September 2016 Stories about the Rio Grande Valley, Texas including Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Baby Safety Month, Finding Butterflies in the RGV, Jeep Night, Judy the canine prisoner of war, Glick Twins serving the Valley over 70 years.">

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The Little Paper You'll Want To Keep and Share!
September 2016
Vol. 3 No. 4
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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month ... Making a Difference

Families, caregivers, charities and research groups across the United States observe September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

In the U.S., 15,780 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year; approximately twenty-five percent of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis of cancer in a child turns the lives of their entire family upside down.

The objective of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is to put a spotlight on the types of cancer that largely affect children, survivorship issues, and importantly, to help raise funds for research and family support. Cancer doesn't fight fair at any age, but perhaps no cancer is more emotionally devastating than those that occur in children. The fear and uncertainty these young patients and their families face can hardly be measured.

As I researched for this article I came across many individuals and organizations who have made a significant imapact in the lives of children who face the battle against cancer. Here are some accounts of what I found:

Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation of the Rio Grande Valley

Mr. Vannie E. Cook Jr. grew up in McAllen, Texas. He was extremely active in the organization that once was the Rio Grande Valley Radiation and Cancer Treatment Center, and eventually evolved into the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation.

The members of this foundation dreamed of creating a community facility that would provide radiation treatment to all persons with cancer, regardless of their financial status, race, religion, sex or national origin. They also hoped to eliminate the need for patients to travel long distances to large cities that had good facilities.

On April 27, 1977 the Rio Grande Cancer Treatment Center opened the doors to a $1.5 million facility, the only comprehensive pediatric cancer treatment facility in South Texas.

When originally established, the Center operated as an extension of the University of Texas System Cancer Center's M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston. On September 1, 1981, the Center became an independent facility while still maintaining affiliation agreements with MDAH in the areas of Continuing Medical Education, Physics, Nursing and Laboratory. Throughout the Center's years of operation, it has honored its commitment to serve all Cancer patients referred to the facility. Each year an average of 650 new patients were registered, with an average of 14,000 patient visits per year.

On March 6, 1995, Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Center was dissolved and all its assets were transferred to the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation.

The Power of A Child's Wish

In February, 1979, seven year old Christopher Greicius was diagnosed with leukemia. Chris and his mother Linda were living in Scottsdale, Arizona where a family friend, US Customs Agent Tommy Austin, developed a special friendship with him. Chris loved playing policeman and wanted to catch the bad guys.

Tommy would play the bad guy and Chris would chase him on his battery-powered, threewheeled motorcycle, always catching him and making the arrest. When Chris was hospitalized, knowing his death was imminent, Austin spoke with Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Ron Cox and they bagan a plan to make Chris' wish come true.

Lt. Col. Dick Schaefer gave Chris a Smokey Bear hat and one of his own old badges. He also swore Chris in as Arizona's first and only honorary DPS officer. They gave him a helicopter tour of Phoenix and he "drove" a police car. The officers had an official police uniform created for Chris. They delivered the uniform to Chris at the hospital on May 1, and he wore it with much delight.

Unfortunatley Chris lost his battle with leukemia only two days later. Realizing Chris' joy at receiving his wish, his mother Linda worked with others to start a wish granting organization. By January 1981, the Greicious Make-A-Wish Memorial was founded by Linda Pauling, Frank Shankwitz and Scott Stahl.

The non-profit memorial later became the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

A Dream Realized

In 1979, 13-year old Katie Hageboeck, from Wayzata, MN, was nearing the end of her 16 month battle with leukemia.

Knowing she was losing her battle, she asked that the money she'd been saving for a 10-speed bicycle be donated to a little known fund for the University of Minnesota called Children's Cancer Research Fund. Her dream was for a cure to be found so that kids who followed her would survive.

A little over a year after Katie's passing, her parents, Diana and Norm, and friends of the family organized what they thought was a onetime benefit fundraiser for this fund to honor Katie's dying wish. More than three decades later, this Dawn of a Dream benefit is still taking place, raising over $1.5 million in a recent year.

Children's Cancer Research Fund has grown from a small grassroots fundraiser into a national non-profit, with hundreds of thousands of individual donors, along with corporate and foundation partners, who have given nearly $100 million to pediatric hematology/ oncology and blood and marrow transplantation physicians/researchers at the University of Minnesota.

