WITNESSING THE TRIPLE CROWN

When Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, it had been 25 years since the last winner.  Affirmed was the last to win since that, 37 years ago. The odds of a horse winning the Triple Crown are very long. A special three-year-old horse must come along. After the Arkansas Derby, I predicted American Pharaoh would win the Kentucky Derby, then the Preakness, a race he finished very strong in. I then wrote it probably wouldn’t be smart to bet on him winning the Triple Crown but in my opinion, if he didn’t step on a nail or get penned to the rail, there wasn’t a horse in the field that could beat him in the 1.5 mile race. On D-Day, June 6, with my family gathered around me, I got to see my third Triple Crown winner. The first in the internet and social media age. Secretariat was featured in many magazines and a U.S. postal stamp was issued in his honor. The movie, based on a novel “Secretariat, Making of a Champion,” by William Nack, made him a pop culture touchstone that exists even today. American Pharaoh will be a popular champion. This is a special horse in a history making event, only the 12th in 147 years. The souvenir value of a winning ticket from the Belmont Stake is worth more than a couple of bucks. Out of the 94,128 paper tickets sold on American Pharaoh’s race, 90,237 remain un-cashed. People invested $2 to preserve a snapshot of history. Un-cashed winning tickets are already listed from $30 to $120 on Ebay. Un-cashed $2 set of three tickets from the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont are bringing $350. Some will hold on to their tickets in case there is no Triple Crown winner next year or even a few years going forward, the value is no doubt going to double. American Pharaoh will run again in August but his last big race will be the $5 million Breeders Cup Classic, in Lexington, Kentucky, on Halloween, Oct. 31. Jockey Victor Espinoza threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium Sunday. He will also go up in popularity but not like the horse he rode to victory three times to win the Triple Crown.*****I could talk horse racing all day but I’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Please hop on board and came along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

THE RISE OF THE 2015 BASEBALL MUSTANGS

The comeback kids, the West Orange-Stark Mustang baseball team, came back from one game down in the best of three, in three playoff games. I don’t ever recall that being done before. Add to that the fact that they lost their first three season games. They made it all the way to the state semi-final Wednesday, June 10, 4 p.m. at UT’s Disch-Falk Field against El Campo. A win would give them the opportunity to play for the State 4-A Championship. They may not have the best talent at every position but no doubt few teams’ posses so much character. How else could they have overcome the ‘come from behind’ games so many times to emerge as the winner. I’ll agree a Cinderella team of sorts but mostly a determination that comes only from true character traits. That’s a credit to good teaching and molding by good leadership. Coach Shea Landry, who we were watching play just a few years ago, took a few talented youngsters and built a team around them. He taught them to believe in each other. The results are what no outsiders would have expected, a chance to win the state championship. Regardless of what happens from here on, the story of the Mustang baseball team is a remarkable one. Their story won’t be duplicated anytime soon. It’s one of a kind. I’ve been impressed by their rivals, both youngsters and coaches, who are supporting this Mustang team and many will be cheering for them at the Austin game Wednesday, with hopes of WO-S playing for the championship Thursday. It’s been a great ride and all of Orange County is proud of your accomplishments.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2005

