The year was 1776 when a brave band of men put together the ‘Declaration of Independence.’ The first few lines always affects me, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” As a child these were just words, but after living all these decades, I’ve learned to appreciate them. The presentation of these unalienable rights is the purpose of government said our founding fathers. This philosophy is reflected in our constitution, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish the constitution of the United State of America.” Once again, freedom and liberty. Remember the stirring beginning of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address? “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the position that all men are created equal.” Again liberty and freedom. Times have changed since I was a boy there seems to be so much hate and venom is spewed daily on talk radio. I believe they misunderstand what our founding fathers really meant.  I recall as a boy the parades and celebrations of our independence. The men wore flag buttons or a ribbon in their lapels. Fire crackers were a big deal and no one paid attention to the hot Fourth of July weather. From time to time, we should all stop and reflect on what independence in this free country really means. It’s worth celebrating, with picnics, barbecues, music or whatever.

A big celebration, “Born on the Bayou,” will be held the Fourth of July evening at Bridge City. The Bridge City historical group will present fireworks, music, food and fun. Bring the kids out, they may not realize today what the fuss is all about but when they’re grown and have children of their own, they will think back to when they were young celebrating our independence, liberty and freedom.


Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of Chief Jerry Wimberly, who passed away June 27. Services were held at Claybar Funeral Home, Sunday, June 30. Jerry had fought the cancer battle but the odds were just too great to overcome. He stayed in good spirits until the end was in sight. Jerry liked being around friends and took every opportunity to do so. He was solid and any secret was always safe with him. As fire chief I remember the toy fire truck collection in his office. I was reminded of that when I saw the massive fire truck parked at the funeral home for Chief Jerry’s service. He and Ruby really enjoyed a long life together. She will sorely miss him, as will all of us who knew this good man. Please see obituary and Down Life’s Highway.


Last week, when State Senator Wendy Davis successfully filibustered King Perry’s abortion bill, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst begged Gov. Rick Perry to call a third session on  the bill. Dewhurst, after losing a heated race against extremist Ted Cruz for U.S. senate, is planning to run for a fourth term as Lt. Governor. Letting Sen. Davis and her followers defeat the abortion bill brought direct heat on Dewhurst. The new session gives him a chance to show he’s a true conservative but the cat was already out of the bag. Challengers jumped at the chance to criticize Dewhurst’s leadership and announced they would run for his seat. Tea Party darling, Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, who has already named Nolan Ryan as his campaign chairman. There will be more. It looks to me like Dewhurst is probably done because he’s not conservative enough for the radical right. The abortion bill will fly through but Dewhurst’s damage is already done. My guess is Perry is setting up to run again for governor where he could try for another presidential run. He lives like a king off the public though that’s not bad for a former Aggie cheerleader. The sidelines however are calling for him to step aside and let Gregg Abbott have his turn. I would love to see them face each other but that’s not likely to happen. Gov. Perry’s mean treatment and ugly statement against Sen. Wendy Davis will come back to bite him with women, so will calling those 5000 women a mob.


Finally a bi-partisan bill on immigration sailed through the U.S. Senate on a 68-32 vote. The bill was sent to the House but the prospects of House approval are dim. It’s impossible to pass if a vote doesn’t take place. If a vote were allowed, it would clear the House with Democratic support and votes from the regular Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner is being held captive by Tea Party members who promise his demise if he allows a vote. Boehner says he will not allow the bill and Republicans will offer their own three separate bills. The battle will begin. Boehner has been the weakest speaker I can recall. The country needs an immigration bill, put that behind us and move on. It’s being held up by a Congress that only has a 10 percent approval in the country. The worst congress in history. You go figure.

34 Years Ago-1979

Saturday, July 7, the Harmon family of Orange opens the doors on their new building at 2611 MacArthur Drive. The Harmon family has been involved in transportation for more than 100 years and has been the Chevrolet dealer for 10 years. The building has 44,000 sq. feet, 24 service bays and a two-story, 9,000 sq. ft. parts storage area. Planning and engineering was done by Bill Hughes of Norstock Steel. The building was two years in development. The Harmons are Jackie, Corky, Don and Tommy and their dad Ovie. *****President Jimmy Carter’s popularity is at an all-time low. *****The Fred Chapman’s, Fred, Violet, Lia and Fred Jr. have returned from visiting the homefolks in Florida. *****H.D., Sue and Penny return from their trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn. *****Mr. and Mrs. Willard Frank celebrate their 42nd anniversary on July 7. They married in 1937 at 7 p.m. and spent their honeymoon in room 1007. *****Jo Amodeo has worked for Orange County Abstract for several years. She is returning to Port Arthur Abstract where she previously worked for six years. On Aug. 1, she will be married to Ace 14 years. Just wondering how much longer that can last.****Frenchy Credeur, head mechanic at P.S. Tire, will race his Wild Man racing Ford at Chenault Air Force Base. He looks to capture the NHRA-sanctioned Louisiana state championship bracket series event. *****James “Bubba” Busceme returns to pro boxing and will fight Camillo Ibarra of Mexico on July 24 in a 10-round fight at the Beaumont Civic Center. *****Winning the fishing tournament for OCBC were Jimmy McKee, 21-1 pounds for first; Darwin Fowler, Kenny Hudson, Willis Stout, Leslie Holt, Kenny Linscomb and Carl Thibodeaux all weighed in with more than 10 pounds. Hudson snagged the largest fish, 4.10 pounds. *****John Martin wins the second fishing tournament ever in DERA history. Other winners were Troy Woodall, Willie Hayes, Jim Prewitt, Mac Guillory and Larry Schrode. *****Donna Summer has the No. 1 & 2 spots on the Billboard charts with “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff.” “Bad Girls” is also the top album. *****Waylon Jennings’ “Amanda” is No. 1 Country. *****A brand new 1979 Cadillac Coup Deville at Smith-Lee will set you back $9997 loaded. A ‘79 Olds Cutlass Supreme, new, loaded, $4997.*****The Texas Avenue Grocery specials: ground beef, 5 lbs. for $6; baby beef veal chops, $1.79 lb; Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, 6-pack, $2.99; Mrs. Tucker’s shortening, 42 oz., $1.19.


