North of the Creaux’s Nest
A DROUGHT IS OK BY ME
I am tired of all the wet, fog, and just plain nasty weather. Bring on the cold, heat or whatever but this dampness has gotten on my last nerve. ******You missing a bet if you are not giving Orange County citrus for Christmas. Fresh off the tree, grapefruit, oranges, satsuma, lemons etc., the crop has never been better. I’m shipping some out this week. It’s a good way to brag about Orange County. Fresh off the tree. Contact a local citrus grower. *****You’ll enjoy this week’s paper. We have gotten great response on the history of the Port of Orange now being run in installments. Part 2 appears this week, others to follow. *****Be sure to read the feature on Harry Choate, a Cajun music legend, who made “Jolie Blon” famous. *****In remembrance of all the people who passed away this past year we are running a very touching poem, “My First Christmas in Heaven.” We suggest if you have lost a loved one that you read it. *****There’s a lot of good, entertaining writings inside these pages. More Orange Countians read “The Record” than all other newspapers combined and we appreciate it. Gotta move on, come along, it won’t do you no harm.
THE DEPOT THAT MADE HISTORY
For many years I’ve driven by the old historical train depot. Old timers told stories about being met by family and friends at the depot when arriving in Orange to make their new homes. Cajuns came from New Iberia and South Louisiana; Italians that landed in New Orleans made their way to Orange by train. No building in Orange is more connected to the arrival of immigrants than the depot. It’s shameful the way this landmark has just sat there depreciating for 20-odd years. The city of Orange missed an opportunity to this wonderful old building.
To use children as an excuse not to allow a half-million dollar improvement for the establishment of an upscale restaurant and lounge is a cop out. I don’t buy that any of those votes to deny a liquor permit had anything to do with children. That excuse is often footballed. You know, “We were thinking about the children’s safety.” It’s an excuse that folks ain’t buying. Everyone knows better.
That building has a proud heritage and should be preserved. Here’s an idea. Why don’t the council members who voted against the permit move to make an “All-Star” museum out of the depot? That’s a good cause. Items, memorabilia, paraphernalia of Orange County stars etc. can be displayed. Here’s just a few, NFL coach Bum and coach Wade Phillips, A&M’s winningest coach R.C. Slocum, NFL stars, Kevin Smith, Matt Bryant, Ernie Ladd, Jason Mathews, Shane Dronet, Rocky Colvin and others. Recording artist such as Gatemouth Brown, Marsha Ball, George Jones, Tracy Byrd, Clay Walker and more. Movie stars Frances Fisher (“Titanic”), Delores Cantu and others. Actors Bill Stringer and Drew Waters and J. Canazaro. Baseball’s Andre Robertson, of the New York Yanks, Bruce Aven, college All American, Steve Worster. There are other natives, writers etc. and the museum could include the history of Orange and the part the depot played. Somebody needs to do something with that building other than just being negative. Maybe kill two birds with one stone, an upscale restaurant, lounge and museum items. I bet even the children we are protecting would enjoy their history.
We were sorry to hear about the passing of Wilma Grossman, age 88, who died Friday. We had known this nice lady for many years. She is survived by her husband of 65 years Joe Grossman, daughter Bobbie Burgess, Lamar dean and former Bridge City mayors, daughter Pat Cooper and son Raymond Grossman. For many years Mrs. Grossman worked for different 128th District Court judges. A member of the military in WW II she was another from the Greatest Generation. She and Joe seemed an unlikely couple, a Cajun from Louisiana and a Jewish boy from New York but they were perfect partners. To Joe and the family, we extend our sincere condolences. A memorial service will be Friday, Dec. 18, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange, 2 p.m., visitation 1 p.m. She was an interesting lady. Please read obits.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Rick Casey, Houston Chronicle writer, says, “In Houston, it is now harder for a lawyer to be elected mayor than a Lesbian.” He made the statement when openly gay Annise Parker, 53, beat attorney Gene Locke in Saturday’s runoff. Houston is the country’s largest city with an openly gay mayor. Smaller towns like Portland, Ore., Providence, R.I., and Cambridge, Mass., do also. Parker was supported and funded by gay political organizations nationwide. Now you know.
