Well, the surprise of the week came when Judge Carl Thibodeaux announced, at Commissioner’s Court, that he was making a motion that Dist. Judge Pat Clark be appointed to fill the County Court-At-Law judgeship left open by the retirement of Judge Mike Shuff. Judge Pat would have to give up his 128th District Court judgeship, leaving an opening in that court. The governor appoints district judges. Almost always the appointee is someone from his party but not necessarily. The appointee could agree to run for the post, in this case, as a Republican. It’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen. In the past the state senator usually pulled that string. Orange County has two state representatives, a Democrat and a Republican. Hamilton will have some input but that’s about it. I believe the person with the most influence will be former State Rep. Ron Lewis, who is the closest to Gov. Perry. If Lewis can’t get an appointment he can certainly stop one; that I would go to the bank with. There aren’t many Republican lawyers in Orange County However, there are some who could claim to be and there are others who could agree to be. I understand attorney Paul Fukuda has expressed his interest to the Governor. Also I’m told attorney Allen Sanders is interested. Sanders ran for district judge before. His father, Lynwood Sanders, is a former democratic chairman and very active in party politics. He was however very close to Rep. Lewis when he was a democrat before switching. That’s a possibility. Another possibility would be County Court Judge Troy Johnson. He’s from the Orangefield area and has ties to David Montange, who is close to Lewis. Johnson would have to switch parties now or later. Maybe none of the above will be chosen, other names are being thrown around. I’m only speculating. It’s still early and the cards haven’t been dealt yet. One thing is for sure, they will want to appoint someone who they feel can get elected against a strong Democrat. They wouldn’t want the first Republican appointee to go down in defeat in his first run. It’s a sure bet it will be contested in 2012. I’ll keep my ear to the ground. There was no better choice than Judge Pat for County Court but it sure leaves some big shoes to fill in 128th. *****I’ve got a long way to go. I’d appreciate it if you would come along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.


The economy could soon take off. The job market may have turned the corner also. Applications for unemployment benefits have its third decline in four weeks and the lowest level since May 2008. The evidence is just stacking up that the labor market is picking up decisively. According to the Institute for Supply Management, American workers, in the fields from health care to construction, are expanding at the fastest pace in more than five years. The unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent in November to below 9 percent in January, the quickest decline in more than half a century. Gas prices are on the rise is a blow to the economy. It’s a good bet that oil companies will show one of its biggest profits ever at the end of this quarter. Despite no gas shortage, tanks are full at the refineries and they are not operating full blast. The government will be forced to release from our stockpile of oil reserves just to bring down gas prices or stop the climb. I seldom agree with Bill O’Reilly, but I do when he says oil companies have used Libya as an excuse to cash in on profits. What will happen is that gas goes up at every level by more than it should, the bulk dealer adds, the outlet adds, then it affects commodity shippers and we pay more. In a not too small way, it affects our business. Delivering a free newspaper, with 13 routes and nearly 1,000 miles of driving, has raised the cost of getting you this paper, plus, newsprint is oil based so we are bracing for a price kick soon. The economy is set to bloom and here comes the oil crisis that is actually not a crisis, at least not yet. It’s an opportunity to make large profits and slow economic growth at our peril.


Johnny Preston Courville had been sick for some time and had heart surgery in December. He passed away at St. Elizabeth Friday, March 4. He leaves behind his wife Sharron and four children, Leslie, Scott, Michael, Lisa and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Three week ago in the Down Life’s Highway column, Roy had written of Johnny’s illness and recounted their friendship and Johnny’s career. Roy still believes there has never been a better vocalist to come from these parts. The Port Arthur native recorded “Running Bear” written by another local J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson. The recording sold over a million copies and stayed on the charts 26 weeks. It became number one around the world. Services for Johnny were held Tuesday, 10 a.m., at Park Central Church of Christ. His music, talent and great gospel voice will be a great addition to the heavenly choir. Our condolences to his family, many friends and fans. May he rest in peace.


BM building casinos and allowing slots at Texas racetracks would hurt our little part of Texas. The casinos would be built in the big cities, like Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, etc. Presently many Orange countians work at casinos in Louisiana. A new 400 billion dollar casino is being built in Lake Charles that will employ 3,700 people. Also beneficial to Orange County is the traffic from Houston and other cities heading to Louisiana to gamble. Legislatures, who have for a long time wanted gambling in Texas, will take advantage of the poor economy to push for gaming. Their story will be that it will bring in taxes. Remember how they promised us that the Lotto would cure all economical ills. Gambling in other parts of Texas is a loser for us. Frankly, I don’t believe Gov. Perry would sign that bill if he plans on a national office run. The church people are sure to oppose it. Contact your state representatives, senators and the governor to let them know if you oppose Texas opening gambling.

