I don’t like the cold that has come this week but it’s nothing compared to the cold winter of my youth when ice cycles were everywhere. We complain when it’s cold and when it’s hot. We complain about most everything but there’s always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look. For example, just awhile ago I was looking in the mirror and got to thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt. Some folks I know try to turn back their odometer. Not me, I want people to know why I look like this. I’ve traveled a long way, not as far as Neighbor Cox, but most of my roads weren’t paved. When you reach Cox and my age you stop lying about it and start bragging. Being young is beautiful but being old is comfortable. I have noticed that as my friends get older they forget names, then they forget faces. “Who’s that?” they ask. Then they forget to pull up their zipper. Someone is always saying, “George, you’re unzipped.” It’s far worse when they reach the point where they forget to zip down. Cox and I lived through the results of Hoover’s Great Depression and George W. Bush’s Great Recession. We survived Rita but it was the storm Ike, named after another Republican that has done our community and us the worse harm. Cox and I never thought we would ever live long enough to see a black dude become president of the United States but if we make it a few more days to Jan. 20, we will have witnessed another page in life’s history book. A black with a strange name, Barack Obama, the 44th president and commander-in-chief. Now ain’t that something? My bet is despite the heavy load left him he will right the course of our country, and when he leaves office eight years from now we, at home and abroad, will be great again. The worse blow for Cox and Ms. Virginia is that daughter Karen and husband Keith, who lived across the street, had to move far away to the Oklahoma-Kansas border. Keith, after 20 years, was caught in the Chevron layoff. Karen was a school teacher at Hatton. Cox will really miss Kegan, the youngest grandson. He enjoyed seeing all three of his grandsons raised and he gave them a special interest in music. Sometimes you think you have life all planned then here come the unexpected. I feel for the Cox’s but I also feel for Karen, who was there to look after her parents. She’s also the only one who could handle hard-headed Cox. Well, so goes life. We get a lot of stuff we don’t wish for.*****I’ve gotta go. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

35 Years Ago-1974
A.J. Romero, who never caught a bass that weighed much over a pound, caught a six-pound bass over the weekend. He said it took him five years and $10,000 to finally catch a big bass. *****Gordon “Barefoot” Baxter marries Diane, an airline stewardess. *****Little Cypress-Mauriceville head coach Jim Crossland offered the defensive co-coordinator’s job with the Chicago Fire pro football organization in the new World Football League to start next season. *****Jewel Bearden didn’t get a new gun, she got a new son-of-a-gun. Jim Sharon Bearden Jr., was born Jan. 3. He has an older brother, 2-year old Tyler. They are the sons of Carol and Sharon Bearden. *****Joe Runnels always refused to fly but was finally convinced to. While waiting for departure he bought a $50,000 insurance policy out of the machine. He then stepped on one of those weight scales at the airport that gives fortune cards. The message read, “Present investment may pay big dividends.” Joe cashed in his plane ticket and headed home to Orange. *****Vivian Holbrook and Vivian Morrow both celebrate birthdays. *****Katherine Griggs and Herbie Dees both retire. *****Harmon Chevrolet is selling a new 1974 Chevy custom-cab pickup for $2,750. *****Pinehurst Judge Larry Gunter, 43, has announced as a candidate for Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2. He is married to Geneva (Scales) Gunter. Larry served as communications officer for the sheriff’s department under Chester Holts from 1958 to 1969. *****County Clerk Sallie Frazier announced for reelection. She was first elected in 1970 and has worked in the office since 1941. She became chief deputy in 1950.

50 Years Ago-1959
Gulf States Utilities near Bridge City will build a new multi-million-dollar power plant. *****Shon Hudson promoted to vice president at First National Bank. He’s been with the bank since 1939. *****Construction to began for new Orange Savings and Loan building. *****Attorney Roger Conway will serve in the absence of Judge Sid Caillavet, who is confined at home due to illness. *****Fred Hryhorchuk is the first full-time deputy sheriff for south Newton County. He lives in Deweyville. The Jack Tar Hotel marks its second anniversary with a two-day celebration.

