Old Man Winter Howls In Orange County

‘Old man winter’ has blown in to 2018 in a way that is unexpected for most of us on the Texas coast. On Tuesday, in anticipation of freezing rain, sleet and hazardous road conditions, has forced Orange County government offices and school closures. A near record breaking 17-degree was recorded Wednesday morning in the county. The last time temperatures dropped down that low in January was 1984, 34 years ago, to 11-degrees. Miserable winter storms are usually avoided by residents here but not this winter. Another frigid night in the low 20’s remain before Orange County returns to the kind of winter weather we are more accustomed to.  We’re hoping ‘old man winter’ goes back to wherever he came from. To add to the misery one of the worst flu seasons on record is underway. ‘The Record’ staff is working through it the best we can although it has sidelined columnist Roy Dunn who is recuperating in the hospital after a severe bout. Hopefully Roy will be back “Down Life’s Highway” before long. Well, we’ve got some ground to cover. Grab your coat and hop on board. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

Our condolences go out to the family of our longtime friend Patricia “Pat” Bendy who passed away Monday. Pat was 77. Our hearts go out to Roy Bendy, her husband for 47 years, and children Rhonda Droddy, Rebecca Howe, Melinda Smith and Stacey Bendy and their spouses. Pat and Roy had two step-children, David Jones and Dee Dee Viator of Bridge City. Pat leaves behind 19 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Funeral services will be held Saturday at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. Visitation will be Friday, 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

We will miss our friend Ray Craven Sr., a regular visitor in our Orange office just down the street from where he lived on Henrietta St. The news of his passing over the weekend was a shock although we had known that Ray had been ill for awhile. He was 69, a veteran of the US Navy and worked construction most of his life. Condolences to his three children, Matthew James Craven, Christie “Pink” Craven and Ray Allen Craven, Jr. Ray had five grandchildren. We will miss Ray stopping in, as will the Harmons next door and the Granger Chevrolet crew across the street.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2008

Winter blew in on us Saturday. The water buckets were glazed with ice. Sunday morning was the most miserable. I had forgotten what a ‘Blue Norther’ blowing in at 22 miles an hour felt like. It was sure nuff gumbo weather. (Editors note:  Time repeats itself this past weekend.)  Candidate Keith Merritt had scheduled a feed for that day and it looked like it would be a disaster until word got out it was free gumbo. Wilson Roberts showed up with the biggest tablespoon you ever saw. He also brought his own big bowl but V.J. made him leave it in the truck. *****Since we last visited, Mitt Romney won in Michigan and Nevada. That guy’s like Rodney Daingerfield. John McCain barely won South Carolina after teaming up with Fred Thompson to beat Huckabee. Yet he gets all the front-page copy and praise from the T.V. and radio pundants. They’re off to Florida this week where it will be determined if Rudy lives or dies politically. Things look bleak for Rick Perry and big oil’s candidate. *****On the Demo front, after Obama got the union support in Nevada every one of the ‘Talking Heads’ pronounced Hillary dead. She polled 51 percent of the vote, won seven of nine casino caucuses. I’ve never heard a candidate get beaten up as much as Hillary. Now the ‘Talking Heads’ have taken after Bill for helping her. I guess they think he should keep his hands in his pockets while his wife is unfairly piled on.*****Obama won 83 percent of the black vote. If the same thing happens in South Carolina, where he’s expected to win big, it will be his demise. From here on out it will be a Jessie Jackson type black/white race and that kills him on Super Tuesday. He would be better served if the black vote would split, even if he lost the state. An overwhelming black vote and just a little white will drive a nail in his coffin. Like Huckabee can’t win with just the Evangelicals, Obama can’t win going 83 percent black.*****Eli and the Giants beat Brett and the Packers. I think Green Bay was fortunate to get as close as they did at 23-20 in overtime. The Giant secondary however, can’t match up to Tom Brady and his receivers. The odds are we will see history made with 19 consecutive wins on Super Day by 11 to 16 points. At least Eli is not as far back in the shadows behind big brother Payton Manning. Brady will have to be better than he was in the 21-12 win over the Chargers.*****Congrats to Commissioner John Dubose for being the recipient of the Frances K. Monk award. It’s the highest award that can be presented to an elected official by the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission. Orange County will be well represented on the commission with councilperson Shirley Bonnin of West Orange as a new vice-president and Commissioner James Stringer incoming secretary. Those people do good work. New director Shawn Davis presided over his first banquet. His father, Olympian Gold Medalist Buddy Davis was in attendance. I had forgotten that Buddy was also an NBA player. ***** Anabel Anderson, who on Friday will get her 60-year pen from the Catholic Daughters. That will be her third pen, 25-years, 50-years and this.  (Editors note; Anabel, an angel passed away a few years ago.)

