Brownsville Couple Builds Family Ties Over Decades Spent at Resort
by Rocio Villalobos
In their 20 years spent visiting the RGV, Michigan couple Danny and Cheryl Jones have made a home away from home. They’ve been married for just over twice as long--45 years--and consider their neighbors at Brownsville’s Four Seasons RV Resort to be family.
Like parks across the RGV, the pandemic has put a damper on what would be a normal, bustling season and left many of their Canadian friends stuck across the Northern border.
“Everyone is distancing and doing their own thing,” Danny said.
And while they say it has been harder to connect this season, there is one tradition they were not willing to skip out on this year--the Christmas parade. So, with their help, it was modified.
“Our manager had ideas for giving little gifts away at Christmas and wanted someone to play Santa,” Cheryl said. “He had done that last year for the lady’s luncheon, and it was quite a hit. But in the meantime, his friend (a male) who plays Ms. Clause is no longer here; he’s in Nova Scotia. That’s how it started.”
Cheryl bought a Mrs. Claus suit, and they dressed up and drove around in a decorated truck spreading cheer, to most, and a bit of nagging to others.
“What I would do was I would keep my eyes and ears open to things happening around the Park,” Danny explained. “And once we started handing out gifts, that would determine whether I gave coal or a nice gift.
“If they got coal, I had to exaggerate a little bit on what they did to deserve it. Everyone was laughing; that’s what it was all about.”
They say despite this year being the slowest season in their history of visiting, they’ll keep this memory with them forever. And while they predicted they’d be mostly homebound, they chose to return to check in on their second family.
“Everyone looks out for everybody,” Cheryl said. “This Park is very family-oriented. That’s what we liked about this park when we first came, how friendly everybody is.”
“This is our third place here,” added Danny, referring to their park unit. “That’s how well we like it.”
These close ties were evident during the recent power outage when the Park lost all electricity for 10 hours. The Joneses and others visited the elderly residents, making sure everyone was fine.
“They’re not equipped; they’re not ready for that stuff,” Danny said. “We got one of the ladies in the truck and went for a ride to check on other people. It’s not like it used to be, but it will be. It’ll be back.”