First off, let me tell you never in all the years I’ve been doing this column have I missed one week. However, up to the last minute this time, I didn’t believe I would make it. We’ll see what I come up with. I’m not that good a writer at my best, but under the weather, with a bad headache, feeling lousy, I couldn’t put two words together. Being homebound though I had the opportunity to monitor Hurricane Irene. On Friday I kept hearing talk about the eye of the storm. I looked at every radar picture I could find but there was no eye, it was gone. I say to my partner, “That’s a good thing, this will never be the deadly storm it could be.” Irene had the potential to be one of our worst ever because of the path it was taking. More people live on the east coast, with crowded, high-rise buildings and subways running under cities. New York would have taken many months to recover if the “Eye” would have held, widened and strengthened to a category “4” storm. I watched the young reporters, girls and boys, who I suspect had never seen a hurricane before, try to hype it. Finally, a weatherman, instead of “Eye” said, “Eye Wall.” That was weak but better. The truth is it was just one bad storm, not a killer hurricane. Believe me it could have been the worse ever. When it made the curve at Florida and headed straight up, instead of the “Eye” expanding, it started fractioning. So go the odds. The east coast got very lucky. However east coast towns like New Jersey, Virginia, Connecticut, and New Hampshire are learning what Ike taught us, water can be worse then wind. Those of us raised on the coast know our storms pretty well. Three things we watch is “High Pressure,” “Low Pressure” and how organized the “Eye” of the storm is. I didn’t like being laid up but I learned television personalities know very little about hurricanes. One reporter could barely stand in 42-mph winds, another had water come over his shoes and said, “The surf is starting to rush in.” It never got over a foot high. You know they couldn’t imagine what Ike did to Bridge City. I never once heard Ike mentioned during all of the reporting. I heard Katrina numerous times. “Ike” has always been treated with no respect. Ike didn’t happen in downtown New Orleans, that’s the main difference. Well, we’ve done quite well since Ike and are improving daily.*****I have to move on. Please come along, it won’t do you no harm.


As the years go by, celebrating the efforts of the working men and women, who through their crafts built so much of this country, has diminished. Proud union members went to school, worked years as apprentices and in time moved up to journeymen, totally skilled in their craft. Even today, the best skilled labor still comes from union craftsmen. What happened? Where did so many union jobs go? I’ll tell you, but first let me remind you about what life was like for working people before unions were formed to protect textile workers and other crafts. People were worked long hours for little pay and no benefits, fired at will for being ill and missing work and many other abuses went on, up and down the ladder, for all crafts. Organizing was tough and took many years but little by little unions made life better for American families and produced work second to none, the world’s best craftsmen. Yet today crafts are not getting the work they should be getting. Maybe they are responsible for some of that but for the most part many jobs have gone to cheap labor overseas where workers are treated like American workers once were, before tough men and women bit the bullet, fought corporations and won some rights. Many construction craft jobs remain in this country but most go to non-union workers. Their work is not as skilled but they work for less pay, with fewer restraints and less safety rules. The dismantling of craft labor all started under the administration of President Ronald Reagan. They had their sights set on destroying unions, first for political reasons, second for the benefit of big business, big oil, etc. Things were getting better, and then here comes the Tea Party set to destroy workers rights, doing it state by state. All working people will have to fight back, not just unions. When the working class does well, we all do well. I don’t blame the working folks in Wisconsin for not wanting the Governor and others who have taken away union rights, to join in on their Labor Day celebrations. I’ll hear from people accusing me of being a Liberal lover. I’ve lived a long time, I know my country, and I love America and her well-being. I knew her in better days, thanks to the hard working pioneers who led the way and paid for every benefit earned. What’s most disturbing is seeing some of the youth, who forget their roots, fighting everything their folks struggled for, so today they are able to enjoy five or six weeks vacation, 40-hour weeks and all the benefits. Without the labor movement that would never have happened. I recall when they started destroying labor in the Reagan years; the common cry was “No one is worth $22 an hour for just working with their hands.” Of course the backside of that implied they were just uneducated people who could only work with their hands. They were wrong. They were smart enough to leave this generation the pleasures they enjoy today. Happy Labor Day. I recall some great Labor Day picnics, sponsored by Sen. Carl Parker, with laborers, music by the Austin gang of musicians, great food. Those were great days. It may never be that way again. I’m one who recognizes labor and what unions gave us. We may not always agree with them but they earned our respect.


