I walked out the door at 5 a.m. and was greeted by 81 degrees of heavy, hot air. I just wanted to go back inside and suck up the cool air. Then I realized I have no right to complain, with area high school players facing two-a-days and afternoon temperatures hanging near 99 degrees. I recall those early days in my life, long before air conditioning, long before youngsters were spoiled and walked from an air-conditioned house to a car with cool air blowing. That wasn’t the only difference in my two daily workouts and the athletes of today. For our two tuff workouts we were not allowed any water, only salt tablets. They said water would give us stomach cramps. It was so hot we welcomed sweat to cool off. We didn’t have much to throw up after the first time. I’m surprised those coaches didn’t kill us from dehydration. Today there are trainers who do not allow such treatment. They have learned a lot and require regular water breaks. *****When I got to the office I got two more bursts of hot air, a visit by Neighbor Cox and Tommy Simar. Cox had Ms. Ginny out in the car but Tommy must have escaped from Echo while Ms. Sue was asleep. *****We need rain but like those work-out days long ago, I would be grateful for a cloudy day to keep that brutal scorching sun from burning all my stuff up. I better quit joshing and get started. You’re welcome to come along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.


We were saddened by the death of Bessie Huckaby, 67, who passed away Monday, Aug. 2. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange with the Rev. Jay Thomas officiating. An Eastern Star service will follow. Burial will be at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Orange. Visitation will be held Wed., Aug. 4. She is survived by husband C.J. Huckaby, sons and daughters-in-law, Kevin and Dana Bourque, Terry and Laura Huckaby, Brent Huckaby and granddaughters Brittany Bourque and Ashlyn Huckaby. Ms. Bessie was a fine lady, very community-minded. To husband C.J., family and friends we extend our deepest sympathies. Please see obit.


You can’t renew the Bush tax plan to the wealthiest on money borrowed from China and cut the deficit at the same time. It’s impossible. One or the other but not both. Millions of dollars are being spent in advertising, urging citizens to contact their congressmen and senators urging them to support the Bush tax plan. Former Sen./actor Fred Thompson is pitching it. He says the tax plan is the way to great jobs. Well, let’s see. The Republicans passed that bill in 2001 and it is still in force. The jobs are gone. In 2001, the Republican administration had a surplus from President Clinton. Our national debt was $5 trillion. They more than doubled it to $11 trillion in just eight years and ran unemployment up from six percent to over 10 percent. It had taken over 200 years to accumulate the debt that doubled under the Dick Cheney economic plan. The tax cuts to the one percent wealthiest cost nearly a trillion dollars a year. Obama, instead, is proposing to create a $30 billion fund to help unfreeze lending for credit starved small businesses. Business groups support the bill. Republican leaders have stymied the proposal. Senators won’t even allow it to come up for a vote. Now on recess, GOP congressmen have scattered throughout the country talking about renewing the trillion-dollar tax bill and the slow recovery of the economy and unemployment. They will site that employment was at it’s lowest at Christmas. Remember that’s when small and large retailers hire extra holiday help. A friend of mine is on a diet; he’s lost weight in his neck, arms and legs. I asked him about that big gut. He answered he had abused his belly for many years and it would take a longtime to reduce his waist size. The same is true for unemployment, mistreated badly for years, it will take time but it’s on the right track. Dow Jones Industrials jumped 208 points Monday. Companies report higher production,  orders have sustained a year- long rally. Chip maker Texas Instruments report its business is back at pre-recession levels. Manufacturing index is up 12 straight months. More manufactures are willing to hire and they account for a fifth of the economic activity. They can’t carry the recovery alone. The nation faces a long road back. In August, two years ago, fewer people took long distance vacations than at anytime since WW II. The reason was gasoline prices were at $4 per gallon. Today, people can afford to drive to work. The economy is limping along sustained growth is good news. Some people in our government don’t want unemployment to drop, at least until the November elections. Despite the barricades I predict unemployment will be eight percent or below this time next year.


Easy to make, kids love it and big boys love it too. To change it up a little crush a few of the peanuts. Enjoy. Here it is.
3 cups sugar
1-cup water
1/3 cup white Karo
Bring to a boil. Add package of peanuts and red cake coloring.

