MUSTANGS EARN LIFETIME OF MEMORIES

On a writing pad sitting here on my desk last Thursday, before Fridays state championship game, I wrote my prediction, West Orange-Stark 22-Celina 20. I really believed the Mustangs would win but only be a two point conversion. I was looking for a very tight game, a nail biter. It was a great win for the team, school and community. Mustangs 22-Bobcats 3. The West Orange-Stark state championship came after a 28 year wait. Friday they won the Class 4-A, Division II title game after losing just last year. The Mustangs are now a three time state football champion, 1986, 1987 and 2016. The only other two Orange County schools to win state championships were Orange Wallace, an all black school with Ernie Ladd on the team and Coach Smith leading the troops. They won in 1954. Coach Chief Wilson and a gutsy bunch of Bridge City boys, including All American Steve Worster won the state championship in 1966, after losing in 1965. The last area team to win was Newton, 10 years ago, 2005. They also have won three state championships in 1986 and 1987. Port Neches-Groves won in 1953, 55 and 1975. Mustang quarterback, junior Jack Dallas was named offensive MVP. It was Jack’s second time to perform in the title game. As a sophomore he led the team to the finals but lost 25 -35 to Gilmer. Steven Tims, junior linebacker, was named defensive MVP. He recorded 12 tackles, three for big losses. For WO-S Coach Cornell Thompson, it was the third time he was part of a state championship win. He was an assistant to Coach Dan Ray Hooks when they won back to back in 1986-1987. Back to back titles are hard to achieve. There are many things that have to go right during a season and the grueling playoffs. Coach Thompson and his staff have a stable of experienced Mustangs returning. On paper they are poised to repeat. Next year they will bring far more experience then this year.  However, great talent and good coaching alone won’t get them there. They will need a streak of good fortune along the way. No one is prouder than Thompson’s boyhood friend Clint Landry that Cornell got to win his own state title. The two friends grew up in West Orange as country boys when West Orange was all country and they ran the back roads together.*****Now I must move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

CLINTON TO PROMOTE EFFORT TO CURE ALZHEIMER’S

Hillary Clinton calls for wider efforts to cure Alzheimer’s. Clinton called for a dramatic increase in federal spending to find a cure for the only cause of death, ranked in America’s top 10, that can’t be prevented, slowed down or cured.  As president, she will propose spending 2 billion a year in an attempt to cure the degenerative brain disease by 2025. It is the first time a presidential candidate has made Alzheimer’s a major campaign issue. From 2000 to 2013, Alzheimer’s death rate increased 71 percent while heart disease fatalities dropped 14 percent. It’s a disease that has impacted most families. We all know someone who either has or is caring for someone who has the disease. It’s a hardship and drains on anyone who has a loved one that must be cared for.  Most of the afflicted are older people, the larger number are women. Their primary caretakers are younger and have families of their own to care for. I thought after President Reagan’s battle with Alzheimer’s, the disease profile would be noticed more than it has been in our national conversation. If it was a special goal, like going to the moon was, we might finally find a cure. Meanwhile, the percentages among our elderly continues to grow.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2005

