When President Bill Clinton left office gasoline at the pump was 96 cents per gallon. Two years ago this week gas was $4 a gallon. Two years ago we were losing from a half-million to 800,000 jobs a month. Two of our auto manufacturers and several large banks were on the brink of going over the cliff. The country was in the worst recession since the Great Depression. T-Boone Pickens was predicting $5 per gallon gasoline. Others were saying a depression was unavoidable, some predicted a double recession. Our national debt had more than doubled from $5 trillion to $11 trillion and our surplus, left by Clinton, was gone. Things are not good today but they could be far worse. Hopefully we’re on the right track to recovery. Sometimes people have to be reminded about where we were and where we are today. Things really looked bleak two years ago this week. Now we can see daylight at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully before too many years we will be out of two wars and our economy will be gaining again.*****The much needed rain came. We can forget talk about burn bans. On Tuesday the ditches in Bridge City were full of rain-water from Sunday, some going nowhere. Buy a lot of mosquito spray because you’re going to need it. It is for sure there are a lot of new breeding grounds. The plane boss, the plane.*****I’m operating on a short week and if I’m going to get this column done by deadline I’d best be moving on. Hop on and come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


On a motion made by Orange County port board member John Young, and seconded by “Buckshot” Winfree prior to his death, Jerry Hughes was elected president of the Port Board to replace Winfree. It was “Buckshot’s” wish that Jerry be chosen as president. He knew he was facing failing health and wanted Jerry in place. We know Jerry, a successful businessman, will be a good leader. On Monday the board appointed Barbara Winfree to replace her late husband on the port board. A great choice for several reasons, one is that after 25 years, she is familiar with the workings of the Port. The former schoolteacher is smart and has a keen interest in the continued success of our Orange County port. Her appointment is a history-making event. When sworn-in she will be the first female ever to serve on the board and that is a good thing. Lester Winfree had about two years left in his tenure.


With the cap in place attention turns to the oil that has seeped in the Gulf. Facing the skimmers are more than 90 million gallons. The deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20 and later sank sparking the largest oil spill in United States history. A total of 704 skimmers are fighting the spill, up from 100 in early June. Progress in the Gulf disaster has been steady since President Obama appointed retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen to oversee the operations and ensure BP did not duck the problems at hand. To date, Allen reports 34 million gallons of oil-water mix has been siphoned. Eleven million gallons of oil has been burned off. Allen says the U.S. government will stay diligent until all oil is gathered and the wetlands are restored. My guess is that in the next couple of weeks some of the moratorium will be lifted on drilling rigs that can assure drilling can be done safely and without fear of another blowup like the deepwater disaster.

30 Years Ago-1980

Staudt’s Jewelry celebrates 43 years in business. For many years the store was in downtown Orange. Today it is on 16th St. (Editor’s note: In the last few years the store has closed.)*****Prejean Brothers Tire and Wheel Center, 1213 16th. St. – sells Michelin and Dayton tires.*****Rev. W.E. Gamblin, a minister for 50 years, is honored on his 68th birthday. The ceremony took place at First United Pentecostal Church on Edgar Brown Drive. He has been church pastor 18 years. For 55 years the church was at 801 Border St. A native of Mississippi, Gamblin founded the First Pentecostal Church in Jackson, Miss., and served as its pastor. Orange Mayor Major Inman presented Gamblin with a proclamation. (Editor’s note: Brother Gamblin died a few years ago, having spent the rest of his life in Orange.)*****Rehearsals are underway for the musical “Annie Get Your Gun.” Thanks to Jeanne Wood, Bridge City High drama coach, who hustled a group of her talented students to Orange for parts including Beth McCurry, Laura Smith and Robert Freeman.*****Happy birthday to Richard Turkel, who celebrated Saturday, July 19.*****Essie Peveto turns 70 on July 23.*****Happy birthdays also to Jan Courlyo, Randy Arnaud, Lewis Gay and Nina Hardin (Note: now deceased.) Good folks to know in Bridge City; Bill Townes, Bobby Smitherman, Kenny Dupuis, Edna Lusignan, Bubba Hubbard, Dot Eshbach, Dick Bevins, Frank Boren, Ed Cone, Bill Goodwin and Larry Ward. (Editor’s note: Townes, Hubbard, Bevins, Cone and Ward are no longer with us.)*****The Avon Lady, Hallie Prejean, was injured in an auto accident. She is in Orange Memorial Hospital. Among her injuries and what hurts most is her broken nose.*****Gerland’s Food Fair, 2270 MacArthur Drive, has Folger’s Coffee, pound can, $2.69; Michelob Beer, 6 pack, $1.88; Chuck Roast, $1.18 pound. (Editor’s note: Do you remember that store?)*****The Bar-B-Que King is at 1725 N. 16th St.***House of Vacs is at 2013 Western Ave.***Bill’s Discount Furniture is at 301 Border St.***The Korner is at 1980 Texas Ave. in Bridge City.***Morrow’s Appliance is located at 206 Border.***Meredith Tailors is at 409 N. 3rd St.***Patton Power located on Texas 87 in BC***Sportsman’s Shop is at 2500 MacArthur. (Editor’s note: None exist today.)*****Salesmen at Wickersham are Theo Huff, Paul Skinner, Ralf Mims, N.J. Lee, Bob LeGrone, Sunye Bramton, Steve Thurman and Leo LaBouve.


