It looks like before I can get turned around good it’s time to get another column out. This business can get stressful if you let it get to you. No one not familiar with what goes into putting out community newspapers would understand what all it takes from start to getting it to your house. We strive to do a good job every week, putting out a publication that is informative and interesting. I’m often amazed at what the staff gets accomplished. It is astonishing to me how popular our papers are. People like the paper and you can hear talk about it throughout the county. However, I’m not sure they consider what went into getting it there. It takes more people than you realize. Not counting the press people, it takes 23 people to write, produce and deliver it to our market area. We love it or we wouldn’t do it. I assure you it’s not about the money. Newspaper people are poor but dedicated to their work. The bottom line is it’s fun and we enjoy doing it. We get to interact with a lot of interesting folks. Our work is never dull or boring. This morning for example, we got to visit with Yank Peveto. He’s not only interesting but Yank is very intelligent. He reads a lot and is up to snuff on world happenings and current events. A longtime employee of DuPont with a top-level job puts him in a position to be constantly up to date on world economy. He knows management and production. He understands streamlining and why. He explains that in the future business and entities will have to be leaner than they have been in the past. The automobile industry has taught us a lesson. Times will not always be good times. When the economy rebounds, and it will, we will be better off because so much fat has been trimmed away and we, as a nation, will be more inclined to live within our means. We enjoyed our visit with Yank. Sometimes deep but very informative.*****I’ve got to get going. I hope you’ll come along; it won’t do you no harm.

35 Years Ago-1974

Charles Sexton, son of attorney Bill Sexton, will be practicing law with his father. (Editor’s note: Since then, Charles has made quite a name for himself. Bill died several years ago.)*****Orange native Jerry Pennington will be practicing law with Morris, Graves, Smith and Peveto. (Editor’s note: Jim Morris has since died, the firm broke up but the other lawyers are still in practice.)*****Faithful longtime legal secretary Barbara Mulhollan, who doesn’t change much and is still beautiful, is employed by Jerry. Pennington really has made a name for himself. A good name.)*****Forty years ago, May 23, 1934, at 9:15 am., Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were ambushed in Acadia, La., at Black Lake.. (Editor’s note: Folks, today that’s 75 years ago.)*****In a few days, Grover and Sue Halliburton will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. (Editor’s note: Judge Halliburton died a few years ago. They would have celebrated their 50th this month. Sue, we understand, is still living in Orange.*****Congrats to local winners of the Optimist sponsored beauty pageant. Claudia Conway, queen of the senior division, Carla Burg, queen, junior division, Kristina Scott, 4-year-old Little Miss and Vicki Honeycutt, Miss Photogenic. Judy Savoy and Diana Hill were co-chairpersons of the pageant.*****Dean Marks, Bridge City Little Leaguer on the Pee-wee Wasp team, hit the first over-the-fence home run by a Pee Wee that anyone can recall. Dean was on cloud nine. The coach and kid’s autographed the ball and gave it to him. (Editor’s note: I wonder what became of that first home run ball?)*****Roy and Phyl Dunn are the proud owners of a Jo Amodeo painting, a gift from the artist. (Editor’s note: Roy says Ike didn’t get it, it was hanging on the wall and they still treasure it.

30 Years Ago-1979

Over 30,000 people intended the annual International Gumbo Cookoff held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Larry David was cookoff chairman. Jim Stelly is Chamber president. The Bridge City gumbo team of W.T. Oliver, Ethel and Lawrence Foux, Roy Dunn, Dr. David Olson and Tim Lieby won the chicken and sausage gumbo competition and was also named overall grand champion. Also doing real well was the team of Major Inman, Jim Graves and Jules David, of the Orange Chamber team. Some of the natives spotted having a good time were Al Zeno, Tony DalSasso, Joe Grossman, Ed Bacon, Corky Harmon, Grover Halliburton, Wilson Roberts and Dudley Baker. Local recording artist Jim Taylor entertained 10,000 fans at the big nighttime street dance. Other gumbo winners were Mildred Cobb, best seafood gumbo; Martha Oliver and Barbara David, best chicken; Red Hobbs, (Red’s Barbecue,) best professional. Sheriff Ed Parker’s team won special events. KOLE defeated KYKR, KPAC and KOGT in the media contest. (Editor’s note: This used to be a great big annual event that drew people from around the county. What happened? *****John Dubose of Bridge City has been named general manager of the Port Arthur News. *****Theresa Hughes turned sweet 16 on May 15. *****Johnny Phillips and pretty Melissa Mullins are wed May 13, which is also Mother’s Day. (Editor’s note: Johnny and Melissa are still married and live in Austin. Happy 30th. *****Bridge City High School baseball pitcher Pat Meeks set a school record with 11 wins and 1 loses for the season. Congrats to Billie Bradberry and Faye Fisette who were awarded life memberships to the Bridge City PTA. Marlene Cooper is new PTA president. The PTA meeting was held at the home of Brenda Lapeyrolerie. A covered dish luncheon was held. *****Celebrating birthdays are Vernon Peveto, May 10, Kim Leblanc, May 17, Karen Dunn and Evy Kathleen Ramsey celebrating May 20.