Children's Cancer Research Fund supports the pioneering efforts at the University of Minnesota in research related to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of childhood cancers. Many discoveries funded by Children's Cancer Research Fund have revolutionized the way childhood cancer is treated worldwide and helped to support quality of life programs for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

The Gold and The Beautiful

The Gold and The Beautiful was founded by Ariedny Martinez (Miss Texas Teen Ambassasdor, 2013) and Lana De Leon.

The organization has grown to include hundreds of active paticipants who share one mission ... To raise awareness about Children's Cancer and their fight against Pediatric Cancer. Secondly, to ensure that the siblings of these children are also honored and recognized so they may face the future with strength, courage and hope.

Why is it so important to go gold?
The simple answer is, because it has to begin somewhere and it all begins with AWARENESS. The fact that childhood cancer, our nation's number one killer of children by disease, receives so little funding and research, is unacceptable and it needs to change.

Every Wednesday in September at 6:00 pm we meet at Fireman's Park and walk to Vannie Cook Children's Hospital. Wear Yellow or Gold and join us to walk in honor of the children battling Cancer, both the survivors and those we have lost. We believe no family should have to face Cancer alone.

THANK YOU! to the McAllen Police officers who are present at each intersection of 2nd street to make sure that everyone is safe!

Where To Find Butterflies In The LRGV

By Mary Beth Stowe

The Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) isn't just a hotbed of unique birds for the United States, but for butterflies (and other critters) as well! Just as birders flock to the Valley in hopes of seeing lifers and rarities, the same holds true for butterfly watchers who come in search of Mexican butterflies that reach the northern limits of their range here in south Texas, but also in hopes of that rare stray that may wander across the border!

Good butterflying is possible any time of year in the Valley, but normally the best time is October and November, with January and February generally being the poorest.

This year the butterflying was particularly good in July, after we had gotten significant rainfall in June. Relatively large numbers of otherwise rare species (like Banded Peacock and Polydamus Swallowtail) were showing up, and no less than three Erato Heliconians (normally a mega-rarity) showed up simultaneously at different locations! Even now in mid-August (with 100-degree temperatures and no rain to speak of), good butterflies are still showing up.

There are many excellent places to look for butterflies, my favorite being the National Butterfly Center in Mission: the gardens and native habitats are extensive, and the new experimental gardens in the back yard of the visitor center are attracting some great butterflies!

Just recently we found Zilpa and White-striped Longtails, Coyote Cloudywing, Mangrove Buckeye, Dingy Purplewing, Many-banded Daggerwing, and Guatemalan Cracker among the more common Mexican Bluewings, Tawny Emperors, and ever-present Queens and large sulphurs!

Nearby Bentsen Rio Grande State Park also has extensive butterfly gardens, not only near the visitor's center but also at the Nature Center and near Kingfisher Overlook. Over the years Bentsen has hosted many rarities including Blue-eyed Sailor, Ornythion Swallowtail, and Common Banner. Rare hairstreaks have included White and Yojoa Scrub, Marius, Strophius, and even a super-rare Aquamarine! Many butterfliers will check out the plantings along Bentsen Palm Drive near Retama Village; on one visit with friends we found a rare Ruddy Hairstreak!

If you want to head out to Starr County looking for Red-billed Pigeon and White-collared Seedeater, the butterfly garden at Falcon State Park is worth checking: some butterflies that prefer a drier climate may be easier to find here, like Nysa Roadside Skipper and Desert Checkered Skipper. Although they could potentially show up anywhere, I've had several one and onlies at this garden, including Curve-winged Metalmark, Lacey's Scrub-Hairstreak, and Green-backed Rubyeye.

The coastal areas host a handful of species not normally seen inland: Resaca de la Palma State Park is famous for its Blue Metalmarks, Band-celled Sisters, Orange-barred Sulphurs, and Boisduval's Yellows!

The Xami Hairstreak favors low-lying succulents that can be found along Old Port Isabel Road and Boca Chica Boulevard, and the Sabal Palm Sanctuary also has a butterfly garden where you might find Double-dotted and Obscure Skippers. Definite Patch has been found at the Palo Alto State Historic Site, and the gardens near the visitor center at Laguna Atascosa can also have Blue Metalmarks, along with more widespread species.

