I’m getting edgy wanting spring to hurry and get here. We got out the old Snapper tiller that has been stored for years and found that the motor wouldn’t keep running. Neighbor Cox, who is pretty good at tinkering, worked on it, and with the help of Ms. Virginia, who is a carburetor expert, the Snapper is ready to till. I’m ready for it to break ground. We will keep the bucket farm but we will venture out a little. It’s come on a great morning. First thing I do is read the Houston Chronicle from cover to cover. I’ve been doing it every morning for many years, at least since the Houston Post folded. For over 50 years, I’ve followed Leon Hale’s column, even back when he was in the Post with a daily column. He’s down to once a week at age 86. He was 34 years old when I first met him. At one time, he was Judge Joe Parkhurst’s journalism teacher at Sam Houston U. The last few years, I’ve passed his column on to Neighbor Cox. Today’s column is the last one, not because Leon is hanging it up, but because the Houston Chronicle is quitting us and will no longer distribute the paper in Orange County. For $4.50 a month, we can get it on line. Cox and I don’t even know how to turn the computer on, plus, being from the newspaper age, we would miss turning the pages. *****Dr. Mark Liponis says one of the secrets on how to live for 100 years is to read the newspaper. Stay engaged in events and happenings around you. It keeps you connected, current, keeps your brain working and increases your sense of purpose. Dr. Liponis also says gardening in old age is important but so is watching your waist. Extra baggage in the belly compartment contributes more to heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Obese centenarians are rare as hen’s teeth. Here’s good news for me, from the doctor, coffee is a potential health drink. Studies show moderate coffee intake helps prevent diabetes, gallstones, Parkinson’s, cirrhosis, kidney stones and even heart disease. The secret word is moderate. In my case, I just have to cut down, but cut down to what? I have a lot to report so I’d best quit visiting and get started. Hop on board. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.



There was a lot of talk about the Latino vote in South Texas and how it would help Sen. Hillary Clinton. No one said anything about east and southeast Texas and the part we played in Sen. Clinton’s majority in Texas. In Hardin County, Clinton carried 62 percent to Obama’s 22 percent, Tyler, 60-23, Chambers, 56-39, Jasper, 52-28, Newton, 53-27, and in Orange 66-26. Only Jefferson County went for Obama, 57-40. Looking over the returns I discovered that voters in the Penny Record distribution area, Bridge City, Orangefield, McLewis, were carried by Clinton with 73 percent of the votes and that’s as good as any part of the state. Here is how each box voted in the county for president. Box 1, Clinton 121-Obama 23; Box 2, C-155-O-376; Box 3, C-140-O-404; Box 4, C-10-O-133; Box 5, C-264-O-374. Boxes 2-3-4-5 are the only boxes Obama carried out of 34. Box 6, C-400-O-148; Box 7, C-381-O-222; Box 8, C-493-O-183; Box 9, C-423-O-122; Box 10, C-106-O-41; Box 11, C-177-O-36; Box 12, C-325-O-99; Box 13, C-311-O-159; Box 14, C-400-O-249; Box 15, C-387-O-160; Box 16, C-365-O-104; Box 17, C-341-O-69; Box 18, C-383-O-67; Box 19, C-279-O-80; Box 20, C-209-O-52; Box 21, C-77-O-16; Box 22, C-253-O-42; Box 23, C-469-O-88; Box 24, C-365-O-47; Box 25, C-428-O-113; Box 26, C-519-O-118; Box 27, C-342-O87; Box 28, C-488-O130; Box 29, C-188O-37; Box 30-C-226-O-48; Box 31, C-393-O-110; Box 32, C-329-O-83; Box 33, C-279-O-61; Box 34, C-300-O-62. Total Clinton-10,317, Obama-4,123. Hillary carried the Orange County caucus by 71 percent to 29 percent. The caucus should be done away with. They are very undemocratic and disenfranchise so many, like the elderly who can’t get to the caucus, or shift workers etc. Obama has carried 13 caucus states, which are also red states, and unlikely wins for Democratics in November. That’s how he used the young to gain delegates. The Clinton organization built bases in states that will be in play in November. That has put her behind in delegates even though she is by far the strongest candidate in blue Demo states. With Hillary at the top of the ticket, Texas has a good chance to go Democratic blue. Statewide, she would carry state representatives like Larry Hunter and others, take over the House and redistrict the state in 2010 to free rural counties from the big city bondage we’re in. Side note: The Jefferson County Democratic chairman Gilbert Adams may be in hot water with the State Democratic Party over his vice-chairman Joe Deshotel, Jr. who was openly working for Obama. No telling what kind of shenanigans they pulled. This one ain’t over with.



