I write this on the last day of summer, Tuesday, Sept. 22, is the first day of fall. A year ago on this day many people were trying to make it back after Ike to see what, if anything, was left of their homes. They had fought the long evacuation lines a few days earlier, paying better than $4 a gallon for gasoline when they could find it. Meanwhile, things looked bleak in Orange County. Orange, West Orange, Cove, Rose City and Bridge City took the blunt of Ike’s surge. Bridge City was paralyzed, the business community totally shut down. Life would not be the same from that day forward. The aftermath has been documented many times but very little has been said about a change in nature.
Rabbits were always plentiful around Bridge City. They were bad about eating up backyard gardens. Roy once had a young pair of Jack Rabbits. One got loose and for years swamp rabbits were spotted with longer than normal ears. Last week I spotted the first rabbit I had seen in a year. Not being able to climb, when the salt water came up rabbits were caught in the surge.
At one time John Brook and his neighbor raised quail. Once a cage full of the birds got away and quail were everywhere around Cow Bayou. Ike’s water got them this time. I haven’t heard one Bob White. For years I mocked them and they answered. Nightly, coyotes could be heard chasing rabbits in east Bridge City, near the Hawk Club. I haven’t heard them howling since Ike.
Thousands of trees destroyed by Hurricane Rita drastically reduced the squirrel population. They are finally coming back. Armadillos, a pest in yards, are very scarce since Ike. After Rita only a few roosters remained to crow. I don’t know that I’ve heard a rooster wake up the neighborhood since Ike. Something that has gotten plentiful however  is the cardinal. They are everywhere in Bridge City. They took a licking and kept on ticking. I now see fewer mockingbirds and blue jays than I used to see. I don’t know how Ike could affect butterflies but they have gotten more plentiful in just the last couple of months. Woodpeckers are also scarce and the owls that survived are huge. I saw one with a four-inch head. Rita got the raccoons but they are multiplying now. Ike not only changed the neighborhood but that darn storm took a toll on many of our friends in the animal world. Rita wiped out the pigeons, beautiful, brightly colored ones. Several coveys were all over Bridge City and Orange. Few pigeons remain in the area. There is more but I though I’d just mention a little about other effects of Hurricanes.*****Got to go now. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


The economy is making the transition from recession to recovery. The job market is improving but still weak across the nation. Since the start of the year, the economic reports in the beige book have steadily brightened from very dismal to less bad to tepid as the stock market rebounded and the recession began to loosen it’s grip. The labor market is still weak in most regions. However, this week “Business Week” reports that Lake Charles, La. is the number one spot in the country. The real estate market and building permits are seeing new life, making it America’s strongest building market. Some of you will be surprised to learn that the Beaumont, Port Arthur, Triangle area is number two in the nation. The area has had a 125 percent increase in single family building permits. Everything is in place for recovery around the nation but it won’t be soon. With patience we will see the country come from the brink of depression to a strong and healthy economy again. History has proven time an again that the American people have often made the choice that turned the country around. President Obama might well be the right person at just the right time. In eight months he’s stopped the bleeding, now the long haul to recovery begins. Don’t sell him short.

We were saddened to learn of the death of Claude Hamerly, age 74, who passed away Sept. 17. He had been married to Jean, his beloved wife of 56 years and raised a great family, daughter Mary, sons David and Bradley. To all the family we extend our deepest sympathies. Claude was a good, caring and giving man. Services were held Sunday, Sept. 20.

30 Years Ago-1979

Bridge City State Bank holds a ribbon cutting for the formal opening of their new bank building on Roundbunch Road.*****Mike Hatton is emcee for the Miss Bridge City Pageant. Crowned queen was 16-year-old Teresa Hearn, daughter of Ray and Elaine Hearn. She was sponsored by Neal Bond’s Western Auto store. Teresa, an eleventh grader was first runner up in last year’s pageant. Sharon Gregory relinquished her crown. Teresa plans a career in journalism. (Editor’s note: Sharon Gregory went on to win the Miss Teen America but gave up her crown because she thought the USA pageant was corrupt. Sharon has spent her life as a television anchor in several markets. She was in Florida the last we heard. Theresa did some local newspaper reporting before ending up in Nashville where she has been very involved in country music productions. She has also written two books. Her parents still live in Bridge City, as well as her grandmother, the lovely Inez Hearn.)*****The Dunn family launches a new newspaper Sept. 26 in Port Arthur. It is a sister paper to the Orange County Opportunity Valley News called “The Community Post.” The slogan for the Post is “You Can Lean On Us.” The office is located at 3316 Gulfway Drive. (Editor’s note: The publication went on to become very popular. The family sold the weekly nine months later to Cox Enterprise, the owners of the Port Arthur News. The Dunn’s also sold the Triangle Press, a commercial plant in Beaumont and the OVN in Orange. Cox later bought the Orange Leader. Roy and Phyllis retired for the next 15 years before establishing the Record Newspapers, the Bridge City Penny Record and the Orange County Record which they still operate. The Community Post and OVN folded several years ago.)*****Genny LeBlanc is in the hospital after suffering a roller skating accident.*****Faye Richard, David’s better half, is recuperating at home after having surgery in Beaumont.*****Stevie Breaux turned 13 on Sept. 23. A special treat for “Stevo” was when he got to be server at St. Henry’s High Mass.*****Bobbie Jean Simpson and Elaine Cassens, seniors at Bridge City, were named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. They are shooting to make the finals.

