The first report I heard on that so called Swine Flu was a report on CNN. The announcer said the flu in Mexico has some officials speculating it might have terrorist’s involvement. I said, “Oh, s—, here we go again.” Before long, all the news channels were carrying news of the deadly Swine virus. The next morning newspaper headlines carried the news throughout the country. Soon there was speculation that this could be the big one, like the flu of 1918 that killed five million around the world. Remember at this time there had only been a few deaths in Mexico, 14 to date. Four hundred schools shut down in Texas; the UIL canceled all sporting events in Texas. When I learned that my reaction was, “Say what?” I had just left a restaurant that had more people in it than attend baseball games. The track and field regionals were postponed. Those events, like baseball, are outdoors in a 12,000-seat stadium attended by a few hundred. The Relay for Life event crammed more people together on the field. Fans are crammed like sardines at the NBA playoffs. One hundred-sixty-thousand fans were shoulder-to-shoulder at the Kentucky Derby. Mexico has been losing $60 million a day in revenue but the school closing and the UIL ruling has been costly here also.
First the news media hyped the story about how many would die. One person so far has died in the U.S. The people were concerned, some near panic. People still cause the government to act. No one wants death to trace back to them. So governments jump in with both feet buying into the scare tactic that has absolutely no legs. No proof, just a non-story that went astray on a slow news day. We always over react. We can be herded like sheep.
A 1918 flu occurrence will never again happen thanks to medication and knowledge. What Hitler did will never again happen. It was plain to see that this big flu story didn’t hold water. More people have died from motorcycle accidents since the news broke than all the flu deaths. I’m sure way more people committed suicide in that one day than Swine Flu deaths in one week. My friend Pattie bought into it and scolded me for not. All I ask is where is the evidence. We’re going to have storms in the Gulf; it doesn’t mean the next one will be the worse killer yet. We will have 36,000 people die from the flu this fall and that’s a yearly fact. We as a country must quit being so quick to latch on to any negative scare tactic that’s put out there with absolutely no basis.*****I’d better quit and move on, I’ll get another note from Pattie. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


In years past we have named an elderly person, who has raised her family, as our Mother of the Year. This year, we congratulate Kelly Hanks Nichols, a young mother of two sets of twins as Mother of the Year. The twins are Jerry and Grace, second graders and William and Kerry, first-graders. That’s 40 toes going in all direction and 40 little fingers getting into everything.
Well, it’s really not that bad but they are a handful. It’s very unusual for two sets of twins, a girl and three boys, to be so close in age. In fact, Kelly has home help from another twin, Lynn Greenwall, one of Ace Amodeo’s twin girls. She and sister Leslie were born in 1951 and understand what it’s like to be raised a twin.
Kelly being picked as Mother of the Year is a complete surprise to her. She was under the impression we were just doing an interview for a story on the two sets of twins. She well deserves. Please read story written by Amanda Adams.


United States soldiers sue Halliburton and its former subsidiary, KBR, claiming they were poisoned from the burning of toxic trash while serving in Iraq. KBR, hired by the U.S. government to manage waste disposal at military sites, burned lithium batteries, munitions boxes, medical waste and human corpses in open-air pits. The complaint was filed last week. *****Thousands of Kenyan women vowed to begin a weeklong sex strike to protest their countries bickering leadership. Leaders from the Women’s Development Organization said they hope the boycott will persuade Kenyan men, cut off of sex, to pressure the government to make peace. That won’t work. Some will cheat, men will use the age-old sales pitch, “No love at home,” plus have you seen those Kenya women, it might be a welcome relief. *****The U.S. House will consider a measure allowing counties to keep unclaimed money found on deceased paupers to recoup the burial coast incurred by the county. *****A Federal judge has awarded a former Army Special Forces commander nearly $500,000 because she was rejected from a job at the Library of Congress while undergoing a gender change from a man to a woman. Diane Schroer applied for the terrorism analyst job while still David, a man. He was offered the job but when he said he was going to have surgery to become a gal – the job was pulled. The judge awarded $491,190 in back pay and damages because of sex discrimination. *****Carrying things a little too far are some in the national media. They are referring to Michelle Obama as beautiful, gorgeous, elegant, a fashion trend setter, even comparing her to Jackie Kennedy who I never thought was drop dead gorgeous. Like Michelle, I think Jackie dressed tacky but Jackie’s posture was better. No sir, Michelle is no Beyonce. I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and I ain’t beholding.


