THANK GOD FOR OUR INDEPENDENCE

Lower gas prices, strong consumer confidence and a strong economy will lead to more families hitting the road this Fourth of July weekend. A record 41.3 million Americans will be traveling. This tops the previous record set in 2007. This summer, for the same reasons, all time vacation travel records are expected to be broken. The number of travelers is expected to be 10.7 percent higher than the average number during the last 15 years. AAA estimates that United States drivers have saved $20 billion on gasoline so far this year compared to the same period last year. Gas prices are 46 cents a gallon lower. You hear people putting our country down but the above proves this is still a great country. This Independence Day is a good time for us to celebrate the good fortune of living in the greatest country on earth and be thankful for all its benefits. Ignore those who run down our country. It’s not perfect but it’s by far the best. *****I have to move on, I have a long way to go in just a little time. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

 

SUPREME COURT KNOCKS DOWN PERRY LAW

Texas governor Rick Perry signed HB2 into law during a special legislative session in July 2013 and  Monday the Supreme Court issued its strongest defense of abortion rights in a quarter-century, striking down Texas’ rules that sharply reduced abortion clinics in the nation’s second-most-populous state. By a 5-3 vote, the justices rejected the state’s arguments that its 2013 law and follow-up regulations were needed to protect women’s health. The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery. The clinics that challenged the law argued that it was merely an attempt to make it harder for women to get abortions by forcing the closure of more than half the roughly 40 clinics that operated before the law took effect.  Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion for the court held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit women’s right to abortions. Breyer wrote that “the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”  Thirteen states have similar requirements, enacted as part of a wave of abortion restrictions that Republican states have imposed in recent years. Others include limits on when in a pregnancy abortions may be performed and the use of drugs that induce abortions without surgical intervention. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Breyer’s majority. Ginsburg wrote a short opinion noting that laws like Texas’ “that do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion, cannot survive judicial inspection” under the court’s earlier abortion-rights decisions. Justice Antonin Scalia, died in February. Scalia has not yet been replaced, so only eight justices voted. The Supreme Court sent a loud and clear message that politicians cannot use deceptive means to shut down abortion clinics. President Barack Obamapraised the decision; Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called the outcome “a victory for women inTexas and across America.” Texas passed a broad bill imposing several abortion restrictions in 2013.

CONDOLENCES

John Cooper, age 86, a native of Wild Horse, Texas, passed away June 23. Funeral services were held Monday, June 27. John was a great guy to know. The country boy never met a stranger. After serving in the Army during the Korean conflict, he came to Orange and went into the banking business until his retirement in 1994. As the saying goes, the rest is history. John wore many hats all the years he lived in Orange. His obituary reads like a Who’s Who of OrangeCounty. Besides all his other accomplishments, he had over 55 years perfect attendance in the Rotary Club. We are proud to have known him throughout the years. Condolences to his wife Elaine and the family. Please see obituary.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2006