Cook till forms hard ball in water. Add 1/2 stick of Oleo. Stir till ready to pour on a buttered cookie sheet.

35 Years Ago-1975

Betty Harmon finally gets Corky to spring for a new home. (Editor’s note: That’s when the Harmons moved off of Camellia St. in Roselawn and moved to Sunset.)*****Red Garrett and J.D. Stanfield are re-elected to city council. *****Joe Grossman, after many years with Nacol Jewelry, has opened his own store in Sulphur, La. (Joe passed away a few months ago.)*****Cecil Scales says he has a joint checking arrangement with his wife. If he’s not home by midnight, she starts checking the joints. *****Roy S. Repasky, 21, who graduated from the Houston Police Academy is now working as a Houston patrolman on the 2 p.m. to 10 a.m. shift. He’s a 1977 Bridge City graduate. *****Thomas Segura, of Bridge City, is promoted to Staff Sergeant in the Air Force. He and wife Becky, also in the Air Force, are stationed at Camp Polk in North Carolina. Tommy is a 1971 BC grad. *****On July 26, Gordon Baxter celebrated 30 years on the air. *****Jim Hanson, manager of the new Bridge City Western Auto store. *****Charlie Wickersham says Jimmy Conn went to an orphanage and tried to buy a little boy for wife Inez’s little dog. *****Judge Harold Beeson and wife Sheila have a new baby girl. The baby was 14 days late and weighed in at 7 lbs., 14 ounces. *****Lefty Frizzell died on July 20, at age 47. He made a lot of great records and had a lot of ups and downs in his short life. *****Wally Fowler is visiting Orange this week. He says he and Roy Dunn’s friendship goes back to 1948 when they were with the Dudley J. Leblanc Hadacol Caravan. Wally was with the Oak Ridge Boys. Many stars preformed on that show such as Hank Williams, Mickey Rooney, Ernest Tubbs, Red Foley and others. *****Don Jacobs gives up his refinery job. He is now free to pursue his dreams of writing, pickin and singing. *****Lynn Hall celebrates a birthday on Aug. 2. So does the little round man Wayne Morse. *****Darla Sean Maultsby, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Maultsby, gets a music scholarship at Sam Houston. (Editor’s note: Best I recall all of them are now deceased.)

60 Years Ago-1950

Orange Jaycee members are Roy Wingate, J.D. Hudson, Dick Dibie, Lee Barron, Edward Darrol, Hansen York, Bob Naczi, Ben Caple, Richard Gordon, Fred Finger, Gordon Johnson, Rom Reddy, Herbert Frames, Sterling Bunkley, Paul Skinner, Bill Haggerty, Ed White, Haldor Rigsby, Orval Stoffer, C.C. Bourne, Charles Ezell, Dorrance Williams, Vaughn Seastrunk, Lance Wingate, Bill Wade, Pat Wilson, Hoyt Smith, John Dahlean, Leland Morrow, Jack Price, Marcus Burroughs, Eugene Pollard, Frank Warren, Art Hill, Jim Rather and Bob Whitehead.*****Bob Whitehead, who is 24 years old and former coach at Carr Junior High, will be the new Orange Recreation Director. He will succeed J.B. Peddy. (Editor’s note: Whitehead went on to be Orange mayor. As far as I know, Roy Wingate might be the only Jaycee member still alive from the list above.)

85 Years Ago-1925

Orangefield is leading the Gulf Coast in oil production, with 20,000 barrels daily. A New gusher, at 4,700 feet, and several others at that depth, are being drilled and should increase production drastically. The Orangefield School is again being moved to make way for oil drilling rigs.


