(week of December 6)

DECEMBER 7, PEARL HARBOR—76 YEARS AGO

The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred 76 years ago. President Roosevelt had been steering the United States away from the war in Europe and Asia but the invasion galvanized our country uniting all Americans who were determined to defend our way of life. Millions of Americans volunteered to serve their country and help the war effort. Every patriotic American wanted to do their part to help secure freedom’s victory over tyranny. I recall when the announcement came that we had been attacked at Pearl Harbor, a place we had never heard of. It happened on a Monday and schools let out early. I went uptown; groups of men were gathered at every street corner. Little did we know how much our lives would change as we entered WWII against Japan and Germany, much like 9-11, in 2001, made major changes in how we live today. We hadn’t fully recovered from the Great Depression and now every community planted Victory Gardens when spring came. For months we had all lights out for simulated raids while the sirens squalled. Today, the United States and Japan are sworn allies but after their raid on Pearl Harbor Americans were bitter haters of the Japanese people. On that sunny Sunday morning the surprise attack in Honolulu killed 2,403 Americans. The great battleship USS Arizona was blown up, hundreds of sailors and marines are still entombed inside. Orange Countian Cedric Stout, 96, of Bridge City, is believed to be the only area’s surviving veteran of Pearl Harbor who was on the USS Utah when the raid came. The Utah was a former battleship. All were trapped when the ship capsized after being struck by a Japanese torpedo. The Utah was not a lucrative target for the Japanese. It was commissioned in 1911 and was converted to a target vessel in 1931 for planes doing practice bomb runs. It had been stripped of its big guns and had a crew of only 525. Sixty-two sailors were killed, most of them trapped when the ship rolled over. Cedric and a fellow sailor made their way out through a port hole and were amazed at the sight that awaited them. Several stories have been published by us about Cedric Stout and other area Pearl Harbor survivors over the years. Stout is the only survivor today. See Dave Rogers feature in this issue. As for the Utah, the Navy worked for years trying to salvage the vessel before giving up. The National Park Service hopes someday to bring tourists to visit the ship but that is still at least a few years away. Because of our friendship with Stout most of us who know him or have read about him have accepted the USS Utah as our connection to Pearl Harbor.*****Gotta move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 YEARS AGO-2007

Tim Tibow of Florida became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. ***** I recall in 1957, when John David Crow, from Springhill, Louisiana, became the only Heisman winner in the history of Texas A&M. Not only A&M but of all the great players Bear Bryant had in his career, including Joe Namath, Ken Stabler and others, John David is his only student to gain the Heisman. He was a classmate of Doug Harrington, who was on the track team in 1957. John David married his wife Carolyn while he was a sophomore to be. They have three children and have been married 63 years. ***** Oprah went on the hunt for Obama votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. It’s the first time the popular television host has publicly campaigned for a candidate. It’s also the first time a serious black candidate has emerged***** How time flies; it seems like just a few months since Louis Dugas died on Dec. 15, 2005, at age 77, but it has been 12 years. He had celebrated his birthday three days earlier on Dec. 12. *****Judge Derry Dunn had knee surgery last week on both knees and got out of the hospital Friday. Old basketball knees I reckon. *****Van Choate has rebounded from his surgery. He’s still not as hyper as he was but it won’t be long before he starts jumping around and fast-talking. ***** Shaun Davis, SETRP Executive Director, was interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper in Houston Monday concerning the Rita recovery. Shaun and Tammy then flew to Washington where Shaun will meet with several committees before attending the “Charlie Wilson’s War” movie premier and Disabled Veteran’s of America fundraiser. The event will be attended by Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Tammy is advertising sales manager here at “The Record.” She said Charlie would not be able to attend due to his heart transplant recovery. *****Our Bridge City Bank friend Shirley Dukes is on track to marry Peter Lynd some time in February. *****It’s the year of the women. Elsa Murand, a native of Cuba, will become the first woman president of Texas A&M. Meanwhile, A&M board of regents has settled a $4.4 million buyout with fired coach Dennis Franchione.***** Orange County native, Coach Bum Phillips and his “Luv Ya Blue”  Houston Oilers 1978-1979 team, were honored at halftime of the Texan-Tampa Bay game Sunday. Houston won the game 28-14. The country’s most beloved “˜Bum” is a celebrity everywhere but home, the home where he was born.***** QB Michael Vick is sentenced to 23 months in prison on dog fighting charges. Tha’s two football seasons.*****Al Gore received his Nobel Peace Prize in Norway.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

