Right after Hurricane Ike dealt Bridge City an unexpected blow, the city’s image went down to zero. In the minds of people away from Bridge City the town was just a swamp area. They didn’t consider that the hurricane was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Even many of the lifetime residents left the place they had been proud to call home, raise their families and help to build into a great community. A lot of work lay ahead to change the negative image. I’m proud to say that 15 months later, Bridge City has taken great steps to recovery and putting the city in a good light. A lot of credit goes to the residents, who really dug in. The business community has been fantastic. Also a consecrated effort by the city, school district and chamber of commerce moved the city image further down the road than was expected. Bridge City City manager Jerry Jones and the administration of mayor Kirk Roccaforte are to be commended for their work. BCISD superintendent Jamie Harrison and the school board took the lead in image changing. This year, chamber president Mark Dunn, the chamber board and staff have initiated programs that let everyone know that Bridge City, even though temporarily crippled, was again going to be the envy of the Triangle. Some great things are in the works that will benefit the city. Donna Scales and her helpers put on a great 50th anniversary night Christmas parade that brought out the pride of many residents. The past year has shown a lot of accomplishments by the chamber, city and school. With a new school, new parks, new street repairs, new and remodeled homes and just being a great place to live. However, you ain’t seen nothing yet; in the next two years improvements will leave the old Ike image of Bridge City in the history books. *****Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


Re-districting is the most important issue that will face Texans in 2010. For 10 years, rural Texas has been held hostage by a Tom DeLay, Rick Perry computerized state re-districting that even defied the wishes of the courts. The congressional power was given to the big city areas. Eighteen of our 32 congressmen come from the Houston, San Antonio, Dallas areas. No congressman lives in east or Southeast Texas. The two state senators, who represent Orange and Jefferson Counties, are from Houston. In the state house, for the first time in history, Orange County is split in half with split representation, a Republican and a Beaumont Democrat. Orange County for 10 years hasn’t spoken in one voice. It doesn’t matter as much which party they belong to, it’s more important that they are one of us. Our little part of Texas gained more when our state senators were local. Jep Fuller, D. Roy Harrington and Carl Parker brought Lamar from South Park College to the four great universities they are today. The computer-drawn lines throughout Texas often made a 90-degree turn to dodge a prescient that didn’t favor the DeLay/Perry Texas takeover. It worked for them but sent us to a deep hole nationally and with a no-accomplishment administration in Austin that has ignored the rural counties. This week Houston mayor Bill White has announced that he will seek to become Texas’ governor. Meanwhile, Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison duke it out in the Republican primary. Democrats hope for a Perry win in March because they feel Bill White’s their best hope for change in Austin. They can beat Perry. Hutchison and White are both moderate conservatives and would split many votes. We have chosen a statement by Mayor White as our quote of the week because we feel re-districting is a must for Texas.

From gubernatorial candidate, Houston mayor Bill White, on Dec. 4, 2009. “I will work to make sure that our re-districting is fair, not partisan.”


On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, 68 years ago, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, the Japanese attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor. Twenty-one ships in the U.S. fleet were sunk or damaged, 188 aircraft destroyed, 2,403 Americans died, 68 were civilians. On the Arizona alone 1, 177 were killed and 2,729 were injured over all. Twenty-year-old Cedric Stout, of Bridge City, was on the Utah when it was hit at 8 a.m. He managed to escape into water filled with blood and fire. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the attack, “The date which will live in infamy.” What I recall was that the attack propelled America into World War II. Life changed in America. Rations were put on every commodity. Sugar, flour, meat etc were available only with a stamp from your war book. Most folks didn’t have a car but within a few months tires and gasoline were not available. Scrap iron was collected and communities planted what was known as “Victory Gardens.” Everyone pitched in. Shipyards sprung throughout the country. Shipbuilding for the war effort created a boom in the economy. Orange Texas grew from 7,000 to 70,000 when workers poured in from all over the country to work at Levingston Shipyard and American Bridge. “Rosie the Riveter” was born as women entered the workforce while their men were at war. The Navy base at Orange went into full swing. Many of the sailors took local brides and returned to make Orange their lifetime home. Today, survivors of WW II are dying at a rate of 950 a day. Soon, they will all be gone. Their stories will be lost in history but like President FDR said, Pearl Harbor will never be forgotten. Robert Hankins has interviewed some of those who were a part of this era about where they were and what they recall about that dreadful day. Please read it.

