It’s been a week now since I’ve seen my friend Jonathan Seagull. Every morning for going on a year now I’ve thrown him some vittles. He walks around proudly; head up, shoulders back and when he is eating the other birds stay away. The two pigeons that sit on the top of the building across the street just watch until Jonathan finishes. The grackles sit on the utility lines and wait also for the big boy to finish. I’m concerned about him however. I last saw him Monday of last week. Jonathanis a loner, doesn’t have anything to do with other birds so I’m puzzled about his were-abouts. Maybe he met a maiden and decided to settle down and start a family. Maybe he will bring the wife around. He knows where he can always pick up a meal. He’s a handsome bird, proud as can be. I hope to see my friend again. *****Well, I had never been to an eye doctor before. I finally gave in and was given a prescription for reading glasses. I went down to $25 Optical on 16th. St. in Orange, one of our advertisers. Kristal, a nice young lady, who knows her business, fitted me for glasses. Two days later I picked the glasses up. Great fit. I can see now. I guess I was almost blind. The headaches are gone and I’m not getting as aggravated. I enjoy reading again. All for so little money. Next I’m going to see about regular glasses like Rick wears so it will make me look smarter. *****Well, I’ve got to get going. Hop on and come along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.
We’re just about 95 days away from the November mid-term and state races. At stake is control of the United States Senate. The Republicans are hammering President Obama despite the fact that his name is not on the ballot. The constant drum beat against the President is aimed at the “Obama Brand” and tying Democrats to the brand. History shows Democrats face an uphill climb. Since World War II, six presidents have been elected to the White House to serve two terms. In the sixth year mid-terms, five of those presidents lost an average of six senate seats and 27 house seats. Six of the senate races this year are democratic held seats in states that Romney carried two years ago. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win control of the senate. It will be the first big election since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. There are 36 senate and 36 gubernatorial races this fall, plus all 435 house races. Voters hear all the spin but it goes in one ear and out the other until September, October when they have to make a decision. Americans are unhappy about the way things are going in the USA. A case can be made that the economy has improved significantly by almost any measure. The country is better off than whenObama took office. Ten million jobs have been created since 2010; unemployment is down to 6.1 percent. However at this time Obama’s rating is down to 43 percent. In the Bush years, George W.’s rating was at 37 percent. It can also be noted that the congress has the lowest rating in history. Thursday they leave on a five-week vacation, leaving behind a lot of undone chores. They are scheduled to work 112 days this year but they will be in Washington much less than that while campaigning but if the President plays golf or attends a fund raiser they all run for a TV camera to tell the world about it. President Obamahas plenty on his plate but the country also has a platter full of problems around the world. Those problems should be addressed abroad as one country united but in an attempt to destroy our Commander-In-Chief, our countries ability to solve problems has been hurt. We all lose. Now the Tea Party is not only talking of suing the President, they are considering articles of impeachment. All of that is a move to get their base to the polls in November. I predict if they do that it will backfire on them. Sixth-seven percent of Americans are against that sort of demagoguery. I believe that’s the best way to blow any chance for the GOP to take over the senate. My best guess is if Democrats win Arkansas, Georgina and Kentucky, they will retain control of the senate. They can get by with winning two out of the three, but it gets closer. The GOP is odds on to take back the senate. Don’t bet on it though. They are great at shooting themselves in the foot. I say Demos hold the senate and close the gap in the congress regardless of all the spin and talking points. Extremism works in party primaries but I’ve never seen it work in the general election. If congress leaves Thursday without addressing the problem on the border and other issues, you can look for President Obama to do like all the presidents before him, use executive privilege. Then listen to them screaming.
10 Years Ago-2004
Mark Magnuson, hometown architect, creates the new Bridge City High School. The state-of-the-art school and gym is on track to be ready on school opening day, Sept. 1. BCISD superintend Sam Lucia and assistant Joe Chenella have both taken active rolls according to Magnuson.*****Suzanne Halliburton was visiting her mother Sue and family in Orange after returning from France where she covered the sixth Lance Armstrong’s sixth win in a row of the Tour-de-France. She has covered them all. She someday plans to put it all in a book. (Editor’s note: I wonder if at anytime Suzanne saw the turn of events in Lance’slife causing him to have to give up all of those awards. She knew Armstrong really well and there’s a great book there. At the time she was writing a daily column in the Austin Statesman and still does. (Suzanne’s first sports writing was for the Dunn owned Opportunity Valley Newspaper, while a student at LC-M.)*****We were sorry to learn of the death of newspaper reporter Laurie Haynes. She was 51 years old and had worked for area publications, including The Record. Laurie was well traveled and had lived around the world, including Cuba, Trinidad, Australia, Libya and Singapore. *****For the third year in a row, under the Bush administration, we will have the largest deficit in history. Gallup reports the previous four years under Clinton produced a budget surplus.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Dale Kyte, Sr., 56, of Orange died July 26.***Roberta Kelly, 95, of Orange, died July 26.***Fisher Wade Hughes, 4-month-old son of Steve and Renee’ Hughes, of Bridge City, died Wed. July 28.***Charles W. Dorman, Sr., 65, of Orange, died July 30.***Don Friend, 60, of Mauriceville, diedJuly 30.***Murphy Lemaire, 88, of West Orange, died July 31.***Gladys Humble Peveto, 80, died Aug. 1.***Inez Bowman,68, of Orange, died Aug. 2.*****Jennifer Spangle, of Bridge City, will become the bride of Lance Fall, on Aug. 14.***Also planning an Aug. 14 wedding is Selena Shores and Chuck Steele.*****Local high school football players to report at the start of two-a-days. The first scrimmages start Aug. 14. (Editor’s note: One thing a former high school player takes with him the rest of his life is those great August two-a-days. I can still taste the sweat.)
