I paid $2.89 a gallon for gasoline this morning. Back in July when gas was going for over $4 a gallon, we predicted “Big Oil” would drop the price at the pump to under $3 before the Nov. 4 election, probably around mid-October. It didn’t take an Einstein to figure that out. The oil lobbyists want McCain elected. This time I believe the voters are smart enough not to fall for the same gimmick of 2004. After Bush was re-elected, prices shot up. I look for gas prices to go up some after the election but the big increase will come later if McCain is elected. If Democrats take over, watch for a tax avoiding deal to be made with gas at the pump, a steady $3. That’s too much but it beats $5 and $6. Gas Tuesday was going for $2.53 in Oklahoma. When Bush and Cheney took over in 2000 gas at the pump was 98 cents a gallon. *****At least on the surface things are looking better in Bridge City. The clean up is helping. At first glance, a person wouldn’t know that houses are just shells with nothing inside. I’m still amazed that so many people I talk to around the country or even a hundred miles away don’t realize how hard Orange County was hit. We can’t thank the many groups and individuals donating their time to help the rebuilding job enough. It’s just so massive and without their help it would be a lost cause. Roy says that four of his immediate neighbors will not be returning. That is just an example of how many citizens without flood insurance just can’t make things fit. Insurance companies have a strong lobby and have been in bed with the Republican Party for many years. If we can get change in Washington, I look for the Congress to come up with a bill that forces insurance companies to pay for wind driven surge caused by a hurricane. Everyone in Bridge City had hurricane insurance but most didn’t have flood coverage. The bill would be late to help Orange County but in the future they wouldn’t be able to rip the citizens off by saying, “We won’t pay a dime under the water line.”***** I’ve got to get going. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

I was just thinking about how things would have been different if we still had homeboys representing us in federal and state government. If Jack Brooks, Charlie Wilson or the “Blue Dog” Demos were representing us, they would be screaming from the top of the Hill while squeezing nuts. If D-Roy Harrington or Carl Parker were still our state senators, they would fight and scream every day to get the state off their ass and not just offer lip service or photo-ops. They would make home folks a fighting priority. The most important issue facing Texas in the next two years is fair redistricting. We must change the makeup of our congressional representation for Southeast Texas. Being located in the rich Woodlands area is not acceptable. We need a state senator from here at home who really cares about home folks. We could always find D-Roy and Parker. We saw them in our town regularly. Most importantly, in order to accomplish fair districts, we need not to have our county cut in half, leaving us without one strong voice. Our state representative delegation is not only weak but their split vote gets us a net nothing. It is important, in order to get redistricting, that a total of five democrats, out of seven challenged elections, be elected. We will never have a better chance to get things back to the days of Wayne Peveto, Clyde Haynes and Ron Lewis, fighting local guys, in an Orange County district as we have now. If Mike Hamilton is re-elected, he will fight redistricting in order to keep everything as it is on the state and federal level. Mike goes along with Speaker Craddick. He claims seat belts for school buses as his biggie. The truth is that his claims are not true. The seat belts for school buses has never, and will never be funded. It’s a photo-op to run on gimmick. Do you know of any school bus in the state with seat belts besides Beaumont schools that paid for their own. Mike used those for television commercials. He’s pulling our leg. His accomplishment record after three terms is zero. I’m not that happy with the representation of Rep. Joe Deshotel of Beaumont either. When Tom DeLay and the Republicans set up our split district, they also had to create three minority districts so they gave Joe downtown Beaumont, courthouse and Lamar, downtown Port Arthur sub-courthouse and Lamar. Then they drew a line down Texas 87 splitting Bridge City and West Orange; and gave him Orange court house and Lamar. Orange County doesn’t have a voice because, like Kevin Brady and Deshotel, they can lose every vote in Orange County and still be elected. To change the gerrymandering, we must change the House of Representatives. Larry Hunter is not only well-qualified through many years of service but is committed to supporting redistricting that would be fair to county districts. This would break the Houston area congressional and state stranglehold on our people. This vote is our only chance; so don’t fail to do so.

