At 9:30 a.m. the steeple bells at First Baptist Church were playing beautiful church hymns. I pulled up a seat at the spool table under the Hackberry tree as the music rang out around the community. Even at this late hour, late for me, the traffic is slow and the music came to Mr. Cox’s Neighborhood loud and clear. I reflected on the great day the Lord had sent. My mind drifted to what it might bring. I try to find, in every day something special. Despite all the rain around us the past week east Bridge City has gotten very little. We remain in the donut hole that shows up on the radar. My brain and I have been having a struggle lately; it wants to go into a dark mode. If I didn’t fight it I could easily say the hell with it. I think sometimes the vibes around us send out negatives, and if we let them penetrate our mind can cause a downer to take over. I’m an upbeat person, almost always. I love my life, treasure my friends and family and the work I do so. It’s a mystery to me why sometimes I’m just not satisfied with some of the pieces of life’s puzzle. They just seem to be too scattered. For most of my adult life I’ve had more than my share of good fortune. Life has been good. I guess things change with the coming of later years and maybe we dwell on it too much. We want the pieces to all stay in place and they just won’t. Maybe it’s a matter of control and I see so much of it drifting away, from health to activity, from control of mind and the razor sharpness dulling away. The strength of will gives up to the easier way. When you give in to all those things you’re losing and by God I’ll be darn if I’m going to let it win, and don’t you let it either. There are valleys in life and that’s all they are if you’re determined to climb back up the hill. Man, I’ve dropped a load on you but I know that many of you, like me, will have those strange days. Don’t dwell; let them pass. *****I’d best get to work if I expect a little pay. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


Every four years the incumbent administration has an October surprise just before the November presidential election. The U.S. is spending $400 million in a clandestine operation in Iran. Could the surprise be the invasion of Iran? Maybe we will let Israel take the lead and we go in to help our friends.*****The biggest plum for the Bush Administration would be the capture of Bin Laden. Will the U.S. invade Pakistan with or without their OK? In both of these cases, I believe it would help McCain and divert attention from our domestic problems. Let us know what you think the October surprise will be at


When George W. Bush was running against Al Gore in 2000, we warned in this column that his election would drive down the middle class and erode our civil liberties. Well, it got far worse after the 911 attack. Instead of staying after Bin Laden and the terrorist in Afghanistan, Bush and Cheney saw the opportunity to do what their goal was anyway: invade Iraq. They made up lies and preached fear. The American people bought it and instead of being impeached for invading a solvent country that was no threat to the U.S. and others the people again bought into Karl Rove’s religious trick and the GOP 527 Swift-boating of John Kerry, an American hero. Again we said because of big oil’s support, the middle class would be pushed down further and the poor would suffer while the rich got richer, including members of the administration. Rumsfeld and Cheney knew that any disturbance in the mid-east would disrupt the oil market and drive up not only Arab oil but domestic oil as well. Iraq was on the planning board even before the first inauguration. We predicted gasoline at the pump would go for more than $2. This morning, I paid $20 for 5 gallons. Bush and the neo-con “Far Right-Wingers” haven’t gotten every one of their goals but they accomplished the most important: the appointing of conservatives to the Supreme Court. If McCain is elected he has vowed to appoint others, giving them total control and the Supreme Court would run the country totally.One thing the administration hasn’t accomplished yet is drilling for additional oil in Alaska or drilling off the Florida coast. When brother Jeb was governor of Florida, he was against drilling so George W. didn’t push it: Florida depends on tourism. After few years of drilling, Florida’s beautiful white sandy beaches would look like Texas beaches. Here’s the truth: oil companies have more leases in the Gulf now than they can get to. They could start 1,000 tomorrow. The oil companies just want the right to drill out of Florida and Alaska now because they know once the Republicans are out, the game of going from $15 a barrel to $140 is over. Now here’s what the GOP is going to sell us, and some Americans will buy into it, just like they buy into the mud machines that sell fear and smears. The Republicans will blame the Demos saying that gas has increased 75 percent since Democrats took over Congress. “Democrats continue to turn a blind eye to rising fuel prices by not allowing exploration off Florida’s coast and Alaska.” They know time is running out and that’s one oil goal they haven’t achieved, yet there are 68 million acres of leases the oil companies are not developing. They are refining to capacity now and have plenty oil reserves. McCain can’t get elected without big oil. He’s already prostituted himself and is swinging to the “Far-Right.” He’s just a shadow of the McCain candidate he was in 2000, when he called them what they are. The American public is suffering and our youngsters are still dying and getting wounded in Iraq while oil companies are netting $38 billion a quarter. Blaming anyone but the Bush Administration is a sham. Don’t buy into it. Don’t be suckered again. Look at the people in Congress who have supported those failed policies at 98 percent for 7.5 years. We’ve been had and that’s bad, but in so many cases it gets worse for the working class.


