Until the wind blew in, we couldn’t have asked for better Southeast Texas weather. That full “super” moon was gorgeous and as bright a night as I’ve seen. It looks like the target date for Judge Pat Clark to make his move is April 1. What will happen and who will take over 128th District Court is still unknown. The appointment, if one is made, to fill the post is Gov. Perry’s call. The only new name being mentioned is Courtney Burch Arkeen, a Vidor attorney who practices family law. Courtney was associated with Larry Hunter before he joined Uncle Walter’s law firm. Courtney, an active Republican, is a native of Orangefield. She also is on the Lamar Foundation board. She has strong ties to Ron Lewis and her husband is associated with Mr. And Mrs. David Montange so she has the contacts. I’m not sure she has the experience, although she’s a very smart, beautiful lady. I believe she threw her bonnet in the ring and has a fair shot unless the governor is looking for more experience. ****I’ve got a long way to go so I’ve gotta move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


The big surprise last week wasn’t the shelling of Gadhafi or the assault on Libya, the shot heard around the area was that after 30 years, West Orange-Stark coach Dan Ray Hooks was calling it quits as Athletic Director and head football coach of the Mustangs. No doubt stepping down was a heart wrenching decision for him to make. Dan, the staff and players are family. Their success is unprecedented. Why would anyone leave with a stable of tough Mustangs coming back? The team will be pretty salty next season. It looks like all the chips fell in place, opening the door for him to exit now. First, I’ve visited with him many times at grandkids sports events so I know he enjoys family and activities. The second option Dan had to look hard at is the busting out pay that would be off the table past last Friday. If he waited a couple more years, he would have missed the opportunity to grab some of their change. Thirdly, Coach Hooks has been at this game all of his adult life, also as a youngster on the field of play. He’s in the last quarter and if Dan knows anything, he knows defense and playing the odds. He had to look at what was a winning game plan for he and the family. Another thing, Coach Hooks may not admit to, but had to have some bearing on his decision, is what’s happening on the state level. The Legislature is going to cut $2 billion to $4 billion from school districts. Gov. Perry has made the statement that the Lt. Governor, Speaker, governor and legislature “Don’t fire teachers.” As foolish as that statement is, he sent a strong message that districts will have to cut cost of extra curricular activities. Sports could get a crushing blow, such as no meals on the road, scheduled games closer to home, no extra money for uniforms, etc. Coach Hooks never asked for anything unreasonable and he always got what he asked for. I don’t believe he would have liked the process coming in January. An Athletic Director’s job is getting ready to be a tougher road to travel. Not Dan’s cup of tea. As for who will replace him, the WO-S stable is loaded with experience, some of the state’s best. I said before, they’re a family. It would be hard as an outsider to mesh and keep the troops. If the principal and board go experience, there’s Cornell and Mark Foreman. They can’t find any who knows the winning system better that they helped build. On the other hand, the new added pressure of Athletic Director, the difficulty of meeting the demands, might take younger, ready to tackle the job of AD and coach. In that case, if it were me, I’d look no further than Toby Foreman. To coach Dan Ray Hooks we say thanks for the memories and God speed.


We were sorry to hear about the death of C.J. “Junior” Trahan, age 81, who passed away on St. Pat’s Day, March 17. Service was held Sunday, March 20. He was raised in Abbeville, La. but was a native of Henry, a small Louisiana town washed out in a hurricane. Known as “Rompy,” as a youngster, he ran his late dad’s service station. After moving to Orange, he went to work for U.S. Steel and later retired from Firestone. In 1955, he married Charlene, who died in 1994. He then married Dixie, Joe Dupuy’s widow. They had a great second life for 15 years. I had known “Junior” for many years and never met anyone who didn’t like him. Read his obituary in this publication. May he rest in peace.

12 Years Ago-1999

Donna Scales reports to work this week in her new position as Orange County Park Director. Scales has been in public service for 11 years, seven in the auditor’s office and five in the Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 office. Her family is involved in public service. Her mother Vivian Dorman, helped start the Employees Credit Union, uncle Louis Dugas is a former State Representative and District Attorney, brother Johnny Dorman is on the Orangefield School Board, brother-in-law John Scales is president of the Bridge City School Board and husband, Jimmy Scales, is an associate City Judge. No doubt Donna brings enthusiasm, a good work ethic and is qualified to do the job and do it well. (Editor’s note: Well, 12 years this week have gone by since Donna hired on and I believe anyone will tell you she continues to do a great job. Under her watch Claiborne West Park has been upgraded and it’s a natural county asset, plus, she’s a great gal. *****Orange Savings Bank celebrates a grand re-opening. President Darby Byrd sniped the ribbon while Ms. Nelda Stark observed the proceedings. *****Pete Bean and Louis Dugas head up the newly formed Southeast Texas Veterans Coalition. *****David Bernsen is our freshman state senator. Lolita Ramos is a member of his staff. *****The City of Bridge City hasn’t had an election since John Dubose became mayor. Time runs out for councilman Kirk Roccaforte and Moe Litton, Robert Harvey and Joe Raburn, who took over without opposition, will replace them. *****Sam and Jeff Hattman celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. *****J.P. Thibodeaux is owner of Orange Auto Center, the Oldsmobile and Cadillac dealership. Mike Collins, Sue’s boy, is general manager. *****Conner Matthew Guillotte celebrated a first birthday on March 12. Proud parents are Greg and Tanya Guillotte. (Editor’s note: Today that boy is a teenager by a couple of weeks.)

