I was watching CNN just before 10 p.m. Sunday when a newsbreak announced President Obama would be addressing the nation. A newsbreak this late on Sunday made it evident to me that this was going to be something big, but I didn’t imagine how big. Osama Bin Laden, 53, Al Qaeda leader and chief architect of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States was shot in the head, killed and his body buried in the ocean. It was a great plan, over many months, carried out by a handful of Navy Seals. President Obama authorized the operation that took place in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Osoma had been there for years defying belief that the Pakintanians didn’t know he was there. In this column we had said if we ever got Bin Laden it would be in Pakistan. I believe that history will record this as a leadership moment in our country. It was a gutsy call by the President. If the operation would have failed and our men killed at that compound, Obama would have been done. It worked and justice was served. It took nearly 10 years but the head of the snake has been cut off. A rich man, from a very wealthy Saudi family, Osama could have spent his life in luxury. Instead he chose to kill. In the end he got what he sowed and the world is better off today. Many words will be written and spoken about this event. President Obama and aides followed the raid by video while it unfolded. The raid finished in 40 minutes. I know their hearts must have skipped a beat when the Blackhawk helicopter malfunctioned. President Bush, Cheney and Rove say Obama deserves the credit, however some congressmen can’t being themselves to praise him, giving credit only to the raiders. Five plans were presented to the President. He made the call after several months of secret meetings and training at a replica facility in the U.S. The government has shot down the spin that water boarding led to Bid Laden. Not so they say. It was a textbook operation, pulled off by brave young Navy Seals. The Seal who fired the shots, once though the left eye and then the chest, will be revered for the rest of his life. There is no question this will be seen as a critical accomplishment of the Obama administration. Pictures of the operation and of Bin Laden’s sea burial, at sometime, will be released and no doubt a movie will be made about it. It’s a great time for America and the world. *****Well, I have a long way to go. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


After following the illness of our friend Daniel Jacobs, 70, we are sorry to report that “Jake” lost his battle with Leukemia on Friday, April 29. His funeral service was held Tuesday, May 3. Daniel was one of the toughest little guys we ever knew. Many times we wondered if the fight was worth it. However everyday that Daniel was able to hold on to life was special to him. He would be real sick and it seemed that he was on his last days only to bounce back. He was productive on the good days. He came by to see us a month ago and he put up about 104 pints of jelly just recently. We will never forget his kindness, his friendship and his fight to live just one more day. Our prayers go out to Gloria and the family. Please see obit.


Roger Reinert, 69, passed away on Friday, April 29. He was a first class guy. He befriended us many years ago when he was manager of Southerlands. He came from Iowa and married our dear friend Wanda Beth Holt. They lived a happy life despite at times both were in poor health. Service was held Tuesday, May 3. May he rest in peace. We send our condolences to his entire family. Please see obit.

