Forty-nine years have rolled around since Walter Gaston published the first Penny Record, Bridge City and Orangefield’s own newspaper. Over the years it has been the messenger and voice of the homefolks of those communities. The publication has remained very popular with a readership that approaches 90 percent of all homes. It’s really the only vehicle that reaches the vast majority of the consumers.
Its sister paper, The County Record, is also very popular, well-accepted and looked for in the greater Orange area communities as well as outlining area. The papers offer a buy one, get one free to all advertisers. Buy any size ad, in either paper, at one low cost and it will run in both, reaching 45,000 readers. There is no greater bargain of high reach, low price anywhere in Texas.
Advertising alone supports these newspapers and for 49 years advertisers have enabled us to deliver a free paper to every citizen’s home, plus over 4,000 copies are distributed in stores. Thanks to our family of advertisers, who make it possible. Our locally-owned businesses in Orange County have been our backbone throughout the years. However, things have gotten more difficult and expensive. In order to continue at our present large distribution we must solicit your help. Please suggest us to any chain store or business you patronize. Also, give a word of thanks to any of the good people who put their advertising message inside these pages. We hope we can hold on and know, with your help, we can be here to celebrate our 50th birthday next year.
A lot of water has literally run under the bridge since last year’s anniversary edition. What a year it has been. Our problems started with the evacuation of Hurricane Gustav and 10 days later, Sept. 13, Hurricane Ike – Orange County’s greatest disaster that sent a surge of water into our communities – wiping out thousands of homes and businesses. Many families have suffered, many are still hurting; many will never recover. On the other hand we have a lot to be thankful for. First, no loss of life; secondly our well-run county government, which had enough money in escrow to jump-start our new beginning to rebuild and clean out. That put our progress way ahead of other counties.
Thanks to our city administration and their leaders who took no excuses from our national and state government. They worked diligently with their shoulders to the wheel. I can’t thank enough, on behalf of the citizens, the many faith-based organizations and our first responders. They fed, watered and clothed us. The Red Cross, Salvation Army and others saw to it that every citizen needing help was reached. Last but not least, our federal government made it possible for us to have lodging, a place to lay our heads and monies to buy necessities.
We’re saddened by the many good citizens who have moved away from our community. In the case of Bridge City, I believe it will be strong again. To say it will be better would be a stretch, because it was perfect before Ike. Young people were beginning to come to the community, one of the fastest growing areas in Southeast Texas. I believe in three to five years the city will again be the “Jewel of the Gulf Coast,” with the pain of today long gone and a good community again made great.*****I’ve got to move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


Over the years, when we selected our Person of the Year, we have tried to pick someone who has benefited the community through years of service and dedication, making the community a better place. This year’s selection, the Paul Cormier family, has greatly benefited the Orangefield area and school district. Mr. Paul, as he’s affectionately called, started in business in the Orange oilfield in 1947. He and his family have shared their success with the community in many respects, from land donations, to building churches to large contributions to the school district.
Their story is one of love for their community, continually striving to make it better. The source of education for all of Mr. Paul’s offspring and grandchildren has been within the school district he helped build; a family of good people who take pride in the place they call home. We are honored by their friendship and the opportunity to recognize a family who truly makes a difference.


A Texas House committee, last week, held hearings on a proposed sex education bill. “Just Say No” doesn’t work. About one in 10 six grade students have had sex. By eighth grade, one in five, by the time they are seniors, seven in 10 are sexually active and the number would be higher if dropouts were counted Texas ranks third from the top with 50 percent more teenage pregnancies per capita than the national average. The state health service offers 15 vendor provided sex education programs for schools. All are abstinence-based and none have proven effective. What seems to be the most effective is for parents to talk to sons and daughters about sex, tell them its dangers and how much better off they will be if they wait but if they don’t, tell them what they need to do. Meanwhile, let’s see what solution the Legislature comes up with. Remember, no family is immune and every parent has a reason to be concerned. It’s a growing problem I’m not sure the Legislature alone can solve.

We were saddened to hear that our little Buddy at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s. Terry Renee Burleigh, 27, passed away March 31. Services for Terry were Friday, April 3. She was just a jewel of a young lady. Despite her physical disabilities she always had a smile and a pleasant demeanor. She was just a joy to be around. To her mom Sheila, dad Gerald and family we express our deepest sympathies. Please see obit.


