My thoughts are about my own Mom and all the great Mothers that I have known who are now gone. Many great women who influenced my life more than anyone, not only my grandmother, aunts and other female relatives who played a major role in my life, but other great women who adopted me like I was their own. It saddens me to think they served their time and along the way, one by one, they passed away. When I think back to all of those women as a group, it really makes me aware of how much I have lost, but on the other hand, how fortunate I have been. I’m sure that’s mostly true for all of us. Not until we have aged and taken stock, do we fully appreciate that God’s greatest creations are loving, caring mothers.***** I have a long way to go so I’d better get with it. I would much rather be packing up and going to spend the day with Mom, but that is no longer possible. I hope you are fortunate enough to still have yours. Come along; it won’t do you no harm.

“Ms. Pearl” My Mother of the Year

Pearl Burgess, at 96, is the oldest mother I know. She’s also a special lady in many ways. Her outlook on life is remarkable. Regardless how she is feeling, her glass is always half full. Ask her how she’s feeling and on her worse day she’ll respond with a positive answer. She’s an inspiration to everyone who knows her. I know she has inspired me. What makes her special is her courage, intelligence, kindness and ability to accept what is. Her daughter Beverly says she never complains, her outlook remains the same regardless of how bad she feels. Over the last three years, Pearl has lived with Bev and Jody Raymer. She moved in after a bad fall. I was thinking that on May 1, McDonald Baptist Church turned 86, and for over 80 of those years Pearl has been a member. She and Billy Burgess had three girls. Today Pearl has grandchildren, great grandchildren and now great-great grandchildren. In her younger days she had that movie star quality and a great smile to go with her looks. She still has a big smile for everyone. Pearl will be 97 on Oct. 27, if she makes it. Her health has been deteriorating and this could very well be her last Mother’s Day. I wanted her to know while she’s still very sharp that she is special and it is a pleasure to know her. She has deep rooted history in Orange County and someday I’ll write her story but I hope it’s no time soon. Happy Mother’s Day to my friend the poet.  

MEMORIAL TO BE HELD FOR

CARLTON J. HARMON

It was sad to learn of the death of our friend Corky Harmon, age 89, who passed away on Wednesday May 3. A visitation will be held Friday, May 19, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. at Claybar. A full obituary will run in our paper on page 7A in this week’s issue. Our condolences to the family and friends of this good man. Please see Down Life’s Highway column for more.

GOP CONGRESS DEGRADES ITSELF

The new Trumpcare passed by the GOP Congress last week is a scam. The bottom line is to pull a trillion dollars from the Affordable Care Act. Anytime you strip that much from any program any fifth grader can see the program is being severely weakened. Billionaire Warren Buffet, worth $76 billion, says the new medical health program will give him a addition 17 percent drop in his taxes. Trump is robbing the trillion to give tax breaks to the super rich. Buffett says that money could do a lot more good in the Affordable Care Act than giving money to people like him. I’m surprised at how some conservative congressmen caved in when a little pressure was put on them. The Senate is not as likely to bow to pressure and maybe can fix the bill because it really screws the poor, elderly and working class. In Trump’s first 100 days he racked up a record 488 falsehoods and he repeats them over and over again. That’s what he’s doing with the new Trump health plan. No matter how many times he says that preexisting illness is covered, he’s lying. The bill leaves it up to the states to cover it or not at five times more premium cost than normal insurance. Trump and Sessions will have a field day with their new FBI leader now that Comey is gone. The Trump/Russia connection will go under the rug.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2007

