Just about anything that could be said or written about the tragic murder of Mickey McNamara has been done. After most people die, especially tragically, regardless of how they lived their lives, people have kind words like, “He had strange ways but in his own way, he was a good guy.” In Mickey’s case, however, you didn’t have to wait until his death to talk about his goodness. Everything you have heard since his life was robbed is really the way Mickey was. I’ve never known a better person, one who exemplified goodness every day of his life. He was a man of God, who tried every day to do God’s work. His dedication to mankind was unquestionable. If there is a heaven and Mickey isn’t there, no one is going. So you beg to question why? Why would God allow such a brutal death? Why would a young man with no prior record of violence, take up a bat and seem determined to use that weapon to do harm. Christian friends say it was the work of the devil. That gives me difficulty. Did the devil win? At times like this, I have a problem with reconciling my Bible and the reality of life that I see around me. Why? The answer just doesn’t come to me. I know that Mickey had a special relationship with his God. It’s just not fair that his life would be snuffed out that way. We’re all going to leave here but I can’t justify that Mickey deserved to go at the hands of a devil-driven murder. He served his God well and goodness followed him every day of his life. God must have a special place for him. As for the accused young man, Joseph Roberts Jr., again Christian friends tell me I should pray for his soul and forgive him. I can’t bring myself to do that. I pray that he gets what he deserves if he is found guilty. With me the question will always be why? I have some doubts to get over. Quincy Procell came by to visit. Joyce Cross is his sister-in-law. She’s doing better after being beaten. Quincy called Mickey “Uncle.” He was responsible for bringing Quincy to the 9th and Elm St. Church of Christ, where he is a devoted member. Religion has been good for Procell. I can recall years ago when he and his friends would have turned the town over to conduct their own “brand of justice.” He thanks Mickey for the road he now travels with God at his side. *****I’d best get on, I’ve probably showed too much of my feelings already. Please come along, it won’t do you no harm.

It looks like every few weeks we lose one of our beautiful characters. The latest is Joe Grossman, who described himself as a New York Jew but what a jewel he was. We went back many, many years with he and Wilma, a Cajun girl who passed away during the past year. Joe died April 21 at age 91. A memorial service was held April 25. He and Wilma were married 65 years. They had been longtime residents of Orange. What I recall is Joe’s upbeat attitude. Joe was an interesting, fun loving guy. Sid Callivet Jr. was one of his best buddies, they spent many hours together. He was the father of Lamar Dean, Bobbie Burgess, Bridge City’s only female mayor, married to Judge Don Burgess. Don has a lot of stories about his colorful father-in-law. He taught Don how to read codes on jewelry prices. Don can go into any store in the country and figure out what the item cost the merchant. Claude and Pauline Wimberly were the Grossman’s next-door neighbors. Claude always has a Grossman story. Our condolences to the family. Please read obit.

Tommy Dixson, age 77, died April 25. Services were held Monday, April 26. To wife Mary, sons Vernon, Sherby, Thomas, daughter Joyce and their families we send our deepest condolences. For many years Tommy was employed by BCISD. Please see obit.*****Condolences also to the family of James “PeeWee” Pruett Jr., 52 who died Friday, April 23. Services were held Monday at Claybar Funeral Home. James is survived by wife Jennifer Pruett, grandfather Cyrus Dumesnil, daughters Melisa, Terri, Nikki, Betty and son David and all the family we extend our sympathies.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Howard Neal Harvey, 51, who died April 23. Services will be held Wednesday, April 28. He was the son of former Bridge City Mayor Gordon Harvey. We understand the death might have been caused by a coral snake bite.

30 years ago-1980
Honor graduates announced by BCHS are valedictorian, Kay Michelle Emmert; salutatorian Donna Marie Stone; highest ranking boy, Paul Anderew Zoch.*****Shelly Pate named best actress in BCHS presentation, “The Heart of Maryland,” in UIL competition.*****Barbara Gillis is in a Beaumont hospital after receiving a injury when a file cabinet fell on her at work.*****Grady Johnson named Business Person of the Quarter by Greater Orange Chamber. He is the owner of Johnson Butane, sells portable buildings and runs the Fireplace Shop. He owns the buildings that house Ron and Nancy’s Bookstore, Pinehurst Pharmacy, the Moped Shop, Aloe Shop, Charles Chips Etc. and two doctors’ offices. He also serves on the Pinehurst council. (Editor’s note: Thirty years ago they hadn’t seen nothing yet from the boy from Shelby County. He became mayor and governor of Pinehurst and owns most of the city)*****Jerry Pennington runs for city council. His motto is, “A new and energetic force at city hall.”*****An official Texas Historical Marker for Emma George Latchem, 1854-1929, will be dedicated April 26 at grave side in Evergreen Cemetery. Mrs. Latchem was one of the early teachers in Orange from 1873 to 1915. She is the first lady in Orange County to be honored with a Texas Historical Marker.*****Lester “Buckshot” Winfree thanks the voters. “Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me by electing me to serve on the Orange County Port and Navigation Board. Thanks for the privilege.” (Editor’s note: Thirty years later, “Buckshot” is still on the board and longtime president. Last week he was named The Record Newspaper’s “Person of the Year.”)*****Jarvis A. Buckley Jr. is a candidate for county commissioner, Pct. 3.*****On the ballot for president in the Democratic primary are Jimmy Carter, Edward M. Kennedy and Jerry Brown. For sheriff, Fred Hill and Ed Parker.*****Pam Hoosier Kay turned 20 last week.*****Clyde Mitchell Chesson, Thomas “Tick” Granger and P.M. “Red” Wood are all running for county commissioner, Pct. 3.