Carol Keeton Strayhorn is in a tough fight to win back her old job, mayor of Austin. Carol longtime Democrat then Republican also ran for governor as an Independent.*****Around the nation: U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, Republican, Missouri, Rep. Kendrick Meeks, Democratic, Florida, Rep. Paul, Democrat, New Hampshire, Rep. Jerry Moran, Republican Kansas and Rep. Todd Tiahrt, also a Republican, will be challenging for Kansas’s senate seat. The above representatives are trying to move up.*****Sen. Arlen Specter has bailed out of the Republican Party. He’s not the only Republican looking for a chance to leave that sinking ship. The voters of America have made it clear where they stand. Look for other moderate Republicans, like Sen. Olympia Snow and Sen. Susan Collins, both from Main to take a hard look and possibly jump ship. The Republican Party of Abe and Ike has been taken over largely by a mixture of Far-Right talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who denounce any attempt at moderation. Like it or not, that’s where the country is. The radical Right and Left is out and hopefully buried forever.

60 Years Ago-1949

Members of the Stark High baseball squad who finished tied for the District 11-AA championship are Jimmy Taylor, L.C. Kirkham, Darrell Skidmore, Don Granger, Dale Lewis, Howard Owens, Mike Lingo, Robert Barnes, Ken Reese, Bubba Herring, Bill McDonald, Bobby Joe Fisk, Skipper Weaver, Orley Bletz, George Poland, Allen Barkart, David Broussard and O’Neil Gauthier. (Editor’s note: I believe he was Judge Janice Menard’s brother. Her dad had the same name and they were both great athletes. It’s easy to see why so many of the Gauthier offspring are such good Bridge City athletes, past and present.)

50 Years Ago-1959

Western movie star Smiley Burnette, who plays the role of “Frog,” Gene Autry’s sidekick, will be at the Orange Jaycee Rodeo Labor Day weekend. (Editor’s note: Do you remember the name of his horse?)*****Bridge City principal Austin Floyd announced honor students. Valedictorian, Beverly Breaux, Salutatorian, Peggy Bryant, highest-ranking boy, George Stone. *****Jane Clark will compete in the Miss Water Sport Beauty Pageant at the Orange Boat Club’s seventh annual water show.

35 Years Ago-1974

Jess Davis Realty adds Bruce Sawyer, Jane Dorman and Diana Hill to their service. Other employees are president, Carmon Davis, vice-president, Brooks Hill, secretary, Marge Roberts, A.C. Roberts, Jack Moore, and Bill Fite salesmen. (Editor’s note: What a crew.)*****Glenn Earle, of television Channel 4, will monitor a televised candidate forum Sunday at 5 p.m. Glen will do the questioning of county judge and commissioner candidates. *****Huey Simon and Don Barron just returned from a Colorado big game hunt. Huey got a lion and Don a good-sized bear. *****Coach Ronnie Anderson coaches West Orange Chief baseball. Team members are James Long, Bohn Dorman, Randy Cormier, Ray Pousson, Paul Richardson, Junior Henry, Bo Guillory, Randy McMillan, Ricky Manuel, James Lancaster, Chris Ulery, Mickey Smith, Kenneth Hodge, Andre Robertson, David Chesson, Ralph Caillier, Joe Baker, Kenneth Richard and Marlon Richard. Assistant coach is Harold Fuqua. (Editor’s note: I don’t know what happened to most of the players but Pousson got a full-ride scholarship to the University of Colorado. Robertson who was just a junior back then later ended up with the New York Yankees.

