SUMMER ON THE GULF COAST

It seems finally after a few cool days and plenty of sunshine that our weather will get back to normal, hot and humid. That’s one of the small prices we pay for living here on the coast. Hurricanes are a big price we have to pay when we’re the target. Enjoy this great weather because I believe me we are in for a miserable, hot summer. Also I even hate to think about it but we are due for another storm to hit somewhere on the Gulf Coast, which could be anywhere from Florida to Brownsville. A high or low pressure usually determines where a storm will land. It always seeks out the lowest pressure, so a real hot summer, with high pressure, is sometimes good. The good thing about a hurricane is that if it misses you by a hundred miles you come away with little or no damage. It’s a long coastline so the odds are unless you live in Florida, which can be hit from different directions, you won’t witness a storm but maybe once, twice or three times in a lifetime. You pay every year for storm and flood insurance and might never need it but can’t afford not to have it because you never know. Sometimes it has seemed to me an area runs in cycles, like Rita and Ike hitting so close together and two other smaller storms hitting in between. My bet is a storm will enter the Gulf this year. Hurricane season begins in June, just 60 days away. It’s really nothing to worry about. Unlike a tornado, you know well in advance when a storm is approaching and can head for higher ground. The odds are we won’t have a direct hit this year. That’s the odds every year.*****Well, I best move on. I would appreciate it if you came along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.

SERVICES TO BE HELD FOR 6-YEAR-OLD DROWNING VICTIM

I’ve always been moved by the death of a child. It just doesn’t seem it should be that way. Greyson Scott Pinner was only 6 years old. He lost his life in a pool drowning while in Seabrook, where he and his family were attending a select baseball tournament. He and team members were swimming in the motel pool. His parents were near by. His brother, 9-year-old Dakota, pulled Greyson out of the pool and preformed CPR until someone else took over the life saving efforts. His mother Alicia Pinner said everything happened very fast He was transported to Clear Lake Hospital and life flighted to Texas Children’s Hospital. His mother explained, “You just can’t explain the pain.” Greyson’s mother helps coach the seven and under “Beast” baseball team he played on. She plans to continue working with the team the rest of the season. She said, “I hope he keeps watching over me. He’s a real angel in the outfield, he’ll be watching over everybody. He was passionate about the sport. He lived his life full speed ahead and was always very quick and swift. Greyson was a good swimmer so it’s very shocking.” Greyson would have turned 7-years-old April 15. Sherry Combs, LCM CISD spokesperson said in a statement. The LCM family is broken hearted at the loss of one of our Mauriceville Elementary students. We are focusing on helping the friends and family of the child and would appreciate prayers for those affected by this tragedy as they face the coming days. Additional counselors are on campus at the Mauriceville School. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 7, at First Baptist Church in Orange. Visitation will be from 5 to 9 Thursday at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. A fund raising account has been set up for Greyson’s family at “Go Fund Me.” Please see obituary. Goodbye GP1.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 YEARS AGO-2007

Easter morning cold front blows in. Two weeks into spring and Easter is more like Christmas. The temperature on Texas Ave., at Bridge City Bank’s Time and Temperature sign, reads 38 degrees at 3:57 a.m. A slow rain is falling and some sleet fell earlier, most of it in the Mauriceville area, with snow flakes north of there at the lakes. Folks are building snowmen in Lubbock. President George W. is having a white Easter at his Crawford ranch. Hot Springs, AK, went from 80 degrees Friday to 18 degrees Sunday morning. Ms. Phyl’s sister, Jo Huard, had put out 100 plants a week ago that are now under two inches of snow and ice.*****In a plum silly move the Texas Senate has approved a bill requiring 8-year-olds to be strapped down in booster seats. (Editor’s note: At that age I was looking for girls.)*****This week marks the fourth anniversary of the United States’ Baghdad take over and the toppling of Saddam’s statue. Ten American soldiers were killed over the weekend.*****It’s going to be a boy for Mary Cheney. The “No Papa” baby will probably carry the Cheney name.*****Constable Parker P.T. Thompson has a birthday coming up. A good excuse to party.*****Our buddy Cal Broussard will be 69 on April 12.*****Orange County Justice of the Peace Janice Menard and Judge Joe Parkhurst returned from a seminar in San Antonio.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Willie R. “Peg” Lavoilette, 78, of Orangefield died Friday, April 6. Funeral service was held Tuesday April 10. Mr. Lavoilette served in the U.S. Army and later worked as a steel worker for American Bridge. He survived by his wife, Bobbie R. Lavoilette; daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and James D. Brumley, and stepsons, Donnie Smith, Ronnie Smith, Gary Smith and Mark Smith, 16 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren.***** Guy Granger, 53, of Orangefield, died April 4. Funeral services were Saturday, April 7.  Mr. Granger served in the U.S. Army and was a member of Well of Hope Christian Fellowship Church in Bridge City. He is survived by his wife, Cindy Granger; son Jason Allen Granger; daughter Elizabeth Marie Granger.***** Eldred Mae Smith, 74, of Orange, passed away Sunday, April 1. She had lived in the Orange area for 50 years. And was a bookkeeper for an accounting firm. Cremation was held at the Lake Charles Crematory of Dorman Funeral Home in Orange. She was survived by her sons, Raymond Smith and Blayne E. “Bubba” Smith, Jr.; daughters, Debbie Britnell and Kathy Dean; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.***** Obray “Blanc” Fontenot, 87, of Orange, died Monday, April 2. Funeral services were Wednesday, April 4. Mr. Fontenot resided in Orange most of his life. He retired from American Bridge U.S. Steel  where he worked as a Chipper. He was a member of Boilermakers Local 587. He is survived by his daughters, Effie “Lulu” Gregg, Bertha Barron, and Eva Smith, nine grandchildren, seventeen great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.

