On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25, Lent began. Catholics, with ashes in the sign of a cross on their forehead, heard “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” Christians began the period of 40 days of prayer, penance and almsgiving, renew their commitment to Christ and living the Christian life. *****The Mardi Gras parade and celebrations now behind us, our path leads to Easter Sunday, March 12. The Lenten season has always been special to me and I’m sure to many of you. Ash Wednesday comes with a sad note this year. Our beloved Ann Segura will be buried on that day. She passed away Sunday, Feb. 22 at age 82. Miss Ann, owner of Bridge City Cleaners was highly respected for her dedication to the citizens and the community she loved and helped build. Our condolences to her sons James, Darrell and Tommy and their families. Please see obits and Down Life’s Highway. *****Roy says, “These are sad times with the death of very special friends three weeks in a row. Dear friends who are irreplaceable. The time had come for them to be called home.” *****Speaking of time, mine is getting away. I need to get going. One thing is that the weather will get warmer. I’ve had all the cold, windy weather I need for this year. Let’s move on to spring. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

About a month ago I told you, in this column, about the Bush family outrage with what Dick Cheney had done to George W’s presidency and commented on why President Bush hadn’t pardoned Scooter Libby. I wondered how long it would be before someone on the national scene would comment on the Bush-Cheney breakup. On Feb. 18, Maureen Dowd, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, brought it up in the piece, “Curtain Rises on Bush’s Relationship with Cheney.” One of the great mysteries of the Bush presidency is whether W. ever had an epiphany when he realized Dick Cheney had manipulated him. Whether it ever hit him that he had trusted the wrong father figure, Ms. Dowd contended that W. and Condi were trying to slide away from Cheney by cutting Rummy loose. The last week of the administration one official told Tom DeFrank, with the New York Daily News, “It’s been a longtime since I’ve heard the president say, ‘Run that by the vice president’s office.’ We used to hear that all the time.” The clearest sign of disaffection we have is Bush’s refusal to pardon Scooter Libby despite Cheney’s tense and emotional pleading. It was his final too little too late, “You are not the boss of me.” As DeFrank reported in the Daily News, Cheney conducted a full-blown, last ditch campaign to persuade W. to pardon Libby peppering the reluctant president with visits and phone calls and was furious when Bush would not relent. Cheney uncharacteristically criticized Bush to the Daily Standard, “I disagree with the president’s decision.” Other Libby sympathizers put it more bluntly in the conservative magazine calling Bush “Dishonorable” and saying his action was akin to leaving a soldier on the battlefield. By not pardoning Cheney’s alter ego, who plied his dark arts, trying to discredit Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, and then lying to protect his boss. W. was clearly saying by not pardoning Libby, he thought that Libby and by extension Cheney, did something wrong. According to Dowd it’s not clear weather W. is simply pouting because Cheney’s machinations blackened his legacy or if at long last he fathomed the morality of it, that Cheney did things to the constitution. It may seem pointless for W. to worry about his legacy at this junction. The above is just the tip of the iceberg; more will come out. If George W. waits to write a book people will buy he should write his memories and tell how Cheney and Rumsfeld lied and pulled the wool over his eyes on Iraq and how they maneuvered the lie of weapons of mass destruction and the mistake he made by making the deal that Cheney would run the government. Stay tuned George W. was used. He knows it and so does his family and friends and the nation is finding it out.

G.M. and Chrysler submitted reports Feb. 17 for $14 billion to avoid bankruptcy. G.M. announced the layoff of 47,000 employees and phasing out three of it’s marques, Saturn, Hummer and Saab and reducing Pontiac to a highly focused niche brand. Chrysler plans to cut 3,000 jobs.*****President Obama ordered two more combat brigades into Afghanistan. Some 17,000 troops will join the 36,000 strong. “This increase,” said Obama, “Is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires.” Obama added, “I am absolutely convinced that you can not solve the problem of Afghanistan, the Taliban and the spread of extremism in the region solely through military means.”***** Reports in Time magazine state “community papers will fill the gap as the dailies die off.” The free alternative newspapers have written more critically than most paid publications. The advertising only papers has produced hard hitting journalism. The bottom line; you’d better produce content that people pay attention to. What arrives on the computer screen may be journalism but it ain’t a newspaper. A newspaper is what you hold in your hand in an easy chair, with a coffee cup nearby and flip back and forth, ripping out articles, photos and obits. Hand held electronic devices that scroll text are not newspapers and will never take their place.

