MUSTANGS ROLL INTO STATE TITLE GAME

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs, after a long season and five playoff wins, find themselves as one of only two teams at the top of the heap. They defeated Cuero 41-28 Saturday in the state semi-final game to reach the top. The Mustangs, who have won two state championships will be facing Celina at 4 p.m. Friday at Houston NRG Stadium. The Bobcats are looking to add another state title to the eight they have won. WO-S returns to the state final for the second year in a row. They have been to five state finals, won two and lost three. The Mustangs look for number six on Friday to make them three for three and bring home the first state championship title since 1987. The ‘Stangs’ must bring their “A” game offensively, defensively and special teams.  There will be no room for mental lapse. If the Mustangs hit on all cylinders they can’t be stopped. The extra point might be big in this one. My guess is that the Mustangs will stampede, run wild and bring home the championship. A great 17th birthday gift for quarterback Jack Dallas. Make an effort to attend the game and support the Mustangs.****I best be going. I’d be proud if you came along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

CONDOLENCES

Shirley Roccaforte, 68, passed away at her home Monday morning, December 14, a day before her birthday. Justice of the Peace Joy Simonton did the inquest and ordered an autopsy. Shirley, the ‘First Lady’ of Bridge City, was the wife of longtime mayor Kirk Roccaforte. Throughout Kirk’s long political career in Bridge City, Shirley was his most trusted friend and supporter. She was politically savvy and always involved. She was very well liked by many. I have been surprised many times by the death of people I knew but Shirley’s death shocked me and many others. You just believed Shirley would be around always. It’s hard to imagine a world without her. She was one of a kind that can’t be replaced. Shirley had a nickname for most everyone she liked and harsher names for those she didn’t care for. Her great personality was such that she could get away with anything and the people loved her for just being Shirley. Our condolences to Kirk and his family and all of Shirley’s friends. Heaven will never be the same again. Rest In Peace. Visitation will be Friday, Dec. 18, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Winfree Baptist Church, with a memorial service starting at 2 p.m., graveside service to follow. 

BEARDEN HUNG SHINGLE 50 YEARS AGO

Fifty years ago, Dec. 16, our friend, Attorney Sharon Bearden, hung up his shingle to start practicing law. It doesn’t seem possible but I remember that exact day in 1965, He opened his office just a block down Border Street in a one-room office that was part of Bernard Abrego’s grocery store. Ironically, in 1962, Roy Dunn operated Orange County’s first Bail Bond business in that same office until Bearden came. Sharon went on to become county and district attorney before making the choice to return to private practice. There wasn’t much pay for a DA back then. During his stay, he upgraded the office, hired assistants and investigators. Over the years Bearden has built a reputation as one of the best criminal attorneys around. Almost everyday, seven days a week, he can be found at his office. If I needed a criminal attorney, which hopefully I won’t, he would be my choice. He’s dedicated to the practice of law. One of his happiest moments was when his son Jim Sharon became a lawyer and joined his dad at the Bearden Law Firm in the Border Street office

JUDGE HAHN IN LAST TERM

Judge Buddie Hahn celebrates a birthday Dec. 21. This birthday takes him closer to his time of retirement. After this term he will be ineligible by law to run for another term as district judge. We first were introduced by Harold “Rodney” Beeson over 35 years ago. Over the years I’ve gained a lot of respect for him. In fact, there is no one I have more respect for. He and his lovely wife Carol will celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary three days after his birthday on Dec. 23. They will start on their 50th the next day. Their lives have had the great times and the very sad moments. Through all of it Buddie and Carol have remained the constant great couple. Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary and a Merry Christmas. I won’t mention his jumping political parties. President Thrump? Go figure.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2005

Orange County may set Jan. 16 deadline to get Hurricane Rita debris on the road for pickup. However, Judge Carl Thibodeaux told the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that he wants an extension if necessary. The Corps said about 91 percent, 1.78 million cubic yards of debris has been picked up. Orange County now has 445 families with travel trailers from FEMA to live in. The Blue Tarp program will end this week. County Emergency Management director Chuck Frazier said only four sites nearby are qualified to take the debris. Temple Inland donated $125,000 to the county and same amount to the City of Orange. Thibodeaux said county money will be divided with $64,250 to Bridge City, $16,250 to Pinehurst, $2000 to Pine Forest and $2000 to Rose City. West Orange, $7,500 and Vidor $21,250. Chief Deputy John Tarver, for the sheriff’s office, said Vidor deputies have been assigned to the Mauriceville office because of extensive damage to the Vidor office. (Editor’s note: Rita caused massive damage. We were fortunate to have the leaders we had during this disaster.)*****Cops raid six game  rooms. Deputies confiscated about 350 Eight-liners along with cash. Owning gambling paraphernalia and operating a gambling establishment is either a Class B or Class A misdemeanor.*****Officers at Bridge City Bank are Jerry Davidson, president, Keith Fontenot, vice-president, Phyllis Brint, vice-president/mortgage lender and Keith Doucet, credit officer.*****Danny’s and K-Dan’s specials: Boston butt pork roast, 1.39 lb., smoked turkeys, $29.95, Blue Bell ice cream, half gallon, 3 for $10.*****Employees at First Realty are owner, Sleepy Smith, Gale Beckett, CRS, Marie Trimm, Bill Rigby and Tari Brister.*****Harmon Chevrolet “Red Tag Sale.” 2006 Chevy Impala, $19,814, new 2006 Silverado Crew Cab, $22,528, 2006 Chevy Cobalt, 2 dr., $13,283.

