New Orange County officials took office Jan. 1. To County Judge Britt Carlton, Commissioner Barry Burton and Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3, Joy Simonton, we send our best wishes. Going back to 1948, Judge Simonton is only the seventh Justice of the Peace in Pct. 3, starting withJohn T. Denny when the office was located in Orangefield. The office was then moved behind a little Sak-N-Pak store on Texas Ave. where Stop and Drive is now located. When Judge Toupswas elected Judge Flo Edgerly’s mother, Abbie Carter, was office manager, assistant. WhenToups died his roommate Judge Andrus was appointed. He also inherited the grocery store. They operated the J.P. office in a little white building that still exists today. Judge Andrus retired, moved to the lakes where he ran for the J.P. office and was elected. Martin Ardoin retired from the plant and was Dist. Judge Gene Hoyt’s bailiff. He ran for J.P. and served until Flo Edgerlywas elected. She served for 20 years and was replaced by longtime chief clerk Janice Menard. It was during Adoin’s time that the J.P. office on Roundbunch was built. The new office on Hwy. 87-South was built while Menard was judge. She had some input in how the building was to be built, just as Ardoin had done on the Roundbunch office. Judge Ardoin is credited in stopping a longtime practice in the Bridge City area, then known as a “Speed Trap” and having a “Kangaroo Court.” The Justice of the Peace court is the people’s court; it’s not a district court. Judge Ardoinunderstood that and Judge Edgerly expanded on it. She really believed the court was primary to help people, a small claims court where people and businesses could get relief. She believed the J.P. court wasn’t only to fine people but to also help them. Judge Menard also ran a citizen friendly court. I gave this background so new Judge Simonton would know the history of J.P. Court, Pct. 3.  Sometimes I hope to expand on it. Judge Joy Simonton has an interesting life story, adopted by Joy and John Dubose as a child; she later searched out and found her natural parents who were no longer together. Today her adopted parents and natural mother and father all know each other. Joy brought them together. The new judge was raised in a good home with adopted brother Johnny. Her dad John was involved in public service since she was a child. Her husband Robert is a longtime Bridge City councilman. She has a good knowledge of public service. Judge Simonton is raising a family and has a law degree. She has all the tools to be a good judge. She’s there to help whenever she can. Judge Menard had a good and able staff thatJudge Simonton has retained. That’s a good thing. So to the child I’ve known since she learned to walk, I wish her the very best as Justice of the Peace of Pct. 3, an office that has quite a history.
We were very sorry to learn about the death of Brenda Lee Sanders Beaumont, 50, who passed away Friday, Jan. 2, at Baptist Hospital Beaumont after suffering a massive heart attack. Brendawas the daughter of our friends Sue and Tommy Simar. Our prayers and thoughts are with them and their family during these sad times. We knew Brenda to be a friendly, outgoing lady, who never seemed to meet a stranger. Services were held Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Dorman Funeral Home. Our sincere condolences to everyone who had the privilege of knowing this nice lady. May she rest in peace. *****Our deepest sympathy also goes out to the family of Sue McFerrin, 79, who passed away Jan. 2. Services were held Jan. 6 at St. Paul United Methodist Church. Mrs. McFerrin had been a longtime school teacher at Sims Elementary in Bridge City. Please see obituaries..
