It seems like I just finish one column and its time to start another. This week I cover many of the natives, a little something for everyone. Since the census is being taken now it will affect redistricting in 2011. I reflect on what happened in 2001, killed by Gov. Perry and redrawn in 2003, with computerized lines, assuring Republican control. What I didn’t say is that our Republican congressmen might as well stay home. They can’t stop anything and they can’t pass anything. They come back to their district and grandstand but that’s all it is, absolutely nothing to show for it.*****We were disappointed in Neighbor Cox’s result from his rain dance. It produced only one-fourth inch of rain Saturday. Cox admitted he had left out one step in the Indian ritual. Just forgot. Sunday, after dark, he repeated the dance and guaranteed results by Monday. It worked. We got nearly a half-inch. Better than nothing. It had been eight weeks since we had gotten the last half-inch. We need more rain. I’m trying to convince Cox to put on a diaper like the Indians wore. So far he’s not going for it.*****Gotta move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

The Supreme Court in the 1960s required that congressional and legislative districts be equal in population. If the state legislators can’t agree, the process moves to the five-member Legislative Redistricting Board. On the board are the house speaker, lieutenant governor, land commissioner, comptroller and attorney general. The LRB members are all Republican. In 2001, the legislature failed to redraw congressional boundaries so a three-member federal court drew the lines. With the guidance of Tom DeLay, Gov. Rick Perry said no to the federal plan and the Texas Senate, generating computerized lines, gerrymandered congressional districts that assured Republican control of the United States congressmen in Texas. Remember when Democrats left the state trying to stop it? Moving congressional power to large city suburbs, cutting out the rural representation. Prior to 2001, the state senators and Texas house members were residents of the area. Orange County was one district, not one cut in two halves. The county is deluded with one representative being from Beaumont, one a Republican, the other a Democrat. Today since the Perry-DeLay gerrymandering of 2003 that changed the courts’ redistricting, we don’t have any local representation on the court of appeals. Orange County had Judge Homer Stephenson and Judge Don Burgess while Port Arthur, Beaumont and east Texas were all represented. Today, all the power of the court is in the Woodlands, in Montgomery County, just like our state Senate and Congressional delegation. Remember these are the same people who voted nearly 100 percent for the Bush failed policies that have brought us the problems the country faces today plus doubling the national debt. What has all that control in one party brought us? Sunday’s Houston Chronicle’s Washington Bureau ran a story on how Texas has lost clout in D.C. Texas is a distant presence in Washington. No one claims a major committee chairmanship. If Texas had been redistricted fairly in 2003, today at least some of Texas would have stroke in D.C. Republican congressmen are just putting in time, unable to accomplish or help Texas. Adding to that was Perry’s talk about secession and his anti-Washington rhetoric that also hurt the people of Texas. Right now we are at a standstill. The facts are that Tom DeLay and Perry forced Texas into a one-party state when Democrats happen to be in control in Washington. Citizens are paying the price of unfairness by politicians. Voters should choose their politicians and representatives, rather than politicians choosing their voters. I don’t see how anyone can disagree with that, republican or democratic Texas will pick up three or four new seats in congress. Ninety days after the next session ends, the LRB must convene. They have 60 days to produce redistricting maps. Unless we at least have a new governor, the DeLay/Perry plan will still be in play, a plan a new governor would veto.

Three local baseball teams are still in the hunt for a state championship, all in Dist. 21-3A. All are schools within a rock’s throw of each other. It is possible to be another Cow Bayou Shoot Out between No. 4 Orangefield and Bridge City for the right to play for the state championship. First, both teams have to take care of business. Orangefield will meet West Orange-Stark in the best two out of three, game one Friday at West Brook, 7 p.m. with game two at 4 p.m Saturday and game three, if necessary, 30 minutes later. Bridge City must defeat Huffman at 7 p.m. Friday at Nederland, game two, 4 p.m. at New Caney and game three, 30 minutes later. The Cards would then play Jasper or Hudson, probably Jasper for the right to meet Orangefield again. That is if the bobcats defeat WO-S and next week beat either Robinson or Mexia. Probably Robinson. If all that happens, BC and OF would meet for the right to play for state. Boy, what a crowd that game would draw. Now on the other hand, WO-S could be the team to advance but that would really be beating the odds. Surely one of the three Orange County teams will make it to the big show.

