Seven years ago, on Sept. 24, Hurricane Rita came a-calling. She brought a lot of wind and the most destruction of any storm I’ve even known. Besides the destruction of many structures, Rita took down a half million trees in Orange County. Water oaks and pine trees took the blunt. One hundred year old water oaks were uprooted and the pines were sheared at mid trunk. Because of Ike’s water damage we view it as a worse storm but Rita was brutal. Some of us had as many as three oaks crush our houses. Damage was everywhere. Seven years have gone by and meanwhile Ike came, making us seem to forget about Rita. During hurricane Rita few roads were passable, few homes were spared. So it was, as we get by that anniversary, we also improve the odds that we will  not have a hurricane this year and that’s OK by me. In fact, we are due great weather this weekend and the Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau is again promising a great Tunnel Boat Racing Show on Sept. 21 to Sept. 23. This fifth annual event is free, plus free parking. A fun day for the entire family. Just bring your lawn chairs. Extra events have been added such as pony rides, helicopter rides, petting zoo, a carnival and much more. It’s the greatest yearly show in Orange County. If you miss it, you’re missing a treat.*****In this week’s issue Capt. Mike Trahan, former Delta pilot, the only child of “Crip” and Sadie Trahan, writes about his mom. He details her fight to live, her funeral before her death, an event she called the best day of her life. Sadie was a rare breed that everyone loved. The native of Loreauville made every life’s moment count. Interesting and entertaining. A two part series, page 9. Don’t miss it.*****I’ve fallen way behind this week with events beyond my control. I sit here just a few hours before deadline struggling with an empty basket and wondering what to fill a column with. However, somehow for might near 50 years, I stumble upon a few things that helps bail me out. So here goes, come along, I promise it won’t do you no ham.



First Mitt Romney didn’t mention veterans, Afghanistan or national security in his convention speech so to recover they got John Bolton, Don Rumsfeld and 17 members of the Bush/Cheney Administration to hit the airways and give Romney cover as a foreign policy expert. Next was the awful statement he made before he even knew our ambassador in Libya had been killed. Now comes the worst, he told a group of millionaire donors at a private fundraising event that 47 percent of Americans depend on government and won’t vote for him. The following is an excerpt from “Mother Jones” in his exact words. You decide if this guy should be president of the United States when he has fully written off half the nation before taking office.

What Romney Said

Excerpts from “Mother Jones”

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there at 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That’s an entitlement, and the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what….

“He starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” And so Mitt thinks.



10 Years Ago-2002

Dewey Cashwell Jr., former city manager of Shertz, TX, fills Orange city manager’s position left vacant by Chuck Pinto, who became manager at New Brunfels. (Editor’s note: Best I recall, I believe he turned out to be a dud.)*****Fred Brent becomes principal at Orangefield High School, Jacqueline Kyle, Junior High principal and Jami Lee is named Elementary principal.*****Orange County appoints Deborah “Debbie” Rawls to fill the auditor seat vacated by Todd Nixon. Rawls, 50, joined the auditor’s office in Jan. 1994 and worked her way up. (Editor’s note: Debbie recently retired from the county.)*****Veda Tinsley, born in 1902, turns 100, the year before the Wright Brothers. She was 25 years old when Charles Lindbergh made his first Atlantic flight in 1927. The former teacher taught in East Texas, Little Cypress and at Hatton and Sims schools in Bridge City.*****Quarterback Johnny Unitas, one of the best to ever play the game, died Sept. 11, at age 69. He had passed for 40,239 yards, with 290 touchdowns and was a Pro-Bowler 10 times.*****Tim Montgomery set a world record in Paris for the 100 meters by clocking 9:78 seconds, breaking Maurice Green’s record of 9:79.*****Michael Johnson owns the 200 meters world record at 19:32.*****Americans wealthiest, Bill Gates, is only worth $43 billion. He has lost $20 billion since January 2000.*****Judge Martin Andoin, former Pct. 2, JP dies at age 99.*****Longtime friend Dick Manual, 79, died Sept. 14.*****Wayne Willey also died suddenly over the weekend.****Dr. Howard Williams turned 77 years old last week, Sept. 9. He still see patients everyday. (Editor’s note: Doc is still doing that 10 years later.)*****West Orange-Stark Mustang kicker Jason Shuman is the twin brother of pretty cheerleader Jaclyn Shuman.*****Mary and Casey Bryant drove to St. Louis to watch son Matt, the kicker for the New York Giants, in a game played against the Rams. Matt kicked four field goals and two extra points to beat the Rams 26-21. Matt scored over half of the game points.*****The Vernon Mathews, along with A.J.  and Lois Judice and Pookie and Debbie Roy drove to Dallas to watch Bridge City native Jason Mathews, with the NFL Titans, take on the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas won 21-13 but the Bridge City crew were proud of Jason, a former Bridge City star.


