Back in 2000 when the new decade arrived we were full of promise and hope. We had experienced economic growth and prosperity under President Bill Clinton.

He would leave office with money in the bank, no war and peacetime growth across the board. It was hoped the thriving economy would continue under President Al Gore but a Supreme Court ruling gave the election to George W. Bush – and Dick Cheney named himself vice president. The next eight years were filled with corruption, Ken Lay, Jack Abramoff, Bernard Madoff and on and on. A war of choice, the invasion of Iraq cost nearly 5,000 American lives and a trillion dollars badly needed in our country. The economy went to hell in a hand basket as gasoline, at the pump, went to $4 a gallon. You know the rest of the story. We are on the road to recovery but we were in a deep hole; it will take a lot of money and time to dig out. If we had the money Bush blew in Iraq, we wouldn’t need to be adding to the deficit. So many things were done wrong. It has been the worse decade in 80 years. I really believe, however, we will see the good times and strong economy return in the new decade.

I start this last column of the year with a big, full, blue moon in the western sky. I know things will be OK. Nelda and Owen have sent a mess of turnips with some of their homemade, smoked, venison sausage. Ray Pousson brought a bag of Louisiana sweet potatoes from Ioda and I got a mess of Orange County citrus from John Heard. Let’s end this decade so we can start a new one next week. Can you believe already 2010? Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

“Casey” Bryant, age 77, a longtime resident of the Bridge City community died Christmas Day. He had been fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease. We had known Casey almost from the day he arrived in Bridge City as the first football coach back in the mid-1950s. He and his wife, Mary, have been friends to most of us all those years. They raised a great family, three boys and a girl, all outstanding athletes. Son Matt is an NFL kicker with Atlanta. He kicked a 51-yard field goal Sunday to win over Bills. The Bryants and Bridge City schools have meshed and one became very much a part of the other. To Mary, daughter Sherry, sons Kim, Billy and Matt and their families, we send our sincere condolences. Services were Tuesday. (Please see obit.)

30 Years Ago-1979

Some of the folks spotted at the different Christmas open houses for Cooper Realty, Jerry Hughes Realty and Dal Sasso’s new offices were Tony and Ray Dal Sasso, J.D. Standfield, Lou Givens, Judy Gurnee, Sleepy Smith, Phyllis Cessac, Tony Trimble, Margaret Christie, Joyce Kleninknecht, Earl Wright, Harmon Beauchamp, Pete Sterling and sons Deane and Scott and Lee Clark and daughter Debbie.***** Birthday guys and dolls are pretty Ann Segura, who celebrated another birthday Dec. 26. (Editor’s note: Ann is one of the beautiful people we lost since Ike.)*****Sonja Richards becomes a teenager Dec. 30.*****Polly Gamblin turns all of 19 on Dec. 30.*****Norma Fusilier is another year older on Dec. 31.*****Jim Sharon Bearden turned 41 on Dec. 27.*****Karen Jo Vance, easy to look at, will mark her 25th on Dec. 28.*****F.L. “Speck” and Rachel Ferris celebrate 41 years together on Jan. 1.*****Roy and Phyllis Dunn chalk up 25 years on Dec. 31.*****The big news is that Speedy and Sharon Stakes completed one year on Dec. 19.*****Pete Rose was named the Sporting News Baseball Player of the Decade. He beat out Rod Carew, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Palmer. (Editor’s note: Today, Rose has still not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.)*****When University of Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer heard that Southern Cal’s Charles White had beaten out the Sooner’s Billy Sims for the Heisman trophy he commented, “I’m very disappointed. Billy Sims is the finest college football player in America. The NFL draft will substantiate that.”*****Lou Holtz is the coach at Arkansas.***Terry Bradshaw is quarterback of the Steelers. He loves to play the Houston Oilers even though he gets beaten up badly when doing so. He says they knock his tail off and then act very concerned. They look down and say, “Brad, Brad, are you OK guy? Dammit, Terry say something?”


