La Feria News

La Feria Winter Texan Celebrates 98 Years

“It’s been nothing but good times”

Bill Keltner

Bill Keltner

Irene and Fred Booth chose to settle down in the Valley some 18 years ago after Fred retired from U.S. AIRWAYS. Now free to do whatever they wanted, he and his wife packed up and spent several years visiting relatives coast-to-coast and the nation’s national parks in their first RV. And how they became winter, and finally permanent Winter Texans, makes for an interesting story.

Fred said his wife Irene is celebrating 98 years this month and said, “Our life has been nothing but good times filled with interesting twists and turns.” For example, he explained that they learned about the Rio Grande Valley and Kenwood RV Park while they were parked next to another traveling couple at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They were high on the Valley and said they should have gone there instead of where they were. “Sounded like a good recommendation to us, so we loaded up and headed to Texas,” he said,”

The first twist was how they ever got together. They laughed about it. It happened this way: Fred said, “I’m a Canadian from Ontario, and Irene was an American living in Michigan–right across the river from me. We were both unattached and enjoying a welcoming party at an RV Park in her Michigan hometown.”

 Fred and Irene Booth.  Oh, yes, the baby in the picture is of Fred much younger.

Fred and Irene Booth. Oh, yes, the baby in the picture is of Fred much younger.

“In order to get the party moving, the activities director put filled balloons on the wall of the dance hall with the names of the ladies available for dance partners inside. The men were given darts to throw and had to burst a balloon to find out who his dance partner was to be.”

“Well, I threw my dart straight as an arrow, and struck a big, blue balloon, and out popped the name of my wife-to-be, Irene,” he said as they both laughed. “It wasn’t long until we found a lot in common. We got married. Since that time, our life has been one good time after another.”

The couple moved up from their original, RV, to a park model, to a full-size mobile home, and then to their current home at Harlingen Villa assisted living home in Harlingen. “Where we found a good home,” Fred said.

Fred relates that Irene, the birthday girl, had many activities and enjoyed the people wherever we chose to park. Kenwood RV in La Feria and Sun and Fun in Harlingen are their favorites. Irene likes quilting, crocheting, camping, and oil painting.. “We love our friends. We are limited now, but keep an active life still,” he said.

Finally, LA FERIA NEWS asked Fred if he had been a pilot those years when he worked with U.S.AIRWAYS: He replied: “Yes and no,” he said. “Yes and no”– how it that? “I was a stock clerk and they often said: “Pile it here, and sometimes, pile it over there.” I see.

That gives our readers an idea of how the interview went with this interesting couple.

Fred promised he would call us again on her 100th birthday. The couple welcomes personal calls from friends.

Did you like this? Share it: