North of the Creaux’s Nest
FROM WHERE I SIT
I’ve been under the weather and I’m told I need down time so I sit here at home on a quite Sunday morning. Over the last many years, I’ve been at home very seldom on Sunday morning. For me it’s a down side to getting any writing done. I’m a hawk when it comes to politics and on government as a whole. Sunday has too many distractions for a political addict like me. On CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ I enjoyed a much thinner Tom DeLay, who made some good points. I also watched Meet the Press, George on ABC, NSNBC, Fox News etc. I find myself not only absorbing the different views but also identifying those bluffing and those spinning and in my mind I argue my own views. Politics are not for the faint at heart, but it is a special responsibility. We’re a democracy. We vote and the majority wins. I find myself on the losing end as often as not. I accept it because I belong to the best system the world has ever known. With that said, I’d better turn the television off. I’ve enjoyed it but lost some precious writing time. I’d best get started. You may not agree with all I say, but our system gives me the right to say it and you the right to disagree. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.
IT’S LONG BUT WORTH READING ENTIRELY
The state wide and local races were put to bed Tuesday or at least should be. Last Sunday, while sitting at the office desk a couple of days before the election, Creaux and I ventured boldly into what the results would be. Fortunately for our reputation we were again on target. It’s not altogether a guessing game for us. We do a good amount of homework and an uncommon, unusual way of polling. It doesn’t work on a large scale but on a county and precinct level it has served us well over the years. We had no polling of the state republican governors race of course but we used good judgment and some political savvy to determine where that was going. Gov. Perry was helped greatly when Sen. Hutchison brought former vice president Dick Cheney to the state to campaign for her. A bad blunder. Her poll numbers dropped 12 points in one week. Perry seized the moment to tie Hutchison to the old failed way of Washington. Even though the George Bush administration made it possible for Perry to be where he is; he tied a hog knot around her neck that she couldn’t shake. He pounded and pounded. He put five propositions on the ballot that would draw out the Far Right Wingers, using God. Hutchison was for a woman’s right to chose. God did her in. Everyone knew, like we predicted, that Perry was running for an unprecedented term for one reason, an executive post to run for national office. The U.S. citizens won’t go for another Texas president but Rick will gladly take the second spot, even under Palin, if it must be. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was such a lady and gracious in losing. At six minutes to 10 p.m., when the raw vote showed Perry with 50 percent, she didn’t hesitate in conceding and calling him with her congratulations. That’s the way it should be done. No one owns public office so there should never be sour grapes. The system works and moves on. *****We had predicted that the republican governor’s race and more so the propositions would do Beaman Minton in. Minton, a fiscal conservative, saw many of his voters jumping to the other side, voting for propositions that do nothing, mostly a ploy by Perry. It cost Minton 110 votes and a loss to Percy Flanigan, who faces a republican opponent in November. Bill White, a strong candidate, who will bring out the democratic vote, will help him. Minton will be missed on commissioner’s court. He’s smart and he held the reins. He did the gentlemanly thing. He congratulated his opponent and wished him well. Flanigan won, we congratulate him. *****In the only other race, David Peck bested two other good opponents, Joel Ardoin and attorney Mike Abbott. Peck received nearly 51 percent of the vote, 247 more votes than Adoin, his nearest challenger. In this race we predicted the outcome but the vote fell about 200 votes less that we expected. There again I believe folks bought in to voting for those non-binding propositions. Peck won fair and square. There should be no question. If what I hear is correct it will be the first time in my long political observations that a candidate drawing only 35 percent of the vote asked for a recount. Two hundred forty seven votes behind or nearly 16 percent short. I’d be willing to bet a recount won’t change anything. Maybe two or three votes. If the past holds true, these votes would probably add to the leading candidate. Losing is hard, especially for first time candidates. I can see how Joel would have a knee-jerk reaction to not wanting to accept the verdict of the voters but they have spoken pretty loudly. David and Patsy deserve their day in the sun with congratulations and best wishes because it’s the right thing to do. Otherwise it offends not only he and Abbott’s supporters but it will disappoint many of Joel’s voters. Joel and Laura deserve better. They gave it their best shot. Life goes on. Even a runoff is not like starting over in any election, the die is cast. We congratulate David Peck on his election to the Justice of the Peace Court.