30 Years Ago-1978
Congrats to the L.J. Doucet family of Bridge City on their new arrival, son Landon, born Oct. 9. He weighed in at 9 pounds, 1 ounce. *****Brad Lapeyroerie, a great young guy, turned 10-years-old on Oct. 13. *****Kimberly Dunlap celebrated her 14th birthday. *****Charles Patton hit the half-century mark this week. He celebrated by attending the LSU game. He hasn’t missed a home game in 15 years. (Editor’s note: He would be 80 years old this week. He and wife, Juliet, operated Gravely Tractor for many years.)****Suzanne Halliburton covers LC-M football for the Opportunity Valley News. The Bridge City Cards beat the Bears 13-7 in first district game. Bridge City quarterback Rodney Johnson scored a touchdown on a fourth-down at the one-yard line in the final seconds of the game to give the Cards the win. (Editor’s note: Suzanne, who started her sports writing career with the Dunn family-owned OVN in Orange, is now with the Austin American-Statesman and one of the nation’s top female sports writers. Her career has taken her around the world. The LC-M grad is the daughter of Sue Halliburton and the late Judge Grover Halliburton. I’m not sure if Sue still lives in the area. The Halliburtons are special friends.)*****Judge Sid Callivet celebrated his 86th birthday last week, receiving telegrams from around the country. The big party was held at he and Ms. Dennis’ home. Roy Dunn was host and also served the cake. Former Sheriff Chester Holt attended along with Curry Barton. Banker Elmer Newman looked over to where Joe Blanda, Jimmy Conn, Casey Peveto, Joe Runnels and Henry Stanfield were sitting and said, “That group looks like a meeting of the Mafia.” Conn, with his all white suit sat in the big chair and was dubbed “The Godfather,” with Blanda as his top crime boss. (Editor’s note: No finer men ever walked the streets of Orange. Every day brought a surprise from the happy-go-lucky guys.)*****Jim Gunter wears three hats well. He is a 1956 Stark High grad, from a Pinehurst family of 10 children. He has been an instrument electrical foreman at F.F. Goodrich for 11 years. He also entertains with his “Funny Business,” one-man band each Friday and Saturday at the Fisherman’s Reef. Getting out of the Air Force in 1960, after a four-year hitch, he spent a lot of his time in Shreveport and became an avid fan of the “Louisiana Hayride” attending every Saturday night. His favorite shows were Johnny Horton, Hank Snow, Farron Young, Roger Miller, Johnny Cash and a youngster named Elvis. Gunter said back then Willie Nelson was just a songwriter. About four years ago, in 1974, Gunter began picking and singing with area groups. In 1964 Gunter became a real estate and insurance businessman. He moved to MacArthur Drive in 1973. The Gunter Agency has five full-time employees. (Editor’s note: Jim doesn’t wear three hats anymore but he’s still in the insurance business on Henrietta Street.)*****The Monthly Supper Club’ was hosted by Bill and Martha Hughes. Special guest were Terry and Billie Burns. *****Debbie Fusilier went to work for the OVN when she was 15. She celebrates her 21st birthday Oct. 24. She has mastered every aspect of producing a weekly paper. (Editor’s note: Debbie married David, has three grown children and they are now grandparents. Deb still works for The Record Newspapers and still does excellent work. Her eldest son, David Jr., with the Air Force, is headed to Saudi Arabia. He has been in Iraq and the Middle East.)

