I thought Neighbor Cox could weave a few yarns mornings at the old Creaux’s Nest, but he doesn’t hold a candle to this bunch at our present quarters at Harmon’s Pre-Owned Cars. Some mornings around here you have to roll your pants legs up. There are some real whoppers told. Most mornings Preston Fuller or “Cornbread” Yarbrough has the floor. On the other hand, there’s some real knowledge around here. I’ve learned a lot, especially from Glenn Oliver, a smart successful man. Smarts alone won’t get it, how successful is the true gage. Of course Donnie Harmon, who graduated from Notre Dame in just three years, is no dummy, and the computer keeps him up to the minute. He has good perception and comprehension of what he reads. His dad Don, I believe, recalls every customer and car he’s sold over the last 60 years. Corky remembers every female customer. Punch drunk Eddie Sutton has the best stories. He lived them but has been absent lately. A great bunch. My dad told me it was nice to have a lot of friends but I should try to have a few with money. That’s why I hang with these guys. Of course, Oliver could buy us all out for what we think we’re worth and lose money on what we are really worth on a resale and never miss it. (Editor’s note: If you guys are worth so much, why does Howard Fisher have to buy the doughnuts?)*****Now listen up, next Wednesday (April 8) the Wednesday Lunch Bunch will celebrate their 13th anniversary. Van Choate, who hasn’t opened his Tuffy’s Restaurant yet, will host the private party and furnish the vittles. Chris Gunn will take the official picture of the group that will hang in the all-new restaurant. A special room will be set aside for the group’s gatherings. Van plans to open the restaurant to the public the day after Easter. You’ll love how it looks and also the great menu. *****I’ve got to move on. I’d appreciate it if you’d climb on board and come along; I promise it won’t do you no harm.

GM chief Rick Wagoner steps down as part of a plan to provide more aid to automakers. The chairman and chief executive, at the behest of the White House, resigned. Under Wagoner, the past nine years, GM’s financial condition has deteriorated. In his years at the helm, GM has lost $68 billion and the company’s stock value has declined 95 percent. Monday, President Obama announced his plan to restructure the auto industry. In the fall of 2008, the Bush administration gave GM $13.4 billion and Chrysler $4 billion. On Feb. 17, both companies submitted restructuring plans including GM’s request of $16.6 billion in more aid and Chrysler asking for $5 billion.

A painful restructuring looms as the White House moves to save automakers. Obama blamed a failure of leadership by both Washington and Detroit. Obama gave GM 60 days under its new leadership. Fritz Henderson will be the new CEO. Chrysler has just 30 days to complete it’s proposed deal with Fiat or else its federal funding will dry up. The clock is ticking. Chrysler also has to cut its debt, pacify the union workers and show after those moves that it can make money. The government will back warranties if either files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Legislation pending in congress would offer incentives of up to $5,000 for vehicles that are more than eight years old and are traded in for a new vehicle that gets good gas mileage. Obama said the new car tax break in the stimulus package covers cars purchased between Feb. 16 and the end of 2009. Sales and excise taxes can be taken as an above-the-line deduction.

The way I see it, if the cards fall in place, it will be great for the car buyer and the new car dealer. GM makes the world’s best autos. I don’t see any way that they will go under. Chrysler is also making the best vehicles they have made in years. If they can merge, Obama will let them have $4 billion. It’s tough love that hopefully will turn the trick. Baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet are things that shouldn’t go away.

