I mentioned in this column that things would be ugly after this hard freeze came through. Also, I said that houses would burn and pipes would break. Unfortunately all of the above happened. When I was a boy winters were much worse than they are today. Sometimes we get an arctic blast like we just went through but in my youth, every winter was cold. Icicles hanging off of the roof were commonplace. We broke them off and dunked them in sugar and made popsicles. Most days, the old hand pump had to be defrosted with hot water to melt the ice. We slept under all the quilts we could pile on and put a hot brick at the foot of the bed to warm our feet enough to get to sleep. Hard to believe today that we went barefooted – winter and summer – and wore shoes only to church. During the war years, the soles were made of cardboard and would disintegrate if worn daily through dampness. You can be like Congressman Brady however. On global warming he says, “I don’t buy it” but he also says that man can’t harm the atmosphere – that it corrects itself. Of course that’s said in opposition to cap and trade. Anyone will have a hard time convincing the 7,600 cancer patients and the families of the thousand who have died from cancer, mostly because of where they lived and what was released into the air they breathed. Example, one side of Bridge City has 50 percent more cancer than the other side. Port Neches has an unusually high amount of cancer. Death from cancer is higher in industrial chemical plant areas. I don’t know how much more evidence the naysayers need. Every scientist worth his salt says global warming is for real. All I know is that summers were not as hot and winters were much colder when I was a boy and cancer was almost unheard of. *****Well, here comes the rain. I don’t look forward to more wet. I’m running on a short week and way behind so I’d best get going. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

30 Years Ago-1980

Three seek judgeships. Judge David Dunn asks for re-election to 163rd District Court. Dunn, 37, was appointed judge of the county court at law in 1972. He served until 1976 then was appointed judge of the 163rd and elected to the unexpired term in 1978. *****Judge Pat Clark announced as a candidate for judge of the 128th District Court. Clark was the unopposed candidate for the county court at law judgeship in 1978. After the election, he was appointed to the position in September, 1978. A native of Orange, Judge Clark graduated from St. Mary Catholic School, Lamar and the University of Texas law school. After leaving the armed service in 1974, he became first assistant county attorney under county attorney Jim Sharon Bearden. Clark is married to the former Rosalie Todaro. The couple have three children. *****Mike Schuff has announced his candidacy for county court at law judge. Shuff previously worked as assistant county attorney, A graduate of Silsbee High School, Lamar and St. Mary University Law School, Shuff, 30, is married. Tommy Gunn, of the law firm of Wingate, Carlton and Gunn is his campaign treasurer. None of the three judge candidates are expected to have opponents. *****Folks having birthdays this week are Manson “Uncle Man” Duplantis, Jan. 13; Agnes Oubre, Jan. 13; Julia Bacom, Jan. 5; Fred Chapman, Jan. 11. (Editor’s note: I remember him as engineer at KOGT.)*** Mel Campbell celebrates Jan. 14; Glenn Ladd will be a year old on Jan. 14; Joseph Pitre, Jan. 15; Vivian Holbrooks, Jan. 6; and Dwayne Young was one year old on Jan. 8. *****H.D. Pate and Ken Wyatt are sporting breads nowadays. *****Lia Chapman is home recovering from surgery. *****A.J. Judice and Roy Dunn have a diet contest going. They weigh in every Saturday. In March the winner gets an expense paid trip to New Orleans. *****Sharon Bearden starts his 16th Jan. 1 diet that started in 1964. He has lost 326 pounds during the yearly diets. *****Wayne Crull, a 1969 Bridge City graduate, received a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. He is now serving as pastor in Canery, Okla. He and wife, Mary Ann, have an 18-month-old son, David Wayne. (Editor’s note: I often wonder what became of so many of the people written about after 30-plus years.)

35 Years Ago-1975
Bridge City basket ball team features Richard Slaydon, Billy James, Robbie Truncale, Steve Harmon, Terry Landry and coach Railey.*****The Pittsburgh Steelers and Terry Bradshaw win the Super Bowl, 17-13, over the Vikings.*****Don Burgess moves his law office to Bridge City where he will join H.D. Pate.*****Peveto Packing Co. on Texas 62 does custom slaughtering. They also offer half or whole baby beef, 200-300 pounds, for 69 cents per pound, hind quarters, 81 cents per pound and forequarter, 59 cents per pound.

