9-11 RECALLED ON 15th ANNIVERSARY

Only twice in the history of the United States has our country been under attack by outside forces. This Sunday,  September 11, is the 15th anniversary of 9-11, 2001. The Japanese attacked at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. I recall exactly where I was when I heard about both attacks. It’s something you never forget. When the first tower was hit on the morning of September 11, I was sitting at my desk watching my old black and white TV, a gift from Uncle Jim McKay. I told Dwayne Morse, an emotional young man, that this was serious and there would be more. Then we heard about the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania. By then Dwayne had tears running down his cheeks. A few days later, President George W. Bush, 43, got to New York. Someone handed him a bullhorn and with his arm around a fireman he said, “I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you and the people who knocked those buildings down will hear from all of us.” The United States attacked Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden was harbored by the Taliban regime, thus started the longest war in U.S. history. We still have many troops on the ground there. Unfortunately the biggest mistake ever made by our country took place with Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, who had nothing to do with 9-11. Our world problems today, the insertion of ISIS can all be traced back to that U.S. blunder. We heard about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on grandma’s little radio when President FDR addressed the nation. Then we heard my first cousin Hubert had been injured. He recovered only to come home and be killed in a farm tractor accident. Over the years, Cedric Stout, 95, has become a friend of mine. He was on the USS Utah when it sank in Pearl Harbor. He paints a horrible story about that December morning when blood covered the water. There have been several wars in between. I’ve lived a lifetime of wars, including Korea and Vietnam but none has as much lasting effect as the terrorist attack on 9-11.*****I’ve got to move on. I’d appreciate it if you came along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.

WHAT’S UNDER TRUMP’S COAT

I bet you have never seen Donald Trump without his suit coat on because he’s hiding 40 to 60 pounds of fat. That goofy doctor said he would be the healthiest president ever. First, any 71 year old who is that much overweight ain’t healthy.  I bet Obama has less that two-percent body fat and George W. rode a bike 20 miles regularly. Obama runs up the entire flight of stairs getting in Air Force One. If that doctor stripped Trump down to his skivvies, he’d find a lot of blubber. The phoniest thing The Donald has pulled yet was pretending, at a black church, that he knows about religion. He knows about as much about that as he does governing. Win or lose, Trump has created millions of followers he can sell stuff to.  He is trying to strengthen his brand. One thing we know about Trump is that his business is based on selling the Trump brand. A dozen of his products are made in fargion countries. His shirts are made in Bangladesh with slave labor, less than $2 a day. When this race is all over, he’s planning a Trump network that will be right of FOX News. Hannity will be his right hand air personality and Roger Ailes will run the show. It’s all about the bottom line with Donald. He never intended to be president. Meanwhile Gretchen Carlson has settled a lawsuit against Ailes and FOX for $20 million and an apology. Also Greta Van Susteren told FOX that she was leaving, just too much right wing stuff.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2005