Elton John, 58, and David Furnish, 43,  were the first gay couple to be legally bound under the new British law. “The John and the Furnish” spent $1.25 million on the reception. Their parents attended the wedding. They planned a secluded honeymoon. (Editor’s note: I believe they are still together at age 68 and 53.)***** Rodney Price and Orange County Deputy, Mike Marion, have announced as candidates to replace J.P. Sherrie Smith.*****Bridge City native kicker Matt Bryant makes a 41-yard field goal in overtime to beat Atlanta 27-24. Matt also kicked a 50 yarder. Matt put the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in position to win the NFL South.*****Karen Jo celebrates a birthday Dec. 23, Flo on Dec. 25, Sharon Bearden, Dec. 27 and his son Jim Sharon on Jan. 3.***** The crew at Ginger & Company Beauty Salon are Pam Seymour, Bobbie McFarland, Judi Hildalgo, Linda Estillette, Robbie Whitson and Ginger. (Editor’s note: I know Judi passed away but I think most of the crew is still there. I could get a lot of good info if I could be a fly in beauty shops. I’d go from one to the other and load my bag with gossip.)*****Highlights of 2005: Hurricane Rita blew in Saturday morning, Sept 24.*****Justice of the Peace Janice Menard was named Bridge City Chamber 2005 Citizen of the Year.*****Michael Coy Darby, first child of Craig and Donna, was born at 8:50 p.m., Jan. 2, and is the first child born in Orange County.*****Dr. Darrell Myers became BCISD Superintendent replacing Sam Lucia. For 66 days before he was able to come to the district, Joe Chenella served as superintendent.*****Bridge City residents watched for the Strutters on television Monday Jan. 10. They were at the taping of “Good Morning America” in New York, as they ended a week of instructions and sightseeing in the Big Apple.*****The Bridge City Masonic Lodge, No 1345, celebrated its 50th anniversary on Jan. 22.*****Coach Nathan Toon and Coach Brandon Prouse led the Orangefield Bobcats to their first basketball post-season since 1959. The Bobcats ended the season 24-8.*****The Press Club of Southeast Texas named the Penny Record ‘Outstanding Non-Daily Newspaper.’ The Record also received two other awards. Mark Dunn received first place for Newspaper Sports Photo titled ‘Gauthier Wins Texas Gold’ for Michael Gauthier’s photo finish in the 100-yard dash at state track meet. Roy Dunn received second place for Down Life’s Highway column titled, ‘We Buried Mom Today.’*****The “Cuties” performing in the middle school cafeteria on Valentine’s Day were all Bridge City senior males in a mock beauty pageant.*****Bridge City coach Sissy Lemons departs to Nederland. Kori Tyler became head softball coach of Lady Cards.*****David Permenter, 37, was charged with the murder of his wife Cynthia Ann Permenter. He shot her in the front yard at their home, 400 Gum Street, Bridge City, with a 12 gauge shotgun.*****On March 2, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed veteran kicker Matt Bryant, who was formerly with the New York Giants.*****Bridge City council got two new members when Robert Simonton defeated two-term councilman George Navarro in a very close race. David Rutledge ran unopposed in a special election for Place 4. Moe Litton and Kirk Roccaforte easily defeated their opponents.*****BC Cardinal baseball team, under second year coach Billy Bryant, competed in the UIL Class 3-A State Baseball Tournament. Pitcher Kevin Angelle and Darrell Stevens were named to the ‘Texas Coaches All-State’ team. Hunter Hays was named to the state’s ‘All State Tournament’ team.*****On Dec. 6, one of Bridge City’s founding fathers, Bubba Hubbard, died at his home. The now famous “C.W. Hubbard and Others” lawsuit led to the city of Bridge City’s incorporation.*****These are just a few of the highlights. Maybe I will get to more next week.*****Gone but not forgotten: Cheryl Lynn Weeks Messer, 28, of Orange, died Saturday, Dec. 24 as a result of an auto accident. Service was held Dec. 27.*****Johnny Lee “Brother” Allen, 21, of Bridge City, died Dec.. 21, in Port Neches. He was a 2003 Bridge City High graduate. His parents are Johnny and Nellie Allen of Bridge City.*****Olivia Manuel, 89, of Orange, died Dec. 20. A native of Abbeville, Louisiana, she was a longtime member of St. Mary Catholic Church.*****Henry Grady Lapointe, 53, of Bridge City, died Dec. 22. Grady was the son of the late Stanford and Nellie Lapointe. Among his survivors are his brother Delbert Lepointe, sisters Jo Ann Branham and Martha Nantz, nephew Corey Lapointe and nieces Cayla and Charity Branham.*****Lula Mae Higgins, 72, of Orange, died Dec. 18. Her daughters are Diane Willey, Lois Hodges, Betty Marshall, Jackie Feuge, Vickie Hawkins, Robin Hawkins, 21 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.*****Henry Luther Mitchell, 88, of Orange, died Wednesday, Dec. 21. Graveside services were held Dec. 23 in Gause, Texas. He was a WWII Marine and retired from the City of Orange. He was a life member of the VFW Post 2775 and a member of IBEW Local 479.*****Lavenia “Sis” Simmons, 82, of Deweyville, died Dec. 22. Service was held at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. She was a retired deputy for the Motor Vehicle office in Deweyville. she was a board member of People’s Ambulance Service and a former water board member.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Elaine Myers and her sisters, Justine Huselton and Diane Clark celebrated their mom, Eloise Thompson‘s, 96th birthday this past weekend. They traveled to Merryville, LA on Friday to celebrate with family and friends. Mrs. Thompson worked for the WOISD for 37 years before retiring in 1994. Best wishes for continued good health.*****Just as swiftly as the Miss Universe crown was given to — and then taken away from — Miss Colombia Sunday night, host Steve Harvey quickly issued a public apology for his role in the mix-up. “I feel terrible,” Harvey later tweeted.  Some are saying now that the mix-up could have been a planned thing to bring attention back to the Miss Universe Pageant which has been failing in ratings in the last few years.*****On Dec. 21, 1620, 395 years ago, pilgrims on the Mayflower came ashore for the first time at what is now called Plymouth, Massachusetts. I had never thought about it before but that was 128 years after Columbus discovered America. I don’t believe he ever set foot on the mainland.