I have been a baseball fan since back in the 1940’s when I listened to the St. Louis Cardinals on a crystal radio set. Later, I listened to the great Yankee, Dodger and Giant rivalry. I was fortunate to see many of the greats after the Astrodome opened. I played the game, coached the game and even today I’d walk a mile to see a baseball game. I’m a real sports fan who likes competition, boxing to football and everything in between. All that is said to bring me to Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter, who last week, July 9th, became the first Yankee ever to break the 3,000 hit barrier. Think about it, Babe, Joltin Joe, Mickey, Yogi and all the rest didn’t reach that goal. That leaves Jeter in a Yankee class of his own. On that day he went 5 for 5 at the plate, scored the winning run, had a stolen base and hit a homerun to record his 3,000th hit. Jeter became only the 28th major leaguer ever to record this feat. Only two players have ever reached 4,000 hits. One is Pete Rose, who I believe should be in the Hall of Fame for his accomplishments on the field. He hit 4,256 while a guy Rose is often compared to Ty Cobb, who hit 4,191. My favorite, Hank Aaron, got 3,771 hits. Stan “The Man” Musial was next with 3,630 hits. The last player to reach 3,000 hits is everyone’s favorite, Astro Craig Biggio, who ended up with 3,060. The great Roberto Clemente hit an even 3,000 while “Hey-Hey” Willie Mays logged 3,283 hits. So you see, it’s no small accomplishment. Jeter, at 37 years of age, might play five more years but in order to reach the 4,000 hit club he would have to record 200 hits a season. That is extremely long odds. An example of why Pete Rose’s accomplishments should be recognized. Just as important is the fact that he didn’t do all the great things he did on the field while on drugs. He did it the old fashioned way, through hustle, determination and love of the game. Derek Jeter, Yankee captain, is a class guy, a baseball star among the very best to play the game. I’m not sure what got me on this individual accomplishment stuff except that baseball is as American as all of us. A game born and played on the sandlots and fields all over our country, from Little League to the big leagues. Baseball heroes are part of the red, white and blue. *****I need to get down the road. I’m a day late and two dollars short. Hop on board and come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


When the elections were going on for president, the Democrats and Republicans were running at least half-dozen candidates each. Hillary and Barack were the two heavy hitters for Demos, McCain ended up winning for the GOP. At that time over a dozen candidates were running. I said then that I didn’t know why they would want to put themselves in that snake pit. I also predicted that whoever won the election would, in no time, be very unpopular because of the deep trouble our country was in. It was the worse time in our history since the great depression. The country had lost eight million jobs and the president, whoever that might be, would have to be a magician to turn the country around. Two wars were in process and a national debt that had grown from $5 trillion to $11.5 trillion. It seemed impossible to me to turn it around in any one term regardless of who was elected. Obama won. The very first thing he faced was saving the auto industry and bailing out banks or face a great depression far worse than the last one. Corruption for years, the housing market in shambles, rising gas prices all were hurting the middle class while oil companies were recording record profits. I don’t care who would have gotten elected they would be in a box. Add oil spills, floods, fires, tornados, droughts and a host of domestic things to the mix and that adds up to the worse of times. If McCain had been elected, democrats would be coming down on him for not waving a magic wand and fixing everything overnight. The deep-rooted problems were created by many of the same people who are not doing a thing to help the country now. Obama is in a box but so is speaker Boehner, who can’t deliver his vote because of extremist in his caucus. Government is compromised when the radical element refuses to do the right thing. You have a government in deadlock and that serves no one well. We all know since George Bush’s Christmas present in 2001 that Warren Buffet pays only 14 percent in taxes and G.E. paying nothing. Something is not fair. A tax increase of four percent on any individual making a million dollars a year is not unreasonable. Cutting Social Security and Medicare hurts the poor and middle class. Fifteen years ago, in this column, I wrote that the middle class was under attack and in 20 years we would be headed toward being a third world country with the “Haves” and the “Have Nots.”


