Filing for local offices ends Thursday, Dec. 15. I’ll wait on all the cards to be dealt before commenting. I learned however, that Judge Pat Clark was not going to run for the County Court at Law seat. I can hardly remember when Pat wasn’t a judge. He’s a darn good one and his leaving the bench is one heck of a big loss. More next week. Meanwhile, the United States Supreme Court granted a request by Texas attorney general Greg Abbott to block the use of interim maps, drawn by three San Antonio judges. This uncertainty leaves candidates, in state and congressional districts, uncertain of where and when. The Supreme Court order instructed litigants to prepare for oral arguments on Jan. 9. On another front, a panel of federal judges in Washington will hold a trial Jan. 17 to Jan. 26 to determine whether the legislative and congressional maps drawn by the Republican Texas lawmakers comply with the Voting Rights Act. For now, we will continue to be represented by Mike Hamilton and Joe Deshotel in the House and Kevin Brady in Congress. At least we know those guys and what we’ve got. Hamilton has spent money on big billboards and such in East Texas. For now it looks like he won’t run there. You’re smarter than me if you can figure it all out. If they hadn’t gerrymandered to their advantage all of this confusion wouldn’t be necessary. Remember Florida? Well again the Supreme Court gets involved in a political issue. The long and divisive Iraqi War of choice as promised comes to an end Dec. 31. President Obama declared Monday, “Those days are over. U.S. troops leave Iraq with honor.” Nearly 5,000 U.S. youngsters were killed and over a trillion dollars spent since the invasion of Iraq nine years ago. *****I have a long way to go and for some reason, I’m going slow. Climb on board and come along, there’s something for everyone and it won’t do you no harm.


I’ve watched way too much football so Saturday night I watched the Iowa Republican debate. The candidate that is more presidential and has a better record without spending a lifetime at the public trough wasn’t invited to debate. Jon Huntsman became governor of Utah, took it when it was down and turned it around. No other candidate comes close to matching up. Huntsman is a world traveled industrial businessman who speaks three languages including Chinese. I don’t agree with some of his ideas but he would make the best president out of the bunch who debated. I believe Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann are more sincere with a genuine wish to serve. I also believe, along with Rick Perry, they would like to be invited to be vice-president on any ticket. The two sincere candidates have more knowledge than the others with the exception of Gingrich. Mitt Romney is being viewed as a moderate, which would serve him well in the general election but with the radical right Tea Party, he’s going to have a hard time getting the nomination. If you remember the corruption in the Bush/Cheney years, Ken Lay, Madoff, Enron and all the others, you ain’t seen nothing yet. If Newt were to be elected, he would make Cheney look like a choirboy. I didn’t learn much from the debate however. I must have been working too much and need a rest. I’m starting to agree with Ron Paul, especially on Civil Liberties. For 30 years “Big Brother” has been encroaching on our rights. On the rest Paul is too far back in the 1800’s for me. The candidates never gave any solutions, just bashed Obama on many issues that weren’t his doing. They are betting the voters have forgotten who drove the bus into the ditch and who won’t help get it out. The goal of most right-wingers is to beat Obama at any cost. They won’t put their shoulders to the wheel now.


On Dec. 2, 2011, Jim Holmes, a WWII veteran, died at the age of 96, in Tyler, Texas. He lived alone. For many years he ran a successful used car business in Orange. He moved away to be near his only daughter Judy and her family. During WWII, he served in the Army Air Corps as a crew chief on a B-24 bomber. His plane was shot down over Poland. He was captured and became a German war prisoner. While in prison, he kept a diary, written on paper from inside cigarette packs. He wrote until his pencil got down to only an inch long. He bound his pages inside heavy cardboard covers tied with wire. The Germans took everything from him but missed the books. In the 1970’s, the Opportunity Valley Newspaper published the entire set of volumes depicting the hard life Holmes had endured as a war prisoner. Services were held for this hero in Tyler on Dec. 6, 2011. Our condolences to his family and the many friends he made in Orange during his 46 years in business here.

