THE BIG DEBATE THAT WASN’T

I knew the first thing I would be asked is who won the Republican debate. I had predicted that there wouldn’t be much substance, but it was even worse than I believed it would be. It really wasn’t a debate at all, it was more of a reality show. A poor one at that. If there was any winner, it was President Obama. The disparity in intelligence between him and the 17 actors really showed up. A few sounded like they had been to the George W. school of debating, while a couple of others were following the lead of Dick Cheney. Contrary to expectations, there wasn’t one contestant who was exceptional, sounded responsible or mature enough to appear presidential. The other winner was FOX News. They will brag for years of having the most watched news show in television history. The kicker is, if Donald Trump wouldn’t have been on the panel, the audience would have dropped from 24 million to four million. I had suspected there might be a clash between Trump and FOX’s Megyn Kelly. She’s no angel and says awful things about people. She thinks also that she is smarter than the average TV host. The way she framed the questions to Trump was designed to be a gotch’a question. Trump reacted. Really, I don’t believe anyone was well served, not the public, not any of the candidates. It didn’t change anything either, Trump is still running for King and is leading, and none of them are smart enough to stop him, which proves they are not ready to lead the free world. Trump will continue his outrageous and offensive statements. He will double down and folks will continue to climb on his wagon. Trump’s rise, like that of his Democratic counterpart, Bernie Sanders, is a sign that a large number of voters don’t feel represented by mainstream politicians. A majority of Americans feel otherwise. Both Trump and Sanders are extreme far right and far left. In the end, the voters will pick the less extreme and lean to the middle but the Trump and Sanders shows will continue for a while yet. Then their candle will burn out. If anyone was a loser, it is the GOP. The world saw all their face cards and no respectable presidential figure has emerged. For now, it’s the Trump Party. Candidates like Rick Perry will run out of money and start falling out. Those with the cash can last. In the end, one will emerge and Trump will be gone.*****I’d best get going. I have a long way to go. Please come along, it won’t do you no harm.

HISTORICAL EVENTS THAT MATTERED

The following events occurring this week in history all came during my lifetime. Eighty years ago, on Aug. 14, 1935, in the depth of the Great Depression, Social Security was born. By the 21st century, Social Security had become universally popular and helped foster the view in the U.S. that Federal Social Welfare programs are not a threat to free enterprise but a means of preserving it in a more humane industrial system. Many proposals to privatize the program have repeatedly fallen by the wayside and it seems clear that whatever the deficiencies of the system, it is here to stay. President Franklin D. Roosevelt predicted, when he signed the bill, that “No politician is in a position to take it away.”*****On Aug. 15, 1935, the day SS was signed into law was also the very day that Will Rogers and Wally Post were killed in an airplane crash.*****Aug. 15, 1945, 70 years ago, after President Harry Thurman dropped two well placed fire crackers on Japan, ‘V. J. Day,’ victory over Japan arrived ending WWII. For five years the shipyards had been running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The work stopped, whistles sounded over and over, people cheered in the streets. World War II had ended. Germany had surrendered in April on ‘V. E. Day,’ victory over Europe. Orange had grown from 7,600 to nearly 70,000. On this day all the stores closed, it was a holiday. Churches opened and held services. The war had changed Orange. The Navy had built the Consolidated Steel Shipyard in 1940. Tugs built at Livingston were used in the ‘D-Day’ invasion at Normandy Beach. Destroyers, built in Orange went around the world. On Aug. 23, eight days after ‘V. J. Day,’ Orange learned it would be the site of a now $2.5 million Navy Base known as the “Mothball Fleet.”*****Aug. 16, 1977, Elvis Presley, 42, died at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. *****Aug. 15, 1765, 250 years ago, my ancestors were exiled from Nova Scotia. The occasion will be celebrated at St. Martinsville, on Bayou Tech, this Saturday, Aug. 15. It will be a special day for Acadians. Many will come from around the world.

THE GOVERNOR OF PINEHURST

I had known Grady Johnson, the boy from Shelby County, for over 50 years. He and the late Don Campbell were quick to tell you that they had East Texas values. They used those values and work ethic to accomplish and do good things. Grady was Mr. Pinehurst and was given the title of Governor with great affection. He served on the council and was proud to be its mayor. Typical of so many East Texas boys, he liked to josh and joke around a lot. He and Ms. Peggy raised a great family of four boys and a girl that multiplied to 13 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Grady left his mark on his community. Services will be held Thursday, 10 a.m. at Cove Baptist Church. Visitation will be at Claybar Funeral Home, Wednesday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. He was a great guy, a good friend. May he rest in peace. Please see obituary.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2005

