Folks gathered last Sunday in Bridge City to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Ike coming ashore. It was a nice gesture, but I suspect that the fifth or even tenth anniversary will have a lot more meaning. Seven hundred FEMA houses remain, folks are still in a dilemma and the community still has a long way to go before the true story of the outcome can be told.
The entire Bridge City story hasn’t been written yet. There are many heroes, residents and business people, who make their homes between Cow Bayou and the Neches. Some business people, who lost their total investments, picked themselves up after the tears dried and moved on and helped their neighbors get on solid footing.
In the case of this newspaper, the Dunn family invested thousands of dollars to keep the local newspaper published when businesses weren’t able to support it. Our paper made advertising available to businesses trying to get re-established and get their re-opening message out. As of this writing we are not back in our office yet.
While taking hundreds of pictures during and after the storm to preserve history, Mark Dunn maintained our Web site, keeping people informed, and produced the hometown paper. In his spare time he rescued animals, giving them food and shelter until their owners could be found. He used his van to deliver ice, food and drinks to the elderly. The city is full of such stories of people who lived it and are still struggling to get back to normal.
Bridge City has had a record number of deaths since Ike. One of those beautiful people was Ann Segura, who for nearly 60 years was a pillar of the community with her Bridge City Cleaners. Ann was determined to get the pressed clothes that hung in her destroyed shop back to their rightful owners. Fighting mud and the destruction, after three feet of water, Ann was determined, right up to her death, to help her people. She was one of the great heroes. She died trying. She loved her people, she loved her city.
Many stories can be told about heroic business people as well as citizens who fought the hardships to help their fellow citizens. They didn’t get to go home to a clean dry bed at night. Some day the real and complete story will be written but not yet. It’s way to early to tell the real story, maybe five or ten years from now.***** I’ve got to move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


Last Wednesday we lost a good man. We had known N.J. “Vick” Vicknair going back to the mid 1960s. Vick worked as a union electrician and for a long time, in the early years, worked for Bubba Hubbard, who was instrumental in the incorporation of Bridge City. Bubba was elected to the city council and when the term limits got him, Vick ran for his seat and was elected and served three terms. For several years Vick was a successful coach in Youth Football. He was one of the most companionate and helpful people we have ever known. He never turned anyone down who asked for help. He loved people and loved to dance. He and Shirley, his lovely wife of 50 years, could often be seen wherever a band was playing. A few years ago, while still considered young, he was downed with bad health and a stroke that left him frail and eventually led to his death. We will never forget this special man. Our condolences to Shirley, the girls, their families and siblings. Please see obit.*****We were sorry to hear of the death of George Sigler, 78, who passed away Sept. 12. Service was held Tuesday. Mr. Sigler lived in Orange many years and was a Dupont employee. He was the father of our loyal friend Ron Sigler. His two other sons are Dr. Scott Sigler and Thomas Sigler. George and his late wife, Joyce, raised some great boys. To his present wife, Martha, and the entire family, we send our deepest sympathies. Please see obit.

30 Years Ago-1979

Officers were elected to the newly formed Bridge City PTA. They are Faye Fisette, president; Linda Nicks, first vice president; Gayle Bell, second vice president; Billie Bradberry, secretary; Kay Klien, treasurer; Ralph Wallace, parliamentarian, Eloise Stoudenmier, historian. *****The annual Miss Bridge City pageant will be held Sept. 22. Helene Litton is chairman.*****Don Sharpe is store manager at Kroger, John Downs, food manager and Dorothy Cotton, general merchandise manager.*****Don Stump, talented McNeese place kicker, helped the Cowboys defeat Tulsa 6-3 with a pair of field goals. Stump has a string of 33 straight extra point conversions and ranks among the top in the nation. (Editor’s note: Don is one of the famous Stump brothers of Port Arthur. I’m not sure what Don is doing but brother Craig is a Beaumont head coach and brother Cris is head coach at Bridge City.)*****Orangefield coach Ed Peveto is blessed with two good quarterbacks, senior Clint James #10 and sophomore Bradley Peveto, No. 12. Meanwhile, Bridge City coach Andy Griffin will be relying heavily on junior Bryan Ward, key man in the backfield.*****Greater Orange Chamber unveils its new logo. The logo replaced the Chamber’s sailor man and is the first city of Orange official city symbol. It says “Orange, Gateway to the West.” It has a sunrise, pine cones, waterway and the outline of the state of Texas. (Editor’s note: I still believe the best slogan is “Where the Sun Rises on Texas and the Stars Shine First.” The stars referring to the many stars who left here and made their mark in sports, entertainment and other endeavors.) Local artist Forrest Clough designed the final logo. Chamber manager is Terry Burns, Chamber president is Jim Stelly and Orange mayor is Major Inman Jr.

