North of the Creaux’s Nest
HOT AND DRY AND POLITICS TO FLY
Some citizens got one, two and some three good showers last week. Some of us got none or just a drizzle. We’re burning up under a brutal sun. The Gulf of Mexico water temperature is 93 degrees. Soon we will be able to get our crabs from the Gulf already boiled. Hopefully, by Friday, we will get a break and some rain. Any activity outdoors just zaps the energy from old folks. Can’t believe, way back then, we drug a cotton sack all day picking cotton, covered with clothes and a straw hat. I feel for the guys I see working on roof tops.
The political season will see the hottest race ever run within the Republican Party primaries. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has $12.5 million in campaign cash. Gov. Rick Perry is trying to win a third term. He has $9.3 million in the bank. Perry has courted the Far Right base while Sen. Hutchison is seen as a moderate conservative. It will be a blood letting, taking no prisoners. On the Democratic side Ambassador Tom Schieffer and Mark Thompson have filed papers. Humorist Kinky Friedman, a Democrat at heart, went to the Republicans and then ran as an Independent. He now says he’s coming home and throwing his hat and cigar in the ring. Sen. Kay should win over Perry and has the inside track to win it all. My main concern is the 2010 census and redistricting. In the state representative’s race whoever wants to make fair districts and keep Orange County whole, not split in half, will get my vote. Also we need to be free from big city control.
Speaking of politics, Owen Burton, because of his down home common sense, business experience and really caring about his constituents, has been a good county commissioner. He’s well liked in his precinct and well-respected on the court. It will be good news to many that the word is on the street that commissioner Burton will run for another term. He hasn’t made an official announcement yet but where there’s smoke there’s fire, and that’s good news.*****I’ve got to move on. Hop on board and come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.
THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE TIMES
The decline of the middle class didn’t just start. After President Hoover’s Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted a stimulus program, creating the WPA and CC camps. His move, in time, stopped the decline, but it took Hitler, 10 years later, to turn the country around. War brought many military contracts. Orange because of the WWII ship building, went from 7,000 people to nearly 70,000. President Harry Truman ended the war with the A and H bombs. A decline of the middle class started and continued through JFK and LBJ and not until President Jimmy Carter did the middle class surge forward. If a person didn’t fill their pockets under Carter, they didn’t try or were to dumb to take advantage of the inflation. The country has always had a way of correcting itself.
President Ronald Reagan was the worst blow for the working class and small business, including small contractors. Many of them bellied up. Reagan also helped to crush the unions, starting with the air traffic controllers. The middle class took a lick. Things leveled off under George H.W. Bush and got better under President Clinton. The economy hit a 30-year high and money was left in the bank for President Geo. W. Bush. We said at the time of his election, it was bad news for the middle class and if he stayed two terms, it would wreck the middle class. Also, if another Republican won the White House there would be virtually no middle class.
Barack Obama was elected and took over a country that was busted, fighting two wars and with gas prices over the ceiling. No doubt, if he does nothing, we are headed to another depression, worse than the first one. His plate is full, inheriting many problems. He has slowed the slide but it will take much more to cure the problem and bring people back up to the middle class. Meanwhile, the poor are becoming homeless.
Since I was a boy, Republicans preached there would be no Social Security for my old age. They said it about my children, now the grand kids. It’s always been a scare tactic. If this country gets back on it’s feet, with a healthy middle class, it won’t take long to repay any amount of investment that we must make. We must forget the cost, the problems are what we must solve.
