by sandy feet

Long ago, a group of dissatisfied retirees from the Midwest... let's call them pilgrims... decided they were thoroughly sick and tired of Old Man Winter's tyranny. Cruel north winds and fierce snow storms kept them from their golf courses, tortured their arthritic joints and forced them to huddle by their heaters knitting socks for ungrateful grandchildren. "Why do we spend our winters here, when there is a brave new world just south of us where snow never falls and the golf courses are open all year round?" they wondered.

So the intrepid travelers loaded up their golf clubs, their miniature schnauzers, and token pictures of the grandkids into their now-famous highway-going vessels, the Prowler, the Airstream, and the Winnebago... and set off for distant shores.

It was a long and arduous journey. There were maps to decipher, exits to discover and detours to be taken. The weather was often uncooperative and clean restrooms were few and far between. Still, the travelers persevered, all while obeying the speed limits and observing all warning signs. These pilgrims were a hardy - but disciplined - lot.

When they finally arrived at their destination, the legendary island of South Padre, they were relieved to find themselves warmly welcomed by friendly natives. "Hello! Welcome! Sure, just flush your tanks right over here. Have a beer! Relax! Golf Course? No, no golf course here, (like I said, it was a long time ago), but perhaps I could interest you in a really fine T-shirt or three?"

And so the Winter Texans gradually adapted to their new environment. Sure, there were some problems with the natives. The locals would get impatient with the slower, more deliberate driving habits of the new arrivals. The pilgrims complained about loud music coming from their neighbors' stereos, and the native dogs going poo in their yards. But for the most part, the different populations figured out how to resolve their differences and live together in peace. The natives taught the new arrivals some important survival techniques, like how to hang their bags of citrus outside to conserve refrigerator space. They told them where all the dinner specials were, on which nights, and when to catch the Turtle Lady shows. They took them fishing in their boats, and suggested where they might find whole sand dollars... not just pieces.

To show their gratitude for all the help, the pilgrims invited the natives to a giant feast. The table was literally groaning under a load of relish trays, devilled eggs, buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a variety of tuna casseroles. After a short squabble concerning the existence and location of a non-smoking section, everyone sat down and ate themselves silly.

And that, my friends, is the story behind the holiday we celebrate this time every year. As we sit down at our Thanksgiving tables, we must remember to give a silent prayer of thanks for those first brave Winter Texans who had the courage to stand up and say, "I'm cold as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!" We're glad you're here!


Aloha Sandyfeet,

I am writing you from the big island Hawaii. Hoping you can assist me. We had neighbors by the name of Don and Del Flavin and they moved to SPI and bought a home there. He is retired and she is a nurse. I have lost their address and have no telephone number for them. I know the last call we received from them they told us other members of their family moved to Texas to be closer to them.

If there is any way you can assist me in finding them I would appreciate it.


If you can help these folks, drop me a line or call me (see below) and I will forward them your information.


Hi Sandy,

The Port Isabel Historical Museum is soliciting donations in the form of basic equipment needed for our operations:

Computer and printer, IBM or compatible. Minimum: 386, 4MB RAM, 20MB disk, Windows 3.1. Needed to allow cataloging of collection in a museum database.

Photography equipment: quality 35 mm single reflex camera; copy-stand, tripod, 2-1/4" format camera. Needed to duplicate old photographs.

Video Camera: For *Living History* program.

To take advantage of this great tax write-off opportunity (it's that time of year, folks!), contact Don Hockaday ( or stop by the museum. You can also visit the Museum web site at <>

There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: ( Visit my web-site ( for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.

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