On March 4, Bill Berry, 85, passed away. Services were held March 8. Bill, one of the many colorful used car dealers who operated in Orange in the 1950’s and 60’s as were Cecil Scales, Bill Kizer, Bill Bell, Leo Brown, Leon Slayter, J.T. and Willie Harrison, Jackie Harmon, Lofton Thomas and others. Bill’s brother Vareece served as Orange police chief in the early 1950’s. Over the last few years Bill sold metal detectors and raised Mayhaw and grape trees off of Hwy. 105. He was a good friend of many years. Our condolences to his family.***** We were sorry to hear about the death of Hollis Parker, 78, March 7. Services were held Sunday. We had known him many years, he was a good man. Our condolences to wife Carolyn, daughter Renee, son Rickie and their families.*****Our sympathies also to the family of Clara Edwards, 80, who passed away on March 7. For many years she was one of the management team at Bridge City Bank. She was also active in many civic endeavors over the years. To Tom and his family we send our deepest sympathy.



Home prices hold up locally but in other parts of the country, home equity has fallen below the 50-percent level, sapping owners’ wealth. Several factors contribute to the decline beside the economy, low and no down payment loans, home equity lines of credit and cash-out refinancing during the housing boom leaving homeowners with no cushion. Home foreclosures are up to an all time high, 1 million homes, nearly 3 million behind. In Orange County and the Golden Triangle many homeowners have equities of 70 percent or more. Many pre-owned homes continue to go up in value and with the great boom yet to come, values will continue to go upwards. Here at home, it’s now a buyers and sellers market. We suggest you contact any of the honest realtors listed in this newspaper. They will help you buy or sell and advise you right. Don’t go it alone. We strongly recommend our local realtors.



30 YEARS Ago-1978

In elections around Bridge City the only candidates to file for Water District were Howard Matthews, W.W. Hutto and G.A. ‘Ham’ Laughlin. (Editor’s note: That was before the city took over the district.)*****Lydia Miller has filed for one of two spots coming up on the school board. Incumbents on the board are C.W. Lormand and R.A. ‘Bob’ Pruitt. *****In city elections Barbara Truncale has filed for Place 4, held by Billy Cagle.*****Bridge City chapter of DeMolay choose Kathy Grayson as sweetheart.***** According to Frances Reid, historical chairperson, a search is underway to locate the graves of all Confederate soldiers in order to place government markers on all unmarked graves.***** Hobson ‘Hobby’ Dunn, Roy’s uncle, died March 6 at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. He was buried at the little cemetery in Sipes Springs, in the Dunn family plot next to his mother and father and siblings, including Roy’s dad Clay.*****OVN names Wayne Fredrick ‘Citizen of the Year.’ Plaque presentation ceremony will be held March 17, 10 a.m. in commissioners courtroom. Wayne was born May 10, 1942, the third of six children. He is the son of the late L.A, Frederick and mother Mrs. Roy Buxton.*****On March 10, Uncle Jim ‘The Fisherman’ celebrated his 93rd birthday. His birthday cake was decorated with an oil well. Jim was at the Spindletop oil boom.*****Preston Fuller and L.J. Schrieber are both salesmen at Harmon Chevrolet Used Cars at 1st. and Green in Orange. Both are sporting shoulder-length hair. County Judge Pete Runnels also wears his hair long and full, but well trimmed.*****Donald Wayne Cole reaches the ripe old age of 25 on March 13. *****Two good-looking gals around town who can really shake their stuff are Judy Wyatt and Judy Shockley. Those two ladies will be handling the ‘Mock Beauty Pageant,’ to be held April 1.*****DalSasso Realty is now open at 2105 Texas Ave. in Bridge City. Realtors are Glenda Garison and Shirley Russell.