Jacksonville, in the state of Florida, is the largest city in the United States, with 759 square miles. Our friend Chris Farkus lives there. *****In the state of Georgia, in 1886, pharmacist John Pemberton made the first vat of Coca-Cola. *****The year before, in 1885, in Waco, Texas, Dr. Pepper was invented. *****The ice cream sundae was invented in 1881 in Wisconsin to get around the Blue Law prohibiting ice cream being sold on Sunday. *****The Fig Newton is named after Newton, Mass. *****Missouri is the birthplace of the ice cream cone. *****North Carolina is home of the first Krispy Kreme doughnut. *****The hot dog was invented in Ohio in 1900. *****The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant was opened in Utah in 1951. I bet you thought it was in Kentucky. *****What Kentucky does have however is Fort Knox’s $6 billion in gold underneath it.*****Would you believe television was invented in, of all places, Rigby, Idaho, in 1922. *****Arkansas has the only active diamond mine in the U.S.*****More triplets are born in Nebraska than any other state. Why you think that is?*****On the other hand, South Dakota is the only state that’s never had an earthquake. Now ain’t that something. *****The first state to free women and allow them to vote was Wyoming. *****The only state in the union to have parishes instead of counties is Louisiana. Gosh, I bet you knew that. Also, it’s the only state that operates under the Napoleon law and the only state to have nearly two million Cajuns, eats 500 barrels of gumbo and 20 million bowls of rice a year. Now you know. *****Before I go, which state begins with two vowels? After you try to figure it out see C’est Tout for answer.

FIRST OFF: much thanks to local historian Roy McDaniel for providing many old photographs for our 50th anniversary issue last week. Roy lives just down the road from our temporary offices in Orange and has spent a good part of life collecting valuable research about areas where he has lived. He’s retired from Allied Chemical, so he can devote more time to his many projects, which include a small museum. The Record lost many historical photos after Ike and we are grateful for the donations.*****The response to last week’s anniversary issue has been very gratifying. We’ve heard from friends and also people from all walks of life and from around the globe. The stories, pictures and columns were outstanding. I read it cover to cover. Again we can’t thank the good folks in our advertising family and the people who sponsored the special issue. A lot of people were surprised to learn that Judge Joe Parkhurst was a star left-handed pitcher for Bridge City in that first district championship game. Most thought he was an Orange boy. Joe was from the Cove and during those early years, those kids attended B.C. school. Joe went on to be a star pitcher at Sam Houston.*****I hear the officer who was transporting Wilkes, who killed Prejean and the others in the meat war was Bab Berwick. On the way to Huntsville, while on a pee stop, Wilks tried to escape. He was shot.*****One story that didn’t make it last week is about 90-year-old Bridge City pioneer Mildred Hatton. The story appears this week.*****Even though we printed extra copies last week, the papers flew off the shelves. We did put back some collector’s copies that will be available.*****Our little buddy, Micha “Big Mike” Ellender was sworn into Uncle Sam’s Army Sunday. He was accompanied to the Houston swearing in by his dad Kirk. I know that was tough on him. “Big Mike” will be missed around Bridge City. He kept things lively with his personality. When we know more we’ll pass it on. Jobs for the “Y” Generation have become increasingly hard to find. The military is a good option. We wish Micha a great tour.*****President George W. Bush’s book, “Decision Point” is due out Nov. 9. One week after the general election. The cost will be $35, with 100 signed copies selling for $350. First Lady Laura’s memoir comes out in a few day on May 4.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dined at Robert’s last week. Thirty percent of Judge Derry Dunn’s graduating class attended.*****This week, the bunch dines at Novrozsky’s, next week at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s. Everybody always welcome.*****Francis Harris was in attendance last time. We hope she will come back.*****In this week’s issue, you will find a menu for Peggy’s on the Bayou. You might want to cut it out. You will always find the food very good. Great hamburgers and the pistolets are always a treat.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Milford “Peanut” Nichols, 55, who died April 23. Services were held Tuesday. Condolences to his family and many friends.*****President Obama honors 29 fallen miners. Tears filled his eyes. It was a moving ceremony. The President visited Billy Graham at his North Carolina mountain home. The two prayed together.*****A special happy birthday to some special folks. First, belated happy day to Steve Russell, who celebrated on April 26.***Ms. Cindy Landrum is a year older May 1.***Our longtime special friend Dot Eshbach reaches the good age of 88 Saturday, May 1. We extend the best of wishes to one of our favorite gals. She’s been doing a lot of yard work lately.***Also celebrating is the lovely Bridget Gunn Toohey, May 5.***Julia Hoke and Frank Carpenter both celebrate this week. Peggy Dunbar celebrates today, the 28th.***Happy 50th wedding anniversary to Lou and Kathy Garriga, a great couple who raised a great family. All of them are a special people. The Garrigas will celebrate in July when all the kids and 12 grandchildren can attend.***A big retirement party will be held for game warden, Big Mike Keeney, on April 30, 5 p.m. at the Bridge City Community Center. Everyone is invited. Mike, at 6 foot, 9 inches, 400 pounds is a gentle giant. For many years he has served this area. What a guy.*****Good luck to the Bridge City Lady Cardinals who advanced to the playoffs after defeating the Orangefield Lady Bobcats 12-0 on Saturday. The Lady Cards will play 22-3A Splendora in the Class 3-A Region III bi-district playoffs. Friday.*****It was somewhat ironic that the great Texas combo, receiver Jordan Shipley and quarterback Colt McCoy, followed each other in the draft. Shipley was 84th, McCoy 85th. Both picked by Ohio teams. Shipley goes to Cincinnati Bengals, McCoy to the Cleveland Browns. At least Dr. Amber Dunn, at University Hospital in Cleveland, will have one fellow Longhorn to brag about. Colt is the holder of 47 Longhorn records.*****I believe the above proves how significant being drafted in the first round is. Earl Thomas was one of the selected few and brought a lot of recognition to his hometown. Number 14 out of nearly 300 says a lot about this young man’s talent.

