North of the Creaux’s Nest
It’s come on another week; they sure seem to go by quicker. I’ve been writing a weekly column for many years. I was a young man when I started, now Father Time finds me in my senior years. Every week a fresh column, 52 weeks out of the year, a different Cajun story also. I spend on average about four hours a day studying and keeping up with current events. I read the New York Times, Houston Chronicle, USA Today plus local publications and a half-dozen national and state magazines. I monitor television news and check in on news on Web sites. I don’t shoot from the hip when I write an opinion, it’s based on the best information I can gather and sift through. My opinions are my own, just like any other columnist, like Kent Conwell and others in this paper, we don’t represent the views of this publication. The same is true for all national and area columnist. My hope is that my writings will stand the test of time. Anyone reading this column in 30 or more years will have a clear historical sense of what was happening, not only locally but also the national mood, the issues of the day and the political climate on any given week. I don’t write to create controversy, I may not always be correct and there will always be those who disagree with me. I write only if I believe it to be that way. I disagree with all extremism in any form, from any group, far left wild-eyed Liberals to the radical right who wear blinders and always are seeking to put their narrow views as the gospel. They are extreme and not interested in other views but their own. I don’t subscribe to radicalism but will not in good conscience neglect to point out what I believe is just political spin or untruths. When I see injustices I’m subject to point them out. I don’t write with malice, just trying to keep the record of our times straight.*****Now I must move on, I hope you will come along. You might not agree with me but it won’t do you no harm.
Our constitution is again being brought to the forefront. This time it has to do with the first amendment and religious freedom. Religion, throughout our history, has always stirred up the wrong passions. Those of us of Acadian heritage know so well the history about when the British issued the Acadian expulsion order, July, 1755 and carried out le Grand Derangement or great upheaval. The ethnic cleansing of the Acadians from Nova Scotia, resulting in thousands of deaths, all because of religion and the language they spoke. In 1765, Beausoleil Broussard led 193 out of the thousands of Acadians to south Louisiana where they practiced their Catholic religion. Then in 1776 the U.S. Constitution guaranteed them that they never again would be persecuted because of their religion. It’s a right all Americans have to worship in their own way, wherever they choose. The constitution doesn’t let governments treat one religion differently from another. Permits to build a $100 million Mosque two blocks away, on another street from 9-11 ground zero, have been granted. It is being opposed and used as a political wedge in the upcoming November elections. Republican minority leader John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Sen. John Cornyn and the “Talking Heads” on radio and television are using it as an inflaming issue against President Obama – because he said Muslims have a right under our constitution to build a mosque where ever it is legal to do so. The President is right. He’s charged with protecting our constitution. If the building being constructed, which will include a community center, a mosque and memorial to 9-11 victims, was being built as a synagogue, Hindu temple, Catholic church or other, it wouldn’t be stirring these wrong political passions. President George W. Bush said, “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.” Al Qaeda attacked us on 9-11, Islam did not attack us. Those building the New York Mosque could defuse the situation by seeking a less controversial site. If not, it will stand as one of the United States’ most enduring commitment to religious freedom. History books will record that back in 2010, the President stood his ground and stood up for the United States Constitution despite undue attacks by political groups. Does that mean that they are ready to throw out the First Amendment or is it just a political wedge?
35 Years Ago-1975
At morning service, Aug. 24, “The Witnesses” from the First Baptist Church, Orange, organized in 1969, will appear at First Baptist Church of Joaquin under the direction of Jerry Talmadge. They will appear at Cove Baptist Church at the 7 p.m. service. Of the seven youths, the following are leaving for college this week. Six will be replaced by Sheree Davis, Paul Dorman, Larry Frederick, Shana Hazelwood, Boyd Hopkins and Britton Walters.***** A new arrival to Orange County is Ken Wyatt, owner of an advertising agency. He now makes his home in Bridge City. (Editor’s note: Ken, a native of California, for many years was an active member of the community. He still resides in Bridge City but for the last few years has slowed down due to failing health. We spot him around from time to time.)*****Rotary Dist. Governor Neal Picket of Diboll is visiting with Orange County clubs this week.*****Sam Dunn, a young attorney, joins his dad S.P. in the law firm of Dunn-Windham and Dunn.*****June Badon begins her 20th year as a teacher of dance. Her school is at 2425 Western Ave. (Editor’s note: June was a good looking doll 35 years ago. Is that old gal still around teaching? If so that gives her 55 years. If she was 20 when she started she’s in her mid-70s today. I bet she still has that great body.*****Linda Johnson weds Harry Price and Martha Hudson marries Rusty Williams.