Last Saturday Al Granger celebrated AutoMart’s 30-year anniversary. He treated the folks to great music by Brett Godwin and Brad Brinkley, served up great links, drinks and gave away many prizes. Al even got to meet Neighbor Cox. He said he did not realize Cox was a real live character; he thought he was just a fictitious person. Vergie Moreland and hubby Larry enjoyed the festivities as was Juanita Smith and Ed. There also was Van Choate, who knew almost everyone there, tried not to eat up all the goodies. We are told Gary Stelly was there but never saw him. His staff, along with Dean and Al’s bunch, were making everyone welcome. Iva Kay gave Neighbor Cox a hug, the highlight of his day, even though he enjoyed the talent and music of Brett and Brad.*****Butch Herman turned 84 Saturday. He and Bertie’s son, Brandal, came in from Hawaii to be with his dad on his birthday. Also Aaron Block, from Orangefield, called from Hawaii. Daughter Brenda spent the day with her dad. Happy birthday Butch.*****Other special folks celebrating this week. Jeff Anderson and our writer Von Broussard are a year older. Happy birthday also to Ryan Kimbrough.*****Patsy Peck is taking reservations for a very special tour to Boston. Over 20 women have already signed up for the Oct. 6-10 trip. See the Traverus ad in this paper and give her a call. You’ll have a ball with a lot of nice folks.*****Russell and Mary Dillow, after being gone from Orange County several years, are returning to go into business. Next week we will tell you all about it. Mary is the daughter of the late Julian and Audrey Sartin. She was raised on Nitsche Street in Bridge City. Russell served on BC school board.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Mary Gray, 91, on July 15. Services were Sunday, July 18. I remember Mary way back in the 1960s when she and Iva Holts, Mrs. Morris and Mrs. Burgess fished almost daily. Sometimes their boat broke down and had to be retrieved from the bayous off of Sabine Lake. Sometimes planes had to locate them. That was before cell phones. Mary was married to Marshall Gray until his death. A good lady. May she rest in peace.*****This week’s news: GOP opposes spending $30 billion to extend unemployment and help small businesses. They support $650 billion in tax cuts to the wealthy by extending the Bush tax bill.*****A few years ago Nova Dee Strickland had a burglary at her home. She suspected someone and told the folks at Sheriff Mike White’s office but no arrest was made. Last week, the current sheriff’s office called to say they had arrested the man she had fingered years ago. That made her happy. She didn’t get her stuff back however.*****The UIL in Texas is looking at creating a 6-A conference allowing more playoff games. Twelve-hundred schools would be realigned. The plan could be approved as early as January.*****Former Houston Mayor Bill White, running to be the next Texas governor, will be in Orange Saturday. A rally will be held at the courthouse, 6:30 p.m. You are invited to come out and meet White, plus enjoy hot dogs, drinks and an old time type political gathering. White will be available to answer any questions. Polls in Texas show him and Perry virtually in a tie.*****We visited with Ray Cotton and Coleman Peveto last week at the Longhorn. Those old cowboys are really looking forward to the rodeo and show this Saturday night, July 24. Cotton’s ultimate bull riding challenge will start at 7:30 p.m. Present the coupon in this paper for free child’s entry with an adult. Also, Mark Chesnutt will entertain in the Longhorn Entertainment Complex following the bull challenge. For reserve seating call (337) 589-5647. It will be a fun cowboy night. Hope to see you there. They are going to pick me a “good natured bull.”*****Local boy Brandon Hodge, a 1998 Little Cypress-Mauriceville grad, does good in the candy business. USA today has named his place “Big Top Candy Shop” on Congress in Austin as the No. 1 candy store in the country. I’m told by folks who visited the store that Chef Keens cooks up the world’s best chocolate in a large variety of ways. Friends say old classmates might not recognize Brandon with his long handlebar mustache. Monday night Brandon’s candy shop was featured on the Food Network’s “Kid in the Candy Store” series. Brandon loves to see home folks. Next time you’re in Austin stop by.*****Harry and Margie Stephens are having a hot summer sale at Harry’s Appliance. Great deals throughout the store plus you always get free delivery. Harry services what he sells, picks it up and returns it, often on the same day. Harry is homegrown and so is his store of 47 years.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will gather at Novrozsky’s this week. Next week, the Bunch will dine at Tuffy’s, where David Claybar will be the host. Always a great place to eat specially prepared seafood. Everyone welcome, and no speeches – just good fellowship.