12 Years Ago-2003
New Orange County officers sworn in are Janice Menard, J.P. Pct. 3; Roy Derry Dunn, J.P. Pct. 2; Owen Burton, commissioner Pct. 2; Beamon Minton, commissioner Pct. 4; Carl Thibodeaux,county judge; Michael Shuff, county court at law judge; Buddie Hahn, 260th district judge; Karen Jo Vance, county clerk; Vickie Edgerly, district clerk; Vergie Moreland, county treasurer; Joe Parkhurst, J.P. Pct. 1; Sherry Smith, J.P. Pct. 4. (Editor’s note: They served us well and they were all good Democrats.)******County Commissioner John Dubose named Judge Pro-Tem. He replaces Sue Bearden who was defeated in the Democratic Primary runoff by Burton. *****Raymond Smith is installed as new Orange Chamber president replacing Carl Himel. Former State Rep. Ron Lewis served as master of ceremonies for the annual Chamber banquet. *****Hunter Scott Bolison, born at 5:52 P.M., Jan. 2, at Baptist Hospital in Orange, is the first baby of 2003. Parents are Jennifer and Timothy Bolison. (Editor’s note: Belated happy 12th birthday Hunter.)*****Pretty Lou Raburn is sporting a couple of black eyes. She was digging in the attic; something fell on her causing a concussion. *****Lovely Lyndia Peck hit a heavy weight and broke her heel. She’s in a cast all the way up to her calf. *****Nancy and Lewis Gay celebrate 50th wedding anniversary. (Editor’s note: Both of those fine people are gone now.)*****Dr. Williams tellsJudge Grover Halliburton that giving him a prescription for Viagra “Would be like putting a new flagpole on a condemned building.”*****John Stephens, a good guy with the drainage district, had heart bypass surgery and is now home and doing well. *****Karen’s youngest son, Collin Slade Gros, celebrated his 8th birthday Jan. 10. *****Mr. and Mrs. Grady Johnson celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Jan. 11. A reception sponsored by children David, of Groves, Ron, of Denver, Elaine, of Granbury, Ken and Steve, of Orange. (Editor’s note: Grady “The Governor of Pinehurst” Johnson is now 90 years old. Son Steve says, “He still points that crooked finger, tells you what to do and reminds you he’s still the boss.” Grady is one of those great East Texas folks. *****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTENBessie Hare Permentor, 76, died Jan. 2. ***Garland “Bud“ Sherman, 58, of Deweyville, died Jan. 2***Robert Mazzola, 44, died Jan. 3. ***Jeannie Hardy, 55, of Orange, died Jan. 3. ***Jack Wood, 73, of Pinehurst, died Jan. 3. ***W.R. “Bill“ Potter, 94, died Sunday, Jan. 5. He is survived by sons Richard and Danny and their families. ***Roger Phillips,62, of Orange, died Jan. 5. *****Louis Dugas says, “When we are young and can move fast, time moves slowly. As we age and our movements are slower, time moves rapidly. Can anyone explain that? (Editor’s note: I still miss Lou, even when he was cranky he was special.)
37 Years Ago-1978
Don Burgess is sworn in Sunday as 260th district judge by law partner H.D. Pate. Wife Bobbieheld the Bible.*****W.T. Oliver started the day before preparing a feast for the New Year’s Eve party and 23rd wedding anniversary celebration of Roy and Phyllis Dunn. The gathering was held at the Dunn home. Oliver featured 20 gallons of gumbo, 20 gallons of jambalaya, five gallons of sausage and black-eyed peas, Mexican corn bread and other trimmings. Paul Wise furnished the back-up music for a variety of singers. A highlight was the picking and singing of Father Walter Montedon. Between walking their baby Jenny, Gordon and Diane Baxter did a couple of numbers. H.D. Pate sang along and prompted Sen. Carl Parker into singing ten songs by announcing the Senator didn’t know but two. Vicki Curtis and Dennis Hall teamed up on the guitar while the crew harmonized. Furnishings foot-tapping and leg-clapping were State Rep. Wayne Peveto, Judge Grover Halliburton, Betty and Bernard Gaiarratano, Danny Brack, Judge Burgess, Barbara Gillis, Sue Pate and Betty Harmon. Big eaters were Bobby Cormier, Dewey “Teddy Bear” Cox, Bill Forte, Jack Parcel, Tim Lieby, James Fontenot and Ace Amedo. Don Jacobs sang his novelty songs including “The Legend of Roy Dunn.” Harold Beeson, judge of Rose City, author and newspaper reporter came without Shelia. The only time he ever behaved. Around 100 folks attended the annual party. *****Bridge City resident John Dubose was named business manager and controller of the Port Arthur News.
42 Years Ago-1973
District Judge Graham Bruce, Tax Assessor-Collector Louvenia Hryhorchuk and District Attorney Jim Sharon Bearden are all sworn into office. Also sworn into office New Year’s Day were County-Court-at-Law Judge David Dunn, Sheriff “Buck” Patillo, Commissioners Casey Peveto, Gordon Dunn, and Asa Mansfield, Constables Morris Collier, John Ford, Forrest Hudson and Carl Ward. Also sworn in was District Judge Fred Trimble.*****Immediately following oath, District Attorney Bearden announced that Bill Joyce, former sheriff’s captain and Newton police chief, had been hired as criminal investigator for the county attorney’s office.Bearden also hired Steve Williams as assistant in charge of misdemeanor cases.
