A mandatory evacuation was called for 6 a.m. Sunday. What was so strange was that when cars were supposed to be bumper to bumper there was absolutely no traffic. Had everyone leaving already gone? I didn’t see 10 cars in the first hour. H.D. and Pat Pate, who were on Hwy. 62 in Buna, called to say there was no traffic. On Saturday special needs people were shipped out. Commissioner John Dubose was driving a bus moving evacuees to Jefferson County Airport. Dubose, Judge Thibodeaux and other officials were hands on throughout the evacuation and afterwards. Also on Saturday, 150 county prisoners were moved to Polk County on three large buses. I haven’t been able to find Neighbor Cox. I recon his family moved him out early. It’s lonely here on Sunday morning with Cox out of pocket. *****Fast forward to Tuesday. Locally it seemed to me that about 90 percent of the citizens evacuated. Most of our staff stayed mainly to keep our website up for minute-by-minute happenings. We had generators but we prayed we wouldn’t lose our electricity. Even though the storm models showed the storm coming in to Louisiana around Morgan City, there was a chance it could turn westerly and that wasn’t good for us. We dodged the bullet. *****Gotta move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

The Democratic National Convention was a history-making event. Barack Obama became the first mixed race candidate to be nominated by a major party. His speech, to a national audience, set new viewer records with 38 million people watching. Mile High Stadium was filled with 84,000 Democrats. Bill and Hillary Clinton were the unifying force. Like most Americans they know our country can’t continue down its present devastating track. President Clinton ran through the litany of issues that matter to the American people. This election is about rebuilding our dreams. We are living through the worst, misleading administration in our country’s history. What took 225 years to accumulate; our national debt has doubled in eight years. Our cost of living has doubled and tripled under the last eight years of Republican ‘Big Oil’ control. Gas has gone from 98 cents to $4 a gallon, bread from 79 cents to $2.89 a loaf, milk from $1.99 to $3.99 a gallon plus every item on the grocery shelf has gone up. A war of choice in Iraq continues to cost young Americans lives at the cost of $10 billion a week. We cannot withstand four years like the last eight.  Sen. John Mc Cain killed the surge of the demo convention Friday morning with a desperate play. A ‘Hail Mary’ attempt to stay in the game. The 72-year-old McCain, who is a four-time cancer survivor, picked Sarah Palin, 18-month governor of Alaska, as his vice presidential choice. Palin’s previous experience was being mayor of a small town about the size of Pinehurst, population 5,000. She is in no way qualified to be a heart beat away from the presidency. McCain’s pick is a gimmick to get elected. He was thinking about his election not the good of the country. He passed on qualified candidates in an attempt to pick up some of Hillary’s female support but mostly the move was to work the GOP neocon base that has not fully endorsed him. The ‘Far Right’ doesn’t trust him. Gov. Palin is an extremist that appeals to the George Bush-Dick Cheney elements of the party. I think the ‘Hail Mary’ gimmick is one that strengthens Obama and Biden’s hand. I believe most independents will see McCain’s vice presidential pick as a joke and an act of desperation. The GOP convention started Monday but Hurricane Gustav detoured President Bush and VP Cheney from making an appearance. Bush appeared by satellite Tuesday night. The GOP convention was scaled down. It would have looked bad on a split television screen to be celebrating while Gustav was hitting the Gulf Coast. Probably a good thing for McCain, who has over a 90 percent vote for Bush’s failed policies. The GOP base and ‘Big Oil’ is happy with Palin’s choice but the base alone can’t elect McCain. He would have been better served with Florida Gov. Crist or Mitt Romney. Their supporters are scratching their heads. Palin is not prepared to even be in the cabinet much less to be Commander-in-Chief should it be necessary. It will also be discovered that she has skeletons in her closet. Eighteen months as govenor of Alaska is thin experience.
30 Years Ago-1978
The Houston Oilers, with Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, drilled the Dallas Cowboys 27-13 in Texas Stadium. First year Oiler Campbell, 5 foot, 11 inches and 224 pounds rolled for 151 yards in just 14 carries. Mark Dunn, Opportunity Valley News photographer shot photos at the game. He got shots of a 25-yard run by Tony Dorsett, a run by Campbell and shots of disgusted Roger Staubach, Cowboy Q.B., Brian Billick and Coach Tom Landry. *****Well known country star Don Williams and the Oak Ridge Boys appear before more than 2,500 people at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School stadium. *****More than 200 Knights of the Ku Klux Klan gathered in Orange County. Three crosses were burned. Reportly some 1000 to 1,300 county residents are active Klan members. Klansmen carrying semi-automatic rifles protected the weekend activities. (Editor’s note: Hard to believe all the Klan activity was just 30 years ago.)*****Cardinal Albino Luciano, an Italian Prelate, last week was elected 263rd Pope and leader of the world’s 700 million Roman Catholics. He took the name John Paul. Both John Paul VI and John XXIII had a strong influence on the present Cardinals. *****Tropical storm Debra brings a lot of rain to Orange County. *****Vivian Holbrook is sure to have a place in heaven. On Aug. 30 she celebrated another anniversary of being married to Fain. (Editor’s note: Add 30 more years of that, Aug. 30, 2008. She really has earned that spot.)