The Bridge City Cardinals lost (5-2) to Carthage in Class 3-A state baseball playoffs. Carthage went on to beat Lubbock Cooper 6-1 to win the championship. It was a great season for Coach Billy Bryant and a full bunch of young men.*****Roy Dunn, in his Life’s Highway column, writes abut his friend of 55 years, Gordon Baxter, 81, who died June 11. Bax was born on Christmas Day, 1923 in Port Arthur. Roy reiterated Ol’ Barefoot Bax stories and their friendship going back to the late 1940’s when Bax worked at Port Arthur College Radio. He told of the many exploits and of the many talented people Bax had in his circle of friends. He helped entertainers like George Jones, J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson and many area youngsters pioneer “Swamp Pop” music. Secretary of State Jack Rains said “Bax was the Voice of the Swamps, the Pied Piper of every kid and adult for 50 years in the Triangle.” Bax had eight children with his first wife Mary. He married Diane, a young airline stewardess in 1973. They had one child, Jenny. (Editor’s note: Diane has since also passed away.)*****Bill and Wanda Hardee celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 4. *****Mr. and Mrs. Ken Dupuis of Bridge City, announce the engagement of their daughter Elizabeth to Matthew Carter. Wedding date is Aug. 18.*****Our buddy, Monte Morphew, is having a ribbon cutting at his Mannix Media headquarters, 205 College Street, Orange, at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 17. Monte operates a full service ad agency and does a good job for his clients. Besides that, he’s a nice guy. *****Speaking of friends, Terry Landry has some great specials for dad at his Terry’s Men’s Wear. *****Sharon Bearden is delighting in the fact that a client asked him who is the oldest, Bearden or Judge Pat Clark? Clark is not going to let that one slide. *****General Motors will cut 25,000 blue collar jobs in the next two and a half years. Many more white collar jobs will be lost also. *****Afleet Alex wins Belmont by seven lengths on mile and a half track. Jockey Jeremy Rose, who also won the Preakness, was onboard. He lost the Derby. The first Triple Crown of horse racing was in 1919, won by Sir Barton. The great horse Seattle Slew won in 1977. Affirmed took the Triple Crown in 1978.*****Laila Ali beat Erin Toughill into submission in the third round and made history as the first woman to win a world boxing council title. Her dad, Muhammad, was at ringside.*****Orange County homeboy in the big league, John Patterson, won one for Washington Nationals over Seattle (2-1). John pitched seven innings, walked only one with seven strikeouts.*****The Michael Jackson jury, eight women and four men, ages 20-79, considered 684 exhibits and 95 pages of direction before declaring the pop star not guilty on all charges.*****Congrats to Kevin Angelle and Darrel Stevens, both of Bridge City, who were named to All-State Team. Also to Hunter Hays, named to All-State Tournament Team 3-A and Adam Jaynes of LC-M, named to play in 4-A baseball tourney.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Billy Barron, 68, of Mauriceville, died June 10. A Port Arthur native, he was the owner of Bluebonnet Upholstering in Orange. *****Craig S. Sweanrington, 54, of Orange died June 7. *****Muriel Thibodeaux Lewis, 90, of McLewis died Tuesday, June 7. *****Jason John Pietrowicz, 22, died June 9. A native of Orange, he was a 2001 grad. Stuart MacKillican, 67, died June 9. He was a drafting engineer.*****Frank Ellis Arthur, 58, a former Orange barber, died June 13.*****(Editor’s note: I can’t help but notice how many people who died just 10 years ago were much younger on average than people dying today. Life expediency is far better today than ten years ago.)