Thomas Findlay, Betty Richard, Jeanne Donahey, Kathy Simmons, Ellen Ray, Lillie Mae Henderson, Kathie Wilson, Katy Maloney, Kellie Derouen, Pat McCombs, Shane Hanks, Susie Bickham, Charlotte Pruter, Billy Boehme, Debbie Moreau, Donna Dohmann, L.J. Braus, Lori Winstead, Makayla Peveto, Tom Arnold, Aaron Myers, Alyson Smith, David May, Denise Mumbach, Edith Peet, Gage Birmingham, Brantson Broussard, Jennifer Martinez, Jerry Wilson, Levy Hartman, James Swan, Devon Caldwell, James Arnett, David Peck, Jason Barclay, Margie Bean, Amber Seiler, Anita Hennigan, Elizabeth Dupuis, Eryn Lucas, Janice Gresham, Jesse B. Gunstream, Linda Dews, Liz Barclay, Maude Ball, Patrick Halliburton, Steve Stanley, Charles Vidrine, Clark Eastman, Emily Blanchard and Glenda Whitley.


 Doug and Shelley Manning and their three children, Mason, Robert and Maya, just returned from Honduras. They had been there since June 21. Attending also were Dr. Nina Leifeste and Doug’s dad, Jerry. This was their second trip. While there Shelley worked with the children and held Bible school. Doug worked with others to build a house for a family using funds from Hope Coffee that began in 2009. Doug’s dad also helped build houses. *****The “Riders in the Sky” musical group will appear at the Lutcher Theater for one show on July 14 at 3 p.m. This is really a fun group that makes good and different music. *****Speaking of music, I’m looking forward to Randy Travis’ new single due out in the fall. The single is a tribute to George Jones, “Tonight I’m Playing Possum” written by Keith Gattis. I hear this might be another hit. Maybe Randy has his act together. He’s a great singer that went off the deep end. Also Erik Thorson and a couple of friends have written a song, “George Jones Jones” in George‘s honor. You can listen to it at: http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWvnjsxwa5Y and also at carbaughmann.com.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Nona Sonnier, 97, who passed away June 29. Services to be held July 3 at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City, 12:20 p.m. Visitation at 11 p.m. Please see obituary. *****Pres. Nelson Mandela is in critical condition and on life support. It seems his family is prolonging his life until a certain date. They apparently want to pick the day or month he dies. *****We had a visit from our Stark‘s friends, Mayor Rene‘ and Lucy Hanks. They‘re good, compassionate people, always lending a helping hand. *****The United States Congress shooting down the Farm Bill will cause milk prices to rise. We possibly could see milk at $6 a gallon. Saying no to the Farm Bill will jack up prices on most other farm products as well, again making it harder on the middle class and poor consumer.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays. July 3 is the birthday of longtime friend J.L. “Pete” Runnels, former country judge, Democratic chairman and twice mayor of Pinehurst. It’s hard to believe this fair-haired boy just a few years ago, today turns 70. ***A nice lady, Ellen Ray, also shares this day. ***July 4, Dwayne “Tobby the Clown” Marsh is a year older. His warden, Ms. Kathy, keeps him from getting out of the traces. I bet he asks, “What are traces?”***July 5 finds Billy Boehme, Charlotte Pruter and Debbie Meraux celebrating. ***July 6 is a special day for Lori Winstead, L.J. Braus, Tom Arnold and Makayla Peveto. ***Some interesting people are celebrating under the Cancer sign. Our friend of many years, the lovely Dayle Gunn Weatherford, Judge David Peck, who does a great job presiding over the justice court in Pct. 1. He wasn’t born in a manger but was born in an alley and spent most of his young years in an orphanage before serving his country. He’ll do to ride the range with. Also, and I find this funny, the next one is Jerry Wilson, the chief recruiter of local Republican candidates. If they don’t switch, he puts a horse head at the foot of their bed. That’s pressure and he’s doing pretty good at it.***July 8, a great gal, Margie Bean, pretty Elizabeth Dupuis and also the lovely Anita Hennigan celebrate.***July 9 finds Patrick Halliburton, Sue and Grover’s boy, marking another birthday, also celebrating are Clark Eastman, Emily Blanchard, Maude Ball, Linda Dews and Jesse B. Gunstream. Happy birthday to all. Please see complete list. *****Tuesday July 9, will be a big night at Cotton’s Corner Bingo Hall with Super Bingo, guaranteed $25,000. Bingo is played every day; doors open at 3:34 p.m., and early bird games began at 6:45 p.m.  Take Exit 4 at Vinton. It’s the largest, nicest bingo hall in two states. Former Orange County Deputy Sheriff Mike Rogers manages the Bingo Hall. *****I really enjoyed Joe Kazmar’s column last week. He recalled a dream, accomplished 50 years ago, from National Little League baseball championship to McNeese and the pros. Joe led an interesting life. Be sure to read Joe’s “Kaz’s Korner” column also Capt. Dickie and Capt. Chuck’s columns each week. No one does a better job than those three guys. *****I haven’t heard from my friends Sue and Tommy Simar in a long time. They usually call me this time of year. I hope they are doing okay. *****Think about this; Up to 1954, 12 million immigrants came through Ellis Island. It took three to five hours to process them to become U.S. citizens. Today, immigration is a big fuss but many of us wouldn’t be here if not for immigration. *****My friend Soleaux, the cat, turned one year old July 1. He’s named Soleaux because he was in a litter of one. His mom Roxie was less than two when she gave birth to this miracle cat. We can’t figure out when and how she conceived.*****Our prayers today are with our friend Jimmy Dillon, who underwent kidney transplant surgery in Houston Tuesday. Jimmy has fought a long battle yet I’ve never heard him complain about the hand dealt him. He just kept painting those signs and wishing for good things to happen.*****Some members of the Texas congressional delegation are “Double Dipping,” drawing high state retirement benefits while also drawing Unites States salaries. Sen. John Cornyn, in 2010, dipped into three retirement funds. He drew $65,000 in 2012. Rep. Ted Poe draws the most. Gov. Rick Perry remains one of the highest paid state officials in the country. He draws $92,000 in retirement yearly besides his large salary.*****The murder/suicide on McFadden Beach, where Eric Barragan, 32, of Bridge City, shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Brack, 31 and Regino Antonio Maybit, 31, and then killed himself is another case that lately has been happening way too often. In recent months several murder/suicides have occurred, also way too many youngsters are being killed in auto accidents.*****Congress doubles student loan interest rates by again sitting on their hands. That’s the last thing young people, trying to get started in life needs. Young people who had hopes of an education find another barricade.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines at Robert’s in a special gathering this week that we will report on next week. Also, next Wednesday  the Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s.


