The first day of winter, Dec. 21, is now upon us, Christmas follows in a few days. The foliage has been more colorful than I ever recall. The bright leaves are falling now and covering the ground with a multitude of colors. In the next couple of months we may have to throw an extra log on the fire but the weather folks say, in comparison, this should be a mild and dry winter. Nowadays, with blood thinner running through my veins, I find anything under 40 degrees cold. I recall when that was shirtsleeve weather. *****I start off on a sad day having learned that Pastor Leo Anderson has passed away. For the past 15 years he has run a block ad with scripture on our church page so he came in on most Tuesdays and visited with our staff. They were shocked to learn of his death. Our sincere condolences to his lovely wife Ivalyn, three sons, Anthony, Leo Daniel Jr., Jarrod and their families. Please see obits and Down Life’s Highway for more about this good man. *****From our entire staff and our family of advertisers, we wish for you and your family the true blessings of the season and may your stocking be filled with goodies. *****Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


Last week, at the Greater Orange Area Chamber banquet, several of our finest citizens were honored. The event took place after our newspaper deadline. Lynn Cardner, director of the United Way, was named “Citizen of the Year.” The prestigious “Athena Award” was presented to Nancy Vincent, vice-president of Orange Savings Bank. Southeast Texas Hospice was presented the “Non-profit Community Service Award”. Granger Chevrolet was awarded the “Business Community Service Award.” The “Chairperson Award” went to Victor Enmon, of Entergy. “Lifetime Ambassador” was presented to Jennifer Burtsfield and Stump Weatherford. Brandy Slaughter, with David Self Ford, was recognized with the “Ambassador of the Year Award.” Maureen McAllister, with Sabine Savings, was presented the “Ambassador Chairman Award.” All honorees were congratulated for their dedicated work and promoting the greater Orange area. We know those good folks and congratulate them on the well-deserved awards.

Eight Years Ago-2003

Three are dead in a Vidor suicide shooting. Judge Janice Menard, who took office this year, said the weekend was filled with tragedies. A man backed out of his driveway, into a ditch, while looking underneath it. The car gears shifted and ran over him. A woman traveling through Orange from Florida to McAllen, was sick at a restaurant and later died at the hospital. The Judge said that’s how the holiday weekend started.*****A former constable, Donald Gunn, 76, died Sunday, Dec. 21 at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Service was held Dec. 24 at Claybar Funeral Home. Gunn was a retired plumber and the youngest Texan ever to receive a Master Plumber’s license. He was a U.S. Navy World War II veteran. He was also an avid sportsman. Gunn was known for his work ethic, integrity, loyalty and commitment to his family. He is survived by wife of 55 years, Mary Lou Pachar Gunn, son Tommy and daughters, Donna and Diane and their families. Pallbearers were Michael Mitchell, Todd Mitchell, Daniel Dotson, Walter Halton, Yank Peveto and Al Granger. (Editor’s note: We knew this good man, a friend it’s hard to believe eight years have gone by)*****Inez Hearn, our longtime buddy, a few days ago turned 85 years old. (Editor’s note: Today, 2011, Nez just turned 93. She still lives alone but has plenty of family nearby. A wonderful lady who has done much to help others. We wish her nothing but clear sailing. A lot of people love her and I’m sure one of them. I remember that 85th birthday party at Janice and Lyle Overman’s home. Granddaughter Teresa Hearn came down from Nashville. It was a great party with lots of food and friends.)*****Bridge City sweetheart Ann Segura celebrates her birthday Dec. 26.***Wilda Martin celebrates on Christmas Eve and Gordon Baxter is a Christmas baby. He’ll turn 80.*****“Mr. Web” Webster Trahan, for 15 years the custodian at Hatton Elementary, retires. His last day is Dec. 29, one day after his 65th birthday. (Editor’s note: I wonder what became of “Paw Paw” as he was known to many.)*****Judge Pat Clark files for another term to 128th District Court.*****Amber Dunn, a Bridge City native, graduates from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Natural Sciences. (Editor’s note: Amber went on to get her medical degree at Texas Tech School of Medicine and is now an anesthesiology resident in Cleveland, Ohio.)*****Betty Harmon announced that Ida Schossow will be the new chairperson of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce. She is branch manager of Bank One in Orange. She has lived in Bridge City 17 years and is a 1973 grad of Stark High School.