Clyde Dawson, 21 and B.F. Thompson, 28, escaped prisoners of San Antonio, have been charged with the murder of Orange police chief Johnny Godwin, 31. The fatal shooting occurred on Green Avenue when Godwin and Officer George LaFitte stopped the men for hijacking and car theft. After firing the fatal shot, Dawson kidnapped Jessie Webb and Rosalie Patterson, forcing them to drive him to Lake Charles. He was later captured and arrested. Thompson was held at gunpoint in the car by LaFitte.
If you have thought about visiting South Louisiana but just haven’t made it, here are a few good reasons and dates. I would never follow the Cajun Trail without going through Abbeville. In the month of October, visit the Steen Syrup Mill. While the mill brews syrup, the sweet smell fills the air. Visit this unique town.***Next weekend, Aug. 18-22, a few miles down the road, on La. 14 from Abbeville, you can enjoy Delcambre’s Shrimp Festival. The town is home to one of the state’s most productive shrimping fleets. It’s one of the state’s biggest festivals. Shrimp boats as far as the eye can see, blessing of the fleet and a fisherman’s Mass are held. Free live entertainment featuring Kip Sonnier, Southern Skyy, Jaryd Lane, the Bellamy Brothers, Midnight Star, Mike Dean, T.K. Hulin, Willie Tee, G.G. Shinn, Sean Vidrine, Da. Classics and Abbeville star Warren Storm. It’s a big deal.***On Oct. 8-10, four festivals in one. A celebration of Cajun culture and music in downtown Lafayette.***Also, don’t forget the Gueydan Duck Festival Aug. 26-29. Between now and the end of November about 60 festivals are held in this unique state. This past weekend the Mamou Cajun Music Festival was held. It always draws area folks who meet up at Fred’s Lounge.
We were sorry to learn of the death of Marilyn Elaine Romero-Ramsey, 67, of Bridge City. A lifelong resident of the area and a Bishop Byrne High School graduate, Marilyn had worked for TOTAL for more than 25 years. She is survived by husband Mark, sons Doug Romero, Dwayne Romero and David Greiss, granddaughters Destiny, Perry, Grace and Abigail, sister Carol and brother Ron. Services will be Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m. at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves with burial at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
The annual canoe trip in Louisiana took place this past weekend. Some of the folks we know participating were the Johnny Montagne group, Bobby and Devera Cormier and grandkids and Chad Jenkins. It would have been worth the price just to see Johnny and Bobby fit in a canoe. *****Horizon Dental, on Texas 62, is having free Invisalign consultations on Friday, Aug. 20. If Invisalign treatments are needed a 10 percent discount will be offered. For appointments call Dr. John Fukuda and Dr. Chris Riedel at 882-9304. This is a great deal. Tell ‘um who sent you.*****For 10 weeks Gov. Rick Perry has refused to debate Bill White; he also is avoiding newspaper editorial boards. A rumor has it that Gov. Perry and Con. Brady will be in Orange soon for a photo-op having to do with a state of the art piece of equipment at Baptist Orange. Doesn’t sound reasonable but we’ll see. During election time take all the photo-ops you can get.*****The “Hook ‘Um Horns” gesture came about in 1955 when Texas University student Henry Pitts, while playing with shadow figures which we have all done, noticed one gesture looked like the horns on Bevo. Pitts showed the gesture to UT head cheerleader Harley Clark, who introduced it to the student body at a pep rally. The rest is history. Do you know how the Aggies “Gig ‘Um” sign got its start? *****Local author Sylvia Dickey Smith released her fourth novel “A War of Her Own,” a historical novel taking place in the difficult days of World War II. It’s also about her research of Orange’s WW II heritage. Sylvia will host a private reading and discussion Thursday, Aug. 28, 6-8 p.m. in the parlor of the historical E. House Inn, 205 College St. Patrons will enjoy wine, cheese and stories about old Orange. She will also autograph any of her novels, including this new one. I look forward to getting my copy. Sylvia is a good writer, easy to read and her work is well-detailed. Sylvia will have a couple of book signings next week. She loves Orange history and it shows in her novels. Today, a resident of the Austin area, she loves to come home. See her ad on page 7B for a complete schedule of her signings and readings*****The Elvis brand is still gold. Owner of the American Idol television program CKx, also owns 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises. CKx is mulling at least two offers to buy the company at $535 million. CKx owns rights to name, image, Graceland Mansion etc. Presley died 33 years ago, in 1977, and the Elvis brand still generates $60 million a year. Elvis was only 42 but much older in miles.