needed shelter.  They made his new furniture their home.  A place to rest and sleep.  He fed them, and donations of all sort came in.  He even gave out his cell number for anyone who needed help and couldn’t get it.

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He not only let the flood victims sleep in his beds, he also let the National Guard rest.  “What a hero”.  He also did this for Hurricane Katrina.  He wants to help and share all he has to the people who need his help.  It was said he was losing $30,000 a day.

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Hotels and Motels all over are filled.  Some people left before the storm and some left after and found a place to go.  I believe Fema or the Red Cross is paying for the rooms for most of this month to give the families time and everyone to make plans for the future.  They are located all over Texas and probably Louisiana.  I do know that here in the Rio Grande Valley, we have many families that are in our motels.  All across the valley, the school systems are going motel to motel, enrolling the children in school.  All they want is the child’s name and info.  Their not requiring Birth Cert.  or papers.  They just want them in school so their life can continue as normal.  Country Suites here in Harlingen posted on FB the other day, the items they needed.  It contained from a Wheelchair and cane, on to clothes and personal care items and food.  They alone have 22 families.  We have at least 6 motels full.  Before you knew it, the word got out.  They have so many contributions that they are sharing across the Valley.  One person thought it was important to give the families a Cook out on Monday for Labor Day.  So many people have volunteered to help to put on a Celebration.  H-E-B is a huge chain grocery store in Texas.  In fact in the valley, their is no other.  …..No Krogers, Hyvee, Albertsons, just H-E-B…..  They deployed a convoy of 15 vehicles including 2 Mobile Kitchens, water and fuel tankers and H‑E‑B trailers, that will deliver much‑needed relief supplies and services to the communities in the affected hurricane area

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The H‑E‑B Mobile Kitchens, are two 45‑foot‑long food preparation facilities that are each designed to serve up to 2,500 meals per hour, will set up and serve hot meals to first responders and storm victims.  Also H‑E‑B’s DRUs that are fully equipped with an H‑E‑B Pharmacy and Mobile Business Services unit, which allows displaced residents to fill prescriptions, cash checks and pay bills, as well as provide access to an ATM.  One of the kitchens stopped in the Victoria area.  The other went on north to Houston.  Another fact to mention is the pets.  Anyone who had a pet, it was rescued with them.

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Pets have become a family member and they were treated as so.  The shelters have included them.  Their were pictures and stories of all the pet rescues.  So many people came out of their homes with their cats and dogs in carriers.  The ones that are found without owners have been taken to shelters.  Some are being shipped out of state to no kill shelters to find new homes.  Our shelter in Harlingen has made several trips up to take homeless animals.  They are all asking for donations of food, blankets and money.  The animals are being taken care of which is wonderful.  They all need a home.

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A week later, everything is still in turmoil but they are getting a handle on it.  Their were 3 large shelters open in Houston, but they are back down to one.  Their were actually around 142 shelters open around the area.  Over 100,000 homes are affected with flooding in Texas alone.  Over 300,000 homes were without power.  A state of disaster was declared in 50 county’s.  The discussion has been ongoing…..Should the mayor have evacuated Houston???.   It had happened in the past for another Hurricane that never happened after all.  Their was traffic jams and people died in the heat.  The mayor didn’t evacuate do to that reason.   I do agree with him.  Houston is the 4th largest city in the US.  How do you evacuate a whole city.   Where do they go.  If you’ve ever been through Houston in rush hour, you would know how bad it is.  That is only a small portion of the people.  To my understanding he made the right decision.  When you realize only 39 lives were lost, that is a small percent considering the population.  Some of those lives were lost in vehicles trying to escape the flood.  Some of those did not use common sense when traveling in flooded waters.  So many near fatal accidents happened that we seen on video.  It is sad that anyone died but you have to pick the best scenario for all.  I believe they were so fortunate that only 39 lives were lost so far.  It could have been much worse.  But I’m sure it may go up as they continue the search.

 

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White Caps on the Houston Interstates

 

Now we start watching the weather forecast…..Another storm coming off the coast of Africa.  Already a massive Hurricane.……IRMA…..Of course their are many storm tracks.  This one they think,  will follow up the East Coast of the US…..So we Wait and Watch

 

 

Mario……..Winter Texan Tour….Straight From Branson…

 

Mario was FINALLY HERE………Another GRAND NITE at the South Hall

….I have been so excited since last January or February to know Mario was coming to East Gate…Back in June of 13, some of you will remember we took a family motor home trip to Branson.  We  had all the family together for a weeks vacation.