Our friend Cal Broussard has been to the Pearly Gate and back. Monday he underwent surgery to remove a spur so he will be able to swallow, something he hasn’t done in two months. That was his seventh trip to the operating table. The procedure was a success. His belly is still open and pancreas treatments are working. With good luck, Cal will be transferred from Houston to Mid-County sometime next week. He’s lost a lot of weight and his strength will determine when he can be transferred. What a tough guy. Our prayers are with him. *****I need a trip to Florida for some R&R. The beautiful Florida golden coast with it’s white sandy beaches will never be the same again if drilling is permitted off the coast like the Repubs representing “Big Oil” want to do. Florida’s beaches will look like Texas beaches from now on. There goes the tourist trade. Why doesn’t “Big Oil” just drill on the 63,000 leases they now have in the Gulf without screwing up the only pretty beaches left? “Big Oil” wants a bill passed now before they are thrown out of the White House come Jan. 21, 09. *****Van Choate tells us Tuffy’s Restaurant in Mauriceville will be totally remodeled and ready to re-open in January. The restaurant will have a new look and new menu. Meanwhile, Van is operating the Hushpuppy Restaurant in Bridge City and providing great food and a break from crisis. *****I might have given you the wrong number last week for Steamco, the company that can save you a lot of problems with mold down the line. They will dehumidify your place and make it as dry as a cracker. (See ad inside.)*****While in Mauriceville there is a great little place to eat called Fledderjohn’s on Texas 12. Nice folks too. A family restaurant with big nightly dinner buffet loaded with goodies. Friday night is seafood night. Eat up for only $13.99 per adult. *****Some BCISD families have gotten together and are urging everyone to offset the Ike debris by decorating their trailers or tents for Halloween. That’s the spirit. *****Doug Harrington brought by some fresh roasted goobers from the peanut country. Boy, they are good. He said he brought them for our bird “Creaux.” That bird will never see those. He’ll have to settle for Wal-Mart nuts. Don Harmon and I will handle these goobers. *****We have received many e-mails. The following is one from Forrest and Shelba Forse. “Before Hurricane Ike, myself and my wife evacuated to Jackson, Miss., and we want to express our appreciation for your blog during and after the storm. You were a very valuable source of information for us about conditions in Orange County. We are also faithful readers of your Penny Record. Keep up the good work. Thanks.”*****A few folks from the Wednesday Lunch Bunch have been getting together and until further notice, the Bunch will meet / eat at Robert’s at noon Wednesdays. Everyone is welcome. *****Free want ads until the end of October are offered to help our neighbors sell, trade or buy items. Call us at 735-5305. We reach over 45,000 readers with The County Record and The Penny Record. *****We were sorry to hear about the death of Charles Spradlin. He was a great guy. To brother “Sprad” and his family we send our sincere condolences. *****Around the nation: T-Boone Pickins has written a new book, “The First Billion is the Hardest.”*****Colin Powel endorses Obama and says Palin is not qualified and he thinks Obama will surround himself with good people. *****G.M. and Chrysler push for a deal before the presidential election. ***** Ford is seeking to sell all or part of it’s stake in Japan’s Mazda. *****Obama has raised $604 million from 3.1 million donors. He spoke to 100,000 people in St. Louis Sunday. *****A report says 64 percent of 18-year-olds to 24-year-old folks are stressed to the limit. Also old folks are stressed.

“I was blessed to do volunteer relief work in Bridge City and Orange this past weekend. I live in Long Beach, Miss., on the Gulf Coast. My trip to your area brought back many painful memories. I recall the feelings of depression and hopelessness that can occur several months after a major hurricane. Three years post-Katrina our area has made a major recovery. We still have issues but with help from the government, insurance industry and volunteers, we are on our way. You will be too. Don’t give up. Know you are in the prayers of folks all across this great country. You will be blessed with gifts from volunteers from all across the most generous nation in the world. Fred Walker.” *****Fred is right about volunteers. He’s wrong about the insurance companies and government helping. Church groups like the Watters Road Church of Christ from Pasadena, Valverde Baptist in Groves and other Christian groups have been a godsend. Also, Sunday nothing was shaking in Bridge City but the Red Cross came by and fed six workers that needed a meal. In Bridge City, the Red Cross says they will be around as long as folks need feeding. The Churches of Christ at the Community Center, is such a big help in many ways. Ice is hard to come by but they usually have it with the other commodities. Don’t forget time is running out to apply with SBA. The deadline is Nov. 12.