ERNIE HOLMES, AGE 63, DIES IN CAR CRASH

Texas native Ernie Holmes, from Wiergate, in Jasper County, died after a one car crash last week near Lumberton. He possibly suffered a heart attack. Holmes was a member of the world champion Pittsburgh Steeler’s ‘Steel Curtain Defense’ alongside ‘Mean Joe’ Green, Dwight White and L.C. Greenwood. Number 63 was on the team that won Super Bowl IX over Minnesota and Super Bowl X over Dallas. Holmes spent six years with the Steelers and retired in 1978 while playing with New England. When quarterback Terry Bradshaw was injured in 1976 and doctors strapped him to a backboard, Holmes said, “Let me have him,” lifted the backboard and carried Terry up the stairs onto the plane. A poor kid from Wiergate to the big times, that’s my kind of human-interest story. He had returned to his roots.

REMEMBERING NEAL MILLER JR.

Neal Jr., 82, a former Orange mayor, died at his home in Austin on Jan. 16, after a long battle with congestive heart failure. An Orange native, he became the city’s mayor in the early 1960s. An A&M grad and United States Air Force pilot, he brought Orange into modern times. He left the area to spend the rest of his life working for Gulf and Chevron as a senior, top level public relations representative. He always remembered his hometown and was there to welcome the home folks at Orange County Day in Austin and his company usually picked up the tab. His best friend, Major Inman, followed him as Orange mayor. His father Neal Miller, Sr., who owned a furniture company by the same name, served as Justice of the Peace. One of our great friends Neal Sr., one day while everyone was away from home, took his own life. Neal Jr., and wife Jeanne, who died a few years ago, moved away and never returned. Neal remarried in 2006 to Katharine Patman. No other Orange native went on to accomplish so much. His obituary reads like a novel of ‘Who’s Who.’ Another Orange County star has left us.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Obituaries 2008

We are deeply saddened to learn about the death of David A. Granger Sr.,  68, of Orange died Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008. Funeral service was Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Rev. Jim Hardwick of First Christian Church of Orangefield will officiate. Interment will follow at Mose Granger Cemetery in Orangefield.  David was born September 22, 1939, in Orange, to Noah Adam and Julia (Hill) Granger.  David retired as a supervisor for Equitable Bag in Orange and was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.  He is survived by his children, David Arnold Granger Jr., Robert Wynn Granger and Teresa Lynn Williams; grandchildren, Angela Marie Granger, Allen Michael Granger, Patrick Ori Granger and Amanda Nikole Williams; brothers and sisters, Joel Neal Granger, Jackie Granger, Olga Mae Alford, Earlene Michelitti, Henry Wynn Granger and Patsy Johnson.*****Katherine Elaine Dronett, 79, of Orange, died Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008, at Golden Years in Orange.  Graveside service was at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Orange. Mr. Dale Lee of Cowboy Church of Orange County officiated.  Mrs. Dronett was preceded in death by her parents, Alvin and Hallie Wukasch; husband of 34 years, Tommy Dronett; two sisters, Hallie Hamilton and Helen Wilson.  She is survived by her daughter, Phyllis Dronett of Orange; grandchildren, Floyd Jordan III and  Jennifer Cox; great-grandchildren, Kelsey Jordan, Sydney Savoie, Bailey Manning and Collin Cox.*****Ray LaVon Jones, 79, of Orange, died, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008.  Since 1956, Ray was a resident of Orange and received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Texas A&M University in Electrical Engineering. Mr. Jones was an electrical engineer with DuPont Sabine River Works and retired after 38 years of service as a staff engineer.  He served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and was stationed in Germany from January 1952 through December 1953.  Jones was a member of the Steering Committee of the Texas A&M Instrumentation Symposium, American Society of Electrical Engineers, and of Tau Beta Phi and Eta Kappa Nu Honor Societies.  He was also a member of North Orange Baptist Church since 1958, serving as Deacon and President of the Senior Adult Choir. He also served on the Board of Directors for Orange Habitat for Humanity.  He is survived by his wife, Janice M. Jones of Orange; son, Ronald Ray Jones and wife, Kimberly, of Richardson; granddaughter, Sydny Renee Jones; sister, Jean J. Lynch and husband, Clarence W., of Warner, Okla. and numerous nieces and nephews.*****Nancy Bugg, 57, of Bridge City, Jan. 17, 2008.  Born in Orange on Dec. 3, 1950, she was the daughter of Samuel Mason and Betty (Dewitt) Bugg.  A lifelong resident of the area, she retired from DuPont Sabine River Works after 25 years of service and had recently been employed as financial secretary for First Baptist Church in Bridge City, where she was a member.  Family was very important to Nancy. She was a wonderful care taker to her parents in their later years and loved and supported her nieces and nephews in all they did.  Preceded in death by her parents; Nancy is survived by her sisters and brothers-in-law, Rebecca and Rod Rodriguez of Gettysburg, Pa., Vivienne and Vernon Mathews of Spring Hill, Tenn.; nieces and nephews, Ricky and Diana Rodriguez, Todd and Marta Rodriguez, Michelle Wright, Jeff Mathews, Jason and Kim Mathews and Becca Mathews.

