LOOKING BACK AT A SIMPLER TIME

I was just noticing in our 40-Years Ago-1976 column all the entertaining events Mark Dunn attended, on the companies dime of course. It just doesn’t seem possible that was 40 years ago. I was much younger and Mark was just a pup. He had the good fortune of covering the big stars of the time, including George Harrison. He went backstage with some, with others on their bus. Mark probably shot thousands of photos of the stars; a great life for a youngster. The point I want to make is that 40 years ago he shot in black and white and developed his own negatives. He had many great shots before color came along. In fact, it was 15 years later before the first process color ad ran in this market and Mark was responsible for that. He ran a KingSaver Warehouse Food Store ad in the Enterprise, Port Arthur News and Leader all on the same Sunday. The Record picked the ads up for our Tuesday paper. The first process ad started a new industry. Within six months it became common place but in the beginning Mark used a four screen process and distributed it to the newspapers from his advertising agency. Photo journalism has moved forward at the speed of light. Today, there is so much that can be done on the computer. You can change the color or move people around, add one or take some out. It’s totally a different world from what Mark was doing before digital cameras. Today’s photos don’t have the unique satisfaction of sitting in a field, waiting for just the right light, to get just the right shot of that old farm house etc. He traveled the state taking the last shot of an old structure or a scene that is now long gone. Somewhere there is a million dollars worth of negatives, not only of the stars but of our historical Texas past. I just wonder where all those great negatives are? Mark, if he knows, ain’t saying. Oh well, I’m just sitting here thinking about how time doesn’t stand still but those rare black and white photos do. They’re the same today as they were 40 years ago. Only the people in them have changed or gone to meet the Maker.*****Well, I’d best get going. Please come along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.

REMEMBERING MY FRIEND KENNETH YOUNG

Kenneth Young, age 85, passed away June 27 after suffering a stroke. Service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 25 at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Visitation will be held at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. We had known Kenneth going back to the mid 1960’s. He was one of a group of men who formed the Bridge City Youth Recreation Association. The group built a Little League park and field in a swamp area off of Sunset Street, in Bridge City. It was the first organized sports facility for youth in Bridge City. Kenneth was always very active in politics. He was a Republican when it wasn’t cool. For many years however, he supported Democratic candidates in local races. He was a strong supporter of the first local candidate to run as a Republican for county commissioner, Jerry Wilson, who ran a good race but lost. Ironically, Kenneth, who moved to Vidor after hurricane Ike and Jerry, got into a scuffle a couple of years ago at a Vidor voting box that got a lot of local news coverage. Jerry died last year and now Kenneth is gone. Kenneth and I didn’t often agree politically but our friendship was always strong. We had a deep bond of friendship, with him and his wife Joyce, a special lady. Kenneth had a big heart and would extend a helping hand to anyone in need. We have known his three youngsters all of their lives. Each one unique in their own way. To David, Karen and Mark and their families, we extend our sincere condolences. He always had their best interest at heart. Despite our political disagreements he was a true friend that I went down the road a long way with and I will truly miss him. I hope he and Joyce are reunited because they truly loved each other and shared the joy of raising their family. Please see obituary. May he rest in peace.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2006

