Saturday, February 07, 2009

Winter Texans – and the folks who care for them!

“Vern, the Wonder Dog,” is the charming official greeter at Del Tex RV & Auto Repair Center, 4220 Veterans Blvd. The 10-year old basset hound is far more than a mascot of Jack and Barbara Plyler’s business. “Vern” offers tactile comfort and spiritual uplift to all who enter the shop that caters to Winter Texans and other travelers.

The Plylers’ business has evolved into a Del Rio landmark where strangers can get their crippled homes-on-wheels fixed and flagging spirits rejuvenated. With the latter in mind, Barbara Plyler maintains the store as a business that sells hardware, while embracing customers, visitors and old friends alike in an open house atmosphere centered around “The Wisdom Table,” named by Danny Maldonado, Del Tex customer service employee. A bemused and impressed Maldonado told Plyler, “You need to listen to what these people are talking about!”

Workers from the Texas Department of State Health Services periodically schedule the Wisdom Table to register folks for affordable flu shots. After registration, inoculations are administered in a modicum of privacy at the rear of the Del Tex showroom, occasionally to the piano accompaniment of New Yorker Erin Alderman.

She and her husband, Bruce, are annual winter visitors for 13 years from Avoca, N.Y., first getting acquainted with Del Rio, thanks to their son, Paul, assigned to Laughlin Air Force Base. He is now Lt. Col. Paul D. Alderman, T-1 Texan II instructor pilot at Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio.
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