*****Some 30 businessmen and educators attended local meeting for John Hill for governor’s committee in the office of Wayne Peveto on Border St. J.D. Stanfield, county coordinator for the Hill campaign presided. Att. Martin Dies, Sue Pate and Flo Edgerly will head up registration drive. *****Roy and friend, Conley Windell, continue trip through southwest and have just left Tombstone, Arizona and arrived at Bisbee, Arizona. Excepts from Roy’s writing 30 years ago:  “I had never heard of Bisbee when we took the back roads of Hwy. 80 out of Tombstone. With no idea where the road would lead us, we knew if we headed east or south we would be going towards Texas. The discovery of Bisbee was the biggest surprise of our trip. We were just too amazed at such a big hole in the ground that housed many homes and businesses. The historical marker gave me my second surprise. A civilian tracker and part-time prospector by the name of Jack Dunn is credited with the discovery of the potential mineral wealth of the Mule Mountains that became the town of Bisbee. Dunn, along with a group of soldiers from nearby Fort Bowie were trying to capture Indian renegades. In May 1877, Dunn found a characteristic faint green stain on a hillside, which indicated the presence of copper, lead and perhaps silver. As I stand here today, 99 years later, looking down on the hole, I learned Dunn’s find has produced eight billion pounds of copper, 102 million ounces of silver and 2.8 million ounces of gold, along with millions of pounds of zinc, lead and manganese. Phelps Dodge ceased operations three years ago in 1975. In 1910 the city was considered the largest in the territory with over 25,000 people. The Cochise County seat was relocated from Tombstone to Bisbee in 1929 and was known as the ‘Queen of the Copper Camps.’ With the departure of its influential base the real estate market in Bisbee collapsed, hundreds of homes went up for sale. The Bisbee of today is a well-known artist’s community whose architectural and historical heritage has been preserved. It’s an ideal spot for tourism. It has the most perfect year-round climate in the country. Conley and I discovered it by accident. My father Clay used to say all Dunn’s or ki n so maybe Jack and I were. (Editor’s note: Bridge City attorney H.D. Pate has visited Bisbee many times and recommends it to visit or to retire.) Next Roy and Conley heard east to where ever the road leads them.
Our good friend Cal Broussard went through major surgery Friday that began at 7:30 a.m. and concluded at 3:30 pm. The surgery was declared a remarkable success. Cal will remain in ICU several days. The surgery, that entailed the moving of several vital organs, has left him in pain and the healing process will take time. The positive part is that Cal is tough and will be totally free of any cancer. He just has to sweat out the healing. We look forward to his return from the Houston hospital. Betty Lou, Randy and other family members have hung in with him and join us in thanking you for your prayers. I never had any doubt that Crowley-born Cajun could stand up to whatever is sent his way. *****Seventy years ago, on Sept. 8, (next Sunday), 1938, the Rainbow Bridge over the Neches was dedicated and opened for traffic. The South’s tallest bridge was a mammoth undertaking and one of the country’s most successful projects at the time. Remember that was before modern technology. Robert Hankins writes a great report on that historical Bridge that opened up traffic from Louisianan to Galveston. *****Our friends Judge Claude and Pauline Wimberely will be marking their 54th wedding anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 4. *****Keith Merritt, sheriff elect, celebrates his birthday Sept. 6. The new sheriff is a great guy and deserves to have a great birthday. Our longtime friend Alice Williams will get a year closer to retirement on Sept. 5. We wish her the happiest of days. *****Special folks celebrating birthdays on Sept. 9 are Millard ‘Neighbor’ Cox who will be 84. What a guy. Also Dr. Howard Williams, an Orange County historian and a legend in these parts, celebrates another. Jean Hammerly and pretty Patsy Peters, Judge Don’s better half, celebrate next Tuesday, Sept 9. Best wishes to all. *****On Sept. 6, 1989 Lannie Claybar died in Houston at age 57. Lannie was born June 6, 1912. He was the father of David and Mayor Brown Claybar. *****Constable Parker Thompson died a year ago, Sept 2. His sister Dot and brother Harold donated a bench at the Orange County Court House in his honor. (See story). *****Darlene Zavada, with the Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau, is really doing a great job of planning and keeping activities going on year round. On Sept. 20 to Sept. 21, the boat race ‘Showdown on the Sabine,’ will be held. This is the second year and already it has grown. She also has, in the works, a ‘Fall Farmers Market’ offering fresh produce and many other items. In March, ‘Art in the Park’ will be held. These are just a few of the festivities planned by the Bureau. *****Bridge City Cards and WO-S Mustangs kicked off the season with big wins. The Cardinals 32-20 win over Liberty was a much needed confidence builder for Coach Stump’s troops. Already the off-season program has paid off. The players are bigger and stronger. For too many years Bridge City had a lack luster off-season program. Dan Hooks and his ‘Stanges’ put it on Nederland 33-13 in Bulldog Stadium. That win over 4-A Nederland makes a big statement in Class 3-A. *****Karen and Tony Fuselier celebrated their anniversary on Labor Day and waited for Hurricane Gustav to come to the party.  *****Goddess and sex queen Raquel Welch turns 68 on Sept. 5. Old age waits on no one.*****Gustav disrupted oil production in the Gulf but even before it left Cuba prices at the gas pump jumped up. The storm gave ‘Big Oil’ just the excuse they needed to justify high gas prices. They made enough money to take a 50 cents a gallon hicky. The storm let the republican administration off the hook. In other words don’t vote against McCain because of high gas prices. However, their main goal is to get gas prices to below $3 before the election. They may bite the bullet on the storm, and continue lowering oil prices.