Mark Carter, Democratic chairman, came down sick after the long, hard hours put in during the presidential, state and county primary races. As of Monday, he was in ICU at Baptist Orange. Diagnoses is unknown although extreme sore throat started the problem. Mark said it was a long day for his capable workers in all 34 boxes followed by the caucus tabulations. Imogene McKinney was one of those workers at box 25. She arrived at 7:30 a.m. and went home at 11 p.m. Now they must do it all over again April 8, in the countywide sheriff’s runoff between Keith Merritt, 7,860 votes and Mike White, 6,462 votes. Also in runoffs constable races in Pct. 1, Chris Humble, 1513 votes and Sarah Jefferson Simon, 1,255 votes. In Pct. 2, A.B. ‘Yank’ Peveto, 1, 489 votes and Robert ‘Rob’ Strause, 1,056. Congrats to winners Commissioner John Dubose and Pct. 1 new comer Commissioner David Dubos. Also to Mark Phillpot, elected constable Pct. 3 and Weldon Peveto, Pct. 4. There were 16,694 Democratic votes cast. The runoff election county wide I figure will draw between 6,000 to 7,000.***** The St. Joseph’s Altar at St. Mary’s this year will be held Friday, March 14. Those ladies always do a great job.*****I believe this is the first time since 1818 that St. Patrick’s Day and Good Friday fall in the same week. Easter only fell earlier than March 23 and that was in 1818 also. Easter was on March 22 that year. It will be over 200 years before it occurs again.*****We were sorry to see Gina Mannino go from Bridge City High. She was a very good high school principal and will be missed. We are proud of her promotion to Curriculum Director. Another Bridge City native and BC grad, Richard Briggs, has been selected to replace her. I believe he and Gina graduated while Joe Chenella was principal. He’s Bud and Barbara Briggs’ boy.*****Special happy birthday to our longtime buddy Corky Harmon, who celebrates a bunch of them on March 18. He is blessed with amazingly good health. Takes no medication. It’s all those ‘Honey Do’s’ that Betty puts him through that keeps him young. Best wishes for continued good health.*****Last Friday, March 7, Gary Savoy celebrated his 63rd birthday. We have known him since he was a 25-year-old youngster. Gary, a salesman for the OVN, sold the first grocery store ad for the paper in 1971 to Texas Avenue Grocery.*****The defense department and the Bush administration are allowing Houston-based KBR, a top Iraq war contractor, (Halliburton), to avoid paying hundreds of millions in payroll taxes by hiring American workers through a Cayman-based shell company. KBR has made billions on the war in Iraq, won’t pay taxes and the Bush Administration is doing nothing about it. Rep. Rahn Emanuel said, “President Bush keeps a straight face when he says we cannot afford to care for our veterans and turns a blind eye to the corporations fleecing the American people.” What I’d like to know is how much Dick Cheney’s and Bush’s blind trust has made over seven years. Iraq is costing $12 billion a month.


Kate Benoit, AJ Strahan, Colton “CJ” Dugan, Andrew Willingham, Carol Ann Kimbrow, Jean Braus, John Collin Kimbrow, Lindsey Bland, Claude Tarver, Lana Sepulvado, Anthony Fraccastoro, Bud Briggs, Dick Powell, Dusty Jennings, Jennifer Kelly, Julie Myers, Addie Batson, Amber Doiron, Blane Slaughter, Buffy Doiron, Jordan Doiron, Karli Anderson, Leslie Paula Robinson, Margie Baker, Cortnie Campbell, William Bryant, Brenda Swan, Cody Edwards, Ernie Edwards, John Tallant, Martha Dyer Howell, Sally Wingard, Stephanie Hughes, Tiffany Moreau, Ty Moreland, Elroy Edwards, Josh Sims, Tammy Stark.



Joe Primeaux owned a small rice farm outside of Erath, near Henry. Premeaux heard from da Louisiana State Wage and Hour Department who claimed he was not paying proper wages to his help him and were sending an agent out to interview him.

Da city slicker arrived from Baton Rouge, “I need a list of your employees and how much you pay dem,” he demanded.

“Well,” Joe replied, “Dere’s my farm hand Comeaux who’s been wit me four or tree years. I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board. Da cook Mable has been here for about a year and I pay her $150 a week and free room and board. Den dere’s da half-wit who works bout 18 hours a day and does bout 90 percent of all da work. He makes about $10 or $12 per week, pays his own room and board and on Saturday night I buy him a bottle of bourbon. He also sleeps wit my wife sometime if he’s not too worn out.”

Da government man say, “Well dat’s the guy I want to talk to me, da half-wit.”

Primeaux replied, “Well mister, dat would be me.”



Anytime a bunch of old or middle-aged folks congregate that has had any association with B.C. high school, Moe Litton’s name comes up. Moe has left quite a trail of tales. In fact, you can hear Moe Litton stories around most of the small schools in southeast Texas. There is just one Moe Jo and that’s a good thing.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s this week, 12 noon. Everyone welcome. Last week a large group gathered at Robert’s, a very interesting bunch with a world of knowledge.*****Before I get to the end of the line here, I want to compliment County Commissioner James Stringer on the good job he is doing and for his lifetime of service. I can’t find anything negative about his service. Judge Stringer would be the first to tell you that an elected position belongs to the people and they choose who’s serving them. Stringer lost his commissioner’s post in the primary to David Dubose. Stringer is thankful for the many years of support and I’m sure he wishes the new commissioner and commissioners court well come Jan. 1. *****I’ve gotta get out of here. Take care and God bless.