County commissioners and sheriff’s deputies have reached a contract agreement that will also benefit all employees. The pay raise will go to all county employees, not only deputies. Lt. Mike Marion said the group wanted six percent raise but Judge Carl Thibodeaux responded that a five and a half percent was doable without having to raise taxes. The sheriff’s union agreed. *****Debbie Breaux calls it quits at the end of August. She had been with BCISD for 32 years and was Athletic Dept. secretary under Coach Les Johnson, James Conway and Claude Tarver.*****Helen McCardle and her grandson, David Fusilier, Jr., both celebrate birthdays this week.*****John Patterson, our boy in the big leagues, pitched another win despite not feeling well. The Nationals beat Colorado 9-2. Patterson has an ERA of 2.44 with seven wins, three loses and 12 no decisions. *****Roger Clemens may well be the best pitcher of all times. At age 43, he is carrying an ERA of 1.32. ****George W. Bush’s  popularity continues to fall. Gas prices, which were 87 cents a gallon when he took over, are now over $2.50 a gallon and climbing. Oil company profits are the highest in history. A retiring CEO received a $50 million bonus. Stock owners claim officials are bleeding profits at the top. Local stations are not making a penny more with the higher gas prices. *****Elizabeth Dupuis marries Matthew Carter Saturday, Aug. 13 at St. Paul Methodist Church. (Happy 10th anniversary.)*****Bridge City’s Matt Bryant kicks the winning over time field goal for Tampa Bay in their 20-17 win over the Titans. A battle for kicking jobs is going on between Bryant and Todd France who is 31 for 31 in training camp field goals.*****Suzanne Halliburton delivers a Lance Armstrong Tour de France shirt to Roy Dunn that was bought in France. She has covered all of Armstrong’s wins. (Editor’s note: Suzanne sadly watched the demise of her friend Lance’s career after all the successes.)*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Frances Jane Ratliff was born June 30, 1914, in Decatur, Texas. She attended Abilene Christian College and North Texas State where she met and married Paul Sidney Pearson. They moved to Orange in 1948. She received her degree from Lamar, in 1958, after raising her family. She taught second grade for 25 years at Jones and Bancroft. Her husband was a longtime principle. 

She is buried at Depwe Cemetery, behind Shangri La Gardens on 16th Street. *****Rease Littlefield, 85, died Aug. 8. He was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII and had retired from Dupont in 1978. He served as an Orange City councilman from 1960 to 1964. *****Michael Keith Wiley, 39, of Bridge City died Aug. 8. He is survived by his wife Zondra and mother Mary Coleman, sons Eric and Cody of Bridge City. (Editor’s note: I don’t recall for sure but I believe he was in an accident.)*****Elbert ‘Cotton’ Tarver, 73, of Orange, died Aug. 10. He was a retired carpenter, veteran of U.S. marines and served in the Korean conflict. *****Bobby Ray Smith, 67, of Indian Lake, died Aug. 13. He was a retired Boilermaker with Local 587. *****Paul Wayne Norman, Sr., 58, of Bridge City, died Aug. 22. He was a river boat captain for ACBL. He was a Navy veteran.

40 Years Ago-1975

June Badon is beginning her 30th year as a teacher of dance. She has been operating a dance school on Western Ave. for the past 23 years. *****Linda Johnson will wed Harry Price August 23. Martha Hudson becomes the bride of Rusty Williams on August 18.*****Glass Farms Slaughter House, located on Farm Road 1078, specializes in home-smoked sausage and bacon, made fresh by Jim Glass every Wednesday and Saturday. Jim’s fresh sausage contains only pure pork, veal and natural spices. This week’s special is small grain fed calves, 79 cents a pound. Small milk fed calves, 72 cents a pound.***** Walt Garrison hangs it up with the Dallas Cowboys. He will be replaced by Robert Newhouse. (Editor’s note: I can’t believe it’s been 40 years sinceWalt.)*****Harmon Chevrolet at 3rd and Green is giving a free ice cream scoop to anyone who comes in and looks at the new 1975 Chevy. For a good O.K. Used Car see Windell Harris, David Harmon or ‘Pinky’ Walters. *****The Caribbean Lounge, 407 N. 10th Street. Is now open and serving Cajun specials and American foods. *****Four Bridge City girls, Melissa Mullins, Debbie Shaw, Phyllis Shaw and Debbie Wagner, are now living in Arlington. The girls are working around Six Flags Mall. Wagner will attend school at UTA. *****Lynn Hall goes to work for the Opportunity Valley News as a ‘Girl Friday’ and also in sales. *****Barbara Smith is Louis Dugas’ new secretary.