Other good butterfly spots that I enjoy frequenting include the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, where I once had an Erato Heliconian, but also more expected specialties like Julia Heliconian and Cyna Blue. Further north, Edinburg Scenic Wetlands is a great little place with extensive gardens and can be a good place to find the knock-out Guava Skipper. In Weslaco, both Estero Llano Grande State Park and Frontera Audubon Thicket have excellent butterfly gardens; rarities that have shown up at Estero include Common Bluevent and Dark Kite Swallowtail. Frontera is famous for being a rare bird trap, but strays such as Tailed Aguna and the uncommon Teleus Longtail have shown up here.

Some of the other birding hotspots are also good for butters, but require a little more walking; these areas include Santa Ana NWR and the Yturrias Tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR (although I would encourage taking a buddy if exploring this area, as it is remote). The garden at 101 South 7th Place is part of Alamo Inn B&B Gears and Tours; it has 107 species of butterflies and counting, including specialties such as Polydamas Swallowtail and Theona Checkerspot. We even had a super-rare Orion Cecropia show up!

Wherever you choose to search for butterflies, never forget to appreciate even the common, widespread, and beautiful lepidoptera that call the LRGV their home!

Beauty of Butterflies

by Christine Donald: Outdoor Recreation Planner ... Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

When you think of summer many things pop into your head. Picnics, barbeque, pools, beach, hot weather, gnats, skin rashes and for many butterflies. Look out bird watchers ... butterfly watchers are on the rise.

It is so funny to see people hovered over flowers, bushes, and shrubs trying to get a photo of an insect that will not for a moment sit still. People running around in circles and often running into each other to get a rare butterfly can be great fun to watch. Note: no butterfly watchers were hurt but many may get a scratch or two from the not so nice vegetation in South Texas.

Butterflies mean a lot of things to folks and I was surprised by their meanings to different cultures. In Pre-Hispanic, Mexican Indian culture, the butterfly is one of the symbolic representatives of Tlaloc, god of rain. Among some tribes of Mexico the butterfly is a symbol of the fertility of the earth. Louisianans associate butterflies with luck, good and bad depending on their color.

For Native Americans, butterflies play a variety of roles in their folktales differing from tribe to tribe. In the folklore of some tribes, butterflies represent change and balance; in others, ephemeral beauty; and in some, vanity and frivolous behavior. Many tribes consider butterflies to be symbols of good luck, and some have taboos against killing them.

Blackfoot people associate butterflies with sleep and dreaming, and butterfly designs were used to decorate cradle boards and other children's items to help them sleep and bring them good dreams. Butterflies for many symbolize endurance, change, hope, and life.

Butterflies have been symbols for celebrations, weddings, life, and life's journey. Wow, one little insect means so many different things. Butterflies are beautiful and summer without them would not be the same. Some like the Monarch butterfly are being protected by nature preservationists.

Butterflies are pollinators which have taken a hit with habitat loss, pesticides, and weather. Without pollinators we would not have many of the foods we all like to eat ... a taco without the corn tortilla wouldn't be a taco. In the valley we have a great variety of butterflies. According to the National Butterfly Center, nearly 150 species of North American butterflies can be seen only in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of Texas, or by traveling to Mexico.

More than three hundred species of butterflies are only found in the LRGV. Almost 40% of the 700+ butterflies that can be found in the United States can be seen in a three-county area at the southernmost tip of Texas, where the climate makes it possible to enjoy the outdoors year-round.

The LRGV is a good place to come see the beauty of butterflies and especially at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge where almost half of the all the butterfly species in North American can be found. I hope to see you hovering over bushes looking for butterflies.

Wildlife That Flutters

by Laura M. de la Garza: Environmental Education Park Ranger ... Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

If you have been to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge lately you've probably seen many fluttering insects of wonder. I'm not talking about butterflies, but rather dragonflies and damselflies. Also known in the scientific community as Odonats, these critters are quite spectacular.

I was enjoying a nice breeze on a sunny afternoon at the refuge headquarter pond last week when I noticed all these fluttering insects zooming past me. I sure was fascinated at their behavior. Watching them fly around the wetlands and zoom around the water was like watching a Broadway show.

I'm a hopeless romantic so watching a dragonfly couple zoom around together and observe the male gently hold his female as she laid her eggs in the Resaca was just an "awe" moment.

I even spotted a turquoise tipped darner as it hovered just above me in an almost stealth like mode. These little guys can be quite colorful and as I sat back and observed them I felt I was watching a rainbow of critters dance above the quite waters of Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge headquarter pond.

