From The Creaux’s Nest
2016—THE YEAR OF THE MUSTANGS
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs are on the verge of becoming one of the greatest football teams in their long run of successes. There are 1400 schools, with 800,000 student athletes and very few of them have made it to the state football championship three years in a row. If the Southeast Texas Mustangs defeat the West Texas Mustangs, the 2016 West Orange-Stark Mustangs will become legendary. In 2066, 50 years from now, someone will be writing about the great team and the red headed youngster with curls that led the Mustangs for three successful years and two state championships. The name Jack Dallas will be around as long as high school football is played. Dallas is not the best or greatest athlete to don a Mustang helmet because there have many great ones, but as a field general his leadership qualities for three seasons has led his teams to greatness. A win Friday against Sweetwater would brand the 2016 WO-S Mustangs as legendary, with a record that will live into the ages. Coach Cornell Thompson, a West Orange native, who is a master defensive strategist, will long be remembered as one of Texas high schools premier football coaches. He has a long history as an assistant to Coach Dan Ray Hooks but a win this week will cement his place in the annuals of this great high school sport. A little about the two Mustang teams. Anytime it rains in West Texas, it’s ‘Sweetwater.’ Horses, like the people, grow to be big in size. On the other hand, long ago the ponies that roamed this area were known as ‘Salt Grass’ ponies. They didn’t grow very big, had blankets and were preferred by Native Americans for their speed. Mustangs from two extreme parts of Texas, the far West down to the far Southeast. I’m betting on the ‘Salt Grass’ ponies. I’ll watch the game, which will be televised on Fox Southwest, but I’ll turn the sound down and listen to the radio play-by-play with Gary and John. If you are able to attend the game it will be a great trip. Anyone who is able, I’m too old, should attend this game and support our Mustangs, a team that is bound to become a legend. When that red-headed kid is an old man, he will still be remembered as the boy with the curls that quarterbacked that great 2016 championship team.*****I have to move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.
THE LEGENDARY CHAMPIONS OF 50 YEARS AGO
Fifty years ago, December 17, fell on a Saturday. This year December 17 again falls on a Saturday. On that long ago day, the Bridge City Cardinal football team became the 1966 Class 3-A State Champions. This coming Saturday afternoon will mark exactly 50 years since that legendary championship. The city of Bridge City hadn’t been incorporated yet. Prairieview and Winfree School Districts had merged just a few years before and that’s when the Bridge City ISD and the new high school was born. The population at that time was about 3,000. The mighty “Big Red” as they were called, played for the state title in 1965 and even though they lost 14-0 to Brownsville at Kyle Field everyone knew the Cardinals would be back. The team, led by head coach Chief Wilson, a gutsy bunch of young men and a running back named Steve Worster, breezed through another season and found themselves again in the state championship game. Cars, trucks and vans filled with families headed to Waco to be in the stands at Baylor Stadium when the Cardinals took the field that Saturday afternoon. Most families packed up the younguns and headed out Friday afternoon. Someone had gone ahead and placed “Big Red” signs all along the route to Waco. My family, along with other families, spent the night in College Station. Bill Potter, from the Sheriff’s Department, and Constable Buck Patillo, from Bridge City, led the procession of fans. That’s when the saying, “Last one to leave turn out the lights” was born. It meant no one was going to be in town that day. Fifty years later I’m still amazed at the number of fans in the stands. It was a sea of red and white. Fans came from not only Orange County but through the playoffs “Big Red” had picked up many Port Arthur, Beaumont and Mid-County fans. Over 11,000 fans followed the Cardinals. All of the television stations in Waco and College Station were predicting that the McKinney Lions were heavy favorites because of their great defense and record goal line stand. In fact, the Lions were on television celebrating like they had already won. The matchup was the state’s number one offense against the number one defense. Bridge City took down McKinney 30-6 and brought the very first state championship to Orange County in any sport. It would be 20 years before another team, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, would play for a state title. That was in 1986 and 1987. They won their first title in 2000, 34 years after Bridge