THE DIFFERENCE A WEEK MAKES

So much can happen in a week, since we last sat here to knock out another column that spans many more years than I had signed up for Prince died, Manziel was indicted and Tom Brady will have to serve a four game suspension because of “Deflategate.” Prince, a game changer in popular music, died Thursday, April 21 at his Paisley Park compound. He was 57 years old. The artist that turned music on its ear was found unresponsive in an elevator. Nearly a week has gone by and I’m surprised that it has taken so long to determine the cause of death. The 5 foot, 2 inch, Minneapolis native broke through in the 1970’s. He was a devout Jehovah’s Witness, having converted from Seventh Day Adventist in 2001. Since Prince died album sales are going crazy. More than 579,000 were sold in the first three days after his death. His collection, “The Very Best of Prince” was the top seller, followed by his smash hit “Purple Rain.” The jump is akin to that of Michael Jackson, who also died on a Thursday. I was surprised that he was such a good friend of Texan Tamaron Hall, NBC and MSNBC host. *****The never ending “Deflategate” saga took another turn. When a Federal Appellate Court ruled that New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady must serve a four game suspension imposed by the NFL. The Court’s ruling sided with the league in a battle with the players union. Most feel Brady faces an uphill climb if he decides to appeal Monday’s ruling. A three judge panel, with the U.S. Court of Appeals, ruled that the commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement. If the ruling stands, Brady would miss the Patriot’s opener Sept. 11 at Arizona and games at home Sept. 18 against Miami, Sept. 22 against the Houston Texans and Oct. 2 against the Buffalo Bills. Coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are the NFL’s living dynasty, best known for two things, Super Bowl rings and bending the rules to their advantage. A brilliant coach and most untouchable, all time quarterback slips off into a muddy ditch. *****I’ve got to move on, please come along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.

WILL MANZIEL BE REMEMBERED FOR HIS FALL

OR HIS GLORY

It seems like just last year that we watched the first round of the NFL draft. We felt for our Aggie hero Johnny Manziel who sat in the waiting room. For three hours we watched him nervously fiddle with a bottle cap, drank from a cup and constantly checked his phone. Twenty-one teams came and want, each choosing someone other than “Johnny Football.” The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans passed on him. Why were so many teams passing on this 21 year old who as a freshman at Texas A&M won the Heisman Trophy? He was the highest profile member of the 2014 draft class. Finally he was chosen no. 22 by the Cleveland Browns. Two years later “Johnny Football” is out of the NFL, without a team or an agent. The millions that were sure to come from endorsements didn’t materialize. Manziel squandered all that talent and all those great chances. Maybe because of his youth he was unable to cope. His family had worried all along about him surviving all the fame and fortune bestowed upon him. I wonder two years after what those 21 teams who ignored him used as a gage to pass on him. This week, on Tuesday, Manziel was indicted in Dallas on a misdemeanor assault charge on allegations that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend during a night out last January. She accused him of hitting her as she tried to escape a car Johnny was driving. She said he hit her hard enough to rupture her eardrum. He faces the possibility of jail time and a $4,000 fine. Manziel may never play in the NFL again. It might be some time before its known just how damaging all those hits have been. It a statement Manziel said, “I’m hoping to take care of the issues in front of me right now so I can focus on what I have to do if I want to play in 2016. I also continue to be thankful to those who really know me and support me.”  As a parent, it always saddens me when youngsters with so much potential just throw away what could have been a great career and life. We are just days away from another draft and a group of young men in the green room awaiting their fate. Who will be a dark horse and who will be another disappointment?

CONDOLENCES

We were sorry to hear that our friend Margaret Louviere, 95, passed away on Monday at the Meadows where she had been a resident since November. For years this great lady had kindly furnished us with her specially baked banana bread. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 29 at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Visitation will be prior to the service. Another great one done gone. RIP my friend. Our deepest sympathy to son Mike, daughter Sue and their families. Please see obituary.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2006