We were saddened to learn about the death of Patricia Morgan, 66 who died July 8. She was a Bridge City teacher for many years. To husband “Butch” and his family, we extend our sincere condolences. This good Christian lady prepared well to meet her Lord. Please see obit.

12 Years Ago-1999

Ed Barton becomes the new Orange County Democratic Party chairman. *****Alan Sanders, Jerry Pennington, Karla Rogers, Rodney Price and Dennis Powell are lined up to run for the 163rd District court Judgeship. (Editor’s note: Has that already been 12 years? Dennis won in a runoff against Alan. Judge Powell is still on the bench.)*****Charlotte Anderson left on a three-day trip but forgot her luggage at home. She attended the “Smoke Meat” Festival in Ville Platte without a change of clothes. *****Doug Harrington is back in the ranching business. Now he’s raising registered goats. The only problem is wife Regina is allergic to them. *****Bridge City school superintendent Sam Lucia had gall bladder surgery. *****Over 400 people attended the wedding of Selena Hebert and T.J. Knight last Saturday. The wedding had bagpipes, 50 gallons of gumbo and a lot of fun for all. *****Orange’s Jay Canizaro’s knee was injured by a sliding base runner while turning a double play with Class AAA Fresno. He will be out of action five to seven weeks. He was due to return to the majors. ***Bruce Aven goes out of the game due to a tightened hamstring. He is batting .326 at the all-star break for the Marlins. ***Pitcher John Patterson was selected to the Double A All Star team. *****Rusty Nicks and Jessie Brown, two fine ladies, celebrate birthdays.

32 Years Ago-1979

Tony Griffin is laid to rest. His death brought sadness to all who knew him. He was owner of Griffin’s Menswear. *****Steve Worster, Bridge City and UT football star, is the proud father of a new baby girl born back on June 8. The family also has a three-year-old son, Scott. They live in San Antonio. Steve was in town visiting his parents, R.B and Louise Worster. *****Cal Peterson has acquired Holmes Used Cars. Holmes is a former WWII German war prisoner. *****Andy Verrett is the new Bridge City Police Chief. He was a resident of the community when it was known as Prairie View.

37 Years Ago-1974

Houston Baker, Leland Morrow, Roy Dunn, Mike Pasternak, Jerry Pesson, Richard Corder, Joe Kazmar and Ed Lovelace attended the Texan and Chicago Fire game in the Astrodome. The trip was made by bus with Lovelace driving. The group visited with Fire coach Jim Crossland and Garland Boyette and Pat Gibbs, of the Texans, who had good game but lost to the Fire. *****For 50 years barber Joe Blanda has walked from home to his shop at the Holland Hotel and later the Jack Tar. Last week, for the first time, he was knocked down and his money sack was taken.

52 Years Ago-1949

Orange paperweight fighters trained by Ellis Landry are part of the card to benefit Boy’s Haven. Some fighters on the card are Rod Tolar, Richard Stanfield, Logan Harris and Sharon Bearden. (Editor’s note: Did I read that right, Bearden, a paperweight?)


Virginia Cox, Earline Garrison, Judi Hidalgo, Kristen McCurry, Marsha McCullough, Mary Morton, Rodney Barrett, Steve Sarver, Susan Everett, Angela Zenos, Billy Bryant, Donna Peterson, George Millsap, Jared Ganze, Margaret Richey, Joe Rion, Melani Woodruff, Calvin Rutledge, Ella Stuebing, Lance George, Ledia Miller, Mark Grizzaffi, Melissa Darbonne, Melissa Eshbach, Mitchell Heil, Peggy Claybar, Tommy Harmon, BJ Graham, Cassey Polk, JB Jones, Marlin McKinney, Rhys Outlaw, Jean Long, Gail Eads, Phil Dickman, Clarence Dale Newton, Lorie Dubose, Mary Dorsey, Carlis Roy, Edee Pratt, Russel Bell, Theresa Krout, Deborah Ashcraft, Don Hightower, Harold Lonadier, Cheryl Richard, Cynthia Chataignier, Don Fields, Harry Barclay, Kurt Moerbe, Marion Whittle, Matthew McKinney, Michael Hoke, Robin Thibodeaux, Dorothy Hagy, Melissa Martin, Paige Williams and Preston Wayne Sullivan.