35 Years Ago-1974

Happy birthday to Laverne Ridley, born under the sign of Aries (the Devil’s children.) (Editor’s note: Laverne still lives in Victory Gardens although Ike destroyed her home. She is still a beautiful woman and the life of the party. Her husband Hal passed away some years ago and she lives near her children.)*****Betty Harmon and a whole mess of kids are heading to West Texas for the Easter holidays. They are traveling in the Harmon Co. house on wheels. *****Buzzy Gunn has lost 20 pounds, but when Dayle asked him what he was doing with his hand in the cookie jar he answered, “Just fighting temptation.”*****J.K. proclaims that Roy Dunn and Doug Harrington are comedians. *****Sue Collins had surgery this week. *****Inez Hearn is the new manager of Montgomery Ward in Orange. (Editor’s note: This lovely lady lives in Bridge City and a few months ago celebrated a birthday that doesn’t put her too far away from 90.)*****Brides of the week: Marilyn Wallace will become the bride of Gary Richard on March 31; Debbie Hawk is bride elect of Duane Johnson, wedding will be April 4; Karen Boehme, bride-elect of Marion Kent Crow, wedding April 6; Janice Steed will wed Martin Thomen, April 6*****The Orangefield High School band was awarded the UIL special award for superior performance in concert and sight reading. John Fling, band director, said this is the first time in the history of the Orangefield School that a group earned a superior rating at any UIL marching concert or sight-reading contest.

30 Years Ago-1979
Bridge City High School has named David Dutschmann valedictorian. Ted Spurlock is salutatorian and Carlette Bevil highest-ranking girl. (Editor’s note: I always wonder what becomes of extra bright students and what they do with their lives. I don’t know that I’ve heard anything about the above-mentioned students in the past 30 years.)*****The home of Mr. and Mrs. Curney Lormand burns down in Bridge City. *****Little Angela Lapeyrolerie celebrated her second birthday a few days ago, on March 25. (Editor’s Note: She’s a big girl now in 2009.)*****The fundraiser basketball game between the Houston Oilers and Bridge City coaches on April 15 will feature BC coaches Al Barbre, Randy Arnaud, Charles Miller and Terry Stuebing, (you’re kidding). Others taking part are Tom Wolley, Barry Thibodeaux, Bruce Taylor, Sid Bratton and Randy Goodsey. *****Mauriceville Junior High Panthers are district champions. Team members are Wayne Fredrick, Grey Perry, Danny Pearcy, George Shannon, Adam Vincent, Quain Benoit, Kenny Russell, Keith Burton, James Rash, Robert Hindt, Roger Gaudet, Blake Barillieaux and Billy Dunn. (Editor’s note: I know there was bound to be one Dunn). Coach of the team is E.R. Procelle. *****Bridge City’s “Mock Beauty Pageant” held to pick “Miss Community Center” was won by Miss LaDonna, (Donald Breaux). Tootsie, (Don Cole), was crowned First Place Overall, Fanny Bar, (Tim Lieby), won first in evening gown. Not winning anything were Little Miss Egypt, (Troy Broussard), Miss Latina La Muach, (Terry Bourdier), Miss Geraldine, (Curtis Lee), Miss Charming Charmane, (Charlie Johnson) and Miss Trixie Delight, (Steve Baker). Judges were C.R. Nash, Don Burgess, Sharon Gregory, Dot Eshbach, Bill Van, Winnie Sanders and Troy Woodall. “The Ugliest Man in the World,” according to the National Enquirer, Gene Goza, presented the awards and sang the theme song, “Miss Community Center.”

We were sorry to hear about the death of Watson Harrison Collins, 100 years of age. On May 12, he would have been 101. I recall many years ago when he and wife Ida Mae and the family lived at the cross road in Rye. In the mid-1990s, the couple moved to Bridge City. Mrs. Collins passed away some time back. They were the parents of Ellen Nickum and her siblings, Kenneth, Betty, Harold and Carolyn. Mr. Collins died March 27. Services were Monday. He was a good man and a servant of God. May he rest in peace. Please see obits. *****Our sympathy goes out also to the family of J.R. Aaron, 73, who passed away March 25 after a long battle with cancer. J.R., a Stark High grad, was a lifelong resident of Orange County and a DuPont retiree. He was a volunteer deputy constable for Pct. 2 and a reserve with the sheriff department program. Our condolences to wife Evelyn and her family on the death of this courageous man. Please see obits.