On Aug. 30, 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to become a judge of the United States Supreme Court. He was the 96th person to hold the position. Marshall served on the Court for the next 24 years. Many people in this country believed that as a Black, he had attained the highest office a Black would probably ever reach. Only 43 years later Barack Obama, a Black became President of the United States, the highest office in the free world. After Justice Tom Clark retired, President Lyndon Johnson nominated Marshall saying, “This was the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man at the right place.” Marshall was confirmed by the senate vote of 69 to 11. Thurgood Marshall was born July 2, 1908. He died January 24, 1993. I’m surprised on this date, Aug. 30, 1967; more is not written and said, in 2011, about this historical event during the presidency of LBJ.


Freeman Delane, age 76, died Aug. 8, 2011. At Freeman’s request there will be no funeral service. Friends and family are invited to join in celebrating Freeman’s life at the home of cousin Corky and Betty Harmon’s, 2205 Sunset, on Saturday, Sept. 3, 5 p.m.*****We were sorry to hear of the death of Vincent Bottley, 72, who passed away Aug. 26. “Vince” had just buried his brother Russell a few days before.*****We were saddened to hear about the death of 20-year-old Amanda Kay Sharp, who passed away at home Aug. 28. Friends say she battled cancer. Service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Amanda was a 2010 Bridge City graduate and was attending Lamar in Orange. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Lake Area Hospice, P.O. Box 2086, Jasper, TX, 75951.

12 Years Ago-1999

This week the National Center of Small Communities recognized Bridge City Mayor John Dubose for outstanding leadership with the “American Hometown Leadership” award. Wal-Mart co-sponsored the award. A $5,000 grant was presented to Bridge City in Dubose’s honor. *****High school football has two new coaches in Orange County. James Conway, Bridge City and Jeff Mathews, Vidor. *****Pinehurst Mayor Pete Runnels invites all seniors to come enjoy the Labor Day picnic. *****Steve Curl, Bridge City running back was one of district 20-4A’s leading rusher from the T-Formation. New Coach Conway has installed the I-Formation. Blocking up front is 6 ft. 3in., 320 pound Curt Lucia. Last season Bridge City averaged 312.7 yards per game rushing behind Lucia. ***** Ready to shine at LCM is the mighty Mike’s, Michael White and Michael Rowe. Head Coach David Williams calls the Mike’s the nucleus of the Bear defense. *****Leading the Bobcat offensive line is senior Charles Chester, 5 ft. 10 in., 220 pounds. *****Jamal Warnell, bigger, faster, stronger for WO-S, is viewed as one of the elite running backs in 20-4A, a district that boasts such names as Bo Wortham, PN-G, Shawnderrick Charles, Lincoln, Steven Curl, B.C. and Larnell Seinegal of T.J.****Gayron Allen, WO-S all state linebacker, 5 ft., 10 inches, 195 pounder, known around the state for his hard hitting, will anchor the Mustang defense.

32 Years Ago-1979

Mary Sue Roy suffered an aneurysm while she and her husband camped at Sam Rayburn. She died Monday. She was 42 years old and was assistant to County Judge Pete Runnels. *****Others who have passed away recently are Fred Bean, Paul Weidman and Mark Darby. *****Neil Bond recently underwent gallbladder surgery. *****Debbie’s, “Little David” Fusilier is two weeks old. *****T.J. Gunn is in a Beaumont hospital awaiting heart surgery. Three bypasses are to be preformed.

37 Years Ago-1974

The Orange Chamber is paying $50 for a new slogan to replace, “Orange, East Gateway to Texas.” Judges are Bob Axelson, J.H. David and J.D. Stanfield. (Editor’s note: I wonder what slogan was chosen? I remember one that said, “Where the West Begins.” My favorite is still “Where the sun rises on Texas, and the stars shine first.”)*****The Harmon Chevy boys have purchased the Gem Jewelry, Beauty College and Thrift Shop property. *****The West Orange Chiefs will be quartbacked by Ronnie Green. The coach’s son learned his quarterbacking skills playing behind quarterback Ray Pousson. ***** The Bridge City Cardinals are blessed with two quarterback’s, Richard Slaton and Mike Van Breeman. This is the first year at B.C. for Coach Andy Griffin, who replaced Coach H.W. “Chief” Wilson. *****The field general at Little Cypress is the very capable Clint Plant.