Bush / Cheney allowed big oil and the mortgage companies to rape the country and let the auto industry run rampant with million dollar bonuses, while losing money. They, by choice, invaded Iraq to the tune of a trillion dollars. Obama’s on the right track but it will take time and a lot of money to correct the wrongs. Warren Buffet says more money will be needed to solve the problems. I tend to agree with him.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
35 Years Ago-1974
This week Sis and Mike Keogh celebrate their 25th anniversary. (Editor’s note: Mike passed away several years ago. The last we heard, Sis was in a Beaumont retirement home. *****It has been announced that Aug. 18 will be Tee-Bruce Day to be celebrated at the Sparkle Club. (Editor’s note: About a year ago Lloyd “Tee-Bruce” Broussard retired from doing a Sunday morning Cajun show on KLVI. He was on the air at different stations for over 40 years and also retired from either Gulf or Texaco. He still lives in China, Texas.)*****The July tournament of the Orange Bass Club was held over the weekend. Tom Humphrey won with a fine catch of 24 pounds, five ounces. He caught his fish at night on black worms in 10 to 18 feet of water. Willie Hayes had a good day with 16.6 pounds. One bass weighed seven pounds. Worms also paid off for coach Troy Woodall. He came in with a 10 fish limit and took third place with 16.4 pounds. Club president, Bob Zavada, came in fourth with 13.8 pounds. A crew from Orange traveled to Houston in a motor home driven by Ed Lovelace Wednesday night for the Texan game. On board were Houston Baker, Leland Morrow, Dunn, Mike Pasternak, Jerry Pesson, Richard Corder and Joe Kazmar. (Editor’s note: The only ones who are now departed are Baker and Morrow; Ed Lovelace is in a Houston nursing home, the rest are retired with the exception of Roy Dunn.)*****Bridge City linebacker Mark Dunn has accepted a football full-ride scholarship to UTA and will be departing Aug. 16. Also attending UTA is Bridge City football player Jimmy LaComb.
30 Years Ago-1979
On July 22, Gordon Baxter “Barefoot Bax” or “Ole’ Uncle Gordon” will celebrate his 34th year in radio, which started in 1945.*****Tony Griffin, Orange native and longtime business man, died this week.*****On July 20, we will mark 10 years since the first man, Neil Armstrong, landed on the moon. He will forever be in the history books.*****Rose and Jay Campbell celebrate their 25th anniversary. They have two children, Joey, who lives in Bridge city and daughter Cathy, lives in Germany. (Editor’s note: I understand that Jay has been under the weather and is a Houston hospital. Daughter-in-law, Mel Kemp Campbell, was with him.)*****The Bridge City Rotary Club ventured to Sartin’s in Sabine Pass. Charles Patton was nicknamed “Frog Legs,” Bill Townes, “Stuffed Crab.”*****Dan Duplantis celebrates a birthday on July 20.*****Cal Peterson has acquired Holmes Used Cars on Green Avenue*****Andy Verett, new Bridge City Police Chief, will be leaving Port Neches to assume his post. Andy is a former B.C. resident who was here when the area was known as Prairieview.*****Major Inman Jr. completes his first year as mayor in Orange.*****Bridge City coach Buddy Gillis is in a Lake Charles hospital after having suffered a blood clot, stroke and removal of a malignant tumor from his brain.*****Congratulations to Judge Pat Clark and Johnny McHugh, who were named “Outstanding Young Men in America.” Clark is County Court at Law judge, McHugh received his doctorate from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.*****Judge Pete Runnels’ wife, Carol, and grandparents Joe and Inez Runnels, are spending time staying with Lance Runnels, who is in the hospital recovering from being accidentally shot with a pellet gun.*****Celebrating birthdays in July are Jan Curlyo, Randy Arnaud, Lewis Gay and Nina Hardin. (Editor’s note: I believe Curlyo might be the only one still living.)
