HISTORICAL EVENTS HIGHLIGHTED
This week marks the 238th year of our Independence. On July Fourth we celebrate throughout the United States. This year, the Fourth falls on a Friday making for a three-day holiday weekend. Celebrations throughout the country will feature fireworks. Again this year the Bridge City historical group will present “Born on the Bayou” celebration along with a free fireworks display on the banks of Cow Bayou and Highway 87 at the Historical Bridge. Last year the show was a great success and the group promises another. Make plans for Friday night. *****Bridge City is also celebrating its 44th birthday. Chartered on July 6, 1970, the small community was named Bridge City after the school district, made possible after the swing bridge was built over Cow Bayou and the Prairieview and Winfree school districts merged. Today Bridge City is a fine city and a great place to live.*****Also, this week, 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. Most southern senators opposed the Bill. LBJ recruited the help of the Republican Party to pass the Bill. LBJ said at the time that he had signed the south to the Republicans. He was right; the strong Democratic south has since voted Republican. LBJ said, “It was the right thing to do.” Sammy Davis, Jr. said “It opened the door to someday elect a person of color president of the United States.” Barak Obama, 44 years later, with a white mother and black father, was elected president and is now serving on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.*****This also marks 12 years since Dannarriah Finley was murdered and her body dumped near Pleasure Island in Port Arthur. She had been taken from her bed in Orange while her mother was away. No one to this day has ever been arrested for her murder. Several law enforcement officers privately say they believe they know who committed the crime but do not have enough evidence to convict. The little girl “lives” in the hearts and minds of many Orange citizens. Maybe by the next anniversary we can report that the killer has been charged and convicted. The Record Newspapers has published Dannarriah’s story annually since her death. *****I’m running far behind. The older I get the farther behind I seem to become. A few years ago I could compile this column in less than four hours, now it takes me over six hours. I’d best get going to make deadline. Hop on board and come along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.
COCHRAN EXPANDS VOTE TO WIN
A few weeks ago I wrote about the only way to get the most qualified candidates elected if candidates were running in only one party primary. Last week in Mississippi was a perfect example of what I had said. Democrats turned out to vote in the Republican runoff between Sen. Thad Cochran and Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel. Because of the democratic vote Cochran won. If Democrats wouldn’t have voted, the extremist McDaniel would have been elected. McDaniel is hollowing foul but like I wrote before, Republicans created this situation. What they created led to majority leader Eric Cantor’s defeat. The system gives the advantage to the “against the establishment.’ The negative vote is more likely to go to the polls. The last time I wrote about turnout was after the county judge’s race where Brint Carlton was elected with only 2900 votes and no Democratic challenger in November. Democrats should have run a candidate for county judge if not, then they would have to vote like they did in Mississippi. Some would say that’s not fair. Well, think about this. When Democrats controlled all local offices and there weren’t any Republican primaries (same thing in reverse) Republicans and Independents voted in the Democratic Primaries. Proof of that, when Judge Pete Runnels and Judge James Stringer ran against each other, they drew 25,000 votes in the primary. Last month the county judge’s race drew less than 6,000. Republicans voted in the Democratic race back then. The GOP created that all over the country with gerrymandering or scaring off the Democratic candidates with straight party voting. Suppressing the vote is part of their strategy. They control elections with low turnout. In Mississippi Cochran turned the cards on them by convincing Democrats to vote. Unfortunately that’s the only way to get the best candidate. I’m not convinced, on the local level county wide race that a good Democrat can’t win. I believe if one was running in the November General Election, a Democrat would have a good chance.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME 10 Years Ago-2004
Frances Collins Harris went to prison for kidnapping her then three year old granddaughter, Nocona Smith, whose name had been changed to Burton in 1994. Harris fled the country with the child for eight years. This week, she completed her seven months at Carswell Federal Penitentiary. She will now find out what a year’s probation will consist of. (Editor’s note: Frances has been free the last ten years and has written a book about the entire story.)*****Coach Kevin Flannigan has left Orangefield. The new coach is Blake Morrison. He was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach and A.D. Morrison has no previous head coaching experience. *****Fifty years ago this week, in 1954, Elvis recorded his first song “That’s Alright Mama” recorded at Sun Record. His first million seller however was “Heartbreak Hotel” in 1956. *****Mike Johnson, the home builder, suffered a massive heart attack. We understand after being given only a 20 percent chance of recovery, he’s doing far better than expected.*****President George W. Bush and Rocky Stallion both turn 58 years old on July 6. (Editor’s note: Hard to believe they will be just two years away from 70 on July 6.)*****Steve Faircloth is Bridge City Police Chief; Wilson Roberts was Bridge City’s first chief. In the beginning, the city only had a marshal, likeMatt Dillion, I believe he also had a Barney. *****This week Bridge City celebrates its 34th birthday. The Penny Record, the city’s only newspaper since 1956, is running a promotion featuring interviews with the city’s only city attorney H.D. Pate and its founder C.W. “Bubba’ Hubbard. The city’s first mayor was P.M. “Red” Wood. *****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Louise Wilkinson, 89, of Orange, died July 1. ***Jessie Ruth Seahourne, 90, died July 1. ***Luna Mae Elliot Cronk, 90, of Bridge City, died July 3. ***Myrtle Howell,of Bridge City, died July 4. ***Mildred Marie Wozencraft, 79, died July 5.
