North of the Creaux’s Nest
THE SIGHTS AND SMELLS OF EARLY SPRING
I sit here this early morning, in my favorite secluded spot with just a pad and pen. Soon I will have to head to the dungeon for five or six hours of work on this column. That’s where my notes and records are. It’s a great spring-like morning with what seems like a touch of fall in the air. The trees are all budding leaves, all but the big pecan tree. Until it starts to bud winter isn’t over and a frost could still be on the way. The many shades of fresh green colors are only available to the eyes for just a few days each year. I counted 16 different shades of green. The redbud tree that must be 50 years old is loaded with flowers. Several blooms have appeared on the wild rose bush. Soon it will be loaded with white flowers that climb 12 to 14 feet high. Solid blankets of white blooms lasting only a couple of weeks but very impressive. The cardinals had been scarce but they are returning. A big blue jay eats from the feeder. Other birds sit in the trees, each singing their own song. A squirrel jumps from tree to tree, making his way to where I put out a handful of peanuts. Rosie, the old black cat, pays little attention to him. At one time that squirrel would have been a goner. I’ve even seen her catch a hummingbird. Today she’s much like me, to old to chase, to old to care. The narcissus is in bloom and little wild yellow flowers pop their heads up. Wild plants I call Easter flowers are everywhere. They bloom a pink or purple variety of tiny flowers. They will make a showing soon. Many red leaves are starting to drop from the wild Camphor trees that have accumulated worse than tallow trees. A bush with white cluster flowers sends out a sweet smell. I’ve drunk up this thermos full of coffee. The bright orange sun in the east has risen from the earth and hangs at eight o’clock and traveling fast. It’s time for me to close this chapter and head to the city and start working on the text of this column. I welcome you to tag along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.
COULD BE RECORD WEEK
For decades health care reform has been needed. If Congress has the courage to do the right thing we could see some important reforms. We predicted, however, when reform was first brought up last year that the insurance companies would never allow an insurance government program. Big insurance spends $1 million a day on advertising and $1 million a day on 167 lobbyists. One lobbyist for every three legislators. Republicans, we predicted a year ago, would follow Rush Limbaugh’s talking points and be unanimous in their opposition to health care reform. I suspect some Democrats are also in the pocket of the insurance giants. If the bill passes through the senate attached “DEEM” the attacks by Republicans will cost some Democrats seats in the midterm elections. So be it. At some point some brave people must do what is right and important. I’m afraid that even after reform, the next few years will find insurance costs taking one third of the average family income. Don’t buy into all the spin; most is just scare and selling fear. Everyone will be better off including hospitals, doctors and pharmaceuticals. The only losers are the insurance companies but they will still be the country’s richest business.
We were sorry to hear about the death of Jerry Meeks, 79, who died March 9 in a Slidell, La., hospital after a long illness. Services were Saturday at Broussard’s with the Rev. Jeff Anderson officiating. Burial with military honors followed at Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches. For many years Jerry was a valued citizen of Bridge City where he raised his family. A building contractor, he gave many hours to youth baseball and is remembered fondly by the boys he coached. A pitcher himself, his two sons, Wayne and Pat, became winning pitchers at BC. He is survived by wife Lorrize, daughters Connie and Carol, sons Wayne and Pat and their families. We were fortunate to have known him back in the early 1960s as he helped establish the Little League baseball program that has grown to over 800 youngsters. May he rest in peace.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
30 years ago this week
The Bridge City Chamber named C.R. Nash, Bridge City city manager, Citizen of the Year. Judy Wyatt, last year’s honoree, presented the award at the annual banquet*****Al McKay, president of Bridge City and Vidor Cablevision, Inc., started laying cable on Fernwood in BC last week. “All stations will be ready by the first of April.” Advance subscriptions for cable is $18.95 a month. *****Lamar coach Billy Tubbs and his Cardinals defeated Weber State, 87-86 and Oregon State, 81-77. The Cards meet Clemson next in Tucson, Ariz. *****Jackie and Corky Harmon celebrated birthdays on March 13 and March 18. Their aunt, Mrs. Frank Delane, celebrated March 10. *****Pam (Hoosier) Kay and Keith Kay are the proud parents of their first born, Brian Keith Kay. *****Meade Graves celebrates his 79th this week. *****Jerry L McInnis, 38, wearing a thick black beard, files for Bridge City school board. He says his interest is in the youth as evidenced by his 15 years of experience in Little League baseball and softball. A native of Leesville, La., he has a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. After teaching one year he went to work for Gulf Oil Chemical in Orange. (Editor’s note: Jerry didn’t win that election but came back 25 years later, got elected and serves on the BCISD board today. Jerry has been active in Bridge City Little League 45 years and is now area regional Little League commissioner. This past week he attended the national conference.)*****Herb Taylor is president and manager of Golden Triangle Savings and Loan. Fletcher Garner Jr., is chairman, C.W. “Bubba” Hubbard, vice president, B.C. Joe Fields secretary/treasurer. Board members are Andy Anderson, Dewey “Teddy Bear” Cox, Dr. James Jones, Dr. Douglas Thompson, Dr. B.C. Adams, Dr. Frank Williford, H.D. Pate, Dr. Hugh Sheffield, Dr. Richard Bourgeois and Dr. Chester Saint Romain. Assets were in excess of eight million dollars and deposits of eight million. (Editor’s note: It looks like someone suckered in a bunch of doctors. The Savings and Loan shut their doors a few years later after some bad loans in the Austin area. H.D. and Doug Harrington got lucky and bailed out before the fall.)*****Edwin Guyote, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Guyote of Bridge City, joined the Air Force. He departed March 4 for Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. *****Southeast Texas Chili Cook-off to be held to benefit the cancer society. Organizers are Gene Bush and Lonnie Colvin, considered the world’s best chili cooks.
