THE VALUE OF OUR INDEPENDENCE

Since America declared her independence many of our basic ideals have been watered down or gone down the drain altogether. Over taxation and deterioration of our civil liberties is not what our forefathers envisioned. Wire tapping, hacking, to invasion of privacy, robs all of us of our basic freedoms promised us in the U.S. Constitution. Many women are watching with dismay as hard won progress for women is rolled back by the far-right controlled court. As we celebrate this July 4, we are still the world’s greatest country. In the eyes of countrymen or those from other nations around the globe however, we are not as great as we once were. Respect has deteriorated because of our country’s actions and the greed of our leaders. We need a serious makeover, returning to the true intents of our founding fathers. As of late, intent has really taken a licking, but like Timex, because of our foundation, it will keep on ticking.*****Four-year-old Dannarriah Finley was murdered on July 4, 2002. She had been kidnapped, raped, murdered and dumped on Pleasure Island in Port Arthur. The varmints ate on her little body. Today, the little beauty would be 19 years old. No one has ever been charged with her murder. I believe several law enforcement officers at the time knew who committed this terrible crime but the evidence never was sufficient to get an indictment. Over the years, I’ve heard several stories, even the name of a suspect. I heard the case was contaminated early on by law enforcement mistakes. Someday I would like to visit off the record with Chief Sam just to put together his story with those I’ve heard, including an FBI slip up by failing to read a suspect his rights. Dannarriah will never be forgotten by those of us who lived through it.*****I must move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

TRUMP IS FILLING THE SWAMP

Donald Trump is holding himself to a different standard then he promised on the campaign trail.  His “I’m going to drain the swamp in Washington” is another of the many whoppers he’s told. More than 100 former lobbyists are working for the Trump administration. Trump pledged to restrict the power of special interest, however around 70 lobbyists are working in the agencies they lobbied for in their careers. Trump also said he appointed Gary Cohn Head of the Economy because he is rich. Trump said the president of Goldman Sachs paid $200 million in taxes last year. That’s another falsehood. He said in Iowa Saturday that he gave him the job because he is wealthy, “You don’t give that kind of job to a poor person.” Trump’s definition of a poor person is someone just worth $2 or $3 million. His own 11-year-old son Barron is worth $75 million. Remember when Trump got on the stump and said Hillary would be a bad president because of her ties to Goldman-Sachs? Well, you can’t go higher than the President and CEO. Sunday the New York Times printed a full page of all the Trump lies. It took up a page. The Associated Press also published a list of Trump’s untruths and fabrications. In Iowa, on building a border wall as a solar wall, he said, “Pretty good imagination right? Good? My idea!” Another lie. Trump repeatedly said solar power was “Very, very expensive and not working good.” Now he wants to claim the solar panel wall is his idea. The AP said not so. They highlight many other untruths on immigration, FBI Comey, defense of Russia, housing, jobs, election taxes, health care. Etc. He promised not to touch or cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid and now he has them on the chopping block, cutting out $1 trillion dollars from the programs to give a tax break for the wealthiest, including the Trump Brand whose income is up 25 percent since he became president. His estimated net income will be near a million dollars a day for 2017. He could use a tax break.

TEXAS MONTHLY NAMES SENATOR NICHOLS ‘BEST’

Texas Monthly magazine has named its annual ‘Best and Worse Legislatures.’ Many in Texas believe the 85th Legislature is the worse anyone can remember. They passed fewer bills in this session than had been passed in years. According to ‘Texas Monthly’ “The crumbling school finance system went unaddressed and instead of action, we got grandstanding over school vouchers, property taxes and as ever abortion.” In the end, Texas Monthly says “This session featured too much noise and too little done to improve the lives of Texans.” Republicans and Democrats working together to make Texas a better place has been the standard for the ‘Best and Worse’ Texas Monthly list since its inception in 1973. Our state senator Robert Nichols, from Jacksonville was named to ‘Best’ list of legislatures. Sen. Nichols introduced and pushed through the ‘Over Weight Trucks’ bill. Nichols brought together corporations and policy experts to find a way to allow overweight trucks but also preserve roads. The results was a bill that will allow for trucks with additional axles and weight but also with anti tipping technology and blind-side sensors. These measures will improve safety. The bill restricts overweight trucks to within 30 miles of the coast and to roads designated for them by the Texas Department of Public Transportation. Nichols’ bill will lead to billions of dollars in new manufacturing investments along the Texas coast. Sen. Robert Nichols was one of only two senators named to the ‘Best’ list. The other senator named is Joan Huffman, of Houston. ‘Texas Monthly’ says, “She’s smart, tough and driven.” (Editor’s note: I’m sure the
Senator’s sidekick J.D. played an important part in obtaining the honor just like Smiley Burnett always had Gene Audrey’s back. Someone just asked, “Who were they?”)