Anita Green, Brad Childs, Cory Moreau, Sarah Halliburton, John-Cecil Beeson, Marguerite Mahfouz, Becky Carter, Bill Butler, Brian Prevost, Bryan Chauvin, Eldon Pendergast, Eric Brinson, Jewel Merchant, Jimmy Byrd, Laqueta McLellan, Lisa Stewart, Pat New, Sara Etheredge, Sarah Halliburton, Shery Martz, Thomas Fleming, Brandy Cardner, Danny Jennings, Debbie Fusilier, Lainey Zenos, Larry Myers, Ron Batchelor, Tammy Scales, Victoria Brown, Dale Morris, Darren Wilson, Marilyn Fonthieu, Ramona Scott, Ramona Valentine, Connie Curphey, Mary Chamblee, Rachel Sanders, Tanner George, Connor Ziller, Deedra Wilson, Don Cummings, Geneva Buker, Hunter Smith, Brent Burch, David Dupuis, John Lumpkin, Nathan Coffey, Pierce Butler, Ronna Dickman and Ronnie Moerbe.

Cajuns remembered at the Alameaux.
We’ve got a lot of heritage, us Cajuns.
A little known fact is dat we got people who fought in da battle of de Amameaux. Remember de Alameaux? Daniel Boudreaux was dere and Davy Crochet, too. Jim Bowie, him, he used to live in Opelousas.
The Alameaux had a bell on top of de front wall, jus’ like Toco Bell.
Santa Anna, him, an his troops went riding’ out of de gates, hooting and hollering, but den they hear a voice dat come from de Alameaux.
“Wath dar?” say Santa Anna. Looking back he saw sitting on top of da bell was a little Cajun yelling at dem.
“Hey, where you goin’ you? Me, I t’ought you wanted a fight. Come back here and fight.”
Santa Anna turned to his men, “Colonel, take two men and go back dere and finish him off.”
So tree men on de horseback, dey go back to de Alameux. De doors open and den dey close. Den, boy, all kind of noise. De doors, dem open and tree hoss come back out wit’ no men.
Again de little Cajun man, him, jump on da bell and yell “Heeeyy, T-Boy! Where you go, you? Me, I t’ought you wanted to fight.”
“Lieutenant, take five men and go back in dere and finish him off,” Santa Anna ordered.
So, dem, dey go back to de Alameaux. De doors, dem, dey open, dey close. Man, dere is all kind of noise. Den de gates open and six hoss come running out.
Once again, the little Cajun man jump on de bell and he holler, “Come fight, you!”
So Santa Anna, him, he send five mo’ men to take care of the Cajun. De doors, dem, open and close. Den right away, like dat, dey open again. De colonel, him, he come running out fast-fast, and him he’s yelling, “Hoooo-eee! Kee-yaw! Boy it’s a trap, General. They got two of dem yo-yo’s in dere!”

The large corporations, including Hearst Newspapers, owned by one of the largest communiations companies in America, have endorsed the Republican candidates. The little man doesn’t have a voice and that’s what I’m trying to do. The middle and working class have a stake in our government and deserve to be heard. For the past eight years they have been driven downward. Now that the failed economic policies have brought on hard times the struggle gets harder. The views and opinions in this column are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of this publication. I feel strongly that the working class deserves to know what the facts are as I know them. Only you, the voter, can make the changes that stop the train we are on that is going in the wrong direction. We may not change things but at least with our vote we can send a message that we are tried of being stepped on. Early voting is in progress now. Bridge City doesn’t have a box but you can vote at Winfree Baptist Church. Please do so. *****Read us cover to cover and shop the good people who bring you this paper. Take care and God bless.