One day, “Tee Man” Breaux was riding da Grayhound bus from Abbeville to Lafayette wen da bus stopped in Maurice. Mary Ann Marceaux and her baby climb on da bus. Da bus driver, “Grumpy” Primeaux, look at dat baby and he say, “Keyaw,” Dats da ugliest baby I ever saw me.”

Mary Ann her, goes to da back of da bus and sits in da seat across from “Tee-Man” and she start crying.

“Tee-Man” unaware of wat had transpired axe Mary Ann, “Wats da matter hanh?”

She says, “Dat mean old bus driver insult me so bad. I don’t know wat to do me.”

“Tee-Man” says, “Well, I’ll tell you wat to do, you go up dere and give dat old man a piece of you mind. In fact, while you go up dere, I’ll be happy to watch you puppy me.”


Firefighters all over the country are mourning the deaths of 19 firemen who tried to gain control of a stubborn, swelling wildfire Sunday near Prescott, Arizona. Only one of the 20 member, highly trained, Hotshot team survived. They were killed when a windblown wildfire overcame them. Most of those brave young men were in their 20’s. The erratic winds, thunderstorms, with no rain, and shifting winds turned on them. The nation feels the pain of loss, but only a fireman understands what those young men must have gone through. It was heart breaking to see 19 white vans, carrying those 19 bodies, pass under arched ladders of fire trucks, on the way to the medical examiner’s office. A big American flag was in the background. President Obama hailed the fallen as heroes. Flags at fire stations around the country are at half-staff. The fires continue to burn in Arizona with no relief in sight.*****From what I’ve been able to watch of the George Zimmerman trial, it appears to me that the prosecution will have a hard time convicting him of second degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. At first I thought the state had a slam dunk, but I think the case slipped away from them, especially after the police and lead investigator testified. They said they believed Zimmerman’s story about what happened that night. Officer Serino said Zimmerman came off as believable, even when pressured by officers. I think he was being straight forward. I kept an open mind that he could be a victim. How will the state overcome that testimony to get a murder conviction. Even a reduction to manslaughter isn’t a gift, it carries 30 years.*****I’ve gotta go. You will never know what a tough job I had getting this one out. Please read us cover t o cover, shop our family of advertisers when you can. Above all, stay safe, have a nice, fun holiday. Thanks for your time, mine is up. Take care and God bless.