65 Years Ago-1950

Twirlers for the 1950-51 Bengal Guards are Sara Newman, Kate Hammric, Barbara Roscoe, Rosalyn Gossage, Rosemary Reimar, Marie Dudley, Jo Ann Webb, Dorothy Tinsley, Virginia Bell and Lenora McClendon.*****The new MacArthur Drive-In will have it’s formal opening. It’s the first outdoor movie established in the county. It’s located on Highway 90, west of the Circle. *****Mayor Joe Runnels, Jr., announced that Mrs. Jack Gunstream has been employed as city secretary effective Sept. 1.

80 Years Ago-1935

Clyde Dawson, 21, and B.F. Thompson, 28, escaped prisoners from San Antonio, have been charged with the murder of Orange acting police chief Johnny Godwin, 31. The shooting occurred on Green Ave., between 3rd and 4th Streets. Officer George LaFitte and Godwin had stopped the men for hijacking and car theft. Dawson kidnapped Jessie Webb and Rosalie Patterson, forcing them to take him to Lake Charles where he was taken by police. Thompson was arrested by officer LaFitte. Dawson and Thompson are both being held in the Lake Charles jail for their protection.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Last week we weren’t aware at deadline that two good men had passed away. Warren Landry, Sr., 80, passed away July 31. Also Clifton Stutes, 88, died July 29. This great guy, who was married to Donna Peterson Stutes, had an extensive military record. The boy from Rayne, Louisiana, served in WWII, the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was a self-made man, a great American that everyone had a kind word for.*****Frank Gifford, the golden boy who helped usher the NFL into it’s golden age, died Sunday, Aug. 9, exactly a week shy of his 85th birthday. Gifford was inducted into the ‘Pro-football Hall of Fame’ in 1977, 13 years after his 12 year career with the New York Giants ended. Frank was a first round pick in 1952, after an All American season at Southern California. After retiring as a player, Gifford advanced the NFL’s popularity as a member of the Monday Night Football Booth for more than 25 years. In the 1970’s, Gifford, Don Meredith and Howard Cosell, made the NFL a cultural touchstone. Frank married Kathie Lee Gifford and that elevated him into the pop culture.*****Congratulations to Bryan Boltz and Mark Benton, of Bridge City Auto Repair, who were honored by the Bridge City Chamber as Business of the Month. Our buddies Nuttz and Boltz do good work plus they are good guys according to Neighbor Cox.*****Dr. Chris and Bethanie Penning’s daughter Samantha is leaving the nest come Aug. 15. She will be a student at Texas State in San Marcos. Life will never again be the same. Mom and Dad know that and it makes for a long ride home. At least they still have Jeffery for another year.*****Sean Gros, who is in the Coast Guard stationed in New York, motored to Massachusetts to visit cousin Jenna Dunn Ballou, husband Robby and the family. They attended a Zac Brown concert at Fenway Park. A great time was had by all.*****Happy 16th birthday to Olivia Satir, daughter of Servet and Beverley Satir.*****Local businessman and chef Brad Childs needs to share his recipes. We hear he cooks some really good dishes. What about it Brad?*****A FEW FOLKS WE KNOW CELEBRATING THEIR SPECIAL DAY. On Aug. 12, Jennifer Babin and Jared Sleeman celebrate. They join NY Jet Plaxico Burress, 38, actor George Hamilton, 75 and tennis player Pete Sampras,43. *****Longtime friend, insurance man Clint Landry celebrates on Aug. 13. Also celebrating are Monty Eshbach, Ken Phelps, Terry Walles and Aaron MacCammond. They join Cuban political leader Fidel Castro, 88, and weatherman and TV host Sam Champion, 53. Also on this day we extend James and Janet Fontenot a happy anniversary greeting. *****On Aug. 14, a special lady Charlotte Conn celebrates as does Bill Triggs, Jerry Windham, and Christina Myers. Celebrity birthdays on this day actors Halle Berry, 48, and Steve Martin, 69, football player Tim Tebow, 27 and basketball player Magic Johnson, 55.*****On Aug. 15, star of the stage Kristie Gunn celebrates as does Brandi Arnold and Christine Johnson. On this day, 250 years ago, 1765, the Cajuns were exiled from Nova Scotia. Celebrities celebrating on this day are actors Jennifer Lawrence, 24 and Ben Affleck, 42, also British Royalty, Princess Anne, 64.*****On Aug. 16, Gwen Boehme and Joe Sanders celebrate. They are joined by singer Madonna, 56 and director James Cameron, 60.*****OnAug. 17, we are proud to wish Nancy Finchum another happy birthday, also Johnny Stimac and Orange native, Henry Bland. They join actors Robert De Niro, 71, Sean Penn, 54 and Maureen O‘Hara, 94. *****On Aug. 18, one sweet lady, Carolyn Ward celebrates as does Ian MacCammond. They are joined by actors Robert Redford, 78 and Christian Slater, 45 and director Roman Polanski, 81. Our Oklahoma friends Nicole and Dusty Gibbs celebrate an anniversary Aug. 18 and I also recall I was in Canada on this day in 1984 and got a call that longtime Sheriff Chester Holts had died.*****Former Bridge City resident Nick Nichols was in town over the weekend and had planned to play in the Red Cross golf tournament but decided it was just too hot. He enjoyed visiting old friends so the trip was all good.*****Game Warden Phillip LeDoux, wife Katie and sons Hunter and Zane, are back from vacation. They had a great time visiting California.*****Our prayers go out for Colten Collier, son of Tad and Karen Collier. He is such a brave Superman and the community is praying for him and keeping him in their thoughts.*****Charlotte Etherdege hosted a girls weekend at her beach cabin. Pam Smith, Charlene Terro, Judy Landry, Jackie Scales, Donna Scales, Brittney Sauer, Robbie Green, Mona Clouse, Loretta Edwards, Brandy Cricchio, Donna Brown, Kristi Dourian, Ashley Noel, Kristi Gunn and Shae Broussard, 18 in all, attended. We’re told Crystal Beach will never be the same.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and at P.K.’s Grill next. Everyone always welcome.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK

Jared Sleeman, Jennifer Babin, Chris Bailey, Melissa Cox, Ken Phelps, Lyn Goodwin, Monty Eshbach, Wade Estes, Terry Walles, Aaron MacCammond, Ada Bridges, Andrew Glover, Diane Justice, Jerry Windham, Kevin Berry, Lindsey Schaffer, Myrtle Singletary, Bill Triggs, Britanie Long, Charlotte Conn, Christina Myers, Tiffany Schlicher, Gavyn Fisher, Kristie Gunn, Valerie Richter, Brandi Arnold, Norma Smith, Beth Holm, Christine Johnson, Gwen Boehme, Joe Sanders, Brenda Gage, Johnny Stimac, John Everett, Jordan New, Karen Day, Nancy Finchum, Shandi Conner, Dagma Hood, Danielle Heil, Henry Bland, Jane Busby, Carolyn Ward, Gene Hidalgo, Helen Gresham and Ian MacCammond.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Sostan’s little grandson, JoJo, has been living wit him and Sugar Bee. Da utta day he was sitting on a bench, munching on one candy bar after anutta, while his grandma shopped in HEB.

After da sixth candy da man sitting across da bench from him said, “Son, you know eating all dat candy isn’t good for you no, it will give you acne, rot your teet and make you fat.”

JoJo replied, “My great-grandpa lived to be 107 years old him.”

Da man axe, “Did he eat six candy bars at a time?”

JoJo answer, “No he minded his own business.”

JoJo axe his grandma, “Can you give me $5?”

“Certainly not!” answer Sugar Bee

“If you do,” JoJo said, “I’ll tell you wat paw said to da maid wen you was at da beauty shop.”

His grandma’s ears peaked up and grabbing her purse she handed over da $5.

“Well? Wat did he say?” she axe.

“He said hey Juanita, make sure you wash my socks tomorrow.”

C’EST TOUT

The Texas Department of Public Safety has sent out reminders that four months remain in this year’s hurricane season. The high pressure hanging over Texas and the Gulf is a good thing but with the Gulf waters as hot as they are, if a storm enters the Gulf it could be bad. God forbid that we would have a named storm this year. We are just not prepared leadership wise. There is no one left at the county level with any storm experience with the exception of Sheriff Keith Merritt. A young lawyer out of California was hired as Emergency Management Coordinator. He has absolutely no experience in emergency management having never even witnessed a storm. He has no idea what over two million fallen trees blocking every road in the county is like. That’s what Rita brought. Ike brought water destruction. Who knows what the next storm will bring. Orange County is planning to hire an assistant for a manager that has absolutely no experience. We deserve better. Make an assistant out of the youngster and hire us a real, qualified Emergency Manager. The Bridge City area has several qualified men with storm experience. It is to important to the lives and property of our citizens not to have an experienced, certified emergency manager. The County is going about this backward. Secure a qualified manager first, which we don’t have, then hire an assistant. Ask both to produce their qualifications and experience. It’s too important to just hand the job to someone.*****Well, I’ve got to call it a day. The heat is baking everything but we were blessed with rain Tuesday afternoon.  Thanks for your time. Check us out 24-7 on our website: www.therecordlive.com. Take care and God bless.