Some significant events take place this week. The Bridge City School District holds commemorative ceremony honoring Roy M. Hatton Elementary at 10:35 Wednesday, Sept. 30. The school, along with Sims Elementary, will be demolished. The late Bill Townes, a former school board member, won a contest naming the school Roy M. Hatton after a pioneer who served on the first school board. Hatton, however, did not donate the land for the school as many believe. His namesake is grandson Roy Michael Hatton, a banker in Beaumont and a Bridge City native.*****Lamar State College-Orange celebrates its 40th anniversary Wednesday. A reception honoring first president, Dr. Joe Ben Welch, who played a large part in getting the school off to a good start. In the end, I believe Dr. Welch was treated a little unfairly. He did a lot of good. If I remember correctly he is attorney Rex Peveto’s father-in-law and lives out of state and over the years has been in university administration. Also being honored is former Sen. Carl Parker, one of our local guys, who always looked after the home folks. Parker is one of the smartest people I’ve known. If not for Sen. Parker’s efforts setting up Lamar-Orange and Lamar-Port Arthur as state schools both would have community college status. This would mean the schools would be supported by a taxing district paid for by local citizens and would just be a shadow of itself. Parker’s bill attached the school to the Texas State System along with Texas, TCU, A&M and others. Local taxpayers have been saved millions of dollars.*****Former State Rep. Ron Lewis is also being honored. He is primarily responsible for the establishment of the Lamar library bearing his name. His friendship with Gov. Perry that goes back to when they were freshmen representatives was a major factor in Ron getting the library funded by the state.*****Carlton “Corky” Harmon is another honoree. “Corky” and the committee he has served on many years, the Lamar Foundation, are responsible for almost every acquisition of property the university now owns. The expansion of Lamar would have been impossible without the great work of that foundation. Harmon has been a member of the Foundation since it’s inception. The recognition of these men is well deserving. Lamar is a great asset to the greater Orange area. Through good leadership it continues to grow. A college town always benefits. Without the efforts of those being honored the college could never have become what it is today.*****There is one other person I feel should have been honored but there is no use in stirring the nest. Congrats to Lamar, its staff and students.*****I’d best be going. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

Last week on Sept. 22, there was a tragic auto accident. Three women lost their lives and a three-year-old precious little girl hangs on to be the only survivor. We feel for the families of all those who lost their lives in that crash on FM 1442.
One of those people was beautiful Kathy Viator, the only child of Beverly Mire and Wilson Roberts and beloved wife of Blain Viator. We had known Kathy since her dad, longtime peace officer, was Bridge City’s first police chief. Kathy was one of the prettiest teenagers around. On Nov. 15, she would have been 48. Kathy raised a family of four children; Michael Johnson, the eldest, daughters Laci Johnson Smart, a songwriter in Nashville, Kree Harrison, a singer and songwriter in Nashville and Corey Harrison, 15, who lived with his mom and stepfather Blain. She also had two stepchildren, Jake and Amber Viator.
The family has lost the pillar that held the youngsters together. She was the clearing- house where they all checked in. Life will be changed as they make their individual ways though it. Relatives are always the bond that holds families together. They should never drift too far apart.
As for Wilson and Beverly, there cannot be a deeper hurt than to lose a child. It’s not suppose to be that way. To lose your only child is the ultimate blow. May God be with our good friends of so many years and may He watch over all those youngsters. One thing they all have in common is that Wilson and Beverly’s blood runs through their veins. Our sincere condolences to Blain and the entire family. (Please see obit.)


I don’t often agree with Bill O’Reilly but he’s emerging as the only voice of reason at FOX News. He’s most often off in right field but his every sentence is not of a radical nature like Sean Hannity and Glen Beck. Here’s his quote: “If the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus.” O’Reilly argues for the inclusion of a public option in the health care reform bill, a measure Republican legislators have banded together against. I agree with O’Reilly that insurance rates can never be reduced without an option. Companies will continue to dictate how expensive insurance will continue to be and the sky is the limit as to what they can charge. They are holding a gun to the head of their Republican friends who are beholden to them.