*****Longtime Republican chairperson and activist Lydia Damrel is now an organizer for the Southeast Texas Tea Party.*****Orange County star Matt Bryant is a kicker for the Atlanta Falcons. He hit a 30-yarder in Saturday’s game. Meanwhile, another NFL local star Earl Thomas started at safety for the Seahawks Saturday.*****A few friends having birthdays are Tammy Davis, a real beauty, married to Shaun, she labored here at The Record for several years. She celebrates her special day Aug. 20.***Our buddy of many years, the tall deputy Tucker Clayton, turns 89 on the 21st. He’s been retired 27 years and still lives in the Cove where he was born.***Bill Clark, for many years the voice of the south over the airwaves, marks another year on the ladder of life on the 22.***Our longtime sweetheart Anabel Anderson turns 89 on Aug. 23.***On Aug. 23, Keble Free turns a year older and can now be classified a senior citizen.***One of my buddies Marlene Merritt celebrates with the full moon on Aug. 24.***Celebrating also this week is Gene Hidalgo, who drifted into Bridge City from Louisiana as a young man.** Happy birthday also to Mike Johnson, Charlie and Pat’s little boy.*****Carl and Micah Thibodeaux celebrate their anniversary Aug. 21. The judge usually plans things pretty good so I just wonder why he would marry during the heat of August before air conditioning. Happy anniversary. Micah, you’ve paid for a place in heaven.*****The 13-year-old Little Leaguers from Pearland left Tuesday for Williamsport, Pa. – the site of the Little League World Series. With any luck the Texas team will be in Williamsport 11 days and play for the championship. It’s pretty cool to see Texas youngsters playing and being interviewed on ESPN. Go Texas.*****Our friends of 40 years, Doug Harrington and wife Regina, are breaking camp. They have a contract on their four-acre home on 62. For many years Doug was owner of Harrington’s Pharmacy. He still works at the store part-time and will continue to do so after moving away. For now, they will live at their home near Crockett, with plans to move to Spring to be near their daughter. Meanwhile, they are selling everything. No place to store it. Four thousand square feet of furnishings including antiques. The estate sale will be Friday, Aug. 20, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 21, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 3769 N. 62. No early viewing.*****Special thanks to our buddy Jesse Domingue for keeping us supplied with Robbie’s Abbeville made French bread. He travels through the Cajun village every two weeks to and from the oil rig. He’s a great friend.*****The “Golden Girls” Red Hat Club of Bridge City were seen having a nice ladies outing this past week at the Pompano Club in Port Neches. Mary Frances Riley was hostess this month. Members enjoying the good company were Evelyn Gray, Belle Mouton, Wilma Wood, Ethel Compton, Noel Ogburn, May Maleski, Ruby Mestepay and Anabelle Rost, Roy’s dear friend from Abbeville. Queen Donna Cole kept the ladies in order for their monthly meeting of good fellowship.*****Police Maj. M.W. “Mike” Broussard retires from the Orange Police Department after 34 years. That’s a lot of days to tote a pistol. We wish Mike and Loretta smooth sailing and happy and healthy retirement.*****We understand “Big Mike” Ellender is in town for five days before reporting to a base in Alaska. He just completed basic training in Uncle Sam’s Army and loves it. We understand he has a duffle bag full of stories.*****The Ninth Circuit court puts gay marriages on hold indefinitely in California. Same sex couples can marry in Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington D.C.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Tuffy’s this week and next week at Robert’s. It’s a great group of boys and girls who traveled a few years down the road of life. However, young and old alike are welcome.*****Bridge City Police has two new sergeants. Richard Teague came from DPS and Robert Bergeron was elevated from the police ranks. Congrats. See story in this paper.