35 Years Ago-1980

Singer Jerry Vale brings his Las Vegas-style song and dance to Frances Ann Lutcher Theater. *****Huey Simon, at age 45, dies in an auto accident. His funeral was attended by one of the largest crowds ever. He loved life and cared a lot about people in general. He was one of a kind. *****Tick Granger elected County Commissioner in Pct. 3. In run off, Jack Thompson wins Constable, Precinct 1. *****Bridge City Cablevision begins service this week. Al McKay will operate the company.*****Dr. Joe Ben Welch, Dottie and their gals, Wendie, Sandi, Robin and Roxie, visited in Zachary, Louisiana for Joe Ben’s father Joe’s 64th birthday.*****Mark Dunn is on vacation in Boston and is expected to return with his fiancé’, Kerrie Lewis. He drove there and back.*****Norma Davidson celebrates a birthday on June 12.*****According to Joe Kazmar, Muhammad Ali, while on a Eastern Airlines flight, was asked by a stewardess to fasten his seat belt. Ali replied, “Superman don’t need no seat belt.” She came back with “Superman don’t need no airplane.” He buckled up. *****According to Chairman Larry David the Annual International Gumbo Cook-Off earned $18,000. Serving on committee were Jim Stelly, Terry Burns, Lt. Cmdr. Denis Condon, Ann Craft and Jimmy Verrett.*****Rotary Club and Orange Chamber named Jim Henderson, president of Orange Bank, ‘Businessman of the Quarter‘. Come July, Barney Morris will replace Jim Stelly as Rotary president. *****Cathy Dolly marries Richard Prudhomme. *****Congrats to Shirley and Joey Walker on the birth of their first child.  Keely Lynn arrived Wednesday, June 14. She weighed in at nine pounds, nine ounces. If she grows up like mom, she will be beautiful and sweet.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Last week we ran a story on Attorney Joe Alford’s law career and his battle with cancer. The story got a lot of response. The comments from those we heard from were all the same theme, that Joe is a credit to his profession. He uses his knowledge, experience and law license to help those who couldn’t find help elsewhere. Often for little or no charge. Example: A lady who called Tuesday morning said her brother was charged with a crime he had not committed. They managed to get him bonded out and Joe took the case. He waited on the money, which her brother paid in small payments. Joe won the case. A fellow lawyer called yesterday and said, he believes Joe is Orange County’s best criminal attorney. “He is well prepared and takes a special interest in every case.” Even though Joe considers his condition terminal, I understand he is undergoing one more experimental drug. He’s a good man, please keep him in your prayers.*****It’s always amazing to me how government officials can be in so many places in such a short time. Last Saturday, President Obama gave the eulogy at Beau Biden’s service in Delaware and 12 hours later, he was at the G-7 Summit, in Frankfurt, Germany.*****We heard from several people who appreciated Judge Pat Clark standing up for the retirees at Commissioners Court. They left the present plan in place. That was the right thing to do.Commissioner Banken was right, it would have been devastating to retirees on fixed income.*****Our longtime friend, former court reporter Micky Litton decided she would try it one more time. She and Jackie Gisclair, a native of Bridge City, who lived in Colorado, tied the knot Saturday afternoon at Larry Judice’s Cajun Restaurant in Groves. They will make their home in Victory Gardens. Micky bought Judge Flo and Gene’s home on the bayou. Best wishes.*****I understand that former sheriff Mike White is now the new fleet manager for Ross Smith’s Sabine River Ford.*****Clark Slacom became a new father-in-law this past weekend. Happy couple Amanda and Aaron Slacom tied the knot on Saturday. Congrats to the Slacom family.*****We hear Sammy Owens, retired Orange County Flood Administrator is under the weather. Hope he is feeling better soon.*****Kevin and Kim Sensat and family were seen camping at Lake Sam Rayburn KOA this past week. They had a great time with the girls Gabby, Emily and Sophie. They brought along new puppy Maggie who also enjoyed the camping trip.*****Bridge City High School cheerleaders are in Galveston this week attending camp. Bring home the Spirit Stick girls.*****Rodney and Anita Bussell attended granddaughter Brittney’s wedding in Houston this past weekend. Best wishes for a long, happy life together.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays. On June 10, Chris Riedel, Caroline Hennigan, Tyler Derouen and Chrisleigh Longlois celebrate. This would have been the birthday of our late friend Rayford Jimerson.Celebrity birthdays on this day are Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Phillip, 93, President Obama’s daughter Sasha Obama, 13 and actress Elizabeth Hurley, 49.*****Lovely Judge Mandy White Rogers celebrates on June 11. Also Dorothy Breaux, Harold Adkins and Lacy Wallace. They are joined by Transformer actor Shia LaBeouf, 28, football player Joe Montana, 58 and Dr. Oz, 54.*****June 12 finds Candice Steele, also retired B.C. counselor Kaaren Kline, Jesse Walles, Pam Williams and Magdalene Bryant. They join former President George H. Bush, 90, and reality star Kendra Wilkinson, 29. *****On June 13, Shawna Gauthier, Susan Fisher, Sidney White and Ryan Kelly celebrate. Celebrity birthdays on June 13 are Full house actresses Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, 28, actors Tim Allen, 61, and Richard Thomas, 63.*****On June 14, Betty Jean Lonadier, Sylvia Galbreath, Ben Perry, Brandy Aldridge and Brandon Duhon celebrate. They join entrepreneur Donald Trump, 68, singer Boy George, 53 and tennis player Steffi Graf, 45. Our longtime friends Peggy and David Claybar celebrate their anniversary on this day. *****June 15 is the birthday of our own Janelle Sehon, who is trimming down daily. On this day Nancy and Ken’s special child, Adam Dupuis, has a birthday. Also Denise Vickers, Tina Romero, Faye Sherwood, Sharon Fisher and Sherri Fruge. They join actors Neil Patrick Harris, 41, Courtney Cox, 50, Helen Hunt, 51 and Jim Belushi, 60.*****June 16 finds our friends Beverly Perry, who has been busy substitute teaching, Christian Louvier, Leigh Ann Wilon and Alex Brent. They join golfer Phil Mickelson, 44, singer Eddie Levert, 72 and actor John Cho, 42. Today would have been the birthday of Wilson “King” Dunn, a very special man who died April 29, 2013.*****David and Jennifer Claybar spent a well deserved weekend at the beach with their family.*****Wayne and Elaine Reeh celebrated 35 years of wedded bliss. Congrats.*****Last weekend proud grandparents, Tom and Jean Parker, took a trip to College Station to watch granddaughter Taylor graduate high school.*****Mike and Shona Rush are the proud parents of two dancing beauties, Lanie and Kinsley Rush. They finished the recital and say they are looking forward to next year‘s dance classes.*****Also enjoying watching  their granddaughter Addie perform her dance routines in Rose Thyer’s recital were Steve and Cheri Obermeufemann.***** I want to give everyone a heads up. Everyone’s friend, Mary Alice Hartsfield celebrates her birthday next Wednesday, June 17. She helps a lot of elderly folks and in fact, she took Roy out for breakfast at Judice’s for his birthday. That‘s helping the elderly.*****Speaking of Roy’s birthday, last Friday The Record staff surprised him with cake, balloons and all the trimmings. Friends stopped in and a lot of story telling went on. Judge Pete Runnels told the story about his first run for political office. He beat incumbent Jim Morris, former D.A., for Democratic Chairman. The race drew 25,000 voters. Today, we would be lucky to get that many in a presidential race.*****We hear Cassie Harrington has been spending time at the gym. Keep up the good work Cassie.*****The hot weather didn’t keep Jessica Lacombe from making her famous gumbo for husband Seth last weekend. Seth says he’s been a good boy.*****Just in: A U.S.A. poll says voters are unimpressed with the GOP Republican presidential field.*****Velma Theriot says she has three precious kittens that need forever homes. Contact her on FaceBook for more details.*****ALL USA 2015 Baseball Team named Luken Baker, 6 ft. 4 in., 250 lb. pitcher from Oakridge High School, in Conroe, as ‘Player of the Year.’ In 14 games, he had a 1.02 ERA. He batted.468 with eight homeruns.*****Talk about marrying well. Wal-Mart founder Sam Waltons’ grandson-in-law, Grey Penner, 45, has been named chairman of the board. He takes over from his father-in-law, Rob Walton. Wal-Mart is number one on Fortune 500 list.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK

Chrisleigh Longlois, Rayford Jimerson, Tyler Derouen, Caroline Hennigan, Chris Riedel, Harold Adkins, Lacey Wallace, Dorothy Breaux, Jacqueline Bourdier, Jane Minor, Candice Steele, Magdalene Bryant, Jeanette Hubert, Frances Ragsdale, Jesse Walles, Pam Williams, Brook Doss, Caitlyn Villanoueva, Elizabeth Tran, Kaaren Kline, Sidney White, Ryan Kelly, Shawna Gauthier, Steven Crabtree, Desia Davis, Duane Anthony, Susan Fischer, Tamny Droddy, Selita Ernst, Carley Swenson, Sylvia Galbreath, Ben Perry,Betty Jean Lonadier, Brandon Duhon, Brandy Aldridge, Adam Dupuis, David Cardner, Charlie Burnaman, Faye Sherwood, Ryan Richard, Sherri Fruge, Tina Romero, Alex Eby, Carol Hall, Denise Vickers, Sharon Fisher, Beverly Perry, Christian Louvier, Jennifer Harrison, Leigh Ann Wilson, Ruby Bell and Alex Brent.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Alfred Boudreaux picked his cussin, TeeNeg Comeaux, up and dey headed to T-Boy’s Bar and Grill. Dey order up a big pitcher of draft beer, dem. Wen dey finish dat one Boudreaux say, “Let’s get us anutta one. I don’t want to go home me, Agness wants me to mow da lawn and it’s jus too darn hot.”