35 Years Ago-1974

Bob Dartez, longtime butcher, takes over Western Avenue Grocery and Meat Market. *****Corky and Betty Harmon are on their way to Rio de Janeiro for eight-day stay. *****Luther Sebren, county auditor, has resigned effective Oct. 31. *****Larry King and Neal Kelly, new Marines, showed up in Bridge City with heads totally shaved. *****Orange County tax assessor collector Louvenia Hyrhorchuk and her crew were awarded the top rating by the state of Texas. *****Carl Thibodeaux put a wreath on Doug Harrington’s Pharmacy front door. The oldest, ugliest wreath with a sign that read “Big Red is Dead.” The next day it reappeared at Carl’s West Orange Pharmacy after Bridge City defeated the West Orange Chiefs 7-0. The only score was a 43-yard run by Charlie Hillebrant. Richard Slydon Is Bridge City quarterback. Andre Robinson was the top ground gainer for the Chiefs. Randy Feverjean was the top defender for the Cards. West Orange quarterback Ronny Green and running back Lorance Wills take on Stark High Tigers next week. Bridge City faces the powerful South Park Greenies.*****St. Mary’s Junior High School Hornet cheerleaders for 1974-75 are Annie David, Kathy Fere, Tina Anderson, Julie Garcia, Cathie Powell and Anna Albright.*****Rod’s Barber and Hair Designs is a complete shop. They also sell Hombre hairpieces. Employees are Rod Dowdle, owner, beautiful wife Joyce, Sherry Watkins, Johnny Barton and manicurist Nancy White. (Editor’s note: Joyce Dowdle, said goodbye to Rod a long time ago but is still doing business by appointment only at the Outpost on Texas 12 in Mauriceville. She still has some of the same customers she had 35 years ago. She has some interesting customers. For appointment call 745-1114. *****The pretty, longhaired blond in Gunn’s studio ad this week is LeAnn Carroll, Little Cypress-Mauriceville cheerleader. *****In the Texas House, Rep. Carl Parker is running for speaker against Bill Clayton, who appears to have the speaker ship locked up after switching some of Parker’s commitments.

30 Years Ago-1979
Car salesmen at Bickman Lincoln-Mercury are L.C. Swan, M.B. Slocum, Benny Thompson, Ollie Halten, Roy Johnson and Jody Peabody.*****Phyllis Breeden, from Little Cypress, is a sophomore twirler at McNeese.*****Orange’s recording artist Jim Taylor’s newest record, “The Old Man and the Organ,” has been released. The flip side is “One Too Many Times.” His last release made it into the top 100.*****Sammy Parish donates a Winchester to Duck’s Unlimited. Parish owner of Partex Construction bought the gun at auction in Beaumont for $1,500 last year.*****President Jimmy Carter makes speech to the nation about the Soviet troops in Cuba.*****Pope John Paul II, landed in the United States. He appeared on NBC television in the regular Johnny Carson time spot. Tuesday night the Pope said Mass in Yankee Stadium.*****John Paul Gasow has been admitted to the hospital.*****Lisa Shell had her appendix removed.*****Cynthia Fisher is out of the hospital and recovering at home.***** Joe Runnels, former Orange mayor, celebrates a birthday Oct. 1.*****Benny Boudoin celebrates Oct. 5.*****Eddie Free, 24 years ago, was born on Oct. 4. Eddie’s mom, Skipper, drove herself to the hospital and gave birth to Eddie 20 minutes later.*****Johnny Janot, master of KLVI’S Cajun Bandstand, spins records from his large collection at Sparkles in Bridge City each Friday and Saturday night. Some oldies and goodies and a Cajun tune now and then.*****The Opportunity Valley News’ sister paper, Community Post, published its first issue this week. The response to the new 32-page paper has been great and has proved to be a good outlet for local advertisers. (Editor’s note: The paper did have tremendous success and it and the OVN in Orange were sold nine months later to Cox Enterprises).