Last Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled on an individuals right to gun ownership. The majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, established for the first time in U.S. history that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to keep guns at home for self-defense. It doesn’t override the ban on concealed weapons, felons and the mentally ill from possessing firearms. The court did not address what type of regulations would survive legal challenges. You can expect the NRA in a few states to file law suits against cities with handgun restrictions. The ruling struck down the ban on handguns in Washington, D.C. The justices were split 5-4. The ruling was signed by the most conservative justices, Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.


We send our sympathy to the family of William Manchac, 21, who died June 21 from a drowning accident. My thoughts today are about his grandmother Athalene Manchac, who lost her husband Frank way too young, and both sons, Frank Jr. and Mark, in tragic accidents and now her grandson. Memorial services for William were June 27.***** Our deepest sympathy also to the family of DPS officer Brad Frye and his entire family on the death of his mom Adelle Frye, who passed away June 26. She had been ill for quite some time. Service was June 29. May she rest in peace.


30 Years Ago-1978

Bill Wright has replaced District Attorney Jim Sharon Bearden who left office on June 30. *****The Cimron Campbell family is on the “Campus Crusade for Christ” staff. They are now at Fort Collins, Colo., until July 24. In August, the family will be in Texas traveling to San Angelo, Austin, Houston, Beaumont and at home in Orange. Bearden has taken over Cimron’s office and law practice, sharing a building with Wayne Peveto. (Editor’s note: Bearden is still in the same location on Border Street. Wayne’s two sons are now attorneys in the same building. Twenty years ago, after traveling the world the Campbell family returned to Orange). *****Sandi Mobley, a Bridge City High grad who has been working for the Dunn family’s Opportunity Valley News since she was a high school freshman, has left to attend the University of Houston and will work part-time at the Houston Chronicle.*****Melissa Flowers and Debbie Teal have both completed Modern Floral Design at Benz School in Houston.*****OVN staffer Debbie Fusilier and husband David are enjoying the Florida sun. Debbie enjoys the beach; David is doing some serious girl watching when Deb’s not looking. (Editor’s note: I believe Debbie got pregnant for their first child on that trip. She blamed it on the Florida water.)*****On Friday, June 30, pretty legal secretary Barbara Mulhollan celebrated her birthday. (Editor’s note: Dear Barbara, where have the years gone? We just thought we were getting old back then.)*****Linda Richardson leaves KOGT this week after 15 years at the station.*****Jack Luther was spotted on the biggest darn motorcycle Harley makes and he still dwarfed it. The big guy would dwarf an 18-hand high mule.*****Robyn Lusignan is at Camp Otanya with a host of Orange County beauties.***** Richard “BBRC” Corder is on sick leave at Orange Hospital. He became sick while doing his show Friday. The cause is still unknown. He will undergo tests in Beaumont.***** Betty Jo Spence, editor of the Opportunity Valley News, is doing a great job according to all the response the paper is getting. The “Office Hound” with his “Ear to the Ground” is still getting cakes from the he’ers and she’ers getting caught messing around.*****Thousands turn out to welcome President Jimmy Carter who pays the Triangle a visit.*****Actress Delores Cantu, a West Orange grad, visits her Orange family. Delores makes her home in Hollywood.*****Happy birthday July 5 to Ann Mann and son Robert. Dr. Rod Fisette celebrates on July 5 also Donna Menard has her day on July 6 and Necey Gauthier on July 7.