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2007

This week, 5-year-old Kason Ricks was released from a Galveston hospital and is spending his first week back home with his family. He was in an accident May 23 on Interstate 10. The accident left him in a drug induced coma. His parents, Faith and Jerry Ricks, said they are glad to have him home and thanked the community for their support. Through benefits and donations over $14,000 has been raided to help Kason. (Editor’s note: Hard to believe Kason is now 15-years-old. I wonder how the past 10 years have been for him.)*****Word is out that Shangri La Park in Orange, is due to open October 5. This great nature park will bring visitors from around the country.*****Mary Stanton has retired as manager at Bridge City Express Mart. She will get to enjoy more time with Don and Denise. (Editor’s note: I sure missed her after she retired. Don passed away a couple of weeks ago. We understand a nice service was held for Don at Cowboy Church with Britt Godwin lending his talent.*****Angel San Juan has jumped the KFDM Channel 6 ship after nine years. He has joined Channel 4. It seems strange to see Angel on another network. (Editor’s note: Where is the guy now anyway?)*****The big sport’s news this week is Craig Biggio hitting number 3000, all with the Astros. His buddy, Jeff Bagwell, was there to celebrate the important moment with is friend and longtime teammate.*****The Bridge City Little League Pee Wee girl’s all stars (9 and 10 year olds) won the Texas Dist 32 championship They now move on to sectional play. The team is coached by Julia Kahla, Sam Ayre and Keith Cormier. Players were Dani Patterson, Samantha Ayre, Skylar Kahla, Bailee Bacon, Alicia Smith, Alexus Henry, Haley Mills, Brooke DeRouen, Kellyn Cormier, Kaleigh Carter, Hannah Carpenter and Harleagh Myers. (Editor’s note: Some went on to be high school and even college stars. All are now adults. Ten years goes by fast.) ***** Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said last week that Scooter Libby’s testimony was a bunch of lies. That’s no big surprise. He took the bullet for Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. On Monday, Pres. Bush caved to heavy party pressure and commuted Libby’s prison term. Libby won’t see prison. I don’t see how Bush gets out of giving him a pardon. They owe the guy big time. *****The end of June brought an end to the deadliest quarter since we invaded Iraq. Don’t look for the next quarter to improve, we’re in a hell hole.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Ruby R. “Jackie” Brandon Sims, 80, of Orange, passed away Saturday June 30. Funeral services were held Wednesday, July 4.  She was a loving mother and housewife. She is survived by her beloved husband of 63 years, John R. Sims, son, Johnny, daughters, Sharon Hutson and Sherry Sims, brothers, Albert Brandon and Bobby Brandon, sisters, Lavinia Woodard and Betty Brandon, nine grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. and numerous extended grandchildren, family and friends.***** Robert T. “Bob” McFerrin, 71, of Woodville passed away June 30. 2007 He was a 37 year resident of Bridge City before moving to Woodville. He was a charter member of the Bridge City Planning Commission and was a retired operator-supervisor for Texaco Chemical with 36 years of service. He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Laura “Sue” McFerrin, daughters, Vicki Jeter, Roberta Trahan. Della Alford, son, Robert McFerrin and grandchildren and great grandchildren.***** Robert Wesley Gephart, 77, of Bridge City, died Monday, June 25. Funeral services was Saturday, June 30. He had been a resident of Bridge City for the past 40 years and worked as a bricklayer with Bricklayer Local #12. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and a member of St. Mark Lutheran Church. He is survived by his wife, Lois Gephart, sons,  Jeffrey, Matthew and Michelle Gephart, daughter Leslie Lyons and grandsons, Karl Philip Gephart, Alex Wesley Gephart and Luke Christian Lyons.***** Helen T. Vincent, 87, of Bridge City, died Friday, June 29. Funeral services were Sunday, July 1. Helen is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Johnny and Nina Vincent, Gary and Nancy Vincent and daughter and son-in-law, Kay and Lannie Bilbo. grandchildren, John Vincent Rodney and Suzette Bilbo, Ronnie  and Dayna Underwood, Deborah Lynn Vincent, great-grandchildren, Marissa and Randy Underwood, Lane Bilbo, sisters-in-law, Norma Fusilier, Hazel Caldwell and brother-in-law, Paul Cormier.