30 Years Ago-1979
The winners of the Noon Optimist Club oratorical contest were Stephen Nichols, Carson Childers, Thomas Sigler, Deana Marcantel, Ronald Teal, Dee Ann Pence and Betty Ashworth. Chairman of the contest was Bill Cunningham, an employee of Brown Hearing Aids, owned by Optimist Lee Brown. *****Doris and Morris Collier celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary on Feb. 23. *****The Sharon Beardens mark their 10th anniversary this week. *****Janice Smith reaches the ripe old age of 17. (Editor’s note: It’s been a fast 30 years hasn’t it?)*****Businesses advertising in the Opportunity Valley News this week were State Line Gifts and Furniture, Deweyville; Perry Brothers, (three locations); Grossman’s Jewelers, Northway Shopping Center; K-Mart; Kresge; Builders Mart; Montgomery Wards; Morrow’s Appliance; Firestone Tire; Orange Fitness Center; Precision Tune; Orange County Aluminum; Sel-Mart Discount Center (Gibson’s); First City National Bank; Modica Brothers; Stephens Buick; Harmon Chevrolet New Cars; Orange Motor Company; M and I Supply; Hubbard Television and Appliance; Merle Norman; Shoe Tree; Hubbard Television and Appliance; P.S. Tire and Supply; Town and Country Boutique; H and E Wrecker; Huber’s; Texas Ave. Grocery and Market, Curtis Lee Texaco; Village Squire; Golden Triangle Savings and Loan; Gravely Patton Power; Zack’s Hut; Myran’s; Parker’s Transmission; D and C Muffler; Bickham Lincoln-Mercury; Fisherman’s Reef; Weingartens; Bill Payne Chevrolet; The Kottage; Noguess Mortuary; Sportsman Shop; Martin Fashions; Paul’s Paint and Body Shop; The Fashion Scene; Price and Tarpley Auto Parts; Gerlands Food Fair; Ron’s House of Elegance; the Western Store; the Gingham Shop and Howard’s Big Red Pantry. (Editor’s note: none of these businesses exist today.)

35 Years Ago-1974
Jim Austin Motor Co., Orange’s newest Dodge dealer is holding their grand opening at 2500 IH-10 in Orange. *****Butler-Baker Pontiac American on Highway 87 near the Circle. Joe Kazmar, salesman, was “Top Man Award’” winner. *****Patricia Ann Holbrooks is the bride elect of Donnie Jay and Karen Boehme is bride elect of Marion Kent Crow. Both had wedding showers last week. *****Stars on the West Orange Chiefs track team are Roy Williams, broad jump and 100 yard dash; Paul Bingham, shot put; Randal Teate, Earl Thomas, Steve Fisher and Roy Williams, 440 relay; James Bean, Marty Edwards, Steve Fisher and Randal Teate, mile relay. Coach of the track team is Robert Tywater. *****A cow with long horns got after a fellow on Roundbunch Road. With the cow after him, the man was clocked at 9.5 in the hundred. The former Texas A&M track star, Doug Harrington, was saved when Dow Gene Anderson was able to get a truck between the mad cow and the scared runner. A sure place to get a hug Doug, is from pretty Ann Segura, at Bridge City Cleaners. She likes everyone, even old ex-Aggies.
The Acapulco restaurant on MacArthur Drive gets a facelift and name change. From now on it will be called La Cantina Mexican Grill. A California restaurant chain that owns the name through registration nationwide brought about the name change. The old yellow building will now be painted avocado and bright rust, along with other changes.*****Hometown star and former All-American Steve Worster will be inducted in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco on March 4. The pre-banquet reception will be at 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Hall of Fame and the banquet will be held at Baylor’s Ferrell Center at 7 p.m. Other inductees are Ramando Blackmon, Dallas Mavericks; Bill Bradley, Eagles; Lee Roy Jordan, Dallas Cowboys; Coach Abe Lemons (deceased); Kyle Rote Jr., TCU and San Diego Charger running back La Dainian Tomlinson. The class of 2008 is presented by Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Companies. Steve’s #30 put Bridge City on the map. Today he makes his home there. Worster and the Penny Record go back to before the 1965 championship game and 1966 state championship. His parents R.B. and Louise, both deceased, were dear friends.*****Welcome to Harmon’s pre-owned cars this week. The Harmon boys have a lot full of clean, low-mileage, one-owner cars, hand-picked by Don in high dry country. Their low overhead allows them to sell cars and trucks for less. If you’re looking for a vehicle, don’t pass up the new Harmon lot located on MacArthur and Henrietta Street. Tell them we sent you and we guarantee you’ll get an extra good deal on a car. They stand behind their sales. (See ad.)*****Representative Norma Chavez, El Paso, filed a bill to allow the Tigua tribe and the Alabama-Coushatta tribe, near Livingston, to open casinos. Gambling in Texas would not help our little part of the state. In fact, it would hurt because it would stop Texans from coming and staying and shopping in Orange. Plus over 500 of our people work in Louisiana at the casinos. Forget all the Houston stayovers if they can gamble in Livingston.*****Belated happy birthday to Regina Harrington, Doug’s pretty wife who celebrated Feb. 24.*****Doris Byrd celebrates on Feb. 25. David Claybar and Gretta Brinson, Darrell’s better half, celebrates on Feb. 27. *****Celebrity birthday Fats Domino, 81, Feb. 26, Elizabeth Taylor, 77, Feb. 27 and Chelsea Clinton, 29, Feb. 27. *****Quote of the week: After Karl Rove criticized Obama’s stimulus bill and suggested what he should have done, David Axelrod, Sr., adviser to Obama, said, “The last thing that I think we’re looking for at this juncture is advice on fiscal integrity or ethics from Karl Rove.”*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Don Thibeaux, age 51, who passed away last week. Don was a great guy. Condolences to his mother Fadra and Don’s eight siblings. Three of his five sisters came from Tennessee and were here when he passed away. Sister Karen was at his bedside. Everyone will miss him. *****Hillco Drywall, owned by Donal Hill, is doing all types of construction in Bridge City. Ask this professional company for a bid before you choose a contractor. See their ad. *****I heard an official say 90 percent of Ike debris had been picked up. That’s not the case in Bridge City. Some people are just now getting to their remodeling and the curbs are loaded with waste material to be picked up. *****For now the Wednesday Lunch Bunch is still dining at Robert’s Steakhouse. Everyone is welcome, ladies also. On most Wednesday’s you can visit with outstanding women like Judge Janice, Donna Scales, Babette Philpott, Marlene Merritt and sometimes even Dee Aven, Skipper Free or other lady guest will pop in.*****A big day not getting the recognition it should get is Texas Independence Day next Monday. This important day, in recent years, has been reduced to just a mention and that’s a shame.*****Orange County Commissioner’s Court will not meet next Monday due to the Triangle delegation attending the day in Austin.*****Congrats to Bridge City Lady Cardinal, Samantha West, who will sign a volleyball scholarship with Navarro College Friday. Ceremonies will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Bridge City High School library. “Lady Dawg” coach Wally Brooks will attend the signing.*****We have had some inquires about Mr. Paul Cormier lately. “The Boss,” over the last couple of years, has been in ill health. The past year he has been in a Beaumont facility but just last week he transferred to a facility on Texas 62. He’s getting closer to Orangefield, the place he loves and that has been good to him. Mr. Paul, as he is affectingly referred to, has over the years done a lot for the area and Orangefield school district. His health has not improved but it hasn’t gotten any worse, mostly unchanged. What a great guy that man is. He also has one heck of a life story. We wish him the best. *****The Houston Texans are close to completing a deal that would send backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels to Minnesota. *****More than 13,000 Texas drivers, chatting on cell phones, have contributed to car accidents, 126 of them deadly and many injured. The legislators are in a push to restrict cell phone use while driving.*****Galveston police are investigating two women beaten to death. The attacker may be the same person.