Dey drink a few more pitchers and dey were pretty drunk wen dey walk out at sunset. Bout dat time, a truck went past loaded with rolls of sod.

“I’m gonna do dat when I win da lottery me,” said Boudreaux.

“Do what? Axed TeeNeg,

“Send my lawn out to be mowed me,” Boudreaux answer.

C’EST TOUT

Well, I’ve about come to the end of this column. As soon as I put it to bed, I’ll kick back to watch the NBA playoff game. By the time you read this on Wednesday, Cleveland would have won or lost game three, played Tuesday night. In the first two games against the Golden State Warriors, Lebron James scored 83 points and was Mr. Everything. If the Cav’s lost game three at home, I don’t see the series going seven games without Irving in the lineup, I don’t believe James can keep his production at such a high level for seven games. If the Cav’s win Tuesday, there is a chance, but James looked very tired after game two. My guess it won’t go seven but I hope I’m wrong.*****Two inmates escaped the maximum security prison at Clinton Correctional Facility in New York. The two convicted murder inmates used power tools to drill holes through cell walls and pipes. It’s a made for movie escape. It took a lot of planning and a lot of work to make their way through six floors to a locked manhole cover on the street. If they didn’t have outside help for transportation, they will soon be caught. They had at least a six hour lead before they were discovered missing. Escape from a security prison is very rare. Between 2009 and 2010, only one escape was reported in New York, nine more in the U.S. All ten were recaptured within a day. This may be “The Great Escape,” but I doubt it.*****Speaking of prisons, Dennis Hastert, former GOP Speaker of the House made his first appearance in Federal Court Tuesday. Hastert was withdrawing large amounts of money to pay hush money to someone he had molested when he was a wrestling coach. There’s a lot more to this story but you won’t hear it on FOX News during prime time shows of Kelly File, the All Spin Zone, or Hannity. Lately it’s been wall to wall bashing of President Obama and the Clintons. O’Riely doesn’t feel comfortable talking about someone else’s sex abuse. He and FOX paid $10 million to settle his sex abuse case.*****Well, it looks like a bad tomato crop this year. I haven’t heard from Commissioner Owen Burton this year yet, but Neighbor Cox and Ms. Ginny haven’t given up on their garden.*****If you have a daughter going off to college, a great idea is to go by Sweet Creations and get her one of those unique planters for her dorm or apartment. Something to care for and watch grow.*****Congrats to Debbie Schamber and Larry Trimm, who both won first place awards from The Press Club of Southeast Texas. Debbie’s award was for feature writing and Larry won for best photo. These were the only entries The Record Newspaper submitted. Way to go guys, good job.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch meets at Robert’s this week and PK’s Grill next week. Everyone welcome.*****Gotta go, thanks for your time.  Read us cover to cover, check us out on the web, news@therecordlive.com. Shop our family of advertisers and tell them we sent you. Take care and God bless.