A FEW HAPPENINGS
A 7-year-old was suspended last week for bringing a “miniscule” amount of marijuana to school. The first-grader was suspended for three days according to a Houston ISD spokesman. It wouldn’t surprise me if the kid got it out of dad or mom’s baggie. *****The eighth annual Art in the Park will be Saturday, March 27, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Stark Park in downtown Orange. This is a good time to pick up on some great local art to be displayed. Make plans for a great day right here at home with various food vendors, children’s activities and lots of family fun. *****Our longtime buddy Anabel Anderson fell a couple of weeks ago and messed up her pretty face. Fortunately she didn’t break anything. After a couple of days in the hospital she is doing fine, just a little black and blue. *****Mayo LeBlanc stopped by. It’s always good to see that true Cajun. He built a new house, Ike got the old one. He lost his garden spot however and all his fig trees are no more. He mostly looks after his wife Juanita, who is getting around on a walker now days. I don’t believe he will make his famous pepper sauce anymore. Mayo and his wife are both LeBlanc’s from LeBlanc School Community a couple of miles out of Erath. *****According to “Blue-Eyed” Pearl, Jay Blum will turn 100 in April. A party is planned at North Orange Baptist Church on April 25. *****Our longtime friend Corky Harmon celebrates his birthday March 18. He’s a lot older than he looks. He says age is whatever you want it to be. Betty keeps him young. She just won’t let him be old. *****Another of the great guys, Euel Norwood, celebrates the start of another year this week. *****Harold Scales, who we go back to our youth with, celebrates a birthday this week. Yes, once we were young and spry. *****Best wishes this week to Roman Carpenter who marks another year. ***** Happy birthday to Sister Helen Clark also. *****We ran into our pal Moe Litton. He tells a story about Steve Worster, best known for his football achievements, but was also an All-State baseball player. According to Moe, in one baseball game pitcher Joe Langston told Steve they had to get together on the signals. Steve’s answer was, “You just throw ‘um, I’ll catch ‘um.”*****Last week, Susan’s great story on Bae Renee’ Children’s Boutique brought several calls asking for an address. They are located at MacArthur Shopping Center. For information on the shop call 670-0778 or stop by, you’ll enjoy your visit. *****Our bud Louis Lemoine had a pacemaker installed three weeks ago. It hasn’t changed his pace much; it’s still slow and slower. Louis never has seen a bed he didn’t like. He gets to it before sundown finds him still up. We’re proud to announce the old barber is coasting along just fine now, as long as momma keeps the groceries coming. *****Our prayers go out to Judy Hidalgo, undergoing tests. We wish her the best results in the months to come. *****The folks at Bridge City Market Basket are honoring their late friend and co-worker Mary Fontenot with an onyx plaque displayed in the store. That was a nice thing to do. *****We received a wonderful letter from our longtime friend and fellow columnist Joyce Poche’ Bernard. At age 89, she still has beautiful penmanship. Over the years she has written a couple of books on Acadian tales and recollections. She also wrote about her Cajun childhood published in Country Home magazine. In the past she wrote many essays for her friend Roy Dunn’s Opportunity Valley News. In August, 2009, she was presented the key to the city of St. Martinville, where she was referred to as an “Oral Cajun Historian.” Today Joyce still makes her home in West Orange. She was raised at Poche’ Bridge on Bayou Teche. It’s always nice to hear from her. *****In the next few months we will hear a lot of talk about allowing gambling in Texas to make up a $15 to $18 billion shortfall. Claims will be made that gambling would take in $52 billion. What they don’t say is the cost of administrating extra law enforcement etc. It wouldn’t help our little part of Texas. Gambling would open in the largely populated cities claiming several thousand jobs from our area. We would lose Orange County employment and the benefits of traffic going to the Louisiana casinos. Not a good deal for us. *****Last weekend Roy’s sister Shirley, from Madisonville and sister Fay and her husband Louis, from Lafayette, came in for a visit. Dropping in also was cousin Paul Duplantis from Port Neches. We understand many memories of a poor upbringing in Cajun Louisiana were recalled. The sisters want everyone to know Roy is their older brother. They had the same mother but were born several years after him. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week and then back to Van Choate’s for all-you-can-eat seafood buffet and homemade rolls and pies. Everyone is welcome. *****Saturday at 1 p.m. the Orange County Democratic Party’s county convention will be in the 128th District Courtroom. Demo chairman Marc Carter encourages and urges all Democrats to attend this important annual meeting. *****Bette’s Boutique’s grand opening will be Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The big new boutique is in Cardinal Square next to Bette’s Gift Shop. You will be pleasantly surprised to find such a nice shop with name brand products to chose from right here at home in Bridge City. Bette and the wonderful ladies invite you to come browse. *****We extend our congratulations to Dayle Gunn and Stump Weatherford who will tie the knot on April 10. The couple has been friends for many years and inseparable for the last few years. We wish them a long healthy life together. *****NOTICE: If you have lost a black bag in the vicinity of Jones Street in Bridge City and want to get it back, call 313-6636. If you can describe what is inside you can get the valuable contents and bag back.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
Abby Ludwig, Harold Scales, Dianne Sims, Wanda Taylor, Corky Harmon, Brenda Swan, Ernie Edwards, John Tallant, Martha Dyer Howell, Sally Wingard, Stephanie Hughes, Tiffany Moreau, Ty Moreland, Elroy Edwards, Josh Sims, Tammy Stark, Hannah Walles, Blaine Slaughter, Buffy Dioron, Christin Wright, Courtnie Campbell, Deborah Miller, Roman Carpenter, Ben Walles, Brandy Mayo, Donna Fong, Jamie Preston, Jan Savage, Kamela Latiolais, Keely Benefield, Brittany Backer, Erma Goss, Ester Brown, Kyle Anderson, Otto Whisenant, Ramona Huff, Ruth Mason, Stephen McKenzie, Tanya Simon, Lisa Roberts, Shirley Musser, Carroll Kile, Carsen Carpenter, Euel Norwood, Margaret Boehme, Margery Sargent, Natalie Sarvar, Renee Dillon, Tiffany Smith, Helen Clark, Cambree Williams and Grady Rawls.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
After work Sostan Comeaux had his friend Jude Dartez drop him off for a few drinks. It was dark, pitch black, when he start walking home. He sees dis woman in da alley nex to da Walmart. “Twenty dollars” she whispered.
Sostan him never been wit a hooker before but he’s had enough drinks not to care. He say to himself, “Wat da hell, it’s only twenty bucks.” So dey hide behind some boxes.
All of a sudden dis bright light is flash on dem. Dam if it ain’t Leblanc, da night cop. “Wat’s going on here wit you two hanh?” ax Leblanc.
Dat Comeaux him tinks fas and he say, “Me, I’m make love to my wife.”
“Oh, Sostan, I’m sorry me,” says da cop Leblanc. “I didn’t know.”
“Well, nidder did I, Comeaux answer, until you shine dat light on her face.”
March 17 is Saint Patrick’s Day. On this one-day of the year we are all a little bit Irish. So happy St. Pat’s Day. Don’t drink too much green beer. *****Things are looking bad in Israel. They are pushing the envelope that can cause some strains with the United States, longtime close allies. *****I’ve got to go, but before I do let me remind you to check our Web site www.therecordlive.com. *****On the Web you will find some great baseball shots by Mark Dunn. Besides the late Buzzy Gunn, he is the best sports photographer I’ve known in a long life. Mark’s work is not just a picture; it’s a piece of art. If you put someone else’s photo next to his, you will see that there is a world of difference in the detail clarity and compassion of the two shots. See for yourself on our Web. *****Thanks to all of you for your time. Mine is up. Keep those cards and letters and e-mails coming. Take care, spread some good and God bless.