12 Years Ago-1999

Joe DiMaggio, New York Yankee great and national legend to generations of baseball fans died Monday, March 8, 1999. “Joltin Joe” turned 84 on Nov. 25. He had won three MVP awards and led the Yankees to eight World Series championships. In 1941, from May 15 to mid July, he hit safely in 56 consecutive games. Retiring at age 36, with a lifetime batting average of .325. The Yankee Clipper was born Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio, Jr., in Matinez, Calif. In 1914. His younger brother Dom was also an all-star with the Boston Red Sox and older brother Vince was with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. Joe started with the minor league San Francisco Seals in 1934. He hit successfully in 61 straight games with a .341 average. The Yankees acquired Joe in 1936 for $25,000. His rookie season, he led the majors with .323 average and 46 homeruns. In 1954, he married Marilyn Monroe, the nation’s sex symbol. They divorced nine months later. After her death in 1962, he laid flowers at her grave annually. Joe was immortalized through Simon and Garfunkel’s song, “Mrs. Robinson.” With a line “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?” He is considered by many to be the best all-around baseball player in the history of the sport. He put his baseball career on hold for service in WWII. (Editor’s note: I never saw him play but upon his return from the war, I listened to many Yankee games. He was a hero. Do you remember who the youngster was that replaced him when he retired in 1951? It was Mickey Mantle.)*****Paul Davis, a Bridge City native, has been appointed captain of the DPS Beaumont office. Paul is the youngest captain in DPS history. (Editor’s note: He went on to become a DPS Major and is now police chief of his hometown.)*****Vivian Dorman celebrated her birthday with family. Sister Margaret and husband Preston Conway, brothers Louis Dugas, A.J. and Richard Broussard and wives. Also, all of her children, grandchildren and one great-grandchild. *****Spotted at Heath’s Golden Corral were former judge Pete Runnels, mayor of Pinehurst, judge Grover Halliburton, Rev. Leo Anderson, Roy Dunn and judge Claude Wimberly. (Editor’s note: that was the Lunch Bunch in the early days.)*****Dr. Fred Zoch celebrates a birthday as does Julie Myers and Jack Luther. *****The Bridge City baseball team of coach Mark Jones is red hot. They haven’t lost a game yet this season.*****Bridge City track stars are Nick Judice, Shane Peveto, Brad Miller, Matt Nguyen and C. Curtis.

32 Years Ago-1979

The home of Mr. And Mrs. J.K. Conn, on Cherokee Trail, in Little Cypress, was completely destroyed by fire. Inez Conn died in the fire. Jimmy suffered second and third degree burns. His is in Baptist Hospital. (Editor’s note: Since then, Orange County humorist Conn has also died.)*****Waggoner Carr, former Texas attorney general, is in town to present W.T. Oliver the “Citizen of the Year” award. Judge Pete Runnels proclaimed March 16 as “W.T. Oliver Day” in Orange County. Meanwhile, W.T’s in-laws, wife Ann’s sister June and brother-in-law Earl, lost their daughter Mary Ann, 16, in an auto accident. (Editor’s note: After W.T.’s death, Ann, who still lives in Bridge City, remarried Miles Hall. Earl has also died but wife June still lives in B.C. also. All those folks were great people and good friends.)*****District Attorney Sharon Bearden announced that Assistant D.A., Don Burgess, will resign March 31. Bearden is expected to appoint Bill Wright or Joe Alford to replace him.


Brittney Zenos, Don Grooms, Elaine Padgett, Claudia Gilson, Santiago Baca, Jordon Doiron, Josh Goss, Gloria Jones, Ken Hillsten, Mary White, Wade Gillett, B.W. Parks, Bob Izer, Pat Lund, Rick McCall, James McClanahan, Cindy Reynolds, Dottie Gunstream, George Baker, Kate Benoit, AJ Strahan, Colton “CJ” Dugan, Jack Morgan, Bryleigh Moore, Andrew Willingham, Carol Ann Kimbrow, Rod Sheppard, Amy Peevey, Kyle Dubose, Jean Braus, John Collin Kimbrow, Lindsey Bland, Claude Tarver, Lana Sepulvado, Jill Peveto, John Brister, Martha Williams, Anthony Fraccastoro, Bud Briggs, Gene Harper, Dick Powell, Dusty Jennings, Jennifer Kelly, Julie Myers, Addie Batson, and Amber Doiron.


