WHAT ARE THE ODDS

Today, Wednesday, June 1, the hurricane season begins for 2016. An average season is predicted with 10 named storms between now and November 30. Five will reach hurricane status and two will become category three or stronger. My guess is that we will have one major storm in the Gulf but it could land anywhere between Florida and Mexico. A 2,000 mile span. The odds are we won’t be in the eye of the storm this year.*****I have a long way to go. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

 

REMEMBERING JOE ALFORD,

GOOD LAWYER, GOOD MAN

About a year ago attorneys Joe Alford, Sharon Bearden and Rex Peveto were having lunch at Danny’s where they were often joined by others. Joe and Sharon had been friends since Bearden, a young district attorney, hired Alford, right out of law school, as an assistant D.A.  That’s when I first met Joe. My respect for him grew through the years. So many times I’ve had someone tell me how Joe had helped them. Joe loved practicing law. He was a general practitioner in both civil and criminal law. He was the youngest of a group of lawyers in Orange County who were considered the best criminal lawyers in that field. Orange County has had some of the best going back to Bill Sexton, Jim Morris, Louis Dugas, John O. Young and others. Today few of these lawyers remain who specialized in criminal law. Bearden remains the Godfather in that field with several youngsters coming along. Bearden, as D.A., hired several young lawyers who went on to make their mark in the law profession. Among them was longtime district judge Pat Clark. The three, Joe, Pat and Sharon, remained special friends through the years. I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about Joe, even though his job often meant leaning real hard on police officers and other witnesses. Every judge I know respected Joe, even when they had to rule against him. He was exceptionally intelligent on a variety of subjects. Quite, always a gentleman, but he could be a bulldog in the courtroom if the occasion called for it. Anyhow, back to the story a year ago at Danny’s. I greeted everyone and not knowing his condition I asked Joe, how he was doing? His reply shocked me, “I’ve got cancer and it’s terminal,” he said. This was one of the few times in my life that I was at a loss for words. I tried to lighten the reply  by saying, “Oh, you never know, medicine does so many wonderful things today.” He assured me nothing could be done. He would die but he planned to battle to live as long as he could. I was really upset, it was such a cold realization that I could think of nothing else that day. Joe was constantly on my mind. The following months I checked on him often and reported his condition. I assigned staff reporter David Ball to write Joe’s story and I’m so glad I did. About six months ago, his story, in his own words, was told and I’m sure his wife Charlotte and family will treasure those written words and pass them down through the years. Our friend Joe Alford, 67, went to meet his Maker on May 26, 2016. I’m sure he was welcomed with open arms. Funeral service was held for him on Memorial Day, May 30. May he rest in peace. Please read his obituary for more on the life and death of this good man who we were all fortunate to have known.

 

THE GAME THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

 Congratulations to the Bridge City Cardinals on a very good season.

What everyone was talking about last week was an Orange County showdown between Bridge City and Little Cypress-Mauriceville for the Region III championship, sending one to the state playoffs. The Bridge City Cardinals were scheduled to play a three game series with Waco Robinson when the rains came reducing the series to a one game winner-take-all. The game was played at the University of Houston on Saturday evening. The Cards led throughout the game but then problems with errors started in the top of the seventh. The Cards led 4 to 3 going into the bottom half. Robinson scored two runs to win the Region III Quarter Final game 5-4.***** Meanwhile, L.C.-M, playing a determined Jasper team at home broke a 4-4 tie to win in the eighth inning 5 to 4. The Bears advance to Region III Finals against Waco Robinson in a three game series. The teams will meet for game one at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at College Park High School, in Conroe. Game two will be played at 5 p.m. Friday, June 3, at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. If necessary, game three will follow 30 minutes after the completion of game two. All of Orange County is pulling for the Bears to make it to the state playoffs and bring home a state championship. If you believe history repeats itself, the LC-M Lady Bears won the school’s only state championship in 2006 when they became the 4-A state softball champions. (See 10-years-ago in this column.)*****The Golden State Warriors, after falling behind three games to one, came back to win three games in a row over the Oklahoma City Thunder to send them into the championship seven-game series starting Thursday, against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s a repeat for Curry against James. The Warriors hope to defend their title and James and company have revenge on their minds.