We were saddened to learn of the death of Terry Fall, 80, who passed away Dec. 27. Service was held Tuesday, Dec. 30. We only learned of her death when our paper came out on Dec. 31. We had known Terry since we were all young parents raising our youngsters. She was a beautiful, sweet lady. Our condolences to son Lanston and daughter Peggy and their families. We will never forget her. May she rest in peace.*****Former Orange Republican chairman Zach Johnson, who graduated from Lamar in December and will turn 23 on Jan. 20, has landed a job in Austin as new state representative Dade Phelan’s administrative assistant. He’s living his dream. I predict someday Zach will return to Orange County and run for public office. Politics is his passion.*****Congratulations to Orangeite, Seattle Seahawk, former West Orange-Stark and University of Texas star, who has been named to the NFL All Pro team. Earl Thomas has made the team four out of five times. He and the Seahawks meet Carolina in a playoff game Saturday, 7:15 on FOX. *****The Cowboys beat the Lions Sunday to advance as a Wild Card in the playoffs. They will meet Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in what could be Ice Bowl II in Green Bay, noon Sunday on FOX. I fear Chris Christi may not be hugging Jerry Jones after this one. I hope I‘m wrong. *****Little Jimmy Dickens, 94, died Friday, Jan. 2. Country legend Hank Williams, Sr., nicknamed him “Tater” after Dickens song, “Take an Old Cold Tater and Wait.” Jimmy had many novelty songs including, “Out Behind the Barn,” “Country Boy,” I’m Little but I’m Loud.” He stood 4 foot, 11 inches and carried a guitar as tall as he was. He had performed on the Grand Ole Opry since 1948. He had known all the greats. His last performance on the Opry was Dec. 20, the day after his 94th birthday. Five days later on Christmas day he suffered a stroke after cardiac arrest. He was one of the jewels of country music. He wrote many songs including the one about good and bad luck, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” RIP Jimmy. *****The Beverly Hillbillies is a real classic television show series which ran from 1962 to 1971. Television only carried three networks and the Hillbillies was a show looked forward to each week. Donna Duglas, a Louisiana girl, who in her youth was a beauty queen, Miss Baton Rouge, Miss New Orleans and was chosen from 500 to be Ellie Mae Clampett on the Hillbillies, the family who struck oil in Arkansas and headed to Beverly Hills. The show also starred Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan and Max Baer, Jr., who turned 77 Sunday. I will never forget Ellie Mae, clad in tight jean shorts, flannel shirt, rope belt and her critters. The Clampetts, from the Ozarks, were somewhat of a forerunner to the 60’s counter culture. Donna Douglas, 82, died at her home, in her hometown of Zachary, Louisiana, near Baton Rough. She had pancreatic cancer. *****A few folks we know celebrating their special day this week. On Jan. 7, Michael “Mike” Collins, Teresa Collins, Betty Jagen and Libby Campbell all celebrate. They share birthdays with actors Nicolas Cage, 50,Dustin Diamond, 37, singer Kenny Loggins, 66 and TV host Katie Couric, 57.*****On Jan. 8, a youngster we have known since he was a puppy, former Bridge City and Lamar football star,Lanston Fall, has a birthday. It’s on a sad note he lost his mom Terry Fall last week. Sean Brinson, one of Gretta and Darrell’s boys celebrates as does Joey Halliburton, Mike Comeaux, Sandra Cole and Nadine Whitsett. They share this day with singer David Bowie, 67, game show host Bob Eubanks, 76 and a guy who started a new men’s hair style in the U.S., North Korea’s idiot leader Kim Jong Un, 31. This also would have been Elvis’ birthday.*****Jan. 9, finds Ken Steppe, Susan Kelly, Pat Gunstream, Chad Meadows and Harold Williams all celebrating. They join Princess Kate Middleton, 32, singers Crystal Gayle, 63 and Joan Baez, 73.*****OnJan. 10, one of my favorite young guys, Roy and Ms. Phyl’s youngest grandchild, Collin Slade Gros, turns 20.. Also our friend Frank Skeeler, a true Aggie, celebrates as does Sandy Uzzle andEmily Breaux. Joining them on this day are singers Rod Stewart, 69, and Pat Benatar, 61 also boxer George Foreman, 65.****On Jan. 11, Orange city councilman Bill Mello is a year older, as isTeresa Franklin, Grant Gibson, Madeline Dawn Evans and David Thompson. They share the day with singers Naomi Judd, 68, Mary J. Blige, 43 and actress Amanda Peet, 42.*****On Jan. 13, sweet and pretty Lyndia Permenter celebrates. Also longtime friend Mel Kemp Campbell, Kent Hannegan, Jack Stout, Mandy Jaarah and JoLynn Sholmire. Celebrities celebrating on this day are singer Trace Adkins, 52 and actors Orlando Bloom, 37, Patrick Dempsey, 48 andJulia Louis-Dreyfus, 53.