35 Years Ago-1977

Big girls at Bridge City are Dena Addison, Miss Bridge City; Jan Mulhollan, Terry Medley and Cynthia Soileau, all beauty queens.*****The Bridge City police chief is Hank Eckhardt.*****Judge Grover Halliburton resubmits his name to the governor for judgeship of 260th District Court.*****W.T. and Ann Oliver throw surprise birthday party for Phyllis Dunn. W.T. cooked black forest pork chops, exactly one-inch thick, basted with cherry brandy and baked with cherries and walnuts on top. Ann served up her special coffee to go along with June Bishop’s birthday cake. Eight different liqueurs from around the world were served. A birthday she will never forget.*****Dale Parish resigns as head of County Parks Department effective in four to six weeks.*****Orange County’s only Curtis Mathis TV outlet opens at the Morrow’s location on MacArthur Drive. Leland and Vivian Morrow are owners.*****Bobby Houseman had his car parked on a Port Arthur street when a drunk took dead aim at it and destroyed it.*****Former West Orange football star, Larry Spears, is a hard-hitting linebacker for West Texas State.*****David Jones, Bridge City quarterback, runs for a 44-yard TD in the second quarter of Bridge City’s 40-0 win over LC-M. Jones put on a one man show, rushing at will against the Bears.*****Orange Chamber announced that Robert  Nelson, assistant manager, resigned to accept the general manager post at the North Channel chamber on Houston’s east side.*****Nine-year-old Tray Ewers is motocross racing champion. Bonnie and Larry are his parents.



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, Lucille Powell, Ruthie Hannegan, Bobby Cormier, Mary Rawls, Ronnie Teaff, Vernon Murray, Howdy Dawson, Janice Kelly, Jenny Sims, Jonah Thurman, Lorayne Welch, Beverly Mixon, Miranda Fisette, Corey Faulk, Brooks Tally, Connie Arnold, Donna Broomes, Matthew Broussard, Michael Broussard, Miranda Fisette, Noah Burns, Penny LeLeux, James Broom, Julie Saltzman, Mark Kelly, Megan Fontenot, Sammy Pratt, William Dotson, Jayna Campbell, George Mullins, Jeremy Cooper, Katie Baker, Laura Roberts, Lindsey Kimbrow, Jeannie Barnes, Mark Norwood, Dustin Jackson, Teresa Beauchamp, Trey Rhodes, Zelma McCullough, Beckie Kimbell, Blake Seibert, Brittany Bean, Jimmy Thurman, Donna Ford, Bill Nugent, Ola Kindle, Joellen Grooms, Phyllis Tarter, Scott Stout, Bessie Rach, Cameron Pitts, James Scott, Jeffery Armand and Kailey Childress.



I discovered Orange‘s best kept secret right here on the river in the Cove. It‘s the Muddy Water Marina. Ike, a very interesting guy and his bride, Lynn, run the place. Anytime of the day they will serve you a meal. Ike smoked his own briskets and makes a mean sandwich. A great place to visit for lunch or breakfast. Sit outdoors on the banks of the river. Right now the sea going Southern Belle sail boat is docked at the marina. Ike gets fresh shrimp right off the boats. He keeps his Gulf crabs in a live well and  has great prices on fresh seafood. He caries a lot of bait shrimp also. I visited with a family from Evadale who lunched at the marina. Ike made them a mess of sandwiches for their fishing trip. Go by, you‘ll find it a cool place to visit, dine or purchase fresh seafood. Located at 2100 Border it‘s the last spot on the left from Orange, first spot on the right coming from Bridge City.*****Bridge City‘s star in the NFL, Matt Bryant, kicked two field goals and three extra points in the Falcon 27-21 win over Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ Monday night. So far Matt‘s six for six in field goals.*****Cowboy Churchgoers witnessed something Sunday never before seen in Orange County—Pam Scales Crew speechless. While she was giving announcements about the upcoming church anniversary, Rusty Honeycutt approached her, dropped to one knee and proposed. Needless to say, it caught everyone by surprise and rendered Pam mute. Once she caught her breath and said yes the congregation erupted in applause. It’s a natural progression, Pam hasn’t been seen without Rusty for quite some time. We offer congratulations and wish them well. Don’t forget to invite us to the wedding.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day. Bridge City ISD Police Chief George Navarro marks another year. Sept. 19. Would you believe I recall when George was running around the yard in diapers. No that wasn’t the other day, he was about two then.***John Clark, the boy from Dime Box, is celebrating Sept. 20.***Brian Gibbs and Pete Mier mark their big day on Sept. 20.***Brandi Ellison also celebrates her big day on Sept. 20.***Bobby “Cowboy” Cormier inches up the latter one more step on Sept. 21.***Ruthie Hannegan will celebrate on Sept. 21.***Our buddy Tommy Semar will be a year older on Sept. 23. I wonder if Sue is baking a special fig cake?***Our friend, fellow employee, and resident healer, Penny Leleux, celebrates on Sept. 23. So does Sammy Pratt, star athlete Megan Fontenot. and Mike Dempsey.***Orange city councilperson, Teresa Beauchamp, celebrates on Sept. 24. She’s married to Frank and has spent most of her life in education.***Mark Norwood also celebrates on that day.***Donna Ford, Phyllis Tarter and Kailey all celebrate on Sept. 25. Happy birthday to all.*****Happy anniversary to Robert and Karen Jo Vance who celebrate 39 years of wedded bliss on Sept. 21. Congrats.*****Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, for most of this year, has criticized President Obama for his refusal to draw a red line, give a date when he will give approval for Jerusalem to attack Iran before they become a nuclear power. President Obama said that would not happen. Experts say that Iran developing a weapon is at least three years away. Benjamin has been pushing for an answer before the presidential election. He’s been joined by Sen. John McCain, who would like for us to be in three wars. Of course, all of them want to help Romney but what they don’t understand is that Obama didn’t come in from Hawaii on a coconut truck. Now that polls show Obama is likely to win, Netanyahu is rethinking his stance. For years we have been big brother to Israel and taken a lot of heat for them. What Obama should tell him is what the empty chair told Clint Eastwood.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines at Robert’s this week and back at Novrozsky’s next. Last week, Donna Scales  was back from Hawaii. She said she was quite a hit on the beach. Shirley Zimmerman made it to Oklahoma where she held and fed her new grandbaby. She should be back with the Bunch this week. Brandy Slaughter has also been absent lately, along with T.W. Permenter. Everybody is always welcome.



