For many years the Creaux’s Nest, in Mr. Cox’s Neighborhood, had been home to the creative juices of The Penny Record and The County Record. Ike destroyed the Nest but thanks to our longtime friends Corky and Don Harmon, who provided us with new quarters in their building at 320 Henrietta St. near Granger Chevrolet. Over the weekend, our staff came together to rebuild our network in what seemed impossibility after our loss. The great publication you are enjoying now would not have been possible without the help of many. Special thanks to AT&T employee Wayne Peveto, Judge Pat’s brother-in-law. Judge Clark offered to help and did. Also thanks to Dan Buffington, a great guy we’ve known since he was in the cradle. Even though we have a nice new office I will miss the Creaux’s Nest and the neighborhood, the wildlife, sitting at the spool table under the Hackberry tree and watching the sun rise. We’ll miss Mr. Cox’s Neighborhood. Debbie still goes by daily to feed the remaining cats, a mom and her four kittens. On a personal basis, I will miss my old friend 84-year-old Millard Cox, one of the “Greatest Generation.” He will rebuild his home but the neighborhood will be drastically changed. Cox and Ms. Virginia will celebrate their 60th. Anniversary on Oct. 2, congratulations to this couple and may they be blessed with many more healthy years. We’ll miss Cox’s regular visits and his stories. Our plans are to some day return but who knows when. By then Don Pate would have completed his apartment complex on what was our neighborhood park. Attorney H.D. Pate has taken up quarters in the John Dubose CPA building, next to The Penny Record office. Our friend Doug Harrington left a few months ago. Things will never be the same for us and many others. This column will be a little different but will get back on track in a couple of weeks. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

Our condolences to Linda and Dale Newton and their family on the death of son Eddie Newton, age 32. He was killed in an auto accident Friday, Sept. 26, while on his way to a job in Houston. We knew this fine young man, the father of two young daughters, Ruby and Skylar and the husband of Rikki. Eddie was a faithful son who helped his parents with their small business, Granny’s Seafood, which was destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Linda had depended on Eddie since Dale’s health had failed. Services were held for Eddie Tuesday. Dale had adopted Eddie as a young child after Linda and Eddie Sutton divorced. Please see obit. The Newton’s lost their home and business like so many in the proud community of Bridge City. They hope in some way to continue their business in the future but for now they are grieving for the loss of their son.

Many of Cal Broussard’s friends have been interested in his present condition. As of now things are looking up for Cal, who has been to death’s door and back. Cal has had six additional surgeries since his first major surgery for cancer. The antibiotic given for his pancreas is working. His incision has remained opened and he is still unable to communicate but is much improved. In a few weeks he is expected to be moved to a Beaumont rehab. Cal’s son Randy and Betty Lou have remained by his side. His beautiful home on Cow Bayou is being repaired for when he is able to come home. Our prayers continue to be with him. ***** Bridge City was on a roll before Ike came. Every available lot was being built on; new businesses, apartments and homes were springing up. Walgreen’s was set to open in late October. CVS had been negotiating for the Crichio Used Car property on Texas Avenue. I don’t know if Ike has changed those plans. Motiva’s big job has been put off until January. Ninety-five percent of Bridge City will have to be rebuilt. That could take more than a year or longer. Even Market Basket is not expected to reopen for months. Many people may not return. I’m really concerned about our area and I hear the concern and frustration in Orange Mayor Brown Claybar, Judge Thibodeaux and Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccoforte’s voices. They are upset about today’s plans by the government changing tomorrow. We have nothing but appreciation for the effort of our leaders. They have stickability, but the truth is communities can’t bail out alone. Without major help the recovery is virtually impossible. Our people have true grit and the will, but they have lost everything. Their life sits on the curb. The insurance companies in most cases have screwed them. The government’s FEMA has played the slight-of-hand game. First you see it then you don’t. They talked a big game and did very little. They will soon pull out of here leaving mostly a photo-op. Federal money to help our cities and county has been sent to Texas Housing. Rick Perry has still not sent us the money from Rita. Perry talks a big game, but is doing nothing, neither is our delegation. We’re caught in that old redistricting trap. Our major representatives don’t live here; most are powerless. Believe me when I tell you we are forgotten. I’ve talked to people in other states or even as far as north Texas who have no idea we are destroyed. One thing that might help is if our youngsters or anyone who is sharp with the computer to organize an e-mail onslaught to the different networks, CNN, (Anderson Cooper), MSNBC, FOX, NBC, CBS or ABC. We need to flood President Bush with e-mails. Officials tell us it would only take Bush’s signature to start our help coming. The ball and our future is in his court. I hope someone out there will start the e-mail ball rolling. Timing is really bad in our case. Texas is a “Red State and McCain and Obama have no interest in us. If our state were purple, our problem would be at the forefront. Another thing, the $700 trillion bailout has sucked the air up. Congress will be going on vacation and the Nov. 4th election will make us yesterday’s problem. The economy, in a crash, won’t help. Borrowing money will become tighter. If Bush leaves without rebuilding our Gulf Coast the new president won’t either. They will have major problems in healing a failed government. I could say I told you so eight years ago but our national problem, that has created an $11 trillion national debt, coming from $5 trillion in eight years, will be a government priority and Ike will be a small thing. I’m afraid we-re in the sinkhole alone. Throughout these pages read what our local leaders have to say. A special thanks to law enforcement for protecting our homes. Crime has picked up; outlaws are stealing what little we have left. Be careful of home invasions as criminals come to our area. The law is catching many. If they leave us like FEMA and the insurance companies are fixing to do, we are really in trouble. ***** We understand the West Orange shelter will shut down on Oct. 7. What in the world will those people do? *****The giddy Bridge City Cardinals of Coach Stump will take on Huntington this Friday. Despite some players being displaced, they have all managed to come in for a couple of practices. Winning would be a good uplift for the community.

