Here we are in the last week of July. This train is just running too fast. Only 97 days left until the United States presidential election. Just a little over five months before the Bush / Cheney Administration is history. A report out today shows record deficits or $490 billion and expected to go to $520 billion. Even though those good old boys inherited a surplus, the national debt has nearly doubled since 2000 from $5 trillion to nearly $10 trillion in eight years, gas at the pump was 98 cents to $1.10 per gallon. U.S. reputation around the world is at an all time low. All in the name of conservative leadership. Obama has taken the world stage; looked intelligent and welcomed throughout Europe by American – flag waving crowds. That put the “Swift Boaters” in a panic. E-mails are flooding computers, including ours, that Obama didn’t visit one hospital in Germany. They fail to mention all the troops he did visit and the goodwill he built for America around the world. Obama ain’t seen nothing yet. The “Swift Boaters” are just getting warmed up. They’ll picture him as a low form of life, an anti-Christ and much more. They have to beat him with negatives and some people will fall for it. Because the record of the Bush team, one McCain wants to uphold, they have no positives so negative, negative, negative is all they have to sell. You will be surprised how many buy into it.*****I can’t believe next Sunday, Aug. 3, will mark one year since our friend Tony Houseman passed away. There is a big void without Tony around. Our thoughts are with Gisela, who in the spirit of Tony has marched on keeping his dream moving forward. She is quite a lady.*****About Dolly and the rain. El Paso got more rain than we did. The average in the Triangle was 2.3 inches, Vidor got nearly 5 inches, Dugas Addition in East Bridge City, got a pinch over 1 inch. Residents were watering by Sunday. However the rain did help the lawns and small plants. We are 13 inches under normal annual rainfall. We could see a burn ban soon. Around Bastrop water is being rationed. Only two waterings a week. I guess we should count our blessings.*****I gotta move on, I’m way behind. Hop on board and come along, it won’t do you no harm. 

30 Years Ago-1978
Roy Dunn and friend, the late Conley Windell, continue their trip through the great southwest, staying mostly on the back roads. Here are some excerpts from Roy’s “Down Life’s Highway” column written July 1978. “The sights while looking down on Vegas from a mountain top 20 miles away, at 10:30 p.m., were breath-taking. Millions of lights down below, a scene I wasn’t expecting. I pulled over and took in the view. As we approached the city, the lights got brighter and brighter, we pulled into the Stardust where we had connections from Orange that would take care of our stay. Junior was the Pit Boss and ‘comped’ us to everything in the city. The Stardust is said to have a million lights. (Editor’s note: In 2008 the hotel no longer exists). A bathtub, filled to the brim, was my first indoor bath since I left home on July 4. A big meal and I was ready to make the rounds. Conley conked out on me. For the next three days I took in all I could.” There are two things that are the mainstream of American today in 1978. One is the recreation vehicle, which we saw thousands of. Every shape and size, as families travel this giant country. Of the near half-million people visiting Vegas, 200,000 came by RV. The other is the CB radio. It’s foolish to be without one. (Editor’s note: Remember this was before cellphones). Quick assistance is always nearby. Channel 19 is a must to avoid a radar trap and “Smokey.” From the Gulf Coast of Texas to the sands of the Mojave there is so much to see and enjoy. No cares, no worries, no goals. In the morning we never knew where night would find us. Ready to get back on the road, make a big circle through Arizona, New Mexico and back to Texas. My eyes were amazed by every curve and mountaintop. (Next week part four.)*****Twenty-nine Little League Sweethearts raised more than $7,500. Named queens were Sunni Dorman, Shandi Brister, Kristy Harris, Kelly Jacobs and Mary LeBlanc.*****Kountze News publisher, former Orange Countain Buddy Moore, is all smiles after receiving an autographed album just in time for his birthday. The autograph read “Thanks Buddy, for everything. Love Cheryl Ladd.” (Editor’s note: We take this opportunity to wish our longtime friend a very happy birthday. Buddy has been in poor health for sometime.)*****KLVI-AM has announced that Johnny Janot will air a “Pure Cajun” show each Sunday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. (Editor’s note: When Tee Bruce took over the show it ran from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Johnny died  several years after the show was first aired and Tee Bruce retired two months ago. The Cajun show is from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dana Melancon is now the Cajun music master).*****Lynn Hall is being visited by her mother Eleanor Schmidt from Chicago and her aunt, Jeanne Shields from Grand Rapids. She had not seen her mom in four years. She plans to feed them gumbo, jumbo shrimp salad and some of Bob Dartez’s boudain. Lynn and husband, Dennis, celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary July 31.(Editor’s note: Since then she ran Dennis off and I’ve lost track of both. 