32 Years Ago-1979

Mauriceville Junior High basketball Panthers are district champs. Team players are Mark Jones, Jeff Britian, Robert Harper, Billy Dunn, Danny Caruline, Wayne Frederick, Grey Perry, Danny Pearcy, George Shannon, Adam Vincent, Quain Benoit, Kenny Russell, Keith Burton, James Rash, Robert Hindt, Roger Gaudet, and Blake Barilleaux. E.R. Procelle is Panther coach. (Editor’s note: They must have had three teams, they had plenty to choose from. I wonder how many of the junior high boys are still around. Not many I bet.)*****The Bridge City Community Center committee holds mock beauty pageant. “Miss LaDonna,” Don Breaux, won the “Battle of the Sexes.” “Miss Geraldine” was Curtis Lee and Charlie Johnson was “Miss Charming Charmaine.” and Tim Lieby was “Fanny Bar.” Those were top vote getters.


Euel Norwood, Mary West, Kenneth Kemp, Lance Eads, Corbin McLellan, Kurt Haggard, Chad Gearhart, Margaret Boehme, Margery Sargent, Natalie Sarvar, Renee Dillon, Tiffany Smith, Helen Clark, Cambree Williams, Grady Rawls, Forrest Wood, Hannah Drane, James Stone, Joseph Blanda, Matt Hanson, Louise Wood, Mary Ann Smith, Zara Killman, Brenda Edwards, Grant Kimbrough, Katie Birdwell, Mary Grimes, Matt Thompson, Scott Mangham, Warren Claybar, B.J. Walker, Mike Vincent, Karen Bozman, Mary Glazner, Joe Alford, Margie Fields, Marjorie Fields, Sherry Stevens, Billy LeLeux, Christy Day, Lou Hillard, Nancy Crew, Jordan Harper, Ruth Platt, Sarah Coffey, Dale Forse, Jane Scherer, Mike Roberts, Rayford Spurgeon, Jennifer Kreamer, Dorothy Keith, Jean Jackson, Lindsey Peoples, Rob Butler, Steve Holland, Annely Domas, Jason James, Katie May, Kaydee Wingate, Robert Clark Jr., Julie Norwood, Ivalyn Anderson and Julie Walker.


