The rains have gone away for now and a cool front blows in.. Today, Wednesday is the first day of the Lenten season that will last 40 days until Easter Sunday. It’s a most important period for those of the Catholic faith. It’s a strange time for the first Pope in over 600 years to choose to resign. The last time that happened it would be nearly 300 years before America became the United States. Today around the globe there are 1.2 billion Catholics. Pope Benedict XVI, 85, will step down on February 28. A new Pope is expected to be named by Easter. Retired Pope Benedict will live at the Vatican. Five Italian Cardinals are leading candidates to replace Benedict. They are Angelo Scola, 70, Leonardo Sandri, 70, Angelo Bagnasco, 69, Marc Ouellet, 68 and Gianfranco Ravasi, 69.*****No word yet on which night Kree Harrison will appear on American Idol. Either Wednesday or Thursday or both. The girl contestants start their TV competition but we do know that Kree is in the top 40. Her local family doesn’t know any more than that except that she is in Las Vegas taping and filming. We’ll be pulling for our local girl to do good.*****Well, it’s come on Valentine’s Day. Each year, for many years, this column has passed out a few sweetheart awards. This year is no different. However, this year, besides picking special beautiful people, we have also chosen ladies that sometime are other throughout the year fed us some goodies. You could say the way to my heart is through my taste buds.*****I best get started and see what I come up with. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


What these women have in common is that they are all upbeat, friendly, smile a lot and truly care about people. Here they are in no particular order. Joy Scarbourgh, a longtime educator now retired. Always on the go, Joy has been slowed by a bad accident that affects her walking but she manages. Joy makes the world’s best pecan fudge. I hoard it when I get some.***Patsy Peck is a great friend to have and the best thing that ever happened to David. She’s always available to help anyone who needs it. She stays on the go. No one makes better banana pudding and I’ve been the recipient of several gallons of it.***Sherlynn Blackshear, is not only easy to look at, she’s a great baker and always sees that we get some of her latest creations. You just can’t beat her pie making. She always has a smile for the next customer at Bridge City Branch Bank.***Pearl Burgess, at age 92, is like Betty White, spreading joy and entertainment. Pearl touches a lot of lives with her poetry. She’s so up beat you would never know she’s had a bad day. She also a master chef.***Donna Scales, always full of it, she is great to be around and she tells unbelievable stories. As head of Orange County Parks she’s a great ambassador and boy can she cook. No one makes better cakes, all varieties. My favorite is a ten pound pan full of Almond Joy cake.***Peggy Albair. What a gal. She was born to work in the public. A reality show should be done on her and Richard’s place, Peggy’s on the Bayou. She’s really cute in her baseball cap. She keeps me fed, plus I’m the guinea pig for new items and I’m good at that. She sends me home with the areas best seafood gumbo and crawfish pistolets. Gives me a hug and says “Enjoy.”***Lyndia Permenter, what a nice lady, very caring and always has a kind word. She’s a special kind. She was the first to remember me for Valentine’s Day. She sent me some goodies, delivered by our friend T.W. Lyndia is a proud great-grandmother who always wears a smile.***Well, there are my beautiful people for one more year. We wish them and all of you wonderful ladies a very Happy Valentine’s Day.


It wasn’t the best Grammy’s I’ve ever watched but a good thing that has happened over the last few years is that country music has become more prevalent. I recall when country got one award. I was glad that “Babel” Mumford and Sons got “Album of the Year.” I like music that has a banjo in it. Last week, in a special on TV, the band traveled from California to New Orleans and did concerts along the way. Earthy music that goes back in time.*****Speaking of that, our friend Glen Oliver ordered he and I a hardback copy of the new book by Woody Guthrie, called “House of Earth.” It’s a novel that was discovered and edited by a Rice University professor Douglas Brinkley and actor Johnny Depp. It was finished in 1947 but lost to readers until now. It’s a powerful portrait of the Texas Panhandle Dust Bowl. In many ways it’s a companion piece to Gutherie’s folk anthem, “This Land is Your Land.” It’s a powerful tale from one of our greatest artists. Even the book cover is a copy of a painting by Woody. On Sunday, April 1, 1935, Palm Sunday, Woody Guthrie thought the Apocalypse was knocking on the door of Pampa, Texas, when an immense dust cloud blew in. Bob Dylan says he was surprised by the genius of the writing of “House of Earth,” which told about how poor people searched for love an meaning. Woodrow Wilson Woody Guthrie, 1912-1967. The discovery of “House of Earth,” reinforces Guthrie’s place among the immortal figures of American letters. The book went on sale last week. Thanks to Glen for this special novel. Anyone who loves history and learning about the hard times endured by ordinary people to plant roots in the arid land of the Panhandle should certainly read this book.


