HISTORY IN THE MAKING

The speech Monday given by Michelle Obama at the Democratic convention will long be remembered right along with the great speeches of all times. I had been thinking that the best speech of the convention would be delivered Wednesday night by President Obama but he will have to go some to top the First Lady. It was a perfectly written speech and no one could have delivered that particular speech any better. The first day of the convention featured some other outstanding speakers, including Sen. Corey Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the lineup is loaded with talent. I love a good speech and  over the years I have read and re-read the great ones. The highlight of the convention will come Thursday evening when Hillary Clinton, the first woman ever, will accept the nomination of her Party Tuesday for president of the United States. It will be a historical moment that will touch many lives. Women around the nation will feel goose bumps, many will shed tears. It will be a proud and special time for many women who have waited a lifetime for the possibility that a woman could really become president. I regret that my mother, who was often a victim of getting a raw deal because she was a woman, isn’t here to witness such a historical event. To men who believe women shouldn’t be the head CEO of anything it won’t mean much. To us who respect women and value their worth, it’s really a big deal. Hillary’s story is really an amazing one. No one has ever run for the office that was better prepared to serve. Her qualifications, toughness and temperament have all the makings of a great leader. I’ve known many tough, bright women. Jewel Bearden and Marcel Adams always come to mind but a special lady who eagerly awaits Hillary’s Thursday acceptance speech is Ms. Pearl Burgess. I assure you she will be touched deeply. The year Pearl was born is the year it became legal for women to vote. The bill passed June 4, 1919, but didn’t become law until 1920. The Nov. 8 General Election is a dozen days after Pearl celebrates her 96th birthday. She’s waited a complete lifetime to cast her vote for the first female candidate. The election my friends will be a historical time for our nation and the women of this country. I pray that I’m around to witness it. I’ve witnessed many historical events in my long life but this one would be special. If not now it will never be for me. *****I have a long way to go and I don’t want to miss tonight’s speeches so I’d best get going. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

BELIEVE ME, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BRAND

The Democratic convention tone is a far cry from the gloom and doom that highlighted four days of the Republican convention. It was a circus but make no mistake about it, Donald Trump advanced his first priority, the “Trump brand.” No other venue would have allowed him making his children look like rock stars around the globe. The exposure was a way of pushing the Trump brand to the next generation. His four children who were unknown are now one of the world’s most famous families. That will open many doors long after the election is over. Win or lose, it’s a win-win for Trump and hasn’t cost him anything. He’s not spending any of his own money. Financing his own campaign was a lie from the start. Every thirty minutes a commercial is begging for funds to finance his campaign. If he’s elected, the Trump brand has hit the jack pot. Even if he doesn’t win the world knows about the Trumps and that means more foreign investments. It’s all about the bottom line with Trump. Every product he sells is made overseas. What is a bigger worry though is a person’s ego being so big that he would say about some of the country’s problems that, I quote, “I alone can fix it.” That folks is an ego that borders on being “psycho.” He doesn’t need the congress, the generals or anyone else. Think about that, the guy was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he never served in any public office, service organization and doesn’t have any idea about parliamentary procedure.  I heard a former Republican senator say, “He’s ignorant when it comes to government affairs.” It’s all a game for the thin skinned Trump but it’s a scary thought for all of us that it’s even possible that he could be Commander-in- Chief. His finger on the button is an awful image but the reality that it could happen is really terrifying. I have loads of information that Trump has been a scam artist and hurt many people, broke small companies and cheated many investors. His trail of scamming is almost unbelievable. Trump will never be elected U.S. president. He’s not qualified to serve. That’s probably okay by him, he has already won in promoting, “The Brand.”

