GOOD HAPPINGS LAST WEEK

Our two newspapers celebrated 57 years last week. We presented the “Person of the Year” award to Earl Thomas, III. His mom, Debbie and daughter Kaleigh Rose, accepted on Earl’s behalf. He was unable to accept the award in person due to therapy after shoulder surgery. Two of his aunts also attended. The gathering was hosted by The Wednesday Lunch Bunch, at Robert’s Restaurant. Coaches Dan Hooks and Cornell Thompson. West Orange mayor Roy McDonald and police chief Mike Stelly were special guests. Dr. Mike Shahan, president of Lamar Orange presented the award. Those attending included The Lunch Bunch and guest. *****Last Thursday, the pride of Orangefield, Judge Courtney Burch Arkeen was honored with the prestigious “National Athena Award for 2015.” She was presented the award at a breakfast ceremony at the Brown estate. Judge Courtney joins a long list of outstanding Orange County women who have been the recipient of this award. Congrats Judge. *****In Austin last Friday, Bridge City’s Alexus Henry won the gold in the high jump for the second year. This season she set a new class 4-A state record by clearing 5 feet, 10.5 inches. Alexus, a senior, will long be remembered at Bridge City for all of her great accomplishments. Meanwhile, LC-M senior, Ethan Reed, captured the gold medal in class 4-A shot put with 57 feet, 7.5 inches and brought home the silver in the discus.*****Congrats to the Bridge City Lady Cardinals for an outstanding season that came to an end Saturday. The Lady Cards won game one in best of three series against Huffman. They dropped games two and three to end their season. ***The Bridge City boys continue their winning ways as they take on Huffman in a one game winner take all, to be played at Baytown Sterling, Friday, 7 p.m. *****West Orange Stark plays Bellville, Thursday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Barbers Hill, in the first of three games. The second game is Friday, 7 p.m. and third, if necessary, Saturday, 2 p.m.*****I’d best be going. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

REMEMBERING DAVID RICHARD

David was a common man who proudly displayed his Cajun heritage and Catholic faith. I first met David in the 1970’s when he and Fay and their young daughter moved here from South Louisiana. They came to work in distribution at the Opportunity Valley News and later David became distribution manager. That was just one of his jobs. I never knew him to have less than two jobs, often three. He did not have one lazy bone in his body. David was filled with kindness and would help anyone who needed it. He often would stop and mow some elderly person’s yard, weed eat and drive off. He was loyal to the core and appreciated his friends. For years he and I worked together on political campaigns. He knew the Cove area so well he could call the turnout and outcome. He was a great campaigner and one of the good guys. When Kenny Pigg called me, I was shocked to learn of David’s death of liver disease. David didn’t drink and when I saw him last a few weeks ago he didn’t appear to be sick. Fay had undergone cancer surgery two years ago and recently a colon operation and is in a wheel chair suffering with a bad blood clot in her leg. I had asked David about her never dreaming he would be the first to pass away. I have a lot of stories and memories about the Richards that Fay acknowledged at the visitation. A large crowd of friends filled the funeral home. David never met a stranger. He made friends easy in all walks of life. David Richard, age 68, passed away at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 14. Services were held Tuesday, May 19 at his beloved church, St. Mary Catholic Church, in Orange. He went home for his burial in Mermentau, next to their infant son. Please see obituary. Like many of his friends, I will never forget that special Cajun. Our prayers are with Fay, who faces a rocky road. May God be with her.

DOES COUNTY NEED ITS OWN MILITIA

The question is in the hands of Orange County commissioners. It would be the first such action in Texas. Is it worth the stigma it would bring? It shows a lack of confidence in our law enforcement. At this time, I believe we have the most highly trained and schooled sheriff’s department we have ever had. They are equipped with the best and latest technology available. Our police departments are as good and up to date as any department anywhere. All constables and their deputies are certified if needed and we also have DPS officers and if the need be the National Guard is available. If Sheriff Merritt needed to, he could still call on the 35 member Militia into reserve status, just like the deputy constables. The Militia is not a bad thing and the members should be commended for their offer to help when needed. Hopefully they would be just as willing to serve if called on without being Orange County‘s official Militia. Law enforcement wise, Orange County is already well served.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2005