Don’t forget the Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Over the past 60 years I’ve seen some great shows. Bring the kids and support one of the county’s oldest yearly events. *****Our buddy, Neighbor Cox, has come down with a case of shingles. He’s hurting so it doesn’t look good for another Rain Dance. ****Strange things happen in the newspaper business. Last week, we intended to break the story on the new Salvation Army captains Michael and Laura Cox. We had two stories in the folder and ran the old one. It’s embarrassing but it’s spilled milk. We’re running the corrected story this week. (Hopefully.)*****Let me let you in on a secret. If we start getting afternoon showers, mosquitoes will come in clouds. Here’s what you do. Call Marty at Pesto. He’ll come out; spray herbs, (Rosemary, Ginger, etc.) and a mosquito won’t come in your yard for six to eight weeks. Ask county clerk Karen Jo Vance. They enjoy their yard in the middle of mosquito country way into the evening without a bite. I guarantee it. *****Sorry to hear mayor Kirk Roccaforte experienced some health problems last week. He’s a tough Italian and I bet he’ll be fine. *****Speaking of tough old birds, our 93-year-old buddy King Dunn, ended up with a short stay in the hospital due to low blood pressure and dizziness. I’m sure he was dehydrated also. The Lunch Bunch looks forwards to having him back. *****Speaking of Lunch Bunchers, the Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week. Everyone welcome. Last week, former chief deputy David Bailey and Will Winfree attended. Donna Scales also had another good story to tell. The Bunch was sorry to hear that Rev. John Bernardini lost his dad A.J. last week at age 84. A.J. and Miss Shirley had been married 64 years. Our condolences. Next week the Bunch will meet at Robert’s. ***** “Talk about good,” Peggy’s on the Bayou is serving barbecued crabs with Richard’s special seasoning. Lyle Overman entertains every Friday and Saturday night. *****Robinson Cano, Yankee second baseman won the homerun derby with his dad pitching. That’s a nice story. *****Rupert Murdoch’s empire is caught in a scandal that seems to be far-reaching. He owns FOX News and the New York Post, two medias that have as much compassion as he does. However, he also has other good media outlets and employs over 51,000 people. *****Speaking of compassion, Glenn Beck is moving his propaganda machine to Dallas. Just what Dallas needs. *****I was sorry to hear about the senseless death of police officer Bryan Hebert. I didn’t know him but I know people in the Groves who did and they spoke highly of him. I remember his parents when they worked at Howard’s Super Market in Port Arthur. *****First Lady Betty Ford, age 93, died July 8. She was one of my favorite first ladies. She fought her demons and won, leading the way for others. *****Special folks celebrating their special day this week. One of my favorite people, Virginia (Ms. Ginny) Cox, celebrates her birthday, Wednesday, July 13. Ginny is truly a remarkable lady. She and Millard are salt-of-the-earth folks I’m proud to call my special friends. ***Other ladies we know celebrating their day. On July 13, a beautiful lady I’ve known since she was a teenager, Peggy Stringer Claybar celebrates, as does Melissa Eshback. ***Carlis Reed Roy, who I watched grow up and marry Brad, became a teacher and now retire, celebrates on July 16. *** “Miss Edee” Edith Pratt, the lady who has kept us going at The Record for many years, celebrates July 17. Rain or shine, sick or well, Edee always comes through. ***Paige Williams, who I remember as a teenage beauty queen, celebrates July 19. Paige took her good looks from her mom. ***Ella Stuebing, how could I ever forget Ella, the longtime school principle? I hope her and Terry are healthy and happy wherever they are. Happy birthday, July 14. *****Some ole’ boys celebrating as another year rolls around is coach Billy Bryant. We haven’t seen Billy but hope he’s doing fine. Happy birthday, July 13. ***Dee’s other half, Calvin Rutledge, celebrates on July 14. ***Tommy Harmon, Corky and Don’s little brother is a year older July 15. ***Clarence Dale Newton, what a guy, Granny gives him special treatment and spoils him, celebrates July 16. ***Our production manager, Russel “Rusty” Bell, very talented, better with computers than with humans, celebrates July 18. ***Former Bridge City manager Don Field is a year older on July 18. ***Our longtime buddy, Butch Herman, celebrates his 85th on July 18. Another year closer to 90. He received a letter from the President. ***Everyone’s friend, “Mr. Shangri La” Mike Hoke, takes another step up the ladder of life on July 19. Best wishes to all. *****FaceBook friends celebrating birthdays this week. On July 14, Karyn Trantham; July 15, Devin Melton; July 16, Cathy Ware; July 18, Robbie Fontenot, Darla Foster, Glen Granger, Sr., Wayne Potter and Sandra Navarro; July 19, Denise Simmon and Robin Thibodeaux. *****Congratulations to Beverly and Jody Raymer, who celebrated their 45th anniversary on July 8. It’s not a record but it’s a damn good average.


