For several months, in fact all summer, I’ve been trying to get away for my annual trip to Buna. For 40 years I’ve taken a day off and went to see what, if any, changes have taken place. I usually make the round, Gist, Evadale, Bugs Scuffle, down to Cow Creek. It had been a tough summer. While folks took nice vacations I was tied down here. So early Saturday morning, before the sun came up, I headed down Hwy. 62. With the coming of daylight I could see that some trees were stressed. It was a beautiful large, orange sunrise. The difference I find, over the last 40 years, is that country people don’t rise as early as they once did. They must have been sleeping in this Saturday morning. Not much to do in Buna before 7 a.m. I tried to find a restaurant for a good country breakfast. I later learned I didn’t go down far enough on Hwy. 96. *** Speaking of Hwy. 96, the David Self folks have moved their big Tractor City to the old Ford site once owned by Dr. Mark Messer. At 8 a.m., I met with George Holder, a big country boy out of Kirbyville, who is the “Tractor Master” for David Self. George knows tractors. It’s not the same old business it once was. George can match you up with just the right size tractor and equipment you need and wrap it up in one package. No waste of money on features you don’t need. George explains that he can customize a rig just for you, large, small or in between, plus, with a little down they arrange the financing. A person could waste money on stuff they don’t need so visit with George before you purchase. If he doesn’t have just what you need he will advise you. By the way, he makes good coffee. *** I traveled the circle on my trip, stopped by “Catfish” Miller’s. His wife Judy said he and his son-in-law Todd had gone to bring feed to the deer lease. According to Johnny Montagne, he and Blaze went to the lease and there is not a blade of grass anywhere. The deer are eating mesquite leaves and beans. Speaking of Johnny, he was gathering up a load of stuff for the burned out folks near Bastrop. Working with Winfree Baptist, they left with loads Tuesday. *** Anyway, back to my trip, I made the big circle, the creeks were dry, 32 inches of rainfall below normal. I’ve made better trips but at least I got to go on vacation. I’m going back to see George. I liked that little 28-hp rig. I’ve got to move on. Not much to report this week but come along, it won’t do you no harm.


There is something wrong with you if you were not impressed and touched by the ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. A resilient nation reflected on its losses. Grieving families joined leaders past and present to pay homage to those lives that ended so violently in New York, The Pentagon and Pennsylvania. Bells rang across the land, millions gathered in churches to remember, question, pray and hope. I was touched by the appearance at Shanksville of President George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton and Vice-president Joe Biden. President Obama quietly made all three sights but it was Vice President Biden who carried the day. “Never before in our history has America asked so much, over such a sustained period, of an all volunteer force,” Biden said. What came to my mind as I watched the day’s events was how all this tragedy was implemented by one mind, using only 19 suicide volunteers. Osama bin Laden,an engineer, had plotted the destruction that changed our lives forever. We will not soon recover from not only the loss of life but from the financial burden that has been placed on our country. The killing of Bin Laden, ordered by the President of the United States, served as a closure. The rat is dead. It’s amazing that so little is mentioned about the killing of the worse enemy we have ever had. I’m from the World War II generation, I can’t help but think how big a story it would have been if we had looked for Hitler for 10 years and finally found and killed him. It just seems to me that as big and successful the hunting down and killing of Bin Laden was, something that will go down as a great triumph for our nation, where we don’t rest until we avenge those who do us wrong, for some reason this great accomplishment has been swept under the rug. Why is that?

13 Years Ago-1998

Tropical storm Frances will long be remembered in Orange County as the storm that never hit but wouldn’t go away. According to drainage district manager Ron Sigler, all major drainage arteries are filled and backing up. Orange County got 16-inches of rain despite Frances making landfall 300 miles away at Port O’Connor. Twenty inches of rain to the north will also dump on us. Cow Bayou, normally 30 to 40 feet wide at the county line, is 600 feet wide. Prisoners have filled over 10,000 sandbags and according to Judge Carl Thibodeax the bags are available to the citizens. *****Johnny Montagne bash for Darlene’s birthday, Sept 17, has been moved to the Jewel Cormier Park due to Cow Bayou being out of its banks. *****Joey and Ramona Hargrave are going to have a little one. Joey has been playing dad to many youngsters after thinking he would never have children of his own. He finally figured out how it was done. *****Dr. Chuck and Joann Majors are also expecting a baby boy in February. *****Dr. David and Barbara Olsen were shooting a video to send to Fred Gregory who is in Houston taking daily cancer treatments. *****Shorty Taylor would be 90 years old. I still miss him. *****Tiffany Sanders will celebrate her fourth birthday Sept. 19. *****Funeral services were held for Rev. Ed Robinson, 61. He died on Sept. 9 at St. Elizabeth. The former Bridge City pastor had lived in Jasper for the last eight years. He was also a former Channel 4, KJAC News anchorman. *****The Bridge City Cardinals storm Kelly 35-7 in a really hog wild game. Fullback Daniel Kibodeaux toted the mail for Les Johnson’s Cards, 33 totes for 169 yards. Out of the Wing-T, the Cards ran 74 ground plays. *****The Orangefield Bobcats defeated East Chambers 34-6. Running back Beaux Deville and quarterback Gary Naquin ran up 409 total yards, Danville 166 yards. *****A former Mississippi cotton picker Bill Kiinhl has been hired as part time code enforcement officer for Bridge City.