Don Cole celebrates his 80th birthday with a surprise party Saturday. *****Bridge City championship math team is headed for the state meet. Coach is Faye Parish. Students are Leah Moss, Nick Robertson, Andrew Havens and Randy Dupuis.*****Local high school track stars shine at Region III track and field championships and will head to UIL state meet in Austin on May 12 and 13. Bridge City’s Aaron Brannen won the 3200 meters and teammate Randy Becker placed third. Cody Sparks shined for the Cardinals in the hurdles, while David Blackshear set record time in his leg of the 1600 meter relays. Sam Elmore, of Bridge City, placed third in the shot put but won the gold in the discus with a record 159.9 throw. He won district in both and now will take his dream trip to the state championship. *****West Orange-Stark Mustangs headed to state also. The 800-meter relay team featured Kenneth Beasley, Jarrod Lewis, Earl Thomas and Jacoby Franks. They won the gold at region with a 1:28.82 time.*****The Bridge City baseball team (26-3-10-0) defeated the West Orange-Stark Mustangs 12-2 in five innings to become district champions for the sixth straight time, three years under Coach Billy Bryant. Last season, the Cards made it all the way to Class 3-A championship before losing 5-2 to Carthage in the semi-final round. Carthage became state champions. The last time the Cards made it all the way to UIL championship was in 1992. Bridge City is ranked number one in the state. Bridge City’s top 10 batters hit at .300. Eight hitting over .350. After Angelle at .500, is junior Johnny Dishon, .428, with six homeruns, three grand slams. Senior Derrick Coleman, bats .427, Cody Sparks, .389, sophomore Casey Jackson, .388, with six homeruns, two grand slams. Aniel Willey, Troy Bolton, Jeff Stringer, A.J. Hecker, Broc Hayman and Rory Scales all hit over .300. On the mound Kevin Angelle has 97 strikeouts, allowing only five runs and a 0.57 ERA. He has walked only eight batters. *****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: To know her was to love her. Thelma Thurman, 92, died Sunday, April 30. For 40 years she worked at Harrington’s Pharmacy. Miss Thelma was a girl from Hope, born in Arkansas on Feb. 9, 1914. She always had a smile. It was an honor to have known her. Service was held Tuesday, May 2, at First Baptist Family Life Center. Grandson Rev. Charles “Bubba” Thurman and Rev. Jeff Anderson officiated. (Editor’s note: Ten years have gone by and I still think about that great lady. I’m sure that’s also true for “Butch, James and Glen and their families. ****Our longtime friend Betty Em Giarratono passed away on May 1. Betty Wall, born in Orange, contracted polio when in high school and had been confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. For years she wrote the column “”From Where I Sit,” for the Opportunity Valley News. She and Bernard had one child, Scott. (Editor’s note: I believe Bernard is still living. Last I saw him was at Betty E’s funeral.)*****Linda Lucille Fields, 87, of Bridge City, died Saturday, April 29. She was a BCISD teacher for 20 years, a member of First United Methodist Church. Her passion was gardening and was a member of the Golden Triangle Rose Society. She is survived by sons Arion Kenneth, and Donald, daughter Dona Gaye, eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren.*****Helen Marie Guyote, 85, of Bridge City, died Tuesday, April 25. Services were held April 28 at St. Henry Catholic Church. She is survived by sons Freddie, Richard, and Kirk and daughters Lynette and Roxanne, 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. *****Frank J. Owens, 81 of Orange, died April 15. Service was held May 1 at Cornerstone Baptist Church. He was a longtime resident of Orange and worked as a welder for Livingston Shipyard for 35 years. He also was a United States Army veteran, a member of Boilermakers Local #587 and the Masonic Order. He is survived by his wife Thelma Owens, daughters Lynda, Mary Ellen, and Sandra and their families. *****Linda Marie Loper Lonadier, 52, of Orange, died April 30. Funeral services were held Wednesday, May 3. She was a 1972 graduate of Port Neches Groves High School and attended First Baptist Church in Mauriceville. She is survived by her husband Tommy Lonadier, father and step-mother Walter and Melve Loper, mother and step-father Helen and James Hardin, daughter Theresa and brother Wesley.*****Bessie Lorene Gaillien, 87, of West Orange, died April 27. Graveside services were held Friday, April 28, at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery. She was a lifelong resident of Orange and a former member of the Bengal Guard of Lutcher-Stark High School. She was a member of the West Orange Volunteer Fire Department, Ladies Auxillary and a devout fan of West Orange-Stark High School and Mustang football. She was the first City Secretary for the City of West Orange. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Grady Gaillien, daughters, Jerry Barron ad Gay Cormier, and their families.