We have nothing but praise for the job Judge Carl Thibodeaux and his team did. We were in constant contact with the command post while keeping our website going, which was viewed by many thousand over the evacuation, who were kept informed in a timely manner. The Judge was right to call for the evacuation early. The citizens responded in an orderly manner, left early and by the 6 a.m. time to leave most everyone had already left avoiding any bottleneck traffic. A two-degree westardly turn by Gustav could have brought the storm on top of us. To stay was a big risk. Thibodeaux’s first priority was to protect his people. Some small hitches occurred but for the most part, everything went smoothly and we were prepared if Gustav hadn’t turned and been a dud. We also compliment the support groups. We did see some waste o f money but we’ll leave that for another day. Also Gov. Rick Perry screwed up with plans not showing up at the airport. I fear that if Ike or any other hurricane enters the Gulf that citizens will be reluctant to leave again. That’s a mistake because leaving is about saving lives, to stay is a gamble and someday we will lose the roll of the dice. Thank God we were spared.

Alice Williams, Cody Knight, Ernest Procella, Hannah Hall, Judy Hollis, Peyton Choate, Rusty Dubose, Tammy Stevens, Tracy Hollingsworth, Barbara Daigle, Kacey Harrell, Rachel Briggs, Robert Boehme, Cynthia Wedekind, Ginger Williams, Jamie Forse, Shirley Choate, Beverly Hanes, Cindy Myers, Jason Toal, Marilyn Bennett, Susan Cooper, Robert Vidrine, Gerald LeLeux, Keith Buker, Paul Rhodes, Randy Godsy, Rick Brownlie, Ron Sherman, Terri Childs, Dottie Couser, Karen Morse, Laina Sparks, Laura McCombs, Ted Miller, Janet LeLeux, Charlie Bollich, Darla Cricchio, Howard Williams, Janice James, Mary Tyler, Millard “Bill” Cox, Pamela Smith, Thelma Powledge and Keith Merritt.

Every trip truck driver Tee-Nonk Dartez stop by Fayola’s Truck Stop Diner for a piece of her fresh, homemade pie. One day, wen he was dere, tree bikers came in.
Da first biker him went over to old man Dartez and pushed a cigarette into his pie and sat down at da counter.
Da second biker went over to da old man and spit in his glass of milk and sat down at da counter.
Da turd biker turned over old man Dartez’s plate and sat down next to  his buddies. Tee- Nonk, an old truck driver himself, didn’t say nuttin, he jus got up and left da diner.
One of dem bikers said to Fayola, “Dat guy is not much of a man.”
Fayola replied, “Old man Dartez is not much of a truck driver either, he jus backed over three motorcycles on his way out. He jus c rushed um.”

Tuesday citizens started returning. Even Cox showed up, he and his family, including his 89-year-old sister Dolly, visited grandson Kevin and wife and Cox’s niece in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.***** I find it funny how Con. Brady and Poe and other Republicans are using the none hurricane, Gostav, as an excuse not to attend the GOP convention. As of Tuesday what is there to stay home for. A lot of politicians footballed Gustav for political reasons. The Repubs all got in on the act, trying to overcome the horrible Bush screw up on Katrina.*****Friday night football changes: Check our webs ite, for up to date changes. In fact, make checking our website a habit, check us first.***** Thanks to our staff, including Dickie Colburn, who stayed behind to get this paper out. We are delivering Wednesday when everyone has returned. Good stuff so read us cover to cover. Isn’t it nice not to have a lot of cleaning up and repairs to make.***** The big question this week is, “Do you believe that Sarah Palin is absolutely the most qualified person in the entire Republican party or do you believe her pick was a desperate attempt to elect McCain?”*****Gotta go. Take care and God bless America.