A FEW HAPPENINGS
It seems that Donna Scales has been spending a lot of time at hospitals in Houston. First with her mom, Vivian Dorman, who is doing well now, then she accompanied Judge Jimmy Scales, who had kidney stones removed.*****We hear through the grape vine that one of our longtime friends, Wilda Martin, broke her arm and is now undergoing therapy. We wish her well.*****Congrats to Eddie Toohey, from Brown Hearing Aid, who is the new Orange Rotary president.*****We stand to be corrected. John Davin, Lt. Col. USMC retired, from Arlington Heights, Illinois, sent us an e-mail to tell us that Ed McMahon was a decorated “Marine Corps” – not an Air Force pilot. He was a retired USMC colonel. John met him in 1975 in Little Rock when Ed emceed the reunion of the third Marine division. John was the recruiting officer at the time. (John, we knew he was a Marine, beats me why we said Air Force. Please accept our apology to all Marines. Personally, I don’t believe his death got the coverage it should have.) *****Judge Pat let us know that the first game we attended of the Houston Texan World Football League was against the Philadelphia Bell. “Judge, as soon as I saw it, it came back to me. Please cut me some slack, I’m getting old.”*****Everyday it seems that more comes out about Dick Cheney’s abuse of power. He really was a cancer on George W’s presidency and the country.*****Happy belated 50th anniversary to a great couple, Joe and Mary Ware, who were wed July 4, 1959. I’ve never met a nicer and sweeter lady than Ms. Mary. Congrats and many more healthy years.*****Did you know the statue of Sam Houston on Highway 45 outside of Huntsville, is the tallest statue of an American hero, with the 10-foot base, it stands 77 feet tall. I’m always impressed when I come up on it, a little surprised also because I always forget right where it stands.*****Columnist Cal Thomas suggests that, to make her wealth Sarah Palin should stay away from television and go on the radio. How wrong he is. Radio really doesn’t’ do for women what it does for men. Sarah’s good looks would sell better on TV. She has a whining, irritating voice and her tone never changes. That’s bad for radio. Her long suit, after the $3 million book deal, will be speaking engagements demanding $50,000 to $100,000 each. Levi Johnston, the father of her grandson confirmed what we said. She bailed out of the governorship to use her present celebrity to get rich and live a star’s life.*****Sharon Dunn’s oldest boy, Chris Menard, stopped by for a visit. He is a great young man. Chris is married, living in Houston and will finish school in a few months. He also served time in the Army. His brother Jason, a career soldier, is back from Iraq and living in Hawaii. Three times in Iraq is enough to last a lifetime. Jason has 10 years behind him. Sharon and Mark have reason to be proud of those guys.*****I’m told that Don Bailey is one heck of a clock repairman. He fixed a 1896 clock that was Roy’s grandmother’s, Laura Dunn’s, clock purchased in Galveston by husband, Allen, when Roy’s dad, Clay, was only 3. If you need a clock fixed, here’s a good lead, contact Don.*****I see where Roy mentioned Red Foley in his Down Life’s Highway column. I wonder how many folks know he was Pat Boone’s father-in-law. I bet Neighbor Cox knows and can probably also tell you who Tibby Edwards, Spade Cooley, Johnny Bond, Carl Butler, Tommy Duncan, Elton Britt, Maddox Brothers and Pee Wee King are.*****There is no doubt Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Republicans will make a play at stopping her but they have to be careful not to further alienate Hispanics. Her nomination doesn’t change anything. It still leaves a five-to-four split in the Republican’s favor. They can’t stop it anyway, with 60 Democrats plus Biden. The next appointment will be the blood-letting. Another Obama appointee would make it a new court.*****Special happy birthday to some of our special friends. Best wishes to Peggy Stringer Claybar, one fine lady.*****Tommy Harmon celebrates this week as does pretty Melissa Eshbach.*****Granny Newton’s guy Dale Newton has another birthday.*****The lovely Carlis Roy, Brad’s better half and longtime school teacher is a year older.*****Michael Hoke, “Mr. Shanghai La,” celebrates this week, also, Robin Thibodeaux, Rebecca Toal, Amiel LeLeux and longtime legal secretary, Rusty Nicks.*****Edee Pratt celebrates on July 17.