ANOTHER YEAR HAS FLOWN BY

GOODBYE TO 2017

It was a year of several disasters, storms and fires. On Jan. 20, a new president was sworn into office. New York businessman Donald J. Trump, who had no experience in government, became the leader of the free world. He brought into office a group of people who also had no experience in government. Many of them are now gone. Some are under indictment, with others expected. Here at home, we were hit again with another hurricane named Harvey, that brought the 100-year flood. Many home sites went under water that had never flooded before. In many cases, victims were put on hold as help was slow coming from FEMA and some insurance companies. It is hard to predict what the new year will bring. Our state and country is on a 94-month economic growth that started when Obama assumed office and has continued under Trump. It’s difficult to tell how the new $1.5 trillion tax plan will affect the future. Can the growth be sustained or will the balloon burst. The midterm elections should see changes in our federal government, probably split leadership, which is not a bad thing. Both houses and the White House will be forced to work together. What I fear the most in the new year is the prospect of war. Hopefully cool heads will keep the lid from blowing off and Trump can be held in check.***** I need to move on and complete this last column of the year. Hopefully in the new year we will be more active. Special thanks to Meri Elen Jacobs, who has done such a great job covering the Mustangs with great copy and photos. We can’t praise her enough for a job well done. We really appreciate her. Also thanks to Kaz, Capt. Dickie and Capt. Chuck for their great, well read columns each week. Moving on. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

POISONING YOUNG MINDS

Youngsters throughout my life have been taught respect for the law and those who enforce it. What’s happening now is just the opposite. When the leaders of our country preach and teach disrespect for the law, we are setting up a bad, long lasting situation that is like a cancer. Over the years that cancer could eat away at our most basis values. The greatest, longtime danger of President Trump, his supporters and FOX News’ assault on law enforcement and the judiciary is that easily impressed youngsters are listening. They form opinions at an early age, and carry them through life. The attacks on the FBI, the courts and those who administer the laws are a direct assault to our constitution and democracy. The rule of law is what separates us from dictatorships. Our democracy is set up to protect all of us through that rule. I understand why Trump and his followers are using the ‘Talking Points’ that the FBI is dishonest, and that the courts are rigged. It’s designed to put the agency and the courts in a bad light in the event that they find someone has grossly violated the law. It’s a shield against those accusations.  To infer judges are dishonest and the law is crooked does deep physiological damage to the young. Already those youngsters are exposed to way too much hatred and a decline of morals. The FBI is not just one organization in Washington, almost every law enforcement agency throughout the U.S. has at least one officer who is a graduate of the FBI Academy. They are some of the finest men I have known. President Trump is trying to save his neck and those of family members and friends, but in so doing he is painting law enforcement with a dangerous brush. Believe me, he and FOX News are doing irreversible damage to our country and they need to stop it now. All of the crazy things, wild tweets and berating freedom of the press as fake news are one thing, but to down grade the law enforcement functions of our democracy and to call them dishonest, crooked and rigged and having no regard for the rule of law should never be tolerated.

MUSTANGS END GREAT WINNING STREAK

The West Orange Mustangs had a great run at it but their 40-game winning streak came to an end in a 41-21 loss, in the state championship game, to Texarkana. Pleasant Cove took the first play of the game to the house for a quick 7-0 lead. That was the second game in a row that the Mustangs were scored on in the first play of the game. The Mustangs were never expected to go as far as they did this season but the final score doesn’t reflect the closeness of the game. WO-S was in sight, just seven points behind, in the last few minutes, when two quick pick six TD’s did them in. Pleasant Grove put a well balanced team on the field. The Mustangs have been proud champions, who played their fourth state championship game in a row, winning two consecutive state championship titles. You can bet the WO-S Mustangs will be back. They have a proud tradition that is well deserved. They took a rebuilding team all the way to state. How good is that? It just wasn’t suppose to happen. Thanks to a great Mustang team and coaching staff.