30 YEARS AGO-1979
Inez Hearn celebrated a birthday last week. (Editor’s note: Well, Nez, we just thought we were old back then but really we were pretty high kickers 30 years ago. Belated birthday.)*****Former sheriff Chester Holts and Ms. Iva will celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary Dec. 19. *****This weekend Carl Thibodeaux and crew moved West Orange Pharmacy from Danny’s Grocery and Market to a new building next to Dr. Jones’ office on Western Ave.*****Lisa Gredrick and Lia Chapman both had surgery this week at Orange Memorial. *****Recently receiving awards at Gulf were Lou Garriga, Bob Pruitt, Jim Morgan, Darro Fails, Carl Bryant, Rif Lee, Bill Peilter, Pam Reynolds and David Snapp. (Editor’s note: Believe it or not, I knew most of those good old boys. I believe Morgan was the first to die, 20 odd years ago. Pruitt moved away and Garriga is still holding down the Bridge City home front. *****Skipper Free brings the Office Hound two mechanical crabs that do disco. *****Bridge City Chamber announces new officers. Dr. Albert Pugh, president, replaces Bill Nickum. Don Burgess is vice president, Robert Hanks, vice president and Shannon Messer secretary/treasurer. *****Bridge City students receiving degrees from Lamar University are Sherri Ware Fisk, Connie Slaydon Stuebing, David Mounce, Janice and Jean Lapeyrolerie, Jackie Latino, Gilbert Angelle, James Woodard, James Walker and Florence Verrett.*****Betty and Corky Harmon celebrated their 23rd anniversary this week on Dec. 14. Corky robbed pretty Betty from junior high school when she was quite young. (Editor’s note: She started off as a nanny to Corky’s two boys and ended up raising them when they were wed. The couple then had two children of their own. Great folks to call friends. Congrats on your 53rd and best wishes for many more healthy, happy years.)
A FEW HAPPENINGS
Everyone’s friend, Jerry Hughes, and his staff at the Realty office will have their 32nd annual Christmas open house Thursday 4-6 p.m. Stop by and visit with those good folks, you will be welcomed. *****I understand the Orange Jaycees Christmas Parade has been rescheduled for Dec. 19, 6:30 p.m.*****A speedy recovery to a lovely lady, Dorothy Mathis, 84, who is in the Meadows rehabilitation center after receiving a Pacemaker recently at Baptist Orange. Keep up that great spirit and keep on ticking. *****Wilma Horner and the gang at Remax Platinum held their grand opening ribbon-cutting Tuesday in Bridge City. We wish the new ownership best of luck..*****Last week Skipper ran into Lynn Gerhart in Beaumont where they both live. It turns out that Lynn is the former Lynn Hall our long lost friend. Lynn spent many days with us in the newspaper business. *****”Sprad” is recovering at Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange after a bunch of pins put his shattered hip back in place. “Sprad” took a two-story fall at his boat store.*****Special birthday wishes on Dec. 18 to pretty Tracey Lynn Broussard who will be 22. The next day, Dec. 19, she will graduate from Baylor University with a bachelor of business administration in marketing. Happy birthday and congrats. Tracy, a Bridge City grad, is the daughter of Phyllis and Ronnie Broussard. She makes her folks proud.*****One of our dearest friends, James Brabham, turns 80 this Wednesday, Dec. 16. James is a great guy. It’s hard to believe the years have gone by so quickly. Here’s wishing you many more healthy years brother.*****Also celebrating is our friend Betty Lou Womack, a real sweetheart. She and mayor Brown Claybar share birthdays Dec. 17. *****A great guy, Kenny Pigg, celebrates Dec. 20. Now there’s a guy that will do to ride the range with.*****One of our favorite Republicans Donnie Stanton turned 42 on Dec. 15. Happy birthday and may you someday see the light.***** Happy birthday and best wishes to all.*****We were right on the money last week when we said Alabama running back Mark Ingram had the inside track to win the Heisman. We predicted that even though we liked Stanford back Toby Gerhart better, it would be a close vote and it was. The closest vote ever. Ingram got 227 first place votes, with a total 1,304. Gerhart got 222 votes, total 1,776. Colt McCoy got 203 votes, total 1,145. Colt’s last nationally-televised game against Nebraska, geography and politics did him in. Ingram and McCoy will meet in the national championship game on Jan. 7. McCoy was the only finalist to sneak out the back door. Colt lost to Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford last year. Ingram is the third sophomore Heisman winner in a row. Sidebar: Ingram’s father by the same name, former NFL star is awaiting sentencing for jumping bail and money laundering. He is being held at the Federal Corrections facility in Queens, just a few miles from where the awards were held in Manhattan.