North of the Creaux’s Nest
I read with interest last week the story about the Bridge City Historical Museum board and the city working together to acquire and develop land on Cow Bayou. What a great acquisition that would be for the people of Bridge City and also a great asset for the business community. The property at the foot of the National Register Historical Bridge would open great opportunities for waterfront activities. Already people who travel the nation visiting historical bridges are starting to show up in Bridge City. Last week, two couples from Georgia, traveling in an RV, came off of I-10 to visit the Cow Bayou, Rainbow and Memorial bridges. They spent the night in Bridge City. Many suggestions have been made utilizing this ideally located land. One suggestion I like came from an avid fisherman. He suggested fishing tournaments with the boat launch across the bayou being utilized. He thinks a five-day Gulf Salt Water tournament; a three-day Lake Sabine tourney and a fresh water tournament with participants fishing Cow Bayou and the Neches would be possible. A fishing guide tells me that people would come from all over the country. Guides would be available and motels could offer pickup service at airports. However, there is so much more a nice park could do. Docks could bring people by boat. Even a few cabins could be built. Local youngsters and parents could fish off the dock. The many possibilities are limitless. The property is available now but won’t be always. It would be a shame to miss this opportunity because once lost it’s gone forever. It’s a natural for a city surrounded by water. I hope the city will take the lead and actually pursue this purchase. Many grants would be available for development. The Community Center was built with volunteer workers and contributions from citizens. The same could be accomplished on this landmark park. *****I have a long way to go and like most often lately, I’m running a day late. It must be the heat making me lazy. Every day the forecast is hot and dry, 95 degrees plus and not a drop of rain. I hope it rains soon. I don’t want to hear a daily burn ban story. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.
When Tom DeLay and Rick Perry gerrymandered a new congressional district map in 2003, after ignoring lines drawn by the courts, they overloaded some districts and short changed others to reach their desired goals. Dist. 8, under their plan would tie Orange and Newton counties to the Woodlands and Montgomery County. That put the district a few thousand over but today it is way over 120,000 to 130,000. The district will have to be realigned. The best move for Orange County would be to be attached to East Texas Counties, making Orange County the largest voting block and yielding some of the stroke now held in the Houston area. That’s a goal our public servants should pursue. It doesn’t matter what party the new congressman belongs to as much as having someone from our area represent us. At present Jefferson County and Orange both have Houston area congressmen. Jefferson has two state senators from the same area. Our counties are split in half, with two state representatives. If Orange County was made whole, we would have only one local representative. All these changes should be in our gun sights for more local representation. Presently three candidates are running to represent us. Most of our citizens are unaware because all of the candidates are from the Houston area and not that concerned about us. They also figure after redistricting we won’t be in their district. Candidates are Kent Hargett, a Democrat and nonprofit group director; Bruce West, Libertarian, a design engineer and Tea Party activist and Kevin Brady, Republican and the only candidate to politic in Orange County. In an interview last week, Brady praised the Tea Party as being good for the Republican Party despite not being endorsed by them. It’s believed he will get some Tea Party votes. Brady also acknowledged that Dist. 8 has way too many citizens at 120,000. No doubt he knows his district will change. One of the most important things our local leaders can do come Southeast Texas Day in Austin is to partner with Jefferson County and see that once again we can have some of our own representing us. Also for the first time in many years, no Orange County judge is on the Court of Appeals. They mostly come from the Houston area. Redistricting favoring our area would change all that. Service and Chamber organizations should join our leaders in this cause in 2011. So should Rep. Mike Hamilton. It gives him the opportunity to show that he cares about Orange County and not just elections.
35 Years Ago-1975
Myra Forse is in Park Place Hospital where she had surgery. *****Linda Earl Wright’s wife had open-heart surgery Thursday at Methodist in Houston. *****Traci Taylor returns from a month long trip to Tennessee. *****Ed Clark leaves Orange Bank for greener pastures. *****Sharon Bearden, district attorney, is on vacation. *****The chief chef in charge at Sabine Yacht Basin is John Wade. *****Dan Green and his buddy Don Jacobs are both reporter-photo gophers for the Beaumont Enterprise. They replace each other on the police beat. Good thing it wouldn’t do to have them two working together. Dan is also the husband of new reporter Louise Green. (Editor’s note: This writer remembers those golden days quite well. For the past 25 years Louise has been married to Rush Wood and works at Lamar. Jacobs still writes a Tuesday weekly column for the Enterprise. Green was a pilot and I lost track of him. They were part of the Baxter Brigade. A group of a dozen tight knit guys.)*****Mike Dean works for Harry Stephens at Harry’s Appliance, 508 Front Ave. in Orange. *****Perry LaPointe, formerly from Orange, is featured on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport where he now lives. *****The Orange Stark Tigers will feature quarterback Graig Couvillion throwing passes to little brother Steven. *****Gasow Motors, 807 Simmons Drive, is the Fiat car dealer. John Paul Gasow operates the dealership.