Eight Years Ago-2003

Bridge City Chamber names longtime conservationist Sue Bailey as “Citizen of the Year.”*****Saddam Hussein captured on Saturday, Dec. 13, in Iraq. He was hiding in a hole under a floor in a shack. *****Chris Wallace, son of longtime CBS reporter Mike Wallace, has left ABC to join FOX News Sunday Show. *****Orange native, Wade Phillips, is named interim head coach of the Atlanta Falcons after the release of coach Dan Reeves. *****Another Orange Countian, place kicker Matt Bryant, with New York, tackled a New Orleans Saint on a kickoff return to save a touchdown. That was kickoff tackle number four for Matt.*****Ruth Kiihnl, 76, passed away Dec. 9. She was the wife of Bill, mother of sons George and Ogden, daughters Sandra Cook and Kim Davis. Twenty-one police, county and state trooper vehicles escorted the funeral possession. Kim is the wife of Capt. Paul Davis with DPS. (Editor’s note: Paul is now Bridge City chief of police.)*****Oklahoma quarterback Jason White gets the Heisman Trophy award. He beat out Pittsburgh receiver, Larry Fitzgerald and Mississippi quarterback, Eli Manning.*****Betty Lou Womack celebrates a birthday in a few days.*****Doug Harrington is bringing back his Christmas Eve tradition where a group of friends gather to eat a gallon of raw oysters. Doug celebrated his 65th birthday Dec. 15. (Editor’s note: That means this year is 73. Doug has been battling health problems but is winning, thank God.*****Parker “P.T.” Thompson, constable of Pct. 2, is running for reelection. He has been constable seven years and has served with three different Justices of the Peace in Pct. 2.*****Derek Bufford, age 13, wins a third consecutive “Silver Gloves” state boxing championship. He is a Little Cypress-Mauriceville eighth grader.

33 Years Ago-1978

Some of the folks spotted at the Jack Tar Sugar and Spice coffee ship were Judge Sid Caillavet, Judge James Neff, Mead Graves, Father Joe Berberich, Henry Stanfield, Joe Blanda, Ovie Harmon, Tony Giarratano, Rev. W.W. Kennedy, Jimmy Conn, Joe Runnels, Chip Trahan, Sheriff Chester Holts, Joe Burke, Bill Stringer and Cecil Beeson. (Editor’s note: Those good and colorful men were some of the greatest characters I’ve ever known.)*****The smell of fresh roasted peanuts comes from Farmer’s Mercantile. It’s an annual cold weather tradition Gus Harris keeps a pan of peanuts roasting on the stove and invites anyone to grab up a handful.*****St. Mary Catholic Church float was awarded first place at the annual Jaycee Christmas Parade.


Keri Michutka, Ronald Escamilla, Kandy Sartin, Tim Fix, Danny Blacksher, Danny Prosperie, Dorothy Jenkins, Doug Harrington, Hannah Carpenter, Ken Pittman, Amanda Webb, Linda Easley, Imogene Bland, Jeff Harrington, Ken Pittman, Maac Hughes, Melanie Richter, Shirley Roccaforte, Alex Harner, Belinda Broom, Brent Burris, Craig Reynolds, Dale Armand, Kitty Martin, James Brabham, Michelle Gephart, Bobby Adaway, Elizabeth Uzzle, Michael Terry, Natalie Nimitz, Beatrice Cortez, Jeremie Delano, Nathan Applebach, Betty Lou Womack, Brown Claybar, Chris Chambless, Martha Taylor, Mandy Hoffman, Tracey Lynn Broussard, Webster Trahan, Daniel Brocklehurst, Dyann Schiler, Gloria Brown, Jill Vaughn, Julia Alleman, Dan Brocklehurst, Ellisia Smith, Christina Carpenter, Marcu McLellan, Mitch Hidalgo, Raymond Hughes, Ruth Fournier, Bill Cardner, Janet Holland, Shelby Vogt, Stacey Bates, Andrew Havens, Jeremy Granger, Jeffery Huebel, Elizabeth Parish, Kenneth Pigg, Majed Jaarah, Marion Martin and Matt Reeves.


