No hurricanes stood in the way of the Pinehurst Labor Day Picnic this year. Postponed last year because of Gustav and canceled after Hurricane Ike, this year’s event came off without a hitch.

Monday, the sun shined, it wasn’t too hot and the music was country. 

“We even danced a bit,” said Gladys LeDoux from Orangefield.

Couples were dancing to the tunes of BB and Company, featuring Britt Godwin on lead guitar, Bubba Moore on base, Huey Buxton on fiddle, A. C. Billeaud on steel guitar and Vince Montelbano on drums.

“Britt used to be in Bridge City years ago… at Hee Haws and such,” said Mrs. LeDoux, speaking of Godwin’s early years.

Buddy Wolfford, of West Orange, could also be seen twirling long time friend, Anna Belle Rost on the dance floor. “I used to dance all the time. But I can’t anymore, bad feet,” said Rost. No problems with her feet were evident when she was on the dance floor. When the music is good, sometimes it is hard to resist.

“I’ve been coming [to the picnic] ever since the first time in the park,” said Wolfford. “This is a nice place to have it… you see people you haven’t seen in years.”

It is a reunion of sorts, when seniors can visit with old friends they may not see as often, accept at the yearly gathering. They talked about old times and what has happened to them since Hurricane Ike.

Paul “Mac” McDaniels was sitting with Frank Virva and Virva’s daughter, Nancy Stutes. 

McDaniels is waiting for a new home to be built. Ike took everything he owned as it did for many. “That’s part of life,” he said. Living in a FEMA trailer since the hurricane, he is looking at his new home being completed somewhere around January or February. Contractors have to raise the elevation before they can start construction.

McDaniels has also attended the picnic since its inception. He was the deputy marshal of Pinehurst when Pete Runnels was mayor.

Virva spoke of his time in the service… and the ladies. This was his first picnic, along with his daughter’s.

Lex and Betty Pinson of West Orange said this was the seventh or eighth picnic for them. Lex also added, “She was born here,” referring to his wife. “Her mom, Ethel Burton, was district clerk back in the 30s to 70s. [Burton] was quite a fixture here, everybody knew her. She started Orange County Credit Union. Her account number was 001. I sure hated giving it up when she died.”

Rost, who was seen earlier in the day with Wolfford, enjoyed the noon day meal with her boyfriend, J. D. Gallet. 

Wolfford was joined by wife, Kate, brother, Roland Wolfford and his wife, Shirley.

How was the food? “Good, very good.” “Excellent,” they all chimed in.

Catered by Robert’s Restaurant, the seniors enjoyed a meal of gumbo and barbecue links with all the fixings. Pinehurst Mayor T.W. Permenter said they prepared for 800 guests.

One tradition they did not observe this year was naming the oldest man and woman in attendance. Many door prizes were dispersed including a flat screen TV, two wooden rockers and several gift certificates donated by area businesses.

If you enjoyed the country classics of BB and Company, you can catch them at McKenzie’s Pub in Beaumont, every Thursday.

Even though band members have played with many famous artists, such as Tracy Byrd, they chose to stay closer to home these days. “Unless they have a lot of money, then we’ll go,” joked Godwin.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.