40 Years Ago-1975

Carl Thibodeaux was presented a plaque naming him outstanding new member of the Orange County Bass Club. three school teachers finished first, second and third in Bass Club competition for 1975, they are; Willie Hayes, Troy Woodall and Tommy Humphrey. Preston Prince caught the largest bass fish of the year for OCBC. It weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces.*****Roy and Phyllis Dunn will celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary on December 31. Meanwhile, their oldest son, Mark, is on a photography expedition, shooting scenery around Deadwood, South Dakota and headed to Wyoming and Colorado.*****MondayNight Football on ABC features Frank Giffard, Howard Cosell and Alex Karras. Don Meredith is expected to rejoin the crew, replacing Karras in 1976.*****The Stark High football coach, Dexter Bassinger, looks ahead to next season.*****Tom Landry is coach of the Dallas Cowboys.*****Jimmy Conn to make New Year’s resolution that he will refrain from calling Doug Harrington “Simple,” just because he’s an Aggie pharmacist.*****Gordon and Diane Baxter will celebrate their 2nd anniversary on December 28.*****Dennis Hall will celebrate his 34th birthday on January 2.*****United Liquor, on Green Ave. in Orange, will close its doors after 37 years in business. Owner Charles Zeto will be entering a new business.*****Ruth “Bear” Corder to get an outboard motor for Christmas. From guess who?

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Judge Derry Dunn took a fast weekend trip to Portland to visit his doctor son Mark and his family. He left Friday and was back Monday. We asked him why so short a trip and he responded that he had to get back to his JP office. That’s dedication. Like most every other gardener, he didn’t do well raising tomatoes in the spring but will make a good crop in the fall. I never had any luck in fall gardening but like I predicted, it’s been a mild winter, just one light frost.*****Just want to mention a new book out by local author Kay Williams, of Bridge City, called “Who Else is Listening?” The book weaves a web of deceit and treachery when a university student uncovers a plot to destroy our nation. It’s a great read. I recommend it. The book can be purchased at Amazon.com.*****Brandy Slaughter showed up at the Lunch Bunch dinner last week after being away awhile. Also Johnny Dubose, Jr. showed up with his brother-in-law Robert Simonton. Johnny is the new purchasing agent at Crown. Robert’s wife, Judge Joy, was attending JP school in Austin. The Lunch Bunch will hold its Christmas gathering and annual picture taking next week,Dec. 23, at Robert’s. Everyone welcome.*****Meanwhile, Brandy and her family are homeless due to a kitchen fire. They are staying in a motel for now and next week will vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. They are building a new home that was started a longtime ago and is expected to be ready by the end of the year.*****A few folks celebrating their special day in the next few days. On Dec. 16, our longtime buddyJames Brabham celebrates as does Elizabeth Uzzle, Carol Allen, Michael Terry and Michelle Gephart. They join celebrities journalist Lesley Stahl (“60 Minutes”) 73. Actors Benjamin Bratt is 52. Amanda Setton is 27 and Guitarist/ZZ Top Billy Gibbons, 66.*****On Dec. 17, former Orange Mayor, a guy we’ve known since he was a pup, Brown Claybar celebrates. Also celebrating is Chris Chambless, Martha Taylor and Jeremie Delano. They join Pope Francis, 79, actors Eugene Levy, 69 and Bill Pullman, 62. This would have been the birthday of two wonderful women I’ve known. The late Inez Hearn, who died on Jan. 16 of this year and our late friend Betty Lou Womack.*****Dec. 18 Tracey Lynn Broussard, Julia Alleman, Daniel Brocklehurst and Jill Vaughn all celebrate. Celebrities celebrating this day are actor Brad Pitt, 52, singer Christina Aquilera, 35 and wrestler Steve “Stone Cold” Austin, 51.*****On Dec. 19, Mitch Hidalgo celebrates as does Stacey Bates, Bill Cardner, Ruth Fournier and Raymond Hughes. They join actors Jake Gyllenhaal, 35, Cicely Tyson, 82 and country singer Janie Fricke, 68.*****Dec. 20 finds some great folks we know celebrate birthdays. Annie Hargrave, longtime Market Basket employee; Kenny Pigg, longtime labor leader and drainage district board member, Phillip Welch, former O.F. superintendent, now at Hardin Jefferson, is a year older, as is coach Steve Griffith.  Celebrities celebrating this day are actor Jonah Hill, 32 and producer Dick Wolf, 69.*****On Dec. 21, Buddie Hahn celebrates. I find it funny he shares a birthday with Jane Fonda. Also celebrating are Glenda Granger, Daniel Perry, Rachel Guidry and coach Rick Deutsch. They join actors Samuel L. Jackson, 67, Kiefer Sutherland, 49, Ray Romano, 58 and Jane Fonda 78.*****On Dec. 22, Phyllis Broussard, Rodney Harmon, Yvonne Veillon, Clevie Fontenot and Debi Foster all celebrate. Celebrities celebrating this day are news anchor Diane Sawyer, 70, politician Ted Cruz, 45 and singer Meghan Trainor, 22.*****A special Happy Birthday to Cecile Forman who celebrates her 100th this week, Dec. 15. She’s a very interesting lady. See story by Jennifer Clarke in this issue.*****It was nice to hear from Regina Harrington, who is now living in Magnolia near her daughter and grandkids. She sold the home in Spring that she and Doug built. They had a good life and she took great care of him through all his sickness. She misses him a lot.*****I found it interesting that Michael Cole, a school teacher, writer, who ran for United States Congress in Dist. 36 is now running in Jefferson County, Congressional Dist. 14, against incumbent Randy Weber, Republican, who I think is one of two worse congressmen in the country. Cole is running as a Democrat.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK

