North of the Creaux’s Nest
Sam Kittrell has been Orange Police Chief 23 years. Over those years, I’ve gained a lot of respect for him as a person and in his profession. He runs a good department without the usual cliques that often divide departments in law enforcement and in the private sector. That wasn’t always the case at Orange Police Department before he took over. I’ve known for some time of his plans to retire at the end of the year and learned recently he would announce it this week. He was the first to come to mind when I heard of the shooting by one of his captains, Robert Arnold. Arnold is a good guy, a good peace officer. It’s unfortunate the shooting had to take place but peace officers can’t pick and choose when they are confronted. I know Capt. Arnold and feel he would use force only through fear or necessity. I know the incident was just days before Chief Kittrell announced his retirement and some people would assume that the shooting had something to do with it. Nothing could be further from the truth. It just comes with the territory. Every day is uncertain in law enforcement. One thing you can bet on is that Kittrell will see that this shooting is fully investigated and brought to the light of day. I go back a long way with some great law enforcement people and Sam sits right up there at the top. I’ve never known a fairer one. Best wishes on the rest of his tenure and in retirement. In 2008, we named him our Person of the Year. He truly deserved it then as well as today.
Over the last decade few statewide candidates have come to our little part of Texas. Bill White held a rally at the Court House late Saturday evening drawing a nice crowd despite threatening weather. His visit will probably spur other statewide candidates to quit ignoring us. Rick Perry will be forced to come this time around. This wasn’t Mayor Bill White’s first visit. During trying times after Ike, when our county and city governments couldn’t get the federal government to respond to housing for our citizens, Houston Mayor White met with officials and within a week he had FEMA trailers moving in. Judge Thibodeaux, Mayor Kirk Roccaforte and others credit White with getting the help they needed. Houston, under White, has attained the designation as being the top city in the country. Perry, who has served longer than any other governor, will attempt to make the campaign about Obama in the hope people will forget Texas’ problems. In the campaign he ran against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, he successfully tied her to Washington. He doesn’t run on his accomplishments but usually resorts to painting negative pictures of his opponents. He will paint Mayor White as a wild-eyed liberal. Nothing could be further from the truth. White is a fiscal conservative, even the Tea Party agrees to that. It’s been seven weeks since White released his tax returns but Perry continues to refuse to debate. Perry knows he can’t win a debate on the issues. Perry, whose net worth was $270,000 when he ran for political office is a multi-millionaire today. A story broke statewide Monday on how Perry made over $500,000 on just one land deal. They will find more. Insiders believe Perry is not running to be Texas governor but for a chance to be on the national ticket in two years. Bill White is one of the most qualified business executives to run for governor in a long time. He says he’s the best choice to prepare our economy for the future and turn our education situation around.
The state of Texas faces an $18 billion shortfall, severe budget problems, school funding problems and much more. Texas has the highest insurance rates in the country. Legislators, next year, will have to face a decisive redistricting plan that is fair to all Texans, not gerrymandered to favor one party or the large metropolitan areas. Despite the many problems Texas faces, I’m afraid immigration will be the hot button issue, taking up most of the session. Immigration is and should be a federal government problem, not one that paralyzes our legislative process. Our state government needs to put aside partisanship issues and get down to solving the many real issues Texas has to deal with. Who our leaders are will go a long way toward getting things done. Many Republican members say they have no choice, GOP voters want an Arizona-style immigration bill. Right Wing Republicans and Tea Party members are passionate about the issue being their top priority. On the other hand Democrats, Hispanics and minority leaders take a dim view of what they consider a harsh over reaction to immigration problems when so much more issues need facing. So the battlegrounds will be drawn and that one issue will shortchange us all.