COURTS SHOOTS DOWN PERRY ID LAW

In 2011, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law the Texas voter ID law. Other Republican controlled states followed Texas’ lead. The goal was to make it harder for minorities, who tend to back Democrats, to vote. However, it also disenfranchised the poor and the elderly. The United States Fifth Circuit Court, the country’s most conservative appellant court, found the Texas voter ID law is discriminating and violates the U.S. Voting Rights Act. The Fifth Circuit sent the case back to the Federal District Court with instructions to find a short-term fix before the Nov. 8 general election. I have always contended that the law was unconstitutional. It is the same as a poll tax. I complained about the unfair law when Perry signed it. Their excuse for the bill was that it was necessary to prevent voter fraud even though not a voter fraud case could be produced. Everyone knows why they passed that bill. It was to suppress the Democratic vote. They found the list of allowable ID’s, a driver’s license, passport, military ID, handgun license or U.S. citizenship card did not comply with the Voting Rights Act. Now it’s wait and see what Texas will come up with next.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2006

A good story about two young Bridge City natives is a featured story in this weeks Record. The story, about lawyer Rodney Townsend and his doctor wife, Amy Judice Townsend, written by Margaret Toal, talks about how hectic their ten years of marriage has been. Rodney finished law school while Amy entered medical school and completed her internship. In the meantime, she had daughter Alexandria, who will be 8 years old in October, 2006. The article titled, “Lawyer has Doctor in the House.” explains how these Bridge City grads came home to practice their trade and it also covers the struggles of obtaining two degrees while raising a child and making ends meet. (Editor’s note: Ten years have gone by. Amy is now 41, Rodney 45 and Alex nearly 18. Rodney is a very active and successful lawyer in Orange but I’ve lost track of where Amy is practicing.)*****The body of Sonya Hilliard, age 19, of Orangefield, has been recovered from the Neches River. Witnesses say she jumped from the Rainbow Bridge. Also last week, a 24-year-old male hurled himself over the railing of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge. The man is still alive. Emergency workers in a boat rescued him.*****Jerry Hughes has bought Dr. Rowe’s office building on 16th Street and plans a big expansion of Hughes Real Estate.*****Deputy Mike Marion, who just completed law school, has been named chief deputy by Sheriff Mike White, replacing John Tarver who retired.*****A sad accident took place over the weekend. Darren Dugas, 38, was killed in Rose City on July 29 when his jet ski collided with one driven by his wife. Darren was the owner of D&D Construction in Bridge City.*****What started out brand new in 1966 as Chief’s Stadium became Mustang Stadium in 1977. On Monday, July 31, 2006, the stadium became Dan R. Hooks Stadium with a 5-1 vote by the school board. *****The Bridge City Pony League Cardinals heads to final round of the Regional tournament. The Cards defeated League City 12-2 in six innings. Matt Hicks pitched the complete game. Joe Robertson, Luke Rhodes and Hicks had two hits each. Three homeruns were hit, one each by Rhodes, Robertson and Anthony Cessac. Coaches are Joey Encalade, Don Breaux, Terry Mosely, Greg Evans and Tom Hicks.***** GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Bridge City resident Scott Guidry, 28, lost his life in an auto accident on July 29.  Services were held August 2. He had served four years in the Marines and was an apprentice electrician for David Electric. He is survived by his parents Tony and Arlette Guidry, son Keaton Guidry and brother Sean Guidry.*****Services were held August 1 for Darren James Dugas, 38, who died Saturday, July 29. He was the owner of D&D Construction and was in the trucking business for over 20 years. He is survived by his wife Dawn, sons Bryden Smith, Grey Smith and Colt Dugas, and daughter Riley Dugas. *****Christopher Garrison, 29, died July 24. Services were held July 28. He was a member of McNeese University Alumni Association, a member of Mensa and an owner of Go Technology. He is survived by his fiancée Brandi Morrison, parents Jay and Virginia Garrison of Orangefield, sisters Jayna Rogers, and Jennifer Garrison and brother Jayme Garrison.*****Josephine Peveto, 95, of Orange, died July 30. A lifelong resident of Orange she was a homemaker and loving wife, mother and grandmother… She was preceded in death by her husband Jack Peveto and is survived by her son Richard Poole, grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