35 Years Ago-1974
Billie Ewing, attorney H.D. Pate’s legal secretary, is expecting a baby in the next few days. Betty Ess will fill in for her at H.D.’s office. *****Attorney Murry Harris has been appointed to chief clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. *****Doug Patterson, a fine young man, has had a very successful season pitching pro-baseball. Now he’s back at his winter job at Butler-Baker Pontiac just in time for the new 1975 models. *****Jerry Pesson, Bonita Herbert, Phyllis Dunn and Cathy Daigle all celebrate birthdays this week. *****The Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon raised a record $16 million. This amount is up from the $12.3 record set in 1973. The local telethon master of ceremonies was Al Caldwell and KBMT-TV station manager Bill Hill. (Editor’s note: This year Jerry raised more than $61 million, down from $65 million raised last year.)*****New car salesman at Harmon Chevrolet, Third and Green, are Joe Williamson, Bob Jones and Homer Flanagan.

60 Years Ago-1949
No polio has been reported according to Orange doctors. *****Jeff Davis, of Houston, defeated the Orange Tigers 14-0 in season opener. The Tigers lost every opportunity to score by fumbles. They actually played well enough to win, leading 11 first downs to 5. It was a heart breaker for the Tigers who are loaded with talent. The starting lineup, center, John Paul Gasow, guards, Raymond Depwe, Willey; tackles, John Trotti and David Van Pelt; ends, Goodson and Leon Parrish; backs, Don Harmon, Allen Burkart, Orney Beltz and Oneal Gauthier; subs, Oliver, Walter Hilliard, James Authement, Morris, Sam Carpenter, Henderson and Steve Kimble.


Former employees of Levingston Shipbuilding will hold a reunion on Saturday noon-4 p.m. at Family Life Center of First Baptist Church, Fifth and Green. Please bring a covered dish that is ready to serve and needs no warming or cooling. Over the years Levingston employed more people than the population of Orange County. You would be surprised who some of them are; lawyers, doctors, CPAs and even a newspaper publisher. Try to make it. For more information call 746-3701.*****Some of our special people having birthdays that we know about are Ms. Phyl celebrates her special day this Wednesday, Sept. 16. (She’s earned every year.)*****The great American “Mr. VFW” John Clark celebrates this week.*****Our buddy, BCISD Police Chief George Navarro, has a birthday. We’ve known that boy and his great family since he was in diapers.*****Mark Anderson, Debra Cauthier and Susan Pennington all celebrate this week.*****Also very special happy birthday this week to a beautiful lady, Cathy Garretson, Sept. 15, a great friend over many years. Best wishes to all.*****Over 32 million people watched President Obama’s health care speech to a joint session of Congress. FOX was the only major network not to carry the speech live. That’s the third time since Jan. 20 they haven’t carried a presidential address. That’s no big surprise. However for eight years they never failed to carry any address by President George W. Bush.*****We visited with Capt. David Peck last week. He had attended a meeting of the Orange County grand jury where he serves as grand jury foreman. We hear our buddy Donna Scales is grand jury secretary. David has a good job, where he’s in management with a large firm in Beaumont. His work calls for a lot of traveling. He says he’s blessed to have it but it’s out of his element. For 28 years, he spent his life in civil and criminal law with over 2,100 hours of special schooling and training on a yearly basis. He misses interaction with people and looks forward to the day he can get back into public service. It’s what he knows and is good at. David is a great, solid guy that will do to ride the range with.*****Coming out on Oct. 27, is a four-disc, four-decade box set that traces Dolly Parton’s career. The disc covers her years as Porter Wagoner’s “girl singer,” her time atop the country charts and her reinvention as the torch carrier for Bluegrass. If anyone is looking for a gift for me, that would sure be a nice one.*****By the way, Bob Dylan’s “Christmas in the Heart” album is due out Oct. 13. The proceeds will go to charities that feed the hungry.*****The United States economy is making the transition from recession to recovery. Fed survey says the U.S. is healing but recovery still fragile, the job market still weak but the stimulus plan is working.*****Jivin’ Gene, after many years of not being in the recording studio, has released a new CD, “It’s Never Too Late.” The new recording includes seven songs never before recorded, plus 14 original songs. We go back many, many years with Gene Bourgeois and he has, over the years, made his talent available to raise funds for many worthy causes. He has always remained very humble. If you like the Gulf Coast sound (Swamp Pop), you’ll love this CD. We will try to get a local outlet but for now call 409-962-2384 to find out locations where the CD can be purchased.*****Speaking of Gulf Coast music, our longtime buddy Johnny Preston will present “Solid Gold, Rock-N-Roll show VI” on Oct. 2, at Parker Center. Performing with Preston will be Jivin’ Gene, The Dixi Cups, Troy Shondell and the Ken Marvel band and others. All proceeds will benefit the museum of the Gulf Coast. Preston is one of the great voices to come from our area.*****If you like corn look for bargains soon. A record 13 billion bushels have been produced and that doesn’t include backyard growers. I like corn any way you fix it so it’s good news.*****The Dallas Cowboys looked good in their 34-21 win over Tampa Bay. The Bucs, for the first time in five years, didn’t have the accurate foot of place kicker Matt Bryant. The new coach’s replacement, Nugent, got a chip shot blocked and was wide right on a 46-yarder.*****We received quite a few e-mails from people all over the country last week. One came from Denise Guyote, who now lives in Angleton and had worked for Doug Harrington’s Pharmacy back in the 1970s. That’s when we were all young. She moved away from Bridge City in 1980. She, like many other former residents, keeps up with Orange County through our Web site,*****Also thanks to Jennifer Hammock for your caring message. To all you great folks, keep those messages coming. It’s fun to find out what has become of you and where you are.*****We were pleased to hear that our sweetheart Nelda Burton is home recouping after having surgery at St. E. The report card is still out on Commissioner Owen Burton’s nursing skills. Speedy recovery.*****Special thanks to Peggy and Arthur Hickey for the delicious monkey bread sent to our crew. That stuff is not easy to make or bake. Arthur is the former Mauriceville Fire Marshal. Thanks to Rev. Leo for the delivery.