40 Years Ago-1976

The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the world’s first International Gumbo Cookoff on May 22. Prizes will be awarded in both professional and amateur divisions.  In conjunction with the Cookoff, there will be an art, craft and food fair. Highlighting the activities will be a Fais-Do-Do Cajun street dance. Chamber president is Jim Graves, who said, “The Gumbo Cookoff will rival the Chili Cookoff in West Texas, when you think about it, chili is really West Texas gumbo.” Festival grounds are on the west bank of the Sabine River. *****Todd Edgerly was hospitalized after an accident in a little League baseball game. The major league Red Sox player collided head on with another player and suffered a concussion.*****Carl Parker and Chester Slay are in a runoff to replace Senator D. Roy Harrington. W.T. Oliver, who just barely missed the runoff, has thrown his support to Parker. Slay had already announced that he would have Oliver’s support when Roy Dunn, Oliver’s campaign chairman, announced that they were going to support Parker. Slay was in shock over the news that he wouldn’t have the Oliver backing. Dunn said, “Situations change.”*****Sheriff Allen “Buck” Patillo will be facing newcomer Ed Parker in the June 5 runoff in the Pct. 1 Commissioner’s race. Commissioner Arthur Simpson will be challenged by Travis Hudson in the runoff. Simpson was just a few votes from winning out right.*****Louvenia Hryhorchuk, Tax-Assessor, Pct. 3 Commissioner Asa Mansfield, Pct. 3 Constable John Ford and Pct. 4 Constable Carl Ward all won handily in their races.*****Paul Hulsey, 41-years-old, is now serving as Orange’s new police chief. Hulsey hails from Beeville and has served as chief at Amarillo and Kingsville. ******Four young ladies in the 8th grade at Bridge City were cited for academic achievements and will be awarded with letter sweaters. They are Brenda Braquet, Bobbie Jean Simpson, Donna Stone and Barbara Hryhorchuk. *****Congrats to Judy Hidalgo, who was promoted to chief billing clerk at Crown Zellerbach. She has been with the company four years. *****Nettie Roy will host the Altar Society of St. Henry’s at a luncheon Tuesday for honorary members. *****New officers for the County Council of PTA were installed at a meeting at the home of Betty and Corky Harmon. Local officers are Jackie Scarbrough, president; Chris Heath, 1st. vice-president; Brenda Lapeyrolerie, 2nd vice-president; Jo Bernarn, secretary; Nancy Dupuis, treasurer and Corliss Laster, parliamentarian.*****Vernon Matthews and Claude Abney attended a Lad and Dad camp with their Cub Scout sons.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