WHAT CHOICE IS LEFT FOR HEALTH CARE
The Bush Administration used reconciliation more than once to pass tax cuts for the rich tycoons. They increased the national debt by nearly $1 trillion in so doing. Now the Obama Administration finds themselves with no other choice. The GOP is paralyzing government in hopes of blaming Obama and the democrats for getting nothing done. President Obama was on target when he said republicans have painted themselves into a corner that will make them vulnerable to their own base. At some point they will over play their hand and will be indicted by their own supporters for placing party over country. Like Social Security and Medicare was fought bitterly by the right extremist, so is a much needed health care reform package. Their only contribution to repair a broken system is to use scare talk and continue their support of the big insurance companies. It may cost some democratic seats in November but so be it. The American people must have relief from the heavy burden of out of control family health care cost. The only option the President and the American people have is reconciliation. The spin will continue but in the end the health care bill will be as valuable as Social Security and Medicare. Change will come. We will all adjust and deal with it. In the long run, it will improve our lives if it does nothing more than get rid of the pre-existing clause and the loss of insurance when jobs are lost. We need a price break on coverage. Monthly cost up to $1,200 a month is unattainable for a young family.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
This week’s quote comes from James Riddlesperger, a political scientist at TCU. Speaking about former Houston Mayor Bill White going from being a mayor to the governorship, which has never been done before. “Local politics is designed to piss everyone off. It’s never been a very good idea for career building.
CAN REAGAN OUST GRANT ON $50 BILL
Ronald Reagan is honored with his name on, among other things, an airport, a freeway, an aircraft carrier and one of the biggest Federal buildings in Washington. (Ironically he was a critic of big government.) Now some of his admirers are launching an effort to replace Ulysses S. Grant on the $50 bill. Grant is admired by some for leading the Union Army to victory during the Civil War. An earlier attempt to put Reagan on the dime replacing Franklin D. Roosevelt failed. Next, an effort to put Reagan on the $20 bill replacing Andrew Jackson failed with opposition from Tennessee lawmakers. Here’s a solution, lets start putting out a $3 bill and put Reagan’s picture on it. Oh, come on, I’m just kidding.
Bill White, before the race begins against Rick Perry, is only six points behind according to a Rasmussen survey. Perry successfully defined Hutchison. White will have to define himself before Perry does. Perry’s far shift to the right could help White with Hutchison voters, republican moderates and independents. Perry will probably brand White a liberal and label him as Barack Obama’s Texas twin, while he tries to move himself to the middle. White must keep him penned to the far right.*****Every decade our government is required to take a count of everyone in the United States regardless of how they got here. Even local agencies are affected by the Census count. Remember redistricting, the most important issue facing us in rural Texas. Our congressional districts are going to be redrawn again. Let’s hope east and southeast Texas get their own congressman, separated from Houston influence. Filling out your census form isn’t a right; it’s our obligation. If not filled out federal mandated fines can be imposed.
I was sorry to hear about the death last week of Billie Jo Chelette, age 69, who passed away Tuesday, March 1. I had known Billie Jo since she was a young teenager. She came from a large, unique family. Ora and Agnes Ham raised their family on Old Hwy. 90 in Louisiana. That’s when Hwy. 90 ran through Orange and the bridge over the Sabine River was at the end of Green Ave. They were all salt of the earth people. Billie Jo was a wonderful, quite lady, wife, mother and grandmother. Our condolences to husband, O.J.; sons, Jimmy and Randy; daughter, Charlotte and the entire family. She’ll be missed by everyone who knew and loved her.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
35 Years Ago-1975
Attorney Cimron Campbell, who has been associates with Sexton, Watson and Campbell for six-years, has moved to the former offices of attorney Murry Harris, at 714 Division St. Campbell was appointed to represent one of the Dowden brothers involved in the shooting of Danny Gray. Campbell has gained a change of venue for his client. *****Cliff and Helen McCardle celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary. *****At a meeting Monday night, the City of Bridge City hired its first city manager. Bill McClure, from Altus Okla., is 46 years old, married and hss two sons, 14 and 16. (Editor’s note: It’s hard to believe that Bill, if he is still living, is 81 years old and those two young sons are now 51 and 49.)*****Bridge City mayor P.M. Woods announced that Robert Giles, of San Antonio, was hired as City Planner. *****Dist. Judge Pat Pate, of Oklahoma, visits brother H.D. Pate, BC City Attorney. *****Uncle Jim McKay celebrates his 89th birthday March 10. (Editor’s note: Jim lived to be 101 years of age.)*****LaPlace Restaurant is now open on Short Sixth Street in Orange. It’s a unique place patterned in the style of New Orleans. *****Three Orangefield students are nominated as “Outstanding Teenagers of America” for 1975. Congrats to Lydia Jean Franks, Robert Keith Mott and Janice Kay LeDoux. *****Richard Corder tricked Carl Thibodeaux into losing a bowling game in Port Arthur at the March of Dimes Bowl-A-Thon. *****Betty Harmon pulled a leg muscle doing her strip act at the follies. It required a doctor’s care prompting Corky to say, “That girl would starve to death in a chorus line.”*****One fine lady we just met is Lynn Hall. She loves swimming and archery. *****Freddy Hebert is now associated with Joiner Insurance Services. *****Larry Bergeron is manager of McLaury’s Furniture and Appliance. ‘Doc’ Rosenbalm is a salesman at new business at 2207 MacArthur Dr.