The most interesting factor about our time on this earth is the people we meet along the way. Some become our friends, some adversaries, while most are just folks you cross paths with. Then there’s the beautiful people, true characters, unusual people who guide their own ships. The talented people who make you stop and take notice, the very friendly and upbeat. Jerry Neie was a friend of many years. I never knew him to meet a stranger. If he did, it wouldn’t be long before Jerry’s personality sucked them in and he had them laughing. Jerry was first a picker/songwriter. Judge Joe Parkhurst, who did the inquest on Jerry on his death, May 9, at age 66, said Jerry’s guitar was near him. He died alone but it’s no surprise that worn guitar was at arms length. *****Congrats to Coach Bryant and his Bridge City baseball team who just keep rolling along. The Cards will meet Needville in the Class 3-A Region III Quarterfinals Thursday and Friday, *****Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Drew Bean is the new state champion in the 3200 meters in Class 4-A. Bean won it all with a time of 9 minutes, 16-59 seconds. He then placed fourth in the 1600 meters to end his high school career. *****The West Orange-Stark 400-meter relay team of Dominique Rhodes, Jacoby Franks, Earl Thomas and Josh Gloston claimed third place and the bronze in the state track meet. They also placed fifth in the 800-relay, running a 1:27.77. Those guys can fly.*****The law firm of Bearden and Bearden won it’s first case last week since Jim Sharon joined his dad Sharon. *****Roy Wingate is to be roasted Saturday, May 19, 7 p.m. at Lamar University Orange. *****The Preakness is next up for Calvin Borel. It will be shown on NBC Saturday, 5 p.m. in Baltimore. “Bo-rail” and his mount “Street Sense” will again be trying the rail on the second leg of the Triple Crown. Calvin went to the White House for a white tie affair, featuring the Queen of England. His fiance’ whisked Calvin off to find a suitable outfit, then a protocol lesson. Calvin didn’t eat much, keeping himself at 110 pounds. When the Queen put her fork down, so did he. *****Danny Brack is flying with only one wing. He had surgery on his right rotator cuff. They bolted it together with big screws and he can’t use his right arm for three months.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Allison Marie Higgs, 23, of Bridge City, died, Wednesday, May 9. A Memorial Service will be held Monday, May 14 at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Bridge City.  Allison was employed by West Telemarketing in Beaumont. She is survived by her mother, B.J. Headrick, father, Doug Headrick, son, Ian Douglas Higgs, brother, Matthew Douglas Headrick, aunts, uncles and cousins.***** Jerry L. Neie, 66, of Orange, passed away Wednesday, May 9. A memorial celebration was held Saturday, May 12 Jerry was a longtime resident of the Orange area. He worked as a musician, playing music in many of the area establishments. Jerry is survived by his sister, Jean Scott, son, Dayle Gene Neie, daughters, Dayna Neie Gill and Joey Lynn Schichtel; grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.***** Danielle Smith Huggins 36, of Orange, Texas, died Friday, May 11. Funeral Services will be at 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 15. Burial will be held in Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 21 at 11 a.m. She was preceded in death by her husband, SSGT Jamie L. Huggins, and her grandparents, Evelyn and Luther Smith.  She is survived by her parents, Sheila and Mack Smith, grandparents, Ray and Sue Donnaud, daughter Mallory Brooke Huggins, sister Meredith Seay, and brother, Micah Dwight Smith.***** Lucille Ellen Gauthier, 88, of Orange, died, Sunday, May 6. Mass of Christian Burial was Wednesday, May 9.  Mrs. Gauthier was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest “Pete” Gauthier, Sr. She is survived by her sons Ernest Gauthier, Jr., Michael Gauthier, daughters, Geraldine Bagesse and Judith Fields, thirteen grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.