35 Years Ago-1979
Birthdays this week: Butch Lusignan celebrated July 4; Louis Boudoin, July 5; Amy Oubre, July 9; Marie “Toot” Brasseaux, July 12. *****Paul Roy and A.J. Judice and some other good folks hosted some high school youngsters for the Fourth of July fun day on Cow Bayou.*****Former Orange Police Chief Walter Cobb and wife Mary, who has a broken arm, along with the kids, visited in Orange. A fun Fourth of July day was attended at the home of Bill and Martha Hughes.*****Jessie Hebert, membership chairman of the Bridge City B&PW sent four members to the state convention in Lubbock. Delegates were Sue Pate, Mary Railey, Lennie Rutledge and Jeanne Wood. They will report at the July meeting. *****The Bridge City Eagles Club will install officers July 8 at Wayside Inn. Curtis Lee will serve a second term as their fearless leader. *****Congrats to Bridge City college students on their scholastic achievements. Making the Dean’s List at Texas Lutheran College are Ronald Weishaar and Art Simmons. Sherry Ashby Kelly Barras, Dempsey Edmond Deason, Vickie Harvey, Deana Richey, Janalynn Russell, Delia Taylor and Mary Jo Bullard are on the Dean’s List at Sam Huston. Dennis Haire, 1973 B.C. grad, earns a Master’s Degree in accounting at the University of Texas. *****Gene Edgerly is home facing a long recovery after having back surgery. *****Happy belated birthday last month to Patsy Fisette who celebrated on June 17. Also, Ann Lieby, who celebrated her 12 birthday on June 29 and John Lieby, who celebrated on July 5. Rod Fisette, Jr. And Robert Mann both reached the ripe old age of 21.*****The champion Bridge City Raven softball team is made of Angie Boudreaux, Theresa Benoit, Kellie Little, Lori Landry, Sharon Landry, Angie Foreman, Tara Demler, Lisa Trahan, Marilyn Gamble, Kathy Fleming, Nancy Fleming, Vicki Lloyd and Shelly Weeks. Coaches are Robert Boudreaux and Walter Delcome. Team mother is Nell Tramble, team sweetheart is Karen Linden. *****Bubba Hubbard’s team won the Bridge City Rotary attendance contest. The losing team, led by Roy Dunn, will host the winners to dinner at Sartin’s in Sabine Pass July 12. The gas shortage will cause members to car pool unless Dunn can be talked into chartering a bus. *****Mr. and Mrs. Max W. Staudt, Sr. will be honored on their 50th wedding anniversary. The celebration will take place July 8, at the Women’s Club, 605 N. 5th St. and will be hosted by their children, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Belcher of Houston, Col. And Mrs. L. Fred Belcher of San Antonio, Mr. and Mrs. Max Staudt, Jr. of Orange and Mrs. Sidney Staudt of South Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Staudt were owners of Staudt’s Jewelry for 40 years. The store is now operated by son Max Jr. who recently opened a new store on 16th St. The couple have 15 grandchildren. She is 75 years old, he’s 76 years old. Hostesses are daughters Evangeline and Jenny and daughters-in-law Suzanne and Mary Ann. (Editor’s note: Staudt’s has since closed.)