35 Years Ago-1974

Ed Lovelace and Gloria got a divorce. What bothers Ed the most is not that she took off with much of his wealth, it’s the fact that she took off with his baseball cards and Benny Barnes records. *****Crip Trahan is a candidate for the Orange County Drainage District. *****A beautiful face now being run in Gunn’s Studio ad is that of Terri Everett. *****Larry King, the eldest son of Jack King, graduated from basic training in San Diego. Another Bridge City boy graduated at the same ceremony also. Neil Kelly and Larry are both U.S. Marines.*****Pretty Janet Fontenot is the boss lady at the Shoe Castle.*****Carol Runnels is a kindergarten teacher.*****Happy guys this week are Aggies Bill Godwin, Doug Harrington, Fred Gregory and Bill Butler. “Next year” finally came for them, Texas A&M beat LSU.*****Scotty Wilson and Dick Manuel have opened a used car lot on Simmons Drive. Scotty claims he’s doing most of the work.*****John Lee is a mainstay in the Stark Tiger lineup at guard position. John and the Tigers will take on the Silsbee Tigers in the first district game Friday.

50 Years Ago-1959

Coach Ted Jefferies and his young Stark Tigers lost 8 to 6 to Jacksonville. It was a long ride home. Some team members are fullback, Bobby Permenter and Mike Conn, halfbacks, Joe Cannon, Billy Cunningham and Tommy Flecher quartback is Gerald Edwards.*****Little Cypress loses to San Augustine, 6-0. Bear fullback Russell Hall was leading rusher with 52 yards on 13 totes.*****Bridge City Cardinals win third game in a row. The Cards defeated Hardin 16-0. Coach is Glen Buffaleo.*****West Orange beat Orangefield 6-0. Robert Petry and Bobby Savoie were standouts for the Chiefs. (Editor’s note: The low scores indicates that the games were mostly 3 yards and a cloud of dust. Mostly defensive battles. Not like today’s wide-open formations where passing is a big part of the game.