The odds are very long to be the best in Texas. It’s almost impossible to win a state track championship two years in a row. It says a lot about the coaching of Toby Forman. He has truly been blessed to have so much talent the past two years. The 2010 Mustangs, who ran wild at Austin’s Mike A Myers Stadium Saturday to capture the championship, are Trey Franks, Phillip Jones, Justin Thomas, James Hayness and Mark Roberts. Congrats to those young men on their outstanding accomplishments. You make Orange County proud.

35 Years Ago-1975
An eight-pound boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Bennis Bobbit. They named him John Joseph. He became the first child born to a Bridge City employee since its incorporation five years ago. Bennis is a law enforcement officer. (Editor’s note: That baby is 35 years old today. I wonder what became of the Bobbits?)*****Bill Clark and wife Doris Ann were special guests at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport. *****The McLewis Lions Club was chartered Tuesday night. Ed Parker was installed as first president. (Editor’s note: I wonder how long that club lasted. I do know Ed Parker became Orange County sheriff and is now deceased.)*****Bill, Barry and Bobbie Weisman operate the Midway Gulf in Bridge City on Texas Ave.*****Inez Hearn’s favorite Aggie story is about the Aggie who tried to get a piece of the rock. (Editor’s note: I wish I could remember that story. Nez is in her late 80s and lives in BC)*****Orange County Bass Club were leaders at the Toledo Bend Tourney. Two man team fishing teams were Preston Prince and Gary Glenda, 21 lb., 13 oz.; Virgil Wilson and A.F. Scotty Scott, 18 lb., 1 oz.; Troy Woodall and Harold Fuquia, 15 lb., 7 oz.; Willie Hayes and Leslie Holt, 14 lb., 7 oz. and Tommy Humphrey and Gerald Thibodeaux, 13 lb., 14 oz. Pete Coon took “Big Mouth” honors with a 5 lb., 6 oz. “Bucket Mouth.” (Editor’s note: I don’t know about those other guys but Troy Woodall is still fishing every chance he gets. Troy hasn’t aged much in 35 years.)*****Karen Ann Allen and David A. Sexton marry on May 24, 1975. (Editor’s note: I wonder 35 years later, how that worked out.)
74 Years Ago, 1949
Stark High graduates its largest class to date, 207. Jettie Pearl Schmidt was valedictorian, Margaret Barret, salutatorian.*****Tiger baseball team in three-way tie for the 11-AA championship. Players are O’Neil Gauthier, Allen Burkart, David Broussard, George Poland, Olney Beltz, Skipper Weaver, Bobby Joe Fisk, Bill McDonald, Bubba Herring, Ken Reese, Robert Barnes, Mike Lingo, Howard Owens, Dale Lewis, Don Granger, Darrell Skidmore, L.C. Kinkham and Jimmie Taylor.*****Judge Sid Caillavet addresses 14 grads at Orangefield. Laverne Granger was named valedictorian and Bonnie Cotton, salutatorian.*****St. Mary graduates its first class of seniors. The four members are Amelia Ulm, Roberta Blankenstein and Ray and Roy Simar.