Workers finished the new press box at Larry Ward Stadium. The Bridge City Cardinals host Lumberton for their home opener. They had an open week last week. The new press box replaces two press boxes destroyed by Hurricane Rita.*****Saxon Becnel and Sons, of Belle Chase, Louisiana, are buying 140 acres off Hwy. 105 to develop a nursery to grow citrus. (Editor’s note: Apparently the last ten years have been good to them.  They have really expanded the farm. Orange County was a good move.)*****Some folks in Snyder, Oklahoma, are in hot water after posting nude pictures of the chief of police’s 310 pound wife on a website.*****A nine foot tall bronze statue of Earl Campbell was unveiled Saturday outside Royal Memorial Stadium. Earl sang Merle Haggard’s song, “Natural High” is a tribute to his wife Reuna. Earl cried after his 20 minute speech. Because of Earl’s many football injuries and chronic back problems, he had to be assisted from is golf cart to the podium.*****Orange County Sheriff Department employees who have sons in the military protecting the nation are: Matthew Reeves, Marine, son of Capt David Reeves; Jeffrey Liddell, Jr. Marine, son of Faye Liddell; Josh Dempsey, Marine, son of Marie Dempsey; Cole Aven, Army, son of Sgt. Dee Aven; Michael W. White, Marine, son of Sheriff Mike White.*****The annual cross town rivalry between West Orange-Stark and Little Cypress-Mauriceville ends in a 35-14 win by the Mustangs but it was only 7-0 at the half. LC-M quarterback President Driver went down and was carried off and taken by ambulance to a helicopter that flew him to Beaumont hospital. (Editor’s note: Driver came home in a few days and was back on the field in three weeks.)*****A wreck on Hwy.- 62 kills three when a Ford Taurus crossed over the line and struck a Grand Prix killing all passengers in the Ford. David Allen Dean, 26, was the driver, passengers were James Andrew Cormack, 27 and Kevin Girouard, 40.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Michael Jerome Guidry, 54, of Orange, died Monday, September 4. A memorial service was held Saturday, September 9. A lifelong resident of Orange, he had worked as a fitter at Bethlehem Steel. He is survived by his sisters Alice Cox, JoAnn Hernandez, brother John Robert Guidry and their families.*****John C. Granger, passed away Friday, September 8. A graveside service was held Sunday, September 10. A lifelong resident of Orangefield, he had served in the Army and later retired as a Piledriver for Local #196. He was a true cowboy and was passionate about riding his horses and working his cattle. He is survived by daughters Sandra Ritter, Kathy Lynd and Melba Spurlock, and son John C. Granger, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.*****Setsuko Shiki Ridgaway, 72, died Saturday, September 2. Services were conducted September 8. Setsuko was born in Tokyo, Japan and is survived by her husband of 53 years, Bert E. Ridgaway, daughter Cathy Ridgaway-Civitello, sister Kazuko Takeuchi, brother Hiroji Shiki both of Japan,  numerous nieces and nephews.*****A memorial service for Roy Wayne Ryan, 67, of Orange, was held Saturday, Sept. 9. He was a retired educator who began his teaching career at Orangefield High School in 1962 and was an administrator at Bridge City Junior High School, Pettius High, Vidor High and Deweyville High School. He is survived by his wife Anita Michell Ryan, son Ricky and daughter-in-law Demetria, grandson Brandon and granddaughter Zoe.

40 Years Ago-1976

Inez Hearn celebrates 25 years with Montgomery Wards. It’s amazing that Wards put up with her that long. *****Rhonda Claire Reinhart turned 16 on Sept. 8.*****John Sanford is 12 years old on Sept. 12. He’s Lynn Hall’s little boy.*****Due to the fact that H.
D. Pate
will be attending a Democratic function in Forth Worth on game day, Doug Harrington has been appointed as new commissioner of Bridge City baseball. The game pits senator-elect Carl Parker and just three players against Roy and his boys, a bunch of Orange County yokels. Receipts from the game will benefit the Bridge City/Orangefield Community Center fund. A drive is on to build a center off of Roundbunch Road in Bridge City.*****Mel Kemp, a lanky, attractive high school student at Bridge City, is a Distributive Education student employed by the Pate-Burgess law firm. Mel was involved in a car accident in which she received a slight concussion and some bumps and bruises. (Editor’s note: Mel is still lanky, with a few pounds here and there, still attractive but 40 years older.)*****Brenda Gaudet, along with her attorney Louis Dugas, appeared in 128
th Dist. Court. The argument was whether the 11-year-old girl from Mauriceville has a legal right to play junior football. Attorney Jerry Zunker will represent junior football. (Editor’s note: Louis won that one.)*****Liz Venable joins the Opportunity News staff, covering the Bridge City Cardinals with her column, “Tracking Big Red.*****The new Little Cypress-Mauriceville head football coach is Lidney Thompson. In the first season game the Bears beat the Stark Tigers 7-0.*****It’s a boy for Margo and Eddie Cone. Born on September 10, he weighed in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces. Georgia Taylor reports that he’s a beautiful baby.*****Scott Faircloth managed to convince Donna Bland to become his bride. The wedding will take place October 2.*****Phyllis Dunn is dreading the big 40 coming up on September 16. (Editor’s note: I bet she dreads this year’s birthday more. Plus she has had to put up with her mate 40 more years since then.)*****Frank and Nancy Finchum celebrate their wedding anniversary September 17.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