*****Bill Leger (Laysha) of Channel 6 fame is the new Cajun record spinner Sunday mornings on KLVI-AM. I wonder what happened to Dana Melancon from Fox? Tee Bruce was a special guest Sunday.*****We were sorry to learn of the death of Gordon LeBoeuf, former Port Neches-Groves and Texas A&M football star. We knew Gordon when he was playing for Bear Bryant at A&M with John David Crow. Gordon, drafted in the late rounds, was offered a $10,000 salary by the New York Jets to play pro-football. He turned it down and became a successful businessman. They called him the Wild Cajun around the Brazos River hangout.*****Did you know that nearly twice as many people die in December or winter months? Uncle Jim McKay used to say, “It’s because the sap is down like a tree, which is more likely to die when its sap is down.”*****I swore to myself that I would stay out of the ridiculous Tiger Wood’s fiasco. As far as I’m concerned I don’t care if he’s slept with 100 ladies, he is still the “Athlete of the Decade.” Everyone would agree with me if he had not hit that fireplug. His nighttime entertainment has nothing to do with his daytime golf. The issue is between he and his wife but boy did it bring the vultures out.*****Matt Bryant made three field goals with no misses in Atlanta’s 23-26 loss to New Orleans.*****The Cowboys and Saints meet Saturday in a game to be televised on the NFL network. It’s a must win for Dallas and the Saints are 13-0. Who would have believed, in this lifetime that the Saints would have a season going into the 14th game without a loss. I believe most local folks will be pulling for Coach Wade Phillips and the Cowboys to win. Wade is an Orange native. The Saints can afford a loss; the Cowboys need to win.*****A speedy recovery to Nick Wingate in the hospital. A great guy.*****Also Ms. Edee Pratt has been under the weather but she’s tough and hard to hold down.*****I understand that Cow Bayou Marina, in Bridge City, will have live entertainment Sunday 4-8 p.m. Tommy Fuselier will feature the Tx-La Cousins. Also entertaining (H.D. Pate will be glad to know this) will be Sen. Carl Parker singing all his favorite songs. With him will be Ralph Richardson and J.R. Benoit. Everyone is invited.*****You might have some money coming from the state so check our Web site. There is $2 billion in funds with over 100 local names on the list. You might have some money coming. I recognize quite a few names. Check it out on therecordlive.com.*****Congrats to four West Orange-Stark athletes who signed a letter of intent Wednesday, with Lamar University. They are Jordon Garrett, Josh Powdrill, Derek Hall and Ryan Clark.*****Best wishes to Bessie Huckaby who will undergo tests at M.D. Anderson. She and C.J. are Mr. and Mrs. Pinehurst and great folks.
HERE’S COMES THE JUDGE
Orange Counties’ longest serving judge, Carl Thibodeaux, has ended the
speculation. This week, the judge filed for an unprecedented fifth term
with Democratic chairman Mark Carter. Thibodeaux, since taking office,
has brought the county into modern times. He has weathered many storms
for us. Orange County is better off today because of his dedicated
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
James Brabham, Kitty Martin, Michelle Gephart, Bobby Adaway, Carol Allen, Elizabeth Uzzle, Michael Terry, Natalie Nimitz, Nathan Applebach, Betty Lou Womack, Brown Claybar, Chris Chambless, Mandy Hoffman, Martha Taylor, Tracey Lynn Broussard, Webster Trahan, Daniel Brocklehurst, Dyann Schiler, Gloria Brown, Jill Vaughn, Julia Alleman, Marcus McLellan, Mitch Hidalgo, Raymond Hughes, Ruth Fournier, Bill Cardner, Janet Holland, Shelby Vogt, Stacey Bates, Andrew Havens, Elizabeth Parish, Majed Jaarah, Marion Martin, Matt Reeves, Rick Deutsch, Bill Bailey, Glenda Granger, Paula Hall, Phyllis Broussard, Rachel Guidry, Rodney Harmon, Yvonne Veillon, Clevie Fontenot, James Robbins, Charlee Lemons, Dale Burns and Debi Foster.