A potential major breakthrough test to identify patients with Alzheimer’s disease could be on the way. A tool to catch it earlier when its progression can still be slowed. If the test is positive, a patient can go to a specialist and get a start on treatment. A Texas team will publish a paper this fall, only the second-ever such journal publication involving an Alzheimer’s blood test. More than five million Americans have the brain disease. Texas has 340,000 confirmed people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
30 Years Ago-1980
A solid gold Cadillac parked in the lobby of the Orange House reminds visitors of the Orange Community Playhouse presentation of “Solid Gold Cadillac. The play by George Kaufman is one of four plays to be presented in the 1980-81 seasons. Charlotte Smith will direct the dinner theater production. Other plays presented are “Inherit the Wind” by Laurence and Lee, directed by Charles Ferguson; “Light Up the Night” by Moss Haet, directed by Diana Hill; and “An American Comedy,” by Gladys Turner. The Membership Drive Committee headed by Faye Speer is comprised of Ferguson, Jimmie Hart, Claude and Jean Hamerly and Doris Jones. *****Dennis and Lynn Hall and family, John, Lani and Janet, are vacationing in Colorado and New Mexico. Lynn had worked for the Opportunity Valley News and Dennis wrote a column. They didn’t learn the OVN had changed hands until they got back into town. (Editor’s note: I don’t know what became of Dennis and Lynn, who divorced over 20 years ago. I heard Lynn remarried and was living in Beaumont. It seems Dennis just disappeared.)*****Ace and Jo Amodeo celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary. (Editor’s note: They divorced many years ago.)*****Celebrating birthdays are Russ Turkel, who turns 10 years old on July 31 and Juliet Patton, who also celebrates on that day. (Editor’s note: Juliet died a few years ago, as did her husband Charlie. They owned Gravely Patton Power on Highway 87.)*****This Sunday George Jones appears at the Lake Charles Civic Center along with the Oak Ridge Boys and Con Hunley. George will also appear in Clint Eastwood’s movie, “Any Which Way You Can.”*****Lamar Beaumont enrollment up to 3,920 students from 3,874, Lamar Port Arthur up 175 students from 90, Lamar Orange up 34 students to 166 this year. (Editor’s note: Can you believe that Lamar Orange, in 1979 had only 132 students.)*****Top country singles are #1, “Bar Room Buddies” by Merle Haggard; #2, “Dancin’ Cowboys” by the Bellamy Brothers; #3, “Stand by Me” by Mickey Gilley; #4, “True Love Ways,” Mickey Gilley; #5, “It’s True Love” by Conway and Loretta; #6, “Tennessee River” by Alabama; #7, “Clyde” by Waylon Jennings; #8, “Friday Night Blues” by John Conlee; #9, “Wayfaring Stranger” by Emmylou Harris and #10, “Save Your Heart for Me” by Jacky Ward. (Editor’s note: I don’t remember Jacky Ward.)*****Things are starting to happen at the new Bridge City/Orangefield Community Center. A teen dance will be held Saturday, Aug. 2. Women’s exercise classes begin Aug. 11. Kiddie Shows will be held every Saturday morning. Judy Wyatt is in charge of activities. *****Jim Wallace resigns from the Bridge City City Council. Bob Pruitt is appointed to succeed him. (Editor’s note: Over the past 20 years Wallace has been a district judge in Houston.)*****Jean Lapeyrolerie turns 21 on Aug. 2. (Editor’s note: Hard to believe that 30 years have gone by. I remember Jean’s 21 like it was yesterday.)*****Pat Meeks receives a baseball scholarship to Northeast Louisiana in Monroe. As a senior at Bridge City Pat had a 13-3 pitching record. Billy Bryant will be playing baseball for McNeese. His older brother Kim plays for McNeese also. The two Bryant brothers are expected to be a winning combination for the Cowboys.