We heard from Chris Farkas, one of our former editors we have several scattered around the country. Chris, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla. is interested in the whereabouts of Ted Sellman. I couldn’t help him. I lost track of Ted. I bet Ron Sigler knows how to find him but I can’t find Ron. If you know how to contact Ted, let us know and we’ll pass it on to Farkas.*****On Monday, May 17, Brad Frye became the new police major at Bridge City. Congrats Brad.*****Anabel Anderson, age 88, accompanied by her caregiver Betty Boyd, attended the Wednesday Lunch bunch dinner last week. The large group enjoyed having her. Many knew her, especially the Catholics like Judges Thibodeaux, Janice etc. Anabel has been one of the pillars at St. Mary for a very long time. Her home, across the street from the church, will someday belong to the church. Anabel, the only child of Felix Demary, who owned Demary’s Border Café on the Silver Strip on Highway 90 across from Orange. The gambling strip was like little Las Vegas in its heyday. Anabel and Roy Dunn are both natives of Abbeville. Also in attendance was our longtime county clerk Karen Jo Vance. She is always so interesting because she knows so many folks and can trace their roots. Newly-elected county treasurer Christy Khoury and JP elect David Peck, Brandy Slaughter from David Self Ford and Shannon Pruitt, from the juvenile probation office, are always fun to break bread with. Most always our JPs, constables, Mayor Permenter and other elected officials are in attendance along with other professionals, retirees and just regular folks. Everyone is always welcome; you don’t need an invitation. This week the Lunch Bunch dines at Novrozsky’s and next Wednesday at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s.*****Special folks celebrating birthdays this week are Karen Dunn Gros, who over the years has been special to us at The Record Newspapers for getting these publications off the ground. Karen – Ms. Phyl and Roy’s only daughter, celebrates on May 20.***On May 21, Babette Philpott celebrates.***Other lovely ladies having birthdays are Barbara Olsen, Amanda Uzzle and our friend of many years, June Gregory.***Also celebrating are Bill Pope, longtime loyal Record employee and our buddy Hubert “Sprad” Spradling, recovering from hip replacement surgery.***Best wishes to David Jones and the Williams twins, Joey and Rusty,.*** Leon Carter celebrates this week. He’s Marc’s dad and Judge Flo’s brother.*****Happy birthday this week to V.J. Roberts, the lady who looks after Wilson. She celebrated Tuesday. She’s been married to the former lawman for years.  Happy birthday to all.*****Happy birthday this week to a very remarkable lady, Inez Turner, who just turned 101. She appears and acts many years younger. Keep on keeping on honey.*****Also this week our friend Clarence “Cornbread” Yarbrough turned 79. He about looks and acts his age, and he’s not overexerting himself. Looking forward to 80 a year from now.*****Happy anniversary to Glen and Thelma Sterling who celebrated their 40th on May 15. Glen has faced some health problems over the last couple of years. Thank God he is winning the battle. Also happy birthday to Ms. Thelma Rae. Together they are working to overcome the destruction of Ike and are looking forward to the day when they get back in their home. Best wishes for a long life together.*****On May 25, Constable Mark Philpott will have lived through 20 years with Babette. He’s not complaining however, he knows how to roll with the punches.*****Donna and David Riley’s daughter, Jamie, married Garrett Roy, son of Gary and Tammie Roy, former Bridge City high grads and residents, who were married 30 years ago, on May 17. Happy anniversary. Gary is the son of our longtime friends Paul and Nettie Roy and the grandparents of the new groom, Garrett. It’s hard for me to believe that Donna Hinton, a Bridge City D.E. student working at P.S. Tire, will be married to David Riley 35 years come June 21. Time does fly. Best wishes to the newly weds, Jamie and Garrett. May the years be as good to you as they have been to your parents and grandparents. Please see wedding announcements.*****The Corky Harmons went to Colorado, the Glen Olivers went to Quebec and toured Canada, Harry and Margie Stephens motored to Kentucky to visit her dad and vacation. Now me, I’m planning to take off one afternoon next week and make my annual trip to Buna, Gist and Evadale. I might even make a stop at Bugs Scuffle, Chester Holts’ old home place.*****I hear through the grapevine that Sylvia Dickey Smith will publish her fourth book in Sept. An historical novel of the Orange shipbuilding industry during WW II. “A War of her Own” promises to be another good book by the Orange-born author.*****Our friend and avid Record Newspaper fan, Daniel S. Jacobs, is undergoing some health problems. We wish him a speedy and successful recovery. Our prayers are with him.*****Little Orphan Annie was born Aug. 5, 1924. We will always remember the little girl in the red dress with white collar and cuffs. In later years she has been referred to as just Annie. On June 13, Annie and the comic strip will end. She will be brought into the Internet age pursuing new audiences in digital, media and entertainment. We spent a lifetime with her.*****Skipper Free is looking for her long ago classmate Violet White. If she is reading this please call toll free at 1-800-237-989-4247.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Mark White, the “Governor of West Bluff.” If you had ever met this colorful character you would not forget him. Chris Farkas will be saddened to learn of his passing. Years ago, they spent many hours together.

