THE JOY OF MANY CHRISTMASES

For many years now Creaux and I have seen many Christmas days come and go. For the past 27 years Creaux and I have worked together. Before him, the Office Hound and I knocked out several years of columns at the Opportunity Valley News. I started writing a 3,000 word column by hand I might add, long before Charlie Wilson was a congressman, Wayne Peveto wasn’t out of law school, the kid from West Texas, the pride of Sanderson, Buddie Hahn, had not yet arrived in Orange County. Sharon Bearden was fresh out of law school. H.D. Pate had just arrived. It was before Pete Runnels got in politics, before Grover became county judge and before James ‘Stick’ Stringer became a JP and county judge. You get the idea, I’ve been at this a long time, probably have handwritten a million words that someone had to type, proof and send to production. We have mentioned thousands of people in this column over the years who are no longer with us, many of them personal friends. Every year as we sit here to wish everyone Merry Christmas we know the new year will bring the loss of more friends. The older we get the larger number we lose. We have been witness to many events and the changing of the guard for every elected office. Some of the greatest people we’ve known are those elected officials who offer themselves to public service. I’m sure we have ruffled a few feathers but we never printed anything we didn’t believe to be true. We haven’t always been right, but we’ve been right a hell of a lot more than wrong. In summation, this column, along with our paper going out to everyone who wants one, has been our Christmas gift all year long, thanks to our family of advertisers who make it all possible. We are totally home owned and sincerely have worked for many years to convince consumers to shop locally. Everyone benefits. We welcome all advertisers to give us a try. We reach more Orange County readers than all other publications combined. We bring your message directly to the consumer. The best value for your buck. From all of us at The Record, we wish for you and yours a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.

MUSTANGS AFTER THREEPEAT

The West Orange Mustangs are headed to the state championship game for the fourth year in a row. The Mustangs will be looking to bring home their third state championship in the last three years. Their last three playoff games have been heart stoppers, like being scored on in the first play of the game. I could do with less suspense but I always love the outcome. The game against Pleasant Grove Hawks will be Friday, 3 p.m. It will be televised by Sports Southwest and carried on radio KOGT. I’ll watch it with a little delay, and turn the sound down and listen to Gary and John on the radio. Mustangs fans are encouraged to line the streets with signs, horns, bells, to see the team off. The team will leave West Orange-Stark High School at 8 a.m. Thursday morning, then go to North Early Learning Center. They will come back up 10th to Green to West Orange-Stark Middle School, turn right on 16th and down all the way to the interstate. They will swing by East Orange-Stark Elementary on the way out. Show this great team Orange County is behind them all the way.***** The Newton game will also be on TV at 7 p.m. Thursday.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2007

H.D. Pate bought himself a new car from Messer’s Chrysler store. A Christmas present to himself. He kept his pickup and his Mustang. He called to let me know how behind the times I am with my 1991 model. His car has a cell phone that works through the radio, a speakerphone, no need to hold a cell phone and cause a wreck. Al Judice, Harry Stephens, Ron Moreau and Pate all like toys. *****Back in 1982, Corky Harmon and Con. Charlie Wilson posed for a picture at an Orange Chamber banquet. The picture was taken by a photographer traveling with Charlie and sent to Corky by the Congressman’s office. On the back of the picture, written on Congressional stationary, Charlie wrote and signed; “Hold on to this, it will be worth a lot of money some day.” That was 36 years ago come Jan. 15. The movie ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ opened around the country last weekend and is drawing great reviews. Back then Charlie was like one of the homeboys that any day you might run into. That was when Orange County had stroke, before Tom DeLay and Rick Perry gave the voting power to the Houston area and made Orange County a hostage to the Woodlands. We no longer have a voice in who will represent us as we did with John Dowdy, Wilson and Jim Turner. It’s not Con. Kevin Brady’s fault, he’ll vote with his strength, which is Montgomery County. He votes with George Bush 98  percent of the time but that’s what the Woodlands expect him to do. (Editor’s Note: Today Kevin is a big voice in the Trump camp and one of the authors of the new tax bill.)*****Judge Derry Dunn is walking with a stick since knee surgery. Judge Joe Parkhurst looks and feels better now since a short stay in the hospital. Both judges made last week’s outing at Robert’s. *****Kevin Duplechin, Millard and Ms. Virginia’s grandson, was raised here in Mr. Cox’s Neighborhood. The son of Karen and Keith and brother of Kody and Kegan, Kevin, was the flag bearer for the Bridge City Cardinals. On Dec. 29, he will marry pretty Erin Peters of South Lake.*****Ms. Phyl and Roy will be completing their 53rd year together on New Year’s Eve. They just keep rolling along. *****Also celebrating on Dec. 31 are Barbie and Jerry Childress. ***** Honored with a surprise 40th Anniversary party on the 22nd were Mark  and Becky Messer. Marcy Messer said it was the first time she was ever able to pull something off without anybody getting wise. *****Judge Buddie Hahn, who just the other day was a young lawyer, turned 64 last Friday. Happy birthday Judge. *****Happy birthday to Jim Sharon Bearden on Dec. 27, one of the greatest guys we know. *****Jessie Domingue, a very talented guy, celebrates his day on Dec. 31. *****Our buddy Ms. Ann Segura marks another year Dec. 26. (Editor’s note: Boy, I miss her.)

