By Rocio Villalobos
After 35 years at Alamo Rose RV Resort, Wanda Bousch is practically a Rio Grande Valley native. The Converted Texan from Illinois has been at the park since it first opened in 1985 and celebrated her 80th and 90th--and plans to celebrate her 100th--birthday with her resort family.
“I just make a lot of friends wherever I go,” Bousch, 96, said.
One of her favorite activities is attending Valley Symphony Orchestra concerts. Of course, she befriended its members and even sponsors the group’s maestro.
“I have him over every once in a while for sauerkraut because he’s from Poland,” Bousch said.
While COVID-19 has paused the orchestra’s season, Bousch still finds ways to enjoy herself. She’s explored many continents from Asia to Europe and is now focused on exploring the RGV.
“On Sundays, a friend of mine from down the street take turns going out and driving around,” she said. “We put in maybe 100 miles going up and down the streets, going on little roads. As long as it has a center line down the middle, we take it. We have so much fun seeing places no one has ever seen. It’s just an adventure.”
When she’s not driving around, Bousch enjoys spending time at home with her two cats, working on puzzles and talking on the phone with people she’s befriended over the years. many of whom she has met through her philanthropic efforts.
“I’m a big supporter of nonprofits,” Bousch said. “I like to give where I can see it’s going to do some good for local people.”
Last year, she was even crowned Alamo’s Citizen of the Year.
“It didn’t even get me a free parking place,” she joked, adding she was proud and thankful for the title.
Some of Bousch’s favorite memories are her birthday extravaganzas.
“It’s always a fun time; everyone remembers my birthday,” she said. “I’ll be 98-and-a-half next month, but I don’t feel that old.”
She said though she enjoyed planning her most recent milestone parties and making gifts for her guests, she will let a friend plan her 100th birthday bash, for which she already has friends from across the country confirmed to attend.