40 Years Ago-1977

Five leagues were represented in the sweetheart coronation held by Bridge City Little League. Crowned Pee Wee queen was Stacy Barclay; Rene’ Gulliot, princess; Jennifer Bernard, Patty Kelly and Terrie Moseley duchesses. In Minor League, Misty Bonin was crowned queen; Kimberly Rose, princess; Tammy Walker and Carilyn Smith, duchesses. Major League queen was Denise Barclay; Teresa Benoit, princess; Lisa Trahan, Christine Leblanc, Janice Stone and Christi Gunter duchesses. Lynn Griffin Pony League queen; Therese Gauthier, princess; Stephanie Metner, Christi Shugart and Denise Williamson duchesses. Representing the Colt League was Lori Bergeron, queen; chairpersons were Linda Nick and Penny Harris. *****Sandi Mobley, D.E. student and Opportunity Valley News employee for the past two years, has left the paper to attend a school of higher learning. *****Farmer Police Chief Wilson Roberts has bought wife Beverly a new Thunderbird. A payoff probably to get out of the doghouse. *****Necey Gauthier will be 17 on the seventh day of the seventh month of 1977. She is also one of seven children. *****John Lieby, Robert Mann and Dr. Rod Fisette celebrate birthdays July 5. *****Grover M. Lee, a member of Bridge City Lodge #1345 A.F. & A.M. Masonic Lodge, was elected Worship Master for 1977-1978. Lee has been employed at E.I. Dupont Sabine River Works for 29 years. Other officers elected are Charles (Jack) Angelle, H.D. Wright, Elliot Gunnee, Don Clayton, Jimmy Williams, Max Windham, Thomas Lucan and Charles Kilhnl. *****The Golden Triangle Savings and Loan announces its grand opening July 7. The new building is located at 150 E. Roundbunch in Bridge City.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

We got to visit with two interesting people this past week. Anthony Pennington had a great story about how he and his parents came to the United States from England and what happened afterwards. Anthony reenlisted in the military after being out for nearly 20 years. He’s lived an interesting life.***We also had a nice visit with Hazel Spurgeon, a member of McDonald Baptist Church. A sweet lady that married a twin in her youth and spent her life with him. She said the twins were so identical it was like seeing double.********An update on Liberace and Sir Elton John, J.B.’s jackasses. As of Tuesday, they are still available to go to a good home. J.B. will trade for anything, a sack of marbles, a couple of Baby Ruth candy bars or anything of value. They are lovers and can’t be separated. Also J.B. must be sure that they are going to a good home capable of caring for them. They are great pets but expect them to pet on each other. If interested in owning these fine animals call 745-4141 after 5 p.m. The white one is Liberace.***** Majority leader Mitch McConnel has delayed the  vote on the GOP/Trump Senate Health Bill which would increase the number of uninsured by 22 million. Five Republican senators had announced their opposition, which would kill the bill. It is a very bad bill that would hurt many who would lose coverage.*****Let me tell you about one heck of a sale. Harbor Freight is having a grand opening sale at their new Port Arthur store. Some free items, many great coupon savings, plus 25% off on July 4 sales. They are offering amazing low prices. If you didn’t get a copy of Harbor’s sale paper in your issue of The Record, pick one up at one of our offices in Orange or Bridge City. It is loaded with coupons. “Get you one!”*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. June 28: Kathy LeBlanc, from Suki’s Bridal and Formals, Kelly Kim Brough, Kourtney DeRouen, Brett Barclay and Connie Berry. Joining them in celebrating birthdays are John Elway, 56, actors John Cusack, 50, Steve Burton, 46 and Kathy Bates, 68.*****June 29: Our longtime friend, legal secretary Barbara Mulhollan celebrates today as does beautiful Ann Lieby. Also celebrating are Jana Fisette, Cobey Sonnier and Katie Keneson. Celebrities celebrating are actors Gary Busey, 72, singer Sam Bailey, 39 and basketball player Joe Johnson, 35.*****June 30: Our reporter, a good guy Dave Rogers is a year older today. Celebrating also are Mary Beth McClure, retired now from BCISD, Mayor Roy McDonald, Nancy Wood, Chris Huebel and Betty Derrick. Also celebrating are former boxer Mike Tyson, 50, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, 31 and country singer Cole Swindell, 33.*****July 1: Celebrating today are Shirley Dougher, Renee Degeyter, Charlie Learned and Jeff Edy. Also celebrating are actress Pamela Anderson, 49, Liv Tyler, 39 and Dan Aykroyd, 64.*****July 2: KeeKee’s better half, Nancy Dupuis, celebrates today as does Maria Lemoine, Kristy Toups Davis, Maria Garcia and Lisa Wilson.*****July 3: Mayor of Pinehurst, Judge Pete Runnels, celebrates today. Also Cyndee Fleetword, Kathy Simmons and a very nice lady Ellen Ray. Also celebrating are actor Tom Cruise, 54, chef Sandra Lee, 50 and singer Elle King, 27.*****July 4: Happy birthday to Kellie Derouen, Kathie Wilson, Katy Maloney and Lillie Mae Henderson. Celebrities celebrating today are TV host Geraldo Rivera, 73 and Barrack Obama’s daughter Malia Obama, 18.*****Earl and the Gang at Dupuis Tire and Service Center have a big Cooper Tire sale. Get up to a $100 prepaid card on a set of Cooper Tires. They have the lowest prices on tires so this is a bonus.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s next week, July 5. The Bunch had a great time last time at Van’s and this should be a great outing. We encourage you to come join in. Share great food, good fellowship, with some great folks.