Someone will come to their senses and the old Orange Depot will be issued a variance allowing Jeannie and Wyatt Bartling to go ahead and spend a half-million dollars on an upscale restaurant and lounge. It’s our hope that a museum like atmosphere, featuring all our local stars, would be added. It’s too good an opportunity to just say we won’t allow it to open. That’s cheating the citizens.*****On the state front, it appears that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has lost her early lead in the governor’s race to unseat Rick Perry. Rick should win the Republican March primary with a strong Right Wing vote. The problem is that Right Wing votes alone are not enough to get elected in the general election. So my prediction is that Texas wants a change. If not Kay, then I’d say, the next governor will be Bill White. He will pick up much of Kay’s support, both moderate and conservative. If Kay wins the Republican primary, she will be elected. Rick is odd man out.*****The local political scene will have few contested races. Some are just being rumored and I believe are just that. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux is up for re-election. Anyone who would run against him either has more money than they know what to do with or sour grapes or an axe to grind. It would be hard, if not impossible, to improve on the job Judge Thibodeaux and the commissioners are doing. Financially, the county is sound. There is no issue to run against. Someday the commissioners’ court will have another woman on it but now is not the time.*****It seems to me that Christy Khoury, running to replace Vergie Moreland as county treasurer, has already established her lead. Anyone announcing now would have some catching up to do. It would take much money and the election is just two months away. I don’t believe any other races in the county will be contested. The race for the open seat being vacated by Judge Joe Parkhurst, JP Pct. 1, has three vying to replace him. Here again David Peck seems to have established an early lead. A couple of things attribute to that. Peck has already run for the office 12 years ago. He lost by 113 votes but has established friendships and prepared himself to serve as judge. He benefits by name recognition, which usually is helpful in down ballot races. Two other good men have entered the race, Joel Ardoin, who works for the county as an inspector and who has a base among  Lions club members where he serves as president. Also announcing is attorney Mike Abbott, an interim traffic court judge in Vidor, a part-time municipal job. We find little or no base support unless it’s from other lawyers. Texas has 826 justice of the peace judges. Less than 5 percent are attorneys and they are from large cities. JP Court is considered the people’s court, judged by their peers. It’s hard to predict any three-way race not having a runoff. That might very well be but in any case David Peck should lead the primary.*****Commissioner Beamon Minton will again be challenged by Percy Flanagan, who ran 12 years ago. Vidor folks tell us that some disagreements Beamon has are not enough to cause his defeat.***** It’s my prediction that Democrats will control the Texas House after the election although they will still fall short by two senators. Texas had the fastest growing population, which will increase congressional districts. I believe redistricting, after the 2010 census will more fairly be distributed. Don’t bet the farm on this, these predictions are solely based on just one person’s best judgment or guesses. However, we are often in the ball park. Here’s my last prediction. In the end we will have health care reform but the insurance companies will win the battle against public option. The GOP has done a good job of putting the negative spin on much needed reform. They will continue to attack anything President Obama tries to accomplish.


Congratulations to Thad Angelle, who on Jan. 1 will become president and CEO of MCT Credit Union. The Bridge City native is serving on the Orangefield ISD board. The son of Earl and Joyce Angelle, Thad has served in many civic and community leadership roles. He and wife Candace and sons, Tyler, Chase and Cody make their home off 1442 in the Orangefield School District.*****We were sorry to hear of the death of Percy Rush, age 88, who died Dec. 27. He was the father of Mrs. Connie Wood, longtime Orangefield teacher. Our condolences.*****We were also saddened to learn about the death of S. Roy Simar. We had known he and wife Wanda for many years. Our condolences to the family. Please see obit.*****Judge Marlin Shelton was one of the great guys from the old school. You could go to the bank on what he told you. He believed in two things, “A man’s word” and “A person’s loyalty.” The judge passed away Tuesday morning at Baptist Orange after falling at home.  Services are 2 p.m. Thursday at Dorman Funeral Home and visitation is 5-9 p.m. Wednesday.*****Good news—Everyone’s friend Johnny Dorman came home today, Tuesday from Baptist Hospital in Beaumont where he underwent open heart surgery and five bypasses. Everyone is glad to see that great guy bouncing back.*****Van Choate, in conjunction with Glenda and the Wayne Jones family, will re-open the Catfish Kitchen on 11th. Street in Beaumont. Everything will be original including the recipes that are being handed down. Wayne’s granddaughter will manage the restaurant. Van will also continue to operate Tuffy’s in Mauriceville that is managed by Cathy Clark. She continues to make great improvements. Don’t forget the crawfish are in. All you can eat on Friday and Saturday nights.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch had a great outing at Tuffy’s last week. A lot of the lady folks came out. This week there will be no lunch meeting. Next week, the first gathering of the year will be at Robert’s. A special guest is expected to attend. Also photos will be taken.*****Special happy birthdays this week go to Karen Jo Vance, who celebrated Monday, Dec. 28.*****Sharon Bearden got a year older on Dec. 27, but I believe he’s in better shape at 71 than he was at 51.*****Robert Hokes celebrates this week as does Nancy Lapeyrolerie and Barbara Dardeau.*****Hayden George, first grandson of Mark Walles, occasional contributor to The Record and his wife Charlotte, celebrates his first birthday on Dec. 31. Hayden was in a hurry to get here last year, born two months early with less than 15 minutes left in the year. Alayna and “K Dub” George are the proud parents.*****Jan. 4 is the last day to file for office. Democratic chairman Marc Carter will be available until 5 p.m. His cell phone number is 882-1922.*****Mayor Bill White, candidate for governor, will be at the IBEW Hall Jan. 6. Everyone is invited.*****On Dec. 31, 1954, at high noon Roy and Phyllis Dunn eloped to Kountze and were married. Also on the same day at 6:30 p.m., Thomas and Bobbie Miller were married by brother Kennedy at Cove Baptist. Two other couples were wed that night at Cove Baptist – the Millers just joined in the ceremony. Happy 55th to the Dunns and the Millers on New Year’s Eve.*****Happy anniversary also to Jerry and Barbara Childress, who were also wed on New Year’s Eve and still honeymooning.


