A great friend, Joe Burke, suffered a stroke and died last Tuesday, Jan. 29. After having the stroke, he lingered all day while Orange Baptist attempted to find a hospital with a staff that could handle his condition. Believe it or not, the only one found was John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. Joe died while in route. That says a lot about the kind of medical service available in this area. It’s really scary when you think about it. Joe had called this office at 11 a.m. Monday and also called Roy at 7:45 p.m. that evening. They spoke for nearly 30 minutes, possibly the last call Joe made. He was excited about a get together they were planning for a large group of longtime friends. Just a week earlier Roy had introduced him at the Bridge City Chamber Banquet. On all those occasions Joe didn’t seem to have any health problems. Like many elderly single men, he slept in a recliner and went to bed in the morning hours. Somewhere between the chair and bed, Joe fell and was found by his good friend Rex Ansley with bad bruises on his head, shoulder and side. It’s uncertain if the fall caused the stroke or the stroke caused the fall.
Joe Burke was one of a kind. He did not fit into any category, marching to his own drum. He didn’t come from old money, he clawed his way to financial security, then making it became an ‘art of the deal’ game. He gave a lot of it away. Personally, he lived a very frugal life. He was 89-years-old and his goal was to make it to 90. His wife Mattie had died earlier and although he missed her greatly, he filled his days with work and friends. Joe requested and was honored to have all women pallbearers. To his friends and partners he left his fortune. He had no relatives and had made the statement, “I should give it to those who helped me make it.” What a guy. I bet he ate two tons of cheese and a ton of butter and had no cholesterol problems. I would have bet he would have made five more years. May he rest in peace.*****We were really saddened to learn of the terrible accident that took the life of Kenny Harris, 29, in Bridge City Jan. 30. Hundreds of people, plus many fire and police department personnel attended his funeral held Sat. Feb. 2. Deep felt condolences go out to his family and many friends. He was a terrific young man and will long be remembered. Please see obit. *****A lot to say and a lot to cover so I’d best get going. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Longtime peace officer, John Tarver, was granted a patent on a project he had worked on for several years. What’s amazing is that he had no experience or education that dealt with physics or engineering, yet he invented a product that will be welcomed and used around the world. The protective housing systems for pipeline security will grow into a boom, right here at home. John and his partner, Gene Allen, have vowed to manufacturer and use employees from Orange County. From local industry to the pipelines of Iraq the success of the product is limitless. See the exclusive story in this issue by Margaret Toal. Congrats and I’m betting before long this will be a big story throughout industry and Homeland Security.

Obama is the actor that was chosen to play the part. He comes out of the South Chicago Daily machine. The Washington Democratic establishment is totally against a woman president. The National Journal, on Saturday, concluded that Barack Obama was the most liberal member of the United States Senate last year.
Oprah got involved in politics for the first time ever. They are both from Chicago where her billion-dollar empire is located. They are both black. A lot of money was used to hire the best, even some of Bill Clinton’s staff. The best speechwriter in the country was hired, plus Obama, being very articulate, is as good as they come making speeches. His speeches and talking points are all scripted and he delivers perfectly.
Their plan was to combine a black voting block. So far, in every contest, he has captured more than 80 percent of the black vote. Jessie Jackson twice got 65 percent and carried 12 states by using a solid black base. Obama will carry that many states and more on Super Tuesday. He will carry Georgia, along with other mostly black states. Along with the black vote, they put together a plan to combine the college vote, mostly under 24 year olds. In every generation, that age group is against the establishment and is easily hyped.
Throw in the Kennedy’s, Ted, probably the most liberal senator in the past 40 years, who when he attempted a run at the White House was burnt badly by women over Chappaquiddick. (By the way, you haven’t heard the ‘Talking Heads’ mention that still unexplained drowning. If he had endorsed Hillary, they would be mentioning it every other sentence.) What I hear, however, is that Caroline Kennedy started the endorsements. She really got upset when Hillary mentioned the Civil Rights Act and Martin Luther King and LBJ being responsible for its passing. Caroline went berserk that her father wasn’t given credit. That started the Kenny dominos falling, except for Robert’s son Bobby Jr. and daughter Gov. Kathleen Townsend.
Eight senators and 52 congressmen endorsed Obama. The Journal says all are the most liberal wing of the party. Hillary has the endorsement of 14 senators, 78 congressmen, most moderate or conservative. In fact, she got the ‘Blue Dog’ endorsement, the group our former congressman Jim Turner belonged to. I suspect Jim and Charlie Wilson will support Sen. Clinton.
Bill was right when he said the whole thing is a fairy tale. For eight years Hillary sat on the first row of the most successful presidency in our lifetime. Surveys show her as one of the five best United States senators. Obama has only been there two years and accomplished nothing. Experience wise, he couldn’t carry her briefcase and can’t get elected in November. The women vote would step up in November for Hillary. Obama claims he didn’t vote to invade Iraq. That’s true, but it’s also true he didn’t vote against it. He wasn’t even in the Senate when the hot potato was dropped in Hillary and the Congress’ laps. It is easy for him to claim what he didn’t do. America voters who buy that are not thinking about the big mess at home and abroad. Obama’s not capable. He’ll need a Cheney. The country is not ready for the extreme liberal of radical right. (Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan). Sen. McCain is a moderate and Sen. Clinton is a centrist. That’s where the country is. Not liked by conservative Republicans or liberal Democrats.
Forget an Obama-Clinton ticket. I’m not sure the country is ready to elect the first woman or black man but they are certainly not ready for both. A little better chance with Hillary on top, but sill a long shot. It won’t be over Super Tuesday and will get down to Texas and Ohio. If she gets Texas and him Ohio, it could go to the convention. I believe the Republican race is all over but for the conservative crying of Rush, Hannity, Ann Coulter and other radicals. Demos are down to the wire with Obama gaining.