Dolly Parton, after saying “thank you,” for receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Tennessee, went on to say, “I’m Doctor Dolly now, when people say something about ‘Double D’ they will be thinking something entirely different.”

The elections last Saturday didn’t really hold any surprises. The voter turnout was pitiful. Not much of a surprise either. For the most part incumbents were returned accept in the Orange City Council race where Bill Mello defeated Mayor Pro-Tem Deborah Mitchell by a little less than 200 votes. Mello’s election continues the trend to elect candidates with the newly-annexed Little Cypress support. Mitchell received only a fraction of the vote in the Little Cypress boxes. Jimmy Sims, Orange city councilman, drew support from throughout the city to win 640 to 549 over Elgin Browning. In the Bridge City and Pinehurst races all incumbents were returned. At LC-M Keith Adams won an open seat. *****Evidence is piling up that the worst part of the Bush recession has ended. Job losses declined to the lowest level in six months. Home sales and summer spending is up. That doesn’t mean the pain is gone. Over 13.7 million people are still unemployed and that could go up before the Obama plan takes hold, stabilizes and heads down. *****The Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel, on top of the 50-1 Mind That Bird may not ride the gelding in the million-dollar Preakness Saturday. Instead Borel would ride Rachel Alexander, a horse he won on in the Kentucky Oaks by over 20 lengths. That is if the filly is allowed to run in the 14-horse field. Most observers don’t give Mind That Bird, who came from last to win the Derby, much of a chance in the 1 3/16 mile race. A move is on to keep Rachel out of the all boy’s club but if she’s in, look for Borel to give up his Kentucky Derby winner and by doing so, giving up any chance for a Triple Crown. *****Why are gas prices at the pump up while oil barrel prices are down? According to the oil companies, it’s because they have to make a summer blend. I’m not buying it. I told you back in October, in this column, that at election time low prices would be back up to $2 a gallon by summer. Don’t look for gas prices to go over $3 a gallon under Obama’s term. I believe they have cut a deal. *****Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte tells us they are still pursuing a levee to protect Bridge City. If that ever happens, land in Bridge City would bring the price of gold. *****Cheney backs Limbaugh as the voice that most represents where the Republican Party needs to be. Former secretary of state under George Bush, Colin Powell has been urging the Republican Party to turn away from the acid-tongued Rush. “I think what Rush does as an entertainer diminishes the party and intrudes or inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that would be better to do without,“ Powell said. He has been urging Repubs to move more to the right of center rather than the far radical right. I think Powell’s correct, the country is not extreme either left or right. Only 26 percent of the country supports Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s positions on being ultra conservative, 68 percent supports Obama. *****Freedom Tower will finally get built at Ground Zero. It will rise a symbolic 1,776 feet, making it the world’s tallest building and will feature an asymmetrical spire that evokes the Statue of Liberty’s upraised torch.*****Warren Claybar did good for himself. He and the lovely Brandi Hinds were wed last Saturday, May 9. We wish them many healthy, happy years.*****Got a note from our friend Karen Jo Vance. She said I had asked where Ron Sigler was. Well, he visited with Karen Jo while in town last week. Ron is a city manager in a small town near his beloved LSU and Baton Rouge. We still hold it against him for not coming by. His excuse will be he couldn’t find us.*****Stump Weatherford took a trip to the Athens / Canton area family farm to spend Mother’s Day with his mom. Stump reports at age 83, she is as active as any 60-year-old.*****Hubert Spradlin of Sprad’s Boat Town reports boat sales are way ahead of last year at this time. Sprad says the industry right now is giving great savings that he is passing on to the customers. He says now is the time to buy while the economy is soft.*****Gayle and Shelia Muhs are stupid rednecks. They shot at a family at random, killing an innocent little 7-year-old boy in Liberty County. It was a useless death with others injured from the shotgun blast. Those kind of idiots are what gives the South and the Rebel flag a bad name.*****No doubt that regardless if Adam Lambert wins American Idol, he will be a big star. My choice to win it, going back to the beginning, is Danny Gokey. With Lambert in the finals, Danny is in trouble and could let his big lead a few weeks ago get away. A picture is being circulated on the web showing Lambert kissing a guy. Will that help or hurt him? Talent may win out.*****Family Pharmacy, formally Harrington’s, is due to return to its totally remolded drug store. I like the independent pharmacy’s quick and caring service, drive up window, plus home delivery. *****Celebrity birthdays. Believe it or not, little Stevie Wonder turns 59 years old May 13.***** NFL rushing champion, Dallas Cowboy Emmit Smith will be 40 on May 15.*****Friends who have birthdays this week are longtime Democratic friend Imogene McKinney, who celebrates this week, so does a real hotshot, L.K. Jarrell. Sprad the boatman turns a year older as does Judge Flo’s big brother Leon Carter. The old chef Frank Finchum celebrates and Brad Johansson and Charles Edward Newton, who is counting the days till August. A very special birthday to Nancy Chenella, a special lady. San Lucia and Angela Breaux round out what’s a pretty good start if you’re picking a jury. Happy birthday to all.

