North of the Creaux’s Nest
THE JOYS AND AGONY OF LIFE
During these bad times nothing could have been more spirit lifting in the “Who Dat” Nation than the 33-28 overtime win by the Saints over Brett Favre and the Vikings. The natives are ecstatic over the Saints’ first appearance ever in the Super Bowl. Early in the season we predicted it would be the Colts and Saints in the Super Bowl. After Romo and the Cowboys beat them, I saw a weakness exploited by the Cowboy defense. Then I said all bets were off. I believe today that day- in, day-out with Favre the Vikings are a better team. If Brett doesn’t return for one more season the interception that probably cost them the game will haunt him the rest of his life. That’s why, as beat up as he is today, he won’t quit on that failed pass.
Now to the Super Bowl. If Peyton Manning and the Colts use the same game plan Dallas did, Manning will out perform Brees. On offense, man for man, I believe the Colts are better. The saving grace for the Saints is that they won’t be facing a defense that comes near to matching Dallas. The Saints won’t have that screaming home crowd. All that said, New Orleans is on a mission. A few breaks, no turnovers and they might just pull it off. I said the Viking game would be the best playoff game and it was. I don’t look for the Super Bowl to come down to who has the ball last. The Colts are rested and have four weeks to prepare, the Saints coming off a tough game with several bruises and have only two weeks to get it together. The spread is 3.5 points. I don’t believe the spread will matter. If things go bad for either team and they move away from their game plan, the game could bust wide open. I’m hoping it’s in the favor of the Saints but Manning and the Colts have been there before. Experience will matter, they can better comeback from a deficit. They have done it many times, even in big games. The odds favor the Colts but the football Gods have been looking after the Saints and God knows the “Who Dat” Nation deserves this great achievement after 43 years of frustration and disappointment. What a lift this would be. You’re sure to win something if you bet on the Colts and the Saints win, just don’t bet much. If you’re for the Saints you win either way. *****The waterway oil spill at Port Arthur fortunately left the environment likely unscathed. Authorities credit a massive emergency response with averting a major disaster. Five hundred fifty two people have been working, with 27 skimming vessels and 58,800 feet of boom being used. Half of the 440,000 gallons had been cleaned from the water by Tuesday noon. The ship shutdown is costing over $250 million a day but could have been much worse. The spill has made every major news outlet in the country and abroad.*****We really have very little problems when compared to the world’s largest disaster in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. You have to feel for those poor people. Hundreds of thousands dead, more than one million homeless, more than 4,000 Americans remain dead or missing (more than 9-11). Getting back to normal will take years and cost billions. We should count our blessings. I’ve gotta move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.
POLITICALLY SPEAKING, WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
The GOP have lined up their talking points to make the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts appear as a national referendum against the reform of health care the way Obama has proposed it. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. Republican voters didn’t elect Brown. Massachusetts has a health care model that is better than the national model. No other state has a health plan like that state – everyone is covered. Brown used the fear factor on the health plan; he never used the words Republican, Bush or Cheney. Mostly, Martha Coakley wasn’t the right candidate to replace Sen. Edward Kennedy, who was bigger than life. A woman with a shrill voice replacing Ted’s booming voice wasn’t the best selling point. It was more than that: Democrats including unions got caught with their pants down. Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee quietly funneled top staffers with $1 million in cash and “campaign know-how” into Massachusetts. The big insurance lobbyist poured quietly into the state with millions in their pockets while Democrat’s AFL-CIO were napping. They caught on four days before the election, way too late. Brown was able to tap into the independent voters. “No one believed it was possible. Brown is probably a one-termer. Coakley lost by five points and here’s something Republicans won’t tell you. Local issues made more than a five-point difference. One issue was a controversial plan to allow a wind farm six miles off the coast that Kennedy had fought against. Massachusetts citizens don’t want anything messing with their water, lobster bed, etc. Republicans had pushed for the wind farm. Brown like Kennedy was against it. Coakley supported it. That support, I’m told, cost her way more than the margin she lost by. If she had opposed the wind farm, she likely would have won. That’s not what the GOP and national media are zeroing in on, however. FOX News will make it look like Obama is doomed nationally. Well, just for good measure, take the weekend poll in Massachusetts. Obama’s approval is 66 percent, 15 points better than newly-elected Brown. The big winner there was big insurance. I told you a long time ago in this column they would do anything to defeat health reform. They have the Republican congress in their pocket 100 percent including some Democrats and Joe Leiberman. The big loser is the American people if we don’t get some kind of reform. Rates will continue to escalate. The insurance companies will continue to dictate to who and how treatment is given. A young couple with two children will give all of one week’s salary per month for health care. Don’t buy into the rhetoric Just remember where we are, and why, and how the country got in this mess.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
30 Years Ago-1980
Bob Hope arrived in Port Arthur for the dedication of Bob Hope High School. Four Sertoma Clubs sponsored at a banquet held at the OCAW Hall, honored those contributing to the school’s construction. Some guests included Mr. and Mrs. Darrell Royal, Tom Raferty and Gary Huskey of the Dallas Cowboys, Kathy Crosby, Fred Travelina, Jimmy Dean, Johnny Nash, Jimmy Demerritt and a host of others. *****County Commissioner Asa Mansfield will retire after 20 years. His grandpa Guy Mansfield owned and operated the Mansfield Ferry. The ferry could haul up to eight cars across the Neches River to Beaumont. *****Judge Graham Bruce retires this week. His grandparents on both sides traveled to Texas in covered wagons. The Grahams came from Alabama and the Bruces from Georgia. An A&M grad, Judge Bruce has served as 128th District judge for eight years. After he attended Texas law school, he entered his father’s practice in Orange. He and wife Mary married in 1939. They had a long separation during WWII when he volunteered as a Private after Pearl Harbor. He served for four years and advanced from private to captain with the Army’s 2nd Armored Division, fighting in Northern Germany, North France, Belgium and Holland. He did not see his daughter Virginia until she was over 1 year old. They also have two sons – David and Steve. Judge Bruce defeated his cousin Judge Frank “Dub” Hustmyer to capture the post. *****The city of Orange is seeking a personnel assistant, salary $13,500 a year. *****Judge Sid and Denise celebrated their 63rd anniversary on Jan. 21. *****On Jan. 24 Christopher James Flowers celebrated his first birthday. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Flowers has 12 grandparents. Four of them are grand, seven are great and one is great, great and all were at his birthday party. (Editor’s note: I wonder how many are still living. Not many I bet. *****Sunday, Feb. 3, Sparkle Paradise will feature Clifton Chenier and the Louisiana Red Hots. Also featured are Tiny Richardson, Little Cliff and the Hungry Bunch. *****A groundbreaking ceremony is set for the New Bridge City/Orangefield Community Center. Paul Cormier and C.R. Nash spaded up the first dirt for the construction. *****Voted most beautiful and most handsome at Bridge City High are seniors Karen Childress and Blain Beard, juniors Angie Boudreaux and Wendell Martin, sophomores Gina Allen and Chris Tibbits, freshmen Patti Broussard and Danny Douchet. *****Marty Conway is chairperson for the chamber banquet. Betty Morris is in charge for ticket sales. Captains are Pete Sterling, Leland Morrow, W.T. Oliver and Earl Wright. *****Jack Thompson announces for constable of Pct. 1. He is a licensed pilot and has used his plane in search and rescue for the sheriff’s department. He is 50 and employed by Gulf Oil Chemical Co. for more than 24 years. *****Paul Wise is elected president of the Orange Noon Lions Club. He is manager of the K-Mart store. *****Brown Hearing Aid Center is located at 403 N. Ninth St. and owned by Lee Brown.
We were sorry to learn about the death of Pam Crew’s mother-in-law, Agnes Crew, 85, who died Jan. 21. Pam’s husband and Mrs. Crew’s son, Walter, died a few weeks ago. Two big losses for Pam in a month. Please see obit.