10 Years Ago-2007

Olin Mahfouz, 91, of Bridge City, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 5. Funeral service was held Saturday, Dec. 8. He was a WWII Army veteran and worked as a process operator at DuPont Sabine River Works. He is survived by his wife, Marguerite Mahfouz, daughter, Faye Knight, granddaughters, Rachel Bernal Amanda Uzzle, grandsons Chuck Uzzle, Brady Pullen, Christopher Knight, T.J. Knight, Cody Knight and Jamey Knight and great grandchildren.*****Vernon “Curly” Mayo, 80, of Orange, died Thursday, December 6. 2007. A memorial service was held Dec. 15.. He retired from the lab at Jefferson Chemical and ran a real estate business for many years, before finally retiring again as a dispatcher. He is survived by son, Ronnie Barra, daughters, Margorie Mayo and Lisa Juneau, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.***** Theodore Edward Smith, 83, of Orange passed away after a long illness on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Funeral service was held at Saturday, Dec. 8. He was a Stone Mason for 30 years, then retired from N.L. Shaffer. He is survived by four stepchildren, Floyd Allen Broussard, Lois Elaine Granger, John Earl Broussard and Joy Marie Trapolino. eleven grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren.***** Robert Ashworth Jr. 61, of Bridge City died Thursday, December 6. Funeral service was held Monday, December 10. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as an Ultrasonic tester in various shipyards. He is survived by his mother, Minnie Ashworth; sons Bobby Ashworth, Jason Ashworth and four grandchildren.*****

40 Years Ago-1977 

Mr. and Mrs. Chester Holt celebrate 50 years of marriage on Dec. 17. Ms. Iva plans to go fishing on that day if the weather holds up. *****Speaking of the Holt family, daughter Nova Dee Strickland and husband Jerry are now grandparents. Daughter Tanya and Tommy Barnwell are proud parents of a baby boy that they named Tanner. Being the first, the kid will probably be spoiled rotten. *****Inez Hearne is celebrating middle age this week, Dec. 17. Her daughter was married last week and Inez approached the groom and said, “You sure are lucky to be getting me for a mother-in-law.” You never know what to expect from that lady. *****Louis Dugas turned 49 on Dec. 12. He sure has done a lot to be such a young man. *****R.J. and Marty Conway celebrated 12 years of marriage on Dec. 12. *****Corky and Betty Harmon celebrates a wedding anniversary on Dec. 14. It’s told around town that Corky robbed the cradle.*****Martha and Bill Hughes were hosts to the Monthly Dinner Club. The Club dined at Old Mexico Restaurant in Orange.*****Dow Gene Anderson killed, plucked and donated 25 wild ducks for a special occasion. Doug Harrington led everyone to believe he was the donor. He had nothing to do with it. He came up missing and probably told his wife he had been duck hunting.*****J.R. Wilson is the newly-elected president of the Bridge City Chamber. He will take office January 17. Other officers are Bill Nickum, first vice-president, Don Burgess, second vice-president and Dot Eshbach, secretary/treasurer.*****Paul Lapeyrolerie celebrates his 14 th birthday on Dec. 14.*****Arnold Johnson was 15 on Dec. 11.*****Thirteen Bridge City students will receive degrees from Lamar Saturday. They are John Brown, Roberta Jean McFerrin Buntyn, Shella Kay Goodwin, Joe Majors III, Thomas Hardin Boyers, Edgar Eshbach, Mike Quigley, Mark Kirby, David Mounce, Deborah Guilhas, Wanda Toups Smith, Jewel McGee Gurney and Linda Stinson.*****A fourth grade Adventure Club member from Hatton school, Leslie Jenkins, has won best in show for her entry in a Campfire contest.