Hayden George, Madison Ranee Hanusch, Marie Perkins, Rebecca Hannegan, Richard Hunter, Joanne Hill, Robert Hoke, Ronnie Hearn, Angela Abshire, Cody Johnson, Courtney Anderson, David Villanoueva, Jason Sieck, June Gunstream, Kathy Mercer, O’Neal Waldrop, Betty Johnson, Barbara Dardeau, Betty Johnston, Devin Force, Lillian Wray, Mary Williams, Nancy Lapeyrolerie, Catherine Young, Deborah Schlicher, Malinda Vail and Patsy Dowder.


On Dec. 30, Lebron James will be 25; Laila Ali, 32; Tiger Woods, 34; Sean Hannity, 48; Sandy Koufax, 74 and Matt Lauer, 52. ***Dec. 31, Joe McIntyre, 37; Val Kilmer, 50; Donna Summer, 61; Barbara Carrera, 64, Anthony Hopkins, 72 and Tim Matheson, 62. ***Jan. 1, Verne “Mini-Me” Troyer, 41; Kathleen Casey, 64; and Frank Langella, 72. ***Jan. 2, Jim Baker, 71; Kate Bosworth, 27; Taye Diggs, 39; Christy Turlington, 41 and Cuba Gooding Jr., 42.***Jan. 3, Eli Manning, 29; Michael Schumacher, 41; Mel Gibson, 54; Victoria Principal, 60; John Paul Jones, 64 and Stephen Stills, 65.***Jan. 4, Michael Stipe, 50; Matt “Max Headroom” Frewer, 52; Dyan Cannon, 73.***Jan. 5, January Jones, 32; Marilyn Mason, 41, Diane Keaton, 64, Robert Duvall, 79 and Walter Mondale, 82.


Da tree Premeaux old maid sisters inherited da old plantation place, between Abbeville and Perry, from dere dad. Dey sold some of da land, lease some and kept some to live on. Dey stay in the big old house. Dose girls never was much to look at, da boys never came around, now dey was old dem. Sometimes dere age is comical. Verna May is 96, Edna Mae, 94 and Agnes, da youngest, is 92.
One night Verna May draws some bash waters upstairs, puts her foot in and yells to Edna Mae, “Was I getting in or out of da tub me?”

I’ll come up and see,” says da 94 year old. She gets to da stairs and shouts at Agnes, who is sitting at da kitchen table drinking her tea and listen to her sisters, “Agnes, was I going up or coming down.”
Agnes says, “I hope I never get forgetful like dem me. KNOCK ON WOOD.

Again da 94 year old yell, “Agnes.”

“Edna Mae,” Agnes says, “I’ll be coming to help you boat as soon as I see whose at da door.”

Thanks to all you loyal readers who follow us throughout the year. It’s a pleasure to visit with you. Some of us have been together many years and we look forward to those in the future. To all our friends who have been under the weather we wish a speedy recovery. Roy, get well soon, we need you back at work. From all of us at The Record, we extend best wishes for a great New Year. Gotta go now, see you in 2010. Take care, be careful, don’t be stupid and may God bless you. HAPPY NEW YEAR.