62 Years Ago-1949

The Stark players have had difficulty finding a punter. The punting duties will probably go to halfback Don Harmon. Three quarterbacks, Allen Burkart, Sherrel Harris and Chalmers Jones, plus end, Leon Parrish, have all tried kicking but none were very dangerous with their foot.


Dominic Nguyen, Sheena Freeman, Christopher Coleman, Dorene Scott, Elise Domas, Erin Weidner, Mary Behnke, Paul Vandervoort,Ron Kincade, Alex Murphy, Buddy Cox, Jesse Grooms, Jay Odom, Lauren Robertson, Paul Fournier, McKinlee Smith, Virginia White, Billl McCorkle, Haley Aldridge, Pamela Layman, Vernon Dixon, Cody Knight, Ernest Procella, Hannah Hall, Judy Hollis, Shannah Heard, Kamri Swarers, Ian Higgs, Peyton Choate, T.W. Permenter, Rusty Dubose, Tammy Stevens, Tracy Hollingsworth, Barbara Daigle, Kacey Harrell, Rachel Briggs, Robert Boehme, Ryan Fisette, Thomas Tisdale, Shirley Wright, Cynthia Wedekind, Ginger Williams, Jamie Forse, Shirley Choate, Beverly Hanes, Bennie Brookshire, Branden Bailey, Carolyn Ann Henry, Cindy Myers, Jason Toal, Norma Harper, Marilyn Bennett, Susan Cooper, Brenda Lawson, Corrin Gonzales, Jessica Mobbs, Robert Vidrine, Gerald LeLeux, Keith Buker, Ouida Simonton, Paul Rhodes and Randy Godsy.


Karen Jo and hubby Robert Vance, off on a short vacation, visited the King Ranch. They say they had a great time. *****Well, I did get word on what had become of that great character Dan Barker. He lives in Houston now, close to his daughter Jill and her family. They take great care of him. Dan lost his wife Marilyn recently. Losing a longtime partner is a blow but Dan rolls with the punches. The boys at the KKK Klub and Creaux and I, would like to see him if he’s ever in town.*****Special thanks to Katheline Aras, The Record’s “Look Who’s Cooking Now” columnist, for the Tuesday lunch goodies.*****Birthdays celebrated by special folks. The Mayor of Pinehurst, T.W. Permenter, will be 74 on Sept. 3.***Sheriff Keith Merritt will reach the big 60 on Sept. 6.***Bill McCorkle, our girl Debbie’s dad will celebrate this week, also Gerald LeLeux, Penny’s better half, on Sept. 7..***Vernon Dixon, Cody Knight, Quida Simonton and Randy Godsy all mark another big day this week. Happy birthday to all.*****Special couples celebrating anniversaries this week are Sprad and Margaret Spradlin, who mark 61 years together Sept. 2.***Our longtime friends Judge Claude and Pauline Wimberly will celebrate their 57th on Sept. 4.***Tony and Karen Fuselier celebrate another year Sept. 1.****Of course by now we all know Pat and Rosalie Clark and Mary Ann and John Scofield always celebrate on Aug. 31.*****Another longtime married couple is Betty and Corky Harmon. Betty recently went to Denver for a 10-day visit to daughter Deb. Being the thoughtful wife she is, Betty left him a note to have a good time, just don’t take on more than you can handle. I remember when young wives wouldn’t dare leave a note like that.*****Our “Jack of All Trades” Nicole Gibbs is now the aunt of ten, thanks to sister-in-law Brandy who gave birth to baby boy Moxon Gibbs, Aug. 25. He made it five nephews and five nieces for Nicole.*****Linda “Granny” Newton stopped by and brought us some fresh yard eggs. She also brought pickled quail eggs, pear preserves and other goodies. She sells quail on the hoof or in the ziplock and fresh eggs everyday. Call 409-313-6496.*****Remembering folks who passed away several years ago this week. Lannie Claybar died in the early morning of Sept. 6, 1969 in a Houston hospital. That was 42 years ago.***On Aug. 28, 1998, Beth Dugas passed away. It’s hard to believe it’s already been 13 years since then that her husband Louis died.***Parker P.T. Thompson died Sept. 2, 2007.***Roy’s mom also died Sept. 2, 2004.*****Memory fades for Glen Campbell. Glen was diagnosed earlier this year with Alzheimer’s Disease. His final album, “Ghost on the Canvas” goes on sale this week. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Tour will take him around the world one last time. Four of his eight children are in his band. About a concert he preformed at in Biloxi Mississippi, July 15, he said, “It was wonderful, the acoustics were just right. I was grinning like a dog passing peach seeds.” Think about that last quote for a minute. I had never heard that expression but Glenn Oliver says his mom used it a lot.*****Our longtime friend, Mayor Essie Bellfield, stopped by. Essie came by to tell Roy she had sent his Life’s Highway column to some of her Louisiana family, also former cotton pickers. Essie and Roy are longtime friends. He used to watch her girls for her when she had the Confectionary on 2nd. St. in Orange next to Roy’s liquor store.*****Country singer Chely Wright, 40, married her partner, Lauren Blitzer, 30. Both brides wore wedding gowns but skipped the veils. Since Wright is Christian and Blitzer is Jewish, a Reverend and a Rabbi officiated. The Lesbians have known each other since 2010. *****Country superstar Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson are among the inductees to the Nashville’s Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be Oct. 16 and will feature performances of the inductee’s songs by special guests.