40 YEARS AGO-1977

Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe has designated the week of April 24 through 30 as Gumbo Cook-Off Week in Texas. He encourages Texans to participate in the second annual International Gumbo Cook-Off in Orange. Thousands of people, from Texas and Louisiana are expected. A caravan made up of Bridge City Chamber members and headed by ‘Boss Cajun’ W.T. Oliver, toured South Louisiana towns. Sharon Self, secretary of the Chamber, kept notes of the caravan through South Louisiana to New Orleans. Here are a few: Robert Nelson’s Japanese Cadillac ran hot over 55 miles per hour. He stayed lost. Ken Wyatt performed at the 500 Club on Bourbon St. Roy Dunn was mostly interested in the hog cracklins at the Esterwood stop. All he asked was to fill his pockets. Bubba Zonka, former Baylor football star and sidekick, Stanley, drove the Lone Star Beer ‘Love Machine.’ Harold Self and Earl Bishop spent most of the trip working on the ‘Boss Cajun’s’ CB radio. Father Luminais, of Bridge City, Louisiana, gave the crew a tour of the French Quarter, where everyone seemed to know him. Billy Weisman’s mother commissioned him to watch his dad, Bill. All night long Billy kept saying, “Where’s dad, damn he was here just a while ago.” Dr. Mark Messer, B.C. Chamber president, led the crash on New Orleans’ television station, Channel 6. The Texans appeared on air to promote the Gumbo Cook-Off. All the folks on the caravan paid their own expenses and the wives kept the guys straight. *****Lewis and Nancy Gay have recently purchased the exclusive Ritz Hotel in Palm Springs, California. *****Border Street News Stand and Service, owned by C.J. Sonnier, carry all daily newspapers, new books, old books and racing forms. ****Peggy Stanton and Kenneth Morse to be wed next Saturday. *****Howard’s Big Red Pantry holds grand opening. The store, owned by the Howard Morse family, will be managed by Bill Townes. The 12,000 sq. ft. store was designed by Warren Sheer engineering. The store also has gas pumps and will be open 24-hours a day. *****Average pay for all Major League baseball players is $95,000 per man. Joe Morgan, Mike Schmidt and Gary Matthews make in-the-vicinity-of $400,000, Pete Rose, $350,000, Steve Garvey, $333,000. Some players make the minimum of $19,000. *****Fain Holbrook is now associated with Courtesy Pontiac. *****Harmon Chevrolet has over 100 Monte Carlos in stock. Average price, loaded, is $5,311. *****Mark Dunn publishes a story on 19-year-old Bobby Hoosier, who was burned March 8, on an oilrig in the Gulf, 180 miles from the mainland. The two-part manuscript is very touching as Bobby hangs to life in a Galveston burn unit. *****Larry David is elected president of Orange Evening Lions Club; John Cochran elected first vice-president, O.C. Gunstream, Jr. second vice-president. *****Ray Leleux invites his friends to the new location of his Ray’s Barber Shop, next to Merle Norman, 2124 Texas Ave. in Bridge City, phone 735-8218. The shop is a Union shop and according to his license picture, he’s a cool cat with plenty of coal black hair and a curl hanging over his forehead. (Editor’s note: He’s 40-years older today and not nearly as handsome but I believe he’s still in the same location, sculpting and wise cracking.)