Longtime J.P., Pct. 3, employee Connie Burrow Garney has retired. She recently married and moved to the Houston area. She will be missed. Her position with Judge Janice has been filled by Penny Nguyen.*****We were pleased to visit with Clara Clary. She was dining at Robert’s with Marlene Merritt and Nancy White. She is the widow of the late Bob Clary. Two of the greatest people I’ve known. *****Hogan Steel and Erectors have been named Sportlight Business of the Month by the Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce. Join them at 2 p.m.,Thursday, at 603 Dayton St. in W. Orange. *****Special thanks to Mary and Ray Clayton, who operate Clayton’s Consignment on Texas Ave. In Bridge City. They sent Roy a photo taken many years ago of St. Mary Magdalene Church, the church he attended as a child. He treasures it. *****We were glad to hear that Gary’s Café will reopen in Bridge City on April 4. I always liked Gary’s breakfast any time of the day, also their chicken fried steak and big French fries are hard to beat. The same great food you get at Gary’s on IH-10. *****It’s time to break out the shorts. Great deals are going on at Burks Outlet in Orange. Springtime bargains for the entire family. *****Some special folks we know who are celebrating birthdays. Our buddy Johnny Dishon turned 22 Monday, March 21. It seems like yesterday he was a 15-year-old freshman. *** Our longtime friend girl, Louise Wood, celebrates this week. We celebrated together when she was 38 years younger. What a gal. ***Attorney Joe Alford, who we have known since he was a good size pup, celebrates this week. ***Euel Norwood, who we’ve known for over 40 years and are proud to call a friend, is a year older. ***Rev. Leo’s better half, Ivalyn Anderson, celebrates this week. This lady is a jewel. ***Warren Claybar celebrates also this week. We knew his granddad Lannie and his dad Brown when he was still in short pants. ***Celebrating also is Natalie Sarver, a great athlete. Happy birthday also to Grant Kimbrough. ***Some FaceBook friends marking birthdays: On March 23, Cliff Hargrave and Annette Payne*** March 24, Kayce Gunn and Becky Jones. ***March 29 will be the big celebration for Al Granger. He’ll probably figure how to use it for a sales promotion. Happy birthday to all. *****Jermaine Jackson plans a memoir to his famous brother titled, “You Are Not Alone Michael, Through a Brother’s Eyes.” The book will trace Michael’s rise to fame, his child molestation trial and his unexpected death in June 2009. *****Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, “True Blood,” have bought the rights to “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” written by Rebecca Skloot. It’s the story of an impoverished African-American woman who died in 1951 from cancer and whose cells have been used in countless medical advances. The movie rights will be made into an HBO production. *****John Grisham is about to release another young people’s book, “Theodore Boone; the Abduction,” which will hit stores June 7. It’s anything but a kid’s book. Theo, 13, tracks down his best friend April, who has been taken from her home in the middle of the night. Police suspect a shady relative but Theo uncovers the truth in true Grisham style. *****The City of Orange will have only one election, that is District 4, now held by incumbent Jimmy Sims. He is being challenged by Annette Ternell, a newcomer to politics. Only one box will be open located at West Orange-Stark Middle School on Green Avenue. Election Day is Saturday May 14. *****Just wondering, could Coach “Roc” be joining Billy Gillispie, new Texas Tech basketball coach?*****The “Points of Light” night, honoring President George H.W. Bush, was held Monday night at the Kennedy Center and will be televised next Monday, March 28, on NBC. The star-studded gala will feature three former presidents, Carter, Clinton, and Bush. Reba, Garth, Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Kid Rock will furnish entertainment. President H.W. Bush was the youngest combat pilot in World War II. The program will trace his life. Money raised will go for the “Points of Light Institute.”*****The Texas House takes up a bill requiring photo ID for most voters. GOP members have enough votes to rubber-stamp it. *****The NCAA tournament is down to “Sweet 16” to be played Thursday and Friday. In the East region Ohio State vs Kentucky and Marquette vs. UNC. ***In the West, Duke vs Arizona and Connecticut vs. S. D. State. ***Southwest Kansas vs Richmond; VCU vs Florida State.***In the Southeast, Butler vs Wisconsin and BYU vs. Florida. The “Elite 8” will be played Saturday and Sunday. The “Final Four” will be played at Reliant, on April 2-April 4. The financial impact to the Houston area will be as big as a Super Bowl. *****Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the big David Self Ford and Ford Motor Company’s “Drive One 4 UR School campaign. Your hometown Ford dealer and Ford is offering all Orange County schools a chance to raise $6,000 with the “Drive 4 UR School.” All schools will participate, Community Christian, Vidor, Orangefield, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Bridge City and West Orange-Stark. We hope to see many students there and wish all good luck on winning the $6,000.


On March 23, Jason Kidd will be 38; Chaka Khan, 58; Lori Petty, 48 and Keri Russell will be 35. ***Tommy Hilfiger will be 60 on March 24; Star Jones, 49; Peyton Manning, 35 and Chris Bosh, 27. ***On March 25, Aretha Franklin will be 62; Elton John, 64; Sarah Jessica Parker, 46; Juvenile, 36; Amy Smart, 35 and Katherine McPhee, 27. ***March 26, Kenny Chesney, 43; Jennifer Grey, 51; Leonard Nimoy, 80; Alan Arkin, 77; James Caan, 72, Steven Tyler, 63 and Diana Ross, 67. ***On March 27, Quentin Taratino, 48; Mariah Carey, 41 and Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson, 36. ***March 28, Vince Vaughn, 41; Reba McEntire, 56; Julia Stiles, 30; Elle MacPherson, 47; Lucy Lawless, 43 and Danny Kolb, 36.


Harry Comeaux, him, was married to Agnes Boudreaux. She was very homely her, but worse den dat, she nag and nag over everyting. One night, Agnes woke up and Harry was missing from da bed. Agnes got up an pass herself all over da house but she couldn’t find him. Den she heard sobbing coming from da outside porch. She pull da light chain and find Harry curl up in a ball crying uncontrollably.
“Harry, wat da hell wrong wit you, hanh?” Agnes wanted to know.
Between sobs Harry answer, “Agnes, you remember 20 years ago wen I got you pregnant me, and you papa told me, Harry you got two choices, marry Agnes or go to jail.”
“Yeah, I remember dat me,” Agnes say.
Harry took him a deep breath and say, “Well Agnes, tonight I would have been release and been a free man.”


We understand our friend Rosalie Clark came home Saturday from the hospital in Houston where she had her knee removed, spacers put in place and wrapped in a cast. In the next six weeks she should be getting a new knee. Eight weeks later, if all goes well, she will be ready to dance.*****I’ve known Donna Hinton Riley since she was a teenager working at P.S. Tire Supply as a DE student. This was before she was a Riley and before her long school district career. She’s now an administrative assistant with the Bridge City School District. I’m constantly amazed at her kindness and consideration, plus she was raised on the Penny Record and wouldn’t miss an issue. It’s required reading and she recommends it to others. “Wat a gal.”*****Don’t forget the big “Art in the Park” this weekend. If you have never been, you’re missing a great time, great art and some great buys.*****Please read us cover to cover, shop our family of advertisers and recommend us to those advertisers who haven’t taken advantage of The Record. We’re read in every home, on every block and are 45,000 readers strong. Thanks for your time. Take care and God bless.