Babette Philpott, Harry Dodge, Hubert Spradling, Jean Duplantis, Justin Knight, Leon Carter, Mark Watts, Niki Bennett, Bret Shuford, Dalayna Sandlin, David Jones, James Batson, Karen Gros, Lucie Rucker, Pat Bland, Alayna Womack, Bill Pope, Charlotte Foreman, Hannah Dupuis, James R. Braus, Sarah McClure, Gary Fontenot, June Gregory, Lauren Parrish, Will Schisler, Bailey McCurry, Gary Hollingsworth, John Hanes, Louis Purifoy, McCartney Miller, Justin Trahan, Tracy Davis, Amanda Uzzle, Philip Douglas Thomas, Fran Bullard, Gracie Lemley, Jane Logsdon, Nelson Derrick, Chris Green, Jack James, Jo Lynn Harris, Judy Duncan, Sheryl Frazier, Archie McLellan, Barbara Olson, John Sims, Joey Williams and Rusty Williams

On May 20 Cher will be 64; Joe Cocker, 66 and Tony Stewart, 39.***May 21, Mr. T. will be 58, Lisa Edlestein, 44 and Fairuza Balk, 36.***May 22, Apollo Ono, 28, Naomi Campbell, 40 and Ginnifer Goodwin, 32.***May 23, the winner of $2.5 million on Jeopardy, Ken Jennings, will be 36; May 24, Rosanne Cash, 55; Priscilla Presley, 65; Patti LaBelle, 66 and Bob Dylan, 69.***May 25, Anne Heche, 41; Mike Myers, 47; Tom T. Hall, 74 and Stacy London, 41.***May 26, Lenny Kravitz, 46; Hank Williams Jr., 61; and Stevie Nicks, 62. Miles Davis would have been 84 and had she lived, Peggy Lee, 90.

Dartez, Comeaux and Quibodeaux were drinking a few beer at Tee-Boy’s Lounge wen da conversation got around to who had da ugliest wife. Dey bet $10 each dat dere wife was da ugliest. Dey agreed to go to each other’s house.
Dey went to Dartez’s house first. Dey agree she’s ugly.
Den day go to Comeaux’s house, he call his wife to come to da living room. Dey agree dat she’s ugly, her. Uglier dan Dartez’s wife.
Dey go to Quibodeaux’s. His wife was in the kitchen. He call out for her to come to da living room. His wife Coltile axe, “Do you want me to put on da sack, hanh?”
Quibodeaux say, “No, babe, I don’t want to play pick-a-pook me, I jus want to win a turty dollar bet.”

Our buddy Ray Cotton at the Longhorn has a big celebration this weekend, plus the grand opening of the new arena. For a fun weekend plan a trip to the Longhorn. Look up Ray or Peveto, they will see you have a great time.*****Historical fact: The first testicular guard, “The Cup,” was used in hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. It took men only 100 years to realize that their brain is also important. (Gotta have your priorities in order.)*****On a serious note, the drive-by killing of Allison Clark, age 24, mother of two little girls, is really upsetting. To me to kill at random is the worst of crimes. At least two people were involved, the driver and the shooter. Senseless killers, probably gang related. They must be caught if it takes all the Texas Rangers. Over the last couple of years, drive-bys have occurred way too often. No one is safe. Death is not good enough for those killers.*****My time is up. Please read us cover to cover and patronize the good folks in our advertising family. Look us over; plenty of bargains inside. Take care and God bless.