Imogene McKinney, Jamie Garcia, Kate Jackson, Kristie Hughes, Melanie Wilderson, Renee Price, Bryant, Bob Wood, James Birdwell, L.K. Jarrell, Brad Johansson, Cortney Spring, Daniel Broussard, Deborah Ellender, Emily Domas, Hailey McCoun, Heather Brinson, Jaime Broussard, Kenneth Prosperie, Nancy Chenella, Ronda Savoy, Jimmy Sibert, Norman Gaspard, Samuel Lucia, Sondra Taliaferro, Clay Sims, Ed Berry, Greg Defrates, Jennifer Williams, Angelea Breaux, Barry Hunt, Denise Kincade, Frank Finchum, Jimmy Tupiln, Kim Hanks, Richard Allensworth, Shelley Dugan, Sydney Taylor, Cheryl Stone, Chris Day, Harry Dodge, Hubert Spradling, Jean Duplantis,Justin Knight, Leon Carter, Mark Watts, Niki Bennett, Bret Shuford, Dalayna Sandlin.


Joe Gilbeaux from Port Arthur, decided him, dat it was time for him to change his ways and join a church. He went to Brother Gaspard’s church. Da preacher said OK, Mr. Gilbeaux, but you have to pass a small Bible test first. Da first question is “Where was Jesus born?” Gilbeaux answer, “Longview.”
Brother Gaspard say, “I’m sorry but you don’t know dat basic question, you can’t join my church.”
Gaspard tried anutta church. Da preacher axe him da same question, “Where was Jesus born?”
Gaspard say, I know me, it’s Tyler.”
Da preacher said, “You wrong Mr. Gaspard, sorry.
Gaspard decided he would try one mo church so he went to see preacher Comeaux at da non-denomination church and told Brother Comeaux he want to join his church.
Rev. Comeaux welcomed him with open arms. Gaspard say, “I don’t got to pass no Bible test?”
Brother Comeaux said, “Sure don’t.”
Gaspard say, “Preacher, let me axe you something, “Where was Jesus born.”
Brother Comeaux answer, “He was born in “Palestine.”
Gaspard say, “I knew me, it was somewhere in East Texas.”

Soldier kills five fellow soldiers in Iraq. Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in Washington, “It does speak to me about the need for us to redouble our efforts in terms of dealing with the stress.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, “Such a tragic loss of life at the hands of our own forces is a cause for great concern.” According to the National Center for PTSD, at least 18 percent of the troops serving in Iraq likely suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The soldier who committed the murders was on his third tour of duty. We have pressed our military in that God-forsaken country too much and too long. It was a mission that should have never taken place. Now Obama needs to fulfill his promise and start getting our troops home. We have a war to fight in Afghanistan, and Pakistan may not be far behind. The problems Obama inherited are huge, from war to economy, but I believe getting out of Iraq would do away with much of the underlying stress we all feel. It’s been way too long. The promised six-month invasion has stretched into many years. We need that monkey off our backs. There will be lots more fires to put out.*****In closing I want to personally and on behalf of the paper express my sincere sympathy to Jay Trahan and all the friends and former students of Betty Jo Spence, who passed away Sunday. Betty Jo once told us she had no family, not even a cousin. She had been a teacher over 50 years and retired after putting in a few years at Lamar-Orange. She once was editor of the Opportunity Valley News where she recorded a lot of history. She also was fond of her racehorses and was successful at the game. According to her wishes, her body was cremated and no service was held. *****It’s with sadness that we also learned of the death of Randy Arnaud. To his sister Judy and the family, we send our deepest sympathy for this untimely death.*****My time is up. Thank you for yours. Until we visit again, take care and God bless.