30 Years Ago-1979

Hank Eckhardt became the second police chief in Bridge City to resign. Chief Wilson Roberts resigned earlier. *****Sheri Brack is in the hospital in Galveston. *****Doug Harrington was named Boss of the Year by Bridge City DE class. Tammie Thibodeaux nominated Doug. *****Arlene Turkel is a correspondent for the Beaumont Enterprise. (Editor’s note: Arlene went on to be editor of the Penny Record and County Record. She later received a doctorate and for several years has taught at Lamar-Orange. A nice lady.)*****Lainey Bean is bookkeeper at KOGT. *****We understand Cal Broussard is still doing the Mexican hat dance in San Antonio and having a great time. *****Martha Hughes, who was hosting the whole WO-S senior class, ruined the first 10-gallon batch of gumbo and had to start over from scratch. *****State Rep. Wayne Peveto cuts ribbon for opening of the Boarding House Restaurant, 1725 16th St. Owners are Louis and Beth Dugas, Beverly and Nick Matsoukas, Nancy, Frank and Tab Finchum.


If you haven’t visited the Saturday Farmer’s Market at Orange Lion’s Park, you are missing a treat. Even though tomatoes are still two weeks away, there is plenty of good stuff to purchase from venders. John Heard has citrus, juicy grapefruit plus satsumas and kumquats. Mrs. Sutton, from Buna, sells her Sutton Sweet Products, like homemade mayhaw jelly and blueberry jelly and jam, unbeatable taste. A real sweet elderly lady sells plants. I’ve never seen so many rare or prettier Daylilies at half the price. A lot of vegetables and other stuff. We even ran into Leon Wallace there. Darlene Zavada, Convention and Visitors Bureau chief, was patrolling the grounds. She does an outstanding job with her projects. Next week, May 16-17 beside the Farmer’s Market, she has the big Cajun Festival going on. *****Dr. Howard Williams called to tell us our Jean Lafitte story we had failed to mention that the pirate was also a slave merchant. The slave runner had a big pen at Niblett’s Bluff. The U.S. had made it illegal but the Republic of Texas had not, so Jean ran his enterprise out of Texas. Right here down the Sabine.*****Ten weeks ago we predicted Danny Gokey would win American Idol, with Adam Lambert close on his heels. In fact, at this point Adam might be winning by a nose. It might happen that Allison Iraheta, the only female left, could force one of the boys out in the finals. Kris Allen will probably be the next to go, and then anything could happen. *****We got an e-mail from Charles who asked what happened to the levee idea for Orange County. He hasn’t heard it mentioned lately. Well Charles, it’s a long story but in brief, Republican Land Commissioner Patterson pitched a plan to rope all of Texas in with a levee from Brownsville to Orange. That’s just a stall; it will never happen but even some of our leaders bought into it. Maybe it lifted the burden from their shoulders. I still believe it was possible for Orange County, at least Orange and Bridge City, but the window of opportunity won’t stay open long. First the Port of Orange should request, from the Obama package, dredging and deepening of the channel for future cargo. Much of the waste could be used for an SRA canal-type levee. It’s way more than that but it will probably stay on the Republican back burner. It’s impossible to find enough trillions to rope all of Texas in so Charles really, I believe it’s a dead, forgotten issue. *****On April 30, 229 years ago, in 1780, George Washington became the first president of the United States. If old George could just see us now. *****Bob Dylan has a new album out, “Together Through Life.” A friend tells me it’s one of his best ever. I’ve never been that strong on Dylan but I have liked some of his stuff. I’ll give the new album a try.*****Some special friends are having birthdays this week. Pretty Bridget Gunn Toohey celebrated Tuesday, May 5. Our buddy Essie Bellfield, longtime friend Joe Chenella, who we haven’t heard from in several moons and the lovely Sharon Wooley all celebrate this week. Best wishes.*****Happy first anniversary to Cliff and Donna Stutes on May 9. Great folks who found happiness.*****Happy 42nd to Cynthia and Howard Fisher who celebrated on Tuesday, May 5.*****Celebrity birthdays this week. Billy Joel, 60 and Mike Wallace, 91, both on May 9.*****Our hats go off to all the wonderful nurses. We would all be in trouble without their profession. This is nurse week May 6 through May 12.*****Also this is National Teachers Week and we are thankful for those great folks.*****The Cajun boys, South Louisiana’s jockeys, continue to win at the Kentucky Derby. Calvin Borel, from St. Martinville, won Saturday on a 50-to-1 longshot, Mine That Bird. He also won the Kentucky Oaks on Rachel Alexandra, the day before. Cajun boys Randy Romero, Shane Sellers and Kent Desormeaux from Maurice and cousin to the Bonin twins, have all won the Kentucky Derby. Desormeaux and jockey Theriot were both on mounts challenging their Cajun brother Borel last Saturday. Over the last 20 years Cajun jockeys have led the pack. Calvin’s brother Cecil was a jockey until his weight got him. He’s well-known around Delta Downs where he’s a trainer. Calvin started his career in Vinton at Delta Downs.*****Speaking of Cajuns, if anyone runs into master musician Jesse Domingue, tell him his Cajun buddy Sherlock Breaux needs a fix of LeJoune’s French bread.*****Kenneth tells us that Johnny Montagne went to work last week. I doubt that. He might have gone to the job but work and Johnny don’t get along. *****The boudain man, Danny Brack, came out with clean arteries, didn’t need a stint, just a balloon clean out. *****The drama of former presidential hopeful John Edward who didn’t keep his zipper zipped intensifies. He’s now faced with a Federal probe into campaign funds involving his sweetie pie.*****As far me, I’ve always dreamed of meeting a late bloomer like Susan Boyle. Always looking for something different. *****Ace Amodeo, now a resident of Pinehurst Nursing Home, 28th. Street, has been doing fairly well and invites anyone with a little free time to come by and visit him. His twin girls stop by daily but he would like to see old friends.*****Congrats to Blake Hubbard, Bridge City Cardinal, elected to the coaches all star team. The game will be played at Round Rock. Blake is a third baseman and leads number three state ranked Bridge City in RBI’s. He also is an honor student and lately has been learning how to install sheetrock.*****The Houston Rockets cut into my sleep hours but they beat the Lakers. In Los Angeles it was the Yao Ming-Kobe show. Don’t bet the farm on the Rockets but a win on the road is nice.


