CLUTCH SHOT LIFTS VILLANOVA TO CHAMPIONSHIP

I had picked Oklahoma and North Carolina to be in the championship game. Oklahoma didn’t show up, they looked like a bad high school team. Villanova beat them by 44 points. So it was the Wildcats and Tar Heels Monday night in a great game. Villanova hit a three-point, buzzer beater, with zero time left to beat North Carolina 77-74 to win the National Championship. It’s Villanova’s first national title since 1985. Most of that group was in attendance, including their old coach Rollie Massimino. Meanwhile, I was glad to see the 2016, 10 person NBA basketball class, included Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and former Houston Rocket center Yao Ming. The induction ceremony is set for Sept. 9 at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.*****Well, it’s now time to turn to major league baseball as our national pastime. By the way, Sean Gros, of Bridge City, attended the Astro-New York opening day game Tuesday in Yankee Stadium, played in 30 degree weather. Sean is in the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Long Island, New York. What a thrill it must have been for him, a real baseball and Astro fan.*****I’ve got to move on. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm. Final score of the New York game, Astros-5, Yankees-3.

Wisconsin Primary

The Republican Party awards 42 delegates, Democrats 86. Cruz won the popular vote for the GOP and will come out with a majority of delegates. Sanders won a slight edge of Democratic voters. The 96 delegate vote was a split with Clinton holding on to a large delegate lead nationwide of 1692 to 1027. Ted Cruz was a big winner over Donald Trump, 53 percent to 30 percent. The Wisconsin Republican vote was a stop Trump vote in order to maybe prevent him from reaching the 1237 delegates needed to win without opposition at the convention in Cleveland in July. If Hillary Clinton wins New York on April 19, it would become impossible for Sanders to reach the 2383 delegates needed for the nomination. Remember for both Parties it’s the delegates not the popular vote alone.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2006

David McKay, a 1999 Bridge City High grad, has just returned from a modeling shoot in Australia. He appears in the national J.C. Penny TV commercials, as well as Old Navy. He has been featured in GQ, and Vogue magazines. He’s done “Runway” shoots for Reebok and others in Australia, the birthplace of his mother. He is the son of Russell Skinner of Kirbyville and Sonia Dixon of Bridge City. He was raised in Bridge City by his grandparents Cecil and Sophia Dixon. (Editor’s note: Ten years have gone by and I believe David has been very successful in his career. He now lives in Dallas and has modeled for Giorgio Armani, Hadleigh’s, Ermenegildo Zegna, Calvin Klein, GQ Magazine, Neiman Marcus, etc.)*****It’s coming on Holy Week and Easter Sunday this year will be on April 19. H.D. and Pat Pate are new converts to the  Catholic faith. H.D. was sponsored by Moe Litton, who himself is a convert.*****ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover Home Edition’ will feature Sabine Pass. The show will chronicle the devastation of Hurricane Rita on Sabine Pass and the restoration of the high school and fire station.*****Kirby Ridley Cruse celebrates a birthday this week as does Jo Ann Collins and Linda Claybar.*****Our heart goes out to Elaine and Wayne Reeh on the death of their son, James Wesley, age 18. Life doesn’t get worse than losing a child except in the case of the Reeh’s, who lost both of their children. Son Michael lost his life a few months ago and Wesley passed away April 3. That’s a heavy load for parents to bear.*****Richard Peterson, 67, a good man, died April 4. He and Donna raised a great family. They were married 49 years. They have two daughters, Donna and Maritza and sons Bill and Richard. (Editor’s note: I had not recalled that Mr. Peterson was so young when he died. Ms. Donna has buried another great husband since then and daughter Donna has a new, fine son. GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Crystal Lenna ‘Kitty’ Elsbury, 18, of Orange, died Sunday, April 2 at her home. Service was held April 6 at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. She is survived by her mother Loretta Cooper of Orange, son Dragon Cayde Elsbury, finance Craig Smith, both of Orange, grandmother Dorothy Mead of Pinehurst, sister Natasha Mead and brother Robert Elsbury.***** Bobbie Gene Shelton, 65 of Orange, died Tuesday, April 4. Funeral services were held April 6 at Dorman Funeral Home. Mr. Shelton was preceded in death by his parents. He was survived by his wife Joyce, sons Bobbie, Troy, Shon and Chad and eight grandchildren.*****Phyllis Ann Morris, 62, of Orange, died April 4 at Baptist in Orange. Graveside service was held Friday, April 7 in Hemphill. She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, David and Earl Morris. Sue is survived by her brother S. E. ‘Pete’ Morris and sister Beth Fisher.*****Harold W. Marburger, 66, of Orange, died Sunday, April 9, at his home. Services were held April 12 at Claybar Funeral Home. He served in the United States Army and was a pipefitter with Pipefitter’s Local 195. He is survived by his wife Sheila, son Leon, daughters Sherry Bossier, Jane Perkins and grandchildren.*****F.P. McNamara, Jr., 88, of Orange, died April 10 at Southwest Louisiana War Veteran’s Home in Jennings. He served in the United States Army during World War II, and later worked at Levingston Ship Building for 35 years. He is survived by sons Bill McNamara and Frank McNamara and daughters Teresa Kovatch, Kathleen Holton, Anne McNamara, Laura Makris, and their families.