It occurred to me just then that much like Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is an urban neighbor in Alamo's backyard, these fluttering insects are urban neighbors too and they can be found in your backyard.

So the next time you're spending some time outside, sit back and ENJOY THE SHOW.

Brook Ridge Resident Turns 106

By David A. Bryant (Ap)

Pharr City Manager Juan Guerra and Officer Mike Mata of the Pharr Police Department helped make one Brook Ridge Retirement Community resident's day extra special on August 11, 2016. Dagny Hanna (DeBourg) Strait became one of the city's oldest residents at the grand age of 106. Strait was born in Ridgeway, Pennsylvania on August 11, 1910, to the parents of Swedish immigrants. The city representatives brought Strait a balloon bouquet, flower arrangement and cake. Cynthia's Cakes of Edinburg also donated a hand-crafted, four-layer cake as well.

In the spirit of the occasion, Walgreens on East Ridge Road in McAllen presented Strait with a gift bag which included Oreo cookies and Hershey Kisses, her two favorite candies. The Coca-Cola Company in McAllen also donated two cases of Dr. Pepper, which Strait says is the only doctor she sees and she sees him once a day.

Becky Zuniga of Becky's Salon and Hair Design fixed the centenarian's hair and Norma Santa Ana from House Calls donated her corsage for the occasion. The McDonald's Restaurant on East Ridge Road in Pharr gave Strait a $10 gift card to buy her favorite meal ... McDonald's chicken nuggets.

Local musician Ben Raiche provided the music for the celebration and Guerra led the participants in singing Happy Birthday.

When Strait was 3, her family moved to Red Lodge, Montana, where her father worked as a blacksmith. She graduated high school in 1928, the year her father died, and moved with her mother to Chicago. She met her husband, the late Eugene W. Strait, in 1934 while she was working as a secretary for the Gillette Publishing Company. They had two sons, Bill and Gene.

The family moved to Pharr in 1955, at a time when the Rio Grande Valley was primarily filled with cotton fields, citrus groves and cow pastures. Her husband, a certified public accountant, opened an accounting practice in 1956 on Park Street, where she worked as his secretary and typist for 20 years. Throughout the 1980s, the couple began developing their 20 acres of land into the Minnesota Terrace subdivision, and Strait spent the next decade showing lots to buyers and typing contracts.

When her husband died in 2002, after 68 years of marriage, Strait moved into the Brook Ridge Retirement Community. After 14 years of residency, Strait says she still loves her apartment, enjoys playing bingo and talking with staff and her fellow residents.

Art Form And An Artist

by Ben Dover

Today I had the delightful experience of being introduced to the artistic ability to a ten year old girl who unfortunately I have never met. I was taking some tests in a physician's office, and noticed a model of an Aztec village sitting on the table.

After enjoying the view, I asked the man who was In reality the person who performed X-rays where they found this marvelous artistic model. He was proud to say his ten year old daughter had copied it from a picture. After hearing this, I mused about the structure and looked closely at the various nuances included and remarked, "This child has to be extremely artistically endowed." He then pointed to some rather unique wall hangings that included one large message of congratulations for her dad. It was made up of candy bar wrappers that were used in rather unique and lengthy message of congratulation for Father's day. I know she loves her dad.

I was later shown some of the writings her father kept in a small album, and realized that just maybe some of the talent was passed on from dad. Anyway, I am always looking for a reason to applaud what I feel is a positive act or verbal expression from a promising future adult. I fervently hope this type of person will inherit our land of opportunity and be allowed to compete and perform in its arena.

It seems that in today's world we can find a great number of justified reasons to add a little personally devised criticism to our progeny. We might also search for this other type of truly demonstrated positively applied effort by and on behalf of a youngster.

I have not had the privilege of meeting this child, but hope I will do so some day. In my opinion we will certainly hear about this child's talent being exposed in some future manner and form.

I might add that although I am not a talent scout, and my credibility as a writer, musician, physicist and simply a retired old man have certainly become avidly prominent in my life, I felt the need to bare my feelings for a little ten year old girl I have yet to meet. All I can add is my hope that she will find that opening that allows her to become educated and possibly prominent is some respect at a time in life when it will be an asset. Oh yes, I hope she and you, the reader will have a nice day ...