38 YEARS AGO-1973

Paul Hale is mayor of Orange. *****James “Stick” Stringer is county judge. *****Henry Stanfield, Orange fire chief, has announced his retirement. *****County attorney is Jim Sharon Bearden. *****Prescient 4 county commissioner is Raymond Goud, of Vidor. *****Fred Trimble is district judge of 160th district court.*****Dr. Joe Majors is Bridge City’s only dentist.*****Wayne Peveto is state representative and represents all of Orange and Newton counties.*****Preston Woods is mayor of Bridge City.*****Louvenia Hryhochuk is tax-assessor-collector.*****Some of the old boys around is 55-year-old “Boob” Taylor, who coached football and other sports at Hackberry, LA.*****Wayman Martin, 62, is Little Cypress school superintendent*****Buck Sims, 60, is a former crop duster turned businessman.*****Fred “Cooder” Avant, 51, claims to work at Dupont*****Murphy King, who turned 71 on Dec. 15, is known as the Pawnshop King.*****Lloyd Merlin Broussard, 49, works at Allied Chemical and coached at Carr Junior High.*****Charlie Webb, 44, works at Dupont.*****Wynne Hunt, 46, is a Dupont hand, as is Harry Fulton, 45 and Harold Force, 53.*****J.D. Stanfield, 56, is a partner in Case and McGee Furniture and is also city councilman.*****Cecil Willey, 52, works at Gulf States.*****Others are Percy Bordelon, 53, who has put in his time at Dupont and Firestone.*****Monty Moran, 51, works at Dupont.***Danny Barker, a 44-year-old youngster, when not running the roads, telling wild stories, spends time at Dupont.*****Spotted having coffee at Kroger’s were Joe Runnels, Steve Williamson, Eddie Morris, John Taylor, Cecil Griffin, Charles Picking and former county judge Charlie Grooms. Also spotted was the “coin machine operator,” Dag Andress and John Magness, Harold Emmert, Tony Garritonia and Joe Burke.*****You can always hear when Junior Clark is around.*****Gene Hidalgo, a Duponter, thinks he’s the last of the sex symbols.*****Ann Segura returns to East Texas from time to time to keep the accent intact.*****Jim Dunaway flies around on his motorcycle.*****Lucy Sciarilco has lost 18 pounds and is looking great.*****Joe Blanda is an Italian chiseler, a barber.*****Laverne Ridley is shooting up B-12 with a touch of hormone, good for 24 hours.*****Lew Malcolm keeps the Chamber and his mouth going.*****Everyone is preparing for Christmas.


Daniel Perry, Buddie Hahn, Rick Deutsch, Bill Bailey, Glenda Granger, Paula Hall, Rachel Guidry, Donny Robbins, Andrea Whitney, Phyllis Broussard, Rodney Harmon, Yvonne Veillon, Clevie Fontenot, James Robbins, Charlee Lemons, Dale Burns, Debi Foster, Rodney Petty Sr. , Walter LeBlanc, Chris Gunn, Jane Holton, Sue Cowling, Holly Bryan, Mindy Granger, Toni Thompson, Trey Clark, Terri Estes, Helen DeRoche, Lewis Sims, Mary Jane McCune, Mike Dillion, Earline Russell, Ruby Ryan, Ronnie Hutchison, Rushia Mae Cooper, Velma Theriot, Evelyn Foster, Janelle Deutsch, Louise Buker, Mary Frances Hartley, Randy Wuske, Ashley Burris, Emily Glover, Jennifer Ferguson, Kent Broussard, Laura Floyd, Jean Marshall, Rebecca Johns, Rob Turner, Bobby Sibert, Judy Taylor, Kirk Roccaforte, Lorraine Bonin and Max Pelham.