40 Years Ago-1976

Louvenia Hryhorchuck, a beautiful lady who has worked at the Orange County Tax office since high school, is the Tax Assessor-Collector. Her employees are chief deputy Lucy Scirillo, Lisa Buntyn, Dottie Sutton, Pat Wright, Rosemary Sladon, Debbie Mouton, Jeannie Juneau, Deana Pollard, Nan Gibson, Dianne Hebert, Pat Peery, Elizabeth Smith, Lucille Reed, Millie Luna, Lerme Franklin, Joyce Harmon, Michail Cedars and David Smith.*****State Representative and Senator elect Carl Parker has challenged Roy Dunn and his cohorts to a baseball game. H.D. Pate has appointed himself as commissioner of baseball for this unique match to raise money for the Bridge City/Orangefield Community Center fund. Pate will announce the place and time the game will be held. *****The Orange Police Department building is renamed the Public Safety building. The dedication will take place August 7. Speakers will be Congressman Charles Wilson and Police Chief Paul Hulsey. *****Wyatt Paul, of Mauriceville, is on tour with the Black Oak Arkansas group as a soundman. If his passport is in order, he will be leaving for Europe on August 8.*****W.T. Oliver and over 100 Cajuns are loaded with groceries and headed to the Folklore Festival in San Antonio.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

The Ann Bryant Auditorium dedication ceremony will be held Tuesday, August 9, 6 p.m. at the Bridge City Elementary stage area. The Bridge City Independent School District invites everyone to come join in. Ms. Ann spent 62 years in public education, 56 of those years with BCISD. *****We were sorry to hear of the death of Ruth Toups, 84, who passed away July 21. A memorial mass will be held Saturday, July 30, 1 p.m., at St. Henry Catholic Church. Ms. Ruth was an interesting lady. I’ll never forget the times I visited with her. She was an owner of Toups Marina on Cow Bayou. Ruth wore many hats, both on her head and in life. Condolences to her family. Please see obituary. *****The Lunch Bunch will dine at PK’s Grill this week and at J.B.s Barbeque next week. Everyone always welcome. *****Good luck to the Bridge City Strutters who traveled to Richardson, TX. this week for “American Dance Camp 2016.” *****Make plans now to attend the Denim and Diamonds Gala, presented by the Friends of the Orange Depot. Special country music entertainment, BBQ, silent and live auction will be featured. The event will be held Saturday, November 19, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the VFW Hall in Orange. The F.O.O.D needs your help to complete the project. Co-chairs for Denim and Diamonds are Rose Simar and Diana Hill. Mark your calendar. ***** A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. July 27: Ty Manuel, the Beltone Hearing Aid man and the son of our late friend Dick Manuel, celebrates. Also having a birthday on this day are Helen Philen, Lisa Simmons and Joseph Whitehead. Today also marks the day in 2003 that  Bob Hope died at age 100. Celebrities celebrating on this day are comedian Bill Engvall, 59, actress Maya Rudolph, 44 and baseball player Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, 41.*****July 28: It’s hard to believe that Heather’s son, Blaze Montagne, turns 17 on this day. Also celebrating are USPS Joe Tant, Chaelynn Wilson, Allison Donnell, Paula Richey and Angela Rhodes. They are joined by actors Lori Laughlin, 52 and Elizabeth Berkley, 44 and Garfield cartoonist Jim Davis, 71.*****July 29: Educator Lisa Faulk and hairdresser Florence Pelham celebrate today. Also Laurie Davis, Hannah O’Grady, Nancy Bourgeois and Jeff Fruge. Joining them are Star Trek actor Will Wheaton, 44 and country singer Martina McBride, 50. This also would have been the birthday of two of our special friends, Dr. Joe Majors and Rev. Leo Anderson. ***** July 30: Celebrating today are Lisa McCall, Ronda Hale, Conner Godwin, Daniel Faircloth and Chris Lopez. Celebrities celebrating on this day are actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 69, “Friends” actress Lisa Kudrow, 53 and Olympic volleyball player Misty May-Treanor, 39.*****July 31: Those celebrating are Marie Pittman, Judy Chandler , Debbie Moerbe, Laci Braus, Jane Duchene and Mildred Hudson. Celebrities joining them are Harry Potter author JK Rowling, 51, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, 58, actor Wesley Snipes, 54 and football player DeMarcus Ware, 34.*****Aug. 1: Judge Joy Dubose Simonton celebrates today. It seems we wish her happy birthday on two different dates. I hope this is the right one Judge. Also celebrating is Megan Leleux, Tana Thompson, Megan Vogt and Catherine LeBlanc. Joining them are rapper Coolio, 53 and singer La’Porsha Renae, 23. *****Aug. 2: Judge Roy Derry Dunn celebrates today. He’s going on a special birthday trip right after the Dunn reunion. Also the guy who gets to sleep with Dayle every night, Stump “The Lion” Weatherford, celebrates. Turning a year older also are Chloe Halliburton, Travis Fields and Debbie Desper. They are joined by actors Edward Furlong, 39 and Mary-Louise Parker, 52. Joining them in celebrating a birthday are singer Tony Bennett, who turns 90, actor Martin Sheen, 76, Martha Stewart, 75 and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, 39. Happy birthday to all.*****It’s been a year of wins for Miranda Lambert since her divorce from Blake Shelton last July from picking up awards to marrying a new man, country singer Anderson East. “Vice,” her new album sees Lambert succumbing to her weaknesses, bad decisions, men an other vices. (“Another call, another bed I shouldn’t have crawled out of, booze, it’s gone before it ever meets the ice.”) Meanwhile, Blake and new flame Gwen Stefani have mined their public breakups for plenty of new material.*****Somewhere in this issue is a picture of Neighbor Cox’s Texas size cucumber. I started eating on it yesterday and plan to save the seeds.*****The best quote of the week was by Vice President candidate Tim Keine. He said, “Most quit calling people names in the fifth grade.”*****I’m looking forward to going to Peggy’s on the Bayou Friday night and getting a mess of spicy barbequed crabs, just $7.99 a half dozen. That’s 12 halves. If they’re full that’s plenty.*****Texas Democrats, lead by Lynda Johnson Robb, LBJ’s oldest daughter and former First Lady of Virginia, do two step at convention on voter ID ruling. She says, “Texas is a state of mind.”*****Saturday, July 30 is the Third Annual presentation of the National Dance Day event at the Riverfront Pavilion in downtown Orange. The family event is free to the public and could be a good time for all. See schedule in the Happenings column.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Alsid Boudreaux, while up town in Lafayette, decided to buy a new pair of shoes. At da Payless Shoe Store he walked in an told da salesman he’s looking for a pair of dem black shoe in da window, number ‘leven.