Russell and Mary Dillow are coming home. They have purchased the Sears store in Orange and take over Aug. 1. Russell has been in Chicago for two week training to operate a successful store. Russell says many changes will be made in the store to best make available all items now found at other Sears stores. Please see story by Robert Hankins. ******Lightning struck a 90-foot pine tree in Lynwood Sanders’ yard. The large flame you saw burning in the Sunset area was the top of Lynwood’s tree. It drew firefighters, police and a lot of sightseers. The lightning strike was too close for Lynn’s comfort. *****Margie Stevens celebrated her birthday Saturday, July 24. She and the late Mary Fontenot celebrated birthdays on the same day. A nice shower came down as the barbecue was ready to serve, expertly prepared by Buddy Serrett. Margie said that the rain was her friend Mary’s way of acknowledging their birthdays. Margie’s pretty sisters, one of Harry’s lovely daughters and a house full of friends and relatives, including Harry’s brothers Ronny attended. The big sale at Harry’s appliance continues. Lower prices throughout the store. *****Stump Weatherford celebrates his day on July 31.***Rev. Leo Anderson celebrates this week as does Dr. Joe Majors. Two good guys.***Joy Dubose Simonton turns another peg.***Our buddy Sleepy Smith doesn’t celebrate his day until Aug. 6, however he has given himself a trip to Alaska. He hopes to have lunch with Levi Johnson, Sarah and the Palin crew. We will have to wait and see how that works out.***Happy birthday to the lovely Lisa Faulk.*****Our great friend of many years, Jo Ann Collins, is in a Beaumont hospital after falling and breaking a hip. When she is released from the hospital, she will recoup at the Meadows. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.*****Fifty years ago T.W. Permenter married above himself. He convinced lovely Lyndia Burton to be his bride and she has kept him all of these years. Happy anniversary to this great couple. Best wishes also for many more. *****Max Powell surprised us with a bag of cracklins from the Best Stop Supermarket near Scott, La. Turn right at Scott coming toward Texas, one mile toward Cankton. Max is working the oil spill out of Jeanerette. Big thanks.*****Congrats to Barbara Winfree, sworn in Friday as the first female to serve on the port board. She knows all of the good old boys, John, Jimmy, Keith, Jerry and Gene. She’ll be able to hold her own. *****I have found that if you want just the right cut of beef there’s not but three places that will hand pick and custom cut your steak or roast just the way you want it. For quality meat at the best price I always shop Robert’s, Danny’s or K-Dan’s. Their meat is not prepackaged several weeks early. *****Speaking of good eating, the Wednesday Lunch Bunch dined with Uncle Jim at Novrozsky’s last week. They always serve special food. This week, the Bunch is at Tuffy’s where David Claybar will be the host. Next week, the group gathers at Robert’s Restaurant where you can’t beat the chicken fried steak. *****You can find some great bargains this week at Big Lots like an RCA 32-inch class LCD-HD television for only $279. That save about $100. Another good deal is a Magellan Roadmate (navigation device) 1420, 6 PS, 4.3 touch screen for only $89. Bargains can be found throughout the store. See circular. I like shopping Big Lots, a little money goes a long way on quality products.*****President Obama will be on “The View” Thursday. He will be the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show. The wild right will try to make hay from that.*****Fifteen years ago on Sept. 8, 1995, Theresa Foskey, 28, was murdered in her Bridge City mobile home and her body was cut up. Parts were found in and near the Sabine River at Deweyville. Today, James Holden, 43, of Deweyville is on trial and accused of that long ago murder. Krispin Walker Choate is prosecuting the case for the DA’s office. The state is not seeking the death penalty but asking for life in prison or 40 years with no parole. Sonny Gibbs is the defense attorney. The trial continues in Judge Powell’s 163rd Court.*****On July 8, the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce will join Arbor Pines to break ground on their new complex. A catered reception will follow at Palm Gardens, 1727 N. 36th St. in Orange. The complex is near the 700 block of Martin Luther King across from Webco. It will be an active senior living center intended for those with a limited income like Palm Gardens facility.
COTTON’S RODEO COMPLEX
Ray Cotton has built a million-dollar rodeo complex large enough to have a football game under the roof. It’s one heck of a building, with wonderful bleachers. It’s a perfect place to bring the family or out-of-town guests. A great place to watch real cowboys at work. Saturday Coleman Peveto put together a first class bull-riding event. The bulls were the same as those you see on television. The stands were full and everyone had a great time. Afterward Mark Chesnutt entertained at the Longhorn Club. Read all about the rodeo in coverage by Mike Louviere. Cotton has a first-class complex right here close to home. Soon he will build a motel, with all rooms overlooking the rodeo grounds. Coleman’s a good guy. Ray, I think we should keep him.