On Saturday, April 30, former County Commissioner Don Cole will celebrate his 90th birthday. A party hosted by his children will be held at the K.C. Hall in Bridge City, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Don’t bring any gifts, Don has all the toys he needs. In fact, at age 90, he needs to start getting rid of some of them. I’ve known Don for a very long time and I know he would really appreciate it if you did stop by. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we surprised him with his 80th.*****Another famous person, Willie Nelson, turns 83 on April 30.*****Don will probably remember another event that took place April 30, 1945, 70 years ago, when Hitler and his woman committed suicide.*****I recall 60 years ago, 1956, when Texas Avenue was a two lane road. On the south end of town was Texas Ave. Grocery. We shopped there almost daily. Employees were the butcher Johnny Bendy, his brother Roy Bendy, Lucille Underwood and owners Virginia and Dick Bevins. Their pretty daughter Betty didn’t come till later. Remembering is good for the soul. *****Congratulations to Becky Rutledge, Bridge City School Trustee, who was chosen by the Texas Association of School Boards as one of 95 school board members in the state to help develop programs through the TASA Legislative Advisory Council. She has been designated a “Master Trustee” in Texas. *****Former slave and anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. Jackson will move to the back of the bus, I mean back of the bill. Among historians “Old Hickory”  has long been a polarizing figure. *****We were surprised to learn of the unexpected death of Jeff Holland, 50, who was living in Houston. He was a former Orange city councilman from 2008 to 2012. I recall when he was sworn into office. He was the first councilman elected from the Little Cypress area after it became part of Orange. Service will be Sunday, May 1, 3 p.m. at St. Paul Methodist Church in Houston. *****New analysis has revealed that of the estimated 5.9 million people who moved to Texas between 2005 to 2013, 4.8 million of them were already living in the United States, which was the highest number in the country.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and P.K.’s Grill next week. Everyone always welcome. *****QUOTE OF THE WEEK: From Haley Barbour, former Mississippi governor and National GOP Chairman: “There are a lot of people that say, ‘I want to be for the person who has the best chance to win.’ Some say, ‘I want to be for who will be the best president.’ Other people say, ‘I’m mad as hell and I want to send Washington the bird.’ Donald Trump is the greatest manifestation of a gigantic middle finger that I’ve ever seen.”*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. On April 27th is a great day for Gus Harris to have been born because it’s the day, in 1836 that Santa Anna surrendered to Gen. Sam Houston at San Jacinto. It is a historic day. Also celebrating is John Applebach, Tim Batchelor, Mike Cain and Chelsea Ballad. Celebrating also on this day is “Duck Dynasty, Si Robertson, 68 and “Kiss” singer Ace Frehley, 65. *****April 28 finds Peggy Dunbar, Josh Blanchard and Joe LaMoine celebrating. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are TV show host Jay Leno, 66, actors Ann Margaret, 75 and Jessica Alba, 35. *****On April 29, Jimmie Simmons, Judy DeCuir, Tommy Bourgeois and Drew Wappler celebrate. They are joined by country singer Willie Nelson, 83, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, 62 and actress Michelle Pfeiffer, 58.*****April 30 finds Harold Haymon, Jennie Barrow, Roger Brister and Janice Gooch celebrating. They join “Big Bang Theory” actor Johnny Galecki, 41, basketball player Isaiah Thomas, 55 and race car driver Michael Waltrip, 53.***** McDonald Baptist Church turns 85 today, May 1. Those celebrating also are Frank Carpenter, Jason Mayfield, Karolyn Doiron, Tom McDavid and Christina Johnston. They join country singer Tim McGraw and folk singer Judy Collins, 77. This is also would have been the birthday of our late, good friend, Dot Eshbach. *****On May 2, Glenda Dailey, Amy Wiebold, Ethel Champagne and Megan Cornwell all celebrate. Celebrities joining them are Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 44, race car driver Kyle Busch, 31 and pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck, 80.*****On May 3, our former employee and friend Nicole Gibbs is a year older. We send her best wishes all the way to Oklahoma. Also celebrating is Kay Boudreaux, Stacie Hollier, Jeff Harrison and Brandon Applebach. They join country singer Eric Church, 39 and pop singer Frankie Valli, 82.*****Who will replace Michael Strahan on Live with Kelly? Some guesses are Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Key, Sen. Marco Rubio or possibly Kelly Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos. *****A few friends under the weather: Our buddy Wilson Roberts will have a heart procedure done in a couple of weeks. ***Longtime friend H.D. Pate has been in hospital for five days. ***”Stick” James Stringer is under the weather. We wish all these guy a speedy recovery. *****Next Monday night, May 2, Cotton’s Corner Bingo is featuring SLAC  SUPER BINGO with a $20,000 give away. See ad.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Clovis Baudreaux’s youngest son, Oris P., jus finish LS&U law school. His Papa rented him an office in Lafayette and Oris put up his shingle. He stood near da street and looked at his sign wit pride. “Oris P. Boudreaux, Attorney at Law.” He sit in his big leather chair and prop up his feets on his desk. Tree or two hours go by and da phone don’t ring and nobody stops by. Jus before lunch time, out da window, he sees a client coming. Oris P. him, pick up da phone, wen da man came in he tells him to take a seat and returns to da phone and says, “No, no, hell no, I’m not gonna cut my fee me, if you want my service it will cost you $20,000.” “Okay den, brought youself down here wit a check for $5.000 down and I’ll fight you case me.” Den Oris P. he axe da fellow wat is sitting dere, “Now, my friend wat can I do for you?”

Da fellow say, “Well, it’s like dis, I’m from da telephone company me, and I’m here to hook up your telephone.”

(Dedicated to all my lawyer friends that I know or knew when they hung up their first shingle. Love ‘em all, those gone and those still with us.)

C’EST TOUT

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump strengthened their claims on the presidential nomination in Tuesday’s primaries. USA Today reported 40 percent of the GOP doubt they’d vote for Trump. Four in 10 Sanders supporters not sure they would support Clinton. A USA Today Suffolk University poll underscores the serious challenges both face to heal division within their own parties. It’s possible the challenges on both sides will last all the way to the convention. The GOP feels strongly that if Trump is at the top of the ticket it will hurt down ballot candidates and would likely lose the senate. Many of Bernie Sanders supporters believe if he is not the nominee it’s because the system was stacked against him. They would just be more likely to not vote. However, if Trump is the nominee, four in 10 Republicans say they would consider supporting a Democrat or a third party candidate or just stay home.*****My time is up. Thanks for yours. Don’t forget to vote. Early voting is easy. Take care and God bless.