*****Our friend Gerald Morris is back in a Houston hospital battling pneumonia. He did get to come home for Christmas then returned to a nursing home for therapy. Unfortunately he developed fluid around his heart and pneumonia. Our prayers are with him and wife Julia for a successful recovery. *****Justice of the Peace David Peck continues to recover. He is undergoing intense therapy in Houston in preparation of surgery that he will undergo later.Patsy says, “Thanks for all the prayers and acts of kindness. Peck was transferred to HoustonMonday. *****Last week 21 states raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8 per hour. Seventy-five cents an hour more means workers will have $30 more a week to spend on gas, school lunches, etc. Texas should at least do that much. *****Speaking of state government, State Rep. James White, who ended Mike Hamilton’s state political career, has filed 25 bills. His big one is to end the band on handguns. Everyone over the age of 18 would be allowed to strap on a holster and pistol without a license. I bet law enforcement loves that bill. If the Texas Cowboy Hat bill passes it’s icing on the cake. The Wild West returns.  *****Port Commissioner Keith Wallacegot to spend the holidays on a deer lease with his 12 and 15 year old sons. The boys both bagged their first deer. Something they will always remember. Keith says, “It’s memories for him also plus spending camp time with the boys. *****We just learned that David Johnson, one of Grady Johnson’s sons, has had quadruple by-pass surgery today. David is in our prayers for a speedy recovery. *****Great News! Gina Cessac has just learned 19 pathology reports have come back negative for cancer. She is still in the hospital recovering from surgery. She asks all to keep her in their prayers so she can soon be home with her boys.
Several years ago, TeeNeg Comeaux’s sister Clara Mae met a guy from up north and married him. She had been gone all dem years so TeeNeg and da family had never met her husbandUrban until dey came for a visit over da holidays.
During the visit talk turned to the weather like it always does wen trying to make conversation.Urban, him, he say, “It gets so cold in Minnesota in the winter, we have to put heaters under the cows to milk them.”
TeeNeg tink bout dat, den not to be out done by dat Yankee he say, “Mais, dat ain’t nuttin, it gets so hot here in Sou’h Loosiana, we got to feed ice to da chicken hens so dey won’t lay hard-boiled eggs dem.”
As of this week, the GOP controls both bodies of Congress. Now it’s time to show that Republicans can govern. I fear that John Boehner’s control of the Congress is too flimsy to make great strides. The Speaker, in order to appease the Tea party, was forced to name Steve Scailiseas majority whip. As it turned out, Scailise was exposed as being a supporter of a white supremacist group in the past. A few years ago he told a reporter that he was David Duke without the baggage. Well, now he is baggage and Boehner is stuck with him. I have little faith that the Congress will be able to shine in any area. I have a little more hope that new majority leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate will be the grown ups that can get bipartisan bills passed that can move the country forward. President Obama said send him legislation that he could sign. To continue to beat up ObamaCare won’t accomplish anything. Our nation must reach a consensus on immigration reform. If Republicans don’t like Obama’s executive order, then send him a bill he can sign. I really believe the President has a sincere hope that the White House and the Congress can work together on some important issues. I believe McConnell knows that the country is looking for them to lead, not just obstruct, but get things accomplish. McConnell also knows that if the GOP is to have any chance in the presidential race in 2016, the legislature must show progress. A jobs bill would really expand the economy that is primed to make big strides in the coming year. Due to low oil, manufacturing, farming and etc. almost every one who shops will benefit. Consumers will find lower prices on the shelf. Plastics, which are oil based, will save a lot, even utilities will be cheaper. We’re set to boom and if the Republican Party wants in on taking credit for the good times, then they must produce or Obama will get all the credit and Democrats will be poised to take back the Senate and keep the White House. The ball is in the GOP’s court. *****I’ve got to move along. Please read us cover to cover and shop our family of advertisers when you can. Tell them we sent you. Also check out our website for constant updates Thanks for your time. Take care and God bless..