40 Years Ago-1974
David Hamlett, Bridge City police agent, was stabbed while making a traffic stop. Hamlett stopped three men who were knocking down garbage cans in a neighborhood off of Ferry Drive. When he asked one of the men for identification, instead of his wallet, the man came out of his back pocket with an opened knife and stabbed the officer in the belly. Hamlett managed to put the barrel of his gun in the assailant’s mouth and cocked the hammer. He pulled the knife out of his belly and arrested and secured all three. Bleeding badly, he attempted to drive to the county jail. Near the county airport on hwy. 87, he pulled over and was losing consciousness when sheriff’s deputy Aubry Bickham arrived on the scene. Deputy Hamlett is hospitalized with severe injuries. Bridge City Police Chief Wilson Roberts was attending a movie when he was summoned. He praised his police agent and then added, “Our juries will just have to start throwing the book at these kinds of people who have no respect for the law. David is lucky to be alive.” (D.A. Sharon Beardenprosecuted the case and the assailant was given 30 years.)*****Barbara Gillis and Crip Trahan are both in the hospital, not with the same ailment however. *****John Cecil Beeson is home recovering after having elbow surgery in Houston. *****Betty Kazmar announced as a candidate for Orange city council. She is a high school government teacher.*****Orange Savings and Loan, 720 Front St., is paying 7.5 percent on a four year $1,000 minimum certificate.*****A wedding shower will be held July 11 for Rebecca Duhon, bride elect of Stephen Wolfe.*****Former Little Cypress-Mauriceville coach and athletic director Jim Crossland makes his pro football debut. Local football fans not going to the game in Houston can watch the Houston Texans-Chicago Fire game on cable channel 39. (Editor’s note: For several years Crossland was a new car dealer in Oklahoma. He sold both dealerships and he and wife Diane possibly still make their home in New Kirk, Oklahoma.)
A FEW HAPPENINGS
Allen Tate, a native of Bridge City, graduate of Vidor High, who moved to Houston and made his mark in the car business, has returned to the Triangle as general manager of Mid-County Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, located not far from St. Mary Hospital where he was born. Allen is the kind of guy that usually rises to the top. You have all met people like him, full of personality, courteous, looks you in the eyes and is interested in what you have to say. The new dealership is top of the line. Several Orange folks work there. I also ran across Moe’s grandson, Phil and Mickey’s son, Phillip Schaefer, at the dealership. I enjoyed visiting with him. They invite you to come look them over, visit, have coffee and see the great bargains they have to offer. We welcome them into our “Family of Advertisers.”*****A few folks we know who were under the weather last week. Everyone’s buddy, Donna Scales, was downed with the crud. Just felt lousy. ***Marlene Merritt, who for weeks has been caring for son Robert, came down with a bad ear infection that kept her indoors during the bad weather. ***Ms. Pearl Burgess was doing much better after a weeks stay In Baptist Beaumont. She’s a tough 93 year old who’s looking forward to her 94th in October. ***Our friend Don Harmon has good and bad days. He just can’t seem to get his full strength back but his cancer is in remission. *****We spotted Judge Joe Parkhurst visiting with his eldest grandson Dylan, who was in from his Coast guard duties in Kentucky. He has been in the Guard for a year. Dylan‘s other grandparents are Bill and Wynona Stark. *****Earl Thomas and some of his Seahawk friends and fellow players were in town putting on a football clinic last Friday and Saturday. Nearly 900 youngsters attended. It’s great to see Earl III giving back to the community that raised him. That hasn’t always been the case with others. *****Dr. Al Pugh has been the only veterinarian in Bridge City for a long time. He was not a charter member of the Bridge City Rotary but he has 34 years, headed for 35, perfect attendance in the club. Think about that; I don’t remember the name of the vet who was a charter member but I’ll never forget he wore white shoes. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch met at Robert’s last week. It was a low turnout with sickness, bad weather and vacation time. Ms. Edee Pratt, who had recently been in the hospital, stopped in. This week the Bunch dines at Novrozsky’s. Everyone is always welcome. *****Last week, Roy wrote about Georgia born Wally Fallow and his way of life in the old days. Well, we heard from the folks in Georgia wanting to invite area folks to the 63rd Georgia Mountain Fair in Hiawassee. The fair will be held from July 18 to 26. The fair features pioneer village where you can watch blacksmithing, soap making, tours of historical buildings, etc. Musical performances by Mel Tillis, Marty Stuart, the Bellamy Brothers, the McKameys and others. For more information call 706-896-4191. *****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. On July 2, KeeKee’s better half, pretty Nancy Dupuis celebrates. On this day also celebrating are Amber Fisette and Maria LeMoine. ***In 2010, on this day, our friend Lester “Buckshot” Winfree died. It doesn’t seem like four years ago. *****On July 3, Judge Joseph “Pete” Runnels was born 70 years ago. The former county judge is now mayor of Pinehurst. Also pretty Ms. Ellen Ray celebrates as doesBetty Richard and Kathy Simmons. *****On July 4, 1976, the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. Our little buddy, Toby the Clown, Dewayne Marsh, is a Fourth of July baby. His birthday is celebrated every year with fireworks though the nation. Other Fourth babies are Kellie DeRouen, Kathie Wilson, Lillie Mae Henderson and Kathy Maloney. *****Celebrating on July 5, is Pat McCombs, Susie Bickham, Billy Boehme, Shane Hanks and Charlotte Pruter.*****Happy birthday to Makayla Peveto, Tom Arnold, Alyson Smith, David May and L.J. Braus on July 6.*****July 7 finds a threesome celebrating, pretty Donna Peterson, one of my favorite girls, is joined by Judge David Peck and his buddy Jerry Wilson. Can you believe those two were born under the same sign, just a few years apart. Similarities. Now you know. *****On July 8, longtime friend Margie Bean celebrates as does pretty Elizabeth Dupuis, who fortunately takes after her mom. Amber Seiler and Anita Hennigan also celebrate. Toby Keith turns 53. Happy birthday to all. Please see complete list. *****Our friend, longtime Bridge City Animal Control officer, Stacy Snell, who has been widowed for several years, will take the plunge and marry pretty Heather D. Hargroder. We wish this fine couple many, healthy, happy years. *****Win big bucks Saturday July 5th at Cotton’s Bingo. There will be a $20,000 jackpot plus many more winners. It’s the nicest bingo hall in the south. If you haven’t visited yet this is a good time. You will be impressed.*****This week is also a great time to dine at Peggy’s on the Bayou. See specials in Peggy’s ad in this issue.)The Supreme Court ruled Monday in a 5-4 decision that Hobby Lobby didn’t have to furnish birth control pills to their female employees. However, they must still furnish men their Viagra pills.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
Lisa Wilson, Amber Fisette, Marla LeMoine, Maria Garcia, Brennon Mitchell, Mary Martell, Nancy Dupuis, 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, Donna Peterson, Brantson Broussard, Jennifer Martinez, Jerry Wilson, Levy Hartman, James Swan, Devon Caldwell, James Arnett, David Peck, Jason Barclay, Margie Bean, Amber Seiler, Anita Hennigan and Elizabeth Dupuis.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Clotele Nunez was shopping at da Kroger Supermarket where she selected a quart of two-percent milk, a carton of large eggs, a quart of orange juice, a head of lettuce, a two-pound bag of Seaport coffee and a one-pound package of Bum Phillip’s Blue Ribbon Bacon.
Wen Ms. Nunez was unloading her items on da conveyor belt to check out, Amos Boudreaux, da town drunk, was standing behind her holding a six pack of beer. Boudreaux watch as Ms. Nunez place dem items in front of da cashier.
Boudreaux holding himself up by leaning against da counter say to her, “You must be single you.”
Ms. Nunez was a bit startled but intrigued by da drunk’s intuition. She look at her six items seeing dat nuttin was particularly unusual about da selection of groceries. She turn around and says to drunk Boudreaux, “Well, you know wat, you absolutely correct, you, but how on earth did you know dat hanh?”
Boudreaux still holding his six pack, swaying back and forth, answer, “Cause you’re so ugly.”
This Fourth of July weekend, thousands of Texans will gather with family and friends, fire up the grill, ice down some drinks and sit back and enjoy one of our nation’s favorite holidays, Independence Day. In 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed there were 2.5 million people living in the 13 colonies. Today there are more than 300 million Americans inhabiting 50 states, who will celebrate the founding of our great nation. And the Declaration that secured our independence still stands as the foundation of democracy. Remember it’s more than a backyard BBQ, red-white-and blue streamers, downtown parades or fireworks displays. The Fourth of July is a celebration of the freedom afforded to us as citizens of the United States of America. This year, as you set out to enjoy your holiday, take a moment to remember those who are sacrificing their personal safety, and even their lives, so that you may enjoy yours. Please stay safe. Every year too many citizens are injured or lose their lives. Thanks for your time. Please shop our family of advertisers and take care. God Bless America and Happy Fourth of July.