Andre Agassi will be 40 on April 29; Carnie Wilson, 42; Jerry Seinfield, 56 and Uma Thurman, 40.***On April 30, Diane Hurley will be 45; Gary Collins, 72; Kirsten Dunst, 28 and Willie Nelson will be 77.***May 1, Debi Diamond, 45 and Tim McGraw, 43.***May 2, David Beckham, 35; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 38; Engelbert Humperdinck, 74 and Ty Herndon, 48.***May 3, Frankie Valli, 73 and Cheryl Burke, 26.***May 4, Randy Travis, 51; Michael Barrymore, 58; Kimora Lee Simmons, 35 and Jose Garcia, 42.***May 5, Brian Williams, 51; Chris Brown, 21; Kurt Loder, 65 and Tina Yothers, 37.

Peggy Dunbar, James Seitz, Josh Blanchard, Judy DeCuir, Tommy Bourgeois, Candice Vigil, Drew Wappler, Garbrielle Freeman, Harold Haymon, Janice Gooch, Jenni Barrow, Katie Smith, Kim Izer, Mary Grimes, Samantha Ziller, Virginia Woods, Carl Peltier, David Winfrey, Dot Eshbach, Flo Arnold, Frank Carpenter, Jason Mayfield, Newt Hodges, Tom McDavid, A.J. Sellers, Christina Johnston, Ethel Champagne, Megan Cornwell, Amy Wiebold, Glenda Dailey, Kay Boudreaux, Brandon Applebach, Jeff Harrison, Bridget Todhey and Julia Hoke.

Early Dartez had been on a four day drunk him. About midnight Saturday night, Tee-boy told him, “Early, you plum drunk you, if you drink anymore, you gonna kill youself. You need to go home and sleep it off.”
Early him, stagger out of da bar and pass himself though da cemetery. It had been raining four or tree days and it was so slippery Early couldn’t stay on his feet. Wen he come to an open grave he fell in him. It was so slippery and Early so drunk he couldn’t climb himself out dat hole. He start yelling, “Help me, I’m cold.” “Help me please, I’m cold.”
After a little while Sostan Robcheaux him, come out of da bar, drunk as a skunk. He heads home through da cemetery. Den he hear, “Help me, I’m cold.” “Help me please, I’m cold.”
Sostan him, follow da sound till he brought himself to dat grave. Somebody is yelling, “Help me, I’m cold.”
Sostan stood dare and looked at da mound of dirt. Early yell again, “Help me please, I’m cold.”
Sostan say, “Mais sure you cold, you done kick off all you dirt.”

Early voting for city, school and Port elections began Monday. It’s always important that we vote. In Orange and Bridge City, charter change amendments are on the ballot. Read them carefully. Sometimes the amendments are worded in a way that might mislead you. You intend to vote against and end up voting for.*****Saturday is the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. I’m always interested in how the Cajun jockeys do.*****You may not be aware that quarterback Brett Favre is a grandfather now. His daughter had a baby last month. His relatives tell us no one knows but Brett if he’s returning to the NFL for one more year.*****GOP blocks vote on financial reform even though 75 percent of Americans favor it. It’s another “NO” move by the Republicans that Limbaugh said should be done so Obama would fail. They think the move will let them take over the November elections. The people haven’t forgotten who got us in this mess, Madoff, Ken Lay, Goldman-Sachs etc., with the help of their legislative friends.***** Remember I told you the GOP wouldn’t stick to the spin of “Repeal and Replace.” When is the last time you heard the “Spin Doctors” use that negative? I told you that dog wouldn’t hunt. *****The answer to the state question is IOWA. *****Thanks for your time. Take care and God bless.