On July 13, Patrick Stewart will be 71; Harrison Ford, 69; Cheech Marin, 65. ***July 14, Matthew Fox, 45; Linda Ronstadt, 65; Jesse Ventura, 60 and Brian Austin Green, 38. ***Jimmy Johnson will be 68 on July 16; Michael Glatley, 53; Barry Sanders, 43 and Will Ferrell, 43. ***David Hasselhoff will be 59 on July 17; Donald Sutherland, 76 and Carey Hart, 36. ***Vin Diesel will be 44 on July 18; Ryan Cabrera, 29 and Bodhi Elfman, 42.


Every Saturday afternoon, tree old friends, since dey retire dem, wen dey finish taking dere nap, dey meet at Tee-boy’s Bar and Grill for a couple of beers. Dey talk about wat happen since las week or about LSU or da Saints, da grandkids and about da old times wen dey was young mens.
One afternoon, da conversation turned to da hereafter. One of dem axe, “Wen you in da casket and you family, friends and church members are mourning over you, wat would you like dem to say hanh?”
“Doc” Premeaux, who owned da drugstore, answer, “Me, I would like dem to say I was a good husband, family man and I helped a lot of people dat was sick.”
“Preacher” Comeaux answer, “I would like dem to say I was a fine, spiritual leader, a servant of God who made a huge difference in people’s lives.”
“Chief” Dartez, da longtime peace officer say, “Well, I’ll tell you me, wat I want dem to say is, “Look, look, come see, “Chief” he’s moving him.”


I started this column with a hero in sports and I’ll finish with a hero on the battlefield. Tuesday, on the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor Award, President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to SFC Leroy Petry. His is quite a story of bravery in saving so many of his comrades. *****If you ask anyone they will tell you they believe in our system of justice. I reminded a friend that like the Bible, you believe in all of it or you don’t believe in any of it. I’ll admit some of it stretches your beliefs. People believe in the jury system yet many became irate and plain mean because a jury found Casey Anthony not guilty. I wonder if they really believe in the system. To this day, no one knows who killed little Caylee or how she died. Was it an accident or was she murdered? People don’t get nearly as upset when an innocent person is put to death or serves many years for a crime they didn’t commit. Can’t have it both ways, you believe or you don’t. *****We’re still in a terrible drought with no end in sight. The sun and lack of rain is not paying any attention to fire bands, everything is burning up. Thanks for your time. I’m out of here. Pray for rain, take care and God bless.