City’s legendary state championship. Because Bridge City was a young school and the first county school ever to win a state championship is not the only reason that game was so significant 50 years later. It was the character of those young men on that team and one of the best coaching staffs ever assembled, plus they had help from Houston University coach and Orange native Bum Phillips. I’ll never forget those youngsters coming off the bus all decked out in dress pants, sports coats and ties. They looked like a bunch of choir boys, but boy could they play football. Many are no longer with us, including Coach Wilson and Coach Larry Ward. Quarterback Joe Lanston, who celebrated his birthday on that Dec. 17 championship day, is also gone. (Editor’s note: It’s ironic how time repeats itself. This week, West Orange-Stark quarterback Jack Dallas will try to win his second state championship on his birthday.) Steve Worster, three-time All American, Texas Hall of Fame Inductee, one of the most sought after high school tailbacks in the country, says about that legendary 1966 game, “I played college ball and won a national championship but the memories I have for that high school state game are more special to me than winning the national title.” It was just that important and special.” Worster, who played for the University of Texas, was one of the four finalist for the Heisman award. A few still around that get together from time to time are Jerry Jaynes, “Booger” Scarborough, Johnny Miller, Charles Miller, Darryl Segura and Coach Troy Woodall, who wasn’t much older than the players at the time. Over the years ‘Team Sweetheart’ Mary Alice Cole Hartsfield, has kept the team members together and in touch, just like a big sister would. Fifty years later this writer sees that championship run as something special that helped cement and build a community of pride that still exist today.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
10 Years Ago-2006
The Bridge City ISD will soon begin its search for a new athletic director. Coach Claude Tarver has announced he will be leaving his five-year post as AD and head football coach. Tarver told Superintendent Dr. Darrell Myers that his wife Karen had accepted an administrative position with the Fort Worth School District. “We have wanted to move to the Dallas area for several years,” Tarver said. His wife’s parents live in the area and are in declining health. As football coach Tarver has led the Cardinals into the playoffs three of the past five years.*****Gary McFarland, 41, of Orangefield was pronounced dead at the scene of a one car accident by Judge Janice Menard. The crash occurred at 4:30 p.m. on FM 105 and Page Drive when McFarland went off the road and hit a culvert.*****The Bridge City Lady Cardinals basketball team is on a roll. In their latest win, B.C. scored 63-Jasper 33. Christina Jaques scored 29 points and had four steals. Jenna and Lauren, the Angelle sisters, had a great night with 16 points and 6 steals between them. Big brother Kevin was in the stands to watch his sisters. Chelsea Coleman and Brittany James also had a good game for the Cards.*****Welders are in such demand in Orange County that a local shipyard is importing trained workers from India. A new $1.53 million grant for a Lamar State College-Orange training program is gearing up to train up to 450 local workers in welding. The United States Department of Labor grant came through a united effort by local groups, industries and educators. Among supporters are the Port of Orange and the Orange and Orange County Economic Development Corporation. LSC-O was one of 72 community colleges nationwide to receive the special grant.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Becky Havens Stark, 84, of Orange, passed away Dec. 13. Memorial service was held Dec. 16. She is survived by her husband Hormer Stark, daughters Rebecca Nugent, Ramona Sands and Rebel Falcone, son H.J. Lutcher Stark II, and their families.*****Chad Cormier, 28, of Orange, died Dec. 14. Services were held Dec. 19. He was a 1996 graduate of Orangefield High School and worked as a forklift operator for Muller Metal Buildings. He is survived by his parents Larry and Onelia Cormier, grandparents Leo Cormier and Marie Thibodeaux, son Brock, daughter Brooke and brother Robert Cormier.*****Cathy Dailey Long, 48, passed away Dec. 17. A memorial service was held Dec. 20. She is survived by her mother Beverly Dailey, son, Jason Winfree, daughters Cristy Delgado, Kimberly Netterville and Amy Flower, seven grandchildren, sister Teresa Roy and brother T-Boy Dailey.*****Roy Hill Jr., 74, a lifelong resident of Bridge City died Dec. 13. Funeral services were held Dec. 16. He is survived by his wife, Jewell Hill, daughter-in-law Joanne Hill, and grandchildren Justin and Andy.*****Beulah Henry, 88, of Orange, passed away Dec. 14. Services were held Dec. 16. Beulah was a homemaker and member of Church of Christ of West Orange. She is survived by her sons Edward Henry, Jr., Floyd and Rusty, six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