On Dec. 16, Benjamin Bratt will be 45; William “Refrigerator” Perry, 47; Steven Bochco, 66 and Lesley Stahl, 68.*****Dec. 17, Chris Matthews will be 64; Manny Pacquiao, 31; Mike Mills, 51 and Wes Studi, 62.*****Dec. 18, Christina Aquilera, 29; Brad Pitt, 46; Leonard Maltin, 59 and Steven Spielberg, 63.*****Dec. 19, Jake Gyllenhaal will be 29; Criss Angel, 42; Jennifer Beals, 46; Cicely Tyson, 76 and Aylssa Milano, 37.*****Dec. 20, David Cook, 27; Billy Bragg, 52; Uri Geller, 63 and Peter Criss, 64.*****Dec. 21, Keifer Southerland, 43; Phil Donahue, 74; Florence Griffith Joyner, 50; Ray Romano, 52 and Jane Fonda, 72.*****Dec. 22, Ali Lohan, 16; Jordin Sparks, 20; Robin Gibb, 60; Diane Sawyer, 64 and Steve Garvey, 61.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Sheriff “Cat” Ducet sent his deputy Minos Thibodeaux to investigate old man Clovis LeBlanc’s farm for illegal drugs. He tells Clovis, “I got to inspect your farm for illegally growin drugs.”
Clovis say, “Okay, but don’t go in dat field over dere.”
Deputy Thibodeaux him, he explodes saying, “Mister, I got da authority of da sheriff ‘Cat’ Ducet himself me.”
Da deputy reach in his rear pants pocket, removes his badge and proudly displays it. “LeBlanc, you see dis badge, it means I can go where I want to me, on any land. Have I made myself clear, hanh?”
Clovis nods politely, apologizes and goes about his chores.
A short time later Clovis hears loud screams and see Thibodeaux, da deputy, running for his life, chased by LeBlanc’s mean, prize bull. With da bull’s horns just barely off his butt he’s terrified him.
Clovis throws down his tools, runs to da fence and yells at do top of his lungs, “Your badge, show him you BADGE!”
We understand through the grapevine that Orange native Marsha Ball will be inducted into the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame. Ball, a recording rock and roll star, was born right here in Orange County. The induction will take place Jan. 23, at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur. She will entertain in the evening at the Hall of Fame show, formerly the Janis Joplin Birthday Bash. Floyd Soileau, Cajun recording studio owner, will also be inducted. We understand many stars will perform on the show, including Jivin’ Gene, Susan Pierce of Mauriceville, Ultra Suede, Ken Marvel, Still Cruising Band and others for the biggest show yet. Tickets will be available at the Record Newspaper offices in Orange and Bridge City. Don Ball is the producer of the show.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week and next week a big pre-Christmas gathering will be held at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s. Everyone who has attended throughout the year is expected to come celebrate. However, anyone is always welcome. Come alone or bring a friend, you’ll break bread with some great folks.*****Local author Sylvia Dickey Smith has a new book out called “Sassy Southern Classy Cajun.” It’s a collection of great Southern and Cajun recipes. I’ve just received my copy and can’t put it down. It’s loaded with goodies, award-winning dishes and great deserts. A nice gift and a must for every kitchen. Sylvia, a native of Orange, currently lives in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband, a retired Army colonel. Sylvia is the author of the “Sidra Smart” series. Learn more about this talented Orange native at www.sylviadickeysmith.com. *****I told you a long time ago that the big insurance companies would spend whatever it took to prevent a public option plan in any health insurance reform. They have the Republicans in their pocket but I always suspected, when it got down to the nut cutting, Sen. Joe Lieberman would be bought and paid for. Don’t be surprised if he’s the vote that shoots down the 55 to 64 Medicare plan.*****It seems Judge Pat’s granddaughter, 12-year-old Whitney, is quite a soccer star in the Houston area. Clark has been batching while Ms. Rosalie watches Whitney in action and looks after little Pat’s children while he attends special classes. Judge is living on sandwiches and really needs a fix of pasta. He may get the DT’s.*****I’ve got to go. Thanks for coming along. Take care and God bless you all.