North Korea’s Kim Jong II, iron fisted dictator, is dead at age 69. He inherited power from his father 17 years ago. Now it passes on to his son, Kim Jong UN, 29. North Korea is the world’s most isolated state, which for six decades has been ruled by the Kim family. North Korea has built the world’s fifth largest military and has sought to build up the country’s nuclear arms arsenal. The world will be on alert and watching the new leader’s actions and direction. *****The United States is experiencing an oil boom. For the first time in decades, the U.S. exports more oil-based fuels than it imports. The last two years has produced more oil than the year before and will show a three percent upswing this year. Today, half of net U.S. petroleum imports come from the western hemisphere, half of that comes from Canada. Only 12 percent now comes from Saudi Arabia, down from 19 percent. The importance of this Middle East has decreased. The federally mandated use of ethanol has reduced demand for gasoline. Federal policies under the Obama Administration have helped boost production. *****One of the most exciting college football games I’ve watched was Saturday night. Louisiana Lafayette knocked off San Diego State, 32-30 In the New Orleans Bowl. Brett Baer kicked a 50-yard field goal for the Cajuns as time ran out. Blaine Gautier threw for 470 years and three touchdowns. He finished the season with 2958 yards and 23 touchdowns, breaking Jake Delhomme’s record. *****Glad to report that John Tallant did not have a stroke like we had previously reported. He did have a seizure and was in the hospital since November. John came home to Bridge City Friday and is doing fairly well. He’s not ready to put out any fires but getting there. He and Gwen wish everyone a very “Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year.”*****Our dear friend Dot Eshbach came through one more year with her annual batch of fudge. Every year we look forward to this delicious gift. No one makes it any better. Glad to know she’s still fighting the roads. *****Dr. Amber Dunn will be coming home to Bridge City to spend Christmas with her family. She has been in Ohio for almost three years now and everyone is looking forward to seeing her. *****A few special folks celebrating birthdays this week. From time to time Neighbor Cox asks about a little six-year-old, blond headed kid that used to hang out at the Creaux’s Nest, in Mr. Cox’s neighborhood. Jimmy, Pattie Hanks’ youngest, turns 18 on December 21 and is a senior in Las Vegas. Happy birthday Jimmy Skadowski, best to you in the years ahead. *****It seems Judge Buddie Hahn, (yes his real name is Buddie), his mom, Eloise, gave he and brother “Nicky” nicknames for real names. That’s what she wanted them called. Anyway, Buddie grew up in Sanderson, a little railroad town about 60 miles from Judge Roy Bean’s “Jersey Lilly” a  U.T. business and law graduate, he practiced law in Beeville before coming to Vidor in 1971. I met him shortly afterwards through Harold Beeson. In 1984, Gov. Mark White appointed him Dist. Judge. Buddie celebrates his birthday on Dec. 21 and he and his lovely wife Carol will celebrate their 45th anniversary on Dec. 23. Happy birthday and Happy Anniversary. Proud to call y’all friends.*****Our advertising director Andrea Leigh Hudson Whitney celebrates her day December 22.*****One of the great guys, Dayle and Buzzie’s little boy, Chris Gunn celebrates Dec. 23.*****Al Deroche’s better half, Helen, celebrates on Dec. 24.*****Judge Flo Edgerly celebrates on Christmas Day, along with Ronnie Hutchison. They never could tell birthday presents from Christmas ones.*****A guy that will do to ride the range with, Sharon Bearden, celebrates on Dec. 27. Also celebrating on that day is Shirley’s husband, Mayor Kirk Roccaforte.*****Happy anniversary to the mayor of Starks Rene and Lucy Hanks on their 54th.*****Don and Lucy Fields mark another anniversary Dec. 27.***Please see entire birthday list for others celebrating.*****CREAUX’S TIP OF THE WEEK: When boiling corn on the cob add a pinch of sugar to bring out the corn’s natural sweetness.*****CAJUN WORD DEFINITION: Jambalaya (jam-be-lie-yah). Toss just about anything into the pot. A Cajun rice dish with any combination of beef, pork, fowl, smoked sausage, ham or seafood, as well as celery, green peppers and often tomatoes. “Sweep up the kitchen and toss it in the pot.”*****Con. Kevin Brady, from the Woodlands, will face a primary opponent and a Democrat in the general election. His Republican challenger is Larry Youngblood, from Hilltop Lakes, an A&M grad who formerly owned a financial and economic forecasting business that he recently sold. The Democratic candidate is Neil Burns, of the Woodlands. He is a former Shell Oil executive. Final boundaries for congressional districts are expected to reopen in January in time to meet a new Feb. 1 filing deadline for the April 3rd primary. Other candidates might file, some could switch parties, and others could withdraw. *****Ninety percent of the United States senate Democrats and Republicans passed a payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits bill. Taxes and no benefits will affect 160 million working Americans. A deal was made between House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Senate Minority Leader McConnell. Boehner however, was unable to deliver the congress because the extreme Tea party is asserting power over the GOP using political block leverage. Speaker Boehner has lost control. Even Republican Sen. Scott Brown says the Tea Party is holding up legislation for political reasons. Boehner hasn’t called for a vote because with the vote of regular Republicans and Democrats, the bill would pass the House but it might cost Boehner the speakership. The Tea Party is holding America hostage. No wonder only nine percent of Americans view the congress in a good light. Ninety-one percent say they are doing a lousy job. Their main goal is to defeat President Obama and they don’t have any regards for improving the economy. Just say “NO” to everything and let the country go to hell in a hand basket.


