Four astronauts said goodbye to the international space station, undocking the space shuttle Atlantis for the final time. They also said farewell to their six space station crew. The return home landing is scheduled for Thursday morning at Kennedy Space Center where Atlantis will be displayed. One of the many experiments is filters designed to convert sweat and urine into drinking water, adding to the space station’s plumbing. So ends a chapter in space travel. A successor to the space shuttle is anticipated after 2015. Flights will someday be available to everyone who can afford them.*****Meanwhile here at home, we finally got that much needed rain. In the first six months of the year we had received only two inches of rain. Tuesday morning we got our best rain to date, about two inches. In all we have gotten five inches of rain this year. The burn ban is lifted due to the rain but it came much too late to save gardens, plants, shrubs and some trees.*****I haven’t heard from Tommy and Sue Simar who grow the world’s best figs. I don’t know if the drought got the figs, probably did. I’ve got to get going, come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire starts to crumble. Until the phone hacking scandal broke, Murdoch had a stranglehold on both England and the United States. His powerful network in the U.S. welds a lot of power. FOX News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, Rush Limbaugh, etc. are able to sell Murdoch’s point of view. He could make or break politicians. Puppets like Hannity, Limbaugh and others, on a daily basis, were able to sell his propaganda. He almost totally controlled the U.K. and has made a lot of political hay in the U.S. In England he had his hooks on Scotland Yard and deep into the government. In the U.S. he employs Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt and other powerful folks. He’s more far-reaching in our country than we may want to believe. He may be headed to a train wreck in the USA as the scandal unfolds. It will be interesting to see how Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and the others spin it. Britain’s Watergate could have a big spillover when Murdoch’s political trust goes down the drain. The world’s largest media empire has seen better days.


We were sorry to hear about the death of Bobby Joe “Willie” Williamson, 61, of Bridge City. He passed away July 17. Services held Wednesday, July 20, 2 p.m. at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. He was a city employee for many years. To his wife Julie and the entire family, we send our deepest sympathies. Please see obits.

12 Years Ago-1999

John Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn Bassette Kennedy and her sister, Lauren Bassette, met their tragic death while headed to the wedding of Robert Kennedy’s daughter Rory. A piper 32 Saratoga, piloted by JFK Jr., disappeared on its way up the eastern seaboard Friday, July 16, all aboard died. It is only the latest tragedy in a string of unimaginable bad luck that has befallen the Kennedy’s. Their plane crashed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. John Jr. was 38-years-old. He was born just 17 days after his father’s election as United States president. He made the halls of the White House his private play space until an assassin’s bullet in Dallas felled the President. On Jr.’s third birthday, in 1963, the nation watched as he saluted the flag-draped coffin holding his father’s body. His mother Jacqueline moved the family to Manhattan after the assassination. Young Kennedy came of age in the Big Apple. John Jr. had launched “George” magazine, which became the most widely circulated political magazine in the nation. When his sister Caroline married Edwin Schlossberg he served as best man. Today Caroline is the only family survivor. *****The Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo will be dedicated to the memory of Albert “Cowboy” Adams. “Cowboy” born Nov. 17, 1920 passed away Aug. 29, 1998 after a long battle with cancer. He was a charter member of the posse. Never had so many pickup trucks and big hats attended a funeral at Claybar Funeral Home. His saddle was used as a casket piece. (Editor’s note: I was fortunate enough to had known this remarkable man and his wonderful family. His wife, Ms. Marcelle, is a former Orange County commissioner. “Cowboy” knew everyone in the county. Hundreds of stories can be told about this unique guy. One I recall was when Homer Will was robbed near the railroad tracks and the robber jumped on the stopped train. “Cowboy” took out his shotgun and wouldn’t let the engineer leave until they caught the robber. This colorful guy lives in the memory of everyone who knew him. Ms. Adams still lives here and her daughter, Theresa Beauchamp, is on the Orange city council.*****Mark Dunn is bringing Bridge City, Texas around the world; articles he has written on the Irish conflict have been printed twice in USA Today and also in some of the nation’s largest newspapers and newspapers in England, as well as Ireland. The stories published always carried the name of his hometown. (Editor’s note: Mark, a very talented writer, has in the last few years concentrated mainly on photography for The Record publications.)*****Toby Smith, son of Willie Ray Smith and Bubba Smith’s brother, died July 17 of a heart attack. He and Bubba played in the NFL.*****Nolan Ryan is voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.*****Strange as it sounds, Kenneth Starr and Janet Reno share the same birthday, July 21. In 1999 he turns 53 and she is 61. (Editor’s note: Many may not know who the above are but President Bill Clinton does. Starr spent $50 million trying to destroy him and Reno was his Attorney General.)