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What a trip it was, especially with 2 kids in diapers…What do you give 2 babys when they are crabby…CRACKERS AND SNACKS….hahaha…Well you know the messes they made and the crying,  but what a good time we all had anyway.  We took the Motor Home down to Branson with 10 of us in it.  We put a lawn chair in between the driver and passenger seat for Cameron who was 15 at the time.  How illegal we were.  We rented a 2 bedroom suite for the kids and a 1 bedroom with sofa sleeper for us, Scott and Brandy.  That way the kids were all together.  lol.  One nite Rich, Ed, Scott and Brandy, went to the bar.  They met an entertainer who turned out to be Mario.  He invited us to go see him at Jackie B. Goode’s Uptown Café the next day before we left.

20130607_101715My Granddaughter’s Cassidy, Miley and Carly in front of Uptown Café in Branson.

So we did.  We seen Jackson Haney first.   He was a former lead singer and Guitarist of Bill Haley and the CometsRemember Rock Around The Clock?    He was Awesome and so good to the kids..

He let Cassidy and Miley come up on stage and I took their pictures, holding his guitar.  Such a nice man.  He was suppose to come on the Winter Texan tour also, but canceled as his mom is not well.  He needed to spend time with her.   After Jackson,  Mario came on stage.  We were very impressed with his singing. He had such a deep voice, and sang some GREAT Music.   That was the last thing we did, packed the kids back in the Motor Home and headed down the road home, with all the Bergen Family towing the enclosed trailer …inside was 2 Harleys …lol…

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Here is the link to his website.  Mario’s music is featured on this site for you to play and enjoy.

After we returned home, I friended both of them on FB.  Last January, as I was wishing so bad to be down here in Texas in the warmth, I seen on Mario’s site that he was making preparations the his 2015 WinterTexan Tour.

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I commented to him we would be down in East Gate.   He told me that he would be in East Gate on January 23 ….Now ….Wow….I thought, sure hope our dream comes true and we can will be in Texas for the winter.  My altimate dream was that we would be Workampers…….. IT SURE DID HAPPEN…..We made it….We arrived Dec 1….As Workampers Too…..   So for the last several weeks I have been trying to get people to come see him.  I knew they wouldn’t be disappointed.  I posted on East Gate FB several times about his performance.  So tonite finally came.  Doors open and 6pm and I wanted to get the front row seat.  We got their by 5:50 to get in line.   Guess What……..We were the first ones their.   Mario wasn’t even their yet……..lol……  We even beat him.   Finally he arrived and starting setting up.  That was fun to watch also.  Our friends Cici and Larry came and sat front row with us.  All in all, a very nice crowd came.  AND THE SHOW BEGAN….

He had his own spot lite that followed him around as he worked the crowd.  He sang a nice range of songs, including In The Ghetto, by Elvis Presley,  A lot of George Strait songs,  Johnny Lee, You Don’t Know Me, also sang by Mickey Gilley, and also a Neil Diamond Song.  He did some great Rodney Dangerfield impersonation’s and jokes.

He gave a small bio of his life. Mario grew up in California, and was one of 11 children.  He has done a lot of voice overs on Tv and arrived in Branson 3 1/2 years ago.  Singing is his passion.  He also did a wonderful heartwarming story about his mother, who past away 17 years ago, in California.   The story was very heartwarming and brought tears to his eyes and I’m sure to others.

And of course POOR LINDA…..Who is she?…..I sure don’t know either.  Don’t even know if she was from our park.   Mario kept going to her and singing to her.  He even sat next to her and another time knelt on the floor in front of her.   Poor Linda was so SO Embarrassed…….lol….so funny …as soon as he headed down the aisle.  You knew he would stop at Linda.   Linda wouldn’t even look at him anymore….haha

Mario voice was giving him problems as he was loosing it, but he managed to give us a FANTASTIC SHOW……The crowd was clapping away, …..we Sang with him……….And OH HOW WE ALL LAUGHED……Another GREAT SHOW AT EASTGATE….And as we know, All things must come to an end.  At Half time, I went up and talked with Mario, and Cici tried to take my picture, but she was shaking and the pictures were not good.  So Mario took a selfie of Me and him and Emailed it to me.

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Now that the show was over, I made her go stand by Mario and I took Their picture….

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OMG…She was so SOOOoooo Embarassed…..She kept wanting to walk away, but I blocker her Escape….lol….She didn’t get away.  …..hahahaah…..I Gotcha Cici……hahahaha

I Also took some pics of Mario and Rich shaking hands and his memorabilia that he was selling.

 

He was also selling tickets to his show in South Padre Island on Feb 11.   It will be a Dinner Show at the Schlitterbahn .   So we bought tickets for his show.  Can’t wait for that one to arrive.  Dinner at 6 and a 2 hour show starting at 7…….

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So another great nite…..After we were done talking with Mario, we looked around and the tables were already to go for Breakfast……Wow….The team sure works fast….

So out the door we went, another beautiful nite, just a little chilly but warming up tomorrow with sunshine………

and don’t forget…………..BREAKFAST AT THE HALL……8:00 sharp….

Pancakes, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, orange juice and Coffee…..$3.50….

Don’t be late…lol….