A FEW HAPPINGINS

Phillip and Shana Welch stopped by Friday morning and it was sure nice to see them. Phillip is business manager at Kountz ISD. Since I saw them last, about 21 months ago, they married and have a fine 9-month-old, blond haired, blue eyed boy. Sterling Houston Welch has his Mom’s good looks and if he has his dad’s personality he can’t miss.*****Former Bridge City softball star Kasey Frederick, is now playing for Nicholls State. The sophomore has had a hot bat and was named Southland Conference Hitter at the end of March. She had a .700 batting average, a 1,000 slugging percentage. “Way to go girl.”*****Late Saturday afternoon things were buzzing at Little Al Judice’s Cajun Resturant in Bridge City. Gayle and Judge Parkhurst treated the Dunn’s to crawfish and other goodies. Gayle recently lost her mother, Mary Vincent McKencie, 88, who was Coon Vincent’s sister. Coon was well known and lived in the Bridge City area. A Cajun who lived to party but didn’t drink. Roy’s sister, Shirley Kogas, was visiting from Lafayette and really enjoyed the treat and the atmosphere of the unique gathering place. Gene and Marilyn Smith were also enjoying dinner. Gene has been fighting a bad back that is much improved since surgery. Former sheriff Huel Fontenot was being chauffeured by brother-in-law Jim Goodman, the guy you hope you never have to call. He’s a bail bondsman. We also spotted sweet and pretty Rose Billeaud, longtime married to Ken Wiley, a nice, easy going guy. Shirley enjoyed the many pictures of A.J. Judice, who she had known well. Many of the pictures were taken by her nephew, Mark.*****Trumps travel ban talk could cost $18 billion in tourism as foreigners rethink their visit. About 4.3 million fewer international travelers will visit the United States this year and 6.3 million in 2018. “America First” rhetoric makes foreigners feel like America is no longer a welcoming destination. Los Angeles could lose 800,000 visitors and $736 million. In four weeks they will launch an international advertising campaign, “To Roll Out the Red Carpet.”***** Last week a judge postponed the criminal trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, charged with felony securities fraud. Paxton, if convicted, faces five to 99 years in prison. One of the biggest criminal cases in Texas is now in limbo over what prosecutors contend is a deliberate effort by rich Paxton supporters. A judge appointed two high profile Houston attorneys to prosecute the case after the DA, a friend of Paxton’s, recued himself. Legal observers say they’ve never seen a case jeopardized quite like this.*****A few folks we know celebrating a birthday in the next few days: April 5: Our buddy, an old hand and now the new owner of Dupuis Service and Tire Center, in Bridge City, who also fought the big C and won, Earl Duhon, celebrates today and is thankful to be getting older. Also celebrating is former ace newspaper salesman Al Deroche and longtime recipe columnist Nancy McWorther. Celebrities joining them are Youtube stars Hunter Rowland, Alisha Marie, Rachel Ballinger and Joshua David Evans.*****April 6: The United States entered WWI on this day in 1917. Vance’s wife, one of those pretty Scales girls, Cyndie Chauvin, from Big Red Air Conditioning and Heating, celebrates today. So does Shirley Hayes, Brenda McPherson and David Blanton. They are joined by actors Peyton List, Casey Simpson, and Miranda May.*****April 7: Doc’s pretty wife Bethanie Penning, celebrates a birthday today. Also celebrating are Wayne McPherson, Billie Jo Nelson, April Butler and Janet Anderson. Celebrating also are dancer Gracie Haschak and movie actor Jackie Chan.*****April 8: Pretty Angel Sehon turns 21 today. Happy Birthday. Also celebrating is our longtime friend, BCISD teacher and successful Strutters sponsor for many years, Cathy Riley. Joining her are Melissa Pittman, Mike Knox and Bob Todd. Also celebrating on this day are actress Skai Jackson and rapper Dej Loaf. *****April 9: Celebrating today are Brad Ernst, Trey Dubose, Kristi Trahan, Barbara Allen, Tonya Burch and Wayne Currie. Joining them are rock singer Gerard Way, actress Kristen Stewart and singer Jesse McCartney.*****April 10: Barbara and Dr. David Olson’s daughter Katie, also a doctor, celebrates on this day. Also Devra and Bobby Cormier’s lovely daughter, Johnny’s wife, Janet Montagne is a year older. Sharing birthdays are Austin Brent, Jamye Martin and Barbara Goins. Celebrities celebrating today are dancers Ava Cota and Kenneth San Jose, actors Sofie Carson and Shay Mitchell.*****April 11: A great guy, Dwight’s boy, David Thacker, celebrates today as does Becky Myers, Patsy Evans, Jackie Schell, Travis Miller and Francis Reed. Joining them are entrepreneur Michelle Phan and Instagram star Toddy Smith.*****Last week at Novrozsky’s, the Wednesday Lunch Bunch drew a large group. Dena Hughes, executive director of TAN Community Health Center brought two employees, Kasidi Thibodeaux, from marketing and outreach and Jennifer Jackson, nurse practitioner. This week the Bunch dines at Robert’s and next week at J.B.’s Barbeque. Everyone welcome.*****Last week Bill O’Reilly compared congress woman Maxine Waters’ hair to a bad James Brown wig. His comment brought so much heat he was forced into apologizing for his comments about the Black woman’s hair. Things have gotten far worse for O’Reilly, the “Spin Doctor.” He and FOX are out millions to settle a sex harassment case, his fourth and there are probably more on the way. Sooner or later Rupert Murdock, owner of FOX News, is going to say, “Enough already.” He has paid out a bunch on Roger Ailes and O’Reilly. Now sponsors are dropping O’Reilly.*****Note to President Trump: Tech jobs are thriving in the U.S., up to 7.3 million, so much so that there are 627,000 positions unfilled. The digital economy continues to flourish in jobs for software, cyber security and cloud computing. Tech workers on average earned $108,900 last year, twice the national average.*****We were sorry to hear of the death of James Rowe, 70, of Bridge City, who passed away March 31. Services will be held Friday, 10 a.m. at St. Henry Catholic church. James was a 1965 Bridge City High grad. Condolences to his family. Please see obituary.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Una Mae, a beautiful, shapely woman from Lafayette, was in Opelousas to visit her elderly aunt wen she stopped by Tee-Boy’s Bar & Grill. Dartez, da bartender him, couldn’t keep his eyes off dat gorgeous woman. After awhile, Una Mae gestured alluring to Dartez. He quick-stepped up to her at da end of da bar. She seductively signaled dat he should bring his face closer to hers. As he did, Una Mae gently caressed his full beard. “Are you da manager?” she axed, softly stroking his face with boat hands. “No,” he answered, “Me, I’m Dartez, da bartender, da best in Luzianna.” “Tee-Boy, him, is da owner,” he told her.