What could have been didn’t happen, so often in life that is the case. I still believe, with Colt McCoy playing a full game, that Texas was a 10-point better team than Alabama. McCoy, knocked out of play after only five plays, all but eliminated any chance the Longhorns had of winning the national championship. He was replaced with a talented youngster but Gilbert was in high school, at Austin Travis last season. I believe had Colt been in the game, Texas would have led 14-0 in the first three minutes of the game. It would have been downhill for Alabama after that, trying to play catch up. I really believe that.*****As far as I know Earl Thomas is the first sophomore from this area to go in the NFL draft. Probably the youngest also. My guess is he will go in the top half of the second round. He will be another big Orange County star if he’s not caught up in “what could have been.” There’s no guarantees in life. He’s taking the opportunity while it’s here and we wish that young man the best.*****Speaking of sports, Joe Kazmar’s column last week stirred up a lot of action on our Web site. The column about Mike Leach, Texas Tech’s former coach, got several thousand hits, including an e-mail from Coach Leach himself.*****Speaking of our Internet, we received response and notes from a lot of people who had known Bill Maddox and until they read it on our Web site, didn’t know he had died. We want to thank blue-eyed Pearl Stanfield for letting us know about his passing in San Antonio.*****We discovered pretty Ruby Snell McCarty working the morning shift at Gary’s Café in Bridge City. Ruby is one of the area’s best waitresses. It’s always service with a smile. She makes breakfast at Gary’s a pleasant outing.*****Special folks having birthdays this week. The lovely Lyndia Permenter, T.W.’s longtime bride celebrates her special day on Jan. 13. Happy birthday. She and Mayor Permenter are great folks and good friends.***Our longtime buddy Mel Kemp Campbell celebrates this week. A great gal who could write one heck of a book.***A gal we’ve known since she was a teenager, Erin Hanks, Pattie’s eldest, will be 31 on Jan. 17. The other day Pattie was that age and one of our editors. Erin, sister Brie, brother Jimmy and mom are all residents of Vegas now. Daughter Jamie and grandparents Lucy and the “Mayor of Starks,” Rene, still live in this area.***I really enjoyed Robert Hankins’ story last week on Susan Pierce of Little Cypress. She will be a feature performer, along with UltraSuede, Jan. 13 at the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame show. Also appearing will be Marcia Ball, Jivin’ Gene, the Ken Marvel Band and Still Cruisin’ featuring Cheryl Guidry and Kenneth Babino. Susan and UltraSuede will include a tribute to Janis Joplin. Ms. Pierce, who has been totally blind since age 9, has faced many trials that show in her soulful voice. Her husband died and she has been diagnosed with uterine cancer. She plays the keyboard and has been with the gospel group Salt of the Earth and The Hard Luck Band and also the West Wind Band. Her part of the show alone is worth the price of the tickets. They are being sold at The Penny Record office in Bridge City or The County Record, 320 Henrietta in Orange in the Harmon Used Car building.****I got an e-mail note from a guy named John who wants to know what became of Constable Dee Aven.*****Many people, now in their 60s and beyond, spent many Saturday nights at the Big Oaks where the Boogie Kings were the hottest group in the south. It’s leader Ned Theall died Friday. Jerry LeCroix, one of the great entertainers and the area’s best showman was a longtime member of the Boogie King group. Jerry is now in poor health, in a wheelchair and unable to attend Ned’s funeral – but many musicians from throughout the country did. Services were held in New Iberia, La. Read more in Down Life’s Highway.*****I said in this column that when Jay Leno left the Tonight Show –  Conan O’Brien would never keep the numbers up and David Letterman would eat him up. Leno’s prime time show hasn’t done well either. Conan, who will be moved to 11:30 p.m. will, I predict, jump to FOX. He will never lead the market. Speaking of NBC, they paid $820 million for the rights to broadcast the Winter Olympics in Vancouver next month. Advertising is soft and the network is expected to lose millions.*****United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is getting a lot of heat for making a true statement. Anyone else but someone running for office, especially in Reid’s position would get away with it. He gave his enemies an issue. He used two words that burned him. He called Obama light-skinned, instead of mixed race, and he used the term “Negro dialect” instead of saying Obama is more articulate and uses black dialect only when he wants to. Negro and light skin is what all this controversy is all about. President Obama fully supports Harry Reid, who is in a tough Nevada race. Trying to make a racist out of Reid would be like making a Catholic out of Rev. Leo. *****The Dallas Cowboys keep rolling on. The 34-14 win Sunday was their third win over the Eagles this season. Business gets serious Sunday when the Cowboys take on Brett Favre and the Vikings at their cold storage in Minnesota. The Vikings are a four-point favorite. My guess is that the Dallas defense will win it and the Cowboys will move on. *****This month, in 1987, big news broke that in 1986 President Ronald Reagan’s administration was involved in a definite link between U.S. arms sale to Iran and the release of American hostages in Lebanon. Ollie North was the go-between. Reagan got a free ride. Some folks choose to forget that. *****Today President Obama is being burned at the stake over the Christmas Day Detroit terrorist act. Republican congressmen say he took his eye off the ball while pushing for health care reform. How ridiculous. What was President Bush doing on 9-11, the only terrorist attack on U.S. soil.?****Do you know what country star is known as “Poet of the common man?” Every one I asked said Tom T. Hall. That’s wrong. H.D. Pate would know. He knows country music but he says his friend of many years, the late Bill Maddox, was the best historian he’s known on country music. He says Bill remembered every word of a song, the artist and when it was recorded. The two sang many of those songs over a jug of corn whiskey.*****We understand Mary Fontenot was re-admitted to the hospital Sunday. We’re pulling for her.******