I was glad to hear that our friend Corky Harmon, who has been under the weather lately, is now much improved. Corky will be resigning as chairman of the Board of Lamar Foundation after 40 years on the board. The Foundation, over the years, has been responsible for acquiring most of the property Lamar Orange has which amounts to millions of dollars in land donations. Carlton J. Harmon will be recognized for his many years of service on the board at a special presentation. The Harmon Lecture Hall will be  named for him and dedicated in his honor. The dedication will be held in the LSC-O Nursing and Classroom Building on Wednesday, September 7, at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend the ceremony. Much of the growth at Lamar is because of direct results of the Foundation.*****The Orange County Shootout this week is between West Orange-Stark Mustangs and the Bridge City Cardinals at Larry Ward Stadium. W.O.-S, the state’s number one ranked team is odds favorite to win. They just have so many weapons. If their offense or defense fails, special teams take off. My guess is we won’t see the high scoring of last week by either team. If Bridge City can hang close, not shoot themselves, we might be in for an upset. The Mustangs are tough but the Cardinals never quit. It will make for a great game that will be a sell out.*****On September 4, Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a Saint.  She was known around the world for her charitable work among the poorest of the poor. The Order that Mother Teresa started with 12 nuns now numbers more than 5,800 people in 139 countries. She was canonized 19 years after her death. “She was a tireless worker of mercy,” said Pope Francis. Teresa was born August 26, 1010. Her birth name is Anges Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. I guess that name Teresa was given to her when she became a nun in Kolkata, India, in 1929.***** A barn burner opened college football season last Sunday. Texas featured quarterback Shane Buechele, the first freshman to start at Texas since Bobby Layne in 1944. Texas senior quarterback Tyrone Swoops shared duties and was equally as impressive. The Longhorns beat Number 10 Notre Dame 50-47 in double overtime. The real heroes on both teams were the receivers. The win was much needed by Texas if they hope to someday again get to the top of the heap.****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dined at Robert’s Restaurant last week. The group was glad to see and visit with Marilyn and Gene Smith. For several years Marilyn had battled cancer. She won the battle but the long fight left its toll. Marilyn is very thin with stomach problems that allow her to eat very little, most food makes her sick. They are such fine people. For many years Marilyn was “Girl Friday” for Rep. Wayne Peveto’s law office. Hopefully they will visit as often as they can. This week The Bunch dines at PK’s Grill and next week at JB’s Barbeque. Everyone is always welcome to join this great bunch of folks.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Sept. 7: Laina Sparks, Terri Childs, Karen Morse and Ron Sherman celebrate on this day. They share birthdays with comedian Leslie Jones, 48 and actor Corbin Bernsen, 62.*****Sept. 8: Geralds daughter, Janet LeLeux celebrates as does Darla Cricchio, Janice James and Ronnie Bullion. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are singer Pink, 37, “Pawn Star” Chumiee, 34 and politician Bernie Sanders, who turns 75. Also the Rainbow Bridge turns 76 years old today.*****Sept. 9: Our good buddy, WWII veteran Millard “Neighbor” Cox, turns the page of life to number 92. He is an amazing guy for his age. He’s hanging around to keep taking care of Ms. Ginny. The prettiest deputy sheriff I know, Sharon Gerhart, celebrates today. They used to refer to her as “That sexy girl on West Roundbunch next to the church.” Also celebrating are Joel Jefficote, Jesse Thurman and Pamela Smith. Actor Adam Sandler turns 50, Hugh Grant, 56 and “Dukes of Hazard’s Luke Duke, Tom Wopat, 65.*****Sept. 10: One of Nova’s pretty daughters, a real sweet gal, Tonya Birdwell, celebrates also photographer Jamie Oliphint, Dena Bates and Mason Pruett. Joining them are golfer Arnold Palmer, 87, TV show host Bill O’Reilly, 67 and Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, 53. Happy anniversary also to Kelly and D.A. John Kimbrough.*****Sept. 11: Celebrating today on the anniversary of 9-11, in 2001, are Billy Fontenot, Chris Kovatch and Shannon Sparks. It is also the birthday of singers Harry Connick, Jr., 49 and Lola Falana, 74.*****Sept. 12: Karen Warner, Molly Anthony, Bryan Riedel, Buffy Bean, Cynthia Claybar and Tiffany Hicks celebrate on this day. Joining them are singers Jennifer Hudson, 36, Kelsea Ballerini, 23 and Jennifer Nettles, 42 and Houston Rockets basketball player Yao Ming, 36.*****Sept. 13: Jenna Nicole Ballou, Mark’s youngest daughter, the mother of three, celebrates as does the mother of eight, Fadra Thibeaux. Also celebrating are Connie Swope, Margaret Jeffcote and Darlene Brown. This day is also the anniversary of Hurricane Ike in 2008. Also celebrating birthdays are actor/producer Tyler Perry, 47 and Olympic runner Michael Johnson, 49.*****A week ago people were burning 49er Colin Kaepernick’s jersey. Now the jerseys are flying off the shelf, only being outsold by Cowboy rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot and New York great wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Go figure.*****I noticed that Commissioners Court, on a 3 to 2 vote, gave some elected officials raises. If approved at the Sept. 13 meeting the raise goes into effect Oct. 1. I’m in favor of raises however this move seems to punish some elected officials because of longevity. A newly elected official hires in at the same pay that a three-term official is receiving. Sheriff Keith Merritt, Judge Mandy White Rogers, Judge Troy Johnson, Judge Derry Dunn, Judge Carlton and I believe District Clerk Vickie Edgerly will  not receive a raise of $7,000 like the others. It’s designed to have everyone make the same pay doing away with seniority. Most places of employment give periodical raises on a time served basis. The raise is good and they deserve it but so do those who didn’t get what they feel they have earned.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Every night right after it got dark Leroy Desomeaux, a bird lover, would go out in da backyard and hoot like an owl, hoping to attract one. After a few days Leroy’s plan worked. One night an owl, wit a deep voice, started answering him. For a year, every night Leroy an dat owl hooted back an forth to one an utta. Leroy him, even kept a log of dere nightly conversations.