We were sorry to learn about the death of our longtime friend Beuford Herford, age 72, who died Sunday, Feb. 10. Visitation will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Memorial Funeral Home in Vidor. Beuford was a retired Boilermaker, Local 587 in Orange with over 50 years of service. He was a close ally of Dewey “Teddy Bear” Cox and served as Business Agent of the Local. Our sincere sympathies to son Clay, daughters Rita and Monica and their families. He was a good man who helped many. Please see obituary.*****Our thoughts are also with the family of Newell Shipley, 45, who died of burns at a private hunting club in Jasper County last Saturday, Feb. 9. He was a Master Electrician with Local 479 and a member of Pine Forest Masonic Lodge. He is survived by his son Thomas, daughter Aubree and parents Aubrey and Martha Shipley and sister Amy. Services will be held Wednesday, 2 p.m. at Memorial Funeral Home of Vidor. Our sympathy goes out to all of his family.


10 Years Ago-2003

A bunch of folks gathered at Van Choate’s Cajun Cookery where Van prepared loads and loads of boiled crawfish outdoors and the crawfish eating contest was on. Attorney Michael Catt and Roy Dunn are above average crawfish eaters but Roy says, “You don’t want to get in a crawfish eating contest with Asst. D.A. Doug Manning. He put us all in the shade. Pretty, long legged legal secretary Shelia Murrry came in last and she wouldn’t suck the Crawfish heads.*****Bob Shinn had open heart surgery at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont.*****Darlene Zavada is the new director at the Convention and Visitors Bureau. She replaces Charlene Sonnier. (Editor’s note: What a great job Darlene has done over the last 10 years. She was a great choice for the job.)*****Huey Meaux, 73, is headed back to the big house. Huey was paroled in September of 1996. He had gotten a 15-year sentence for possession of cocaine, two counts of sexual assault of a child, pornography and jumping bail. He was in a half-way house when he was caught in possession of pornography. Guess what? He’s headed back to the big house.*****Colin Powell in his presentation to the United Nations Security Council makes the case that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. (Editor’s note: It turned out to all have been a lie furnished by the Bush bunch, mostly VP Dick Cheney. The U.S. invaded Iraq and 10 years later no WMD’s have yet to be found.)

 63 Years Ago-1950

Jimmy Conn was MC for the Tiger Grid Banquet. Twenty lettermen received special recognition. Thomas Jefferson coach Clarence Underwood was special guest.*****Bridge City fighter Dow Gene Anderson, a flashy welterweight, failed to record his fifth knockout in a row but did hammer out a decision over Harmon Miller to win the 147-pound class in Port Arthur Golden Gloves tournament.

 65 Years Ago-1948

A hard freeze continues holding at 24 degrees bringing a fuel crisis. *****Sid Caillavet and Jimmy Conn create a big public scene in the New Orleans depot after Conn stole Sid’s overcoat. Sid took his belt off and started whipping Jimmy after Sid’s coat was found being worn under Jimmy’s coat. Conn sends card and toy skunk to Joe Blanda. The card read, “Thinking of you.”*****Orange fighters, coached by Crip Trahan, win five of seven Golden Gloves bouts. The show opened with exhibition by Orange’s battling twins, Robin and Roddy Tolar. Winners were Ray Duley, Red Lindsey, Don Stephenson, Earnest Casnino and Jack Dennis. Undefeated Kid Henry fought an exhibition with Charles Booty.


Judy Ford, Lee Ann Jaarah, Liz Fontenot, Jeremy Delano, Fred Kennedy, Judy Harrison, Jordan Guidry, Dan Batchelor, Robert Montagne, Drew Domas, Inez Jones, Judy Brownlie, Mandy LeBauve, Patricia Davis, Vicky Stanley, Ann McDuff, John Chauvin, Kim Harmon, Mellisa Tuttle, Rolf Schulz, Alayna George, Tom Edwards, Lucy Pulliam, Ashley Floyd, Bernice Say, Justin Broussard, Jeremy Crocker, Betty Drachenberg, Betty Smith, Leah Gunstream, Charlotte North, Ruby Sanders, Christy Faulk, Darrin Havens, Jason Clark and Martha Pittman.