40 Years Ago-1977

Orangefield holds sports banquet. Dudley Kraus was named “Most Athletic Boy,” Vicki Proyka, “Most Athletic Girl,” Ronnie Rudeseal awarded the “F.L. McClain Heart Award,” Brian Day, “Most Valuable Player,” Jeff Fruge, “Defensive Lineman,” Lannie Evans, “Offensive Lineman.” Coach Ed Peveto named by The Opportunity Valley News as “Coach of the Year.” McNeese coach Jack Dolan was guest speaker. *****Steve Scott Worster, nine pounds, 11 ounces, was born April 28 in San Antonio to Ann and Steve Worster. Local grandparents are R.B. and Louise Worster and Uncle Gary. On Memorial Day, Ms. Louise will be 53-years-old. Scott is her first grandchild and she says it was long overdue. (Editor’s note: It’s hard to believe that boy turned 40-years-old a couple of weeks ago). His grandparents and uncle have all passed away. Dad Steve, a football star and All American at Texas, still lives in the Bridge City area. Scott’s mother, Ann lives in the Orange area. *****Joe Chenella named Principal at Bridge City and Roger Russel named Asst. Principle. *****Wilson Roberts resigns as Bridge City Chief of Police May 12. He did a great job and was a bargain at $1,000 a month. *****Don Jacobs performed at the Bridge City Rotary Club meeting Thursday held at Granger’s Seafood. The former OVN writer is planning to take his song-writing talents to Nashville. Don has written many songs, including the “Legend of Roy Dunn.” which he will not pitch at Music City. ***** Gordon Baxter has submitted a novel to a publisher titled, “Where Babies Come From.” *****The Bridge City Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary installs Donna Riley as President. Other officers are Joyce Biggs, Vice-President, Carolyn Lee, Secretary, Judy Aycock, Treasurer, Mary Callahan, Reporter and Cathy Benton, Social Chairman. *****Dr. and Mrs. David Olson are the proud parents of an eight-pound son, born this week. Michael is what they named him. (Editor’s note: Today, the baby is a doctor, practicing general dentistry and orthodontics.)*****Jessie Dupuis, a burn victim, has been released from Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Jessie and his family will be staying in Big D for several weeks while he is doing outpatient treatments.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Dave Rogers brought me a valued gift with a nice note. He game me Wade Phillips new book ‘Son of Bum.’ I have just barely scanned through it but I know it will be a great read.*****Congrats to all the winners in last Saturday’s election. Our longtime friend Essie Bellfield lost her first race. Maybe it was time for Ms. Essie to go. Over the years she has served her community well.  Ironically Essie is the one who encouraged Terrie Salter to run for council. She led the pack with 44 percent of the vote. She faces Michael Smith in a runoff. Larry Spears was re-elected to Orange City Council with 77 percent of the vote. Mike Johnson was re-elected to BCISD School Board and Carl Harbert was elected to the Bridge City Council. Tommy Wilson was elected to WOC-CISD School Board.*****Big news from France. Emmanuel Macron, 39, will become the youngest president ever. He won 66 percent of the vote against Marine LePen, who was supported by U.S. president Donald Trump. Macron was supported by former U.S. president Barack Obama, who cut some television spots for him.*****”Always Dreaming” won the 143rd Kentucky Derby. If I had bet I would have won because I would have bet on jockey John Velazques, who has already had over $300 million in winnings. This year, Desarmeaux was the only Cajun in the Derby. He came in 16 out of 20. Ten years ago there were four Cajuns in the Derby, three ended in the top five.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week and next Wednesday at Robert’s. Everyone is always welcome.*****Thanks to Judge Derry I got my first homegrown tomatoes of the new season. I’ve got some good bacon and my next move is a tomato and bacon sandwich.  You can’t beat that red, ripe, just off the vine taste. I can’t get any taste out of a store bought tomato and I’ve tried them all.****Harry’s Appliance is the place to shop this week if you need an appliance. Harry and Margie have some great Maytag bargains.*****Folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. May 10: Educator Sharon Wooley, pretty Katie Hubbard, Stacie Teaff, Johnnie Mae McKuster, Stacie Dryden and Chuck Williams all celebrate today. Joining them are rock singer Bono, who turns 56 and dancer Kayla Jones, 19.*****May 11: Sherry Walles, Scott Andes, Pat Collins, David Pitts, and Sarah Moreland all have birthdays on this day. Also celebrating are football player Cam Newton, 27, model Blac Chyna, 28 and singer Prince Royce, 27.*****May 12: Our buddy at Pk’s Grill, beautiful, healthy Tammy Yawn celebrates today. Also Justin Roberts, Jerry Hardee, Bridgett Bonneaux and Hazel Heckendorf. Celebrities celebrating on this day are YouTube stars Mikey Murphy, 18, movie actor Luke Benward, 21 and skateboarder Tony Hawk, 48.*****May 13: Master mechanic at Bridge City Automotive Bryan Bolt is a year older today. Michael Baker, Kristie Hughes, Calvin Granger, Kate Jackson, Renee Price and Bob Wood all celebrate today. They are joined by actors Debby Ryan, 23 and Robert Pattinson, 30.*****May 14: Today is Mother’s Day and celebrating today are Teri’s hubby David Gauthier, Madison Lyons, Brad Johansson and Nikki Smith. They are joined by football player Rob Gronkowski, 27, actress Miranda Cosgrove, 23 and singer Olly Murs, 32.*****May 15: Former educator Nancy Chenella celebrates today also Bridge City elementary teacher Deborah Ellender, First Baptist Church of Orangefield’s pastor Cody Hogden, Heather Brinson, Daniel Broussard and Ronda Savoy. Celebrating also are former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith, who is 48, rapper Lil Water, 19 and tennis player Andy Murray, 29.*****May 16: Our buddy, a great guy, Judge Pat Clark celebrates today and we wish him a good one. Also celebrating are Clay Sims, Mark Simmons, Samuel Lucia, and from Triangle Speed Shop Daniel Pachar. Celebrities joining them are Michael’s little sister, Janet Jackson, who turns 50, actors Thomas Brodie Sangster, 26 and Megan Fox, 30.*****“Little Al” Judice has been given a lease agreement by Jefferson County to open Judice’s Cajun Café at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport. We had heard a few weeks ago that Al was planning to open the same kind of operation he has in Bridge City in Mid-County. We wish him well. A.J. would be proud of what his grandson has accomplished. I know grandma Lois and dad “Big” Al” are.*****Tiffany Trump, 23, the president’s youngest daughter by second wife Marla Maples, has been admitted to Georgetown Law School about 15 blocks from the White House. That will put three of the Trump children and three grandchildren in the Capital by fall. Ivanka Trump and her family live there now. Trump’s youngest child Barron, 11, and third Trump wife, Melania, will be moving to the White House in June. For them, moving out of Trump Tower in New York will be like moving into a dump. At the Tower Barron has one complete floor with gold fixtures all to himself. He has his own butler who draws his bath water, shines his shoes and puts out his clothes to wear. Secret Service drives him around in a limo. Life is going to change for Barron and his mom.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Alsid Thibodeaux’s boy Nelson Ray is not too bright him. Dey call him “Tee Foo.” Anyway, Alsid hated to cut “Tee Foo” loose by hisself, but he agreed to let him go visit New Orleans. He bought him a bus ticket and “Tee Foo” was on his way.