40 Years Ago-1978

A former Bridge City high school student, Phyllis Kelly, who is now Miss Louisiana, sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl XII, held at the Louisiana Superdome. It’s predicted 85 million people saw the former girl from Jones Street in B.C. *****In a contest held by The Opportunity Valley News, Edna Lusignan, of Bridge City, predicted the exact score of the Super Bowl, Dallas 27, Denver 10. Mark Dunn ran the contest at the newspaper. *****J.W. ‘Kid’ Henry, investigator in the county attorney’s office, celebrated a birthday on Super Bowl day, Jan. 15. *****Rose City Judge Harold Rodney ‘Beesey’ Beeson turns 39 on Jan. 21. *****Robyn Lusignan will celebrate her 10th birthday Jan. 21. *****Texas Attorney General John Hill named his Orange County committees for his bid for governor. Sen. D.R. Harrington is district chairman, J.D. Stanfield, county chairman. Other members of the committee are State Rep. Wayne Peveto, Martin Dies, John Cash Smith, Travis ‘Pete’ Greshman, Don Cochran, Dudley Baker, Murray Spector, Dr. Joe Ben Welch, David Clark, Lisa Teer, Monteal Turner, Doug Harrington, Bridge City chairman, Bobby Cormier, Orangefield chairman. (Editor’s note: Bob was a good Democrat 30 years ago.) Joe Alford, West Orange chairman, Richard Taylor, Orange, Butch Clark, Mauriceville and John Rayburn, Little Cypress.*****Jonell Helton, 26-year-old Bridge City resident, was honored by the Pilot Club as ‘Handicapped Woman of the Year.” After graduating from Hughen School she attended Bridge City High School and Port Arthur Business College.*****Ed Lovelace of KOGT fame is embarking in the worm business in Warren, Texas. He invites his friends to visit him and Joan. Some friends say, ‘No thanks, he serves worm casseroles and dry worms and claims they are pretzels.” (Editor’s note: Ed planned to make a fortune but a load of worms got loose on an airplane while being shipped. The airlines discontinued accepting worms and put Ed out of business. He later moved to Beeville and bought two radio stations, an AM and FM.)*****Cal Broussard must be doing things right since coming to Liberty Television Cable. They have added 1,500 new subscribers.*****