OUR CONDOLENCES

We were deeply saddened to learn about the death of our longtime friend, educator and civic leader Albert “Al” Gore, who died Dec. 18, at his home. Funeral services were held Saturday, Dec. 23. Our sincere condolences to his wife of 65 years, Patricia and her family. Al was a special guy who contributed much good to our world while he walked it. May he rest in peace. Please see obituary.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2007

Joe and Susan Kazmar are moving into their new garden home, constructed by Rodney Townsend. Susan is retiring in May after many years of teaching. The Kazmar’s, along with Joe’s brother and his wife have already booked a three week vacation in Poland where the Kazmar boys will research their ancestry. The family name will come to an end after this generation. Their dad, an only son, had two sons who just have girls.*****Longtime radio man BBRC Richard ‘Dick’ Corder celebrates another birthday on Jan. 4. A year or so ago, the ‘Old Fisherman’ and morning radio jock was forced into retirement after suffering a stroke. .*****Other good folks we know celebrating birthdays are Tom Perry, retired Navy man, former school board member and city councilman, will celebrate his day on Jan. 2. *****Pat Monoque celebrates his day Jan. 2. He and the lovely Wanda will mark their wedding anniversary on Jan. 4. Best wishes.*****June Gunstream also marks down another birthday Jan. 2 and Barbara Dardeaux celebrates her day Jan. 3.*****Two great people celebrate on Jan. 5. Vivian Holbrooks, a true angel who’s put up with Fain for over 50 years. and Kenneth Young, one of the great guys, marks another year. (Editor’s note: Ken passed away a couple of years ago.)***** Our buddy and everyone’s friend, Skipper Free, celebrates her big day on Jan. 6. We wish all good things for one of the true Orange characters. It’s never dull when Skipper is around.*****Jan. 8 would have been Elvis Presley’s birthday. He died August 16, 1977. *****Beverly Perry and friends, Judy Cox, of Bridge City and Sylvia Smith, of Groves, visited New York City last month. Bev reports they had a great time in the ‘Big Apple.’ Lou Raburn was scheduled to go but ended up in the hospital with pneumonia.*****Ron Moreau does it again. Ron, almost 71 but going on 17, was stopped and ticketed while doing a burn out in his 500 hp ’66 Corvette. He was trying to impress one of his old classmates by taking him for a nostalgic ride. Some people never grow up.***** Everyone that saw the movie ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ spoke highly of it. A sidebar you may not know is that Mike Nichols, who directed the movie, is married to Diane Sawyer who once had a fling with Charlie when she worked for President Nixon. She said she got away from him because he was just too wild for her. She and Mike have been married many years. .*****Ringing in the New Year are 303 million people. The census bureau reports 303,146.284, up 2,842,103 people or 0.9 percent, over New Year’s Day 2007. In the New Year, the USA will register one birth every eight seconds and one death every 11 seconds. Migration will bring one person every 30 seconds, resulting is an increase in the population of one person every 13 seconds. At that rate, we can’t build roads and prisons fast enough.*****Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban are expecting their first child. Nicole is the mother of two adopted children Isabella, 14 and Conor, 12, were adopted during her 11 year marriage to Tom Cruise. This will be her first natural born child.*****One of my favorite actors of all times Robert Duval turns 77-years old, Jan. 5.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Obituaries 10 Years Ago-2007

Floyd A. Craig, 65, of Orange, passed away, Thursday, Dec. 27. Funeral service was held Sunday, Dec. 30. Floyd worked as a mechanic and also served in the United States Air Force. He is survived by daughter, Pam Daley and husband, Dale and three grandchildren, Kimberly, Emily and Gabriel Daley.***** Alberta Nujaber Premeaux, 73, of West Orange, passed away Monday, December 24. Funeral service was held at Friday, December 28. She resided in West Orange, for 41 years, where she was a homemaker. She is survived by her husband of fifty seven years, Preston, two daughters, Pat Johnson and Carolyn Penick and son Kenneth Premeaux ten grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.*****Freddie Dunlap “Gramps” 64, of Bridge City, died Sunday, December 23. Funeral service was held Thursday, December 27. He was a supervisor at Livingston Gulfport Shipbuilding and a former Volunteer Bridge City Fireman. He is survived by his wife, JoAnn Dunlap, daughters Shawna Dunlap Gauthier and Kimberly Ann Dunlap grandchildren Michael Shawn Gauthier and Brandon Scott Gauthier.***** James E. “Jim” Hill, 83, of Orange, passed away Monday, December 24. Graveside service was held Thursday December 27. Jim was a WWII Veteran and a longtime resident of Orange. He is survived by his wife, Doris Hill, son, James Robert Hill, daughter, Roseanne McDade, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.***** Gladys C. White, 89, of Orange, died December 25, 2007. Funeral service was held Saturday, December 29, 2007. She was a member of the Sunset Grove Ladies Golf Association and was involved in many charitable organizations. She is survived by her daughters, Bobbie Robertson, and Julia Katherine White, grandchildren, and great grandchildren,