Kitty Martin, James Brabham, Michelle Gephart, Bobby Adaway, Carol Allen, Elizabeth Uzzle, Michael Terry, Natalie Nimitz, Beatrice Cortez, Jeremie Delano, Nathan Applebach, Betty Lou Womack, Brown Claybar, Chris Chambless, Martha Taylor, Mandy Hoffman, Tracey Lynn Broussard, Webster Trahan, Daniel Brocklehurst, Dyann Schiler, Gloria Brown, Jill Vaughn, Julia Alleman, Dan Brocklehurst, Ellisia Smith, Christina Carpenter, Marcu McLellan, Mitch Hidalgo, Raymond Hughes, Ruth Fournier, Bill Cardner, Janet Holland, Shelby Vogt, Stacey Bates, Andrew Havens, Jeremy Granger, Jeffery Huebel, Elizabeth Parish, Kenneth Pigg, Majed Jaarah, Marion Martin, Matt Reeves, Daniel Perry, Buddie Hahn, Rick Deutsch, Bill Bailey, Glenda Granger, Paula Hal, Rachel Guidry, Donny Robbins, Phyllis Broussard, Rodney Harmon, Yvonne Veillon, Clevie Fontenot, James Robbins, Charlee Lemons, Dale Burns and Debi Foster.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Old man Maxie Premeaux was traveling down da interstate to M.D. Anderson in Houston from his home in Kaplan. He stopped to use the bash room at a rest area. Premeaux had jus barely sat down wen someone in da next stall say, “Hi, how are you?”

Premeaux, him is not the type to start a conversation in da rest room, but he answer, a little embarrassed,  “Doin jus fine me.”

Da utta person say, “So what are you up to?”

Premeaux tink dis is too bizarre, so he say, “Me, I’m like you, just traveling.”

At  dis point Premeaux wants to get his business over wit and get out of dare. He hear anutter question, “Can I come over?”

Dis is just too weird for Premeaux but to be polite and end da conversation he answers, “No, I’m a little busy right now.”

As Premeaux was pulling his britches up he hear da utta person say, “Listen, I’ll have to call you back, dere’s an idiot in da utter stall who keeps answering all my damn questions.”

C’EST TOUT

Local political race Set 

There was a few local candidates sweating out Monday’s filing deadline but none more than District Judge Dennis Powell, who came out early and scared off the opponent. I had predicted a couple of surprises but the biggest surprise is newcomer to Orange County, Ryan Peabody, from California, who was hired by Judge Brent Carlton as Emergency Management Director, is now running for commissioner. Peabody and Carlton were law school classmates and Peabody says he was encouraged to run by Carlton and others. What makes it so surprising is that Orange County has spent a lot of money training Peabody for the job that he had no knowledge of and now they’re running him for commissioner. The other surprise was that constable of Pct. 2, David Cagle, drew an opponent. Cagle is doing a fine job and hasn’t created any negatives. His opponent is Jeremiah Gunter, a former deputy sheriff, who was released by Sheriff Keith Merritt. Gunter is suing the county. There were no other surprises in last minute filings.*****I believe Democrats might have missed a great opportunity to get a free ride all the way to November’s General Election. With Obama not at the top of the ticket, and Republicans fielding a weak candidate that doesn’t fit the values of Orange Countians, will make for a lower turnout by Republicans and a lower straight party vote. There is a good chance Sec. Hillary Clinton will carry Orange County. If not, it will be close. The March Primary will tell us a lot. If only 10,000 or less vote in the Republican Primary, that means a low GOP vote in November. I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to say as we move toward elections.*****My time is up, thanks for yours. A big thanks also to our family of advertisers for their sponsorship. Take care and God bless.