Una Mae axe, “Can you get him for me?” “I need to talk to him,” she said, running her hands beyond his beard and into his hair.

“I’m afraid I can’t,” Dartez, breathing heavily answered. “Is dere something I can do for you?”

“Yes, I need for you to give him a message,” she said, while she continued running her forefinger across Dartez’s lips and popping a couple of her fingers into his mouth.”

“Wat should I tell him me?” Dartez managed to say.

“Tell him,” she whispered in her sexist voice, “Dat deres no toilet paper, hand soap or paper towels in da ladies bash room. (Re-run by request)

C’EST TOUT

Country’s big night Sunday was another good show. Jason Aldean won ‘Entertainer of the Year” for the second time. Last year he won the “Academy of Country Music Award.” Marinda Lambert, (Blake’s ex) picked up her eight “Female Vocalist of the Year” trophy, beating Reba McEntire’s long standing record of most wins. Chris Stapleton did a rock number entitled, “Second One to Know.” He has a new album due out May 5. Florida, Georgia Line sang Backstreet Boy’s “Everybody.” They sang their new single “God, Your Mama and Me” and were joined by Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, Faith Hill, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly. The shows co-hosts, Dierks Bentely and Luke Bryan took the stage with rocker Joe Walsh for a special tribute to the late Chuck Berry. Walch did the guitar licks to Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” The opening moments of the 2017 awards had something for everyone and featured all five “Entertainer of the Year” nominees. It’s always the best award show of the year.*****North Carolina beat Gonzaga 71-65 to win the National Championship. South Carolina women’s team beat Mississippi State to become women’s basketball champions.*****It looks like Tony Romo is hanging up his cleats and headed to the TV booth. We wish him luck. Tony was really a good quarterback with a lot of bad luck on the injury list.*****Well, I’m all done, plus I’ve run it down to the wire and am out of time. Thanks for yours. Please read us cover to cover and shop with our family of advertisers. Take care and God bless.