40 Years Ago-1976

We wish a speedy recovery to the daughters of Mary and Don Stanton and Bob and Carol Marsh. Both little girls are patients at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.*****Congratulations to Gary Worster who set a district record at the track meet held in Bridge City this past weekend.***** O.A. ‘Slim’ Folson and Max Boatman issue statements asking support for the office of sheriff.*****Jane Carmack is seeking the post of tax-assessor-collector. She is running against incumbent Louvenia Hryorchuk.*****Lance Smith and Bubba Lanning operate the wrecker service for Jim Austin Oldsmobile-Cadillac.*****Chester Slay is a candidate for state senator along with W.T. Oliver and Carl Parker. One will replace Sen. D. Roy Harrington.*****Roy Wingate has just returned from his canoeing trip in Arkansas. This week is National Secretaries Week and Roy went all out for his crew, referred to as Roy’s Harem; Rusty, Pam, Cindy, Dolores, Gail and Linda. He sent one bouquet of flowers shipped direct to them from Hawaii.*****David Tuttle, a Bridge City senior, is the model in Gunn’s Studio ad.*****Mark Dunn writes an interesting story about Don Jacobs in this week’s Opportunity Vallen News. Don records under the name of Bob Carrol and the Corbin Coppies. His records are available at Salmar in Northway.*****Lynn and Carol Emerson open a new Sak-N-Pak store at in Bridge City.*****Mary Hryhorchuk has been selected by the B&PW as recipient of the Shirline Hoffpauir Memorial scholarship. She plans to attend Sam Houston State, enrolling in the pre-nursing program.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

The second annual Carnival des Cajuns is coming to the Carl A Parker Multipurpose Center located at 1800 Lakeshore Drive, in Port Arthur. Tickets are $10 for the event to be held Saturday, April 16 from 12-10 p.m. and may be purchased online. There will be crawfish, contests and Cajun music.*****Ground breaking ceremonies for the historic Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, 1210 Green Ave., Orange, will be held Saturday, April 23, at 10 a.m.