Guidry, da salesman him, look through da shelf and finally told Boudreaux, “I’m sorry me, but I only got it in a tan.” Boudreaux say, “Look, how you spec me to wear a tan wen I ax you me, for ‘laven hanh?”

C’EST TOUT

Cheap gas is a double edge sword. When President Obama took office gas at the pump was $3.92 a gallon and had been over $3 for several months. When President Bill Clinton left office the average price was 98 cents a gallon. Eight years under Bush/Cheney saw gas prices rise to nearly $4. Texas prices have plunged to their lowest July level in 12 years. Gas prices have dropped in 39 of the last 40 days even though this is the peak summer travel season. The outlook for the rest of 2016 is even cheaper gas. A global glut of oil inventories have kept prices below $50 a barrel for most of the year. Gas prices are 57 cents a gallon less than last year and $1.38 cheaper than two years ago. That translates into savings of $15.35 per fill up. Most U.S. gas stations are selling gas for less than $2 per gallon. In Orange County the average is around $1.90. Ironically, the demand for gasoline is among the highest it’s been in years. Low gas prices however are a double edge sword. Many jobs have been lost in oil producing states and in the Gulf. Texas has been hit the hardest with drilling in the oil patch shut down. Consumers love it plus it keeps the economy on an upswing.*****I’ve come to the end. Thanks for your time. The “Smoking Gun” is Putin getting involved in the U.S. election. Not good. Take care and God bless.