Henry Ford, the automobile wizard, came to Orange and acquired nine steel hull steamships held in storage here. The ships are called Lake BenBo, Berdan, Callicon, Dyner, Lasang, Fossil, Fran Concia, Frio and Granley. *****W.E. Lea, has negotiated the agreement between Texas and Louisiana for the construction of the Sabine Bridge here. Bill has returned from law school in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Editor’s note: I believe there were five Lea boys. Three were lawyers, Bill Hugh and Dick, who I believe is the only survivor. Their dad was mayor of Orange and put the deal together to get the Rainbow Bridge built. The Lea boys attended the bridge’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Friday, Aug. 6, found real estate magnate “Sleepy” Smith on a big ship pulling up to the dock in Alaska. It was his birthday and he planned to make it a big day. He and his traveling buddy Stevie Ray were going down for breakfast, then a seven-hour train ride through Alaska. Friday evening they would celebrate Sleepy’s birthday in a large restaurant. Sleepy wanted us to contact Cochise to wire him some money. He hadn’t figured on drinks costing $8 each. Alaska had been a longtime dream so he chose his birthday for the trip. His contact to meet with Sarah Palin was Levi Johnson but he had flown the coupe for California so Sleepy had to settle for a couple of Eskimo gals. He returned home Tuesday night and should be at his office today. Call him for more details. *****Saturday night found a few natives dining at Delta Downs’ buffet. George Navarro, wife and friends, Harry and Margie Stephens, Yank Peveto, Roy and Phyllis Dunn were spotted visiting with Lafayette friends Richard and Jo Douglas. Also, Gerald Arrington and Kyle Dixon, who put a hurt on the snow crabs served on the buffet. Roy says the okra and seafood gumbo was the best he’s eaten since his grandma’s special okra brew. *****Resident Record poet Pearl Burgess, with daughter and son-in-law, Beverly and Jody Raymer, were spotted dining at Tuffy’s Friday night. The restaurant had a capacity crowd, with a 30-minute wait. *****Gene Smith attended the Wednesday Lunch Bunch gathering at Robert’s. Gene reports that Marilyn has good days and some not so good but she’s hanging in there. Our prayers are with her. ***** The Bunch this week will dine at Novrozsky’s with host Uncle Jim. Next Wednesday David Claybar will host the group at Tuffy’s. Everyone is always welcome. *****On Friday, Aug. 13, former Bridge City resident Crystal Bryce Clemmons will receive her bachelor of science degree in geography, with a minor in political science from Texas State in San Marcos. Crystal is the daughter of Phyllis Fukuda and Doyle Clemmons, both now living in Houston. *****A few friends having birthdays this coming week are Monty Eshbach, Miss Dot’s little boy*** Kristie Gunn, Chris and pretty Cindy’s young daughter*** Charlotte Conn, who has a thousand J.K. Conn stories celebrates another one. *** Bill Triggs and Nancy Finchum are a year older***One of the coolest guys I’ve ever known, Henry Bland, celebrates this week.***Judge Joe Parkhurst celebrates this week. May he be blessed with beautiful butterflies. *****Elena Kagan, by a vote of 68-31 by the United States Senate, was appointed for a lifetime to the Supreme Court. She becomes only the fourth woman on the Court that has had 98 males. For the first time, three women will serve at the same time. Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed exactly a year ago. She’s the first Hispanic on the Court. *****We were sorry to hear that our longtime friend, former district attorney Roy Wingate has been under the weather and was recovering at Baptist Orange. There’s a guy that has done to ride the range with. *****I read with interest about the wreck of Nov. 8, 1954, written by Edith Pratt in last week’s issue. The story, with pictures, was well documented. I remember it like it was yesterday. When the news media mistakenly announced to Edith’s mother that her daughter had been killed, it was discovered she had loaned her jacket to Joyce Scott, 16, with Edith’s identification in it. That led officers to believe it was Edith’s body. The death of Scott was a shock to her parents also, who believed she was asleep in her room. One survivor, Allen Peltier, was Roy’s roommate in a Port Arthur boarding house. He hung onto life and stayed in the hospital for several months. He went back to Abbeville and married Deanna Boudion, raised