30 Years Ago-1978
Coronation of school royalty planned Saturday at Bridge City High. Nominees for honors are seniors: Cynthia Soileau, Denise Gauthier, Terry Medley, Janie Stout, Brian Huckabey, Windell Broussard, Dean Menard and Don Tibbits. Juniors: Melanie LeDoux, Tish Bratton, Milton Briggs and Tim Schexnider. Sophomores: Tammy Poindexter, Holly Hollingsworth, Billy Bryant and Scott Willis. Freshmen: Tammy Emerson, Leslie, Garrison, Richie Briggs and Brent Huckabay. ***** Doug and Helen Harrington host coffee at their home for John Hill, candidate for governor. *****Justice of the Peace Martin Ardoin, who was appointed to the office of J.P. Pct. 3, is running for his third term. *****On the political front, County Judge Pete Runnels is pitted against James Stringer. *****Judge Don Burgess, of the 260th. District Court is facing Judge Grover Halliburton. *****Mureen ‘Sis’ Keogh is challenging County Clerk Sallie Frazier. *****Pat Clark and Jim Sharon Bearden will be a pair of angels in the Follies. Bearden started it all by instigating Clark’s involvement but got himself trapped also. It backfired on him. *****Joe Kazmar named ‘Salesman of the Month’ at Jim Austin Olds-Cadillac. *****Crowned king at Saturday’s Bridge City royalty coronation is Dean Menard. He is the son of Bobby and Janice Menard. Cynthia Soileau was crowned queen. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Soileau. *****South East Texas Regional Planning honors former Bridge City Mayor P.M. ‘Red’ Wood. *****Vera and Gerald Dolley celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary. (Editor’s note: I wonder if they are still alive?)*****Mr. and Mrs. E.K. ‘Bo’ Ratcliff celebrate 50 years of marriage. They were married Feb. 11, 1928. They have three children, Leanette, Jeanette and Gammon. *****Congratulations to Darlene and Johnny Montagne on the birth of their daughter Caroline Louise, named for Johnny’s mother. The little one was born on Jan. 15. This is their first child. Darlene is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cedric Stout. *****Cathy Fontenot turned 11 on Feb. 5. *****Bridge City Fire Marshal Bill Kuhnl gives a program to the public, to be held at Hatton School, on smoke detector and fire prevention.