*****A true New Orleans Saints fan, Sean Gros, stationed in New York, came home in November to attended the Saints/Texans game in Houston and this week he traded being off at Christmas to attend the Saints/Detroit game played in New Orleans Monday. His brother Collin met him in N.O. They attended the game and enjoyed a night in the French Quarters. Detroit won but neither team made the playoffs. Sean is now saying, “Wait until next year.”*****The best party around New Years Eve will be at the VFW, featuring G.G. Shinn, with Parker James, Ken Marvel and Swamp Pop Rock Band featuring Jiven’ Gene. Special entertainment by Dana Melancon. Party hats and all the rest. Tickets $30. Contact the VFW for more information.*****Speaking of musicians, Lyle Overman stopped by for a long overdue visit. He plays and sings only at church these days. He keeps Janice working three days a week at Ginger & Co. so she can have her own spending money.*****Most of what I heard in the Republican debate last week was politicians using fear to advance their political ambitions. Their rhetoric wasn’t specific plans or strategy, mostly amateurish sounding garbage of fear to help fuel their political machinery. They seemed lost and confused when the subject turns to foreign policy. On the other hand, all three Democratic candidates in the Saturday night debate had a clear command of the issues and discussed them with specifics.*****One Republican says kill the family of ISIS, I guess their wives, kids and grandparents. Another says carpet bomb them all. Meanwhile, one talks about shooting down a Russian plane, a sure way to start WWIII.*****I went down to Bridge City Seafood, located at Peggy’s on the Bayou, and bought a quart of fresh shucked oysters. Boy, talk about good. I made French bun Po-Boy and nearly hurt myself. For some reason oysters are extra good this season.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. On Dec. 23, our buddy, Dayle and the late Buzzie’s little boy, a great guy, Chris Gunn, celebrates today. Also Sue Cowling, Walter LeBlanc and Rodney Petty, Sr. celebrate. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are Soap Opera actress Susan Lucci, 69 and coach Jim Harbaugh, 52.  This is the date our friends Carol and Buddie Hahn celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary.*****Dec. 24 finds Al’s better half Helen DeRoche celebrating and our friend, former school principle, Joy Scarbrough, who we haven’t heard from for too long, Terri Estes, Mike Dillion, Mindy Granger, Toni Thompson and Lewis Sims also celebrate. They join singer Ricky Martin, 44 and TV’s American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, 41.*****Dec. 25, Christmas Day, those celebrating birthdays are Judge Flo Edgerly, Ronnie Hutchison, Janelle Deutsch, Mary Frances Hartley, Evelyn Foster, Earline Russell, Velma Theriot and Randy Wuske. Celebrities celebrating on this day are singers Jimmy Buffet, 69 and Barbara Mandrell, 67 and actress Sissy Spacek, 66.*****Dec. 26 finds Kent Broussard, Laura Floyd, Emily Glover, Ashley Burris and Jennifer Ferguson all celebrating. They join TV show host John Walsh, 70 and basketball player Carlton Fisk, 68. This is also the date our friend Curtis Lee died in 2011.*****On Dec. 27, Mayor Kirk Roccaforte will celebrate his first birthday in 37 years without his beloved wife Shirley who passed away last week, Also our buddy who will do to ride the range with Sharon Bearden, notches another year down life’s highway. Celebrating also is the guy the county let get away, Bobby Fillyaw and Coach Russell Bottley, who is a true fighter. He battled cancer and won. Happy birthday also to Max Pelham, Bobby Sibert, Rob Turner and Jean Marshall. Celebrities having birthdays this day are Good Times actor John Amos, 76 and football player Jamaal Charles, 28.*****On Dec. 28, David’s pretty wife, Harriet Dubose, celebrates as does our longtime friend Karen Jo Vance. We miss her and hope she’s having a great retirement. Also celebrating on this day are Linn Cardner, Lynda Montagne, Stacy Roberts and Jacob Broussard. They join R&B singer John Legend, 37, actor Denzel Washington, 61.*****Adam’s dad, our buddy, Kenny “KeeKee” Dupuis celebrates on Dec. 29, also Jacklyn Bradberry, Pam White, Lauren Leger, Sam McLellan and Pam LeDoux. They are joined by celebrity actors Jude Law, 43, and  Jon Voight,77.*****The Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week for our annual Christmas gathering. Next week, Dec. 30, we will dine at P.K.’s Grill.*****A No-No. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller sent boxes of oranges as Christmas gifts to state officials. Texas citrus growers are upset with him. The Oranges came from neighboring Louisiana. He’ in deep do-do.*****That did not happen in our case. On the way to Houston, on Tuesday’s foggy morning, John Heard and Linda stopped by to drop off some Orange County, Texas oranges and grapefruit. What a great gift.*****Sen. Lindsey Graham dropped out of the Republican presidential race. He never got his campaign off the ground. Citizens are just not buying in to putting American boots on the ground. However, in all fairness, he has more foreign policy knowledge than any of the others. Most are just fear mongering, sounding like teenagers attempting to talk about issues they have no knowledge of.  At least Sen. Graham knows the subject, even if you don’t agree with his arguments to send in troops.*****Throughout the football season I’ve enjoyed Meri Elen Jacobs reporting on the Mustangs. I have really been impressed with her photo action shots. She just keeps getting better and better.*****Another county employee getting out of Dodge. Deputy Assistant in Emergency Management, Brian Shajari, is leaving Dec. 28. He will go to work for Lucite International in Beaumont. His experience and training will be missed. That leaves a one man show with little experience. God forbid we should have a disaster.*****I was pleased to learn that our friend Dirk Flowers walked for the first time without a walker in months. He did pretty darn good. Keep on keeping on.*****Our own Tommy Mann is on the president’s list at Lamar University. There never was any doubt in my mind that the boy is sharp and is doing a great job for The Record. Besides working, he carried a full course load of 12 semester hours with a grade point average of 4.0 for the last semester.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Marie,” Sostan whispered to his wife late one night, “If I died me, would you get married again?”