a family, retired and has been a resident of Lafayette for 50 years. Charles Brevell, another survivor, was in the hospital for a week. He is married and owns Brevell’s Barber Shop in Port Arthur. Two other Orange girls were killed in the accident, Janelle Tucker and Norma Jackson. All were members of the Bengal Guards with Edith. In all, six young adults were killed, four in the front seat and two sailors in the oncoming car. The sailors had just arrived on leave and were on their way home. The crash caused Broussard’s Curve on Texas 69 to be straightened. It had been the scene of several wrecks. *****Also is last week’s paper was the announcement of our longtime friend’s Ernie and Winnie Willey’s 60th anniversary. They were wed July 31, 1950. *****Also, last week we ran the same sports pictures twice. Computers are still subject to human error. Two of the pictures were suppose to be Orangefield football players. Someone in composition pressed the wrong button and it wasn’t discovered until it showed up in print. We apologize for this. *****Two old boys that are faithful readers of this Record Newspaper are Tommy Harmon and John Coody. Tommy reads us cover to cover and can hardly wait until the paper comes out on Wednesday. He would like for us to come out a couple more times a week. Thanks but no thanks, this is tuff enough. John is an old O&I guy. I believe he was a fitter at the paper mill. He can recite every Cajun story over the last six months. Two good old boys. *****Bobby Joe Taylor is another faithful reader. I believe his neighbor is Quincy Procell, on Gandy St., in West Orange. My message to Bobby Joe is that he needs to quit watching FOX News. That will poison his mind. If he wants it played straight, watch CNN or Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC at noon. Barbara can’t you talk to him? *****David Peck, judge elect and Ms. Patsy flew to Odessa Friday to visit their daughter and granddaughters. They were back home Saturday. One night away from his own bed is all David can stand but they were glad to see the girls and how they had grown. They are ages 2 and 9. *****You might want to mark your calendar for this upcoming event. Gueydan, La. “The Duck Capital of America” will hold its festival Aug. 26-29. A pageant and duck-calling contest will be held. The world’s best compete. *****Oil, where’s the oil? No one can find the oil. I had even bought into the idea that the oil spill would be the ruination of South Louisiana. Thank god it looks like the damage is far less than expected. A good move was President Obama sending Admiral Thad Allen to be his point man, overseeing BP’s response. Things started getting better after Allen arrived. *****Attorney Jack Smith, between helping citizens who are Ike victims get what they have coming, has been commuting to his home in Colorado this summer. His wife stays and he flies back and forth. Walter Umphrey commutes but he has his own plane and helicopter. Jack likes flying commercial. He claims to know every stewardess on every flight. You can bet he has talked to all of them. *****Sears held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday. New owner Russell Dillow reports that the Record readers have responded and came in for special buys. He appreciates it and so do we. If possible, always shop with our family of advertisers. *****Gov. Rick Perry continues to dodge a debate with Bill White. It’s been nine weeks since White offered the challenge. I believe the public will demand a debate. You can bet Rick won’t go for the hot seat twice. Perry made a grandstand play when President Obama came to Texas Monday. Bill White, not meeting with Obama, has made some unhappy but they see Perry as a phony. I thought he looked silly standing there. Obama didn’t except Perry’s envelope but his aid did.
Chris Bailey, Melissa Cox, Diane Justice, Tiffany Schlicher, Brenda Gage, Johnny Stimac, Susan Eby, Morgan Taylor, Rene Danna, Dean Grant, Deborah Bayliss, Jared Sleeman, Jennifer Babin, Ken Phelps, Lyn Goodwin, Monty Eshbach, Wade Estes, Terry Walles, Aaron MacCammond, Ada Bridges, Andrew Glover, Jerry Windham, Kevin Berry, Lindsey Schaffer, Myrtle Singletary, Bill Triggs, Britanie Long, Charlotte Conn, Christina Myers, Gavyn Fisher, Kristie Gunn, Valerie Richter, Brandi Arnold, Norma Smith, Beth Holm, Christine Johnson, Gwen Boehme, Joe Sanders, John Everett, Jordan New, Karen Day, Nancy Finchum, Shandi Conner, Dagma Hood, Danielle Heil, Henry Bland and Jane Busby.