40 Years Ago-1976
CB radios are the craze. Almost everyone has one. Here are a few handles people are using. ‘Tin Snips,’ ‘White Wrapper Lady,’ ‘Starduster,’ ‘Circuit Breaker,’ ‘Honeywell,’ ‘Hog Jaws,,’ ‘Snuff Gully,’ ‘Cargo Kid,’ ‘Rod Dobber,’ ‘Wheelpopper,’ ‘Honkytonk Angel,’ ‘Peppermint Stick,’ ‘Captian Kangaroo,’ ‘Blondie,’ and ‘Dagwood.’*****Ace and Jo Amodeo host the monthly supper club.. The group also celebrated Louis Dugas’ birthday, Dec. 12. Some attending were Martha and Bill Hughes, the Mike Pasternaks, Jerry Smith and Susan, Betty and Corky Harmon, who were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, James and Janet Fontenot, Phyl amd Roy Dunn. The group gathered after dinner at the Pasternaks new home in Westend Beaumont.*****Don Burgess, last of the big spenders, is offering a $10 reward for the return of his small white Terrier pooch. The dog came up missing in the vicinity of Chavez Apartments. (Editor’s note: He thought a lot of that dog didn’t he?)*****Sherry says, “If sex is addictive, Wayne is a junkie.”*****Flo Edgerly is surprised by an advance surprise birthday party put together by hubby Gene at the K.C. Hall. Flo was told they were attending a youth council meeting. Flo, Jesus and Gordon Baxter all celebrate on the same day, Dec. 25.*****Liz Lieby, Ann and Tim’s little beauty celebrates her seventh birthday on Dec. 16
A FEW HAPPENINGS
The Wednesday Lunch Bunch gathered at Robert’s last week on Pearl Harbor Day. The Bunch honored Pearl Harbor survivor Credric Stout and his wife Cherry, along with his two daughters and grandson. Several news outlets honored Mr. Stout, 95, last week. He is the only area Pearl Harbor survivor. Among the nice crowd were Nova Strickland and her neighbors, Karen and Butch Broussard. They are good folks and we hope they will be back. This week the Bunch dines at PK’s Grill. Next week, Dec. 21, is the annual Christmas gathering hosted by Robert and his crew. We hope everyone will plan to join in for the annual Christmas picture taking.*****Last weekend the ‘Texas Bucket List’ crew featured David Claybar’s Old Orange Café. Every week they search out the best Texas hamburger. Chef Claybar’s famous fried jalapeño burger was a big hit. Hopefully while they were in Orange they shot footage of other interesting places to be shown later.*****Our buddy H.D. Pate is home from Houston hospital. Getting him home was quite an ordeal. He still has difficulty getting around. I understand it took half the Bridge City Fire Department to get him off the pot. Poor Pat, she has her hands full.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. Dec. 14: Danny Blacksher is getting older. He celebrates today as does Hannah Carpenter, Kandy Sartin, Keri Michutka and Danny Prosperie. Happy 60th anniversary to Betty and Corky Harmon. Celebrities joining them are pop singer Vanessa Hudgens, 28, drummer Mike Fuentes, 32, actor Jackson Rathbone, 32.*****Dec. 15: Mary and Don’s boy Donnie Stanton turns 49 today. Another year and we won’t be able to call him a kid anymore. Also celebrating are Ken Pittman, Belinda Broom, Jeff Harrington, Amanda Webb and our longtime friend Mac Hughes. Joining them in celebration are rock singer Ronnie Radke, 33, football player Josh Norman, 29 and actor Adam Brody, 37. This would also have been the birthday of our late friends Doug Harrington and our editor Robert Hankins. Gone but not forgotten.*****Dec. 16: WO-S Quarterback Jack Dallas will be playing in his third state championship game on his birthday. He helped win WO-S’s state title last year on his 17th birthday. Our buddy James Brabham, who just keeps on keeping on, celebrates another birthday. Also celebrating are Elizabeth Uzzle, Kitty Martin, Michelle Gephart and Carol Allen. They are joined by actors Theo James, 32, Anna Poppiewell, 28 and Krysten Ritter, 35, and wrestler Luke Harper, 37.*****Dec. 17: On this day 50 years ago Bridge City won the state championship. Celebrating today is Jeremie Delano, Beatrice Cortez, Chris Chambless and Martha Taylor. Celebrities joining them are Religious leader Pope Francis, 80, soccer player Billy Wingrove, 34, and actress Sarah Paulson, 42.*****Dec. 18: A guy we’ve known since he was in short pants, a great guy, a good friend Mayor Brown Claybar celebrates today. Also having a birthday today are Julia Alleman, Jill Vaughn, Mandy Hoffman and Tracy Lynn Broussard. Joining them are pop singers Sia, 41 and Christina Aquilera, 36 and actors Brad Pitt, 53 and Katie Holmes, 38.*****Dec. 19: Mitch Hidalgo, Raymond Hughes, Bill Cardner, Andrew Havens and Stacy Bates all celebrate birthdays today along with actor Jake Gyllenhaal, 36, and magician Criss Angel, who turns 49.