35 Years Ago-1979
Texas A&M University has announced that a street on the new fire training field has been named in honor of the late Jack G. Methner of Bridge City who was an instructor at A&M Firefighting School for many years. He was also a retired DuPont employee.*****Darlene Byrd, Oma Hons, Marie Richardson and Betty Schrieber have just returned from Las Vegas.*****Officers elected to the Orange Sunshine Chapter of American Business Women Association are Birdie Ferguson,president; Donna Frederick, vice-president; Alice Coulter, recording secretary; Mary Hodgson, secretary; Irene Garrett,treasurer. State Rep. Wayne Peveto was banquet guest speaker, Billye Minter, chief deputy district clerk was vocational speaker and Marilyn Vaughn was chair person.*****City councilman J.D. Stanfield and wife, Katie, attended Texas Municipal League’s quarterly meeting.*****Bridge City attorney H.D. Pate swears in new police chief Andy Verrett. Councilmen Richard Caillouct, N.J. “Vick” Vicknair, mayor Gordon Harvey and city manager C.R. Nash attended the ceremonies.*****The state announced traffic soon will flow smoother and safer in Bridge City with a $600.000 project to remove concrete esplanade that runs the length of the city and will allow for new traffic lane. Palm trees were planted on the esplanade as a beautification project after Highway 87 (Texas Ave.) went from a two lane road to six lanes. The removal will make the road seven lanes. C.R. Nash credits Sen. Carl Parker for the expediency from the Highway Department. B.C. chamber president Bill Nickum said, “I hate to see the palm trees go but they have become a maintenance problem with grass growing between them. The new design will be more practical and safer as traffic continues to increase in our city.*****Tropical storm Claudette cried over our area for three days dumping 10 inches of rain, knocking down trees and disrupting electric and telephone service.*****Happy anniversary to Vivian and Fain Holbrook.
The big 27th annual OCARC 27th fishing tournament is this weekend, Aug. 1 and Aug. 2. Year-in and year-out those people do a great job thanks to a bunch of sponsors and some dedicated workers and fishermen. *****A few natives under the weather: Sheila Richard recently had minor surgery but is recovering at home. ***Geneva Bonrque-Jaques is recovering from minor surgery. ***Rhoda Rhodes is at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas recovering from surgery. *** Janet Brunell Champagne is also on the mend. ***Don Harmon, recovering from cancer, is still battling to regain his strength. We wish all of these folks a speedy recovery.*****At the Lunch Bunch gathering last week, Nova Dee Strickland brought a guest Carolyn Parker, the widow of Hollis Parker, who retired from DuPont before his death. Son Ricky is now a DuPont employee. Carolyn makes her home in Mauriceville. Our friendship with the Parkers goes back 50 years. Marlene Merritt was down in the back, usually it’s her feet, Joel Steirman was on a cruise, Joe Parkhurst on a vacation trip, Donna was moving office furniture from Livingston, Pete was at an insurance meeting in Houston and T.W. and Lyndia Permenter were celebrating their 54th anniversary. This week the Bunch dines at Novrozsky’s, next week at Robert’s. Everyone is always welcome. *****A few folks we know celebrating their special day. On July 30Lisa McCall, Ronda Hale, Conner Godwin and Daniel Faircloth all celebrate. Also on this day Lisa Kudrow turns 50.*****On July 31Mary Bradford, Nancy Lancaster, Judy Chandler and Marie Pittman all celebrate as does Richard and Arlene’s boy Russell Turkel. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling turn 48. *****On August 1, Dr. Pauline Hargrave, superintendent of LCMISD (Dickie Colburn’s lovely sister) celebrates. *****August 2, finds longtime friend, a special lady, Joyce Dubose celebrating. She finally got John, the workaholic, to take off long enough to take her on a trip even though he cut off a couple of days. Also a good guy, a special friend, Judge Roy Derry Dunn celebrates on this day. “Mr. Lion” Stump Weatherford, everyone’s friend and Dayle’s other half, marks another birthday andChloe Halliburton, Sherri Vincent and Jean Lapeyrolerie say goodbye to another year. *****On Aug. 3, a nice lady, Bridge City’s first city secretary, Evelyn’s mom, Pat Brandon, celebrates, also Glena Delano, Lacey Monceaux and Elizabeth McBride.*****Aug. 4, is a special day for the Mayhaw man, ultra conservative, John Harrington. Also celebrating are Cody Fisette, Ann Collins, Debbie Hardee Wilbur, Delia Vann Muchelrath, Judy Boehne and Jeannette Edwards. This is also the day President Barack Obama turns 52. *****”Person of the Year,” Lamar’s president, Dr. Mike Shahan, marks another birthday on Aug. 5. Also Angie Benoit Lane, Nan Briggs, Sylvia Bickham and Paul Jagen. Happy birthday to all. Please see complete list. *****The temperature Monday at 6:45 a.m. was already 80 degrees. Bridge City Cross Country runners were out training with coach Cody Knight running along side of them. I call that coaching by example.