“Mais, yeh, I guess,” she replied. 

“Would you sleep in de same bed wit him?”

“Well, it’s de only bed in de house, so I guess I’d have to.”

“Would you make love to him, hanh?”

“Cher,” Marie said patiently, “I guess, since he’d be my husband.”

“Would you give him my pickum-up truck?”

“No, Sostan, I wouldn’t never give him your pickum-up truck,” she yawned. “Besides, he don’t know how to drive a stick shift him, now go to sleep.”

C’EST TOUT

It’s Christmas Time Around the World

There are many places that do not recognize or celebrate Christmas and the birth of Christ. To Christians its Christmas around the globe. We believe our God is everywhere regardless of who chooses to celebrate His birth. I’ve found throughout my long life that Christmas affects people in many different ways. When I was just a boy we were very poor and unwrapping packages on Christmas morning wasn’t a big deal because there were none to unwrap. Church, Mid-night Mass, the singing by the large choir, the beautiful service itself, left a mark on me that I carry today. Others may have had a different experience in their youth that has followed them through the years. Many remember big feasts and a festive mood, with very few gifts, while others remember all the wonderful packages to open and the toys Santa brought. I believe the spirit of sharing with family can be a personal thing. I’ve known people that for some reason Christmas is a sad time, others feel guilt because they can’t provide enough material things for the family. For most of us its a joyful time,  just to be with family, to break bread together, brag on Mama’s cooking, laugh, joke and enjoy each other, visit about the years gone by when Uncle Dan and Aunt Mae were still around. Mostly Christmas is a fun time to be around children even though I feel we give them way too much. I’m guilty of that. Just to witness the happiness and excitement in those youngsters is very rewarding. Because of my upbringing, I think about those children making good Christmas memories they will carry into the ages. For now, it’s Christmas for you and your family. I wish all the joys of the season. I wish you will join me in remembering the real reason that this joyous time and the real reason for the celebration. May Christ be in your thoughts and in your hearts.*****From all of us at The Record have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take care and God bless.