The Cormier Well Service celebrates 58 years in operation with a get together of suppliers, friends and employees Friday at Jewel Cormier Park. The well service was started by Paul Cormier in 1947 and continues today under direction of his son Bobby Cormier. Over 300 people attended. The company unveiled its new rig, The National Oil Well model 5-C, 500 class work-over rig. Old timers told stories about the early days in the business. David Bradley, known only as “Pine Knot” has been with Cormier’s since nearly the beginning. Mr. Paul, “The Boss” was in attendance and shared a great day with longtime friends. (Editor’s note: Since that day Mr. Paul has passed away.)*****On Saturday, May 21, temperatures in Orange County hit 100 degrees, a record going back 100 years.*****The Bridge City Cardinals and the only Orange County team left in playoffs. The B.C. girls bowed out last week. The boy’s baseball team plays Columbus, who knocked them off last year. The Cards have revenge on their mind. The Cards are considered the best hitting team in the state. *****Afleet Alex, even after stumbling, won the Preakness. Giacomo, the Derby winner, came in third. *****Dr. Nina Leifeste, a Bridge City resident and former school board member, is battling cancer. She is determined to beat the cancer and many people are praying for her. (Editor’s note; Nina did win the battle and is still practicing.)*****Barbara and Dr. David Olson’s daughter, Katie, graduated from the University of Texas Dental school last Saturday.*****Don and Mary Stanton had never visited Roy’s hometown of Abbeville, so catching Hwy. 14 at Lake Charles, they went through Gueydan and Kaplan to get to the old Acadian town. Of course they ate at “Shucks,” saw the sights in the historical old town and were impressed. *****Cecile (Mrs. Ray Berard, Lois Judice’s sister, had knee replacement surgery May 23. *****We’re in a four week drought, going to five. Air conditioners can’t keep up in this extreme heat. Neighbor Cox says it is a bad year for gardens, he can’t water enough. The Bucket Farm, at the Creaux’s Nest, is doing pretty good, so are the cucumbers. (Editor’s note: A far cry 10-years later, too much rain, gardens were started late and most nights are cool.)*****Coaches 24 3-A, All District Baseball Team is as follows. MVP, Kevin Angelle, pitcher, BC; Offensive MVP, Hunter Hays, BC; Defensive MVP, B.J. “Ben” Myers,  BC; Newcomer MVP, Earl Thomas, outfield, WO-S; MVP Coach, Billy Bryant, BC. ***First Team: Darrel Stevens, pitcher, BC; Eric Sparks, pitcher, WO-S; Clay Bourgeois, pitcher, OF; Lee Phillips, pitcher, WO-S; Ryan Crouch, catcher, WO-S; Brad Becker, first base, WO-S; Nic Lavergne, second-base, OF; Cody Caples, third-base, OF; David Coulter, short-stop, BC; Cody Sparks, outfield, BC; Eric Neal, Jr., outfield, HF; Jeff Wheatly, outfield, WO-S; Jeremy Shoemaker, outfield OF; Randall Locke, utility,. OF; Kirk, Vincent, designator hitter, BC.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Phyllis Dunn lost her mother, Amy Oubre, age 93, who passed away May 18 in Hot Springs, AR. while at the home of daughter Jo Ann Huard. She was a Bridge City resident, raised in Orange, born in New Iberia, LA, and lived in Port Arthur many years. She was married to Whitney Oubre 57 years before his death in 1987. *****Connie Aubin, 85, of Orange, died May 22. A native of Denham Springs, LA. She had lived in Orange since 1987. She was preceded in death by her husband Floyd Aubin. She was an incredible artist, who started on canvas but had painted on china for the past 20 years. She is survived by sons Vernon and Mike and daughter Kathy and their families. *****Peggy Prince, 78, of West Orange, died Saturday, May 21. A native of Pritchett, Texas, she had lived in Orange since 1941 and was a 1943 Stark High grad. She was a self employed beautician. *****Nellie Faye Horton, 77, died May 19. She taught English for many years at WO-S High and later was a librarian at LC-M. She is survived by husband Jack, son Jack Jr. and daughter Charlotte McClain and their families. *****Elaine Linscomb, 81, of Orange, died May 16. She is survived by her daughters Yvonne Carpenter, Renee Peveto and Theresa Glidden and their families. *****Davis Mardis, 75, of Orange, died May 16. He was a Korean War vet. He is survived by sons John and Steve and their families. *****Catherine Rogers, 80, of Bridge City, died May 17. She was BCISD’s first school nurse in 1962. She was a nursing instructor at St. Mary School of Nursing in Port Arthur. *****Bobby Tucker, 70, of Orange, died May 18. He was native of Loreauville, LA. He was an Army Veteran and was retired from Waste Management.