*****A special happy birthday to 10-year-old Brandon Vela, a good kid.*****A belated happy birthday to one of our bestest friends, Dayle Gunn.*****Celebrity birthdays: On July 15, Jesse Vantura will be 58, Linda Ronstadt, 63 and Alex Karras, 74.***** July 16, Barry Sanders, 44, Bess Myerson, 85, Ginger Rogers would be 98 and Barbara Stanwyck, 102.***** July 17, Phyllis Diller, 92 and Art Linkletter, 97.***** July 18, Joe Torre, 69, John Glenn, 87, Nelson Mandela, 91. Harriet Nelson would be 95 and Red Skelton, 96, two people we were raised with.*****July 19, Vikki Carr, 68, George McGovern, 87. *****July 20, Carlos Santana, 62 and had she lived, Natalie Wood would be 71.*****July 21, Robin Williams, 58, Cat Stevens, who changed his name to Yusuf Islam, 61, Kenneth Starr, 63, Kay Starr, 87 and Don Knotts would be 85.*****Orange heavyweight fighter Chris Henry TKO’d Shaun George in the sixth round in ESPN’s nationally televised fight from Philadelphia. Henry is now 24-2 overall in the heavyweight division with 19 KO’s. He is ranked 10 in the world.*****Congrats to Sheriff Keith Merritt and wife Marlene on their national Lions Club award. The Merritts were recognized Monday for their volunteer work after Hurricane Ike.*****Regardless of what you might have read, the Astros beat the Nationals Sunday 5-0. It was the last game before all-star break. The Astros hit 500 and are only three and a half games behind the first place Cardinals.*****We were sorry to learn that our friend, H.H. Kirkpatrick, had triple bi-pass surgery over the weekend. The Firestone retiree started feeling bad with pain in his left arm and a few hours later was under the knife. Just a few days ago this great guy had sent us a box of Gulf crabs. He is Tammy Davis’ father. We wish him a quick recovery. Gotta get to those crabs, they’re waiting while you’re laying around. God bless.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
Brandon Vela, Rhys Outlaw, Edee Pratt, Theresa Krout, Mark Grizzaffi, Melissa Darbonne, Melissa Eshbach, Mitchell Heil, Peggy Claybar, Tommy Harmon, B.J. Graham, Cassey Polk, J.B. Jones, Marlin McKinney, Phil Dickman, Clarence Dale Newton, Lorie Dubose, Mary Dorsey, Carlis Roy, Deborah Ashcraft, Don Hightower, Harold Lonadier, Jessie Brown, Cheryl Richard, Cynthia Chataignier, Don Fields, Harry Barclay, Kurt Moerbe, Marion Whittle, Matthew McKinney, Michael Hoke, Robin Thibodeaux, Rusty Nicks, Dorothy Hagy, Melissa Martin, Paige Williams, Preston Wayne Sullivan, Amanda Stephson, Kenyettia Foster, Megan Stephson, Rebecca Toal, Summer Stephson, Amiel Leleux, Danika Dubose, Joel Bourdier and Patricia Tamplim.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Cuzzin Sostan writes us about his Momma and Papa, Clotile, 90 and Clovis, 92. He says dey boat can’t remember nuttin, senility or Alzheimer’s he guesses. Da doctor tole dem to write tings down to help remember.
Da utta night, old man Clovis got up from watching television and axe Clotile if she wanted something from the kitchen?
She answer, “Clovis, please bring me a bowl of vanilla ice cream.”
Clovis answer, “I do dat me.”
“You better write it down,” said Clotile.
“I can remember dat me,” He answer.
“But I want some strawberries and whip cream on top, you better write it down Clovis.”
He answer, “I can remember dat me, you want a bowl of ice cream wit straw berries and whip cream on top.”
“Dats rite,” says Clotile.
In about 20 minutes Clovis returns from da kitchen and hands Clotile a plate of eggs and bacon.
She stares at the plate for a moment and says, “Clovis, where’s my toast? I tole you to write it down.”
This week, 128 years ago, July 14, 1881, William “Billy the Kid” Bonney was killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Summer, Lincoln County, N.M. I understand we can expect more movies made about that Wild West period. Most of us old guys were raised on cowboy movies, mostly the good guy, bad guy shoot’em ups. It didn’t do us no harm, we just rode off on our stick horse. *****I’ve got to get out of here, my time is up but I thank you for yours. Please read us cover to cover and by all means support and patronize the good folks in our advertising family. We thank them very much for their support and for bringing you this publication at no cost to you. Stay out of the heat and if you think it will help, do a rain dance. Remember it’s nice to have a lot of friends but everyone should have one like Karen Jo Vance. Take care and God bless.