60 Years Ago-1950
Newton Texas: The state began its second attempt to send Paul LaFleur to the electric chair. He is already convicted and under a life sentence for rape. He is on trial for shooting a teenage Orange boy, Don Hulsople. Sheriff Chester Holts was the first witness to take the stand. He testified to the crime itself and the few clues that led towards his arrest of LaFleur in the Tennessee hills in mid-December. On March 5, Paul LaFleur was sentenced to 99 years. Attorney John O. Young will appeal. LaFleur will await appeals in both cases in Huntsville. He has several jail escape attempts and two jailbreaks on his record. The case was transferred from Orange County. (Editor’s note: It didn’t take long to try them back then, two trials in less than three months from arrest. ***** County Clerk Joe Runnels will not seek re-election. Chief Deputy for the past 15 years, Sadie Stephens, has announced as a candidate. She has served under four clerks, A.H. Coale, W.A. Gunning, Mrs. W.A. Gunning and Runnels.
A FEW HAPPENINGS
Daylight savings time springs forward Sunday night or actually 2 a.m. Monday. You will lose an hour of sleep Sunday unless you get to bed an hour earlier. *****Rebecca Nugent’s book “If the Devil Had a Wife’ is stirring up a lot of interest. It’s one heck of a title. I haven’t read it, but I’m told Rebecca did a lot of research and I’m sure she added her own conclusions. We must all remember it’s a book. How factual it is can always be questioned and debated. I’m sure it’s sprinkled with some glitz that is deniable by the Stark Foundation and others who are subjects of the book. A lot of work apparently went into it, but books are written to sell and are not necessarily all the facts. This book apparently is interesting reading from the feedback we’re getting.*****I’m not sure I’m buying into the ‘Ike-Dike’ Houston deal. It’s another one of those deals where most of the money goes to the advantage of the big cities and us rural folks suck the hind tit.*****We got a call from Mrs. Steven Bland. She and her husband own two businesses in Orangefield and live in that community. Here’s the problem. The Bland’s have been receiving calls of support for Steven Bland for Bridge City mayor. Mrs. Bland says they appreciate the words of support and encouragement but her Steven can’t and isn’t running for mayor of Bridge City. As it turns out, a Steven “Stevo” Bland is running for B.C. mayor. They just happen to share the same name. I hope this clears it up.***** For the most part, just like you, I don’t read what’s in this newspaper until I get it after it’s printed. I really enjoyed last week’s issue. I was interested in reading about Orange Trade Days written by Susan Martinez, an award winning writer who has just joined us. This week she has written a feature on a unique shop, Bae Renee’s Children’s Boutique and a talented Casey Thibodeaux, who does custom sewing and designs. Read the story then visit the place. You will be pleasantly surprised.*****The Saint Joseph’s Altar will be held at St. Mary Church Sunday, March 21. Rosalie Clark and all those wonderful ladies are busy as bees preparing another great Altar.*****Belated happy birthdays to Sam Moore who celebrated Sat. March 6. He was honored at Houston Steak. Sam can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. Also, on the same day, our longtime buddy Jerry Bell turned 67, going on 53. Jerry keeps on keeping on.*****Skipper Free’s oldest granddaughter, Rachel Yust, turns 23 on March 13. Celebrating also this week is Jill Peveto, Josh Smalley, Buffy and Jordan Doiron and coach Toby Forman.*****The price of going to college keeps going up. The days of a youngster working their way through college has gotten almost impossible to do. Tuition and fees at the University of Texas goes up $481 next year and other schools will follow. The only shot some students will have is to attend school near home. We are very lucky. There are some good ones in our area.*****You no longer have to go out of town to get a great package for home entertainment, special wiring for televisions, DVDs, lighting, whole house audio systems, CATV, phone networking etc. Accurate Audio Video, owned locally by Tyler Thibodeaux, is a first-class professional service. See ad on page 5B.*****Speaking of good deals, the best money market deal I’ve found is from Clint Landry with MetLife. Interest of 2.35 percent APY is being paid on a $25,000 CD. Look them over.