Last week my guess was that Robert Griffin III, of Baylor, would win the Heisman Trophy. It was an educated guess. I had watched both he and Andrew Luck, of Stanford, perform. I believe almost always the closer will be the winner. I have watched it in sales; a good presenter of his product, who can’t close, won’t win the sale. Also, in boxing, like many other things, its not necessarily who scores more punches, it’s the one that finishes strong and closes the deal who most likely will win. Had Luck not faded towards the end of the season, he would have won in a runaway. He didn’t. He ended up second with 1407 votes to Griffin’s 1687. *****Thank God. The FCC is set to require television ads be the same volume as shows. Super loud TV commercials will soon be a thing of the past. I won’t get blamed for playing the TV too loud anymore. It’s those darn commercials that get me in trouble.*****Say, here’s a tip if you’re looking for a nice gift at a very reasonable price. Try Debbie’s Gold Gem. The nice, attractive lady who owns the place will work with you. Try her before you buy.*****Best wishes for a speedy recovery to John Tallant, retired Orange fireman. John suffered a stroke last week and is in St. Elizabeth. Our prayers are with he and his wife, Gwen.*****For some of you who have observed our county clerk Karen Jo Vance wearing a boot cast, it’s not because she has been kicking ass. She fell back in October and a specialist later discovered she had torn ligaments, tendons and some fractures. It caused her to miss Patsy Peck’s great trip to Charleston. Everyone reported they had a great time. Karen Jo says Patsy makes her trips super easy and worry free. Patsy’s next trip will be to the Mediterranean. *****Major Brad Frye, with the Bridge City Police Department, has been elevated in rank to assistant chief by the B.C. City Council. Congrats I guess, or it might mean more work for the same pay. *****As of this writing Rev. Leo Anderson was still in ICU battling double pneumonia. It’s been over two weeks and he has been awfully sick. We pray for his full recovery. Roy sent him word that he would come and lay hands on him if he thought it would help but Rev. may not be ready for jokes yet.*****Babette Philpott is such a nice lady. I don’t care what Peck says. She and Constable Philpott make a good team but she’s smarter than Mark and Peck put together. She just lets them believe they’re the smartest.*****Orangefield held it’s first annual parade, lighting of the derrick and museum visitation. Judge Carl Thibodeaux read his “Cajun Night Before Christmas.” I was surprised and a little disappointed that Judge Courtney wasn’t leading the parade. She was in a pickup throwing candy however but who was that leading the parade?*****Here is a good idea for a Christmas gift for a young person or someone hard to buy for. Visit L&L Coins, across from Sabine Savings on Strickland Dr. and buy a gold coin. It goes up in value and they will never forget who gave it to them.*****Army PFC Micah “Big Mike” Ellender, son of Kirk and Brenda Ellender, is home on leave from Afghanistan. The 2009 Bridge City grad will return to his unit Dec. 18. Everyone around Bridge City is glad to see “Big Mike” and wish him well.*****The Masons will lay the cornerstone for the new Orange fire station, which will be quite a show place. Ceremonies will be held Thursday. Among the dignitaries will be Con. Kevin Brady, who will still represent this area with redistricting returning to its original plan, for now at least. Brady has endorsed Rick Perry for president. Saturday, in a debate, Perry said, “All congressmen should be part-time, with half pay.” He also said, “They should all have to return to their districts, get jobs and have to work like the rest of us.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The guy has been eating out of the public trough for 30 years, mostly part-time, with full time pay. You might want to ask the congressman about that.*****CREAUX’S TIP OF THE WEEK: To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag, add the flowers and shake vigorously. The salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers like new. Really, it works like a charm.*****CAJUN DEFINITION: Creole (cree-ol). The word originally described those people of mixed French and Spanish blood who migrated from Europe or were born in Southeast Louisiana and lived as sophisticated city and plantation dwellers. The term has expanded and now embraces a type of cuisine and a style of architecture.*****The 52-foot tall big Texas cowboy greeting visitors at the Texas State Fair with “Howdy Folks” was once a Santa Claus in Kerens, Texas, where he got his start in 1949. He was redone with a 75 gallon hat and size 70 boots for the 1952 State Fair. Now you know the rest of the story.*****More than half a dozen states have passed laws to reduce early voting, setting up a clash with Civil Rights groups who claim the rules could disenfranchise minority and college students in the 2012 elections. It’s a way to limit eligible voters access to the polls. *****Those special folks we know who are celebrating their special day. Danny Blacksher is a year older on Dec. 14. ***Happy birthday to Diane Bertrand, who celebrates on Dec. 14 also. ***Our longtime friend Doug Harrington turns 73 on Dec. 15. ***Mary and Don Stanton’s little boy, Donnie Stanton, reaches 44 on Dec. 15. ***Macc Hughes, a talented guy, is a year older on Dec. 15.***The first lady of Bridge City, Shirley Roccaforte, notches another year Dec. 15.***Our buddy James Brabham celebrates Dec. 16. Not much celebrating these day. ***The lovable Betty Lou Womack has her special day Dec. 17. ***Mayor Brown Claybar climbs another rung up the ladder of life on Dec. 17. I knew the boy before he was a teenager, now he’s fixing to retire. ***A great guy and loyal friend, Kenneth Pigg, celebrates Dec. 20. ***Everyone’s favorite checkout clerk, Danny Blacksher, celebrates her special day Dec. 20. *** If you know any of these good folks wish them a Happy Birthday. See complete birthday list in this column. *****Happy 55th anniversary Dec. 15th to Betty and Corky Harmon. Corky bought her a new garage door, including remote door opener. ***On Dec. 22nd Becky and Dr. Mark Messer will celebrate their anniversary. I mention it now in case I forget it next week. Best wishes to all.