Jessie Brown, 89, died last Thursday, April 2; services were Sunday, April 5. Jessie and her late husband Nolton had been married 65 years. They became a part of the Bridge City community in 1948 after Nolton’s service in WW II. The Browns became legends for their work and years of dedication to the Democratic Party. Over the years, they met most major office holders in the country including presidents and governors. They were known for their grass roots type of politics. Jessie did it the old fashioned way, through personal contact. Miss Jessie was a giving and caring person who often stopped by our Penny Record office with cake or cookies. We cared for her very much. She was a small lady with a big heart. She and Nolton didn’t have children, just themselves, but they loved each other dearly. Now they are back together. To brother Jack Pepper, his siblings and the entire family, we send our condolences. Please see obit.

Chris Smith, of Orange, was selected as a rising star by “Texas Super Lawyer.” He was chosen by lawyers and politicians in accordance with their valuation process. Chris practices law with his dad, John Cash Smith, at their office on Green Avenue The office had to be totally redone after being flooded by Hurricane Ike. The two-page layout in Super Lawyer highlights young Smith’s life after Rita and Ike, and his spelling bee championships and competitions. He competes in GOALS (Greater Orange Area Literacy Service.) The tournaments are aimed to combat adult illiteracy. Chris says he got a good perspective of life at an early age when his dad realized the value of showing him new and different places, “One of the first trips we took,” says Chris, “was to the Middle East. I was 11 years old in Cairo, Egypt and it made me appreciate what I had back home. I gained a real sense that I was fortunate and that I was put here to help people. There are people needing help that have no means to receive it.” Chris and his dad have been helping victims of Ike; people being short-changed and not being treated fairly by their insurance provider. Jack, with many years of experience and Chris, putting to use his youth and legal muscles, work in the Butch Lewis Law Firm. The Smith boys together are taking care of home folks.


After federal tax went from 39 cents a pack to $1.01 a pack on cigarettes April 1, in a law signed by President Obama, who ironically is trying to kick the habit himself. Writer Alex Altman made the following observation: “Recession-battered states are considering changes on everything from pornography to marijuana as a way to pad their budgets. Tobacco taxation enjoys broad public support but other recent efforts to impose sin taxes have sputtered. Proof perhaps, that in trying times, doing bad can feel really good.’


There is an enormous potential windfall in the taxation of marijuana. It is estimated that pot is the largest cash crop in California with annual revenues approaching $14 billion. A 10 percent pot tax would yield $1.4 billion in California alone. It would also create 2,000 new jobs in agriculture, packaging, marketing and advertising. So why not make it legal? Folks will say there are serious moral arguments, both secular and religious. Some believe it’s legalizing vices. I don’t know the answer. I do know that “Just Say No” doesn’t work and billions of dollars are going to other countries. Some folks will assume I’m stoned, unworthy of being taken seriously, yet Limbaugh stays pilled-up and folks take him seriously. I’m really stirring the pot, ain’t I?

30 Years Ago

Pam Crew, travel consulate at the Texas Tourist Bureau in Orange, is the “cowgirl” on the staff. An Orangefield grad, Pam was a barrel racer in high school and has been a rider in the Sheriff’s Posse for eight years. In 1978, Pam helped 357,468 people who visited the bureau. She also helped distribute 1,250,000 pieces of literature. On July 4, nearly 2,000 persons stopped at Texas’ most active port of entry. In 1936, the first bureau was housed in a log cabin, which later, in 1979, housed a liquor store at 10th Street and Western Avenue in Orange. Since then the cabin has been moved again. I’m not sure where. In the early years, Texas A&M employees staffed state bureaus. (Editor’s note: When I first met Charlie Wickersham, he worked at the Log Cabin Bureau on Green Avenue near the Sabine River Bridge. I don’t believe Charlie was an Aggie.)*****Edna V. Demary (Mrs. Felix) will be 85 years old Friday, April 6. She makes her home with her daughter Anabel and son-in-law Arthur Anderson at 904 Cherry St. in Orange. (Editor’s note: Anabel lost her home to Ike and now lives with a daughter. I believe she will be 85 in August.)*****Happy belated birthday to 9-year-old Craig Corder. He is the youngest son of Ruth and Richard Corder, BBRC, 1600 on your radio dial. *****Tina Bendy turns 14 this week. *****Barbara Gail Brown is 18 years old this week.