On March 11 Tora Birch will be 28; Douglas Adams, 58; Sam Donaldson, 76 and Rupert Murdoch, 79.***March 12, Darryl Strawberry, 48; James Taylor, 62; Liza Minnelli, 64 and Andrew Young will be 78.***March 13, Will Clark, 46; Adam Clayton, 50; William H. Macy, 60 and Neil Sedaka, 71.***March 14, Taylor Hanson, 27; Kirby Puckett, 49; Billy Crystal, 63; Quincy Jones, 77 and Michael Caine, 77.***March 15, Eva Longoria Parker, 35; Fabio, 49; Sly Stone, 66 and Judd Hirsch, 75.***March 16, Flavor Flay, 51; Erik Estrada, 61; Jerry Lewis, 84.***March 17, Mia Hamm, 38; Billy Corgan, 43; Rob Lowe, 46; Gary Sinise, 55; Patrick Duffy, 61 and John Sebastian, 66.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
Kyle Dubose, Josh Goss, Pat Lund, James McClanahan, Jack Morgan, Jill Peveto, Rod Sheppard, Martha Williams, Ken Hillsten, Mary White, Wade Gillett, B.W. Parks, Bob Izer, Cindy Reynolds, Dottie Gunstream, George Baker, Kate Benoit, A.J. Strahan, Colton “C.J.” Dugan, Andrew Willingham, Carol Ann Kimbrow, Jean Braus, John Collin Kimbrow, Lindsey Bland, Claude Tarver, Lana Sepulvado, Anthony Fraccastoro, Bud Briggs, Dick Powell, Dusty Jennings, Jennifer Kelly, Julie Myers, Addie Batson, Amber Doiron, Blane Slaughter, Buffy Doiron, Jordan Doiron, Karli Anderson, Leslie Paula Robinson, Margie Baker, Margie Baker and Cody Edwards.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
‘Poul-Do’ Babineaux sent his boy ‘Gater’ to Baton Rouge, da Capital, for to get ‘Poul-Do’s’ birth certificate. Him, he wants to apply for some benefits. In about one hour Gater him, return to Breaux Bridge. His Papa is upset and he axe Gater, “Why don’t you go to Baton Rough like I toll you, hanh?” Gater answer, “Mais Papa, da bridge at Whiskey Bay, it was raised straight up on boat sides. I couldn’t cross me. Tee-Tom Comeaux, da bridge operator toll me dere was no use waiting, a tug pushing a barge full of Viagra had turned over in da river. Dat Viagra in da water had drawn boat’ of dem bridge spans straight up towards da sky and it could last for up to four hours. Tee-Tom say if dey don’t come down by den, dey would call da bridge doctor to take necessary steps to try and bring dem down.”
Well, I’ve made it through another week. I wasn’t able to get out enough with an ear to the ground, so I’ve missed a lot. I’ll be back on the beat for next week.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week. A nice crowd is expected. Last week the Bunch dined at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s in Mauriceville. Commissioner Owen Burton and Judge Rodney Price find it easier to attend when we meet there. Also breaking bread was newly elected Justice of the Peace David Peck and his lovely wife Patsy. Good folks. Next week the Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s. Everyone is welcome. You never know who will show but it’s always a great hour.*****Just finished reading Mattie’s ‘Panty Line’ column. She is a 98-year-old historical columnist in Center, Texas. She writes about her childhood days in school. “We always took our lunch on cold days and the teacher let us put the bucket on the radiator. The aroma of pork sausage or ham, mixed with chalk dust and the Asafetida bag around our necks made an extraordinary smelling classroom. Here’s the question, “Do you know why kids wore Asafetida bags around their necks?” You gotta be an old timer to remember those bags and how bad you smelled all the time.*****I hope you’re having a great week. Thanks for your time, take care and God bless.