Congrats to Roy and Virgie Fontenot, who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on March 5. That’s not a record but it’s a darn good average. For several reasons, health, etc., only one in over 10,000 marriages will last that long. Roy, a World War II veteran from the Greatest Generation is also retired from Dupont. Best wishes. Keep on keeping on. *****A few Facebook friends having birthdays. Steve Benett, March 10, Virginia Perkins, March 11, Hester Bell, March 12, Greg Seal, March 14 and our friend Julie Myers also celebrates this week. *****Congratulations to Bridge City senior Mary Nguyen, who last week set a new school record in the 3200 meters in 12:17, at the Pirate relays. She also captured the 1,100 meters. Bridge City’s Meagan Shockley won the 800 meters in 2:33.4. Some claim she gets her athletic genes from her grandmother Judy, however, it’s fair to note that her granddad Don “Cochise” Shockley is a direct decent of the great Indian runner Jim Thorpe. Congrats also to Bree Fontenot, who captured the 400 meters in 1:00.78. To all of the winners, we say. “Way to go.”*****Judge David Peck is getting high marks as the new Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1. What a lot of folks don’t know is that he also is a good singer. He claims however, his best talent is cooking. Over the weekend, he cooked a feast of fried red fish and all the trimmings for a meal hosted by Constable Mark Philpott and his lovely wife, Babette. Again, the eating champion was the smallest in the group, Judge Janice Menard, who attended with son Neil. She can put away the vittles and never gain a pound.*****McDonald Memorial Baptist Church will celebrate their 80th anniversary in May. It has a new pastor. The Rev. Joel Warren, 28, accepted the call to become the new pastor beginning March 27. He is a native of Jacksonville, Texas. Brother Warren’s vast religious education includes a graduate degree from George W. Truett Seminary at Baylor University, also a Master of Divinity degree. Welcome to Brother Joel and wife Brittany, a speech therapist and public school teacher. *****Thirty-five years ago this week, in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone. It was 75 years later before my family got one. Alexander would be amazed today at what his phone has turned into. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines with Uncle Jim at Novrozsky’s this week and next week with the good folks at Robert’s. Everyone is always welcome. *****Don’t forget the big star party at Shangri La Thursday evening, March 10, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gazing at the stars is a lot of fun. See ad in this paper. *****Our dear friend Rosalie Clark is still battling staph infection, even though improved; she’s not well and will seek more treatment in Houston. Your prayers for this nice lady would be deeply appreciated. *****I’m glad to report that our buddy Daniel Jacobs is still hanging in there. Good days, not too good days but he’s battling. Next week he returns to Houston for evaluations and plan the next move. He’s a good guy. Best wishes to he and Ms. Gloria.


On March 9, Little Bow Wow is 24; March 10, Chuck Norris, 71; Sharon Stone, 53; Shannon Miller, 34 and Carrie Underwood, 28. ***March 11, Alex Kingston, 48; Lisa Loeb, 43; Terrence Howard, 42; Johnny Knoxville, 40 and Benji and Joel Madden will be 32. ***March 12, Liza Minnelli, 65; James Taylor, 63 and Aaron Eckhart, 43. ***March 13, William Macy, 61; Common, 39 and Emile Hirsch, 26. ***March 14, Billy Crystal, 64; Chris Klein, 32; Taylor Hanson, 28, Jamie Bell, 25 and Justin Bieber will be 17. ***March 15, Fabio, 52; Eva Longoria, 36 and will.i.am will be 36.


While Tee-Boy Dartez, him, was putting his stuff in da trunk after shopping at Home Depot, two nice looking, young, womens came over to his car and start wiping his windshield wit a rag and some Windex. Dere breasts was almost falling out of dere skimpy T-shirts. Tee-Boy couldn’t help himself from looking. He offer to pay dem a tip. Dey say, “No tank you.” Instead dey axe if he would give dem a ride to da McDonald. Tee-Boy say, “Mai Yea.”
Dey boat get in da backseat. On da way, dey start undressing. Den one of dem beauties climb over the front seat and starts crawling all over him while da utta one steals his wallet.
About ten days later he went to da police.
Officer Calvin Badeaux axe, “Wat can I help you wit Mr. Dartez?”
Tee-Boy, told him about dem women steal his wallet and now dey left town.
Policeman Badeaux axe him when did dey steal his wallet?
Tee-Boy say, “Well, dey took it on Feb. 3rd, den on Feb. 5th, twice on da 8th and on da Feb. 14.” “I paid $2.99 each for dem wallets at da Walmart and had $20 in each one.”


It’s come on Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent which will last 40 days till Easter. The light green leaves are budding out on the trees. The yellow and white wild flowers are making their appearances. March winds remind me of a time, way back in my youth, I would be building a kite to fly on a day like this. The full moon will soon hang up high in the sky. Daylight savings time will spring forward Sunday morning at 2 a.m. Don’t forget are you’ll be an hour late for church. I want to thank you for your time. Check us out on our Web site, TheRecordLive.com for the latest news and obits. Please shop with our family of advertisers. They keep this publication coming your way. See you on the turn around. Take care and God bless.