 

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2006

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears softball team wins  Class 4-A state championship in Austin, Saturday, June 3, 2006. This was LC-M’s first state championship. Orange County Commissioners Court honored the team with a special proclamation ceremony. Lady Bear first year coach, Samara Bean, accepted the proclamation in the 128th District court room. The proclamation named team member Miriam Richards, Katie Harrell, Jessica Wells, Whitley Richards, Karlie Harrell, Erin Karasik, Alyssa Breshears, Amber Bryan, Brittani Chance, Sara Schoenberg, Angela Zimmerman, Alison Clary, Sarah Hines, Chelsea Riley, Joi Oldbury, Debra Hamor, Cody Trahan, Britni Collins, Also named were managers Brittnie Twiner, Jennifer Viator, Nichole Dalea, Caleb Anthony and Blake Young, along with Coach Bean and assistants Mark Parsons and Amanda Ellerbee. A special tribute went to Cody Trahan state tournaments MVP, setting a game record of 18 strikeouts, Miriam Richards, Katie and Kalie Harrell and Amber Bryan were given tribute for being named All Tournament. Every girl received a copy of the proclamation from Judge Carl Thibodeaux. Coach Bean is only 25 years old and a three year coach, her first at Little Cypress-Mauriceville. (Editor’s note: The entire county celebrated these girls’ accomplishments. I hope life has been good over the past 10 years.)*****The Bridge City Cardinals ended a 33-6 season in the UIL Conference 3-A state baseball tournament in the semi-final round against Texarkana Liberty-Eylau, losing 7-3. The Cardinals were Region III Champs for the second straight year. Texarkana beat Falfurrias 2-1 to win the state championship.Coach Billy Bryant’s record is 91-17 with three year back-to-back Regional III championships. His assistants are James Johnson and Terry Meyers. They were blessed with a special group of talented youngsters. The pitching of Kevin Angelle, Jeff Stringer, Broc Haymon, Phillip Meeks and Rory Scales was as good a pitching staff as any in the state. Angelle was drafted in the 13th round the day before the game by the Texas Rangers. Called a “phenomenon” by the media, Angelle is weighing his options. He also has been offered a full ride at Texas A&M . (Editor’s note: I believe the 2006 Bridge City baseball team was one of the best five teams at Bridge City over the past 50 years. Other teams had more outstanding players but as a group they were one of the best.)*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN:  Dorothy Crumpler Faircloth, 55, of Orange, died June 6. Born in Orange she was a lifelong resident of Bridge City. She was a 1969 graduate of Bridge City High and was a secretary for Crumpler Machine and Welding Service. She was a wife, mother and kind and loving caregiver to her family and friends. She is survived by her husband Steve Faircloth, parents, James and Jean Crumpler, daughter Stephanie Lee Faircloth and siblings. *****Deanna Paige Collins, 23, of Mauriceville, died Friday, June 13. Services were held Tuesday, June 12. Deanna was a longtime resident of the Mauriceville area and was a homemaker. She and husband Stevie were expecting the arrival of their baby boy, Wyatt Long. She is survived by her husband Stevie Long, mother Brenda Sue Collins, son Hunter Long and brothers Jeremy Collins and Billy Collins.*****Thomas “Tommy” Broussard, 89, of Orangefield, died June 9. Services were held June 12. He was a longtime resident of Orangefield and was an oilfield pumper for Cormier Well Service. He is survived by his sons Melvin and Donald, grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, sister Hazel Adkins and brother Ali Broussard.*****Patsy Wesson, 67, of Orange, died June 7. Services were held June 10. She was a homemaker who enjoyed reading and spending time with her family. She also worked at Firestone in Orange, and was a home healthcare provider and worked as a security guard with Pinkerton Security and volunteered in many other capacities. Sue is survived by her mother Era Breaux, sons Jimmy and Kenneth, daughters Polly and Donna, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.*****Martha Broussard Sparks, 80, of Orange died June 8. Services were held June 10. She enjoyed working in the yard and spending time with her family. She was employed by K-Mart and had worked at Equitable Bag Company for many years. She is survived by her husband Kenneth Leroy Sparks, daughter Sandra Myers, sons Allen and Mike, stepchildren Gary Sparks, Wyatt Sparks, Dr. Twana Sparks, Keith Sparks and Darla Daigle.*****Michael Lee Pence, 50, of Orange, died Wednesday, May 31. A native of Orange he enjoyed music; either listening, playing or recording. He was a local millwright in the orange area. He is survived by his wife Ladonna Pence, mother Marjorie Dearmond, grandmother Mildred Clark, daughters Lindsey Rae Pence and Lea Diane Pence, step children Carey Rouse, Jesse Rouse, Dawn  Rouse and Kim Sanders, siblings and grandchildren.*****Riley Lee LeBlanc Sr., 70, died June 6. Services were held June 10. A resident of Orange, he was a retired Police Officer of the city of Orange. He was also an ordained minister, a loving husband, father grandfather and mentor to his many nieces and nephews and friends. He is survived by wife Billie Bowman LeBlanc, sons Randy, Stephen, Jason and nine grandchildren.