Last week the Wednesday Lunch Bunch got back together at Robert’s after a long holiday layoff. For the time being, the “Bunch” will dine at Robert’s each week. Everyone is welcome. ***Last week pretty Babbette brought her hubby, new Pct. 3 Constable Mark Philpott. ***Sheriff’s Capt. Janois Strause was accompanied by her husband Pct. 2 Constable Rob Strause.. ***Constable of Pct. 1, Chris Humble and Pct. 4 Constable Weldon Peveto came without their brides. ***Commissioner Owen Burton left beautiful Nelda at home. What a shame. ***The new High Sheriff Keith Merritt was called back to the office so Marlene attended alone. Like All State, she was in good hands. ***Judge Janice Menard reported work has finally started on her house. ***The Indian Chief “Chocise” Shockley was traveling alone but didn’t have any scalps on his belt. ***Rev. Leo was all smiles showing his new set of choppers. ***Judge Claude Wimberley asked for the latest report on everyone’s friend, Cal Broussard. Roy reported he’s back at St. Luke’s and doing better. ***Joel Steirman gave an assessment of what is going on in the Gaza Strip. ***Jerry Wimberley paid tribute to his Record Newspaper carrier Frances Hogg for the great job she does keeping his weekly paper dry. ***Wilson Roberts was his same old self, always pumping for information. He thinks he’s still a detective. ***Corky drug Sprad to the lunch after he had to hunt him down. It was Sprad’s turn to pay. On those Wednesdays he hides. ***Judge Derry Dunn and Joe Parkhurst took the opportunity to talk shop with Judge Janis. ***Judge Thibodeaux was having tests run at the hospital. Absent also was Commissioner John Dubose, who was at a seminar. ***We don’t know where the new commissioner David Dubose was. It would be nice if he would invite Ms. Harriet. ***Dee Aven was playing hooky. She was out chasing wolves. This time, the four-legged kind. ***David Peck and several other lawmen were in Houston attending the funeral of a Union Boss who did a lot of work in Orange County.. ***If I missed anyone, blame Dunn, he left me the list and quotes. *****Congrats to new Bridge City Police Chief Paul Davis. He was raised in BC, as was his wife, Kim. They have always maintained a home there and Kim is employed at Bridge City Bank. Paul is a retiring major with the Texas Department of Public Safety who had been assigned to Austin after being in Beaumont for years. The new job allows him to stay put right here at home. His appointment caught some people by surprise.*****Make plans to attend the big 22nd Annual Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame show (formerly the Janis Joplin Birthday Bash) will be Feb. 7 at the Port Arthur Civic Center. The talented Amby Martin, originally from Nederland and now of New York, has been invited to appear again as Janis. She can really belt a song and would do Janis proud. A lot of other great acts will appear also. Save $5 by getting your tickets now at The Penny Record, 333 Roundbunch, in Bridge City, the County Record, 320 Henrietta, next to Harmon Used Cars in Orange or call 886-7183 for directions. Tickets are $25 in advance. Children admitted free. *****We received a lot of response from our J.B. Arrington story in The County Record last week. It’s due to run in The Penny Record this week. Look for it. J.B. brings you back to the past. *****Lucy Hanks, wife of Starks’ Mayor Rene’ visited us last week to run a memorial for her dad. Her granddaughter, Erin Hanks will be 30 Jan. 17. I didn’t think her mother Pattie was much older than that. Anyway, Erin shares a birthday with two winners, Muhammad Ali, 67, and actor James Earl Jones, 78. I recall I saw the fight when Ali was just 21 and won the heavyweight championship. He beat “The Big Bear” Sonny Liston. ****Longtime Constable John Ford, now retired, will be honored with a reception in Judge Parkhurst’s courtroom on the first floor of the Orange County Court House, 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16. Everyone is invited. Ford is the longest serving elected peace officer in county history. *****Also on Friday, beginning at 5 p.m. at Orange’s VFW Hall, Sheriff Keith Merritt and the Sheriff’s Department employees will hold an appreciation feed from 5 to 8 p.m. and dance from 5 to midnight. Plenty of barbecue, gumbo and other great food will be served. No charge, just bring yourself and favorite girl if you wish. *****The Texas lawmakers are back in session, faced with a $9 billion revenue drop. College tuition has gone up 53 percent in the five years since tuition deregulation. Sen. Tommy Williams has joined in with a bipartisan coalition of senators on a bill that would freeze tuition rates for two years. *****The House has a new speaker and Republicans hold a two-vote majority. *****The close vote will force both parties to bargain more. One more election and the House could very well go Democratic. The most pressing issue in the next two years will be redistricting. Both state and federal boundaries must be changed if country folks will have fair and equal representation. We have been screwed for 10 years by Rick Perry and Tom DeLay’s unlawful redistricting shoved down our throats. Something to look forward to: I bet Perry gets the short end of fund raising in the show down with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. GOP contributors will see Perry as overstaying his welcome. Kay will get the money. Kay’s election with a democratic Texas house would be a good thing. *****We were sorry to hear about the death of Lynn Harper, age 71, on Jan. 9. We will long remember the good times at Harper Valley when Granny Harper was alive. Lynn and Milly, the best waitress to serve a meal, were married over 50 years. They were a hard working couple that loved friends and family. Lynn was a good man. May he rest in peace? ****