Two of our staff members, Penny and Roy, attended Percy and “Teno” Bordelon’s 65th wedding anniversary breakfast Saturday. The breakfast was held at Danny’s, in West Orange. I suspect Norman Berry had a lot to do with getting the celebration together. “Teno” insisted on buying everyone’s breakfast. I know Percy didn’t do it. He and Joe Burke were partners in many ventures so Percy learned not to volunteer to pay. The Bordelons are really great folks. Most of the guys, with the exception of Dunn, are members of the KKK, “Kroger Koffee Klub.” One of the most beautiful blue-eyed gals in attendance was Pearle Burgess Standfield, Billy Burgess and J.D.’s widow. She’s a remarkable lady who will soon celebrate her 89th birthday. Of course the clown of the bunch is Harold Forse who is heading to his 89th come February. Coach Marlin Broussard still has his college weight and doesn’t seem to age. Many other folks stopped by to extend congrats. Capt. David Peck renewed old friendships, Janie Bergeron and a couple of pretty lady friends showed up. Janie, the widow of Lawrence Bergeron, is still a beautiful lady. Larry died at least thirty years ago. Read more and see group picture inside this issue.*****The West Orange-Stark Mustangs got a wake up call at Jasper Friday night. The Bulldogs handed the Stangs a 23-13 loss. That’s not the first time Jasper has gotten the attention of an Orange County team.. In 1973, when Bridge City hadn’t even been scored on in three games Jasper upset their apple cart with a 14-14 tie. Coach Dan Hooks, Forman and Cornell will have to get back to the drawing board and get back on track.*****Congratulations to the Orangefield Bobcat homecoming queen Aimee Scales.*****Bridge City will be celebrating their homecoming Friday night. They will face Kelly.*****The college quarterback that impressed me the most was Taylor Potts of Texas Tech. Even though they lost to Texas, Pott had over 400 yards passing, three touchdowns and only one interception.*****Amber Dunn, who graduated from both universities says she was pulling for U. of Texas all the way. Like so many tea sippers, she bleeds burnt orange. She also says the Cleveland Browns suck but they have great tailgate parties at the “Dog Pound.”*****Kevin Skinner made my day. He’s the Kentucky country boy who caught chickens for a living and beat all those thousands of acts to win “American’s Got Talent.” I just love down to earth country folks who climb a ladder that they are not suppose to climb.*****Congratulations to Jeremy Bird of Bridge City who graduated Friday from basic training in Fort Knox, Ky. We are really happy to see that Jeremy has his act together. He will be a great soldier. He is the son of Brent and Sandi Huckabay and “Red” Bird.*****Con. Charles Wilson has made a pitch for his friend Bill White, mayor of Houston, for U.S. senator to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison. Mayor White was a big help to our area after hurricanes Rita and Ike. Most elected officials have nothing but praise for him. Charlie closes his letter to his friends with, “Mayor Bill’s personal life is not as colorful as some candidates but don’t hold that against him.” Charlie owns that distinction.***** The Cow Bayou bridge, that converted Prairie View into the city and school district of Bridge City, was unanimously approved in Galveston Saturday to be on the National Registry of Historical Bridges. Congratulations to Mark Dunn, Beverly Perry and the historical group.*****Our friend Marlene Merritt has been under the weather due to her back that keeps giving her problems. Our buddy Betty Lou Womack is starting to get her bearings after the loss of her great friend Cal Broussard. She has been to visit friends and family in Madisonville and Groveton.*****A sad sight last week was seeing Johnny and Darlene Montagne’s old home place on Jones Street, where they raised their family, demolished. One of the many victims of Hurricane Ike. A lot of great meals were cooked in the old house.*****Gold prices hit $1,000 an ounce. That can only mean a weak dollar around the globe.*****A few of our friends having birthdays this week are our ghost chaser, Penny LeLeux, who celebrates Wednesday, Sept. 23.*****Also celebrating this week are Orange City Councilperson Teresa Beauchamp, Trey Rhodes, Dan Barclay, Mike Hughes and our former editor Darryl Brinson, who by the way, has made the transition from Deweyville to Houston along with wife Greta. Their two boys are now grown and gone.*****A special happy birthday to Gayllan Thibeaux who celebrated his 53rd on Friday. Gayllan and wife Brenda are first time grandparents of a new baby boy, Jude Thibeaux. Happy birthday to all.*****Dear Julie, according to the AP, FOX did not carry Obama’s message to congress live. Sorry.***** This is an exclusive important story by Robert Hankins. As far as we know, this is the first report published concerning a corporation that will fund a hurricane protection system from Orange County to Brazoria, please read this report.

On Friday, Oct. 2, the Cowboy Church of Orange County is having a big barbecue lunch fundraiser. All proceeds will be used to purchase a children’s building. Those cowboys and cowgirls will fire up the chuck wagon pits. They know Texas barbecue. Great food for a great cause for only $8. You can pre-order until Sept. 29 by calling 409-474-0196. Delivery will be available for five plates or more. Pickup orders will be at the Winfree Baptist Church gym on Highway 62.*****One of the best deals around is at Al and Dean Granger’s hometown Granger Chevrolet. A total oil filter change from an authorized new car dealer for only $29.95, turn key.. They also have a first class service department. A bunch of friendly guys starting with service manager Brian Powell, Bobby Payne, Mike Powell, Tommy Watkins, Larry Charrette and James Herrin. Call 883-0438 to set up an appointment. You can’t beat it.

On Sept. 23, Bruce Springsteen will be 60; Mary Kay Place, 62; Julio Inglesias, 66; Mickey Rooney, 89. Ray Charles would have been 79 had he lived.*****Sept. 24, Sheila MacRae will be 85.*****Sept. 25, Will Smith, 41; Scottie Pipper, 44; Heather Locklear, 48; Cheryl Tiegs, 62 and Barbara Walters, 78.*****Sept. 26, Serena Williams, 28; Olivia Newton-John, 61 and Jack Lalanne, 95.*****Sept. 27, Shaun Cassidy, 51 and Meat Loaf will be 62.*****Sept. 28, Hilary Duff, 22 and Brigitte Bardot, 75.*****Sept. 29, Bryant Gumbel, 61 and Jerry Lee Lewis, 74.