Doris Byrd, Angela Brinson, Betty Sherman, Claudia Williams, Eleanor Shult, Marilyn Powell, Zachary Gilliam, Amanda Beeson, Bailey Noah, Beth Mathews, Butch Choate, David Claybar, Gretta Brinson, James Wilkinson, Lindsey Moreau, Sarah Havens, Allisha Bonneaux, Amy Ball, Kathy McKenzie, Kurt Reeves, Royce Pendergast, Ginger Romero, Logan Dubose, Will Brinson, George Cassidy, Jennifer Thomas, John Gooch, Jim Landreth, Louise Hamilton, Monica Wilson, Robert Foster, Aiyana Bland, Kay Butler, Tommy Andrus, Brittany Waguespack, Donna Sullivan, Crystal Jones, Misti Bishop, Kevin Jones and Carolyn Miller.   

It was da las weekend of duck hunting season and Clovis Comeaux him, tole his 10-year-old little boy child, Pistache, dat he was going to take him out to da marsh and teach him how to kill some duck.
Pistache say, “Papa, I’m excited bout dat and Mama she can make us some duck gumbo wit dem.”
Clovis him, he stand up from behind dem tall weeds and BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Clovis shoot all his shot and dem ducks dey fly away dem.
Clovis him, say, “Pistache, boy, you a lucky little man you.”
“How’s dat Papa?” Pistache axe.
“Mais, because son, you jus witness a miracle yea, you jus see a dead duck him jump up and fly.”

Our advertisers are getting great results and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately we lost some of our regular advertisers because of Ike. We also lost our homes and business office so getting the paper out to you and trying to fix our places has been difficult. It makes it worthwhile when an advertiser compliments us on outstanding results. We continue to have great readership even from those misplaced from their homes. They say the Record keeps them in touch with home. One lady says she even enjoys reading all the ads. I thought I was the only one who did that. I find them interesting. The little ones and the big ones plus I usually always find a deal on something I need.*****This week I’m going to get out and move around find out what’s going on with the natives. Always feel free to e-mail or call us about any happenings you know about. I need all the eyes and ears I can get. Well, I’ve used up my time. Thanks for yours. Read us cover to cover and shop the good folks who sponsor this paper from us to you free of charge. Take care and God bless.