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

10 Years Ago-2007

Margaret “Pug” Scales Granger, 79, of Orange, passed away Monday, December 17. Funeral services were held Friday, December 21. She was a lifelong resident of Orange. She is survived by her husband, Joe Neal “Buddy” Granger, Sr., daughter, Lynda K. Granger, sons, Joe Neal “Rusty” Granger, Jr., Roland W. “Rocky” Granger, Sr., and Barry M. Granger, sisters, Doris Peveto, Geneva Mancil, Jeanette Bullion, brother, Franklin Scales. *****Willie “Bill” Sartin, 90, of Bridge City died Thursday, December 20. Funeral services were at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 23rd. He retired from Kansas City Southern Railroad where he was an engineer. He is survived by his wife, Jessie Lea Sartin, brother, Douglas Sartin, sister, Everretta Battrell, nieces and nephews.*****Loni Joe` Bean, 24, of Orange, passed away, Friday, December 21. Funeral Service was held Wednesday, December 26. She is survived by her parents, Mike and Suzanne Bean, grandmother Bessie Bean and grandfather James Reed., brothers Aaron Scalf, Mark Bean, Jeff Bean and Matthew Bean.*****Joann Wise, 75, of Orange, died Sunday, December 23. Funeral services were held Wednesday, December 26. She is survived by her husband, Noble W. Wise, Sr., daughter, Joan Marie Fortune, sons, Noble W. Wise, Jr., Clay Wise and Clint Wise, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

40 Years Ago-1977

Among the honor grads at Lamar were two Bridge City citizens, Thomas Hardin Moyers, who received a degree in Biology and Shelia Kaye Goodwin, Mathematics. ***** Doug Harrington celebrated on Dec. 15 and Flo Edgerly celebrated her birthday on Christmas Day. *****Over at Jim Austin Old-Cadillac is a bunch of great guys. John Smith and Benis Lee, owners, sales crew are Houston Baker, Wayne Baker, Jim Werner, Terry Burliea, Phillip Caillavet, Glenn Earl, Bob Garrestson, Steve Gilbert, Joe Hargrave, Joe Kazmar, L.J. Schrieber, John Stephenson, Ronnie Theriot and Scott Wooley. Service manager is Jack White and Jerry Wilson runs the body shop. Sixty-four employees in all wish everyone a Merry Christmas. *****Judge Claude E. Wimberly, Pct. 1 JP, seeks a second term.  Wimberly stated that one of the reasons he is seeking re-election is that he truly and sincerely likes to work with and help people. (Editor’s note: The Judge has since passed away.)*****Happy birthday to a couple of lovely, sexy ladies. Karen Jo Vance will celebrate her day on Dec. 28. She is an employee of Sallie Frazier in the County Clerk’s office. Long legged Norma Fusilier celebrates on Dec. 31. *****Not too sexy Jim Sharon Bearden will be a year older on Wednesday, Dec. 27. *****J.B. Bearden is a Notre Dame football fan and is betting that they will beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Big brother Sharon took him up on that bet. ***** Roy and Phyllis Dunn will celebrate 23 years on Dec. 31. ***** Happy anniversary also to ‘Speck’ and Rachael Faries, who celebrate 39 years on Jan. 1. *****Dolores Cantu, former counter girl at the Strand Theater, will be in the movie, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ with John Travolta. She will also appear on the television show ‘What Happened to the Class of 67?’ A West Orange grad, Dolores works as an airline stewardess when not modeling or acting. *****Earline Hilliard announces for third term as County Treasurer. A brand new, just arrived, 1978 Chevy pickup SWB Fleetside sells for $3,895 or $77 a month for 60 months at Harmon Chevrolet. *****Gov. Dolph Briscoe finally made his pick for the 260th. Dist. Court judgeship. He appointed Don Burgess on Saturday. Burgess was sworn in Sunday, Dec. 30 and went to work on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 1978.

