Printed November 12, 2019

Limo, scavenger hunt brings history alive for students

By Janice Edwards/ The Bulletin

I had the opportunity on Oct. 12 to be a presenter in a new initiative for three generations - youth, millennials and baby boomers - and to be a part of an adventure and “social science event.”

The event was designed to show how, by working with others to build people up, we carry each other into our career volitions. It was a different kind of experience for me and all those participating. It involved the past and present.

The inaugural event, “If Jane Long Had A Limo,” was a scavenger hunt in which participants riding in a stretch Limo were solving clues to progress from one location to the next. On this trip, the scavenger hunt was to gather the ingredients for Jane Long’s Pecan Pie, which she made for Stephen F. Austin in the 1800s. I featured the pie recipe in my column in The Bulletin recently. Jane Long, who owned an inn/boarding house and tavern, was a starting point of the adventure to show how a woman built a business in early Brazoria County.

The limousine for the tour was purchased and provided by an anonymous Dow Operator retiree who decided to do something for his community by lifting people out of their everyday routine lives - to start having conversations beyond their comfort zones.

All the while, they would be getting to know people with different viewpoints and lifestyles by solving clues to get to the next stop, riding in a limo together. His motto is: “See, do and live beyond your own life.” If you meet him, he’ll ask you if you are “That Person” – the person who moves a crowd, who expands the mind, and the person who learns something good every day. A simple idea that must be carried out for others because “it’s the healthiest way to live.”

“We all have knowledge and special abilities that we can share. Mine happens to be organizing fun events that can energize the family,” said Dona Winzenried, the coordinator of the event. “Most of our life experiences will fade with us if we don’t share them with the younger generations, but in a way that they can enjoy. For them, it’s using modern means. We can all be a mentor to another person, and we all have something to give,” said Dona.

The first mystery tour – which presenters hope to grow into many per year – consisted of seven stops:

1 -Stephen F. Austin – Munson Historical County Park with Jennifer Parsley presenting the topic, Women’s Business in the early 1800s;

2 - Brazoria County Historical Museum, with Jamie Murray churning butter (an ingredient in Jane Long’s pie);

3. – Bruner - Jamison Cemetery, with Texas Historical Cemetery Guardianship Association’s Roger Beeler presenting information about Life of the Unknown;

4. – Brazoria County Fairgrounds, with manager Jaycie Issacs discussing where to sell and buy products;

5. – Gulf Prairie Cemetery in Jones Creek – with re-enactor Stan Murray portraying Stephen F. Austin and discussing who Austin was;

6. – Brazosport Museum of Natural Science, with me discussing the relationship between the Mother of Texas (Jane Long) with the Father of Texas (Stephen F. Austin). At the end of my presentation, I gave the students copies of The Bulletin with my story with Jane Long’s recipe for Austin’s favorite pecan pie; and

7. – Roc’s American Kitchen in Freeport with Roc Cantu baking the pecan pie.

Students taking the tour were recommended by parents, teachers and other non-profit organizations wanting to give kids an on-the-move live interactive experience. So, the baby boomers for this tour were the Coordinator Dona, and the seven presenters. The millennials, who became the hosts, were Briana Tovar, who is a local brilliant and motivational Culinary Chef, and Skylar Hammond, who photographed and filmed the event and is seeking to expand her portfolio and a career in photography.

The young students were Lovelynn, Larissa, Oriona and Aaniya. (Last names are omitted to protect identity.) They all rode together in the limo with lessons about history, social sciences, chemistry, logistics and math, using a strong dose of connecting with each other and their experiences, making their own history, memories and connections.

While this is the first tour, Dona says organizers hope it will not be the last. This great experience was funded solely by the anonymous Dow Operator retiree and volunteers. They look forward to others in the community helping to expand the program and are looking for other unique individuals that can be brought into the spotlight - connecting generations, sharing experiences, learning new things.

For more limo rides and tours information, please contact Dona by email at yieldingarts@gmail.com with Youth Inspiring Excellent Life Decisions, 501c3 nonprofit.

(Jan wants to hear from you. Write her in care of The Bulletin. Email: john.bulletin@gmail.com. Snail mail: The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX, 77516.)