40 Years Ago-1978

Gov. Dolph Briscoe is being challenged by Attorney General John Hill. Former Gov. Preston Smith, also in the race, will probably force a runoff between Hill and Briscoe.*****Joe Christie, the boy from Rising Star and candidate for U.S. senator, will visit Orange County on Jan. 9. *****CPA John Dubose, of Bridge City, has been named Business Manager-Controller of Finances for the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader. *****Jo Ann Singletary has been picked by Judge Don Burgess as the clerk of the new 260th. Dist. Court. *****The lovable big guy Dewey ‘Teddy Bear’ Cox has been spending a lot of time around the hospital since his kids were involved in a car accident Christmas Eve in East Texas. The youngsters are coming along fine. (Editor’s note: Dewey, who was Mr. Boiler Maker, was later killed in an Arkansas plane crash which also took the life of attorney Marlin Thompson, his wife and others. *****Pinehurst now has its own pharmacy. Mr. and Mrs. Ken Johnson are the new owners. ***** Ethel Campbell received a letter from the White House after she wrote the song ‘One Giant Step’ (From A Peanut Farm.) President and Mrs. Carter thanked her for her kind gesture and sent their warmest.*****Joy Ham announced she will be a candidate for the office of district clerk that she was appointed to after the death of Edna Enmon in May 1977. (Editor’s note: She was attorney Bearden’s aunt, his mother Jewel’s sister.) *****Bob Krueger will be facing Christie, who came into the race late, for U.S. Senator. Krueger has all the money he needs. The winner will face Sen. John Tower. Unseating him is a tough job.

BIRTHDAYS

A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Dec. 27: Today Bobby Fillyaw marks a birthday but he celebrated last Thursday when the Newton Eagles won the State championship. Bobby does the radio airplay throughout the season and got to broadcast their championship win. A great birthday gift. City councilman and former Bridge City mayor Kirk Roccaforte celebrates the coming of another birthday. Ms. Phyl and Roy’s oldest great-grandson, by way of Karen,  Leland Clay Gros, also celebrates on this day. Happy birthday also to Lorraine Bonin, Bobby Sibert and Judy Taylor. Joining them in birthday celebrations are local football star Jamaal Charles, 30, actress Brittany Anne Pirtie, 27, and wrestler Bill Goldberg, 50.*****Dec. 28: A bunch of great folks celebrate on this day. Judge David Dunn, Mary Stanton, David’s longtime bride, Harriet Dubose celebrates also Earl Thomas’ mom, Debbie Thomas. They are joined by singer John Legend, 38 and actor Danzel Washington, 62.****Dec. 29: Happy birthday to Kenny ‘KeeKee’ Dupuis, Donna Self, ‘The queen of Burgertown,’ Jacklyn Bradberry, Lauren Leger and Pam DeDoux. Also celebrating are actors Jon Voight, 78, Jude Law, 44 and Ted Danson, 69.******Dec. 30: My buddy Rosalie Clark marks a birthday today, sadly without her twin Mary Ann. She will be remembered by Rosalie and everyone who knew and loved her. Having birthdays also are former Major League pitcher John Patterson, Tina Jetten, Paula Aven and Rebecca Hannegan. Celebrities joining them are golfer Tiger Woods, 41, boxer Laila Ali, 39 and former TV show host Matt Lauer, 59.*****Dec. 31: A great lady, Norma Fusilier, celebrates today as does Holly DeRouin, Richard Hunter, Jessica Anderson and Sandra Hovind. Joining them are Donald Trump, Jr., who will be 39, actors Anthony Hopkins, 79, Val Kilmer, 57, and Ben Kingsley, 73.*****Jan. 1: Joanne Hill, Cynthia Hernandez and Glenda Wilburn all celebrate today. Also celebrating are actors Morris Chestnut, 48 and Katrina Law, 32.*****Jan. 2: Angela Abshire, Cody Johnson and Jason Sieck all celebrate today as does actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., 49, Take Diggs, 46 and Kate Bosworth, 34.