*****Early Monday morning, the late Judge Grover Halliburton’s former law office on Green Ave. (what once was called “Deep Elam”) was destroyed by fire.Grover had spent a small fortune moving the old house to that location and remodeling it. He spent all that money just to get away from Charles Sexton, his former landlord, who occupied a law office next door.*****Here’s something Grover probably wouldn’t believe. The New York Times has endorsed the legalization of marijuana. I recall us talking about some guy in Waco who got 35 years in prison for possessing a matchbox of pot. That’s when one joint was prison time and a roach got you locked up. *****The “Mayor of Starks” Rene’ Hanks and wife Lucy are expecting their tenth grandchild. Those grandkids have really stayed active.*****The Harmon boys have gotten in a bunch of clean, nice, pre-owned cars and are making good summer bargains. Their low overhead allows them to sell for less, plus they do their own financing. They will make it easy to buy. *****The city of Bridge City has come a long way. In years past all the rain that came down last week would have flooded several houses and areas. The drainage program has really worked. Street improvement is amazing also; I can’t find a pot-hole now. There was a time when pot-holes were hard to miss. *****Olivia Cantu Dillow, age 27, is in the fight of her life against cancer. She has two small children and a wonderful husband. She is the daughter of Gabriel Garza Cantu, formerly of Bridge City, and Juan Cantu. Olivia is also the granddaughter of Gus and Angelina Garza, longtime Bridge City residents now deceased. Olivia is asking for prayers for her recovery.
Joe Nunez, wat is 65 years old, goes to see a doctor in Lafayette for a check up. Dr. Dartez is amazed him, at da shape Nunez is in. He’s straight, tanned and loaded wit muscles. “To wat do you attribute you good health Joe?” the doctor axe.
“I’m an alligator hunter me, I get up before daylight and go to da Atchafalaya Basin and at daylight I chase and jump in da water and wrestle dem alligators into my boat. I do dis all day me.”
Dr. Dartez says, “Well, I’m sure dat helps but dere has to be genetic factors. How old was you papa wen he died him?”
“Who says my papa is dead?” Nunez axe.
“How old is he?” Doc axe.
“He’s 83 years old, we alligator hunted dis morning us.”
The doctor scratch his head, “How old was you papa’s daddy wen he died him?”
“Who says my grandpaw is dead?” axe Joe.
“Your papa is 83 years old and his papa is still living, how old is he hunh?”
“101,” Nunez aswer.
“I guess you gonna tell me he went wrestling alligators dis morning?” Doc axe.
“No, said Nunez. He got married him.”
Doc him, he look at Nunez in amazement. “Got married, why would a 101 year old guy want to get married?”
Nunez answer, “Who says he wanted to?”
A Supreme Court t judge okay’s the sale of the Clippers for a record $2 billion. Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the sale of the team to former Micro-soft CEO Steve Ballmer. His wife Shelly negotiated the deal after her 80-year-old husband was banned by the NBA for making remarks about blacks. I’m sure Sterling will continue to appeal. He should take his half, one billion, and head to the sunset with a gal under each arm to hold him up. *****Speaking of sports, the sports world has gone crazy or some folks have more money than they can use. A Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M jersey, is expected to set a record for a college football jersey of $100,000. It’s the jersey Johnny wore in all six home games in 2012, the year he won the Heisman.*****Also Michael Jordan has no problem with LeBron James returning to No. 23, in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I don’t know what Jordan could do if he did have a problem with it. Think about this, the two greatest basketball players ever will both retire as number 23 being the best ever. *****Armed border militia has grown to more than ten teams despite opposition by public officials. The armed individuals are seen at campsites and walking along the Rio Grande River. They are carrying semi-automatic rifles and wearing masks, camouflage and tactical gear. Law enforcement and federal border patrol agents have been clear that the presence of these outside militia groups do nothing to secure the border, only creates an unsafe situation for the enforcement officials that are there protecting the area. Now Gov. Rick Perry is sending 1000 National Guard to the border, to be visible, according to him, Between the guard and the militia they will sure be showing each other a lot of semi-automatic rifles and doing very little else. The militia doesn’t cost anything; Perry’s National Guard will cost $12 million a month. Perry’s way of showing he’s a tough, macho conservative.*****If mosquitos are keeping you indoors call Pestco at 886-4248. They’ll help you out. *****It looks like I’ve used up my time. Thanks for yours and your loyalty to this column. Please read us cover to cover and do business with our family of advertisers when you can. They make us possible. Take care and God bless.