BIRTHDAYS and HAPPENINGS

A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few weeks. Jan. 17: Constable David Cagle, our friend Jack Smith and Erin Hanks and Jeff Overman, all celebrate on this date. Joining them is actor Jim Carrey, 55, singer Kid Rock, 46 and icon T.V. actress Betty White, 95 and TV show host, Maury Povich along with Comedian Steve Harvey turns 60.*****Jan. 18: Celebrating on this day is pretty Kim Patnaude from 5 Point Credit Union in Bridge City.  Celebrities celebrating today are Movie Actors Kevin Costner, 62, Jason Segal, 37 and actress Laram Brar, 18.***** Jan. 19: JP Hershel Stagner, Jr celebrate on this day. He is joined by actor Shawn Wayans, 46 and Chef Paula Dean, 70, country singer Dolly Parton, 71. *****Jan. 20: Little Cypress Coach Steve Griffith, Kimberly Dolley, our favorite at Judice’s, Zach Johnson, and Orange County’s Janois Grizzaffi all have birthdays today. Joining them are celebrities astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actors Skeet Ulrich, 47, TV Show Host Bill Maher, 61 and country singer Brantley Gilbert, 32.*****Jan. 21: On this day Yvette Gillen, Adam Crumley, David Doucet, and Charles Arceneaux. celebrating are actor Gene Davis, 61, golfer Jack Nicklaus, 77, R& B singer Billy Ocean, 67 and TV Actor Jerry Trainor, 40.*****Jan. 22: Judge Janice Menard, once a teenage beauty from the Cove, has a birthday today. Also Julian Meadows, Cris Anderson, Lisa Holton, Myra Sherwood and Gary Baker.  Celebrities celebrating today are rock singer Steve Perry, 69 and actress Diane Lane, 53 and Linda Blair, 58. *****Jan. 23: Celebrating another birthday is our good friend Glenn Oliver, John Green III, Gary Dearing and Clayton Gearhart. Also on this day actor Richard Dean Anderson, 67, MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, 42 and actress Mariska Hargitay, 53 all celebrate. *****Talked with Ms. Peggy Altair today and Peggy’s on the Bayou is set to reopen the end of this month.  They will have a limited menu, with new lower prices and will be available for pick-up or delivery only. Gubers will be making deliveries for them.  Watch for ad and more info!*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will NOT be dining at Robert’s this week, due to the possible freezing weather conditions, but will plan on meeting at Robert’s next week. Be sure to join us as everyone is always welcome.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Marie Comeaux was at home as usual, washing clothes and making supper. Alphonse Thibodeaux, who dey call ‘Tee’ came to her door and he holler, “Marie, Marie, may I come in me.” “I got something to tell you.”

She answer, “Of course you can, you always welcome Tee, where’s my husband Clovis, hanh?”

Tee say, “Dats wat I’m here to tell you Marie, dere was an accident down at da Dixie Beer Brewery.”

“Oh God no,” Marie cried, “Please don’t tell me.”

Tee say, “Marie I got to tell you me, Clovis him is dead and gone, I’m so sorry me.”

Marie found da arm of da rocking chair by da fireplace and collapsed into it. She cried for a long while den finally she look up to Thibodeaux and axe, “How did it happen Tee?”

He say, “Well, it was terrible Marie, he fell into a big vat of Dixie Beer and he drowned him.”

“Oh my dear Jesus, my poor Clovis.” “Tell me Tee, did Clovis at least go quickly?”

Tee said, “Well no, not exactly Marie, as a matter of fact, he got out tree times to pee.”

C’EST TOUT

For almost 60 years The Record Newspapers, the Penny Record and the County Record, has been a hometown staple for local features, news, sports and just about everything Orange County. We’re as local as it gets and proud of it, and also proud of the part we have played in serving Orange County as a leader in community news and entertainment. We have seen many changes in our industry through the years but the demand for our newspapers has remained strong– and for that we are grateful to our readers. Almost two decades ago we launched our website, TheRecordLive.com, but what many of our readers aren’t aware of is that our print editions– both newspapers– can be read online in the form of our Digital Editions. Each week’s newspapers can now be read on any device, anywhere– cell phone, computer, tablet, whatever– your hometown news is there. And they can be shared with friends and family, bookmarked and printed. Our past editions are online too. If you live in the outlying areas of Orange County, or beyond, or didn’t get a paper– no problem, you can still read the newspaper just as it was printed, at the same price– FREE! It is also an extra benefit for our advertisers who appear in the local print editions and get the extra bonus of online advertising. Check it out!**** My time is up, I thank you for yours. Please shop our Family of Advertisers. They are good, hard working people who make your community newspapers possible. Take care and God bless.