While in New Orleans, he patiently waited and watched da traffic policeman at a busy street crossing. Da cop him, would stop da flow of traffic and shout, “Okay, you pedestrians go.”

Den da policeman him, would allow da traffic to pass again. He done dis several times him and “Tee Foo” him, still stood on da sidewalk.

After da cop had shouted “pedestrians,” for da tent time, “Tee Foo” him, got impatient so he went up to da policeman an he axe, “Isn’t it about time you let da Catholics across, hanh?”

C’EST TOUT

For many years residents of the Bridge City trade area have practiced the habit of not locking their doors. Not everyone, but some citizens still don’t secure their homes.
For most years it wasn’t necessary, however times have changed. For over 20 years we didn’t even have a key to lock up our home. The kids would come and go at all hours and often we woke to a house full of strange kids asleep all over the floors, couches, etc. We never gave a thought to anyone taking anything. Our thinking changed a few years ago when while away someone entered our home and left with some of our valuable stuff. It was somewhat of an inside job. One of the robbers, a kid, had been in our home and knew where we kept a rare gun collection, jewelry and money. I mention the above because of the Jim Sharon Bearden abduction. The Bearden’s live in an exclusive subdivision. I would bet, until now, most folks in that nice neighborhood didn’t make locking up in daytime a priority. It was 8:15 a.m., everyone was gone and the house was left unlocked. Only Jim Sharon remained and was still in bed when three men wearing ski mask rushed in on him. Like my deal, I suspect it was some sort of an inside job. It was master-minded by someone who had been in that home and knew the families habits. The robbers, three Hispanics, seemed to know what bank accounts Jim had. Fortunately, they were just interested in robbing him, even though they pointed a gun at his head for four hours they didn’t harm him. It’s very scary. I know I had that frightening experience a longtime ago. I’m sure Jim Sharon’s biggest concern was that if he didn’t cooperate it would put his children in harms way. All’s well that ends well. It was a big financial loss but all of us who know this great guy are thankful that he wasn’t harmed. Money can be replaced. He will be a while getting his nerves back intact. Maybe this incident will serve as a caution that we should all be more careful. The times, they are changing.*****Thanks for your time. Happy Mother’s Day to all you great Moms. Take care and God bless.