13 Years Ago-1998

Essie Bellfield is elected mayor of Orange. She’s the first woman and first black to ever be elected mayor of the city.*****Ted Selman is elected port commissioner. He beat incumbant Joel Steirman by one vote.*****Newcomer Michael Guilbeau upset port commissioner John Young.*****Bill Klein is elected Orange city councilman. Charlie Brown beat Stewart Olive and John Read upset Ken Phelps. This is the year of the big “Against” vote.*****Sue “MeeMaw” Gunn, 85, named “Mother of the Year” by the Record Newspapers.*****Kevin “Pop” Smith brought his Dallas Cowboy show to Orange for basketball and golf games. The Kevin Smith Foundation is being set up to help the youth of Orange. (Editor’s note: I wonder what ever became of that?)*****Capt. David Peck came down with some kind of crud that’s going around. The Captain blacked out, cut his head and ended up in Doctor’s Hospital’s ICU for a couple of days. There are a lot of sick folks.*****A young man named Nations has taken over Romano’s Shoe repair.*****Sharon Goodyear is a nice looking waitress at Heath’s Golden Corral where the Wednesday Lunch Bunch meets. Sharon takes special care of Grover. Dunn says, “It’s because of his age.”*****Coming up in a few days, May 8, Don and Alice Cole will mark their 50th wedding anniversary. Commissioner Don celebrates his 72nd birthday this week. (Editor’s note: That was 13 years ago when they celebrated. I can’t believe it’s been that long. I was there and it looks like yesterday.  Now they will be married 63 years and Don reaches 85. Happy birthday Don and congrats to you and Ms. Alice.)*****The beautiful Michelle Judice is retiring from her counselors office job at Bridge City High School. She will be attending college full time. (Editor’s note: For several years now Mrs. Al Judice has been a teacher at Lamar Port Arthur and loves it. As so Al, he’s still not doing nuttin.)*****Sue Halliburton will retire from teaching at Little Cypress-Mauriceville. The Port Arthur native has been teaching many years. (Editor’s note: Sue still lives in an apartment in Orange where she moved after Grover died. She has a buddy she runs around with.)*****Flaudry and Audrey, the Bonnin twins, watched their cousin Kent Desormeaux win the Kentucky Derby, riding “Real Quiet.” When he crossed the finish line he let out a Cajun yell. (Editor’s note: Anyone can do a Cajun yell, here’s how, just say AAA-EEE.)*****Wayne Reeh announces he will be a candidate for county judge.*****Orangefield’s Jacob Davis cleared 19 feet for the University of Texas track team. He vaulted 19-8 but brushed the bar on his way down. His photo will appear on the cover of “Track and Field Magazine’s next issue. (Editor’s note: I wonder what has become of Jacob and what he’s doing 13 years later?)*****Women’s Club awards memorial scholarships to Tanya Duhon, Christine Woods and Haley Dardeau.*****Luke Durham, 19, a 1997 Community School grad was killed in an auto accident in Bryan, April 26. He had joined the United States Air Force the day before his death.*****VFW Post  2775 presents check for $3,500 for constable Keith Merritt to acquire a new drug dog. Merritt, this year, lost his canine companion and co-worker Ali. For over nine years the 96 pound canine lived with Merritt, his wife Marlene and sons Robert and Craig. Keith’s granddaughter, three years old Easton, spoke German, giving commands to Ali. Merritt said Ali was like a family member, like a son.

33 Years ago-1978

Attorney General John Hill defeats Gov. Dolph Briscoe in the Democratic May primary.*****Pete Runnels defeats James Stringer for county judge.***County Court at Law judge Grover Halliburton is defeated by judge Don Burgess in the 260th district court race.***Newly elected Court at Law judge Pat Clark is probably in this seat for the short run. His next move will probably be DA or a district judgeship. (Editor’s note: That was a good prediction. Pat became judge of the 128th District Court and stayed 30 years. He recently retired and accepted an appointment to his original county court seat he had won 33 years earlier.)*****The Orange County Bar Association elects Roy Dunn, publisher of the Opportunity Valley News, as the recipient of the “Liberty Bell Award” for his contribution to the community. The award was presented at a ceremony held in the128th District Courtroom.

38 Years Ago-1973

David Guidry, Bridge City High School track star, tied for third in the state tract meet in the 338 hurdles. The B.C. boy’s relay team, coached by Bobby Puntes, won third place with a time of 3:7.4. Spotted at the meet were Don Harmon and sons.*****The West Orange Chiefs won the school’s first title in baseball, coached by Ronnie Anderson. They won Dist. 10-3A Championship in a game played against Silsbee 6-3. The slugging of Jerry Caillier, James Long and Ronnie Rost and the pitching of Paul Lee Richardson and Ray Pousson, make the Chiefs a hard team to beat.*****Margie Black, of Orangefield High, and Mark Dunn, of Bridge City High, were selected best writers by the Press Club of Southeast Texas. Their articles appeared in Sunday’s Port Arthur News.*****Billy Burrough is installed as Jaycee president.*****Gary Savoy is elected president of the Orange Optimist Club. Buddy Rhodes and Bob Dartez were named vice-presidents.