On Aug. 12, George Hamilton will be 71; William Goldman, 79; and Dominique Swain, 30. ***Aug. 13, Fidel Castro, 82; George Shearing, 91; Philippe Petit, 61 and Pat Harrington Jr., 81. ***Aug. 14, Halle Berry, 44; Earvin “Magic” Johnson, 51; Danielle Steel, 63; Lynne Cheney, 69 and Steve Martin, 65. ***On Aug. 15, Joe Jonas, 21; Ben Affleck, 38; Melinda Gates, 46; Linda Ellerbee, 66 and Mike Connors, 85. ***On Aug. 16, Madonna, 52; Katie Lee Gifford, 57; Vanessa Carlton, 30; Steve Carell, 48; Timothy Hutton, 50; Angela Bassett, 52 and James Cameron, 56. ***Aug. 17, Sean Penn, 50; Donnie Wahlberg, 41; Robert De Niro, 67 and Maureen O’Hara, 90. ***Aug. 18, Malcom-Jamal Warner, 40; Christian Slater, 40; Denis Leary, 53; Robert Redford, 74; Roman Polanski, 77, and Rosalynn Carter, 83.
Joe Arceneaux and Clovis Fontenot was working at da Fruit of De Lume factory in St. Martinville when it shut down. Dey went to da unemployment in Lafayette together. Arceneaux went in to meet with da unemployment office first. Da man axe him wat his occupation was. Arceneaux answer “Me, I’m a panty stitcher, I sew da elastic onto da ladies cotton panties.”
Da Clerk looked up panty stitcher. Finding it classified as unskilled labor and gave Arceneaux $300 a week in unemployment compensation.
Arceneaux say, “Tank you.” And sent Fontenot in to see da man.
He axe Fontenot wat his occupation was. Fontenot answer, “Me, I’m a diesel fitter.”
Da clerk looked up diesel fitter and it was classified as a skilled job. He gave Fontenot $600 a week in compensation.
Fontenot said, “Tank you,” and went and tol his friend Arceneaux his good fortune.
Boy, dat made Arceneaux some mad. He storm back in dat office and axe dat clerk why Fontenot was getting double his benefits. Da clerk him explain, “Panty stitchers are unskilled labor and diesel fitters are skilled labor.”
Arceneaux yelled, “Wat skill? Me I sew da elastic on dem panties. Fontenot him puts dem on his head and says, Yeah, DISAL FITTER.”
Federal workers pay tops private workers. Compensation advantage grew from $30,415 when President George W. Bush took over to $61,998 when he left office. Federal civil servants earn average pay and benefits of $123,049, while private workers make $61,051 in total compensation. The average federal salary grew 33 percent faster than inflation since 2000. Thirty-six percent overall compared with 8.8 percent for private workers. President Obama has ordered a freeze on bonuses for 2,900 political appointees and asked for only 1.4 percent across the board increase for two million federal workers. *****The 2010 census will cost $1.6 billion less than had been budgeted. With proficient management and the cooperation of the public and a little luck, no natural disasters, the census stayed on track. The census bureau is required to report the nation’s population by December. Texas is expected to pick up three or four congressional seats. *****Power, money, lobbyists, loyal staff, this has been the world of Rep. Charlie Rangel. His troubles offer a compelling case for congressional term limits. We have seen these same problems over and over in both parties. We’ve seen poor candidates come out rich and rich candidates buy an office for a lifetime. Always follow the money. *****Right now Harmon Used Cars has a nice selection of low-mileage, highly-efficient cars for back to school or college bound students. Their low overhead allows them to sell at a lower price. *****If you’re an advertiser and want to reach the highest possible consumer base in our trade area, The Record offers the largest reach at the most reasonable rate. Everyone reads The Record. Web sites spring up everywhere but not everyone reads all the sites. Support your local community paper. You’ll miss it when it’s gone. Oh well, I’ve worked for over seven hours and I thank you for reading this far. Please read us from cover to cover. We have served the community for over 50 years. Patronize our family of advertisers and keep our community businesses strong. *****Take care and God bless.