It’s hard to believe 10 years have gone by already since Coach Les Johnson resigned as athletic director and head football coach at Bridge City. At the time he was the fifth active most winning coach in Texas. Some of his 1999 seniors, who were awarded football scholarships, are Dustin Denham, Jared Williams, Dathan Juneau, Jeremy Stoffa, Daniel Kibodeaux, Eric Bramblett, Raun Bryant, Bryan Wiggins, Brad Miller, Jeremy Buckley and Charlie Higginbotham. The previous year Bryan Bock and a half-dozen others got scholarships. In Johnson’s four years, 26 scholarships were awarded to his players. His departure was based on local politics. Today Coach Johnson is with the Austin school system. He and wife Wanda live in Bastrop. His coordinators, Rick Colson and Darrell Brock, are still active, successful coaches. Johnson coached the “Wing T” offense and did it successfully. Bridge City was in 4-A then. Johnson, in his four years tripled student participation in all sports. *****After being named Citizen of the Year by the Bridge City Chamber, Mayor Kirk Roccaforte was honored again by being named the Orange Leader’s Citizen of the Year. Roccaforte, along with Judge Carl Thibodeaux and Bridge City Superintendant Jamey Harrison, all of Orange County, are nominees, as a team, for the Press Club Newsmaker of the Year. Other nominees are Anne Huff, Joe Worley, David Deslatte, Judge Bob Wortham and photographer Keith Carter. Huff is the first woman fire chief of Beaumont. She is only one of 36 female fire chiefs in the United States. Pastor Worley and Deslatte are members of the Groves First Baptist Church that came up with the idea of “Mid-County Kindness,” benefiting Bridge City residents. The Press Club scholarship banquet will be June 5. *****Quality Road, a young colt on the path to the Derby. Last Saturday, the colt set a track record in the Florida Derby. Owner-breeder Edward Evans turned down $2.5 million for Quality Road. The pony is ridden by jockey John Velazques. Look for this horse to be a favorite in the next Kentucky Derby. Will it be a Triple Crown winner? Not likely but just maybe. *****Clothing giveaway: The Trading Post Ministry of Family Worship Center, 2300 41st. St. (across from the Brown Center, has free clothing, infant to plus sizes and free shoes for men, women and children. Donations will be distributed from the rear of the building on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please call 866-1100. ***** Under a bill, approved 20 to 11 by the senate, the government is attempting to walk all over our civil liberties with sobriety stops allowing police to set up road blocks and force drunk driving suspects to give blood or breath samples. It also unanimously passed a separate bill aimed at forcing compliance from motorist who initially refuses to give samples. The bill is working its way through the house. Roadblocks sound like a Gestapo action to me because while they have you stopped, a total shake down begins. We have a right to privacy in our autos unless we are violating traffic laws. *****Back during election time, when gas at the pump got so low, I told you in this column not to buy into it, that gas would be up to $2 a gallon by summer. I also told you that it would never again go over $3 under the democratic administration and I still believe that. ***** Let me tell you about two good ole boys, Doug and Donnie, the Gold Dust Twins at Southern Glass in Orange. They don’t only know glass; they are experts at working with glass and mirrors. Take any old mirror and they will make it look modern with bevels and polishing. I’ve seen their amazing work. They are quick and don’t put you off a month plus, they are down home folks. Give them a call and ask for those two birds. We guarantee you’ll be pleasantly pleased. *****A big hit on tobacco taxes from 39 cents a pack to $1.01 a pack on cigarettes. Nearly $6 a pack for national brands. If you smoke three packs a day, you could make a Cadillac note a month, around $6,500 a year. Roll up 10 $1 bills and smoke them every day instead of cigarettes and save $8 a day. *****I still believe Danny Gokey will win American Idol. I knew that Jasper’s Michael Sarver wouldn’t make it pass the top six. I was surprised he was the first to go. He’s still better off than if he had never competed. He will make $2,000 to $5,000 on tour for 54 shows. *****If you want some great fried catfish visit our friends at Bridge City KC Hall every Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those Cajun boys know how to make their specially seasoned catfish mouth watering. Stop by and tell ‘um Breaux and Creaux sent you.*****We ran into our longtime friend, Jude Duhon Turley. We go back to when we were young folks.  A legal secretary, Jude is working for nervous Jack at John Cash Smith Law Office. Jude has had hip replacement that slowed her down but she’s still pretty and sweet. *****Sunday evening, April 19, First Christian Church, Ninth Street and Cypress Avenue in Orange, will honor its youth with a banquet and program. Roger Hinshaw, new defensive coordinator for Lamar football, will be the speaker. He held the same job at Rice for years. Rev. Andy Pate, church pastor, and Coach Henshaw go back 30 years when he coached Rev. Pate’s son at Newton County High School in Georgia. It should be a great evening. The coach is an inspirational speaker and member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Al DeRoche, Rebecca Halbert Hunter, Elizabeth Weir, James Williams, Steve Adams, Allison Asbury, Angie Sellers, Barbara Riddick, Vickie Foreman, Dalica Marie Bienivides, Ed McCracken, Ed Whitrock, Jason Vincent, Kellie Fontenot, Kent Pierce, Mack McDonald, Margaret Richter, Michael McAllister, Mikayla Kohn, Nevella Toal, Sawyer Hogan, Arline Dodge, Walter Terry, Desirea Wilson, Eddie Asbury, Geoff Rendall, Lannie Claybar, Linda Currie, Alan Anderson, Hillary Benefield, Hovel Chandler, Jason Ballard, Jeremy Simmons, Joe Peery, Kathie Dorman, Kirk Jordan, Mike Callahan, Rose Cormier, Sandra McRight, Shiloh Walker, Spencer Johns, Travis Primrose, Brandie Fowler, Dan Domas, Niki Viola, Janet Bland, Libby Harrison, Lisa Coffey, Nancy McWhorter, Race Dearborne, Cora Woodard, Cyndie Chauvin, David Blanton, Helen Locklin, James Bourdier, Jean Saxon, John Green, Shirley Hayes, Bob Cummings and Brenda McPherson.