Beverly Millsap, Deborah Gregg, Doris Raynor, former Orange Mayor Essie Bellfield, Brandon Bond, Carolyn Bourque, Charles Slusher, Clint Vidrine, Glory Burke, Jessica Hughes, Joseph Chenella, Michael Psencik, Norma Cummings, Sherri Thompson, Caitlin Allen, Connie Angelle, Ginger Hogden, Julie Allensworth, Alan Bates, Arlon Fields, Doug Havens, Justin Dupuis, Kelly Brown, Ken Reeves, Mary Callahan, Trudy Blair, Anna Hughes, Dalton Gilliam, Gerald Taylor, Gordon Brown, Jacqueline McGee, James Rogers, Johnnie Mae McKuster, Katie Hubbard, Patricia Williamson, Preslea Thibodeaux, Sharon Woolley, Stacie Dryden, Stacie Teaff, Candace Miller, Chuck Williams, Pat Collins, Sarah Moreland, Scott Andes, Tami Vanderheiden, Sherry Walles, David Pitts, Jerry Hardee, Bridgett Bonneaux and Hazel Heckendorf.


After retiring Calvin Comeaux went to da Social Security office to apply for his Social Security. Da woman axe for his driver’s license to verify his age. Calvin say, “I’m sorry me, I forgot it, I will have to go home and get it.”
Da lady behind da counter say, “Unbutton your shirt.”
Calvin did dat him, revealing his curly silver hair. Da lady say, “Mr. Comeaux, dat silver hair on you chest is proof enough for me.” Den she processed Calvin’s Social Security application.
When he got home he told his wife Clotile about his experience at da Social Security office. Clotile say,  “Comeaux, you crazy Cajun, why didn’t you drop you pants, you might have got disability too.”


Mother’s Day comes around once a year and next Sunday is her day. If you are fortunate enough to have a mom this is the time to let her know how much you appreciate every step of life she has taken with you. Tell her how much you really care. No occupation is more important then being a caring mother.  A mother has to balance so many things and the lives of others that time is seldom hers. We love our dads but we know who the family rock is. Regardless of how and when you end up, mom will never give up on you, even long after everyone else has. I’d give up most anything for just one more day with mom or just to see her one more time. Someday you will feel the same. Happy Mother’s Day to all. Take care and God bless.