Housing boom in East Town: Some 35 new brick homes will be built with 50 in the plans.*****A new score board, 20 feet high and 27 feet wide, will be constructed July 1 at Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bear stadium. It will be a state-of-the-art, first of its kind in the area.*****Pretty Phyllis Hennigan retires from Bridge City Bank after 26 years. She and Capt. Hennigan will hang out the rest of their days at the lake. He retired from the Sheriff’s Department.*****Plans are being made to celebrate Paul “The Boss” Cormier’s birthday, July 4. The party will be at Bobby and Devra’s place.*****David Claybar is honored by Orange City Council for many years of dedicated service to the ambulance service. He helped start the service county wide.*****Don Barron and Pete Prince both died in the same week. Don and Ms. Phyl went to school together at Bishop Byrne in Port Arthur.*****President George W. Bush, who has a birthday coming up, is not greeted with good news. His approval numbers are down from 38 in April to 35 today.*****Evangeline Hall turned 16 on June 28.*****Angie Hamilton Cole turns 40. (Editor’s note: She didn’t like being over the hill then. Now 10 years have flown by.)*****Bridge City-Orangefield 12-year-old all stars defeated Port Neches 10-0. Jacob Lemoine struck out 11 batters with only two walks. The Bridgefield boys hot bats were Matt Menard, who hit a home run and a double; Cameron Dishon also doubled and hit a home run but was called out because he missed third base; Austin Scales had a triple, single and walk; Mitchell Hubbard went two for four.; Jeremy Watkins, Sterling Deslatte and Zach Smith all had hits. The team is coached by Greg Smith and John Dishon.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Donald Edward Barron, 70, of Orange, died June 26. Service was held June 28. A native of Port Arthur, he was a lifelong resident of Orange where he was the owner-operator of North Hwy. 87 Recyclers. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Wanda Bingham Barron, son Donald Ray, sister Joyce Ann Borne, brother Dwight Barron and his very special friends Charles “Bo” Smith and Mae Farrell and family of Orange.*****Veronica C.  Carter, 92, of Orange passed away Friday, June 30. Services were held July 4. She was a homemaker, enjoyed charity work and was active in the Drake Memorial Presbyterian Church. She is survived by her son Robert, daughter-in-law Judy and siblings. *****Jeffery Dean LeDoux, 28, of Orange, passed away Saturday, July 1. Funeral services were held July 5. He was a graduate of Orangefield High School and was involved in all sports. He earned an associates degree of applied science in process operating and worked for Transglobal Solutions. He is survived by his fiancée Sharon Davenport, parents Jerry and Pam LeDoux, grandfather Vernon LeDoux, daughter Alaina Denise LeDoux and sister and brother-in-law, Shannon and Clay Dugas.*****Shawn Milligan, 33, of Mauriceville, passed away Sunday, June 25. Services were held June 29. Shawn was preceded in death by his brother Kenneth Wayne Miller. He is survived by his wife Sheenan Milligan, sons Sasha Adam Milligan and Adrian Orion Die, daughter Shayla Alaine Milligan, parents and siblings.*****Peggy “Ernie Lee” Johnson, 83, of Orange passed away June 27. Funeral services were held June 30. Officiating were her pastor Jeff Bell, her son Ronnie Johnson, son-in-law Tom Reeder and nephew Freddie Sherrod. She is survived by her husband of 63 years,  Grady Johnson, five children, David, Ronnie, Elaine, Ken and Steve, 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.*****Larry James Trahan, 56, of Orange, died Tuesday, June 27. Services were held June 30. A native and lifelong resident of Orange, Larry was a painter and sandblaster. He was preceded in death by his father Wilson A. Trahan and brother Johnny Bishop, Jr. He is survived by his wife Carolyn, mother Mildred Bishop, step-mother Effie Trahan and daughters Heather Trahan, Sharon Trahan, Sarah Kingrey, sons James Calkins, Lynn Calkins, Gary Nelms and James Kingrey and siblings.*****Services for Meredith Nathaniel “Bo” Dilbert were held Monday, July 3. A native of Orange he was employed by Phillips Petroleum for 34 years and was recognized by Lamar University as one of the first distinguished award winners. He served on the board of United Way and held the position of Chairman. He was a loving father and husband. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Nina Dilbert, daughters Kathy Butler, Suzanne Miller, Elizabeth Crabtree and seven grandchildren.