BREAUX BIRTHDAYS

A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the coming week. Dec. 20: Longtime friend ‘Kenny’ Kenneth Pigg, Annie Hargrave, Phillip Welch, Jeremy Granger, Matt Reeves, Marion Martin all celebrate. Joining them are actors Jnah Hill, 33, Jillian Rose Reed, 25 and Pop singer David Cook, 34.*****Dec. 21: A really great guy Judge Buddie Hahn, coach Rick Deutsch, Glenda Granger and Rachel Guidry celebrate birthdays on this day along with actors Samuel L. Jackson, 68, Jane Fonda, 79 and Kiefer Sutherland, 50.*****Dec. 22: Phyllis Broussard, Rodney Harmon, Yvonne Veillon, James Robbins, Dale Burns and Debi Foster all celebrate today. Celebrities joining them are Pop singers Meghan Trainor, 23 and Jordin Sparks, 27, politician Ted Cruz, 46 and TV personality Diane Sawyer, 71.*****Dec. 23: Celebrating on this day are Rodney Petty Sr., Jane Holton, Sue Cowling and our good buddy Chris Gunn. Also celebrating are actors Susan Lucci, 70 and Isabella Castillo, 22.*****Dec. 24: Toni Thompson, Terri Estes, Billy Moore, Mike Dillion, Sydni Beuhler and Al’s better half Helen DeRoche all celebrate today. Joining them are TV host Ryan Seacrest, 42, Pop singer Ricky Martin, 45 and actor Amaury Nolasco, 46.*****Dec. 25: Today is Christmas Day. Celebrating on this day are Judge Flo Edgerly, Earline Russell, Ronnie Hutchison and Evelyn Foster. Celebrities celebrating on this great day are singers Jimmy Buffett, 70 and Annie Lennox, 62, also celebrating is actress Sissy Spacek, 67*****Dec. 26: Ashley Burris, Jennifer Ferguson and John Podnewich also celebrating are Rock singer Chris Daughtry, 37 and actors Danielle Cormack, 46 and Kit Harrington, 30.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Retiring Administrative Assistant at LSC-O, Charlotte Chiasson, was one of four recipients of the 2017 Julie and Ben Rogers Community Service Award presented last Thursday at Lamar University in Beaumont.*****Cowboy Church of Orange County will be celebrating Christmas with a candlelight Christmas Eve service on Sunday, Dec. 24, at 5 p.m. All are welcome to attend at 673 FM 1078, in Orange.*****Happy Anniversary to our friends, Dan Mohan and his lovely wife Manon, celebrating 55 years of wedded bliss on Friday, Dec. 22. Congratulations, being married since 1962 is not a record but this day and time a damn good average.*****I got a note and picture from Buddy Stelten last week. A skunk was making himself comfortable on the tongue of his boat in the garage. The high water drove Buddy and wife Ann and their dog to seek high ground. They were rescued by the Cajun Navy. They left the skunk behind cold and shivering but out of the water. Skunks are apparently not the climbers. Sorry the picture couldn’t be reproduced.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will hold its last gathering of the year this week at Robert’s. The Lunch Bunch will kick off 2018 on Wednesday, Jan. 3, at Tuffy’s. Hopefully all will attend and give a report on how their Holiday turned out. Everyone is always welcome.*****We had a nice visit with Jack’s better half, Juliet Smith, who filled us in on a upcoming program coming to the Golden K. Kiwanis on Jan. 10. It’s a great group for any senior citizen to attend. They meet at the Salvation Army each Wednesday at 9 a.m. and have great programs. Anyone can join. Call Anne Payne, at 313-7575, for more information. We will run more about this program in our Jan. 3 issue. Watch for it.*****Time keeps marching on. Our longtime friends Carol and Buddie Hahn will soon celebrate their 51st. wedding anniversary. I guess we’re all getting older. I recall their 11th. Best wishes for many more healthy years. By this time next year, Judge Hahn will be saying goodbye to a long, successful career.*****For the first time in 63 years, pretty Ms. Pauline will mark Christmas and the holiday season without longtime husband, the late Judge Claude Wimberly. Our thoughts are with her.*****We heard from Coach Les Johnson yesterday. He and Wanda are having all 34 members of their family over for Christmas. They now have seven great-grandchildren. Les makes Wanda walk with him three miles a day, five days a week. They’re in great shape for folks in their 80’s.*****Sorry to hear our buddy, Neighbor Cox, is battling a bad case of the flu, caught it from daughter Karen, who is now nursing him.*****Happy 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 22 to Becky and Dr. Mark Messer. It seems like just yesterday when Mark set up shop in Bridge City and he and Becky started raising their family. Congrats and best wishes*****We were sorry to learn about the death of Connie Marie Hock, 85, who died Dec. 10. She was such a pretty lady, married to “Buddy” until his death. For many years Connie worked at King’s Pharmacy. Our condolences to Danny and the family. .*****Dennis Duval says he is thankful he picked up last week’s Penny Record and read the story about Kree Harrison and Dennis’ old band “Three Legged Dawg” entertaining in Bridge City. He and pretty Ronda attended. If he wants to read this he needs to pick up a store copy.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