Orange County citizens celebrate July 4.*****.In the Record Newspaper Mark Dunn wrote a story “Root Hog or Die” about theBailey family and recalled an interview with Fred Bailey 30 years earlier. Survivors of that 1900 Galveston hurricane, Henry and Mary Bailey had fled the island and purchased acreage along the Sabine Lake shallow, Old River Cove. The couple raised seven boys and three girls on a strip of raised land that Henry and his sons dredged from the lake on the marshy Orange Countyside of the Dryden Ferry causeway. On July 4, 1926, they opened a store where the family lived on the barest of means. The establishment would become known as Bailey’s Fish Camp. It was located where the causeway emptied onto a shell road that connected to Orangefield, West Orange and Highway 90 where travelers crossed the Sabine River, also by ferry, into Louisiana. (Editor’s note: In the article Mark goes on to describe the hard life. The Bailey’s still have off spring in the area. Some are theJohnny Montagne family. Johnny’s mother was Henry and Mary’s daughter Caroline. Johnny recalls many of his days were spent with Grandma Bailey. Mark describes how son Rob married the pretty, Katherine Hepburn looking, Sue Young in 1941 and the couple moved on the point, down at the end of the road. It became known as Rob’s Place. Sue also has many survivors left in the area. All the early players are now gone. It’s a piece of history that sets the area, now Bridge City, apart. It would be 70 years since the Bailey’s left Galveston and the city was then incorporated.*****About some of our citizens: Wilson and V.J. Roberts moved away from Bridge City to Duncan Woods.***** Richard Corder is at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas. The radio personality has been on the radio 56 years. He started with Baxter and Les Ledet in Port Arthur and has been with KOGT 52 years. (Editor’s note: Richard has since passed away.)*****Constable Parker Thompson is finally out of hospital. (Editor’s note: P.T. has also passed on.)*****Judge Derry Dunn had knee surgery and will be out of the JP’s office a couple of weeks. Judge Joe Parkhurst is vacationing so two lady judges, Janice Menard and Sherrie Smith, are holding down the fort. *****James and Janet Fontenot, her an Orange native and James from Washington, LA., have lived in Orange many years but now that he is retired from Dupont, they are building a home in Georgetown where they plan to spend the rest  of their lives. They will be missed in Orange. (Editor’s note: James recently died but Janet continues to live inGeorgetown.)*****Mayor Brown and Linda Claybar are the grandparents of new born Lucy Margaret Latours. *****Robert Fredrick, 74, died July 6. *****Barry Murchison, new Bridge City Rotary president, replaces Ronnie Hutchison. Jerry McInnis is recognized with a community service award. Dr. Albert Pugh is recognized for 25 years perfect attendance. (Editor’s note: I bet its 35 years now.)*****Since the invasion of Iraq, Halliburton’s stock has gone from $9 to $82 a share. Dick Cheney’s blind trust ain’t doing too bad.*****Dickie Colburn writes a story on Coach Sam Moore’s Zone Academy where Coach Moore teaches youngsters about baseball.*****Billy LeLeaux and his trusted sidekick, JoeD a “Chi-weenie” dog, can be seen daily around Orangefield in Billy’s golf cart running the mail route. He doesn’t have any mail but he runs the route and the folks like seeing Billy and JoeD making the rounds.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Terry Hoffpauir Jr., 35, of Orange, died June 30 in Salina, Kansas. He served 17 years in the U.S. Army and was currently an E-7 Platoon Sgt. He had served in the Gulf War and Iraq and received many service awards and decorations. He is survived by his wife Michelle Hoffpauir, daughters Kayla, Magan, Priscilla, Madison, Reagan and Jetta, sons, Terry W. III, Jackson Greene and Drew Shamburg.*****Ida Belle Spell Landry, 87, longtime resident of Orange and B ridge City passed awaySunday, July 2. She is preceded in death by her husband, Felix “Lou” Landry. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law,Elaine and Larry Padgett, son and daughter-in-law, Dwight and Sharon Landry, six grandchildren. 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. ******James Tanner “J.T.” Sparks, Sr., 73, of Orange died Monday, July 3. He was a Mechanical Foreman for Gulf States Utilities where he retired after 38 years. He was a 32-degree Mason. His favorite pastime was gardening and being with his family and friends. He is survived by his loving wife, Lala Sparks, sons Tanner and Randy,daughter Ometta, brother Cecil Sparks, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

40 Years Ago-1976

Orange County judges attend statewide seminar. Judges attending are Justice of the Peace Marlin Shelton, Pct. 2, Martin Ardoin, JP Pct. 3, Claude Wimberley, JP  Pct. 1.*****The Bridge City Youth Baseball season is over. The Dodgers, coached byDavid Riddling, Bert Clark and John Brown, won the Pony League championship. Players are John Garriga, Grey Guillotte, Dean Pepper, Chuck Guilhas, Kenny Hass, Jody LaBouve, Trey Broussard, Clint Menard, Eric Ridley, Bucky Thompson, Brent Huckaby, Donnie LeTulle and Tony Harrenger. *****Three Cities proclaim “Roy and Crystal WingateDay” signed by Mayor A.R. Morgan, Pinehurst, Mayor Glenn Seale, West Orange, and Paul Hale, City of Orange mayor.*****Gordon and Diane Baxter have just returned from a trip to Israel. Roy Dunn is sporting a blue, Evil Eye, around his neck, a gift from Diane from the trip. Roy is not rightly sure what the significance of the Evil Eye is. (Editor’s note: I wonder if he ever found out or even knows where it is.)