We had a nice visit with pretty, blue-eyed Pearl this week. She was raised in Bruner Addition of West Orange. Her family operated Myer’s Grocery. Pearl, was married to the late Billy Burgess and J.D. Stanfield. She came from an interesting family, her mom was a Poole, whose dad and uncle were the famous Poole brothers. Good people who were done wrong. Pearle also married into two interesting families so she’s a great person to visit with and has many interesting stories to tell. Monday Pearl, who will be 89 on Oct. 27, was mowing her lawn, riding around town and acting like she is 69.*****Coming Saturday at MacArthur Shopping Center is the fall Farmer’s Market. With fresh produce, farmer’s markets are up 71 percent in the last decade. It’s fun to shop at the market. I’ll be there.*****Our buddy Jessie Domingue, a member of the Louisiana Cajun Music Hall of Fame, will be inducted to the Texas Cajun Music Hall of Fame at the Winnie Rice Festival. To qualify, one would have to have entertained for at least 50 years. Jessie is one heck of a talent. Makes good fig preserves too.*****Happy birthday this week to a special lady. Bobbie Miller celebrated her 72nd on Monday, Sept. 28. Bobbie has been under the weather and we wish this lovely lady a speedy recovery.*****Joe Romano celebrated Monday also. We wish him the best.*****Tyler Carl Thibodeaux turned 20 on Sept. 28. We remember when that boy was born in Lake Charles. The family lived in Orange but Mrs. Thibodeaux’s doctor was in Lake Charles. She and Carl raised some great kids.*****Also celebrating this week are Robert Dale Vance, Eddie Free, Darlene Stephens, Barbara Angelle and Robert Hankins’ lovely wife Martha. Happy birthday to all. *****A new 60 Minutes-Vanity Fair poll has found that 37 percent of the population believes a politician taking a bribe is a greater sin than an extramarital affair. Only 2 percent found the affairs were bigger sins.*****I look for gas at the pump to be around $2 in the next month.*****The family has finally gotten around to working on Major Donna Peterson’s home on Bradford Street that was a victim of Ike. Little sister had to wait while other houses were restored but now Donna’s place has a full crew getting after it.*****It’s coming on a full moon Oct. 4 and is suppose to be great for night fishing and cattle rustling.*****County Commissioner Owen Burton loaned us a story about “Slingin” Sammy Baugh, the great TCU quarterback who lived out his life being a rancher. He would be happy that TCU today is No. 11 in the nation.*****From time to time we get little pieces of wisdom from former newspaper publisher Craig Stark. He’s really a nice guy. I don’t know what he is doing now-a-days.*****I was glad to see that longtime peace officer Bobby Simon has filed a lawsuit against the Nederland police for violating his civil rights and using extreme force. What they did to Bobby is wrong. That stuff gives good law officers a black eye. *****Sarah Palin moved more to the middle in her first speech in Hong Kong. She’s on the money trail. She made half as much with one speech as a year’s salary as governor of Alaska.*****Notice: For the first time the Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s Oct. 7. Manager Jim Larkin is looking forward to seeing everyone. This week the Bunch will meet at Robert’s, next week Novrozsky’s and the following week at Tuffy’s. Y’all come. Everyone welcome.*****Cowboy Church is having a barbecue lunch Friday, Oct. 2. Call 474-0196 to pre-order. Pickup for lunches will be at Winfree Baptist Church.*****Peggy’s on the Bayou is serving whole, fried catfish and also boiled crabs fresh out of the traps. The full moon brings big, full crabs. All are fixed with Richard’s Cajun seasoning.*****Family Pharmacy in Bridge City is now open on Saturday. Flu shots are available. You can depend on your independent pharmacy. Call 735-5555 for more information.*****I don’t have the details but check out our obituaries. I heard that Chuck Baldwin, 79, died in Silsbee. He formerly operated Air Service at the airport.*****We were sad to learn that Euma Guidry, 78, passed away Sept. 28. She and her late husband Charlie operated a tug boat business for many years. He referred to her as “Safire.” She was a great lady.