We were indeed saddened to learn about the death of Claude Abney, 74, who passed away Thursday. “Buster” moved to the area in the mid-1960s and worked for the Neon Sign Co. before going into business for himself. He was one of the most talented people we have ever known. In any direction that you travel in Orange and Jefferson Counties, you can find some of his high-quality work. He was an artist; some of his best work is displayed in the school cafeteria in Vidor. Many of the signs displayed around the area are his creations. We have known “Buster” all these years but our knowledge of him goes back to when he was a young boxer out of Lake Charles. He kept up with the Louisiana Boxing Fraternity where he and Roy were members. Roy says Claude’s talent constantly amazed him. A guy who could do almost anything. Services were Dec. 8. A good man of God has gone to meet his Maker. (Please see obit.)

50 Years Ago-1959

Sheriff Chester Holts calls a meeting of all law enforcement officers. The sheriff said the meeting was called to promote better understanding and co-operation among all agencies.*****Orange police Chief Jack Fawcette hired four former Galveston policemen Samuel Dickerson, Donald R. Cox, John Griffin and Clyde McCloud.*****Stark Tigers hold football banquet. Special honors went to seniors Mike Conn, Clark Wood and Wayne McCamey. Halfback Billy Cannon and center Donnie Marrtell named most valuable.*****Wallace Dragons defeat Nacogdoches 8-6 in Bi-District game.*****Five Orange County players named to 23-A All District Football team. Quarterback Wayne Brint, end Clarence Calhoun, of Bridge City, tackle Jerry Richardson and end Charles Ray Peveto of Orangefield and halfback Bobby Savoie of West Orange.

35 Years Ago-1974

Rep. Charlie Wilson nominates Samuel Ceraso Sichko of Orange to the United States Military Academy in West Point.*****Willie Blanchard will still be around with Grover Haliburton being re-elected as county judge.*****The spotlight on the Stark Tigers basketball team. The top five players are Donald Mosby, Michael Davis, Marcus Floyd, Robert Kelly and Gerald Antoine.*****Dallas Cowboy Bob Lily says his career after this year is over unless coach Tom Landry wants him to come back as a backup.

30 Years Ago-1979

Texas A&M beat the Teasippers of Texas at Kyle Field. TU was a 12-point favorite.*****H.D. and Sue Pate hosted a party at their home for area Democrats. The occasion was a fundraiser kickoff for President Jimmy Carter’s campaign.*****BCHS choir and drama department presents “Pardon me, is this planet taken?” Space Capt. Jamie Church is played by Paul Davis. Other roles played by Darrell Gurney and Shelly Pate. (Editor’s note: Paul is now Bridge City Police Chief, Darrell lives in California and Shelly, after living several places, has settled down in Beaumont. *****John Edgerly broke his foot at basketball practice. *****Dedication of a historical marker took place last week at Claiborne West, which will soon be a county park at Cow Bayou and IH-10. *****Boss Cajun W.T. Oliver holds a Cajun Boucherri. The pig got away, was chased in the woods, caught, butchered and roasted over an open fire. Cracklins were cooked in a big iron pot. Jambalaya, beans, sausage, ribs and fricassee and all the trimmings were served. (Editor’s note: That might have been the last Boucherri held in Orange County. This writer is proud to have made it. I miss those great times.)