On Dec. 21, Samuel L. Jackson will be 63; Ray Romano, 54; Keifer Southerland, 45 and Florence Griffith Joyner, 52.***Diane Sawyer will be 66 on Dec. 22; and Ralph Fiennes, 49.***Susan Lucci will be 62 on Dec. 23; Eddie Vedder, 46 and Holly Madison, 32.***Rickey Martin will be 40 on Dec. 24 and Ryan Seacrest will be 37.***Jimmy Buffett will be 65 on Dec. 25 and Annie Lennox will be 57.***Chris Daughtry will be 32 on Dec. 26; Lars Ulrich, 48 and Jared Leto, 40.***On Dec. 27, Wilson Cruz will be 38.


Joe Babineaux came from his home in Sout Louisiana to visit his aunt in Beaumont. Babineaux went into a Beaumont store and he tell da clerk, “I’d like some boudain please.”
Da clerk look at him and he say, “Are you a Cajun?”
Babineaux him, he is really offended. He answer, “Well yea, I’m a Cajun me, but let me axe for Italian sausage, would you axe me if I was Italian, hanh?” “If I axe for German bratwurst, would you axe me if I was German?”  “If I axe for a Kosher hot dog, would you axe me if I was Jewish?” “Wat if I axe for a taco, would you say are you Mexican you?” “Would you hanh? Would ya?”
Da clerk say, “Well no.”
Wit deep self righteous indignation, Babineaux say, “Well damit, all right den, why you axe are you a Cajun just because I axe for boudain?”
Da clerk answer, “Well sir, it’s because you’re in Home Depot.”


There is an organized movement to disrupt our local government. Orange County and it’s elected officials run a smooth operation. We don’t need the obstruction and bickering going on now in Washington. The last thing we need here at home is a takeover by a radical slate. We don’t need to bring Washington ways, total catastrophe to our county government. Time and space don’t permit me this week to bring you the entire picture of what’s in the works to overthrow our local government but I will lay it out at a later date and how it came about. *****Next week, I hope to bring my annual predictions for next year if I don’t run into pit holes. *****For a few days let’s put all our troubles on the back burner and enjoy a great holiday season. Please read us cover to cover, patronize our family of advertisers when you can. Thanks for your loyalty. Till next time, take care and celebrate the birth of the Christ child.