33 Years Ago-1978

Sue Pate is unanimously elected committeewoman to the State Democratic Executive Committee. Essie Bellfield was chosen alternate committeewoman to the national convention. *****Jeannie Fusilier turns 18 years old. *****Mel Kemp becomes Mrs. Joey Campbell. *****Suzanne Halliburton is covering Little Cypress-Mauriceville sports for the Dunn family newspapers. *****The Bridge City EMS ambulance service is now in full 24-hour operation. It’s the only city owned ambulance service in the Golden Triangle. Volunteer staffers are James Rucker, Debbie Perry, Betty Frederick, Jane Kovatch, Pam Wells, Penny Mullins, Mike Faulk, Jim Nuber, Rickey Land, Perry Silkwood, Doug  Boeham, Steve Baker, Randy Rucker, Jeannene Bean, Paul Dodd, Richard Solomon, Woody Dorman, Don Breaux, Carl Leblanc, Tommy Downey and Laurie Vice. (Editor’s note: I recall a lot of those good folks and am sorry not many are still around.)


Gene Elkins, James E. Braus, Justin Granger, Kim Norris, Morgan Milligan, Nikki Wingate, Pamela Vaught, Pat Tilley, Randy Jones, Betty Fuss, Bo Dilbert, Gene Donahey, Greg Choate, Janis Leyendecker, Jon Berry, Colton Coleman, Huey Schrieber, Madison Lewis, Valgene Donahey, Ginger Ellis, Harold Tally, Nick Heil, Shonna Hunt, Talmadge Hutchison, James McQueen, David Cupp, Ian Putman, Phyllis Dunn, Stephanie Morris, Todd Estes, Valerie Gilbeaux, Mark Conner, O’Shanique Foster, Tommy Purdy, Landin New, Linda Schulz, Delana Huebel, Lynda Stout, Kevin Chambless, Mark Anderson, Chase Burch, Ben Ludwig, Debra Gauthier, Kaleb Swarers, Melodi Nugent, Helen Peddy, Joey Tutt, Joy Evans, Kara Killman, Melanie Cottom, Mark Milligan, Mike Zenos, Sue Plagens, Cecil Byers, Dreaux Minchew, George Navarro, Jimmy Prewitt, Leslie Sparks, David Yeats, Colby Gonzales, Matthew Carter, Michael Wuske, Michelle Jaarah, Rita Morris, Susan Pennington, Caitlin Ziller, Gary McAllister, Jan Thurman, John Clark and Lucille Powell.