40 Years Ago-1975

Jay Tomplait of Bridge City records “Born to Serve the Lord,” a gospel album. Advance copies are available from pretty Ann Segura at Bridge City Cleaners.*****Salesmen that can be found on Harmon’s Used Car lot at 207 Green Ave. are Wendell Harris, Pinky Walters and David Harmon.*****Muhammad Ali whips up on Roy Lyle. Howard Cosell called the fight. *****Former Little Cypress football star Don Dean, who ran the wishbone for Texas A&M before transferring to Louisiana Tech, and NCAA runner-up last season, is helping Coach Dexter Bassinger with his Stark High quarterbacks in spring training.*****Winning the Orange County Bass Club Tournament were Preston Prince and Gary Glende, 21 pounds, 13 ounces; Virgil Wilson and A. F. (Scotty) Scott, 18 pounds, 1 ounce; Troy Woodall and Harold Fuquia, 15 pounds, 7 ounces.*****The oldest people attending Old Timers Picnic were Elizabeth Black, 94, and Pop Trahan, 93.*****Bridge City teacher Lois Morris prepares to leave for a trip to Budapest.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

We had a nice visit last week with our longtime friend Vergie Moreland, former Orange County treasurer. She is staying busy with various projects and church. She and Larry celebrated their 50th anniversary in March with a big reception. They are planning a trip overseas this summer to London, Paris and other destinations. Vergie has always been a beautiful lady but also very nice and smart. *****“Shootout on the Sabine Boat Races” promises to be a big weekend in Orange May 30-31.  The races and entertainment, free to the public, is presented by the City of Orange (CBB). Kree Harrison, an American Idol finalist, who is from Woodville and at one time attended school in Bridge City, is coming home to perform. Jason Martin will open the entertainment for Kree. The show will start at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 30, at the Riverfront Pavilion. Entertainment at its best plus great boat races. *****After American Pharoah won the Derby, which we had predicted he would, we said he could be the horse to win the Triple Crown but it would be a long shot. We did however say he would win two out of the three. If he had any problems, we thought it would be the short Preakness. He won going away, looked strong enough to run the longer Belmont on June 6. No horse he has run against will beat him. It will take a new challenger. (Historical note: On May 17, 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was won by Aristides, ridden by Oliver Lewis, a black jockey. *****We have a lot of friends celebrating birthdays this week. On May 20, Karen Dunn Gros, one of the hardest working ladies we know, a single mom who raised three fine boys and sent them all to college, celebrates on this day. She deserves a good one. Also celebrating on this day is David Jones, Lucie Rucker and Pat Bland. They join NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, 43 and Cher, 68, (can you believe it?) Also on this day, Les and Wanda Johnson celebrate their 60th anniversary. *****On May 21, our buddy, Mark’s better half, Babette Philpott celebrates. Pretty June Gregory, Fred’s widow, also marks a birthday as well as B.C. grad and now in the U.S. Air Force, Sarah McClure and “Record” longtime employee Willis “Bill” Pope is a year older. They join politician Al Franken, 63, and pop singer Leo Sayer, 66, *****On May 22, Lauren Parrish, Bridge City teacher celebrates. Also Margaret Toal notches another year as does 1978 BC grad Gary Hollingsworth. They join model Naomi Campbell, 44 and NFL’s Julian Edelman, 28. *****May 23 finds a special lady, a true gift, Amanda Uzzle celebrating. Also Beverly and Jody’s boy, Billy Raymer, Justin Trahan and Tracy Davis. They join Elvis’ girl friend and Bruce Jenner’s ex-wife Linda Thompson, 64. Also actress Joan Collins, 81, TV host Drew Carey, 56 and singer Jewel, 40. Bonnie and Clyde were killed on this day in 1934. *****On May 24, the twins, two great guys, Rusty and Joey Williams of Orangefield, get a year older. Also Chris Green, Gracie Lemley and Nelson Derrick. They are joined by Bob Dylan, 73, singer Patti LaBelle, 70 and can you believe Priscilla Presley, 69. *****May 25, Memorial Day, is also Mark Philpott’s birthday. He talked Babette into marrying him on his day rather than hers. They celebrate their anniversary on this day also. Others celebrating birthdays is Jo Lynn Harris and Doc’s other half, a nice lady, Barbara Olson and our longtime friend Hubert “Sprad” Spradling. They join actors Mike Myers, 51, Ian McKellen, 75 and Anne Heche, 45.*****On May 26, lovely Jean Moreau celebrates as does our friend of many years, Dr. Joe’s widow, Mary Majors celebrates. They join singers Hank Williams, Jr., 65, Stevie Nicks, 66, and Lenny Kravitz, 50. *****I’ve already called Cindy and Donna at Pestco. They’re coming out to rid me of ‘Skeeters’ for the next six weeks and they will do my annual termite and bug treatment while there. They use herbal, all natural ‘Skeeter’ be-gone, good smelling spray. Give them a call*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines at Robert’s this week and at PK’s Grill next week. *****How bout them Rockets? Houston becomes only the ninth team to rally from a 3-1 deficit. They came back to win game seven against the Clippers. They reach the western conference finals for the first time in 18 years. *****B.B. King died last Thursday at the age of 89. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform many years ago when we were both young. He wasn’t the star of the show. I believe Ivory Joe Hunter was. Ella Fitzgerald was also entertaining that night. I’ve watched him on TV through the years. He and ‘Lucille’ made a different brand of music. *****“Good Night Dave.” After a record 33 years, David Letterman, 68, signs off the Late Show on CBS on May 20. I seldom stay up late enough to watch him now-a-days, but of all the late shows, he was more to my style. I‘ll bet Steven Colbert does a good job. *****Our buddy J.B. Arrington turned 90. A big party was held Sunday. David Ball is publishing a story on J.B. this week. He is quite a character and has led an interesting life. *****Sweet Creations, in Pinehurst, is having a big anniversary sale. If you haven’t discovered this great little place yet you are missing a good bet. They can fill your need for any special occasion. Unique stuff. Tell ‘um we sent you.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Joe Babineaux was sitting at Tee-Boy’s Bar & Grill one Saturday drinking dat Milwaukie beer all afternoon. Tree big ole boys wat works in da oilfields came in and sit at da bar. After a little while, Babineaux, him, looks at da guy wat is sitting next to him and axe, “Hey, you wanna hear a good Aggie joke, hanh?”