35 Years Ago-1974
Third generation lawyer Martin Dies III is expected to enter the practice of law in Orange County. *****This week, Donnie Harmon was accepted by the University of Notre Dame. He will attend school there in the fall. *****Charlene Trahan has announced as a candidate for Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2. Also running in Pct. 2 is Larry Gunter, promising to be a full-time judge.*****Jim Dugas, Bo Bland and Louis Gay are at the El Matador Barber and Style Shop at MacArthur Shopping Center.*****The Bridge City girl’s volleyball team is the 10-AAA district champs for the second year in a row. Team members are Phyllis Shaw, Debbie Shaw, Marian Schexnider, Rhonda Martin, Debra Wagner, Joyce Mann, Candy Etheridge, Donna Calvert and Jana Russell. Coaches the team is Barbara Landry manager is Vickie Martinez.

50 Years Ago-1959

Jack Dardeaux elected mayor of West Orange. *****Wayne Lambert and Chuck Young wielded the biggest bats for West Orange in an 8-1 defeat of Kountz in district play. The Chiefs are 3-0 in district. *****County engineer Gus Foyle and F.L. Butcher are attending the annual convention of American Mosquito Control Association in Salt Lake City. *****Keown bowling team entered a tourney at Dallas. The five-man team is composed of D.J. “Ace” Amodeo, Capt. Bruce Fowler, Dale Richey, Dick Easterling and Bob Otness.

75 Years Ago
H.J.L. Stark described the making of the world’s largest telescope in an address to Rotary. He witnessed the pouring of the glass in Corning, N.Y. The telescope will go to the University of Texas. *****Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are running wild. Henry Barrow, Clyde’s father, says his son will write a book. *****The hunt for John Dillinger goes on. He still dodges the law. Local peace officers were on watch for him in the vicinity of the Sabine River Bridge. The national desperado and two of his gang are suspected to be back in route to Orange. They are traveling in a Ford V-8 sedan bearing Tennessee or Indiana license plates. *****J.E. Patillo announces for the office of county judge.


I was just thinking that Jonathon McCormack, who got charged last week with growing weed. Anyone good at growing things in five-gallon buckets, in water, would have been best served to have opened a nursery and been a master gardener. The guy definitely has talents. One officer says it was the healthiest Mary Jane plants he has ever seen. I don’t know if the police have evidence that he ever sold any. Maybe he was growing the hemp to make rope.*****We understand the 2010 Toyota Prius is an example of the car of the future. It’s more posh, more powerful and will get 51 miles per gallon on average, town and country. It will go 100 miles on two gallons of gasoline. Unknown is the price tag. One-hundred thousand are on the market for the rest of 2009; 180,000 for the next year. The first models are always more expensive but within three years, as other manufactures move in that direction, prices will get more reasonable.*****Robert Carpenter is also up to something in the songwriting business. He’s written a great song that he will probably record as soon as the ship comes in. He hopes that it will be picked up by a national artist. Old Carpenter has talent and also a hard head. Those kind usually don’t quit.*****We had a nice visit with Frank Hatton. They are doing good and had only a few inches of water in their home from Ike. That’s nearly as bad as three feet however, you still have to get through the destruction and rebuilding. Mrs. Mildred Hatton lives next door and didn’t get any water. She has been spending time in Arkansas with her daughter and is coming in this week. A party in her honor for her 87th birthday will be held. Let us be the first to wish her a happy birthday and best wishes for continued good health. Her son, our buddy Mike, is still in the banking business and he and Nancy still live in Beaumont.*****I turned in some Cajun recipes that you will find somewhere in this issue. They are Grandma’s old recipes that, in some cases I modified or improved. I think so anyway. Try them, I believe you will like ‘um.*****We met a nice lady, Mrs. Charlie Webb. She and Charlie were original Aqua Demons and Debs. She skied the famous trip from Orange to Galveston in the 1950s. I looked up the pictures of the trip. Mrs. Webb was a real beauty and is still a very pretty woman. Charlie, a long time ago, led the Orange Community Band. They are both faithful readers of ‘The Record.’*****Speaking of those long ago skiers, Sprad and Margaret lost their beloved Honey Bun last Wednesday. The 28-year-old llama went to animal heaven. Honey Bun was famous around Orange and often rode in Sprad’s car and went to functions with him. The last big event was the opening of David Self’s Ford dealership.*****The Cowboy Church’s second annual Easter Egg Hunt will include horse rides, crafts, cookie decorating and face-painting. A sunrise service Easter morning will be at 7:15 a.m. at 673 Farm Road 1078. The egg hunt will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the church, on Lane of the Oaks off of Texas 62. For information call Pastor Lee at 718-0269. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch is at Van Choate’s new, totally-remodeled Tuffy’s this week. Van is feeding the Bunch for their 13th anniversary. Van will be open to the public starting next Monday. *****Next Thursday he will feature boiled crawfish, boiled the Van Choate way. *****Celebrity birthdays – former first lady Betty Ford, 91 on April 8 Hugh “Playboy” Hefner, 83 on April 19. *****UNC beats Michigan State 89-72 for National Basketball Championship. State never had a chance with more than 20 turnovers. *****Carrie Underwood captured Entertainer of the Year at Country Music Awards – the seventh female act to win it. Others are Loretta Lynn, Dolly, Barbara Mandrell, Reba, Shania Twain and the Dixie Chicks. The ACM awards are the best, but I miss the old stars. *****Happy birthday to our buddy and helper Burl “Burly” LaSalle who turned 54 last Saturday. *****Afghan President Hamid Karzai is not in good standing with the U.S. He signed a bill that treats wives as sexual hostages. He has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night. I’ll tell you how to fix that problem. Give the wife the same demands every fifth day.