A FEW HAPPENINGS

It’s hard to believe that Dannarriah Finley would be 18 years old. She was kidnapped, murdered and her little four years old body dumped at Pleasure Island where the wild animals torn at her body. To date no one has been charged with the crime. The lapse of time favors the murdered. I hate to believe this one got away and don’t know who to blame it on. *****We were sorry to hear of the death of our longtime friend Timothy Frank Knight, 76, who died on June 23. Tim was a resident of Groves. He was a retired chemist and also a writer who wrote for our publication. He recorded much of the history of the area, sports figures and musicians, including the youngsters who recorded the “Gulf Coast” sound. He wrote a book on the “Big Bopper” and alsoHarry Choate and Gordon Baxter. Tim’s wife recently passed away. His obituary had not yet been released by Levingston Funeral Home in Groves. Visitation will be Saturday, July 2, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Service will be Sunday, July 3, at 2 p.m. Tim was a prince of a guy. I’m proud to have known him. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch gathered at JB’s Barbeque last week. The Orange Police Department and Animal Control spent about an hour trying to get a four-foot alligator to come out of a culvert. The gaiter won. It even turned down JB’s great ribs. Wilson Roberts made his first outing after heart surgery. He sat next to the sheriff so they could talk about policing. H.D. Pate showed up and it was good to have him out. Judge Jimmy Scales attended with two of the nice ladies from the City of Bridge City work force. Joe Kazmar, who has been writing a local sports column for over 40 years stayed off of the golf course to break bread and fellowship with some great folks. This week, the Bunch dines atRobert’s Restaurant and next week at PK’s Grill. Everyone always welcome. *****Two biggest lies repeated everyday on TV, “Fair and Balanced” and “The No Spin Zone.”*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. On June 29, longtime legal secretary Barbara Mulhollan celebrates as does pretty Ann Lieby, Jana Fisette, Rebecca Griffin, Lester Morris and Katie Keneson. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are actor Gary Busey, 72 and singer Nicole Scherzinger,37.*****June 30 finds West Orange mayor Roy McDonald celebrates his special day. So does Nancy Wood, Chris Huebel, Betty Derrick and Beverly Haggard. They join boxer Mike Tyson, 50, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, 31 and country singer Cole Swindell, 33. *****On July 1, Charlie Learned, Dian Arnold, and Jeff Eby all celebrate. They are joined by actorsPamela Anderson (Baywatch), 49, Dan Akroyd, 64 and Liv Tyler, 39.*****On July 2, Kee-Kee’s better half, Nancy Dupuiscelebrates as does Lisa Wilson and Maria Garcia. Also having birthdays on July 2 are actress Lindsay Lohan, 30, baseball player Jose Canseco, 52 and race car driver Richard Petty, 79.*****On July 3, A nice lady, Ellen Ray, has a birthday as does Betty Richard, Kathy Simmons and Thomas Findlay. Also mayor of Pinehurst, former judge, Pete Runnels, celebrates on this day. They are joined by actor Tom Cruise, 54 and TV show host Montel Williams, 60.*****On July 4, our country’s Independence Day, Kellie Derouen, Katy Maloney, Kathie Wilson and Lillie Mae Henderson all celebrate. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are President Obama’s daughter, Malia Obama, 18, TV show host Geraldo Rivera, 73 and soul singer Bill Withers, 78.*****July 5 finds Billy Boehme, Debbie Moreau, Charlotte Pruter, Shane Hanks and Pat McCombecelebrating birthdays. They join TV show host Judge Joe Brown, 69, Sopranos actress Edie Falco, 53 and rock singer Huey Lewis, 66.*****Lisa Alamia, from Rosenberg, Texas, awoke from jaw surgery to find she had developed a British accent. The rare neurological disorder has affected less than 100 people worldwide in the last 100 years. I’ve been accused of speaking in tongues in my sleep, maybe that’s common. My partner says it’s hard to tell what the accent is but it’s a foreign language.*****The $2.08 trillion erased from global equity markets Friday after the U..K voted to leave the European Union was the largest one-day loss ever. Warren Buffett alone lost $2.3 billion. Now the British government is in chaos. The citizens who were conned into voting to leave were fed lies. Now they are having “buyers remorse.” The markets in the U.S. could suffer with the economy taking a dive, if the American people don’t make the right decision in November in picking a leader. The volatile times will require a cool head at the wheel.*****Keith Wallace, of Reliable Cleaners, will clean any 4×6 flag free of charge. One time Keith ran an ad for free flag cleaning and ended up working two days. It’s quite an undertaking cleaning the large flag at Sabine River Ford.*****Over the past 25 years, $93.6 million was paid to 101 men and women for being wrongfully imprisoned in Texas. You have to wonder how many more there are.*****We had a nice phone visit with longtime friend, attorney Alan Sanders, who is with the law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaad and Smith in Houston. Alan still gets to Orange a few times a month. He is one of the most intelligent people I know and a great guy..