Robert had someone bake a large cake to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Lunch Bunch. The cake was quickly devoured by the nice crowd in attendance. The service was outstanding as usual and Robert was a great host. See more in Roy’s ‘Down Life’s Highway’ column. The Bunch will dine at Van Choates’ Tuffy’s Wednesday noon. I believe Van has something special planned. Any and everyone is welcome. The crowd changes every week, some are regulars but mostly it’s come when you can. Judge Thibodeaux came in too late last week to be in the 10-year picture. Ya’ll come, it’s always a good time. 

Congrats to Sissy Lemons Yeaman and husband Jason, on the birth of their first child, daughter Jensyn Aubree. The new baby arrived midday Wednesday, July 23. The little cutie tipped the scales at 8 pounds, 4 ounces. She stands one foot, 8 inches tall. Sissy and Jason both coach at Nederland and live in Bridge City. Jason’s family, longtime Bridge City folks, are a happy, proud bunch over the new little queen.*****The Baptist at Baylor University is fragmented with a lot of infighting among several constituemts. The squabbles have led to the firing of two school presidents in three years. President John Lilley was fired last week. The reason given was Lilley’s inability to unite the various factions. You see, even Baptists sometimes can’t get along.*****Our friend Margie Stephens is not a fair weather friend. Her loyalty to the Astros proves that. Our shapely friend celebrated a birthday last week. Harry, her sidekick husband, put a big rock on her finger and platinum watch on her wrist. Leaving us poor boys out in the cold. We can’t top that. He sure puts a lot of pressure on himself in the coming years also. I guess as he gets older, the gifts will get more expensive. He cuts the rest of us off at the pass. She’s so sweet you’d never know that she’s spoiled.*****I understand that Toby Latiolias, former Bridge City football player, and Darrell Brock, former B.C. coach, are both teaching and coaching at Crockett High in Austin. Coach Brock worked for Coach Les Johnson at B.C. Coach Johnson and wife Wanda are in town Tuesday for dental work. They have been using Dr. Mark Messer since 1996.*****Speaking of former coaches, another Johnson coach, Rick Coulson, came through town a couple of weeks ago and left us a note. Rick is a prince of a guy with a great family. Son Jake graduates from college this year and you guessed it, like his dad, he is going into coaching. Rick will coach at Killian this year, just 15 miles from home. Coach Johnson and his bunch built a great football program in 4-A Bridge City but fell victim to the baseball folks who helped get rid of a great winning program.****Happy birthday to Nancy Lancaster, July 31 and to Judge Roy Derry Dunn who celebrates Aug. 2. Best of wishes to these great folks.*****Our longtime friend, beautiful Jean Lapeyrolerie celebrates her special day Aug. 2. She’s had some rough times since a auto accident but she deserves the best and that’s our wish.*****Next Tuesday, Aug. 5 is Dr. Mike Shahan’s special day. Doc here’s wishing you many more years. *****It’s hard to believe that James Foyle will turn 66 on Aug. 3. I recall when his dad Gus was 66. *****Happy anniversary July 29 to Beverly and Charlie Blalack. *****On Aug. 5, 1962, 46 years ago, Marilyn Monroe died. Many stars have been copied but no one has ever been a good imitation of Marilyn. The world will never know another who had it all and that was before implants and plastic surgery.*****Special thanks to our buddy Audrey Bonin McDonald for a new supply of Bonnes Nouvelles, the Cajun publication. The bad thing I’ve used up two hours reading them this morning and have gotten way behind. I really enjoy reading about the motherland and it’s people.*****Texas Bank has merged with the larger Compus Banks. I’m not sure when the deal will be final but the announcement should be coming soon.*****Last week Scott McClellan, former Bush press secretary, admitted what we have known a long time. Scott says the administration’s talking points (propaganda) was put out through FOX News, owned by Rupert Murdoch and run by Roger Ales, longtime Republican strategist. The real prostitute for the Bush/Cheney talking points is Sean Hannity. They even created a Sunday show for him to spin. O’Reilly, the Beltway Boys and others spread the propaganda while claiming to be ‘fair and balanced. The talking points were also emailed to Rush Limbaugh who has top official guests-like Bush, Cheney, Rice etc. who has a open mike, yet you hear them talk daily about the liberal media.*****We told you a few months ago, in this column, that gas prices would start dropping as we approached the November presidential elections. I paid $3.72 a gallon yesterday. Ten days ago I paid $4. Four years ago, we predicted the same gimmick by big oil to help Bush get reelected. The price came down $1 in three months. Lower gas prices are the only way McCain has a chance. They will pull the wool over the people’s eyes and once again, citizens will buy into it. After the election, if McCain is elected, prices will shoot back up. It wouldn’t surprise me to see it go to $5 a gallon in a McCain ‘big oil’ supported administration.*****Our buddy Pat Pate had a pin removed from her ankle at Bone and Joint in Beaumont Monday morning. That girl is tough. She sure has been through a lot. H.D. Is scheduled to have heart work done in Houston Aug. 12. The doctors claim they will make his ticker good as new, however, they can’t change the color of it.*****Our Ridgeback, Raz, won a couple of blue ribbons and a point at the Longview dog show Saturday but didn’t do so good Sunday. Mark, who showed him, said the pretty girl Ridgeback out of Dallas was in heat and Raz had his mind on something other than performing in the ring.*****Cal Broussard was visited by his pretty little liberal daughter Sara, now attending one of those Yankee liberal colleges. That’s what Cal calls it anyway.*****Congrats to pretty Hanna Dunahoe, former Bridge City Strutter, accepted to be a Kilgore Rangerette. Not too many years ago Cathy Riley, current Strutter instructor, was a Rangerette. It’s quite an honor for Hanna to follow in her footsteps.*****Two new businesses will arrive in Bridge City soon. They will be located in the new buildings next to Tequila’s. One will be a gym, owned by a Beaumont firm, the other will be a coffee shop like Starbuck’s. Every corner of BC is starting to boom. Don Pate is starting to build apartments on Professional Park, in Mr. Cox’s Neighborhood and across from the Creaux’s Nest.*****We learned that our friend Mary Stanton has taken a job as a driver for the bus fleet MV Transit that shuttles workers for the big Motiva project. We think of Mary often and have dreamed about her a time or two. Husband Don is still getting along fairly well.*****Debbie, our girl Friday, who has been down this newspaper beat with the Dunns the last 35 years, is missing one of the few Monday deadlines. The doctor put Ms. Fusilier in the hospital for observation because of chest pains. A new EKG didn’t match up to the last one. We hope that it’s really just a small problem. Roy doesn’t know how to act without Deb around. She’s the production manager and keeps things flowing. Amanda will pick up the slack and she says she’ll have us out on time.*****Don’t bet on the Orleck going anywhere soon regardless of what you read. 