Mel Campbell, Rob Fisher, Tommy Thompson, Carson Peet, Joy Hughes, Margaret Cavanaugh, Tyler Reves, Dee Culpepper, Jerry Ashby, John Green III, Matthew Lee, Milly Arnold, Tanner Wilson, Bob Couser, Bonny Sarver, Dylan Huckeba, Mary Louise McKee, Misti Jagoe, Tara Thompson, Virginia Sanford, James Crabtree, Jimmy Whittle, John Michael Foote, Lisa Costilla, Michael Amsden, Brenna Manasco, Gloria Bertrand, Joy Gilliam, Steve Griffith.

A letter from Cuzzin Sostin
Dear Cuz,
A line to let you know wat’s going on wit our people in Sout Louisiana. Sugar Bee went wit Uncle Joe to make his last will and testimony. He tole lawyer Trahan to jus say, “Being of sound mind and jolly disposition, I blew it all me.”
Did you know dat Charlie LeBlanc’s boy, Coo-Coo, died from drinking milk? Da cow fell right on his face.
Uncle Clovis Meaux moved his house back bout 75-feet to take da shack out of his clothesline.
Nelson Comeaux jus got back from New Jersey. He says he learned dere’s a connection between da Mafia and Gay Lib. Now wen dey get da kiss of dea’h, it includes dinner and dancing.
Sugar Bee has been trying to make me eat better. Da only problem is every ting I like me, Sugar Bee says cause tumors in mice. I told her I wasn’t a mice me, she said it cause da same ting in a big rat.
Cuz, I horsed around in my youth me to acquire some fine nightmares today. Sugar Bee says I sleep with a smile on my face. My neighbor Dartez says da reason we can’t get a good half-sole job on our shoes is because now-a-days, all da good leather is going into steaks.
Tings are really bad in da country. Bush has left us a lot to worry bout. If you’re a born worrier like Sugar Bee, boy were you ever born at da right time.
Dat’s all from here, tell Kee-Kee, LuLu and Neighbor Cox to hang in der’e da new storm season is still six mou’hs away.
Take care,
Your Cuz, Sostan.

Important: If you are shopping at Walgreen’s in Bridge City, please tell them you don’t appreciate them not supporting your home town newspaper. They are advertising everywhere but with us. I’m sure some Yankees up north are making that decision. They have no idea The Penny Record has been the hometown newspaper for 50 years. It and The County Record are the most popular papers in the county, read by more people then all the other papers combined. Bridge City has been devastated; many of our former advertisers are out of business. We need all the help we can get to keep publishing this paper. If hometown business doesn’t help us, it will be hard to make it. We give the best value and most reach for the buck. I’m not trading at Walgreen’s until they trade with our hometown paper. We pay 23 employees and spend our money at home. We deserve someone to tell those Yankees they are missing the best bet in local advertising. It’s just plain aggravating. Maybe they will see the light. *****I’d better get out of here. Roy’s off sick with the crud so I told him to put Vick’s rub on the soles of his feet to stop that cough. Our response to Vick’s rub has been mostly good, some people didn’t get much help or it was short lived. I still say it works best for coughs. *****Thanks for your time. Please shop the folks who bring you this paper and let those who don’t know they should. I hope you stay well. Take care and God bless.Enter your body text here.