BIRTHDAYS

A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Dec. 6: Former Bridge City principle Richard Briggs celebrates today as does BCISD teacher Rosalyn Potter, Debbie Bishop, Cheryl Jones and Barbara Cartwright. They are joined by celebrities, football player Johnny Maiziel, 24, and actress Stefanie Scott, 20.*****Dec. 7: Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Celebrating birthdays on this day is our friend Jim Keith, who is a year older today. Also aging is Buddy Sheppard, Lois Boehme and Randy Philpott. Joining them are former basketball star Larry Bird, 60, actors C Thomas Howell, 50 and Jennifer Carpenter, 37.*****Dec. 8: Channing Larkin, Samatha Peveto and C.R. ‘Dick’ Davis all celebrate today. Also country singer Sam Hunt, 32, actress Kim Basinger, 63 and rapper Nicki Minaj, 34.*****Dec. 9: ‘Mr. Gopher’ David Jones celebrates a birthday today as does Mark Braus, Barry McKenzie, Jay Fuss and Sharon Johson. They are joined by actors Kirk Douglas, turns 100, Judi Dench, 82 and Felicity Huffman, 54.*****Dec. 10: Joshua ‘T-Ray’ Sehon turns 21 today. John Ellis, Cindy Briggs, Doris Peveto, Monica Placette and Sean Ureta aren’t 21 but they do celebrate a birthday today. Celebrities joining them are actress Raven Symone, 31, chef Bobby Flay, 52.*****Dec. 11: David Claybar, Brandy Rainwater, Jo Lynn Mott, Tara Fountain, Cody Caples, Nathan Vogt and Rob Clark all have birthdays today as does politician John Kerry, 73, singer Jermaine Jackson, 62 and actress Mo’Nique, 49.*****Dec. 12: George Sehon hits the big 60 today. The First Lady of Starks, Rene’s longtime bride and Pattie’s mom, Lucy Hanks, celebrates today. ‘Di’ from Wal-Mart, Diane Richoux, Tom Orozco, Scott Derouen and Daniel Bates also celebrate. Joining them are singer Dionne Warwick, 76, gymnast Cathy Rigby, 64 and game show host Bob Barker, 93.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

We heard from our friend John Heard this week. The news wasn’t so good. It seems John and Linda lost everything to storm Harvey and had to be rescued by boat. John said he had lived on the property since the 1940’s and had never seen water stand. The house is under repair and meanwhile they are staying in a mobile home away from home. John did bring us a few grapefruit and oranges that he managed to pick. The fruit needs a frost to be at its best but still tasted down right good.*****Texas A&M hired Florida State’s coach Jimbo Fisher for $7.5 million annually, $1 million more than was expected. Meanwhile, A&M will pay Keven Sumlin $10.4 million on the last two years of his contract. Can you believe what they pay college coaches these days?*****Speaking of college football, Baker Mayfield, who walked on at Texas Tech and then transferred to Oklahoma, to become a star, is a sure bet for the Heisman Trophy Saturday night.*****Eli Manning didn’t start for the New York Giants Sunday. The last time Eli had failed to start was Nov. 14, 2004. Tony Soprano was still in his ‘hey-day.’ You have to go back 20 years, to Dec. 21, 1997, prior to last Sunday, when a Manning didn’t start as quarterback somewhere in the league. Last week, Eli had 210 starts, more than any active player. Now he must start over at 0. He is expected to start against Dallas Sunday.*****The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors will air Dec. 26, on CBS. Television icon, 95 year old Norman Lear, Gloria Esteban, Lionel Richie and L.L. Cool J. will be the honorees.*****This week, in 1945, Doc Blanchard, of Army, became the first junior to win the Heisman Trophy.***In 1982, Georgia’s Hershel Walker, a junior running back, beat out Standord quarterback John Elway and SMU running back Eric Dickerson, to win the Heisman.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s this week, JB’s next week and Robert’s to end the year on Dec. 21. Everyone always welcome.*****Rather than attend the TCU-Oklahoma game, the Carlos Vasek’s spent last week at their Uvalde ranch. Carlos said the weather was perfect and sitting around an open fire, with a full moon, couldn’t have been more pleasant. With 50 loaded pecan trees on the property they were able to pick a sack full in no time from just two trees. They said it was hard to come home.*****Pinehurst mayor, Pete Runnels, had announced he would not run for mayor again, however many citizens and members of the administration have asked him to stay on. I look for him to ask the voters to keep him on.*****Deadline to file for county races is fast approaching. This is still a great time for an Independent or Democrat to run for county judge and give the voters a choice in the November General Election. Now is the time for a good candidate to step up.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

One Sunday morning Fader Vincent was warning his parishioners bout da suddenness of death. “Before anoder day is ended,”  Fader Vincent thundered, “Somebody in dis parish will die.”

Seated in da front row was a little old Cajun man who laughed out loud at wat da priest said.

Very angry, Fader Vincent axe da old man, “What is so funny hanh?”

“Well,” da little Cajun man say, “I’m not a member of dis parish me.”

C’EST TOUT

American Pickers to film in Texas

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Texas! They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout the region in winter 2018.  HYPERLINK “http://www.history.com/shows/american-pickers” \t “_blank” American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on history. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them. As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. American Pickers is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: HYPERLINK “mailto:americanpickers@cineflix.com” \t “_blank” americanpickers@cineflix.com. *****Well, I have to get out of here. Thanks for tuning in. Till next time, take care and God bless.