Eighty-five year old Nolan Guilbeaux who loss his wife Agnes bout five years ago now spends his time fishing. Da old man loves to fish and it keeps him from being lonely. He was sitting in his boat da utta day wen he heard a voice say, “Pick me up.” Nolan him, he looked around and don’t see nuttin. He’s tinking maybe he was dreaming. Ten he heard da voice again, “Pick me up.” Nolan looked in da water and dere, floating on da top, was a frog. Nolan axe, “Are you talking to me, hanh?”
Da frog say, “Mais yea, I’m talking to you, pick me up, den kiss me and I’ll turn into the most beautiful Cajun woman you have ever seen. I’ll make sure dat all you friends are envious and jealous because me, I will be your bride.”
Nolan look at dat frog for a short while den he reach over, pick up da frog carefully and put it in his front shirt pocket. Den da lady frog say, “Are you nuts? Didn’t you hear wat I said? I said kiss me and I will be your beautiful bride. I’ll sleep wit you and love you a lot.”
Old man Guilbeaux opened his pocket and l ook at dat frog real hard and den he say, “Nah, at my age me, I’d rather have a talking frog.”
(Editor’s note: Wit age comes wisdom.) 

To you folks in Iraq, Afghanistan and the military around the globe who read us on our web, we want you to know how much we appreciate your service and sacrifices. We think about you and pray for your safety and well being. We look forward to the day when you can all come home. War is ugly but you have a job to do and you do it well. To the wounded soldiers in the hospitals hang in there, better days are ahead. If there is anything you need let us know and we’ll do our best to help. *****Special thanks to our staff who put in long hours to bring you this free publication week in and week out. We also thank our carriers who deliver door-to-door despite fighting the high cost of fuel. To the carriers who are not doing a good job, shame on you. To you, our readers, we ask for your help. We pay to get the papers delivered to you weekly so if you miss getting it we want to know. The County and Penny Record are read by more people in our trade area than all other papers combined and for that we thank you. Please patronize our advertisers who, because of our large readership, advertise inside these pages. Read us cover to cover.*****Thanks for your time. I’m out of here. Take care and God bless our troops.