It’s always good to have one of our local youngsters attain national attention, gain fame and wealth. Earl Thomas was raised a poor boy in Orange. Over the weekend, the former West Orange-Stark and UT star signed a 5-year, $12 million guaranteed contract. However, he could earn a $21.1 million maximum value in five years if he makes all the incentives. Earl, a rookie, was picked 14th overall and will be a starter for the Seattle Seahawks. Boy, he needs to send Coach “T” a thank you card. *****Coach Les Johnson and Wanda were in town last week. Since 1996 Dr. Mark Messer has been his dentist. While in town they visited the Dunns and the Coach also got to visit with his former Bridge City quarterback Joey Platt. The Coach says he still believes if Joey had not gotten hurt in the LC-M game, they would have gone a long way in the playoffs. It amazes me that Coach Johnson can still call the name and position of every player on the 1996-97 team. He has retired from the Austin School District but he would still take a coaching job. He’ll go crazy staying home although he is a great home farmer. *****If you’re looking for a metal building may we suggest Scales Portable Buildings. For 50 years, they have built good buildings plus Jimmy Scales is a great guy to do business with. *****For the first time since 2004, the “Big Three” auto makers are all making a profit and have gone a long way in repaying their bail out U.S. loans. Plants are reopening and 100,000 workers are back on the job. Without the auto bail out we would have hit the Big Depression. Think about it, the rubber, glass, battery, parts workers etc., plus all the dealership employees in the country. Now we need to bail out the small business people in this country. They are the big employer. Republicans are blocking it. That makes no sense. ***** Football is back at Lamar. Two years ago, coach Ray Woodard was hired to build a team. In a conversation we had with the coach, while at a feed at Johnny Montagne’s, we learned that Woodard believes he can win by recruiting local boys. He has a lot of confidence in quarterback Andre Bevil, former West Orange-Stark star. Several other southeast Texas players are on the team. In order to have a good college team in the future good local support by fans is necessary. It may take a couple of seasons but win or lose we need to fill the stands of the new stadium. *****Speaking of football, our own native son Coach Bum Phillips, who will be 87 on Sept. 29th will have his autobiography out in two weeks. Phillips was born in Orange and has said in the past that he will be buried in Orange next to his parents. His son, Cowboy coach Wade Phillips, was also born here and had his first coaching job at Stark High. I can’t wait to read Bum’s book. I’m still amazed that local civic leaders have never recognized those two homeboys. What will happen is that Mid-County will take advantage and claim the Phillipses as their own. Hopefully a civic or government agency will see that Bum has a book-signing here. ***** The Cowboys’ Dez Bryant, a rookie that Dallas has placed their hopes in, is out for six weeks. That means they may have to turn to veteran Patrick Crayton, who has wanted out of Dallas. *****Astro owner Drayton McLane Jr. gave away Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman. Lance went to the Yankees while Roy went to the Phillies. Both were very popular with Astro fans. No one can figure McLane out. It cost him $20 million to get rid of the two players. Is he rebuilding or is it going to be the same old story with a few young players. No more “Killer B’s,” no more players who went to the World Series with the exception of Wandy Rodriguez. However, the new kids have won six games through Monday with no loses. *****Our longtime friend attorney Ed Barton is still kicking. Fighting the fight and winning. Ed has always been a winner. He is taking chemo treatments in Houston. Corky says he ran into him and his spirits are high and sends a big hello to everyone. *****Our buddy Daniel Jacobs is also fighting cancer. He’s getting home treatments but had to spend a week in the hospital after developing high fever. He’s not nearly as sickly since finishing chemo treatments. This guy has a lot of fight. Our prayers are with both these friends. *****Happy birthday this week to some special folks. “Sleepy” celebrates on Aug. 6 and is Alaska bound. ***Coach Dwight Thacker turns another peg. What a guy. ***Max Powell celebrates Aug. 10. Max will do to ride the range with. ***Kody Fisette notches another one. ***Old man John Harrington takes another step up the ladder of life. ***Bill Smith, a great guy, marks another year. *****President Barack Obama turns 49 years old Wednesday, Aug. 4. It’s amazing how quickly the presidency ages the office holders. We saw President George W. go from black hair to gray in two years. Now Obama’s hair is loaded with gray. It’ll be white by the time he leaves office. *****Last week we were speaking about our friend Margie Stephens and her last name mistakenly was printed Stevens. I didn’t make that mistake. This column goes through four other hands and along the way it got changed. *****Welcome aboard this week to Fleur de Chic Unique Boutique. We’re proud to have you in our advertising family. *****Russell Dillow and his Sears regional manage Dale, were busy as bees getting the store up to date and shipshape. When you visit the Orange Sears store you’ll find some great deals. Don’t forget to tell them we sent you. *****Welcome to Orange County Phillip Ledoux, new area game warden, who recently graduated and will be stationed in the area. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s Restaurant this week.
 Next Wednesday the Bunch will gather at Novrozsky’s where Uncle Jim always takes care of you. Everyone is always welcome.