Leroy tought he was on da verge of a breakthrough in interspecies communication wen his wife Marie had a chat wit her neighbor Mary Lou. “My husband Leroy him, spends his nights calling out to da owls,” Marie said.

“Mais, dat’s odd, so does my husband Sostan. For about a year, every night he talks to an owl him.”

C’EST TOUT

“Mr. Kitty” the Escape Artist

We’ve reported before on the exploits of “Mr. Kitty,” Jack and Juliet Smith’s now famous escape cat, who plays hide and seek with the Smith’s. Several times a year, the Smith’s motor to their home in Colorado. They always take “Mr. Kitty” with them. He enjoys Colorado but apparently doesn’t like the car trip so when it’s time to pack up and head home, he escapes and hides out. Once before when they were all loaded up, ready to hit the road “Mr. Kitty” disappeared. After an extensive search, thinking a wild animal in the area had gotten him; the Smiths gave up and made the long, sad trip home. Two days later, someone called and announced that “Mr. Kitty,” hungry and ragged, had returned to their Colorado home. The Smith’s loaded up and drove back to Colorado to retrieve ‘Mr. Kitty.” Because the cat had done this kind of thing before, he just doesn’t like to ride, the Smith’s had thought about boarding “Mr. Kitty” on their resent trip. At the last minute however, they decided they would give him one more chance. On the load up to return home, everything went well with the cat until the Smith’s stopped for the night at their usual motel in Crandon, TX. The people at the motel, in that 3,000 population town, treat the Smith’s like family so when Jack got through loading up, they bid them goodbye until next time. All that was left was to load “Mr. Kitty” up. Juliet, because of a back injury, had sat in the car while Jack loaded up. He had shut ‘Mr. Kitty” in the room until he was done but apparently had not shut the door completely. “Mr. Kitty” was gone again. Everyone, including the day policeman in the little town, searched and searched. They even checked out the local restaurant to see if the cat might have stopped in for some scraps. The sun had gotten high in the sky when the Smith’s gave up the search. Jack left his cell phone number and 25 miles down the road the call came that “Mr. Kitty” had been found, hidden under a bed in another motel room.  Jack swears that was “Mr. Kitty’s” last trip to Colorado. He’ll miss the Christmas vacation. Personally, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. In conclusion, John Cash “Jack” Smith is one of the smartest people I know. He’s an outstanding lawyer, brutal in the court room. I’ve seen him in action, he takes no hostages. Yet a cunning cat can out fox him, which proves everyone, regardless of how smart they are, can be had. The more Jack raises hell, the more “Mr. Kitty” smiles in satisfaction that he once again has embellished his reputation as an “Escape Artist.” That’s my human interest piece of the week.*****Thanks for your time. Take care and God bless.