A FEW HAPPENINGS
What Bridge City needs more than anything is people to come, which I think can happen this summer. Second, the city needs people to stay and quit moving out. Too many longtime residents have left already. What the business community needs is a stronger customer base, in a healthy trade area. It will take time. The infrastructure must be rebuilt and brought up to standard but not overnight. Rather than rule with a big stick, the city and residents will be best served with tolerance. Three years will make a big difference if we go with the flow. Three seasons without a major storm will stabilize and bring back true home values. This will help in many ways; one way will be a healthier tax base. Many homes are empty that need repair. The city should encourage investors by working with them to get the homes online for buyers and renters. That’s the way I see it. What will emerge is a more stable city. *****The Mardi Gras season is upon us. Here are important facts about the King Cake. It’s shape, color and decoration represents unity for all Christians. The Mardi Gras colors, purple, gold and green, stand for justice, power and faith. The small baby doll in the cake symbolizes the finding of the baby Jesus by the three wise men, Casper, Melchior and Balthazar. Now you know. *****Tom Hicks, a Port Arthur native, has agreed to sell the Texas Rangers to a group that includes Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. The price is more than $500 million. The sale will include 153 acres around Ranger ballpark and Cowboy Stadium owned by Hicks Control Group. Hicks is one of Port Arthur’s most famous natives, yet the Hicks family has never been recognized or honored in their hometown. We have a lot of that right here in Orange County also. ****The John Roberts Supreme Court and his Republican colleagues delivered a large jolt last week. They declared unconstitutional a large portion of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act, passed under George W. Bush in 2002. The Court, in their decision, gives more influence to corporations who can use their profits to support or oppose candidates. Today there is a limit individuals and Pac’s can give, and corporations are not allowed to donate to political campaigns. Under the new ruling, corporations will be able to buy local, state and national elections and can threaten office holders by withholding large sums of money. The world will run our political systems because foreign companies own many of our corporations, like Budweiser and others. In a nutshell what I’ve said for years that the middle class is being diminished has taken a giant step towards becoming like a third world of only the rich and the poor who work for them.. What’s ironic is that the middle class is buying into programs and pitches by folks in sheep’s clothing that daily are making them closer to the poor than the rich. *****Osteoporosis, thinning of the bones, associated with the loss of calcium and minerals, overwhelmingly strikes women. The New England Journal of Medicine says in men, however, it is under diagnosed and under treated. In fracture of the spinal bone, arthritis, etc. men are more likely to die within a year of breaking a hip. Certain medications such as steroids lead to bone loss and other bone problems. Osteoporosis is usually a silent disease so men should be aware and get a bone-mineral density test. *****Orange County Democratic Chairman Marc Carter says the Bill White camp is elated over a Republican poll last week that showed White just 10 points behind Gov. Rick Perry. Perry has been in public office all of his adult life while White has not bought his first statewide television ad. He doesn’t yet have the name recognition he will have by November. The White campaign wants to run against Perry. They believe they will pick up Kay Bailey Hutchison’s independent middle-of-the road vote. Also Debra Medina’s 13 percent is a strong vote against Perry. The endorsement of Kay Bailey by Geo. H.W. Bush and Jim Baker, who said it’s time for a change and Perry should go, will play big in White’s campaign television ads. If Perry is defeated by Kay Bailey it would be much harder for Mayor White to defeat her. He can easily pick up the 10 points against Perry with nine months to go. We said a long time ago that Rick is interested in running for national office, that’s why he’s running for governor now. *****We were sorry to hear about West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald’s mother passing away on Jan. 23. Della McDonald was a resident of Pitkin, La. Services were Wednesday, Jan. 27 in Pitkin. *****Our buddy Lloyd Sittig is recuperating and taking therapy at the Meadows after sustaining a broken hip. Keep on Keeping on Lloyd. *****Don Mosier, who developed heart trouble, had to have six stints and will need additional stints sometime next month.. Don is a great guy that we have known many years. We wish him the best. *****We had a very interesting visit from Jim Mestepey, a former Firestone engineer, who worked around the globe. A native of Lake Charles, he played football at McNeese and SLI, in Lafayette. Jim’s roots go back to Vermilion Parish and he’s very interested in the Cajun history of that area. He and Roy got along fine and Roy learned a lot about Jim’s kinfolks. His grandfather was a police juror, like our commissioners, in Abbeville. *****Happy birthday this week to some special folks. Twins Rosalie Clark and Mary Ann Scofield, Frank Todora’s two beautiful daughters. *** Twins Lucas and Mason Adams, Amanda’s 5-year-old boys. ***Bill Dixon who celebrates this week as does Aggie Don Kachtik. *** Leland Clay Gros, Garrett and Brittany’s boy turns 1 Jan. 27. L.C. is Karen Gros’ first grandchild and Roy and Ms. Phyl’s third great-grandchild. ***Skipper’s boy Scott Free, who she says hasn’t been scot-free, marks another birthday this week. Happy birthday to all. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dined at Van Choate’s last week. Included in the large group were all four justices of the peace, Judge Joe Parkhurst, Pct. 1, who is planning to retire. Derry Dunn, Pct. 2 judge, Pct. 3 Judge Janice Menard, Pct. 3, Judge Rodney Price, Pct. 4 and also former Judge Claude Wimberley, Pct. 1 and justice of the peace candidate for Pct. 1, David Peck and wife Patsy. Commissioner Owen Burton is always interesting to be around, and 92-year-old King Dunn. Author Nova Dee Strickland and Democratic chairman Marc Carter are always good sources of information. The Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and Novrozsky’s next. Everyone is always welcome. *****Thanks to Capt. Chuck Uzzle we enjoyed the Saints-Viking game with Canadian goose gumbo prepared by chef Jerry McMurry, who cooks gumbo New Orleans style with okra, bay leaves, clam juice and other secret ingredients. Also thanks to Chuck, we were able to have broiled duck breast, stuffed with cream cheese, jalapenos and wrapped in bacon. Our compliments also to Chuck and wife Nancy for raising Hunter into a great, polite youngster with a hearty handshake. That boy knows more about fishing and hunting then most adults.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
Shirley Hebert, Hazel Reedon, Jonathan Arnold, Kimberly Barclay, Melanie Prosperie, Mick Weidner, Tori Lummus, Virginia Pelitier, Bill Dixon, Chase Rendall, Colin Briggs, Jim Snider, Mary Ann Scofield, Rosalie Clark, Sheryl Richard, Sterling Werkheiser, Virginia Robinson, Kerstin Jewel, Paula Perkins, Rachel Beaulieu, Ricky Miller, Traci Anderson, Amy Campbell, Carolyn Martin, Brenda Dubose, Jason Myers, Jeanie Kreger, Shirley Jordan, Amy Campbell, Ted Blanchard, Chuck Rowley, Eric Mangham, Regina Gaspard, Ron Mason, Scott Free, Steven Kimbell, Telisha Kuykendall, Lucas Adams, Mason Adams, Wayne Sullivan, Garrett Kerger, Jake Williams, Lisa Monceaux, Bobby Anderson, Daric Rogers, Fred Dohmann, Vance Thomas and Don Kachtik.
On Jan. 28 Elijah Wood will be 20; Nick Carter, 30; Sarah McLachlan, 42; and Joey Fatone Jr., 33. ***Jan. 29 Adam Lambert will be 28; Oprah Winfrey, 56; Tom Selleck, 65; John Forsythe, 92 and Katharine Ross, 68. ***Jan. 30, Brett Butler, 52; Phil Collins, 59; Dick Cheney, 69; Vanessa Redgrave, 73 and Tammy Grimes, 76. ***Jan. 31 Justin Timberlake, 29; Minnie Driver, 39; Nolan Ryan, 63; and Carol Channing, 87. ***Feb. 1, Lisa Marie Presley, 42; Sherilyn Fenn, 45; Princess Stephanie of Monaco, 45; Don Everly, 73 and Brandon Lee, 45. ***Feb. 2, Shakira, 33; Christie Brinkley, 56; Graham Nash, 68; and Tom Smothers, 73. ***Feb. 3 Isla Fisher, 34; Maura Tierney, 45; Morgan Fairchild, 60 and Fran Tarkenton, 70. Jean Simmons would have been 81 had she not passed away Saturday.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Da family gave Sostan Thibodeaux, whose mind had been slipping lately, a cell phone him to use wen he was away.
Sostan him was driving down da freeway near Cowley wen his phone rang. “Hallo,” he answer.
His wife Edna urgently warned him, “Sostan, I jus heard on da news dat dere’s a car going da wrong way on Interstate 10, please be careful.”
“Hell Edna,” Sostan answered, “It’s not jus one car no, it’s hundreds of dem idiots.”
A full moon is on the way Jan. 30.*****Is it my imagination or do buffalo wings taste like chicken? Some things just don’t have any logic but then if the world was a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.*****We ran into Kaycie Gunn at Sam Moore’s place, “The Zone” at the airport. That girl can hit the heck out of a baseball. She should give up softball and go for the baseball team.*****Wednesday evening President Obama will make his State of the Union address to Congress and the country. Listen closely, absorb what he says, good or bad in your way of thinking, because right after his speech the Talking Heads and a response will try to tell you what he said. You many not recognize what you think you just heard. The Talking Heads are banking on a lot of people not having enough sense to understand what the president just said so they have to explain. If you turn to FOX News, you’ll swear you must have been listening to some other speech.*****The response to last week’s paper was terrific and we thank you for your readership and loyalty. Thanks also to the good folks in our advertising family. Remember the views expressed are from me and this bird, not the newspaper’s.*****Gotta go. Till next time, take care and God bless.