 

40 Years Ago-1976

Carl Parker is elected state senator over Chester Slay. *****Ed Parker elected sheriff over Sheriff Buck Patillo. *****Arthur Simpson elected county commissioner of Precinct 1. *****The H.D. Pates are touring the Big Bend country. ****John Martin elected Lions Club president. *****Roy, Phyllis and Karen Dunn are attending the Rotary International convention in New Orleans this week. They went a week early. Dennis Hall presented Roy with a new, hand engraved smoking pipe for the trip. *****Ralph Smith, Paul Eason and Tim Lieby went deep sea fishing last week. They caught a lot of fish, also bad sunburn and enough seasickness to last them all year. *****New Boilermaker’s Hall dedication and ribbon cutting held. Officers present were Dewey “Teddy Bear” Cox, business manager, B.E. Herford, president of local 587, Harold Bowie, International president.*****The Bridge City and Orangefield communities to build center as Bi-centennial project. Estimated cost is $400,000. W.T. Oliver is campaign chairman; captains are Paul Cormier, Jimmy Hanson, Ralph Smith, Alvin Keown, Bernis Bobbit and Faye Linscomb. Officers of the non-profit organization are Bobby Smitherman, president, Cormier, vice-president, and Sandy Parkhurst, secretary. Roy Dunn is publicity chairman.*****Sharon Bearden has issued an in-office memo stating that none of the secretaries will be allowed to write a book about office happenings.

 

A FEW HAPPENINGS

We had a nice visit this week with Eugene Goudeau, 92, WWII Navy Veteran. He retired from Dupont 34 years ago today, June 1. He and another youngster from the Cove joined the Navy in 1942. Eugene served most of his four years on the Dyson, a ship built in Orange. It was one of three famous ships built here. On D. Day, Eugene’s childhood friend and Navy buddy Douglas Goodman, was killed. Eugene had just received a letter from him, most of it censored. An ironic thing happened, on Monday, Memorial Day, as Eugene was watching War Memorial activities on TV, suddenly on two occasions, they showed a wall in France with all the names of those killed on D-Day and twice, plain as day, he saw the name of his buddy who died on that dreadful day. Some day soon we hope to publish Eugene’s life story. It’s a colorful, interesting one..*****Happy anniversary and congratulations to Clarence and Wanda Bergeron, who will celebrate their 73rd anniversary June 5. They were wed in 1943, during WWII. Best wishes for good health and more years together.*****Ninty-three year old “Neighbor” Cox and wife Ginny, are happy campers this week. Daughter Karen Duplechin is down from Oklahoma and will stay until after Cox gets checked out by the heart doctor. There ain’t nothing wrong with Millard’s heart, he’s a good hearted man.*****Alexander Rossi, 24, an American, was a 66-1 long shot to win the Indy 500 in its 100th historic running. That’s just what Rossi did. He used his fuel strategy to outsmart a handful of drivers who had the most dominant cars in the race. Rossi stretched his final tank of fuel 90-miles to cycle into the lead as others had to dart into the pits for a splash of gas. The gamble paid off, his car sputtered in the final lap and went dry as he crossed the finish line. His Honda had had to be towed to the victory party for that sweet sip of victory milk.*****Best of luck to Perry and Myra Swiney, who are both retiring from the Sheriff’s Department on June 10. Perry went to work 39 years ago when he wasn’t old enough to buy his own bullets. See story by Debby.*****Simon Cowell replaced Howard Stern Tuesday night on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” season premier. The former “American Idol” icon joins Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum as the judges who will make or break dreams of aspiring performers. It was apparent on the first show that Cowell is a perfect fit for the show.*****The shot heard around the Major Leagues took place Sunday. It was 21-year-old Carlos Correa’s day off for the Astros, only his second of the season. Astro manager A.J. Hinch was not even going to use his young star as a pinch hitter, but out of players in the 13th, coach reluctantly sent his young star in to pinch hit. With two runners on base, Correa launched a Mike Morin changeup over the left field fence to beat the LA Angels 8-6. That was the Astros first pinch-hit homer in extra innings in more than 15 years.*****A few folks will be celebrating birthdays in the next few days. -It’s come on June already. A half year has flown by since we welcomed the New Year of 2016. On June 1, Linda Wolfford celebrates, also Shirley Griffin, Sheila Deason, Claudia Lyon and Janice Provost. They join celebrities actor Morgan Freeman, 79, singers Alanis Morissette, 42 and Pat Boone, 82.******June 2 finds Miranda McClure, Kayla Hickey, John Giffard, Nina Aven, Susan Broussard, Pate Modica Jr. and Julie Lummus celebrating. They join actors Dana Carvey, 61, The Beaver, Jerry Mathers, 68 and Zachary Quinto, 39.******On June 3, three good guys celebrate, Herman Dupuis, Harold Trantham, and David Lopez. Also celebrating are TV show host Anderson Cooper, 49 and singer Deniece Williams, 66.*****On June 4, Pete Sterling is a year older as is Sandra Hoke, Donna Rogers, Paige and Jade Ousley, Donna Benefield and Brittany Chalmers. They celebrate with actors Angelina Jolie, 41 and Noah Wyle, 45. *****It is said that people born on June 5 are perfect Gemini’s, right in the middle of the sign. The folks we know celebrating today are tire man Tim Hughes, that pretty Indian gal Joyce Dowdle, talented singer and picker Britt Godwin and the wise old man Roy Dunn. Others who celebrate this special day are Karen McDuff, Trey Wild, Chris Andes, Mary Jennings, Kevin Doss, Jessica Freeman, Gena Guyote, Nancy Ramsey, Pat Mires, Brenda Howard and Hunter Puckett. Celebrities joining them are actor Mark Wahlberg, 48, saxophonist Kenny G, 60 and singer Brian McKnight, 47.*****On June 6, I always remember my friend Lannie Claybar on the day of his birthday. He died at age 57 on Sept. 6, 1969. The folks who are celebrating birthdays today are Ryan Gunstream, Lorrie LeBlanc, Lynn fields, Gail Griffith and Linda Sims.They join “Nightmare on Elm Street” actor Robert Englund, 69 and actor Jason Isaacs, 53.*****On June 7, a pretty lady, our friend Shirley Zimmerman celebrates as does Billy Frank Bradberry, Logan Smith, Penny Robards and Richard Granger. They are joined by tennis player Anna Kournikova, 35, actor Liam Neeson, 64 and singer Tom Jones, 76.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines at JB’s Barbeque this week and at Robert’s Restaurant next week. Everyone always welcome.*****By the way: JB’s Barbeque will be closed next week, June 5 to June 12. JB stopped by and of course he had a lot of stories to tell.