Terry and Linda Friend of Bridge City recently took in the “Legends in Concert” show at Grand Casino Coushatta in Kinder, La. They enjoyed impersonations of Dolly Parton, Tina Turner and Elvis. The Friends, Port Arthur transplants, have lived in BC six years and have five children. The Record’s Robert Hankins was pleased to meet them while reviewing the program for a Lake Charles magazine.*****If you’re looking for something to do with the kids over the Fourth of July weekend here’s a good suggestion: Club Flech, 4430 Dowlen Road in Beaumont, across from Parkdale Mall. On the back page of this paper there is a half-price coupon for a session of Laser Tag. Lots to do and fun too.*****Congrats to the Rev. Mack and Patsy McDonald, who will celebrate their 50th anniversary July 4. I can’t help but wonder whose idea it was to get married on Independence Day. On July 4 at Rev. Leo’s Apostolic Church they will renew their vows at 6 p.m. A reception will follow.*****Alex and Edith Orta celebrated their 30th on June 30. Edith is thankful Alex has put up with her that long. She better hope his good nature holds up. Congratulations.*****Josette Choate received e-mails from around the globe last week on her story about her son Claysons miracle and so did we.*****I look forward to reading Robert Hankins’ story on Sister Sharon. At one time there were many nuns around Orange. I was surprised to learn that today only one Dominican nun, Sister Sharon, at St. Mary’s 25 years, remains.*****Chad Landry was hired by the Bridge City School Board Monday night to be head baseball coach. Dickie Colburn interviewed Coach Landry and has written a great story. I always enjoy reading the feature stories Dickie writes. It’s easy reading.*****Our longtime buddy Quincy Procell celebrates his 71st birthday this week. It looks like just yesterday he was a 40-year-old tush hog. Even though Father Time has moved him down the line I wouldn’t tackle him today. There are great stories about Quincy and his friends in their heyday.*****Sunday evening Johnny and Darlene Montagne hosted a barbecue goat outing. Even though Darlene is a vegetarian, she is a good sport about it. Buckshot ate his fair share but pretty wife Barbara is his waitress. She also makes great fresh-picked blackberry cobbler. Devra Cormier is always fun to be around, husband Bobby headed home to bed after loading up on goat and all the trimmings. He never lets sundown catch him still awake. Lynwood Sanders assured Bobby it was going to be a Democratic year. Ms. Phyl didn’t allow Roy seconds but you should have seen the first serving he and Johnny stacked on their extra large plates. Roy says it was the most tender, best cooked goat Johnny ever put together. He also put extra effort in the side orders. Every year animals are bought from youngsters at the Fat Stock Show and Montagne cooks them. Hope they don’t buy a donkey. *****Mike Tyson is 42 this week on June 30. Twenty-one years have passed since he won the heavyweight championship. *****Geraldo Rivera will be 65 on July 4; Neil Simon is 81 on the same day. *****Mattie Hubbard Turner, one of 12 children, was born June 29, 1908. Miss Mattie now lives in Beaumont but she left her mark in Vidor doing civic work for more than 60 years. Happy 100. *****West Orange mayor Roy McDonald, a good guy and great public servant celebrates his birthday this week. Best wishes. *****In Iraq the Christian minorities have been brutalized. When it comes to religious freedom Iraq compares to notorious abusers such as Burma, Iran, North Korea and Sudan. Christian leaders have been murdered. There are threats of death if Christian don’t abandon homes and businesses. Churches and places of worship have been destroyed and half of the Christians have fled. In fact, the statue of religious freedom in Iraq is worse today than it was under Saddam Hussein. Seven hundred and forty thousand Christians lived in Iraq now half have been murdered or displaced. Christians find themselves in the cross hairs of faith, inspired violence. The political and social consequences of this oppression will have to be addressed by whoever is elected U.S. president. We have too much invested to let that injustice stand.


Betty Derrick, Charlie Learned, Dian Arnold, Jeff Eby, Lisa Wilson, Maria Garcia, Brennon Mitchell, Brent Kols, Charlsey Flowers, Dana LeJuene, Elizabeth Williams, Mary Martell, Nancy Dupuis, Thomas Findlay, Betty Richard, Jeanne Donahey, Kathy Simmons, Ellen Ray, Kathie Wilson, Katy Maloney, Kellie Derouen, Pat McCombs, Shane Hanks, Susie Bickham, Charlotte Pruter, Billy Boehme, Debbie Moreau, Donna Dohmann, L.J. Braus, Lori Winstead, Makayla Peveto, Tom Arnold, Aaron Myers, Alyson Smith, David May, Denise Mumbach, Edith Peet, Jennifer Martinez, Jerry Wilson, Levy Hartman, James Swan, Devon Caldwell, James Arnett, Jason Barclay, Margie Bean.


Tee-Not Desormeaux ain’t the brightest light on da block him. Tee-Not suspected his wife Alice of cheating on him. He jus wouldn’t be inteminated like dat him. So he goes out to Landry’s Pawn Shop and buys himself a 38 Police Special, Smith and Western pistol.

While Alice taught he was at work, he goes to his house unexpectedly and wen he opens da door he finds Alice all wrapped up in the arms of a big, redheaded woman.

Well, Tee-Not was really angry bout dat him. He pulls out dat 38 gun and as he does so he is overcome with grief over his pretty wife Alice’s strange affair. He takes dat gun and puts it to his head. Alice yells, “No, no honey, don’t do it.”Tee-Not said, “Shut up you, you’re next,”


Another July 4th rolls around and still no progress in the murder of 4-year-old Dannarriah Finley, brutally murdered six years ago on Independence Day. I’ve often wondered why shows like “Cold Case” or “Most Wanted” haven’t picked up on that story.*****As we celebrate this July 4th we are still the world’s greatest country. However, in the eyes of other nations and our own countrymen, we are not as great as we once were. We need a serious makeover, returning to the true intents of our founding fathers. Many of our basic freedoms promised us in the Constitution have been watered down or gone down the drain.*****Celebrate but please do it with care. Too many wrecks and too many drownings. My time is up, but I sincerely thank you for yours. Take care and God bless America.