*****Dec. 20: Kenny Pigg, Phillip Welch, Gabby Hammitt celebrate along with the ‘Queen of Bridge City’ Market Basket’s own Annie Hargrave. Celebrities having birthdays today are actor Jonah Hill, 33, baseball player David Wright, 34 and pop singer David Cook, 34.*****Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, a true sophomore, is the youngest player to ever win the Heisman award at 19 years old. He returns to Louisville next season. That should strike fear into defensive coordinators across the Atlantic Coast Conference. He will attempt to be the second two-time winner in Heisman history. Archie Griffin was the other. Jackson gives credit to his mother who put on pads and tackled him in the back yard. She was his first coach and still corrects his play.*****Sharon and Darrell Segura’s daughter, Attorney Misty Segura Roberts, was named as a new partner to the law firm, Cokinos, Bosein & Young. The law firm’s main offices are in Houston. Misty, a Bridge City graduate, was also chosen as a ‘Super Lawyer for 2015-16.’ Sharon and Darrell are proud parents. I can’t help but think about how proud grandmother ‘Ms. Anne” would have been. Congrats Misty.*****A book signing for “Wanda’s Words of Wisdom,” written by Wanda Simar, will take place 2 p.m., Dec. 18 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall, 912 W. Cherry St. in Orange. The book is a collection of Simar’s inspirational writings throughout her 85 years. Make plans to attend. *****Congratulants to Emily Navarro Hunt who just became one of the newest patrol officers of the Galveston Police Department. Emily, a Bridge City grad, is the daughter of George and Sandra Navarro.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Dominic Broussard showed up at mass a couple of Sundays ago. Da priest Fatter Arceneaux nearly fell out wen he saw him. ‘Nic’ had never been seen in church before.
After mass, Fatter Arceneaux caught up with ‘Nic’ and said, “Dominic, I’m so glad you decided to come to mass. Tell me wat made you come hanh?”
‘Nic’ answer, “I got to be honest wit you fatter, a while back, I misplaced my hat and I really love dat hat me. I know dat Moon Breaux got a hat jus like mine, and I know he come to church every Sunday. I know dat Moon got to take his hat off and figured he would leave it in da back of da church, so I was going to leave after Communion and steal Moon’s hat me.”
Da priest gave ‘Nic’ a big smile and said, “After I talked about ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal,’ you decided you would rather do witout dat hat dan burn in hell, right?”
Dominic shook his head and said, “No fatter, after you talked about ‘Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,’ I remembered, rat den and dere where I left dat hat me.”
Not only Democrats but Republicans have joined the outcry over Russia and its hackers that disrupted the presidential election to help Donald Trump. I forewarned during the campaign about Trump’s connection to Vlaimier Putin. It’s scary and not healthy for the United States. Now we find that Trump’s team is made up of Wall Street and ‘Big Oil’ folks, just the opposite of what he promised. He will cut the tax bracket for the top one percent from 35 percent to 15 percent. The loss will have to be made up on the backs of the middle-class. Forget the 20 foot x 8 foot, 2000 miles wall, it ain’t gonna happen. The Congress will make a big show, photo-op, over Obamacare but it ain’t going no where for the next three years. They have nothing to replace it with. Trump, on a “Thank You” tour, continues to lie to supporters who eat it up. He says his election was a record breaker in the Electoral College. Not so, going back to Jimmy Carter, Trump will get only a few more votes than George W. and he lost the popular votes by nearly three million votes. That many more voted against him, yet he tells those at rallies that he won by millions of votes and they believe him. Most importantly and I’ve told you before, it’s all about the Trump brand. The bottom line is he wants to become the country’s wealthiest man and with Russia and Putin, the Trumps will make plenty. The national media and office holders should insist that Trump release his income taxes.*****Now here a joke: Remember Rick Perry’s famous “Oops” while he was listing the three agencies he would shut down. He ticked off commerce, education then went blank. He forgot energy. Now he’s going to be the new Energy Secretary. He’s been kissing Trump’s backside, lobbying for Secretary of Defense or Veteran’s Affairs but he got one he would have gotten rid of. Here’s a bet, watch the price of gas at the pump, my bet is this time next year we will be paying $3 a gallon. Trump sold the working class a bill of goods. I think he’s the best con artist in my lifetime. You won’t like the end result.*****I’ve plum run out of time. Thanks for yours and God bless.