Bad news ahead for baby boomers, Alzheimer’s patients could triple by 2050 to 13.8 million. I would hope that by then they would surely find a cure. Experts say not likely, but will be able to postpone effects. *****Texas A&M racked up on talent signing day. New signers included Eric Dickersons cousin Ricky Seales-Jones from Sealy High. The only area recruit for A&M is Alex Sezer Jr. 5 foot, 9 inch, 180 pounder from Little Cypress-Mauriceville. Aggie coach Sumlin says about Alex, “I had to check my timer twice to make sure it was working correctly when I clocked the speedster. He’s a sleeper who will get a chance to contribute in our return game.”*****Co-host, Robin Roberts, will return to ABC’s Good Morning America on Feb. 20. That’s exactly five months to the day she has been away for treatment of a rare blood disorder, (Myelodyplastic). *****I’ve been asked which Super Bowl commercial was my favorite. That’s easy, the Family Farmer/Chrysler-Dodge spot narrated by Paul Harvey, a speech he once gave to FFA. Second favorite is the Budweiser Clydesdale spot. It shows success if you prepare for it.*****A sad note that came out of the Super Bowl was the aunt and uncle of San Francisco 49ers tight end Delanie Walker were killed in a car crash shortly after the 49ers lost the game. Alice, 42 and Bryan Young, 54, were staying in a hotel in Baton Rouge and were driving there after spending time with their nephew Delanie and other family members. They had pulled over on the side of the highway when Nichole Thomas, 24, of Houston, crashed into the Youngs. Police say she was traveling at a high rate of speed. Both cars caught fire. The Youngs burned to death in their auto. Thomas made it and was arrested for Vehicular Homicide and DWI. Not her first arrest. *****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the coming week. Two great guys we’ve been honored to know celebrate birthdays on Feb. 15. Harold Forse turns 93 and still kicking fairly high, and longtime educator and Orangefield superintendent Robert Montagne marks another year.***Feb. 16 is a special day for our buddy Keith Wallace, from Reliable Cleaners and Port Commissioner.***Also celebrating on that day is Clint “C.W.” Britt, who’s not getting any younger. The road ahead is shorter than the one he’s traveled.***Feb. 17, finds Kim Harmon, Mellissa Tuttle and Lucy Pulliam celebrating.***Feb. 18, is a special day for a special guy. It’s Norman Berry’s birthday.***Feb. 18 is also President George Washington’s birthday and a national holiday, President’s Day.***Feb. 19, finds Christy Faulk and Jason Clark marking another year.***I want to put everyone on alert that next Wednesday, Feb. 20, is Chief Jerry Wimberly’s birthday. He deserves a good one. *****Congratulations to Brent and Dana Dearing on the birth of son Reagan. Grandparents are Gary and Darlene Dearing and proud great-grandparents are Louis and Ella Jo Gossett. A nice birthday present for L.C. who celebrated on Feb. 11. *****President Obama’s State of the Union covered four major topics, Immigration, guns, the budget and same sex marriage. On Tuesday evening 40 million TV viewers watched. Sen. Marco Rubio gave the response for regular Republicans while Rand Paul spoke for the Tea Party. The State of the Union came on the heels of a Monday report by 46 economists who say the nation’s economy and job creating engine will start to purr later this year. The economy will shift into a higher gear this summer and then grow for the next nine months. Unemployment will fall to 7.5 percent by year’s end. The Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies will have a positive impact through rising home and auto sales. Most importantly, we must avoid the sequester. Meanwhile Sen. Lindsey Graham has gone bananas and pledges to hold up Obama’s nominations. Like a new NFL coach, I believe any president should be able to pick his coaching team. Only exception is a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Graham and McCain are petty and trying to make points at home. *****Donald Trump indicates that Karl Rove is an idiot. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. *****Our Houston congressman Steve Stockman brought Ted Nugent as his guest to the State of the Union. Now there’s a fine pair of aces. They are both fighting background checks on weapon purchases. *****Don’t be surprised if Lindsey Graham doesn’t try to filibuster the nomination of the new pope.


Clotile and Felix Morceaux were dressed and ready to go to da big Mardi Gras ball. Dey turned on da nightlight, da answering machine, covered da pet parakeet, put the cat in the backyard and dey called Comeaux’s Yellow Cab Company. Da taxi arrived but wen dey opened da front door to leave da darn cat ran in da house. Not wanting to leave da cat in da house because she would eat da bird, Clotile goes to da cab and Felix went back in da house. Da cat ran upstairs wit Felix in hot pursuit. 

Clotile doesn’t want da cab driver to know dat da house will be empty so she tells da cab driver that Felix will be out soon, him, he’s jus going upstairs to say goodbye to her mother. A few minutes later Felix gets in da cab, “Sorry I took so long; dat stupid bitch was hiding under da bed. I poked her in da butt wit a coat hanger to get her to come out. She tried to take off so I grabbed her by da neck, wrapped her in a blanket so she couldn’t scratch me, den I hauled her downstairs and threw her out in da backyard.” Boudreaux, da cab driver, him, hit a parked car.


Before I go, there’s something I believe every Orange area youngster should know. Judge David Peck was raised in a regimented orphanage and he learned early on that school was for learning. He doesn’t take kindly to any school disruption. He’ll work with the parents and school administration to help with a difficult child but that youngster has to do his part. It’s not a good idea to be a repeat offender in Judge Peck’s court.*****On the matter of gangs, this is not Chicago or downtown Houston. Every parent of a youngster, as well as all citizens, should be concerned about the springing up of youth gangs. Something starting innocently enough has a way of taking on the mob mentality. Left unchallenged, it can become a cancer in a community that quickly gets out of control.*****The Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s Wednesday, 12 noon. Last week, a scaled down group gathered at Novrozsky’s. It allowed for more visiting. Dist. Judge Courtney Akeen attended. She’s a very nice lady. An Orangefield native, she says longtime educator Phillip Welch was around always through her school years, as coach, teacher, principle, etc. They are almost like family. Everyone is welcome to join The Lunch Bunch any Wednesday, 12 noon.*****My time is up, thanks for yours. Please read us cover to cover and shop with our family of advertisers. Check us our also on the web at TheRecordLive.com. Take care and God bless.