NOTE: Jim Shawn is a Bear Graduate, Class of 1953. This story ran in the Monitor during the latter part of July, 2000

The Monitor

 SAN JUAN — The Stars and Stripes may fly higher — a lot higher — in San
next year. Jim Shawn, who runs a business in Pharr, lives in San Juan, likes
cigars and collects Harley-Davidson motorcycles, presented a proposal to the city commission Wednesday
night that would enable him and a group of donors to build a 175-foot flagpole in a new one-acre park
in San Juan. If built, the flagpole would be one of the tallest in the United States. The tallest flagpole in the country is 200 feet high and is located in Dorris, Calif., a small community on the California-Oregon border. Shawn already has purchased the flagpole — eight tons of galvanized steel — for $6,000. The pole is in six sections that, when assembled, will nearly reach the height of a 14-story building.
 Shawn predicts his flag will be made of a heavy-duty material similar to nylon. It will be 40 feet long and
 35 feet wide, and will probably cost about $2,500, he said.  “I know it’s a crazy idea,” Shawn said. “Hell, I’ll be the first to admit that. “But it’s my crazy idea, and it may only be a pipe dream, but I want it
to come true.” The idea for the patriotic-theme park came five years ago when Shawn
was with a group of friends.  “I noticed that there weren’t any parks that celebrated Flag Day,” he
said. “Nothing at all that celebrated the American Flag. I’m hoping this (park) will change that.”
 He also said his park is a chance to give back to the community. “I’ve always been very patriotic,” he said. “This is just a way for me to give back to the city where I grew up in and to honor the veterans.
 The park, tentatively named “Liberty Park,” would be located on the corner of South Standard Street and Business 83. Plans call for a World War II plane, a few benches, and the flags of all the military armed services, as well as a flag for the POW/MIA veterans who are still missing, Shawn said.
 “This isn’t going to be a barbecue park,” he said. “It’s going to be a park where people can go and relax
 and appreciate the flags in their beauty, not worry about anything else.” A vacant brick building on the property could be used to as a recreation center or a new town library, Shawn added. “I hear they are really in need of one,” Shawn said with a grin. San Juan City Manager Jorge Arcaute said the building, which used to house a savings and loan office, is too small for a library. “We’d have to do some sort of expansion project to make it into a library,” Arcaute said. “It’s a very small building. I was thinking it could be used as a satellite office for the Chamber of Commerce.” Shawn suggested that the building could be used as a small museum that would highlight the park and the history of the American flag.
 Shawn hopes completion of the Park and the building — whatever it ends up containing — will happen
 next year. “Although it’s hard to put a time on it,” he said. “But I sure would like to see it for next
Flag Day, June 14.”

"In the News"

~ David Dozier ~

Two Bears, 20 years apart in age, recently completed the grueling Texas
Marathon Challenge. David Dozier, president of the PSJA class of 1956,
and Mayo Caceres, class of 1976, were both honored in festivities
February 26 in Dallas for completing the Challenge. The Marathon
Challenge required runners to complete the San Antonio, The Dallas White
Rock, the Houston, the Austin and the Fort Worth Cowtown Marathons in
succession under the required time limit. Each marathon is 26.2 miles
long. It meant running five marathons in just under a four-month period.
The Austin and Fort Worth events were just six days apart. Dozier had
completed the Chicago Marathon just two weeks prior to the start of the
Challenge. Dave Dozier is a resident of Dallas. Mayo Caceres is from San
. Both runners ran together for several miles in all five
marathons, during which they talked about the various races. They didn't
realize that they were both PSJA Bears until the awards banquet.

April 2, 2000