Brandy Block, Cathy Riley, Joyce Kleinknecht, Lindsey Etheridge, Lorene Zoch, Mrs. David Goode, Patsy Herrington, Peggy Drane, Bob Todd, Melissa Pittman, Terri Brent, Tonya Burch, Wayne Currie, Adam Prosperie, Barbara Allen, Barbara Goins, Ed Cox, Elliot Purcell, Jamye Martin, Jayme Martin, Johnnie Nicks, K’Lynn Ess, Katie Olson, Matt Day, Nancy Hood, Alivia Duhon, Austin Brent, Bob Arnold, David Thacker, Edyth Ramsey, Jackie Schell, Patsy Evans, Travis Miller, Travis Reed, Cortland Savage, Howard Nelson, Jill Lemoine, Leslie Staudenmier, Roy Mazzagate III, Shellie Holmes, Zackary Busby, Abby Noah, Ann Glover, Betty Stark, Dawn Mason, Gene Bellard, Kaylin Abshire, Ken Armstrong, Margene Bellard, Virginia Fox, David Miller, Jo Ann Collins, Joy Learned, Kasie Moerbe, Kevin Huckeba, Larry McClure, Phillip Elmore, Randy Renfrow, Reatha Bradberry, Robbie Bethea, Sam Carpenter Jr., Tiffani Thompson, April Stone and Christy Swanson.

Da two Cajuns, Clovis Comeaux and Slim Desomeaux, were sipping on a few beers before getting a bite to eat at Tee-Boys Bar and Grill. Suddenly a womem, wat was at a nearby table eating an oyster loaf, started to caugh. It became apparent to Clovis and Slim dat da lady her, is in real distress.
Clovis axe her, “Can you swallow?”
She shake her head no.
Den he axe, “Can you breathe, hanh?”
Da woman shake her head no.
Slim him, he jump up, lifts dat lady dress up, yanks down her drawers and quickly gives her right cheek a lick wit his tongue.
Da women her, is so shocked that she has a violent spasm and da lodged oyster flies out of her mout. As she begins to breath again she thanks him and Slim walks slowly back to his table.
Clovis him, say, “Slim, you know me, I heard of dat dare, “Hindlick Maneuver’ but I ain’t never seen nobody do it before.”

Inside you will find a lot of good reading and great ads. Special thanks to Patti Hanks, Dickie Colburn, Kaz, Amanda Adams and Service Officer Jerry Childress for the extra stories. Many thanks to Robert Hankins, Penny LeLeux, Mark Dunn and Mike Louviere and all our column writers. We can’t thank enough our production crew who put this great paper together. They’re the best! Roy, this week, is dedicating his Down Life’s Highway column to Michelle Judice, the prettiest gal to leave the state of Maine, marry a Cajun and adopt the Cajun culture. The Lamar English teacher is married to Al and a fan of Roy’s story telling. Could there be something wrong with her? She and Dunn belong to an admiration society, and he promised he would speak to her English class. She didn’t say in English or French. *****My time is up. Thanks for yours. Take care; happy Easter.