40 YEARS AGO-1976

The fireworks at the Bi-centennial festival draws the largest crowd ever, estimated to 7,500 to 8,000. Bridge City councilman Shirley Marks volunteered for the Dunkin Wheel. Randy Arnaud also volunteered. When Sharon Bearden took his turn at the Dunkin Booth, folks lined up for over an hour. Bearden stayed soaked all day. For two days Commissioner Dudley had a hard time with the ice cream machine. He ended up kicking and cussing it. Dewey Cox made the rounds of all the food booths, but always returned to Bob Dartez’s Cajun cooking booth, Carl Thibodeaux was judged “over-all champion” of the beard contestants. Roy Dunn’s beard was judged “grubbiest.” Troy Lenard had “best mustache,” Virgil Wilson won for “best beard.” Steve Bland won the Bridge City beard contest and was honored by Bridge City Rotary. The most unique beard in the entire contest was awarded to A.J. Lemoine, who sported a thick beard, colored red, white and blue, with two small American flags tucked in the beard. Blain Brown displayed the scroungiest beard in two counties.*****Jewel Bearden takes her first vacation ever. She ventured to Nassau, San Juan Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands.*****A new manager has been named at Golden Triangle Savings and Loan. Chapmen Bell will replace Roy Ingram.*****Bert and Frankie Bertrand, owners of B&B Auction House, celebrate their fifth year in business on July 13.*****Mark Dunn attends the Willie Nelson Fourth of July picnic in Gonzales, Texas. He writes about Leon Russell, Jerry Jeff Walker and a host of others in an article in this week’s OVN. He got back to Houston in time to catch James Taylor at the Summit. Taylor wowed the place with “Steam Roller Blues” and a dramatic version of “Fire and Rain.” His final song “Sweet Baby James” kept the crowd roaring for ten minutes. The photos Mark took on this trip were with camera equipment borrowed from his friend Calvin “Little Cal” Stakes.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Last week I ran into Tim Hughes who was visiting Orange from his home in Alto, New Mexico, which is located in the mountains a little way from Ruidoso. His wife was vacationing with the grandkids in Florida. Tim, since I first met him when he started Superior Tire. on Green Avenue in 1970, has always been a skier. On June 5, he turned 76, and still skis. That’s strange for a mountain man. He plans to spend a lot of time here this summer. Tim is and has always been one of the good guys.*****I had a long phone conversation with June Wingate, now a resident at Pinehurst Nursing Home. She celebrated her 87th birthday last week. I always admired June. She always played the hand that was dealt her and never complained. She was a very talented artist. When Cecil died way too young, she had a houseful of youngsters who all turned out well. She lost one son. Together we remembered a lot of the happenings around Orange. She welcomes your call at 409-670-9556 or stop by for a visit.*****Our friends at David Self Tractor are celebrating their 25th anniversary with some great buys on Mahindra Tractors, world’s number one selling tractor. If you go by the Buna store, tell George we sent you. He’ll work you out any kind of deal you want. Don’t bring much money, you won’t need it.*****Former longtime lawman and first Bridge City Police Chief, Wilson Roberts, after having a heart valve replaced, is doing quite well. This week he’s driving again. Chief Roberts has donated two large scrap books covering the time he was Bridge City Police Chief, to be displayed at the new police station. I understand Kim David, Beverly Perry and others are working on a gallery with memorabilia from different chiefs. On July 7, Bridge City will turn 46 years old. I haven’t heard when the station will hold its grand opening.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days: On June 22, Charlene Brous, Caitlin Wells, Gean Hammett, Phyllis Nimitz and Paul Richardson all celebrate. Celebrities celebrating birthdays on this day are actress Meryl Streep, 67, singer Cyndi Lauper, 63 and country singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson, 80.*****On June 23, A great lady who put up with Norman a bunch of years, Loretta Berry, celebrates a birthday, also Ken Johnson, Sissy Braus, Jaden Trahan, Mary Forman, Laurie Louvier and Betty Merchant all celebrate. Joining them are actress Selma Blair, 44 and TV show host Randy Jackson, 60.*****June 24 finds the mother of twins Lucas and Mason, Stark Foundation employee, and pride of Evadale, Amanda Adams, celebrating another one. Also Kathy Marsh, Barbara Garza, Wesley Smith and Judy Gerrald all celebrate. Joining them are celebrities ‘Fleetwood Mac’ singer/drummer, Mick Fleetwood, 69, Beyonce’s sister, Solange Knowles, 30 and actress Mindy Kaling, 37.*****June 25 finds Constable Chris Humble, Linda Taylor and Erin McFarland all celebrating birthdays. On  this day in 1950, the Korean War started. A day I well remember. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are singer George Michael, 53, comedian Ricky Gervais, 55 and Jimmie ‘Di-no-mite’ Walker, 69.*****On June 26, Cil’s husband, Sherby Dixon, celebrates as does Judy Cagle, Jan Henry, Phyllis Davis, Becky Hodgkinson and David Kimbell. Joining them are baseball player Derek Jeter, 42, country singer Gretchen Wilson, 43 and actor Chris O’Dannell, 46.*****On June 27, a nice lady, Claudine Hogan, is a year older but doesn’t look it. Also a great guy, Jody Raymer, celebrates  another birthday as does cancer survivor pretty Dorris Norwood, David Ball, Shanna MacCammond, Trvor Kimbell, Jessica Simon and Jerl Whitmire. Celebrities celebrating on this day are actor Tobey Maguire, 41, director JJ Abrams, 50 and entrepreneur Ross Perot, 88. On this day also, in 2013, Chief Jerry Wimberly died.*****On June 28, Kelly Kimbrough has a birthday as does Kourtney Derouen, Tina Bernard, Connie Berry, Karen Tomlin and Leighia Barron. They are joined by country singer Kellie Pickler, 30, actress Kathy Bates, 68, and football player/owner John Elway, 56.*****Last week I didn’t say the Cleveland Cavaliers would become the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit and win the championship, but I hinted strongly that it was a possibility. Well, Sunday night the Cavaliers and LeBron James, who returned home to Cleveland three years ago and promised an NBA championship, defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in game seven. The win came away from home, in Oakland, California. James was named MVP.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of James Garrison, 92, an Orangefield native. who had been a resident of Jasper for the last few years. He died June 12. Graveside services were held June 18 at Garrison Cemetery in Orangefield.*****A federal judge has dismissed Texas’ lawsuit against the government to block resettlement of Syrian refugees.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at JB’s Barbeque this week and at Robert’s Restaurant next week. Everyone always welcome.*****Cuban coffee is coming to the U.S. but no rum, no cigars. Not yet anyway.*****If you’re looking for a good buy on a pre-owned car, truck or van, right now you can make a great deal at Harmon’s Used Cars on MacArthur and Henrietta. Donnie Harmon has been picking up some nice vehicles for going off to college, family car or work car. They tote the note. Come look them over.*****Someone asked if I knew how Ms. Pearl is doing? As far as I know she’s still kicking, just not very high. She’s still sharp as ever and looking forward to her 96th birthday on Oct. 27.*****Our three district judges will be searching for a replacement for departing auditor Mary Johnson. I hope they have a better understanding with who ever they hire. A better understanding that the elected officials are representatives of the people and shouldn’t be dismissed as underlings.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Coach Dartez, da coach of da Little League All-Stars, called T-Not Comeaux, one of his 9-year-old stars over and axe him, T-Not do you understand wat cooperation is you?” “Wat da meaning of team is?”