It’s always sad anytime a child meets a tragic death. It’s frustrating, makes me mad because children are in our care. They depend on us for everything. Three-year-old Ty-Teunna and 4-year-old Harmoni Amerson lost their lives in a fire, a horrible way to die. Their mom, Tamisha Hudson, 27, was overcome and couldn’t save their lives. Burglar bars have been blamed for hampering the rescue. I blame society for those good people having to protect themselves with steel bars to prevent harm from the outside. When I was a youngster we didn’t even shut the wood door, only the screen door. Today, families deal in fear of crackheads, rapists, child molesters and murders, like the one who killed 4-year-old Dannarriah Finley. Those bars didn’t cause those two babies to die, the times we live in did. *****Congrats to City Councilwoman Theresa Adam Beauchamp, Athena Award recipient. She’s Marcelle’s youngun and Frank’s better half. Theresa is a friend and a real jewel from good stock. Her dad “Cowboy” would be proud of his angel. Her mom is a previous winner of the award. Acorns don’t fall far from the tree.*****AOL to go it alone online after split from Time Warner. AOL will head into the next decade the way it began. This week investors will get a chance to place bets on AOL. On Wednesday Time Warner shareholders, as of Nov. 27, will get one share of AOL for every 11 Time Warner shares. AOL will begin trading under the ticker symbol of the same name on Thursday. *****The Texas Longhorns, with a final second TD to beat Nebraska for the Big 12 championship, held off undefeated Cincinnati by 0.055 points in BCS standings to make it to the national title game against Alabama Jan. 1, in Pasadena, Calif. Odds range from 3 points to 5.5 points in Alabama’s favor. ***Cincinnati will play Florida, who lost to Alabama, at New Orleans in the Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1. Florida is favored by over 10 points. *** TCU will meet Boise State Jan. 4 in the Fiesta Bowl. TCU is favored by 7. *** The Rose Bowl will match Ohio State against Oregon Jan. 1. Oregon is favored by 4.*** Georgia Tech vs. Iowa in the Orange Bowl, Jan. 5, in Miami. Georgia Tech is favored by 3. *** Texas A&M will play Georgia in Shreveport’s Independence Bowl, Dec. 28. ***The Alamo Bowl will feature Texas Tech and Michigan State. ***LSU will meet Penn State on Jan. 1, in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. ***Houston and Air Force will play in the Armed Force Bowl in Fort Worth, Dec. 31. ***The Cotton Bowl, in Dallas, will feature Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi, Jan. 2. There will be 34 bowl games, any flavor you like. They will all be televised. ***** Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans continue to disappoint. I can’t see how Texan coach Gary Kubiak can survive. Wade Phillips will probably be on the hot seat also. I still say even though his defense didn’t rise to the occasion against the New York Giants Sunday, it’s the Cowboy offense that’s hurting them. Jerry Jones has given Jason Garrett full control of the offense by naming him assistant head coach. Wade should have the last word but he doesn’t. The rest of the Cowboy schedule is a killer. *****The Saints, like champions, continue to find a way to win and stay undefeated. What a match up, Drew Brees against Payton Manning in the “Big One.” It could happen. *****Hepatitis C drug shows promise to chimpanzees being tested in San Antonio. The new gene based therapy fights Hepatitis C and other diseases. *****A few friends celebrate birthdays this week. It’s hard for me to believe that Sid Caillavet Jr. I’ve known him since he was in his mid-20s. He and Ms. Peggy have been married all these years. His dad, Judge Sid, and mom, Ms. Dennis Bland Caillavet, were fine people and his sister Martha “Punny” was a real kick. I’m proud to have considered all of them my friends. Happy 80th Sidney, on Dec. 9. Best wishes for many more. *****Our longtime buddy Doug Harrington celebrates another one. Our friendship goes back 40 years when we never imagined living this long. Semi retired now, Doug puts in time at the Bridge City Family Pharmacy but he and Regina spend most of their time at their farm in Crockett. Doug, a cancer survivor since he was 26, is now in his 70s. He’s beat the odds and looking forward to 20 more. His dad, Sen. D. Roy, lived to be well into his 90s. Keep on keeping on Douglas Roy. *****The jewel of Cow Bayou, Shirley Roccaforte, celebrates another one. It was a lucky day for Kirk when she found her way to the Bayou Country from Arizona, New Mexico or wherever. Shirley, here’s wishing you many more years to add sunshine on a cloudy day. *****Others celebrating this week are Danny Blacksher, Mac Hughes, David Claybar, Mark Brous and our own Robert Hankins, who week after week, brings us good work through his writing and editing. Best wishes to all. *****