Paula Richey, Regina Cameron, Allison Donnell, Angela Rhodes, Chaelynn Wilson, Chris Abshire, Dr. Rollie Allen, Florence Pelham, Hannah O’Grady, Jeff Fruge, Lisa Faulk, Nancy Bourgeois, Rev. Leo Anderson, Rollie Allen, Art Miller, Bonnie Sipes, Joe Majors, Laurie Davis, Lisa McCall, Paula Schenider, Ronda Hale, Troy Hillsten, Chris Lopez, Conner Godwin, Daniel Faircloth, David K. Boileau, Jane Duchene, Kimberly Sieck, Laci Braus, Mary Bradford, Mildred Hudson, Nancy Lancaster, Wayne Sanders, Zeb Lowe, Brittany Newman, Debbie Moerbe, Judy Chandler, Marie Pittman, Megan Vogt, Melba Flippen, Ruby Parks, Tana Thompson, Yvonna Boehme, Joy Dubose-Simonton, Megan Leleux, NaNa Foster, Nathanishe Foster, Sherri Christiansen, Stump Weatherford, Travis Fields, Ayden Sanders, Chloe Halliburton, Cody Hollis, Debbie Desper, Diana Tally, Elizabeth McBride, Glenda Delano, Lacey Monceaux, Marilyn Snider, Pat Beardin, Ruth Stone, Bob Gephart, Dena Cox, Ethel Hicks and Frank Wiegreffe.
On July 29 Juilian McMahon will be 42; Martina McBride, 44; Marilyn Quayle, 61 and Elizabeth Dole, 74.***July 30, Hilary Swank, 36; Tom Green, 39; Lisa Kudrow, 47; Arnold Schwarzenegger, 63; Paul Anka, 69 and Laurence Fishburne, 49.***July 31, J.K. Rowling, 45; Wesley Snipes, 48; Eric Lively, 29 and Dean Cain, 44.***Aug. 1, Tempestt Bledsoe, 37; Adam Druitz, 46 and Coolio, 47.***Aug. 2, Edward Furlong, 32; Jeremy Castle, 36; Victoria Jackson, 51 and Judge Lance Ito, 60.***Aug. 3, Martha Stewart, 69; Martin Sheen, 70; Tom Brady, 32; James Hetfield, 47; Jay North, 58 and John Landis, 60.***Aug. 4, Barack Obama, 49; Cole and Dylan Sprouse, 18; Jeff Gordon, 39; Roger Clemens, 48 and Billy Bob Thornton, 55.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Ethel Thibodeaux and Ella Mae Comeaux have been friends all dere lives. Boa’t were born in Abbeville, at da Palms Hospital, in 1932. Boa’t of dem moved to Lafayette many years ago. Dere husbands had boa’t died dem so once a mon’h dey got together for lunch at a restaurant. One day at lunch Ethel noticed something funny about Ella Mae’s ear and she said, “Ella Mae, sha, do you know you got a suppository in you left ear?”
Ella Mae her said, “I got a suppository in my ear? Oh my God.” She pull it out and stared at it den she said, “Well, I be darn Ethel, I’m so glad me dat you saw dis ting, now I tink I know me where to find my hearing aid.”
The Dunns had a surprise visitor over the weekend. Clint Britt, Roy’s nephew, whom he and Phyl raised through high school, came for his first visit in 30 years. They had lost track of him after his mother, Roy’s sister, died. The Dunn children gathered to recall old times with their cousin and catch up. Saturday night Roy and Clint attended the rodeo at the Longhorn. Clint’s son, Josh Britt, brought his dad from Houston while he visited his Bridge City family, L.J. Doucet, grandfather, uncles, mother, sister and etc. Josh, 26, a financial planner with Exxon-Mobil had just recently been back in touch with his dad after a 12-year absence. Josh, a University of Texas grad, is married and has one child – Clayton. They live in Houston. The Dunns say it was great to visit with Clint. Many holidays and on his birthday they had wondered about him. He has his life together now and spends much of his time working with his church. Hopefully all is well that ends well.*****I’ve come to the end of the line for one more week. The views expressed in this column are my own. Just like all other columnists I don’t represent the views of this newspaper, just my own. My views are expressed on the best information I have. Thanks for your time. Please read us cover to cover. Take care and God bless you and the United States of America.