I hope readers of the this paper will enjoy my offerings. I have been a writer of articles found in free press papers for about thirty years. This is my first offering for the Valley Spotlight located in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. My given name is Ben Raiche. My alias, however is Ben Dover. My writing style is primarily identified as human interest, and is intended primarily for senior citizens. If you have a short story to tell in five hundred words or less that folks might like to read, send it to me at this paper. This is no guarantee every one can be printed, but at least we can find out who you are and wish each other a nice day. My email is Benmagnolia3@gmail. com. Have a nice day.


I've sure gotten old! I have outlived my feet and my teeth. I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But ... thank God, I still have my driver's license!

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart? .. Why Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Reporter interviewing a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

I very quietly confided to my best friend that I was having an affair. She turned to me and asked, "Are you having it catered?" And that, my friend, is the sad definition of OLD!

Delivery From Despair, A Salvation Army Story of Success!

by Eloise Montemayor ... TSA Grants Administrator/Public Relations

Her soft voice and sweet smile always captured my attention when she greeted staff and other clients at The Salvation Army. I learned that her smile reflected the peace she found after traumatic situations she experienced in her childhood and in her adult years. To respect her request, I will not reveal details of those experiences, but I will share her journey to The Salvation Army in McAllen.

Ms. Sepriana Ledda, a former shelter client at The Salvation Army, managed to live on through her adult years in California where she grew up even after her first traumatic experience. She had her siblings nearby, a full time job, and a house she shared with her partner.

However, after another awful experience that mirrored the one she went through as a child, she lost hope and trust in others. Immediately, Ledda resorted to drugs to cope with her problems. She smoked 2 to 3 packs of cigarettes daily and drank all the time. She spent all of her income tax return on one ounce of meth and smoked all of it in one night. She believes that only God kept her sane after that.

Ledda eventually lost her job and became homeless. One day someone offered her a job and access to more drugs. So she accepted the offer to traffick drugs across the border. After a couple of times that she participated in this illegal activity, she could not handle it any longer.

"If you really actually exist and you actually really love me, then take this all away from me," Ledda cried out. She remembers saying this to God as she sat on the edge of a bridge in Mexico before she crossed back into the U.S. But what she was really asking for was for God to somehow make it possible for her life to end.

Soon after her cry for help, Ledda was caught at one of the U.S.-Mexico international bridges with meth worth a quarter of a million dollars. She was sentenced to federal prison for 10 years. "God had a different plan for me," Ledda said. "I did not go through any drug withdrawals, any alcohol withdrawals or even nicotine withdrawals while in prison, that was all God. He's the one who kept me sane through all of this, I went into prison as a criminal but I did not want to leave prison the same person. I wanted to change."

After her time in prison, she was sent to the halfway house in Edinburg for six months. When she was released, she had nowhere to go in The Valley. A staff member from the halfway house referred her to The Salvation Army's shelter. At the shelter, she met staff member Norma Resendiz. "Norma and Armando [Norma's husband] were a God-send for me," Ledda said. "I could talk to them and they would always listen. They were a huge help to me since I knew no one down here."

At The Salvation Army, Ledda received her meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for the three months she stayed in the shelter. She also received clothing vouchers. Furthermore, she volunteered at the kitchen and store. Then, with the help of Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, Ledda was able to move on into her own apartment and get additional help. Today, she continues to volunteer at The Salvation Army on her days off from work.

"Even if I can only reach just one person out there who feels so lost, I would hope that my story will show them that it's not worth getting involved in illegal activity. The law and federal prison do not play around, they will sentence you to years. Those are years you could be spending with family or doing something better with your life."

The Salvation Army Emergency Night Shelter welcomes anyone needing a place to sleep (by law we cannot accept sex offenders or anyone actively engaged in criminal activity). The shelter consists of 60 beds divided into a men's dorm, a women's dorm and family units. Registration takes place from 6PM-9PM every night, 365 days a year. Requirements include providing ID and birth certificates of the children accompanying their parents. The first five nights are free to clients. Afterwards, clients will be asked to pay $5 per night. Clients may stay for up to 60 days if they are in compliance with shelter rules and regulations. During their stay at the shelter, clients have access to showers, hygiene items and three meals a day.

We invite you to partner with us in helping others. For more information about our programs and/or partnership opportunities, please call us at 956.682.1468.

We are located at:
1600 N. 23rd St.
McAllen, TX 78501

To give a monetary donation, you may send a check payable to The Salvation Army to the following address:
PO Box 4766
McAllen, TX 78502
Thank you!