Brigitte Howard, Richard Albair, Sherry Mulhollan, Brandon Taylor, Debbie Tutt, Denna Elizondo, Martha Hankins, Robert Dale Vance, Howard Fisher, Jamie Freeman, Jimmy Glover, Keely Guidry, Kimberly Cooper, Meg Clark, Skylar Rowley, Brandon Gerrald, Gerald Brignac, Grace Corkran, Kenton James, Tony Lummus, Ann Wilkinson, Collin Stanley, Herb Spencer, J.V. Chauvin, Jo Bramhan, Regina Pounders, Sherry Baker, Alexandra Bates, Betty Roden, Bobby Romero, Eddie Free, Judy Craig, Kyle Ezell, Lori Ess, Sarah Armand, Tricia Prosperie, Candy Hughes, Dakota Rowley, Jami Anderson, Jessica Evans, John Cardner, Kevin Staudenmier, Tyler Miller, Brad Lanthier, Darlene Stephens, Elicia Dillon, Glenn Heil, Jared Dillon, Jerald Ziller, Jimmy Smith, Mildred Gammage, Samual Woodall, Lori Harmon, Barbara Angelle, Cathye Liepy, Charlie Dorman and Inell Lingan.

On Sept. 30, Jenna Elfman, 38; Monica Bellucci, 41; Marilyn McCoo, 66, Johnny Mathis, 74; and Angie Dickinson, 78. *****On Oct. 1, Mark McGwire will be 46; Rod Carew, 64; Randy Quaid, 59; Julie Andrews, 74 and Jimmy Carter, 85. *****Oct. 2, Sting, 58 and Don McLean, 64. *****Oct. 3, Ashlee Simpson, 25; Tommy Lee, 47; Chubby Checker, 68 and Gore Vidal, 84. *****Oct. 4, Jackie Collins, 72 and had he lived Charlton Heston would be 84 and Bernie Mac, 52 *****Oct. 5, Nikki Hilton, 26; Kate Winslet, 34; and Glynis Johns, 86. *****Oct. 6, Elizabeth Shue, 46 and Britt Ekland, 67.

Agnes Boudreaux is da church gossip her. She appointed herself monitor of da church’s morals and kept sticking her nose in everybody’s business. Several members of Rev. Gaspards church didn’t approve of Agnes’ behavior but fearing her wicked tongue dey said notin dem.
Agnes made a mistake however. She accused Joe Comeaux, a new member of da church, of being an alcoholic drunk him after she saw his old pickup truck parked in front of Tee-Boy’s Bar for several hours. Agnes told Comeaux and utta members, “Dat it’s easy to see dat everyone would know wat Comeaux was doing him dere so long.
Joe, a man of few words him, stared at Agnes for a moment, said nuttin, just turned and walked off. Later dat night Comeaux quietly parked his old pickup in front of Agnes’ house den he walked home. He left da old truck dere all night. (You gotta love dat Comeaux.

Don’t forget the Carl Thibodeaux Roast on Oct. 15. The seating is limited so get your tickets now. The money raised will go toward the improvement of the Bridge City Museum. The roast will be fun. Mayor Kirk Roccaforte, Judge Buddie Hahn and Roy Dunn will do the roasting along with Judge Thibodeaux’s children. Gary Stelly will be master of ceremonies. On the menu is a choice of chicken and sausage or seafood gumbo with all the trimmings. It’s also Carl’s birthday so come have some cake.*****I was just thinking, if the state would have built a new bridge over Cow Bayou, it would have cost $18 million and the county would have spent several hundred thousand to buy right-away property. Now revamping the historical bridge will cost less than $100,000, to be paid by Texas at no cost to the county. That’s a win-win situation plus preserving history.*****I’ve gotta shut down. Remember it’s nice to have a lot of friends but everyone should try to have one like Donna Scales. Thanks for your time. Take care and God bless.