The depot was built in 1902 and has been unused for decades*****Last week The Lunch Bunch gathering at JB’s Barbeque was a retirement luncheon of sorts for Parks Director Donna Scales. A full house, including Judge Rodney Price from Vidor, Pearl Harbor survivor Cedric Stout and wife, Cherry, Port Commissioner Keith Wallace were among those honoring Donna. Several stories were told, one by Judge Thibodeaux told about commissioner’s court holding a meeting with all elected officials and department heads when all electricity in the county was out after Hurricane Rita. Sheriff Keith Merritt said the meeting, in the Administration building, was held by candle light with record heat of 100 degrees. Commissioners however never missed a meeting, even though they didn’t have the advantage of the Expo Center, built under the Thibodeaux Administration. This week The Lunch Bunch dines at Robert’s and next week at PK’s Grill.*****Cruz claims the biggest job killer is Obamacare, According to Cruz, “Millions of people have lost their jobs due to Obamacare. The truth is, since Obamacare was enacted, until today, the economy has added 13.7 million jobs, 222,000 last month.*****A few folks that are having birthdays in the next few days: On April 6, one of Buster Scales’ five pretty daughters, Vance’s better half, Cyndie Chauvin, from Big Red Air Conditioning and Refrigerator, celebrates today. She also is the sister to three brothers. They never had a problem getting a crowd for a birthday party. Also celebrating is Brenda McPherson, Shirley Hayes, Helen Locklin and David Blanton. On this day in 1917, the United States entered WWI. Celebrities joining them are country singer Merle Haggard, 79, actors Billy Dee Williams, 79 and Candace Cameron-Bure, 40.*****April 7 finds Shelly Watts, Janet Anderson, April Butler and Wayne McPherson celebrating. They join actors Jackie Chan, 62, Russell Crow, 52, director Francis Ford Coppola, 77.*****On April 8, Longtime mother to the Bridge City Strutters, one time Rangerette, Cathy Riley, celebrates today also Angel Sehon is celebrating her 20th birthday Friday. She is a full-time student at Lamar Orange and works at PK’s Grill. She is strong, healthy and beating that ugly Thyroid cancer. Celebrating also are wood carver, musician, a talented guy, Randy Roberts, of Bridge City, turns 55, Melissa Pittman, Lindsey Etheridge, Brandy Block and Gary Chaffin. They are joined by singer, John Lennon’s son, Julian Lennon, 53, and Dukes of Hazard’s actor, John Schneider, 56. Also on this day in 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th homerun off of Al Downing.*****Celebrating July 9, is Trey Dubose, Brad Ernst, Terry Brent, Adam Prosperie, Kristi Trahan and Tonya Burch. They join Playboy’s Hugh Hefner, who turns 90, and actress Kristen Stewart, 26.***** April 10 is Janet Montagne’s special day, also celebrating is Dr. Katie Olson, Barbara and David’s pride and joy, Peggy Johnnie, Austin Brent, Nancy Hood and Barbara Goins. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are actors Haley Joel Osment, 28 and Steven Seagal, 64 and sportscaster John Madden, 80.*****April 11, finds our buddy, coach Dwight’s boy, David Thacker, celebrating. We’ve been running that boy’s birthday for over 20 years in this column. He is joined by Jackie Schell, Becky Myers, Dustin Kemp and Howard Nelson. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are singer Joss Stone, 29 and actress Dakota Blue Richards, 22.*****On April 12, Don Breaux, longtime husband of pretty Angie, celebrates, as does Roy Mazzagate III, Jill Lemoine and Jaclyn James. On this day in 1861, the Civil War started. It ended in 1865. They are joined by David Letterman, 69, country singer Vince Gill, 59 and Easton Corbin, 34.*****Texas toll roads will cost Texas tax payers about 38 billion. The state is having to pick up the cost of maintenance, about $10 billon a year. The state is finding half of its motorists are paying the price in the form of vehicle damage, tire wear and accidents. The state has given the green light to private projects for toll roads and loops that go bad and the tax payers are left holding the bag.*****The Country Music Awards results: Entertainer of the year, Jason Aldean; Female Vocalist, Miranda Lambert; Vocal Duo, Florida Georgia Line; Vocal Group, Little Big Town; Single Record, Thomas Rhett, “Die a Happy Man;” Song of the Year, Chris Stapleton, “Nobody to Blame;” New Male Vocalist, Chris Stapleton; New Female Vocalist, Kelsea Ballerini; New Vocal Group, Old Dominion; Video of the Year, Eric Church, “Mr. Misunderstood;” Vocal Event of the Year, Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, “Smokin and Drinking.”*****The United States Senate has 100 members, 24 GOP seats are up in November and only 10 Democratic ones. The Republican senators, who have Democratic opponents,  who would be in trouble with Donald Trump or Cruz at the top of the ticket are Ron Johnson, Wisconsin; Rob Portman, Ohio; Mark Kirk, Illinois; Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire, Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania. John McCain, Arizona, Richard Burr, North Carolina and Chuck Grassley, Iowa. These senators once considered safe, could be in trouble with either Trump or Cruz as Party leaders.*****I’ve been contacted by the Nielson group (Arbitron) radio rating. I tried to beg off but after two attempts I agreed. I’m not a good candidate to report on radio listening but there are three in our home and we all listen to something different, plus they sent me $5 and a self stamped envelope. Talk radio doesn’t have a vote on our report. We start Thursday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.*****A massive leak reveals money rings of global leaders. An extensive network shows where the wealthy hid their assets. They include Valdimir Putin and other world leaders. Don’t you know Donald Trump would love to play that game.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Una Mae, upon learning dat her elderly Grandpaw had jus passed away, went straight to her 95-year-old grandma’s house to comfort her.