HAPPENINGS

Last week, the Wednesday Lunch Bunch gathered for their annual Christmas get together, sponsored by Robert Ramirez, owner of Robert’s Restaurant and Market. Robert is a good person who helps out in many causes. The kid from Brownsville is always giving back to the community. The Lunch Bunch meets every Wednesday and about 80 different people attend throughout the year. Attendance is not compulsory. It’s a gathering of fellowship shared by people in different walks of life. The next gathering will be Wednesday, Jan. 3, at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s. Everyone always welcome, no dues. Your attendance will be valued and appreciated.*****Cowboys and Texans out. “Go Saints.” It is no surprise Earl Thomas spoke with coach Jason Garrett, telling him he’s ready to join the Cowboys. Earl hinted in a ESPN magazine story that things were not all well at Seattle. He said even the Seahawks don’t give respect deserved, especially when a player is hurt. Earl is either after more money or he is ready to leave all his friends behind. He lives in a $2 million home in the mountains that he also would have to leave. Earl said in his interview that, “He would not raise his girls in Orange even though he would always keep a presence there.”*****Congrats to Stephanie Sehon and Alex Hurst on their recent engagement. The couple invited Stephanie’s parents to travel to Houston Zoo Lights on Saturday for a Christmas outing. That is where Alex surprised Stephanie with his proposal. The wedding planning will begin after they set the date for sometime in 2018.*****Miss Irene Stevens will celebrate her 90th birthday on Dec. 27. Please join family and friends for a surprise social on Dec. 30, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at 329 Paula, in Bridge City. She’s a great lady, the widow of the late city councilman Steve Stevens. Best wishes for many more healthy years.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Otis Badeaux was placing some flowers on da grave of his dearly departed mama when he spotted Clovis Comeaux. Clovis was kneeling at another grave across the cemetery. Clovis seemed to be praying with profound intensity him. He kept repeating, “Why did you die you?” “Why did you die, hanh?” “Why are you dead?”

Badeaux knew Comeaux was having some family problems but he couldn’t understand wat had Comeaux so upset. He approached him and said, “Clovis, I don’t want to disturb you grief but man, I ain’t never seen you in pain like dat before.” “Who is you mourning for like dat, you mama, you papa, a child?”

Comeaux took a moment to collect himself den replied, “No my wife Thelma’s first husband Sostan, him.”

C’EST TOUT

Amazing Texas High School Football

I watched every championship game beginning with Newton’s Class 3-A 40-16 win over Gunter, at AT&T Stadium. It was a great win for a great coach. W.T. Johnston, 52, is a seven year Newton coach who has fought through a double lung transplant and taken three years of treatments for a potential fatal disease. Coach Johnston has heard many times that he had no chance to live. He said he was a testament to God. He had warned his young team he might not make it to the state playoffs with them. He lived long enough to win a state championship. The team dedicated the game to him and said, “We did this all for Coach, we love that man.” Coach Johnston has just one of the four known cases in the U.S., a graft-versus-host disease, contracted following his double lung transplant. There is no telling what treatment will or will not work. Winning a sate championship might be just the right medicine for recovery. We pray it is. As far as the caliber of high school football in Texas, its just amazing. I couldn’t believe that I was watching youngsters with so much talent. In the higher classes, the throwing and catching was as good or better than some colleges. The speed of some youngsters is absolutely amazing. How would the high school teams of yester-year fair against today’s talented athletes. No comparison. Three yards and a cloud of dust couldn’t stay on the field with today’s teams.*****My time is up, thanks for yours. Have a safe, Happy New Year. Take care and God bless.