32 Years Ago-1979

Orange mayor Major Inman completed his first year in office. David Claybar is on the city council.*****Judge Pat Clark and Johnny McHugh are named “Outstanding Young Men of America.” Clark is County Court at Law judge. McHugh received his doctorate at U.T. Medical Branch in Galveston. (Editor’s note: I don’t know what became of Johnny but Pat hasn’t traveled very far. Yep! He’s county Court at Law judge. Where he’s been all these years? You would think an “Outstanding Young Man” would have climbed the ladder. Peck says he went up then slid down again.)

37 Years Ago-1974

Longtime friend and cohort Jake Johnson turned on indicted Gov. John Connally. Both worked for LBJ. Jake flipped Connally to gain immunity.*****Dr. John Greco runs as Republican against Grover Halliburton for county judge.*****The first article of impeachment is issued against President Richard Nixon. Everyone is watching the House Judiciary hearings on television.*****Spotted partying in New Orleans French Quarters were the Buddie Hahns’, H.D. Pate’s, Roy Dunn’s and V.J. Zeto’s.*****Cecil Ray Broun is killed in an auto accident, July 23, on Jack Island Road.*****Louvenia Hryhrochuk is County Tax Collector.*****James “Stick” Stringer is Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1.*****Kay and Joe Dan Harris are the new parents of their third boy in a row, born July 20, 1974. (Editor’s note: Kay is the daughter of the late Inez and Joe Runnels. Her little brother is Judge Pete and big sister is Barbara Maddox.)


Amanda Stephson, Linda Fulton, Lee Cooper, Kenyettia Foster, Megan Stephson, Rebecca Toal, Summer Stephson, J.D. McReynolds, Zadie Chesson, Tina Lawrence, Amiel Leleux, Danika Dubose, Joel Bourdier, Von Broussard, Patricia Tamplim, Rocky DeCuir, Jeff Anderson, Keazie Cappel, Lois Dickey, Charlie Caples, Jeff Longlois, Paige Dohmann, Travis Estes, Albert Bates, Daniel Peet, Jim Reves, Linda Brinson, Ralph Rucker, Renee Newson, James Rucker, Judy Batchelor, Lee Harris, Madge Fontenot, Marie Burns, Marsha Brown, Misty Cappel, Mutt Eason, Ryan Kimbrough, Bobby Batchelor, Evelyn Toney, Allison LeLeux, Larry Wingate and Laura Berman.