A letter from Cusin SostanDear Simple,I hope everyting is OK in Texas. I hope me, y’all making progress on da Ike damage.Not much going on here is Sou’h Looseanna. Honey Bee’s blond sister, Nadine, pushed her new BMW into Dartez’s gas station. She told Dartez dat her car, it died. After he work on it for a few minute it was runing smoot’ly. “Jus a little crap in it,” said Dartez. Nadine axe him, “How often do I have to do dat?”Da utta day da police stopped da blond Nadine and he axe her, very nice, if he could see her license, him. Nadine in a huff said, “I wish you darn people would get you act together. Just last week you take away my license and now you expect me to show it to you.”Sugar Bee is ashame to tell people Nadine is her sister. She bought two dogs her and named dem Rolex and Timex. Me, I said. “Nadine, dats stupid, whoever heard of some one naming dogs like dat. Why you do dat, hanh?” Nadine say, “Because dem, dey watchdogs.”I ran into our cusin Ned Breaux at da Wal-Mart at da jewelry section. I noticed dat he had a small gift-wrapped box in his hand. I axe, “Wat you got dere Cuz?” He answer, “It was time for me to buy my Clotile’s birthday present and dis morning I axe her wat she want me to get her.” “Anyting, as long as it got a lot of diamonds in it,” she tole me. So wat you done got her Cuz,” I axe. Cuzin Ned him, he grin like a possum and reply, “Me, I got her a deck of cards.”Well, I got to go get Nadine out of jail her. Tell Kee-Kee, LuLu and old man Cox hello. Also, if you see Joseph Savignano, tell him and his bride “Hi.”Your Cuz Sostan. C’EST TOUTFresh vegetables are starting to come in from some local gardeners so if you like fresh fruit or vegetables some will be available every Saturday in April. Farmer’s Market will open at Lion’s Park in Orange, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. As the month moves along, more produce will become available. I can’t wait for a fresh, ripe-on-the-vine tomato. Boy, aren’t those imitations you buy at the store bad, hard and without taste. The more of you who show up, the more successful the market will be.*****Next Sunday (April 5) is Palm Sunday, a big day for Catholics. The following Friday is Good Friday. The Friday before Easter is also the first day of Passover. I will always remember the good Jewish pastry we got from Dr. Arlene Turkel. So, next week is indeed a Holy Week.***** You don’t want to miss our next week’s paper. We have some great surprises for you. Please shop with out family of advertisers; they keep us coming your way free of charge. Gotta go now, take care and God bless.