Super Bowl XLII biggest shocker. Underdog New York Giants harassed quarterback Tom Brady and ruined the New England Patriots bid for an undefeated season. The Giants and Eli Manning entered the Super Bowl game as 12 point underdogs and beat the 18-0 Pats 17-14. A remarkable clutch catch completion from Manning to Tyree extended New York’s game winning drive ending all hopes for a Patriot record undefeated season. We had predicted a 34-24 New England win. Only 31 points were scored in the entire game. *****From time to time I love a good hamburger made the old-fashioned way for lunch. I’m going to Snappy’s today. Glenda and her crew make a great burger. They fix them with the old-time or new bun. Try the new, you’ll love it. Also with the coupon in our paper you can get FREE coffee. They are located on the corner of Hwy. 62 and Hwy. 87. *****Also this week I plan to visit ‘Old Salt.’ I hear great seafood is served there. They’re located inside Bridge City Seafood, Roundbunch at Cow Bayou. Peggy and Richard are having great Lenten specials. See ad. The seafood boats pull up to their docks and the cook prepares everything fresh. It’s one of Bridge City’s best-kept secrets. *****Speaking of eating, a bunch of Orange County folks entered the Lamar Cook-off and won the championship. Team members Johnny and Darlene Montagne, Bill and Deanna Crull, Don Shockley, Kenneth and Connie Smith, Keith and Jordan Royal, Judge David Dunn, Blaze Montagne, Chad and Wendi Jenkins, Clifford Broy, Joe Penland, Fred Williams and David and Laurie Ess. They beat the large competition in almost all categories and fed a big bunch too. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch had a nice gathering at Van’s last week but it was a sad day with the Tuesday death of Joe Burke. The Lunch Bunch will honor his passing with a special meeting at Robert’s on Wednesday 12 noon. Everyone welcome. *****The joke of the week was by ‘Queen Oprah.” She said, “Barack inspires us the way John Kennedy did.” Oprah was just six years old when John Kennedy died. JFK served 14 years in the congress, was a senator and war hero. Remember PT 109? Obama has no record, filled potholes and acquired stop signs as a community organizer in South Chicago. Limited experience, extreme liberal views do not make the Obamas ‘Camelot.’ The comparison is a foolish spin and a joke. *****Happy 64th wedding anniversary to Edna and Joe Vercher on Feb. 2. That might not be a record but it’s a darn good average. Congrats to this fine couple. *****Special birthday wishes to Karen Fuselier on Feb. 9. A great Cajun cook and a great gal who is buying a place in heaven putting up with Tony. Some guys have all the luck. She treats him like a king. Other celebrities having birthdays are Tom Brokaw, 68, Feb. 6; Garth Brooks, 46, Feb. 7; Chris Rock 43, Feb. 7; Mia Farrow, 63, Feb. 9. Karen falls in the middle of that bunch at age 53. *****The Sabine Area Labor Council made their candidate endorsements Saturday. Orange County candidates receiving their support are Pct. 1 County Commissioner James Stringer, Pct. 3 Commissioner John Dubose and Sheriff candidate Keith Merritt. *****President Geo. W. Bush has cut out $200 billion in domestic spending, including $176 billion in health care and Medicare. He also increased military spending $300 billion. He will run a $400 billion deficit, most of this accomplished during the six years of a Republican Congress where he didn’t veto one spending bill. *****Our condolences to Ellen Nickum and her entire family on the death of her mother Ida Mae Collins, 95, who passed away Jan. 28. She is also survived by her husband Watson Collins. *****Feb. 1 marked the day Texas seceded from the Union. *****Orange County native Clarence Dorman, age 95, died on Feb. 2. Our condolences.

Birthdays this week
Crystal Sarver, David Cooper, Grant Jones, Haley Arnold, Harold M. Collins, Lindsey Day, Peggy Jones, Cindy Lessard, Jamie Beaulieu, Jeanna Campbell, Luke Lyons, Jeremy Sleeman, Kaitlyn Ezell, Kezavien Roberts, Todd Landry, Barbara Fix, Doyce Sherman, Jive’n Gene  , Karen Fusiler, Leonard Bock, Sandy Sanford, Cynthia Fisher, Shane Brister, Trevor Gunn, Tyler Gunn, Bobby Arnold, Deric Prevost, Eric Prevost, Jody Connor, Stephen Allen, Tom Stephenson, Brittany Carpenter, Christy Reves, Delondra Cooper, Dola Rucker, Jordan Guererro, Marjorie Gandy, Michele Moore

Wen Clovis Comeaux him, turned 65 years old, he told his wife ‘Clotile babe, I’m going to go into Laffayette.” “I’m going at da Social Security office and apply for my retirement check.”
Clotile say, “Clovis, you was born and raised on da bayou, you don’t got one of dem birt certificate you?”
Clovis anser, “Oh Babe, dat’s no problem.” He left for da 25 mile trip to town and returned late in da afternoon.
All excited he say, “Clotile babe, we are set up and gonna start getting a check every first of da mont.”
Clotile axe, “Wat proof did you give dem as proof of your age, hanh?”
Clovis answer, “Well Babe, I just open my shirt and show dem all dem gray hairs on my chest and dats all I needed.”
Clotile her say, “Clovis, you old fool, why didn’t you drop you pants and we could of got da disability check too.”

Come on Eric, don’t y’all have an original thought. We have been naming a ‘Citizen of the Year’ (Person of the Year) for what seems like a hundred years on our anniversary. What’s your reason? *****NOTICE: Don’t miss voting on our new front-page question on our website, therecordlive.com. *****We ran into some difficulties with our new layout last week. We left out ads, didn’t jump stories etc. We are rerunning Dickie Colburn’s great scoop story that has not been published anywhere before. The entire paper is a lot cleaner and much easier to read. This is the newspaper that brings breaking, exclusive news first. Read us cover to cover. Thanks to all the great people who make this one of the best read and best looking community newspapers in the county. Please note look our advertisers over and shop them when you can. *****My time is up but I sincerely thank you for yours and for making us Orange County’s best read. Let us hear from you. Take care and God bless.