Penny LeLeux, Jeannie Barnes, Ola Kindle, Lynn Gremillion, James Broom, Julie Saltzman, Mark Kelly, Megan Fontenot, Sammy Pratt, William Dotson, Jayna Campbell, George Mullins, Jeremy Cooper, Katie Baker, Lindsey Kimbrow, Mark Norwood, Teresa Beauchamp, Trey Rhodes, Zelma McCullough, Beckie Kimbell, Blake Seibert, Brittany Bean, Bill Nugent, Jimmy Thurman, Joellen Grooms, Phyllis Tarter, Scott Stout, Bessie Rach, Cameron Pitts, James Scott, Jeffery Armand, Kailey Childress, Kara Day, Mary Gremillion, Sandra Rose, Theresa Blanchard, Vicki Jeter, Byron Buchanan, Bob Blacksher, C.G. Birdwell, Dan Barclay, Deven Young, Hayley Dardeau, Jack Short, Michael Coffey, Morgan Applebach, Starla Lee, Todd Shuford, Jeff Batchelor, Kevin Hall, Mike Hughes, Ray Dahl, Scott Harris, Sherry Mulhollan, Zack Sarver, Darryl Brinson, Mat Taylor, Peggy Derouen, Terry Brown, Aaron Milligan, Priscella Burns, Richard Estes, Ricky Benefield and Al Goodwin.

Joe Badeaux’s boy, T-Not, wat is not so bright, drove from Abbeville to da big city of Lafayette to see da sights. Wen he drove down Ambassador Caffery he noticed a traffic camera flashed. He didn’t know why it took his picture, he knew for sure he wasn’t speeding. Jus to be sure he turn around, went back and passed da same spot, driving even slower. Again da camera flashed.
T-Not found dis strange so he slowed down some mo. Sure nuff, the camera flashed again. Da fourt’ and fift’ time, same results. He laughed as he passed at a snail’s pace, tinking how crazy dat is, taking pictures of somebody dats not speeding.
Two weeks later T-Not got five traffic fine letters in da mail for driving witout his seat belt on.

Tom “The Hammer” DeLay always has had a big ego so it’s no surprise that he opted to do “Dancing with the Stars” The little rat has guts you have got to give him that. He really looked silly on Monday night but I suspect he will do better when he does straight ballroom dancing. I don’t believe anyone can beat Donnie Osmond anyway. *****I watched President Bill Clinton on Larry King last night. He makes so much sense. Clinton is one of the top three best presidents in my lifetime. In my opinion probably number two. Clinton says Obama is very smart and will get a health plan. Maybe, but what will it look like? It will probably be like State Rep. Wayne Peveto’s tax reform bill. It was barely recognizable when finally passed. In that case, the far left, liberal democrats were the opposition. The insurance companies are spending $1.5 million a day on lobbyist. That’s right, I said per day. They have six lobbyists for every legislator. We know that the Republicans will protect them to the last breath. I’m not sure that they haven’t gotten to some Democrats. That much money speaks loudly. If we get a much needed health reform bill, the insurance companies will have a lot of control on the wording. They won’t allow a government option for health insurance. In the eight years of the Bush/Cheney presidency, insurance cost doubled. New reports now claim that if this health plan fails, in two years, the cost of insurance for a family of four will be $25,000 a year. Many people, young families especially, won’t be able to afford it. Republican legislatures tell us that they are looking out for us by opposing a government Medicare-type plan. Don’t buy that, they are always protecting their bread and butter, insurance, big oil and pharmaceuticals. If we get a plan, and I hope even if the democrats go it alone, that in the event of job loss the insured will be able to keep the same insurance company and will not be dropped due to illness. The insurance companies are raping this country. We pay twice as much for insurance than any other country and get far less. I feel, for young people starting out raising a family, this is the best opportunity this country has ever had to reform health care. The insurance companies own the wealth in this country and they own many of those who make the laws. This is the toughest domestic fight this country has faced. Like Tom DeLay, Obama’s got guts and you have got to admire that he’s betting it all against the powerful insurance lobby.*****I’ve got to go. Thanks for your time. We may not always agree but I call it as I see it. Thanks you for your loyal readership. Please read us cover to cover. Here’s a tip, if you need a good guaranteed pre-owned car or truck you will never go wrong by dealing with the Harmon boys. Corky, Don and Donnie stand behind everything they sell. With their low overhead you save a lot. Come by and check them out before you buy. Please keep those emails and letters coming. Check us out regularly for up to date news on our website, therecordlive.com. Goodbye, good luck and may God bless you.