The Bridge City Heritage Festival will hold a coloring contest for Orange County youngsters from kindergarten to eighth grade. Check page 2A in The Penny Record or The County Record for details. Get the kids to coloring. Pictures must be turned in at Kid’s Castle by Sept. 28. The inaugural festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1. The event will feature carnival rides, live entertainment, arcade games, art and crafts and plenty of good food. Proceeds will go toward the future Bridge City Waterfront Park. *****NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, 64, chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of her own show on MSNBC, announced at the end of the show Wednesday that she has breast cancer. The well known, popular reporter is married to Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve System. *****Some special folks we known celebrating their special day this week. Faydra Thibeaux, who has been our friend for many years, is a year older on Sept. 14. ***Our longtime friend Cathy Garretson turns another peg on Sept. 15. ***These next two birthdays have turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Roy Dunn and Johnny Montange. Can you imagine what losers they might have been without their brides. Ms Phyl celebrates Sept. 16 and the next day, Sept. 17, Darlene Montagne marks her special day. ***Mark Anderson is older on Sept. 17 and George Navarro, a boy I knew when he was in diapers, celebrates Sept. 16. *****Mel and Joey Campbell celebrate their 33nr anniversary and also Percy and “Tino” Bordelon mark another anniversary, number 67, on Friday, Sept. 16. *****Matt and Melissa Bryant are the proud parents of twins, adding to the Bridge City Bryant clan. The twins, William Triton weighed four pounds, seven ounces and Isabella Tristan weighted in at three pounds, seven ounces. Melissa and the kids are doing well but remain under care. Meanwhile, dad went to work Sunday and kicked two field goals for the Falcons in a losing effort. In 2008, the Bryant’s lost three-month-old Matthew Tyson to sudden infant death syndrome. *****Speaking of new babies, Pattie Hanks is a grandma again. Daughter Jami and Joel are the new parents of Blaelyn Zion Scott, born at St. Mary’s in Port Arthur. We understand Pattie flew in from Vegas to see her latest. *****We were sorry to hear that Larry Moreland has been hospitalized at St. E. with heart problems. Virgie is by his side. Last we heard he was very ill. *****We also hear from friends in West Orange that longtime deputy constable Bobby Taylor has been taking treatments at M.D. Anderson. Bobby is a good guy. Our prayers go out to him. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and back to Novrozsky’s next week. Everyone is welcome. Before long the Lunch bunch will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with a big gathering, photos, etc.*****I understand out buddy Mary Alice Hartsfield is pinch-hitting over at the VA this week. *****Doug Harrington is due to start taking treatments in Houston this week. The slab for their new home in Spring, Texas has been laid but for the next few weeks, while he takes treatments, they will be living in a motel.*****Boy, I hate what’s happening to the Dallas Cowboys. I always took pride in their being “America’s Team” but I’m afraid too many things have gone wrong over the years. I’ve lost confidence that Dallas can win with Romo. *****Quarterback Garrett Gilbert, at the University of Texas, has been demoted to third team. He will become another Major Applewhite. He might as well be looking for another home. McCoy, for better or worse, is the future of the Longhorns. It’s just a good story; time repeats itself, Shipley and McCoy.


On Sept. 14, Sam Neill will be 64 and Walter Koenig, 75. ***Tommy Lee Jones will be 65 on Sept. 15; Dan Marino, 50 and Prince Harry, 27. ***B.B. King will be 86 on Sept. 16; Ed Begley Jr., 62; David Copperfield, 55; Mickey Rourke, 55; Marc Anthony, 43; Nicholas Jerry Jonas, 19 and Jennifer Tilly, 53. ***Jimmie Johnson will be 36 on Sept. 17 and Baz Luhrmann. 49. ***On Sept. 18, James Gandolfini will be 50; Jada Pinkett Smith, 40; Lance Armstrong, 40 and James Marsden, 38. ***Trisha Yearwood will be 47 on Sept. 19; Jimmy Fallon, 37 and Gary Cole, 55.


Theophile Gaspard showed up at the pool hall sporting two black eye.
“Mais, what happened to you?” Tee-Neg asked.
“Well, you know how Camilla has been trying to get me to go to mass wit’ her. I went, me. Boy, Tee-Neg, dat is a dangerous place, yeah.
“I was sitting in de pew and dere was dis big fat lady sittin’ in front of us and when she got up from kneelin’ down, her dress, it was caught in her butt. You know, like de cow eatin’ de cabbage. Well, me, I help her. I pull it out.”
“Man, dat lady turn aroun’ and ka-pow, she hit me hard right in my eye.”
“So how you get de other black eye?” asked Tee-Neg.
And Theophile say, “Well, me, I figure she don’t want it out, so I push it back in like it was.”


As I come to the end of this column, it’s Sept. 13. Only three years ago on this date Hurricane Ike came blowing in and brought the worse water surge we have ever witnessed. Those of us who had not evacuated were stranded in Bridge City, cut off from the mainland for days. It’s amazing today to see a town that wouldn’t die. Improvements, new schools, new businesses, new homes and new streets are making a good community better. Many of the old residents have moved away but now younger families are moving in. It’s been three years without even a bad rainstorm. Chances are that some day we will be hit by another hurricane but probably never again with a surge like Ike’s. *****President Obama has put a plan together, “The American Jobs Act” that would start to give relief to the unemployed who are hurting. The obstructionists don’t want the economy fixed before the next election. Here’s the problem, the old Republican Party, the disciples of Dick Cheney, drove the truck in the ditch. Their failed policies caused all the unemployment and financial burdens we now face. They are now demanding President Obama’s administration pull the truck out of the ditch without their help. Meanwhile the Tea Party’s new congress says, “Look, we didn’t drive the truck in the ditch, you older GOP guys did. We won’t help get the truck out of the ditch but we want it out and out now. So there you go. I’ll bet that before next year the “Tea Party” will be the most unpopular group in the country if they don’t help to create jobs and get the truck out of the ditch. *****On the GOP debates, the longer it goes the more of Rick Perry’s onion will be stripped away. Who won the debate? Probably the guy who wasn’t there. He still seems the most presidential. *****Oh well, my time is up. Please read us cover to cover and shop our advertisers. Take care and God bless.