HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIDGE CITY

Bridge City celebrates its 45th birthday on July 7. Many changes have come to the city over the years. Back in 1970, when it incorporated, there were many dirt and gravel roads. Nearly half of the city didn’t have water or sewer. The part of the city that did operated under a water and sewer district that was later absorbed by the city and expanded. Drainage was its biggest problem. A two inch rain flooded many homes and rendered some streets impassable. The biggest improvement came after Hurricane Ike, when the city started a major drainage program. Last month’s heavy rains, which would have caused major flooding before, hardly impacted the city. Many other major improvements came after Ike for both the city and school district. Many older citizens moved away after hurricanes Rita and Ike but new residents continue to come everyday. As bad as the storms were, the citizens buckled up and made the best of the situation. Despite all the loss endured by the citizens, the city has come back stronger. Citizens of 45 years ago would not recognize the Prairie View community that became a thriving city and great place to live. It’s really the “Jewel of the Gulf Coast.” Through the years, Bridge City has only had seven mayors. The first was P.M. “Red” Woods, who was elected by three votes. Gordon Harvey followed him, then John Banken, Don Peters, John Dubose, Bobbie Burgess, the only female and the present mayor Kirk Roccaforte, who I believe is the longest serving mayor, now in his final term. Woods, Harvey and Peters are now deceased. I would like to know who the oldest Bridge City native is. If you know please contact us.. Happy Birthday Bridge City. *****Now I’d best get going. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

REMARKABLE TURN OF EVENTS

The United States Supreme Court, in a 6-3 vote, declared Obamacare would remain the law of the land. It is now time for Texas officials to accept the reality and quit demagoging the issue. That means focusing on providing the citizens of the state the best healthcare possible. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured residences. So far over 800,000 Texans, that wouldn’t have insurance, have signed on to Obamacare. Even Republicans conceded the law has some good points such as children covered under parents policy until age 26 and coverage available with pre-existing conditions. Republican lawmakers in other states have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. That would provide nearly two million Texans health coverage that can’t get it any other way. It would also be a humanitarian thing to do. There are two ways to fulfill the same goal. If the Republican state officials want to maintain that they didn’t give in to President Obama, they could accept block grants from the Federal government to expand Medicaid. In that way, the state would have greater state control. Obamacare is not going away despite politicians using it as a soapbox issue. Pretending it will go away is short changing our citizens. Texas money in Washington should be refunded to our state because it’s the right thing to do. Quit playing politics with an issue the Supreme Court has already decided. Many Texas small hospitals could be saved. Baptist Hospital in Orange would probably reopen. It would be a good move for all Texans including counties and cities stuck with indigent care. Orange County alone could save over a million a year. Might as well act. There is no longer a point to prove, it’s a done deal, accept it and move on.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY LAW OF THE LAND

The United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, extended marital rights to same-sex couple nationwide. Some Republicans are hollowing foul. These are the same people who said it was fair for the court to give the presidential election to George W. Bush, when most Americans believed Al Gore, who won the popular vote by millions of votes, had been robbed. Republicans have turned on their appointee, Chief Justice John Roberts, for both rulings on Healthcare and same-sex marriage. So here we go again. Texas officials will make protecting religious liberty the next fight in Texas. It’s a move aimed at playing the Christian Conservative base and a way to block the high court’s ruling. Gov. Abbott and AG Ken Paxton have held off as of Monday, giving county clerks ‘guidance’ on issuing marriage licenses. The largest counties ignored Paxton’s urging and started issuing thousands of licenses. Some judges waived the states 72 hour waiting period for those wishing to be married immediately. Like it or not, it’s the law of the land. Might as well quit playing politics. Here’s a sure bet, in the next five years divorces will increase three fold and divorce attorneys will do well. Don’t expect population explosions however.  Even though I don’t fully understand it, it doesn’t concern me. The law is the law and there are plenty of them to dislike but you can’t pick and choose.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Barry and Bobby Bonds hit a combined 1,094 home runs, the most by a father-son duo in baseball. Way behind in second place is Ken Griffin, Jr. and his dad, with 782 homers. *****By the way, can you name any Major League baseball player who wears number 42? You can’t because no player does. Jackie Robinson’s number 42 is retired by all Major League teams. No one will ever wear that number again. *****The greatest relief pitching ever in the Major Leagues occurred on June 23, 1917. Ernie Shore, of the Boston Red Sox, relieved Babe Ruth in the first inning, no outs and a man on first, who was put out trying to steal second. Ernie retired 26 batters for a 4-0 victory over Washington. That effort has never been topped.*****Looking back to June 25, 1876, 139 years ago, Gen. George Custer got his ass whipped at Little Big Horn by the Sioux and Cheyenne tribes