 

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Tuffy Broussard is an old alligator hunter him, wat catches dem in da Atchafalaya Basin. He came into Tee-Boy’s Bar wearing his hunting outfit, hip boot and his alligator toot necklace. He sat himself down at da bar and sip his whiskey. A young lady wat is sitting on da next stool, turn to Tuffy and axe, “Are you a real alligator hunter?”

He answer, “’Since I was a little boy, I go wit my Papa to da marsh to catch dem gaters and I been doing it all my life, I guess I am, me.”

After a little while Tuffy axe da lady wat she was her.

She said, “Well, I’m a Lesbian me, I spend most of my days tinking bout womens. In da morning, wen I eat, shower, watch tv, everyting seems to make me tink of womens.”

A short time later she left and Tuffy ordered another drink. Da couple wat is sat at da table get up and walk over to Tuffy and axe, “Are you a real alligator hunter?”

Tuffy say, “Mais, I always tought I was, I’m 60 years old and just found out dat I’m a Lesbian me.”

 

C’EST TOUT

The Texas Democratic convention begins in San Antonio June 16. It’s the largest state convention in the United States. My thoughts turn to better days when Demos controlled state politics. I think of my friends who took state conventions seriously. The Godfather of all from Orange County was Bob Montange, with soldiers like Nolton and Jessie Brown, Gene and Flo Edgerly, H.D. Pate, Lynwood Sanders, Pete Runnels, Essie Bellfield, Sue Pate and so many more. Orange County was one of the most effective delegations in the state which benefited our county. Today we are treated like part of Louisiana. The convention chairman is Joaquin Castro. It’s possible that his brother Julian could be the VP candidate on a Hillary Clinton ticket. I don’t know who is attending the state convention from here. This year maybe Flo or someone will let me know. The Libertarian Party has picked former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, 65, as its presidential candidate. Former Mass. governor William Weld was picked to be his VP running mate. Johnson is a very successful businessman who owns one of New Mexico’s largest construction companies.*****My time is up, thanks for yours. Take care and God bless.