CAJUN ST ORY OF THE WEEK

Agnes Boudreaux inherited a little money from her aunt Lucy, wat had passed. Agnes her, always wanted to own a parrot, so she deside she would use some of Aunt Lucy’s money to get her one. Agnes drove to a big pet store in Lafayette and immediately spotted a large, beautiful parrot. Dere was a sign on da cage wat said, “Only $250.” Agnes axe the pet store owner, “Why is dat pretty parrot so cheap, hanh?”

Edson Dartez, da owner, look at her and say, “Dis bird used to live in a house of prostitution and sometimes it says real vulgar stuff.”

Agnes, desided her, dat she just had to have dat pretty bird anyway. She took it home and hung da bird’s cage up in da living room. Da bird looked around, den looked at Agnes and said, “New house, new madam.” Agnes was a little shocked but t’ought, dat’s not so bad.

Wen her two teenage daughters came in from school da bird said, “New house, new madam, new girls.” Da womens were a little offended but burst out laughing, considering where da bird had been raised.

After stopping for a drink at Tee-Boy’s, Agnes’ husband came home. Da bird took a hard look at him and said, “Hello Boudreaux.”

C’EST  TOUT

IF YOU CAN HIT YOU CAN PLAY

It’s all about hitting. The Houston Astros, as of Monday, were 52-25. Twelve games ahead of anyone in the majors. Astro players lead the leagues’ All Star race. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer will likely all be starters for the July 11 game. One thing they all have in common is they can hit. Here’s what Yogi Berra says about that. One of the baseball legends that I followed as a young man was New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra. He’s perhaps the most quoted sports figure of all times. I listened to every Yankee game I could on the radio. Yogi was an All Star catcher and outfielder and a model for how to be a successful hitter. A lifetime .285 batter, with 358 homeruns and 1,430 RBIs, Yogi was a three-time American League MVP who played in 14 World Series games. He became a ‘Hall of Famer’ in 1972. His strategy at the plate was simple. “You can’t hit and think at the same time,” he said. When Yogi was a rookie, a veteran catcher tried to psych him out. The catcher told him that the trademark label on his bat was turned the wrong way (most batters want the trademark right side up). Yogi looked straight at the pitcher and told the catcher, “I didn’t come here to read.” He hit the very next pitch out of the ballpark for a home run. Yogi is one of our heroes from the 1950s. I don’t know how much Yogi earned but Mickey Mantle’s salary, in 1956; the year he won the ‘Triple Crown,” was $32,000. Some players today make that per inning.*****Well, I’ve run out of time. Thanks for yours. Have a safe Fourth of July holiday. Take care and God bless.