T-Not replied, “Yesser coach.”

Coach Dartez say, “An do you understan’ dat wat matters is we win or lose as a team?”

T-Not shake his head yes.

Coach Dartez continues, “I’m sho you know wen a play is called you shouldn’t argue, cuss, call da umpire a peckerhead, a a-hole, do you understand all dat, hanh?”

Again T-Not nodded yes.

Den Coach say, “An wen I take you out of da game so dat anudder boy gets a chance to play, it’s not good sportsmanship to call da coach a dumbass or a shit-fo-brains, is it?”

“No sir, coach, dat is no good no,” T-Not answered. “Good,” Coach Dartez say, “Now T-Not, go over dere and explain all dat to you grandma.”

C’EST TOUT

The GOP badly wants to get rid of Trump. We said a year ago that if he were the nominee, he would wreck the Republican Party and cause a lot of losses down ballot. There is an easy way to get rid of him. All the party has to do is have a rule that before the convention will approve a nominee, he must release the last ten years of tax returns. I bet Trump would never do it. He would quit the race first. Mitt Romney is probably right, that’s where the boogie man is. A lot of his lies would show up and his ego wouldn’t stand it. Example: His net worth is more like $2.9 billion then $10 billion. He hasn’t made millions of dollars in donations to charity. Chances are he hasn’t paid any taxes and no telling what else his tax returns would reveal. He’s lied about so much, like financing his own campaign. He beat 16 opponents using that line while getting a billion dollars worth of free media time. Now he’s got folks out trying to raise money, even from the Koch brothers. Who said no. He had accused other candidates of going begging. To the brothers with hat in hand, now he’s doing the same. Apple’s GOP convention snub underscores a deepening rift between Trump and the Silicon Valley, causing problems for the GOP. Wells Fargo, Ford Motors, UPS and Motorola are just a few who have pulled out of GOP convention support. Don’t ever believe that Trump will make up the difference out of his own pocket. His campaign is trying every approach to raise money. They are down to only $1.5 million. Hillary has $42.5 on hand. Trump says if he raises money, he’s doing it for the Party. Another Trump lie. They will get only 10 percent of money raised. His tax returns would show he can’t afford to finance his campaign that will cost nearly a billion dollars. His liquid assets are only around $400 million and he’s not spending it. That you can bet on. The GOP has an out. Pass a rule that the previous 10 years of tax returns must be released. He’ll never do it. My prediction that Trump would wreck the GOP is fast coming to a reality.*****My time is up. Thanks for yours. Take care and God bless.