His request approved, the CNN News photographer quickly used a cell phone to call the local airport to charter a flight.

He was told a twin-engine plane would be waiting for him at the airport. Arriving at the airfield, he spotted a plane warming up outside a hanger.

He jumped in with his bag, slammed the door shut, and shouted, "Let's go". The pilot taxied out, swung the plane into the wind and took off.

Once in the air, the photographer instructed the pilot, "Fly over the valley and make low passes so I can take pictures of the fires on the hillsides."

"Why?" asked the pilot.

"Because I'm a photographer for CNN" , he responded, "and I need to get some close up shots."

The pilot was strangely silent for a moment.
Finally he stammered, "So, what you're telling me, is . . .. You're NOT my flight instructor?"

Jeepers Having Fun

by Alyssa Cavasos

Sofie's 'SS' Saloon is the go-to place month after month for Jeep Night powered by Burns Motors. The friendly and down-to-earth atmosphere makes it an ideal place for our Jeepers to meet up.

The crowd started gathering around 7 pm. Meanwhile David Nuñez was once again cooking up his delicious bistek tacos and trimmings, a new favorite among attendees at Jeep Night.

The crowd was noticeably larger at this month's Jeep Night. Those in attendance included Texas Jeep Crawlers, South Texas Rebels, South Texas Jeeps, and Texas Off-Road Republic.

Texas Off-Road Republic's Jesse Pena was also at this month's Jeep Night, despite being fully engrossed in his family business M & S Country Market, located at 5023 W Monte Cristo Rd in Edinburg, Texas. Having previously owned the business many years ago, Jesse and his family found themselves unexpectedly dedicating their lives once again to keep the store up and running. M & S Country Market and the contentment of its patrons became the center of focus for the family and that devotion has surely paid off.

Customer reviews have been nothing short of praise for the great customer service, competitive prices and quality management at M & S Country Market. You can take our word for it or you give them a visit. They are available six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Make sure to try one of their delicious BBQ plates if you are in the area. Some folks say it's worth the long drive as well. For more information on M & S Country Market visit and like their Official Facebook page . You can also reach them at their business number (956) 720-4335 or by email at

Jeep Night powered by Burns Motors is typically held on the second Thursday of each month, unless changes are made beforehand. Next month's Jeep Night will be held September 8th at Sofie's 'SS' Saloon, located at 6801 S 10th St. in McAllen, Texas. Information on Jeep Night and other events held by our Jeep Clubs can be found on our Facebook page . You can also get in contact with Burns Motors Big Lew at (956) 984-4554 or via email at

September 11 is National Pet Memorial Day

Each year on the second Sunday in September, people join together in observing National Pet Memorial Day. On this day, pet owners honor their pets, both past and present and think about and share with others the important role that their beloved pets have played, and do play, in their lives.

Prisoner of War 81A Gloergoer, Medan

Judy, an English Pointer, was a ship's dog in the British Navy. She was originally the mascot of the British gunboat HMS Gnat and also served as a gundog for hunting when the crew went ashore. In 1939 Judy and other crew members of the HMS Gnat were transferred to the HMS Grasshopper.

In 1942 the Grasshopper was struck by a torpedo forcing the crew, including Judy, to seek shelter on an uninhabited island off of Sumatra. Unable to find fresh water the Grasshopper's crew were delighted when, at low tide, Judy's keen sense of smell caused her to start digging in the sand near the shoreline. She soon uncovered a freshwater spring providing clean drinking water to herself and the other survivors.

In seeking rescue, Judy and the shipwrecked crew set off on a 200 mile journey hoping to reach a British evacuation point. Unfortunately they walked into a Japanese controlled village and were captured and incarcerated in the Gloergoer POW camp. The crewmen smuggled Judy into the camp beneath empty rice sacks.

It was in this camp, located in Medan, Indonesia, that Judy met Royal Air Force Leading Aircraftman Frank Williams. Williams recalled thinking "what on earth is a beautiful English Pointer like this doing here with no one to care for her." He began sharing his meager rations with her and from then on Judy was his constant companion.

Fearing for Judy's safety, Williams was able to convince the camp commandant to give Judy official POW status. Judy became the only official canine POW during World War II ... Prisoner of War 81A Gloergoer, Medan.