Congrats to Clint Hartsfield, Bridge City grad, on becoming Athletic Director and head football coach at Kelly. He will replace coach Long who resigned. Clint still has to fill the head baseball coaching position. Another Bridge City boy, Billy Bryant has applied for the job. Hartsfield is the son of recently retired Orange County tax employee, Mary Alice Heartsfield, who is pinch-hitting for the time being at the V.A. office. Clint is the grandson of Don and Alice Cole. We wish this young man success and a long run at Kelly.*****Coleman Peveto and Ray Cotton are excited about their Ultimate Bull Riding Challenge Saturday, July 23. They will also present a unique Longhorn cattle drive. Some from our staff will attend. It’s the only show of its kind in the south, featuring only bull riding with great cowboys. See you at the Bull Riding.*****Journalist Leo Honeycutt has published the Gov. Edwin Edward’s biography. It covers 50 years of power and key events in the life of this colorful governor. A great read. You can get the book on line at  *****Our new congressional district will include counties of Orange, Newton, Jasper, Tyler, Hardin, Polk, Liberty, Chambers and a few Republican boxes in Harris County. The powers in Austin chose not to put Jefferson and Orange in the same voting block. It would have been simpler to add only Newton and Jasper. Kevin Brady will no longer represent our district.*****For the first time in quite a long time, all of the Dunn’s gathered in Bridge City at the home of Roy and Phyllis Dunn. The Dunn’s have three children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and it was quite a feat getting them all in Texas at the same time.*****Special folks celebrating their special day in the next week.*** Five great ladies mark birthdays, Margie Hatton, I believe will be 92. I think Ms. Margie is now living with her daughter in Arkansas.***Two across-the-street neighbors and beautiful ladies Julia Morris and Mary Ann Cruse celebrate on July 25 and July 24.*** Teresa Broussard Crout turns 74 and Paige Williams turned 50 today (Wednesday)***A special sweetheart Margie Stephens marks another birthday on the 24.***Linda Granger Crawford, George’s wife and one of “Tick’s” pretty girls celebrates on July 22.***Our longtime buddy Jeff Anderson climbs another notch on July 22. ***Our “Gooder’n Syrup” writer, Von Broussard, celebrates on July 21.*****FaceBook friends having birthdays this week are, on July 20, Andi Peveto-Rodngue, Morgan Dupuis and John Callahan; July 21, Chris LeLeux, Amanda Jo Stephson, Sandra Bickham, Summer Barnes and Tiffany Bull; July 22, Christine Wheatley, Andrew Sutton; July 23, Thersia Keaton and on July 26, Bonnie Minor. Happy birthday to all.***Remembering Papa Ernest Hemingway who would be 112 on July 21. Three days before his 62nd birthday, he put a pistol to his head and pulled the trigger. What a talent for writing, living, drinking and loving.***We also remember a great friend, Cal Broussard, who died July 21, 2009 at age 71. We who knew and loved him miss him daily.*****A large group attended last week’s Wednesday Lunch Bunch dinner at Novrozsky’s. Justice of the Peace Judges Janice, Derry, even Judge Rodney who came in from Vidor. Sitting next to Judge Peck was a long-legged beauty that folks thought was his granddaughter. It turned out the lovely young lady is Latoya, judge Courtney’s court administrator. She is the daughter of Tina Levrett, election administrator. Constables Mark Philpott and Chris Humble, with Sheriff Merritt maintained the law. It’s always a great outing. Everyone is welcome, no speeches and good fellowship. This week the Bunch will meet 12 noon at Robert’s Restaurant.*****Over the years, newspapers pay less and less attention to proof reading. Here’s just a few headline examples. “Panda mating fails, veterinarian takes over.” “Local high school dropouts cut in half.” “Juvenile court to try shooting defendant.” “Couple slain, police suspect homicide.” “Man struck by lightning faces battery charge.” “Tornado rips through cemetery, many dead.” “New York police begin campaign to run down jay walkers.”*****Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst expected to announce that he will run for U.S. senate seat. He’s no Kay Bailey. *****About a year ago, in this column, I wrote that the Tea Party would end up being the Republican Party’s albatross. Even though the GOP controls the congress, they haven’t been able to accomplish anything because of the 87 extremist freshmen representatives. They have yet to pass a bill. They haven’t helped move the country farward, just put up roadblocks. As far as the debt ceiling goes, President Reagan raised it 17 times. He also raised taxes 11 times. All done through compromise. The debt ceiling that’s being kicked around now belongs to President Bush. It’s old debt. I don’t believe some people understand that because there is so much spin. If our government defaults you can throw away your 401 K’s, they won’t be worth much. The freshmen are holding a gun to speaker Boehner’s head and that’s the albatross I talked about a year ago.*****One of my favorite television news people is Norah O’Donnell, very pretty, great personality. I watched her on MSNBC and also Morning Joe. She has left that network and is now with Scott Pelly on the CBS Evening News as White House correspondent.*****Gold prices have vaulted past $1,600 an ounce, driven by worries about the debt limit and problems in Europe. A good time to sell. Prices may rise some more but be careful if you buy. The bottom could fall out at anytime and you can be left holding the bag.*****Halliburton made a net $739 million on oil exploration in the second quarter. Over the last two years $5.94 billion was made. The oil boom continues to raise oil company profits. Meanwhile, consumers pay through the nose at the pump.