MacAlan Trammell, Jenna Dismukes, Julia Hoke, Brad Broussard, Matt Williams, Butch Myers, Bridget Toohey, Ricky Zirlott, Lindsey Dardeau, Susan Spencer, Travis Coffey, Amanda Dumesnil, Ashley Eby, Clint Blackwell, Beverly Millsap, Murdock Havard, Deborah Gregg, Doris Raynor, Mayor Essie Bellfield, Brandon Bond, Carolyn Bourque, Josh Sanders, Charles Slusher, Clint Vidrine, Glory Burke, Jessica Hughes, Joseph Chenella, Michael Psencik, Norma Cummings, Sherri Thompson, Caitlin Allen, Connie Angelle, Debra Truncale, Patty Cook, Ginger Hogden, Julie Allensworth, Alan Bates, Arlon Fields, Lee Legate, Doug Havens, C.L. Armstrong, Kevin LaRose, Lynn Scales, Justin Dupuis, Kelly Brown, Ken Reeves, Mary Callahan, Trudy Blair, Anna Hughes, Dalton Gilliam, Janice Wilkinson, Gerald Taylor, Gordon Brown, Jacqueline McGee, James Rogers, Johnnie Mae McKuster, Katie Hubbard, Patricia Williamson, Preslea Thibodeaux, Sharon Woolley, Stacie Dryden, Stacie Teaff, Candace Miller and Chuck Williams.


May 7 will make seven years since Judge Grover Halliburton died. While serving as county judge Grover made many improvements. He established Claiborne West Park, enjoyed and used by many Orange Countians. When the Brown Airport was acquired, his friends referred to the airport as Halliburton International, his critics called it a bad investment. Grover was a good attorney and wasn’t afraid of a good fight. He was also responsible, with a group of guys, of starting the Wednesday Lunch Bunch that meets every week. It’s a diversified bunch, including many of the elected officials, along with other vocations, retirees and folks from throughout the county. Anyone is always welcome to drop in, break bread, exchange ideas and enjoy the fellowship. Grover is often remembered and this week, when the Bunch dines at Novrozsky’s, he will certainly be mentioned and remembered on the seventh anniversary of his death.*****MacDonald Baptist Church held it’s 80th anniversary Sunday. A very large crowd of members and former members attended. Keble Free brought his mother Skipper, who was baptized in the church in 1945 by the Rev. Kelly Terrell. A video was shown of Mrs. Pearl Burgess, 90, who presented the history of the church of which she is a lifelong member. Speaking of Ms. Pearl, in this issue, she is publishing her Mother’s Day poem. The poem fits almost any mother, from a young bride, to grandchildren. Pearl’s poems are always looked forward to.*****Orange native O.A. Bum Phillips was honored by the Texas Senate with a resolution honoring his life, from a boy in Orange to present day. The resolution passed last week states, “Bum Phillips, to this day, is one of the most popular, respected and admired coaches in the history of American football. A rancher, a horseman and a true Texan, he is known for his dry sense of humor, his laid-back demeanor, his ever present cowboy hat and boots and his famous name, which he still explains is a nickname, not a description.” Sen. John Whitmire added, “Senators were glad Phillips never ran for the Senate, his positive name ID would scare the dickens out of any elected official.” Some thing may be in the works to honor Bum here at home. I certainly hops so, He’s our most well known native son. *****Our friend Gerald Morris had a metal knee replacement two weeks ago and is already walking around the block, accompanied by his lovely wife Julia.*****Longtime columnist Leon Hale, who I met in the late 1950’s while he was writing for the Houston Post, turns 90. For the past 30 years he’s been with the Chronicle and still writes a Sunday column. Leon taught journalism at Sam Houston State, where Joe Parkhurst was one of his students. His family is throwing a birthday party May 28, at the Round Top Rifle Association Hall, in Round Top. Instead of gifts, donations can be made to non-profit organizations. Leon just recently returned from Europe and still visits the “Talking Mule.” I hope I can still talk at 90. Happy birthday Leon.*****Other good folks we know who are celebrating, our friends Joe Chenella, Essie Bellfield, Connie Angelle and also Katie Hubbard and Josh Sanders.***Our FaceBook friends celebrating birthdays are Sara Peterson, May 4; Randy Dunigan and Stephanie Edgerly, May 5; Debbie Gregg and James “Jimmy” Scales, May 6; Gina Mannino and Suzy Permenter, May 7; Kara Dickey, Robert Brown and Wilma Horner, May 8; Vickie Schell, May 9; Jacqueline McGee and Sharon Wooley, May 10. I know most of these folks, Debbie, Gina, Sharon and Wilma would make for a good story. Happy birthday to all.*****Early voting started Monday in city and school elections. The interest doesn’t seem to be what it should be. Those elections are most important. Government starts at home; local elections are true grass-roots elections. Will you be on the final list of citizens who have an interest in their community? It’s important to vote but also it’s important is to be informed.