Lyndia Permenter, Jack Stout, Mandy Jaarah, Patricia Coppage, Joan Lyons, Mel Campbell, Rob Fisher, Tommy Thompson, Carson Peet, Joy Hughes, Margaret Cavanaugh, Tyler Reves, Dee Culpepper, Jerry Ashby, John Green III, Matthew Lee, Milly Arnold, Tanner Wilson, Bob Couser, Bonny Sarver, Dylan Huckebay, Mary Louise McKee, Misti Jagoe, Tara Thompson, Virginia Sanford, James Crabtree, Jimmy Whittle, John Michael Foote, Lisa Costilla, Michael Amsden and Brenna Manasco.


On Jan. 14, Faye Dunaway will be 69; Jason Bateman, 41; Jack Jones, 72 and Andy Rooney, 91.***Jan. 15, Charo, 59; Margaret O’Brien, 73 and had he lived Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be 81.***Jan. 16, Mason Gamble, 24; Kate Moss, 36; Ronnie Milsap, 66 and A.J. Foyt, 75.***Jan. 17, Kid Rock, 39; Muhammad Ali, 68; Vidal Sassoon, 82; Jim Carrey, 48 and Betty White, 88.***Jan. 19, Jodie Sweetin, 28; Jenson Button, 30; Thomas Kinkade, 52; and Dolly Parton, 64. Had she lived Janis Joplin would be 67.***Jan. 20, Gary Barlow, 39; Rainn Wilson, 44; Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, 80, Patricia Neal, 84; and Bill Maher, 54.


Blackie Dartez’s boy, Calvin, is in his turd year as a freshman at LS&U. Calvin was sit in his United States Government class wen da professor him axe him if he knew wat Roe vs. Wade was about.
“Mais yea,” Calvin responded, “I had dat question last year me, dat was da decision George Washington had to make before he crossed da Delaware him.”

Next Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday. All banks and government offices will be closed.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch is dining at Novrozsky’s this week and will take in a big seafood buffet at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s next week. Everyone is welcome.*****Special thanks to Tommy and Sue Simar for the satsumas picked just before the freeze. I haven’t checked with our buddy John Heard to see how much damage was done to the citrus trees.*****If you are looking for a first or second car may we suggest Harmon’s pre-owned cars. It’s a family operation with low overhead. They pass the savings on to the customer. The Harmons have been selling transportation for more than 100 years. They are straight shooters. You can go to the bank on their word.*****It’s no surprise Sarah Palin is going to FOX. She will fit right in with that bunch. It’s all about money and leading the good life for Sarah. She will make plenty and that’s why she seized the opportunity and gave up the governorship. You can’t blame her for that. Make hay while the sun is shining. She owes it all to John McCain. If he hadn’t given her the exposure as vice presidential candidate no one outside of Alaska would have ever known who she was. That’s the breaks and she’s smart enough to take advantage of it. She will be just radical right enough to make a bunch. *****Happy birthday this week to a couple of good guys, Bill Mello celebrated Monday and Joe Ware turned 71 on Tuesday. *****Thanks to our family of advertisers and please patronize them. Read us cover to cover. I’ve got to move on but until next time take care and God bless.