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2005

On July 7, 2005, Bridge City marks its 35th anniversary. It was on this day in 1970 that the city of Bridge City was incorporated. (Editor’s note: In January of 1981, city attorney H.D. Pate saw an opportunity for the city to collect money from chemical row by annexing Cow Bayou and land towards the Firestone plant. That move has brought millions of dollars to Bridge City over the past 45 years. The Penny Record published a Founder’s Day special edition that is loaded with Bridge City history. It’s a keeper that I treasure.)*****One of the first businesses in Bridge City, Bridge City Cleaners, marks 50 years. Ann and Jimmy Segura moved down here from Detroit, Michigan. Ann was originally an East Texas girl and Jimmy was from New Iberia, Louisiana. (Editor’s note: Since then, Ms Ann and Jimmy have passed away and the cleaners has been closed. The Segura’s raised their three sons in Bridge City where they all attended First Baptist Church. Ann and Jimmy’s first neighbors on Shady Drive were Roy and Phyllis Dunn.)*****David Fusilier raced his #81 car to a 4th place finish at Motorama Speedway despite being rammed into a spin. Wife Debbie and the three children David, Jr., Derek and Chrystal cheered dad on. Junior was on leave from the Air Force. *****John Patterson pitched for the Nationals Monday, July 4, against the Yankees. John threw 116 pitches, allowed four hits, walked two and struck out seven. He left the game leading 2-0. Washington relief pitchers again blew the game 5-2. Despite his great pitching, Patterson came up with his ninth no-decision of the season, the most in the Majors. *****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Helen Lorraine Frodge, 85, of Orange, died June 26. She is survived by daughters Patty Armstrong and Adrienne Wolf. *****George Cook, 91, of Bridge City, died June 28. He was preceded in death by his wife Ann Cook, son Robert ’Butch’ Mortimer and sister Mildred Brown. He is survived by son Phillip ’Yankee’ Mortimer, daughter Doris Wood, Joan Gunn and several grandchildren. *****Keith W. Ford, Sr., 51, of Bridge City, died June 29. Services were held July 2. He was a 1971 B.C. grad. He is survived by his wife Nancy, father J.T. Ford, daughters Trish and Salina and son Keith, Sr. *****Mary Pearl Campbell Johnson, 64, of Houston and former Orange resident died July 1. Services were held at Claybar Funeral Home July 5. *****Billie Sue Tiller, 73, of Bridge City, died July 2. She was preceded in death by two sons Jimmy and Rusty Buntyn. She is survived by husband Leon Tiller and brother Ricky Etheridge. 

40 Years Ago-1975

Judge Harold Beeson, of Rose City, and wife Shelia Miller Beeson are expecting a first child in a few days. *****Doug Harrington and family have returned from vacation in Wyoming. When Helen was asked if Doug behaved she said she didn’t know, everyday he volunteered to drive to town to do the laundry. He did 12 washings in 10 days. (Editor’s note: I bet he had something else working besides the spin cycle.)*****Dan Green is a very talented young man, a Jack-of-All-Trades, who plays a mean guitar and has a special charisma. Dan is married to former Louise Waldrop, a Beaumont Enterprise reporter.*****The Florida vacation of Dr. Joe and Mary Majors was cut short by the death of Mary’s father in Texarkana.*****Brother Bill Clark runs the afternoon drive-time on KOGT. He sneaks in some old time down home music into his program. *****Keble Free marries pretty Rita in the Orange city park. The Rev. Jimmy Botner performed the wedding. Folks came in cutoff jeans, trimmed in rhinestones, formal wear and informal wear. A big watermelon party was held afterwards. *****Ralph Ramos dies. He was on the verge of breaking into national television. He had come to terms with Charles Bishop Kuralt, CBS correspondent.Ralph had agreed to cover the entire state of Texas for Kuralt. It was something Ralph had dreamed about. *****Bridge City police chief Wilson Roberts’s move into Dugas Addition. The next day, Curtis Lee and Marian moved out. Curtis, it’s believed, considered the chief moving into the neighborhood a blockbuster. *****Betty Harmon gets Corky to spring for a new home on Sunset. *****Fain Holbrook is a little strange. He still has the Christmas tree up. When asked why, he replied, “Keeps my dog off the street.”*****Inez Hearn, the head knocker at Wards, was wearing a hickey on her neck Monday. She was seen eating tuna out of a can, with raw onions, tomato and hot green peppers. A tough gal. *****Tracy Addison is stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. He will be 18-years-old on July 15. *****Baxter has a birthday and a half-year party at his Village Creek camp. He’s exactly 51.5 years old. It was a surprise party put together by wife Diane. Forty-five people were quietly waiting and when Bax opened the door; they started singing, very softly, ‘Silent Night.’