Cody Caples, Ronald Escamilla, Sean Ureta, Tara Fountain, Barry McKenzie, Elissa Kern, Jay Fuss, Mark Braus, Sharon Johnson, Bonnie Hopperton, David Claybar, Monica Placette, Cindy Briggs, Karri Piccone, Leslie Lyons, Nathan Vogt, Rob Clark, Shelby Hebert, Zackery Anderson, Arielle Foster, Joel Fruge, Scott Derouen, Bonnie Albright, Daniel Bates, Dennis Lee, Hailey Tally, Jenny Duncan, Kandy Sartin, Tim Fix, Danny Blacksher, Danny Prosperie, Dorothy Jenkins, Doug Harrington, Hannah Carpenter, Robert Hankins, Imogene Bland, Jeff Harrington, Ken Pittman, Kenneth Pittman, Maac Hughes, Melanie Richter, Shirley Roccaforte, Alex Harner, Belinda Broom, Brent Burris, Craig Reynolds and Dale Armand.


On Dec. 9, Donny Osmond will be 52; Dick Butkus, 67; Kirk Douglas, 93 and Dara DioGuardi, 39.*****Dec. 10, Raven Symone, 24; Bobby Flay, 45; and Susan Dey, 56.*****Dec. 11, Jermaine Jackson, 55; Brenda Lee, 65’ John Derry, 66 and Rita Moreno, 78.*****Dec. 12, Tracy Austin will be 47; Cathy Rigby, 57; Dionne Warwick, 68 and Bob Barker, 86.*****Dec. 13, Taylor Swift, 20; Jamie Foxx, 42; Ted Nugent, 61; John Davidson, 68 and Dick Van Dyke, 84.*****Dec. 14, Michael Owen and Patty Duke, 63.*****Dec. 15, Don Johnson, 60; Dave Clark, 67 and Tim Conway, 76.


Cousin Sostan put his father-in-law in a nursing home in Crowley. Otis Badeaux is Sugar Bee’s papa. One day wen he was visting Badeaux, a little old lady was running up and down da hall. As she walked, she would flip up da hem of her nightgown and say, “Super Sex.”
Den she walked up to Badeaux, wat was sitting on a bench, she look him in da eyes and said, “Super Sex.”
Badeaux looked her up and down, sat silently for a moment, den he finally answer, “Me, I’ll take da soup.”


The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s Restaurant this week and at Novrozsky’s next week. Everyone welcome. *****Tim Tebow is the only player to be a finalist for the Heisman three times. Tim has won it once. Colt McCoy is the only Longhorn to be nominated twice. Both have hurt their chances to win it in their last outings. I still believe overall McCoy should get it. It looks like Mark Ingram of Alabama may have the inside track now with 1542 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. Personally I like Toby Gerhart of Stanford better. Toby has 1736 yards, 26 touchdowns and is the best back I’ve watched this season. The Heisman will be awarded Saturday in Manhattan. I think it would be an upset for Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle of Nebraska, to win although there is not a better lineman in the country and may have cost Colt the trophy. *****The W.H. Stark House annual holiday open house will be Dec. 15-17 – 5-8 p.m.*****Last week the Orange Jaycee Christmas parade getting canceled and not rescheduled has a lot of people unhappy. A lot of time and money went into those floats. All of it – a waste they say. Parade marshal Skipper Free missed out on her 15 minutes of fame but she understood.*****Our buddy Neighbor Cox has been under the weather. We wish him a speedy recovery.*****Thanks for your time. Please check the ads from our family of advertisers. Read us cover to cover. Take care, goodbye, good luck and may God bless you.