On Sept. 19, Jimmy Fallon will be 38; Trisha Yearwood, 48 and Jeremy Irons, 64.***Sophia Loren will be 78 on Sept. 20.***Faith Hill will be 45 on Sept. 21; Bill Murray, 62; Stephen King, 65; Nicole Richie, 31 and Luke Wilson, 41.***Andrea Bocelli will be 54 on Sept. 22; Bonnie Hunt, 51, Scott Baio, 51 and Joan Jett, 54.***Jason Alexander will be 53 on Sept. 23; Mickey Rooney, 92; Bruce Springsteen, 63 and Ani Difraco, 42.***Barbara Walters will be 81 on Sept. 25; Heather Locklear, 51; Cheryl Tiegs, 65 and Michael Douglas, 68.***Catherine Zeta-Jones will be 43 on Sept. 25; Scottie Pipppen, 47 and Will Smith, 44.



Dats My Story and I’m Sticking To It

Clovis Thibodaux takes a day off from work him and decides to go golfing. On da second hole he notice a frog sitting on da green. Da fog say, “Rabbit 9 iron.” Dat surprise Thibodaux. He look around but don’t see nobody. He put his club up and grab a 9 iron him, to prove dat frog wrong. Boom, he hit’s a birdie. He is shocked. He say to dat frog. “You must be a lucky frog you.” Da frog say, “Rabbit lucky Frog.”

Thibodeaux bring dat frog to da next hole. Da frog say, “Rabbit 3 wood.” Thibodaux takes out a 3 wood and boom, a hole in one. By da end of da day Thibodaux had played his best game of golf in his life. “O.K., where to next?” he ax. “Rabbit Las Vegas,” say da frog.

Dem da go to Vegas. Thibodaux ax, “O.K. Frog, now what?” “Rabbit roulette,” say da frog. Upon approaching da roulette table Thibodeaux ax, “What should I bet?” “Rabbit $3,0000, black 6,” say dat frog. A million to one odds but after the golf game Thibodeaux figure wat da heck.

Thibodeaux take his winings an buy the best room in da hotel. He sits da frog down and say, “Frog, I don’t know how to repay you, me.” Da frog reply, “Rabbit kiss me.” Thibodeaux figure, Wat da heck, after all da frog did for him, that’s da least he can do. All of a sudden dat frog turns into da most gorgeous 16-year-old girl in da world. 

“And dat you honor is how dat girl ended up in my room.”



One of the strangest things Mitt Romney said was that the middle class starts with citizens who earn $250,000 a year. If that’s the case, I’ve been in the poor class a long time.*****Speaking of money, Orange County Commissioner’s Court has to come up with a budget by next week. Judge Thibodeaux is working to put together his 18th budget. He says this is the most difficult one of all. Last year many counties in the state had to lay off employees to meet their budgets. Some counties are laying off 10 to 15 percent of employees this year. Orange County has had to bite the bullet but so far everyone still has their jobs. When times are good and Commissioner’s Court can give every department anything they need then members of the court are heroes. During hard times Commissioners Court becomes villains but it’s their job to make the numbers fit and that rubs some people the wrong way. They beg for a job and then are fortunate to have the job but it always has amazed me how quick loyalty changes. One family member back-biting another and so on. They seem to forget that county employees are all one big family. We still have a very conservative court who year in and year out do a good job.*****Well, time has caught up with me. This is all I can do. I’m a little surprised I got this far. Thanks for your time. Read us cover to cover and please shop our family of advertisers. Take care and God bless.