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Tom Perry, Jr. is back in town visiting relatives. He says his mom, Ms. Jane is doing well Tom hopes to see many friends and family while he is in Bridge City.*****Jackie and Donna Scales were in Houston last weekend to get an autographed cookbook of Trisha Yearwood. Trisha was in town with husband Garth Brooks who is on tour.*****Velma Theriot, Charlene Terro and Velma’s twin sister Thelma Willis celebrated Velma and Thelma’s birthday in Bossier City. Remember, what happens in Bossier City stays in Bossier City.*****We heard from Jeff and Amanda Pringle who are enjoying baby Jonathan,now 9 months old. It seems like yesterday that he was born. They say he’s a really happy baby.*****On the national scene prison escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat came to the end of their 22 days of freedom. Matt was killed and Sweat was shot twice but will live to tell his story that someday will be an award winning movie. It’s a fascinating story of how they managed to escape Clinton, a maximum security prison. *****The Supreme Court blocked Texas from enforcing new restrictions on abortion providers. The Court also ruled on a gerrymandering decision that supports states that want to remove partisanship from political maps. Some states have turned to a special independent commission to draw district lines rather than legislatures that gerrymander districts and take total control of state government like Texas has done. It’s the only fair way to redistrict. There is nothing fair about the way it is done now. The voters should select their office holders rather than allowing office holders to select their voters. It’s almost criminal the way Texas does it. *****Happy belated birthday to Kendall Scales. He’s as handsome as ever. Never showing his age. *****Dax Fregia, son of Phyllis and Clint, led the Bronco Baseball Tourney in home runs. Congratulations Dax. *****Longtime Orange County employee Melissa Moore is now a real stay at home mom. She and husband Marcus, along with big sister Addie, will welcome their new bundle of joy in eight weeks. Congratulations and the best of luck to Melissa and her family. Orange County employees will miss her. *****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays. On July 1, Charlie Learned, Jeff Eby and Dian Arnold all celebrate. Also on this day ‘Soleaux the Cat’ turns two. Pamela Anderson turns 47 and Dan Aykroyd, 62. *****July 2 finds KeeKee’s better half, Ms. Nancy Dupuis, celebrating. So does Lisa Wilson and Brennon Mitchell. They are joined by Lindsay Lohan, 28 and race car driver Richard Petty, 77. This would have been the birthday of a great lady, the late Elizabeth Williams. She and Doc did a lot to preserve the history of Orange County. They are both gone now.****On July 3, former County Judge, Pinehurst Mayor, Joe and Inez’s little boy, J.L. ‘Pete’ Runnels celebrates, as does Ellen Ray, a very sweet lady. They are joined by Tom Cruise, 52, talk show host Montel Williams, 58 and baseball player Moises Alou, 48.*****On July 4, Kathie Wilson, Katy Maloney, Cyn Navarro Roy and Kellie Derouen all celebrating. Joining them in celebrating are the President’s daughter, Malia Obama, 16 and actress Gina Lollobrigida, 87.*****On July 5, Shane Hanks, Charlotte Pruter, Billy Boehme and Debbie Moreau mark birthdays. They join actress Edee Falco, 51 and TV host Judge Joe Brown, 67. *****On July 6, pretty Lori Winstead celebrates as does Aaron Myers, David May and Denise Mumbach. Also celebrating on that day are former president George W. Bush, 68, and actor Sylvester Stallone, 68. *****July 7 finds Judge David Peck a year older. This also would have been the birthday of his late friend Jerry Wilson, Jason Barclay and James Arnett also celebrate. They join former Beatle Ringo Starr, 74, and comedian Jim Gaffigan, 48. *****Congratulations to Samantha West and Chris Schroeder who tied the knot last weekend. We wish you many happy years together. *****Kevin and Kim Sensat and girls are again on the road making memories. This time they are enjoying camping. *****Manson Juneau and Mason Moore attended the Lamar Basketball Camp last week; we hear they did a great job. We’re proud of those guys. *****We send out prayers for Sydnee Jo, daughter of Jake and Brittney Sauer. We hope she is felling better soon. *****The NBC Peacock kicked ‘The Donald’ off their network. Donald Trump, the carnival barker who would be president, outrageous remarks about Mexican immigrants got his Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants kicked off NBC.*****In our continuing highlight of law enforcement officers, this week Debby features Deputy Sheriff Brian Foley.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and at P.K’s Grill next. Everyone welcome.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK

Charlie Learned, Dian Arnold, Jeff Eby, Lisa Wilson, Maria Garcia, Brennon Mitchell, Elizabeth Williams, 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, Jennifer Martinez, Jerry Wilson, Levy Hartman, James Swan, Devon Caldwell, James Arnett, David Peck and Jason Barclay.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Joe Badeaux’s boy Curtis had been home four months after getting out of the Army wen his papa axe him if it wasn’t bout time he look for a job him. He handed Curtis da help wanted ads out of da Lafayette Daily Advertiser.

Curtis look dem ads over. One ad was for a gynecologist’s assistant. Curtis had worked some wit the Medic Corp while in Afghanistan so he figure he might can do dat.

He went to da Job Center downtown and axe bout da job.

The clerk pulled up da file and read, “Dis job entails getting the ladies ready for da gynecologist. You have to help da womens out of dire clothes, lay dem down  and get dem ready for da gynecologist exam. Da annual salary is $63,000 a year but you will have to go to Baton Rouge.

Curtis say, “Is dat were da job is hanh?”

“No sir, said da clerk, “Dats where da end of da line is rat now.”

C’EST TOUT

Lately my boat has been so full I’ve gotten way behind on my reading. For a couple hours over the weekend however, I was able to read through my July issue of Texas Monthly. It is their best and worst legislators issue. They gave some bad grades to some of the most powerful legislatures. I could do an entire column on that but instead I found the column on the ‘Secret History of Texas Music,’ more interesting. They highlighted 25 songs and the tales behind each. One I found most interesting is how a Fort Worth street vendor helped launch Willie’s career. While downtown Willie would see a disabled man dragging himself along the sidewalk on his hands and knees, wearing knee pads made from old tires. He would sit outside a department store and sell pencils from a customized leather vest. At Christmas time, he’d hawk ribbons and gift wrap, calling out “Pretty Paper.” A few years later, at his Nashville farm, Willie had a vivid memory of the street vendor. He picked up his guitar and composed a ballad. The song took him only 20 minutes to write. Willie says, “The good ones write themselves.” He contrasted the holiday shopper’s joy and mirth with the vendor’s apparent loneliness and misery. In the midst of the laughter, he cries. “Pretty Paper” became a big hit for Roy Orbison and its been a holiday classic since. I had not realized Willie had written the song. The man’s name was Frankie Brierton. He was born with spinal meningitis. He refused all offers of government assistance. Frankie wanted to be his own man and take care of his family. He sold “Pretty Paper” in downtown Fort Worth for years. He died in 1973, and never got to hear Orbison sing Willie’s song. Frankie was married seven times and supported his family selling pencils and ‘Pretty Paper.” Texas Monthly reviewed 25 stories behind the song. George Jones’ song, “Bubbles in My Beer” was written by Tommy Duncan, Cindy Walker and Bob Wills. Huey Meaux wrote Barbara Lynn’s big hit, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing.” I learned that Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett were classmates at Texas A&M where they wrote “Front Porch” It’s a good tale. *****I’d best get out of here. Thanks for your time. Keep up with us on our website, therecordlive.com. Be careful over the 4th of July holidays. Read us cover to cover, shop our family of advertisers when you can. Take care and God bless.