Michigan Sisters Enjoy Decades as Winter Texans
by Rocio Villalobos
First visiting Brownsville in the 1980s, sisters Gloria Lamey and Dawn Powers are 4 Seasons RV Resort’s longest-returning winter residents. When she and her husband began contemplating heading somewhere warm for the winter, Lamey, 96, chanced upon an ad for the resort in a magazine back in her home state of Michigan. The pool was the big sell.
“I thought, ‘That’s for me!’” she said. “That first year we came, we fell in love. We did everything. We learned to play shuffleboard. We danced up and down the Valley. We fished. We loved the food. We learned a few words of Spanish and just had a great time. So, of course we came back the next year.”
This time she brought her sister and brother-in-law, who also quickly committed to becoming Winter Texans in the RGV. Over the years, Lamey convinced more and more people to visit and check out the Valley for themselves.
“Eventually, I had more than 30 of my friends from home follow me down,” she said. “We had an exodus every year from Michigan to Texas.”
Lamey and Powers’ husbands have both since passed, but the trips remain a family tradition. Lamey’s son and daughter-in-law have been wintering at 4 Seasons for the last 26 years. They share they are blessed to have enjoyed plenty of adventures over their years in the RGV and look forward to many more.
“We have wonderful friends here,” Powers, 98, said. “We plan to come back forever.”
One memory they hold close is their travels to Mexico. For 30 years Lamey operated a travel company out of Harlingen, which would take upwards of 35 Winter Texans on a two-week bus trip to different cities in Mexico each year.
“If things ever change and things get back to safety, I’d have a bus out there tomorrow,” she said.
They remain active in the park’s activities and in community work--like helping fundraise for Brownsville PD’s annual toy drive--and credit their energy and good health to a strong mindset.
“I say you always have to have a plan,” Lamey shared. “Always plan ahead like something is going to happen for you. And you can’t dwell on the past. You just have to move on. It’s easier to walk forward than it is backward.”