On May 5, Chris Brown will be 22; Danielle Fishel, 30; Craig David, 30 and John Rhys-Davies, 67.***George Clooney will be 50 on May 6; Tony Blair, 58; Bob Seger, 66: and Willie Mays, 80.***On May 7, Beckin Meyer will be 37.***Enrique Iglesias will be 36 on May 8; Melissa Gilbert, 47 and David Keith, 57.***Candice Bergen will be 65 on May 9; Billy Joel, 62; Will Smith, 43: John Corbett, 50 and Brandon Webb, 32.***On May 10, Bono will be 51.


These two Cajun truck drivers, Cleo Thibodeaux and Rufus Comeaux, has worked together as a team of drivers for years. Dey were never apart. Business got slow and dere was a cutback to only one driver per truck so Cleo and Rufus applied for a job at a bigger trucking company. Boat of dem pass da two tests. Dere was only one more test to take, da emergency test.
 Da instructor explain to Thibodeaux, “You drvin down da road, you goin’ down a hill, you goin’ 80, 70 mile an hour, all of a sudden you brakes go out.” Cleo hollar, “KeeYaw!” Da instructor continues, “Up da road dere’s a one-lane bridge, wit a big dropoff on boat sides, an a 18 wheeler jack-knif across dat bridge, Mais wat you gonna do you?”
Cleo say, “Me, I’m gonna wake up Rufus.”
“How come you do dat hanh?” da instructor axe.
“Well, said Cleo, because Rufus him, ain’t never seen no wreck like dis before.”


Some of you may not be aware that we will have some redistricting state representative changes. We will lose both Mike Hamilton and Joe Deshotel. The good thing is that Orange County will be whole, under just one representative, Rep. Ritter. He recently jumped from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in a move, I believe, made to secure that he would have a seat and not be shut out by the Republicans drawing up the maps. Deshotel has been given a minority district, Beaumont, downtown, Port Acres and Port Arthur. Hamilton will have to move to Hardin County, but they styled a district that is 70 percent Republican to assure his re-election. I would have much preferred a district where we are not tied to Jefferson County but at least we now have to collar just one representative. I haven’t seen the figures but it might be possible that voting as a block, Orange County could elect their own state representative. I’ll comment later on the congressional district that should be coming out soon. It’s almost a certainty that we won’t have the same district and same congressman. I understand there is a big fight going on as repubs try not to pit one republican congressman against another, while trying to keep seats away from democrats. I believe, either way, it will end up in a lawsuit.*****Good luck to our baseball and soft ball teams in the playoffs.*****Sunday is Mother’s Day. Our best wishes to each and every one of you Moms. May you be blessed on your day.*****Read us cover to cover and please shop our family of advertisers. With the high price of gasoline, production and printing, it would not be possible to deliver this paper to your door each week without the good people who sponsor us. Also please check us out regularly on our website for up to the minute breaking news . Let us hear from you. Take care and God bless.