Winnie Willey, Jarrod Vogt, Jeannette Edwards, John Harrington, Kody Fisette, Vickie Wells, Ann Collins, Cetha Haure, Claire Williams, Frances Reid, Katelyn Defrates, Mike Shahan, Nan Briggs, Paul Jagen, Garhett Bonneaux, John Holm, Mike Preston, Mitzi Peoples, Pam Boehme, Randy Hickox, Sarah Fisher, Sonya Villanoueva, Anita Decker, Jill Rowley, Melanie Braus, Clare Calahan, Don Lyons, Kimberly Sensat, O.C. Gunstream, Dwight Thacker, Fred Brent, Jim Finklea, Billie Carter, Clarice Miller, Edie Anthony, Ken Hartley, Leslie Smith, Max Powell, Timmy Byrd, Bill Loyd, Bill Smith, Bree Anne Collins and Louise Kent.


On Aug. 5, Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, will be 80; Patrick Ewing, 48; Maureen McCormick, 54 and Lori Anderson, 64. ***Aug. 6, M. Night Shymalan, 40, David Robinson, 45 and had she lived, Jon Benet Ramsey would be 20. ***Aug. 7, Charlize Theron, 35; David Duchovny, 50; Garrison Keillor, 68 and Stan Freberg will be 84. ***Aug. 8, Dustin Hoffman, 73; Mel Tillis, 78, Esther Williams, 87, J.C. Chasez, 34 and Roger Federer, 29. ***Aug. 9, Chris Cuomo, 40; Deion Sanders, 43; Whitney Houston, 46; Malanie Griffith, 53 and Sam Elliott, 66. ***Aug. 10, Antonio Banderas, 50; Rosanna Arquette, 51; Eddie Fisher, 82 and Rhonda Fleming, 87. ***Aug. 11, Hulk Hogan, 57; Steve Wozniak, 60 and Arlene Dahl, 81.


One of Taunt Blanche’s former girls in the sticks, Agnes “Cutie Pie” Marceaux, walks into da Abbeville welfare office wit nine kids trailing her. “Wow,” says Shriley Boudreaux, da social worker, “Are dem all yours?” she axe.
“Mais Yea, dey all  mine,” Agnes answer. Den she says “Sit down LeRoy.”
All da chilluns rush to a seat.
Da social worker says, “Me, I’ll need all your chilluns names.”
“Well, to keep it simple, I named all da boys LeRoy and da girls Leighroy.”
Ms. Boudreaux, da case worker, axe, “Are you serious, dey all named Leroy?”
“Dey sure are,” said Agnes, wen it’s time to get dem out of bed, I yell Leroy. Wen it’s time for supper, I just yell Leroy and dey all come running. If I need to stop da kids from running in da street, I just yell Leroy and all of dem stop. It’s the smartest idea I ever had me, naming all dem Leroy.”
Ms. Boudreaux, da social worker, shakes her head, wrinkled her forehead and axe, “But Agnes, wat if you just want one of dem kids to come and not da whole bunch?”
Agnes answer, “Well den, I call dem by dere last names.”


City and county governments are all working on the budgets that must be complete by October. I’m betting none of our municipalities will face the problems that cities in other parts of the area do. Our towns have good administrations and dedicated office holders. I never worry about Orange County not being fiscally sound. It may sound bad today, a lot of money to find, I hear that story every year. Judge Thibodeaux has handled more budgets than any judge before him. He’s always holding some ace in the hole. We have an outstanding, conservative commissioners’ court. County income is projected down for the coming year but we’re in great shape next to other counties. We’re not under a dark cloud.***** Did you say Cloud? I’m going to find the cloud. Take care and God bless.