Summer Stephson, Amiel Leleux, Danika Dubose, Joel Bourdier, Von Broussard, Patricia Tamplim, Rocky DeCuir, Jeff Anderson, Keazie Cappel, Paige Dohmann, Travis Estes, Albert Bates, Daniel Peet, Jim Reves, Linda Brinson, Ralph Rucker, Renee Newson, James Rucker, Judy Batchelor, Lee Harris, Madge Fontenot, Marie Burns, Marsha Brown, Misty Cappel, Mutt Eason, Ryan Kimbrough, Bobby Batchelor, Evelyn Toney, Allison LeLeux, Larry Wingate, Laura Berman, Lisa Simmons, Marie Slaton, Bruce Perkins, Doug Richter, Helen Philen and Joseph Whitehead.


On July 22, Selena Gomez will be 18; Albert Brooks, 63; David Spade, 46; Danny Glover, 64; Shawn Michaels, 45 and Bob Dole, 87.***July 23, Monica Lewinsky, 37; Marlon Wayans, 38; Slash, 45; Woody Harrelson, 49 and Don Imus, 70.***Jennifer Lopez, 40; Barry Bonds, 46; Lynda Carter, 59 and Ruth Buzzi, 74.***July 25, Matt LeBlanc, 43; Walter Payton, 56; Barbara Harris, 74 and Brad Renfro, 28.***July 26, Sandra Bullock, 46; Kevin Spacey, 51; Dorothy Hamill, 54; Mick Jagger, 67 and Blake Edwards, 88.***July 27, Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, 35; Maureen McGovern, 61; Bobbie Gentry, 64; Jerry Van Dyke, 79 and Norman Lear will be 88.***Sally Struthers will be 62; Jim Davis, 63; Bill Bradley, 67 and had she lived, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis would be 81.


Anna Mae Broudreaux went to da dentist Dr. Alex Dartez. He notice dat she was looking very nervous her. Dr. Dartez, while putting on his gloves decided to tell her a little joke to relax her. He said, “Mrs. Broudreaux, do you know how dey make these gloves, hanh?”
“No,” she replied.
“Well, dere’s a building in China wit a big tank of latex and workers of all hand sizes dip dere hands in da tank. Den dey let dem dry, peel off the gloves and trow dem into boxes of da right size.”
Mrs. Broudreaux her didn’t crack a smile.
Doc him, said to hisself, “Oh well, I tried.”
Bout five minutes later, during da dental procedure, she bust out laughing.
“Wats so funny?” Doc Dartez axe.
“Well, me I was just picturing how condoms are made.”


Seventy six percent voted yes to last week’s poll question asking should our county and city government’s roll in next year’s redistricting favor Orange County being whole with one state representative district.*****One other question we may pose later is about our congressional district. I bet you didn’t know that an election is going on in our district right now between a Democrat, a Republican and a Libertarian. All are from Montgomery County, far removed from Orange. So far Orange Countians, even though they will vote in that race in November, are not aware of the battle going on in the Houston area to represent us. The Libertarian candidate has gotten the majority support of the Tea Party, the Republican has some of their support also. Montgomery County will pick our congressman. It doesn’t matter who is elected, he won’t be anyone from our area like it should be. It’s a gerrymandered district, with a pencil line from the Houston area designed to grab us. That along should be justification to redistrict.***** I’m bushed, on my way home I’ll stop at Danny’s. He’s featuring heavy beef boneless sirloin steak for just $2.99 a pound. I’ll put that sucker on the grill and with the fresh garden tomatoes and cucumbers and Robie’s French bread my friend Jessie Domingue brought from Abbeville, I’ll feast and then take a long nap. It’s been a tough week. Thanks for your time. Please read us cover to cover and shop the advertisers who bring you this paper free each week. Take care and God bless.