Da big guy, him, look down at Babineaux and says, “Let me tell you something. I’m an oilfield roughneck, I weight 220 pounds and I damn sure don’t like Cajuns. My buddy here is a former professional football player, weighs 300 pounds, and he don’t like Cajuns either. Our buddy, Hulk, is a former professional wrestler, weighs 320 pounds, has a chip on his shoulder, and dislikes Cajuns even worse than us. We are all Texas Aggies. Now, you little coonass, do you really want to tell us an Aggie joke?”

Babineaux, all 145 pounds of Cajun attitude, tells dat big boy, “Well, I guess not. Dat would be too much trouble. After all, I don’t want to have to explain it tree times, me.”

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK

John Sims, David Jones, James Batson, Karen Gros, Lucie Rucker, Pat Bland, Alayna Womack, Bill Pope, Babette Philpott, Charlotte Foreman, Hannah Dupuis, James R. Braus, Sarah McClure, Gary Fontenot, June Gregory, Lauren Parrish, Will Schisler, Bailey McCurry, Gary Hollingsworth, John Hanes, Louis Purifoy, Billy Raymer, McCartney Miller, Justin Trahan, Tracy Davis, Amanda Uzzle, Philip Douglas Thomas, Joey Williams, Rusty Williams, Fran Bullard, Gracie Lemley, Jane Logsdon, Nelson Derrick, Chris Green, Jack James, Cutler Hubbard, Jo Lynn Harris, Judy Duncan, Sheryl Frazier, Archie McLellan, Barbara Olson, George Ragsdale, Logan New, Greg Williams, Mary Majors, Willamette Reynolds, Dylan Ball and Dylan Maas.

C’EST TOUT

The George Stephanopoulos story is way overblown. George contributed $25,000 a year, for three years, to Bill Clinton’s Foundation, a charity organization which focuses on health around the world. George didn’t donate to Hillary’s campaign funds, yet that’s the perception being spun. Bill and Hillary don’t take a penny from the foundation. She doesn’t buy food or pants suits and Bill doesn’t buy cigars. Over 400 million people have benefited from the foundation work. Even President George H. Bush has worked with Bill on projects. It wouldn’t surprise me that Bush and some members of his family have given to Bill’s foundation. Rupert Murdock, owner of FOX, Wall Street Journal and other media outlets, has donated several million through it’s corporation. Murdock also hired Peter Schweizer to write a “Gotch” you book targeting Bill and Hillary. Murdock is the publisher and distributor. He now has Peter doing a “Gotch” you on Jeb Bush, who Murdock doesn’t want either. I can easily see why Stephanopoulos donated, not for favor from the Clintons because he burnt them good in his book, but because it’s a good cause, a tax write off. Bill is the reason that the world even knew about George. We have all donated to fundraisers our friends are involved in. I don’t believe for a minute that George’s small contribution, in comparison, would buy him anymore favor than he already had. As for Peter’s book, it’s a sham and George was right to discredit it. George and Clinton’s roots run deep and everyone knew that. However, he and Hillary’s relations have been rocky. When the writer agreed to go on ABC News this week, he was aware of that. George’s donation would not have changed questioning Schweizer’s about his rotten political book that was paid for to do the Clinton’s harm. Stephanopoulas has worked hard and done a good job to get to be the face of ABC News. He earned it. What a shame it would be for George’s reputation to be tarnished for donating to a worthy cause that helps people internationally. Not a penny goes to President Clinton or Secretary Hillary. The Clinton Foundation has over 300,000 donors, George is just one of them.*****Thanks for your time. Be careful, have a safe Memorial Day weekend. Take care and God Bless.