On Aug. 31, Van Morrison will be 66; Richard Gere, 62; Deborah Gibson, 41 and Chris Tucker, 39.***Gloria Estefan will be 54 Sept. 1 and Lily Tomlin will be 72.***On Sept. 2, Terry Bradshaw will be 63; Keanu Reeves will be 47 and Salma Hayek, 45.***Charlie Sheen will be 46 on Sept. 3 and Shaun White will be 25.*** Beyonce Knowles will be 30 on Sept. 4, Shar Jackson, 35 and Damon Wayans, 51.***On Sept. 5, Bob Newhart will be 82 and Raquel Welch will be 71.***David Allan Coe will be 72 on Sept. 6, Jeff Foxworthy, 53 and Elizabeth Vargas, 49.


Otis Bilbeaux was stopped by big Chester Comeaux, da game warden, in the Afchafalaya Basin. Otis was leaving a lake well known for it’s bass. Otis, him, had two buckets of dem fish. Big Chester, da game warden, axe, “Do you got a license to catch dem fish?”
Otis replied, “Mai, no, you see dese are my pet fish.”
Big Chester say, “Pet fish? Wat’s dat you talking about hanh?”
Otis say, “Every night I take dem down to da lake, let dem swin, wen I whistle dey jump back in da bucket and I take dem home.”
Big Chester say, “Dats a bunch of hooey, fish can’t do dat.”
Otis looked at dat game warden wit sad eyes and great hurt. “Well den, I’ll jus show you it really does work.”
Big Chester say, “Me, I got to see dat.”
So Otis him, he poured da fish in da lake and stood waiting. After a while, da game warden turn to Otis and sad, “Well?”
“Well wat?” axe Otis.
“Wen you gonna call dem back hanh?” axe Chester.
“Call who back? Axe Otis.
“Da fish!” said Chester.
Otis calmly said, “Wat fish?”


Well, I’ve made it to the end. I don’t know how good I did but it was 50-50 that I wouldn’t do any so I’m proud of my work. Somethings I felt strongly needed saying. So many writers today don’t want to upset anyone. Maybe I’ve just gotten too old to not tell it as I see it. No one says you have to agree, it’s just my opinion.*****Well, politics will start for real right after Labor Day. The Republican Primary will heat up. The last poll shows what I suspected, the Tea Party is the albatross around their necks. They are the most disliked group in the country. They might carry the day in primary elections but are guaranteed to lose the general. Because of that you’ll notice some are moving away from them. Also, you will start seeing Rick Perry’s onion start getting peeled away and revealing his Texas miracle is just air castles.*****President Obama must get bold on jobs and the economy and have the guts to call the players out who fight his efforts to turn the country around.*****On the lighter side, Dancing with the Stars has dropped to an all time low. Nancy Grace, now over 200 pounds, is picked to win. Maybe Ron Paul will be our next president.*****I’ve had all the fun I deserve for one day. My time is up. Thanks for yours. Read us cover to cover. Don’t miss Conwell’s and other ideas.*****All senior citizens are invited to the Pinehurst Senior Labor Day Picnic, next Monday, 10 a.m. till. I hope to be there, I qualify. Two of my friends, if they attend, could be the oldest lady and oldest man. Lots of food, prizes and the great music of Britt Godwin. Y’all come. I look forward to six inches of rain anytime it comes but hopefully it will miss Labor Day. Take care and God bless.