When T-Nonk Comeaux got to feeling better after his surgery, his friend Sostan, to be nice and to get his friend out of the house, took him fishing. Somewhere around da mouth of da Neches, dey hit someting and da motor it fell off in about 10-foot of water. Dat was a new boat and motor, da first boat Sostan ever own him.

“Wat we gonna do?” T-Nonk axe.

“I don’t know me, but we got to get dat new motor.” Sostan said.

Sostan you go down dere and get da motor and I’ll trow this rope over da side so you can pull it up if you have trouble, T-Nonk say.

“Okay, me I’ll do dat,” say Sostan And he dive in and go straight to da bottom. Da water was clear and T-Nonk watch Sostan from da boat. He saw Sostan on da bottom, pulling da starter rope on da motor, trying to start it.

T-Nonk say to his self, “Look at dat stupid Sostan, he oughta know he can’t start da motor dat way.”

So T-Nonk him lean over da side and he hollow loud, loud, into da water, “Sostan, you gotta choke it!” “Choke it!” I said, “Choke it!”

C’EST TOUT

Cruz amendment, public money for private schools.

The Texas polls in the U.S. senate race indicate Senator Ted Cruz might be facing an uphill battle for re-election so he has added a school choice provision to the tax bill. In the recent weeks, since Cruz narrowly secured his ‘Student Opportunity Amendment” in the GOP bill, with the assist of Vice President Mike Pence, who cast the tie-breaking vote, the Cruz 2018 senate campaign has been heralding the moment to a key Texas constituency, religious conservatives. Cruz and his backers have described the measure as a turning point in the conservative struggle to allow public funds to open the doors of private schools. The amendment would allow $10,000 per child to be taken from tax-privileged 529 savings plans each year giving tax breaks to families that home school or send children to private or religious school. The Cruz backers see the policy as a significant win as he heads into the election year. It will cost the treasury about $500 million over 10 years. It’s a major win for advocates of school choice. It is a movement to boost charter and private schools as an alternative to public education. Such an idea has been a longtime in the making by Republicans. Opponents say it amounts to a subsidy for upper-income households at the expense of public schools. The real goal seems to be to take more and more children from public schools and put them into private schools and by doing so, shrink the funds that would be available to the public schools which gives all children a chance to get ahead. The vote to include Cruz’s amendment divided the senate 50-50 causing VP Pence to rush to the chambers to case the deciding vote in a late night senate vote. Opponents of the measure say it will deepen class inequality in education. Public school administrators will have plenty to say but it will be too late if the Trump tax bill passes this week. Cruz will use the amendment to try and keep his senate seat. Some believe he will face stiff competition in the General Election against Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rouke. The Cruz amendment is aimed at widening the gap between the far right and moderates. This race will be interesting to watch.*****My time is up, I thank you for yours. Have a great Christmas. Take care and God bless.