This week, because of obvious reasons, we will not deliver in some areas. However, all the extra papers will be at any locations open throughout the county. Also, the special edition will be available at The Penny Record office, 335 W. Roundbunch, Bridge City and 320 Henrietta St. in Orange at Harmon Used Cars next to Granger Chevrolet. In the next few weeks we will return the paper to regular copy, sports and columns etc. Notice to the advertising public; we are the only media that can reach the most citizens in need of almost every service, furniture, appliances, cars, lumber, toothbrushes etc. You get the picture. Ninety-five percent of Bridge City and Orang’es “Cove” area need everything, and many in Orange and West Orange must start all over again so call us at 735-5305 or 886-7183 to advertise in next week’s issue. Free want ads are being offered as a public service for the next four weeks. If we can help, please call the numbers listed in the classified section. Remember we are your only locally-owned hometown paper. We must all help each other and that’s what we are here to do.

The many organizations and good people who poured into Bridge City were true lifesavers. Some of us were isolated for up to five days without communications or transportation. The food served, water and ice made available and the other services were a Godsend and still is. We know many will start leaving but we hope not. Everyone will abandon the area. Orange, for the most part, is operating normally and is not really aware of the Bridge City situation; maybe after this paper comes out everyone will have a better idea of what we face in Bridge City. Most of our married life accumulations now sit on the curb with nothing but bare walls inside.

According to regulations, a wheelchair is required for all patients being discharged. Nan Dartez was going around wheeling patients leaving to da front door. She found an old man, Oris Arceneaux, already dressed and sitting on da bed wit a suitcase at his feet. Oris insisted dat he didn’t need help him, to leave da hospital. Nan told him about da rules being rules. Oris reluctantly let Nan wheel him to da elevator. On da way down Nan axe, “Mr. Arceneaux, is you wife meeting you?” He answer, “I don’t know me, she’s still upstairs in da bashroom changing out of her hospital gown.

A million stories could be and many will be told in weeks to come. Roy did a Life’s Highway column about the last of his dad’s buildings being beaten down by Ike. Also, the last of the Bailey landmarks bit the water. Rob Bailey’s is no more. Sue, who died a couple of months ago, would never have believed it. *****The best thing that happened to us today just before my deadline was a good meal with incoming high sheriff Keith Merritt and his great gal Marlene. Both fine folks. A little restaurant in Mauriceville, at the four-way on Texas 12 served a great buffet and the crawfish gumbo was outstanding plus Marlene paid for it.*****I’m about done. You will never know the effort that went into bringing this paper to you. It’s a collector, put it away. My time has long been up, thanks for yours. Take care and God bless the victims of Hurricane Ike.