Sept. 16, David Copperfield will turn 53; Mickey Rourke; 53, Peter Falk, 82; BB King, 84 and Lauren Bacall, 85.*****Sept. 17, Kyle Chandler, 44; Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson, 58 and had he lived John Ritter would only be 61.*****Sept. 18, Lance Armstrong, 38; Frankie Avalon, 70 and Robert Blake, 76.*****Sept. 19, Trisha Yearwood, 45; Joan Lunden, 59; Leslie “Twiggy” Lawson, 60 and Duke Snider, 83.*****Sept. 20, Sophia Loren, 75; Dr. Joyce Brothers, 81;*****Sept. 21, Nicole Richie, 28; Ricki Lake, 41; Faith Hill, 42; Bill Murray, 59 and Stephen King, 62.*****Sept. 22, Bonnie Hunt, 45; Joan Jett, 49; Tommy Lasorda, 82.


“I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are—not this time, not now.” President Barack Obama, Sept. 9, 2009, in speech to Congress. After a summer of town hall brawls, in which misinformation was being peddled and orchestrated by his opponents, Obama set the record straight and called lies, lies.


Stephanie Morris, Todd Estes, Valerie Gilbeaux, Mark Conner, O’Shanique Foster, Tommy Purdy, Landin New, Linda Schulz, Lynda Stout, Mark Anderson, Chase Burch, Debra Gauthier, Helen Peddy, Joey Tutt, Joy Evans, Kara Killman, Mark Milligan, Mike Zenos, Sue Plagens, Cecil Byers, Dreaux Minchew, George Navarro, Jimmy Prewitt, Leslie Sparks, Matthew Carter, Michael Wuske, Michelle Jaarah, Rita Morris, Susan Pennington, Caitlin Ziller, Gary McAllister, Jan Thurman, John Clark, Lucille Powell, Mary Rawls, Ronnie Teaff, Vernon Murray, Howdy Dawson, Janice Kelly, Jenny Sims, Jonah Thurman, Lorayne Welch, Michael Broussard, Matthew Broussard, Noah Burns, Penny LeLeux, Beverly Mixon, Brooks Tally, Connie Arnold and Donna Broomes.

Joe Dartez and some of his buddies were hanging out and planning an upcoming fishing trip. Dartez said, “I can’t go dis time me, Ula Mae won’t let me.”
Boy, Dartez him took a lot of teasing and name calling from Comeaux and da guys.
Dartez him, went home feeling low and frustrated.
Friday afternoon, wen da guys got off work dey head to da camp dem. Wen dey arrived at da camp on Bayou de Cropo, dey were shocked to see Dartez sitting on da dock drinking a beer, his feet propped up on his ice chest and a fire going in da barbecue pit.
“Dartez, how in da world did you talk Ula Mae into letting you come fishing, hanh?” Comeaux axe.
“I didn’t have to,” Dartez replied, “Yesterday wen I got home, I slumped in my chair wit a beer, feeling sorry for myself cause I can’t go fishing me.”
Den Ula Mae snuck up behind me, covered my eyes and said, “Surprise.” Wen I peel her hands back she was standing dere in a see-through negligee and she said,” Joe babe, carry me to da bedroom, tie me to da bed and you can do whatever you want.”
So here I am me.


Oct. 14 is Judge Carl Thibodeaux’s birthday. That is also the day he will be publicly roasted. The celebrity roast is sponsored by the Bridge City chamber. Some pretty good cooks will be roasting the judge. They are Mayor Kirk Roccaforte, Judge Buddie Hahn and Roy Dunn. Not a bashful one in the bunch, however Thibodeaux has the last shot at all of them.*****The big Tunnel Boat Races will be this weekend at Orange City Boat Ramp. The event is sponsored by the Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau. Don’t miss it for a great time. Boats running at 200 mph.*****Well folks, my time is up. I certainly thank you for yours. Please shop our advertisers; they keep this paper coming to you. Goodbye, good luck, God bless you.