On July 20, Carlos Santana will be 64; Josh Holloway, 42; Judy Greer, 36; Gisele Bndchen, 31 and Elliott Yamin, 33.***Robin Williams will be 59 on July 21 and Josh Hartnett, 33.***On July 22, Danny Glover will be 65; Willem Dafoe, 56; David Spade, 47 and Selena Gomez, 19.***Woody Harrelson will be 48 on July 23; Slash, 46; Alison Krauss, 40; Monica Lewinsky, 38 and Daniel Radcliffe, 22.***July 24, Lynda Carter, 60; Jennifer Lopez, 42 and Anna Paquin, 29.***Matt LeBlanc will be 44 on July 25 and Brad Renfro, 29.***Mick Jagger will be 68 on July 26; Henel Mirren, 66; Sandra Bullock, 47 and Kevin Spacey, 52.


Vernon Gaspard and his friend Wallace Comeaux were drinking a couple of Buds at Tee-
Boy’s Bar when Gaspard says to Comeaux, “You know Wallace, I’m tired of going thru life me witout an education. Tomorrow I’m going to bring myself to dat community college an sign up for some courses.”
Comeaux say, “Mais Vernon, dat’s a good idea.”
Da next day da Dean signs Gaspard up for matt, English, history and logic.
Gaspard axe, “Logic? Wats dat hanh?”
Da Dean say, “I’ll give you an example. Do you own a weedeater?”
Gaspard say, “I sho do.”
“Den logically speaking, you own a Weedeater, I tink you have a yard.”
“Dat’s right, I got a yard,” Gaspard answer.
The Dean say, “I tink logically that you have a house and a family.”
“Mais. Dats right, I got a family,” Gaspard answers.
Da Dean say, “I’m not done yet, if you have a family, you must have a wife, because you have a wife, you must be heterosexual,”
Gaspard say, “Dats amazing, you find all dat out just because I got a weekeater.”
He rushes to do bar to tell Comeaux. “I sign up for four classes me, matt, English, history and logic.”
Comeaux say, “Logic, mais wat’s dat?”
Gaspard say, “Well Wallace, I’ll give you an example. Do you got a weedeater?”
Comeax say, “I don’t got a weedeater me.”
Gaspard scratch his head and say, “Den you a homosexual.”


I couldn’t end this column without commenting on the current status of our governor, Rick Perry, and the lay of the land on a presidential bid. Perry claims he’s been called, “I truly believe God has put me in this place, at this time, to do His will.” He also claims to have been called to the ministry at age 27. I hear a little different about those early days as a Democratic State Representative. Maybe in his calls he also heard the sound of money. Palin perfected the game. Sometime Rick wears his faith like a bumper sticker. Remember when he said the Gulf oil spill was “An act of God.” I’m not sure about his connection with the Lord. He prayed for rain and we got the worse drought in our history. He opposes health care reform act yet he made scanograms  for women an emergency bill. He had his group vote to micro-manage women’s wombs. Is Perry running for president? I doubt it. He wants to expand his pulpit and hopes that vice-president is in his future. His religious overtones might get him a seat at the table. Coming up is a big prayer crusade at Reliant. All governors are avoiding it but preacher Rick will pack the joint.*****Just for the record, in case you believe this is the first time ever the debt ceiling has to be raised, since 1980, the debt ceiling has been raised 39 times. Reagan raised it 17 times, Bush, eight, Clinton, four, G.W. Bush, seven and Obama, three. Democrats have raised the ceiling seven times, Republicans 32 times. In the history of the United States it’s never failed to be raised. It’s paying the outstanding bills. Now it’s being held hostage by political posturing. I look for a break to come from the ‘gang of six’ that brings the parties together but the radicals could still hang up the debt ceiling.*****I’ve gotta get out of here. Thanks so much for your time. Remember the views expressed by me and the Creaux are our own. Thank God for the rain. Take care and God bless.