On Dec. 14, Venessa Hudgens will be 23.***Tim Conway will be 78 on Dec. 15; Don Johnson, 62 and Stuart Townsend, 39.***Billy Gibbons will be 62 on Dec. 16.***Tracy Byrd will be 45 on Dec. 17; Milla Jovovich, 36 and Eugene Levy, 65.***On Dec. 18, Steven Spielberg will be 65; Brad Pitt, 48; Stone Cold Steve Austin, 47 and Katie Holmes, 33.***On Dec. 19, Chris Angel will be 43; Alyssa Milano, 39 and Jake Gyllenhaal, 31.***Phil Donahue will be 76 on Dec. 21, Jane Fonda will be 74.


Alfred Meaux and T-Neg Breaux got off da graveyard shift and went to Tee-Boy’s for a few beers before heading home. After a while, dey switch to drinking Jack Daniels on da rocks. Lunchtime came and Tee-Boy suggested they move to da bar to free up da table for lunch patrons.
Bot of dem stagger to da bar.
Alfred him, he point to two old drunks sitting across da bar from dem and he say to Tee-Neg, “Dat’s us in 10 years.”
Tee-Neg answer, “Dat’s a mirror you dumb ass.”


I’m always proud of our natives who are in the national spotlight. This week there are three, Wade Phillips, Orange born, has built the number one defense in the NFL. The Houston Texans have won their first division title ever. Wade has played a big part in that win.***On Monday night’s pre-game football show West Orange-Stark standout and Orange native, Earl Thomas, had a lengthy interview and was given good press, then went on to play a great game for the Seahawks, who beat the St. Louis Rams 30-13.***Bridge City native Matt Bryant continues to shine as place kicker for the Atlanta Falcons. Today Matt is one of the NFLs best. Those guys make us Orange County proud.*****I keep saying I’m going to quit watching the Cowboys. I make myself sick over a bunch of losers. The only way they will ever be champions again is to get rid of Jason Garretts, hippy Rob Ryan, Tony Romo and if Jerry Jones moves to Europe or sells the club. All that talent on the Cowboys is being wasted by goofballs. Romo is very talented but he’s not a winner.*****Texas A&M hasn’t been a winner since they let Orange native R.C. Slocum go as head coach. After several coaches passing through Aggieland, they are now betting their football fortunes on coach Kevin Sumlin, their very first black head coach. They lured him away from Houston where he has really done well. We wish him the best.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week and back at Robert’s next. Last week, Pearl Harbor Day, a real Pearl Harbor survivor, Cedric Stout and wife Cherry, were honored guest. Only 2,700 survivors remain. The group will disband on Dec. 31. Sadly, it will bring an end to an era that’s been so much a part of our lives. God bless those heroes. *****Please shop our family of advertisers. Thanks for your loyalty. Next week will be our Christmas issue. To advertise and be a part of this great issue call 735-7183. Check us out daily on our website therecordlive.com. Take care and God bless.