Una Mae axe, “Ma, how did Paw die?”

Her grandma replied, “Paw had a heart attack him, while we were making love on dis Sunday morning.”

Una Mae was horrified her, she said, “Grandma, two people nearly 100 years old having sex is axing for trouble.”

“Oh no, Cher, many years ago, realizing our advanced age, me and Paw came up wit da best time to make love was wen da church bells start to ring dem, just da right rhythm, nice, slow and even,” Ma continued. “Noting too strenuous, just ding-dong.” Ma paused to wipe away da tears and continued, “It worked jus fine, Paw would still be alive if dat damn ice cream truck hadn’t of come along.”

C’EST TOUT

The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed “One person, one vote.” Conservatives lose challenge in Texas case that sought political districting based on eligibility to vote. A ruling for the plaintiffs could have upended decades of settled law on the use of total population figures to draw district maps. As a political matter, the Courts decision is a boom for Democrats and civil rights groups who argued the lawsuit was a veiled attempt to strip power from urban centers that have diverse populations. A change would have boosted numbers in rural, heavily white districts and benefited Republicans most. It seems to me that the change was aimed at the 2020 census, when redistricting takes place. What voters don’t want is more voter re-districting. What everyone should agree on is that as many qualified citizens as possible should be able to take advantage of democracy’s most fundamental right of voting. Legislators too often seemed determined to make it harder to get to the polls. The most recent example was during Arizona’s presidential primary on March 22. Thousands of voters faced long hours of long lines, some lasting past midnight after the Republican Party cut the number of polling places by 70 percent. Since 2010, more than 20 states have enacted changes that limit voting, none in Democratic controlled states. More than a half dozen of those states have reduced early voting periods, including weekends, popular with blue collar workers who can’t take off on Tuesday. The most troubling limit is photo ID, enacted in states dominated by Republicans. In Wisconsin, in Tuesday’s election, about nine percent of registered voters, 300,000 people lacked the required photo ID’s. Over all Americans in recent presidential elections that draw the largest turnout, less than 62 percent have voted. The last thing the U.S. needs are laws that deny millions their fundamental democratic right. I may not be here to see it but when the 2020 census comes around; Texas will be more of a purple state and again headed to a two-party state. That should help to do away with the gerrymandering of districts that has taken away the local voting power and shifted it to partisan districts that assured a one party state control.*****Well, my time is up, thanks for yours. The ‘Skeeters’ are coming. Call Cindy at Pestco and ask about their mosquito treatment. See ad in this issue. Take care and God bless.