In 1944, the Japanese were transferring the prisoners by ship to Singapore when the ship they were on was torpedoed. Williams and Judy managed to safely abandon ship but were recaptured and sent to another prison camp in Sumatra.

With the end of World War II in 1945, Williams and Judy were released and they returned to Britain. Judy's story spread and for her work in the war, she ultimately received the PDSA Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, awarded to animals who demonstrate "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units."

Besides the medal, she was also the recipient of a serious amount of fanfare that included being "interviewed" by the BBC and having a ceremony held honoring her service on May 3, 1946 in Cadogan Square.

Her official medal citation read:
For magnificent courage and endurance in Japanese prison camps, which helped to maintain morale among her fellow prisoners and also for saving many lives through her intelligence and watchfulness.

Judy spent the rest of her 13 year long life with Williams and continued her globetrotting by traveling with him around Africa. She died on February 17, 1950 due to a mammary tumor. Williams buried her in an RAF coat he'd made specially for her, and also erected a small memorial in her honor.

Mayflower Day

On September 16, 1620, 102 men, women, and children set sail from Plymouth, England aboard the Mayflower. Their destination was the New World, where they could have religious freedom, and continue using their native language, culture, and customs.

Every year on September 16, we commemorate these brave, early settlers. They were the very first immigrants, and helped to pave the way for millions more to follow, in search of freedom and the promises of a New World.

Spotlight on Local Business ...

Glick Twins, Serving the Valley for Over 70 Years

During the first three decades of the 20th century the Rio Grande Valley was promoted as a magical place where crops could be grown all year long. Valley based land development companies placed advertisements in major newspapers in the Midwest and arranged train transportation for prospective land buyers from cities such as Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis and Des Moines.

It was on one of these train excursions that Bess Glick arrived in the Rio Grande Valley in 1926. Bess liked what she saw in the Valley and was especially fond of the mild winter climate.

Upon returning to her home in Paris, Illinois, the recently divorced Bess loaded her children and a few of their belongings into her Model T and made the first of many trips to the Valley. Included in this group of travelers were Bess' twelve year old twin sons, Kenith and Kemper. Kenith's son Bob recalls how his father spoke of the arduous 1300 plus mile journey traveling roads which were little more than wagon trails. They would have to begin the trip with at least ten spare tires on hand. Truly one of the earliest Winter Texans, Bess never spent a summer in the Valley. She and her children would return every fall, first in her Model T and later in a Model A Ford.

Kenith Glick attended and graduated from Edinburg College which is now UTRGV. After graduating he moved to Chicago where he worked for General Motors during the World's Fair of 1933. He soon moved back to Pharr, Texas where he and his twin brother Kemper began an orchard care business with the encouragement of the Bentsen family.

When the United States entered World War II, Kenith and Kemper enlisted in the Army Air Corps. At the wars end, in 1945, the twins came home to the Valley and opened Glick Brothers Army Surplus Store at Three Mile Line Rd. and Conway in Mission, TX.

In 1950 Kenith and Kemper moved the business location to the 400 block of West Business Highway 83 in Pharr, TX and changed the name to Glick Twins. By the end of 1963 they had expanded the store to encompass the area it occupies today.

Kenith and Kemper Glick had a keen interest in hunting and were savvy businessmen when it came to providing the necessary supplies to hunters in the Valley. During the late 1970s Glick Twins transitioned from being an army surplus store into a full service outdoor sports store including camping, hunting and fishing supplies.

It was in the late 1960s that Kenith's son, Bob, began at the age of seven to help out around the store by sweeping up and doing various other chores. Bob paid attention to what was going on around him and developed a keen sense of business and a passion for hunting. During our interview, Bob recalled that in his teenage years he spent most of his extracurricular time honing his hunting skills.

In 1990 Glick Twins phased out their line of camping and fishing supplies and focused in on becoming the premier shooting sports store in the Valley. Bob Glick took over operations of the store in 1987 and purchased the business in 1998. He has surrounded himself with a staff of employees who know the ins and outs of shooting sports. While the main focus of Glick Twins is shooting sports, Bob said that there has recently been a large volume of sales for defense.

From their early beginnings in the 1930s, the Glick Twins, Kenith and Kemper, gathered a vast amount of knowledge and expertise which they developed into a time tested successful business. Now the torch has been passed to the next generation as Bob Glick continues in the tradition of providing excellent products and service to the residents of the Valley.

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