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

When Leroy Comeaux was a little boy, da family called him “Teneg.”  He lived in da country at Mouton Cove. Da family lived in a house dat have no indoor plumbing. His Papa wanted da best for his family so he built dem a “two-holer” outhouse.

Wen Teneg saw Papa accidentally drop a quarter in da hole, he noticed dat his Papa was tinking bout something, den he reach in his overhaul pocket, pull out a dollar bill and drop it in da hole where da quarter fell.

Teneg axed, “Papa, why you dropped dat dollar bill in da hole hanh?”

“Well, Teneg, its like dis, I jus didn’t have da heart me to send you down dere for jus a quarter.”

C’EST TOUT

You don’t have to go far, the Stark cultural venues can be enjoyed right here at home free of charge all summer from July 1 to Sept. 5. Families can enjoy Shangri La Botanical Gardens and the Stark Museum of Art. All outpost tours at Shangri La Gardens will also be free. Hours are 9 a.m to 5 p.m, Tuesday through Saturday. We are indeed fortunate to have world class venues located right here in Orange County. Thanks to the Stark Foundation for allowing our citizens to enjoy these very special places at no charge. Personally, I’m always thankful to the Foundation for all the great things they do for our benefit. They are a big reason our county sits apart from the rest.*****The Democrats on the House Select committee on Benghazi issued their report Monday absolving former secretary Hillary Clinton of blame in the terror attacks in 2012. “We hope our report will put to rest the conspiracy theories about Benghazi and return focus to the goal of improving the security of Americans serving abroad.” A large part of the report attacks chairman Trey Gowdy and the Republicans for using the investigation as a political attack on Clinton. The committee has spent $7 million tax payer funds in one of the longest, most partisan congressional investigations in history. A dozen different hearings involving 80 witnesses have been held, including testimony by Sec. Clintonfor seven hours. She was exonerated in the hearing. Chairman Gowdy continues to bring it back up claiming more witnesses.Gowdy said the Republican report would be published before the nation convention. Anyone with a third grade education can see through all the hogwash and know that at the bottom of the barrel it’s all politics going back to day one. Watch for the GOP to come out with a report Donald Trump can football Hillary with. There is no smoking gun. *****Well, my time is up. I sure thank you for yours. Please read us cover to cover and shop our family of advertisers when you can. If you’re on the road this Fourth of July weekend please be careful. Watch for the other drivers; don’t take for granted what they will do. Stay prepared.Take care and God bless and have a nice holiday.