Constable Mark Philpott, who took office three months after Hurricane Ike, has had a busy schedule with evictions, foreclosures, civil papers and other duties. However he still finds the time to help families of people who have lost loved ones. Philpott offers complimentary funeral escorts at no charge, no matter what day of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays. So far Philpott has escorted 84 funerals. It’s a great service and allows families to use escort service charges for funeral expenses, thanks you cards, etc. We commend Constable Philpott and are proud of his service.
Pat Brown, Elmer Ernst, Davis Jones, Mike Johnson, Corey May, Carolyn Ward, Gene Hidalgo, Helen Gresham, Ian MacCammond, Linda Tibbitts, Maggie Joubert, Nancy Weidner, Ryan Prejean, Ted Shensky, Terry Ford, Braydon Denison, Brett Heil, Brett Johansson, John Forsythe, Kelsie Matlock, Melinda Ja’arah, Sam Fulderson, Sarah Byers, Dorothy Lee, Frances Delcambre, Jimmy Findlay, Marilyn Guerrerro, Olga Graham, Bill Clark, Kimberly Hubbard, Shirlyn Findlay, Alexandra Wild, Brian Sheppard, Connie Forse, Jason Delano, Mae Rollins, Michele George, Pat Gunter, Ron Hopperton, John-David Walles, Ryan Moreau, Zach Jeter, Ben Ezell, Carol Cupe and Debbie Adaway.
On Aug. 19, LeAnn Womack will be 44; Mathew Perry, 41; Tipper Gore, 62; Bill Clinton, 64 and Kyra Sedgwick, 45.***Aug. 20, Amy Adams, 36; Al Roker, 56; Connie Chung, 64 and Amy Adams, 36.***Aug. 21, Kim Cattrall, 54; Kenny Rodgers, 72 and Melvin Van Peebles, 78.***Aug. 22, Tori Amos, 47; Cindy Williams, 63; Valerie Harper, 70 and Ray Bradbury, 90.***Aug. 23, Kobe Bryant, 32; River Phoenix, 40; Shelley Long, 61; Barbara Eden, 76 and Mark Russell, 78.***Aug. 24, Cal Ripken Jr., 50; Vince McMahon, 65; Chad Michel Murray, 29 and Marlee Matlin, 45.***Aug. 25, Claudia Schiffer, 40; Billy Ray Cyrus, 49; Elvis Costello, 56; Gene Simmons, 61 and Sean Connery, 80.
Clarence Thibeaux, him, was injured during the war. While recuperation for several months in London he learned to play the bagpipes. He played his pipes free at funerals wen axed. One day Oris Broussard, da funeral director at Vincent’s in Abbeville, axe him to play at a graveside service for old man Otis Gillbeaux, wat was a pauper him. He had no family so da service would be on his little piece of land nex to his little cabin.
Broussard gave him da directions. Go to Indian Bayou, take da dirt road to Forked Island, den a couple more turns. Clarence him got lost and arrived an hour late. Broussard, da funeral guy, had evidently gone and da hearse was nowhere in sight. Dere were only da diggers left and dey was eating dere lunch. Clarence him felt bad, he apologized to da mens for being late. Clarence went to do side of da grave and looked down. Da vault lid was already in place but he started to play bagpipe anyway.
Da workers put down dere lunches and gathered around. Clarence played his heart and soul for poor Mr. Gillbeaux. As he played “Amazing Grace” da mens started weeping, Clarance wept wit dem. Wen he finish he packed up his bagpipes, headed to his car, head hung low, his heart heavy. Wen he opened his car door he heard one of dem mens say, “I never seen nutten like dis before me and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for 20 years.”
As I come to the end of another column, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is convicted of one count out of 24. A false statement to the FBI. A mistrial was declared on the other 23. The jury was out 14 days. The government, who apparently was red-faced after many months and millions of dollars, says they will retry at least some of the cases.*****We also hear Brett Favre will return to the Minnesota Vikings*****Point of interest, Mohammed Ali is a Muslim, has been for many years, yet he is held in high esteem.*****What is near Ground Zero today? The street is lined with massage parlors, tattoo parlors and even a strip club across the street.*****The rains came, breaking what has been one of the hottest, dry summers I can remember.*****Please read us cover to cover. Don’t forget the tax free weekend. Shop at home when you can. By all means shop the folks in our advertising family, they bring you this publication free. Thanks for your time, mine is all used up. Take care and God bless.