Tragedies are always unpredictable and unexpected. This week three outstanding young men lost their lives in a freakish auto accident. Parents throughout time have lived with the fear that their child will meet with danger. We all pray that our children will return home safely but too often that is not the case. It’s almost predictable that every year we will witness the loss of young lives.
Jacob Bates, Darrick Brantley and Grey Smith lost their lives Sunday morning at 3:15 a.m. on Highway 62. They were headed south and hit a car headed north. What are the odds of that happening at that time of night, with no other cars on the road? Everything had to be just exactly positioned for that to occur. It’s better than a thousand to one odds that only two cars, on a long stretch, would collide. If you’re a Christian, you belief will be that it was destined, their time, God’s will, etc. Was it fate or an accident that never should have happened?
All I know is that those three boys were basically good kids, not hell raising, troublemakers. One thing they all had in common was great personalities. They were fun loving boys who kept you in stitches. I had known Grey since he was big enough to bounce a basketball. Even at that young age he was full of life, loved people and was always entertaining. His dad Jack, a former basketball player, worked with hundreds of youngsters on the basketball court, mine included. Anytime you saw Jack’s three boys they were carrying a basketball. They were great kids, with a great dad, a man who cared for youngsters.
I didn’t know Darrick, just knew of him but I understand he was an avid hunter and fisherman and had many friends. I was familiar with Jacob, who was named for his grandfather, the late Daniel Jacobs. Daniel died recently. He and his wife Gloria spent much time helping to raise Jacob. He was his mom Kelly’s only child and she loved her boy. Before Daniel got so sick with cancer he and Gloria attended every baseball game Jacob played in. The day before his death he had mowed his grandmother’s lawn.
The death of those boys is so sad. I think more so because they were so outgoing, polite and caring. They loved their friends, they loved life.


We were saddened to learn about the death of Emma Day, age 88, who died in Round Rock on Sept. 15. Emma had been a 50 year resident of Bridge City. We had known her and husband Ralph over those years. Emma was very community minded and participated in the political process, helping to elect good people. She was a friendly person who never met a stranger. She is survived by one daughter, Jessie Hebert. Jessie and her husband Windell, for many years were leaders in the community. He was a CPA. Jessie served on the school board and in many other service organizations. Graveside services were held Sunday for Emma at Hillcrest Cemetery near Bridge City. May she rest in peace. Please see obit.

13 Years Ago-1998

Matt Bryant, former Bridge City High star, son of Mary and Casey Bryant, kicks a field goal for Baylor to win 33-30 over North Carolina. (Editor’s note: Over the last eight years, Bryant has been the most consistent kicker in the NFL.)*****Chris Cole, former West Orange-Stark standout, playing for R.C. Slocum at A&M, caught five passes for 72 yards in the Aggie 24-6 win over Southern Mississippi. *****Bridge City Lady Cards remain undefeated in 20-4A volleyball. Rosetta Wilson is the coach. Star players are Natalie Sanders, April Belk, Erin Dillow, Ashley Theriot, Misty Jenkinson, Krista Shatto and Sally Hill. *****Orange County is keeping an eye on Hurricane George. *****Robert Dale and Karen Jo Vance celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary Sept. 21. They were married in 1973 with Robert’s father, Rev. Dale Vance, officiating. The couple are headed to the New England states and will catch the early fall colors. (Editor’s note: Today the couple celebrates their 38th. We congratulate them and best wishes for many more healthy, happy years. *****Dr. Tracie Updike, a native of Bridge City, earned her medical degree at Texas Tech in Lubbock. She has opened her practice at 1750 Ninth Ave., in Port Arthur. (Editor’s note: I wonder where Dr. Updike is now? Also I would be interested in knowing just how many doctors came from Bridge City High School, including dentist. It seems like a high number. Many were graduates of Texas Tech Medical School including Dr. Updike, Dr. David Jones and Dr. Amber Dunn. *****Tommy Bean, held in a Mexican jail for the past two months, is back in the United States. Congressman Nick Lampson was instrumental in Bean’s release. *****Teen violence reported by 911. Sheriff’s deputies find 14-year-old Steven Forester dead from a gunshot wound. A 17-year-old white male was arrested and is awaiting formal charges.

33 Years Ago-1978

Bohn Hilliard died Sept. 23 of a heart attack. He is said to have been the best football player to come out of Orange. At Texas the football legend was an All-American. His team beat Notre Dame in 1934 where he scored the only touchdown. He went on to play pro-ball but was injured as a rookie. A native of Deweyville, he was reared in Orange and played for Orange High. His family owned Dr. Pepper Bottling Co.*****Sharon Gregory is chosen Miss Bridge City. Other finalists are Denise Soileau, Brenda Braquet, Teresa Hearn, Lisa Young, Shelly Pate, Liz Godwin, Tanya Huffpauir, Danetta Davis and Melanie LeDoux. *****State Representative Wayne Peveto cut the ribbon at the new West Orange City Hall dedication. *****News Flash…..Inez Hearn will retire from Wards at the end of the month. (Editor’s note: Nez still lives in Bridge City. Her health hasn’t been that great but after retiring all those years ago, she donated much of her time to caring for the elderly.)*****DA investigator Wilson Roberts has a pet duck. His answer to Baretta’s white cockatoo, Fred.


Ruthie Hannegan, Bobby Cormier, Mary Rawls, Ronnie Teaff, Vernon Murray, Howdy Dawson, Janice Kelly, Jenny Sims, Jonah Thurman, Lorayne Welch, Beverly Mixon, Miranda Fisette, Corey Faulk, Brooks Tally, Connie Arnold, Donna Broomes, Matthew Broussard, Michael Broussard, Miranda Fisette, Noah Burns, Penny LeLeux, James Broom, Julie Saltzman, Mark Kelly, Megan Fontenot, Sammy Pratt, William Dotson, Jayna Campbell, George Mullins, Jeremy Cooper, Katie Baker, Laura Roberts, Lindsey Kimbrow, Jeannie Barnes, Mark Norwood, Dustin Jackson, Teresa Beauchamp, Trey Rhodes, Zelma McCullough, Beckie Kimbell, Blake Seibert, Brittany Bean, Bill Nugent, Jimmy Thurman, Donna Ford, Bill Nugent, Ola Kindle, Joellen Grooms, Phyllis Tarter, Scott Stout, Bessie Rach, Cameron Pitts, James Scott, Jeffery Armand, Kailey Childress, Lynn Gremillion, Kara Day, John Harrell, Mary Gremillion, Sandra Rose, Theresa Blanchard, Vicki Jeter, Byron Buchanan, Bob Blacksher, C.G. Birdwell, Dan Barclay, Deven Young, Gaynell Murrell, Hayley Dardeau, Jack Short, Michael Coffey, Morgan Applebach, Starla Lee, Todd Shuford, Jeff Batchelor, Kevin Hall, Mike Hughes, Ray Dahl and Scott Harris.


Congratulations to Commissioner’s Court for again hammering out a fair budget. I believe this is Judge Thibodeaux’s 17th budget. Times are more difficult now but our conservative court works very hard to come up with a good budget. We’re one of the few counties that hasn’t had to resort to massive layoffs or decline in services. Year in and year out they do a good job of governing. *****I was sorry to hear that Tom and Jane Perry, because of Tom’s declining health, were forced into moving to Tennessee. Tom and Jane, over the years, were pillars of the Bridge City community. Tom served on the school board and city council. He was a driving force in the chamber and both were always available to help with any community project. Their only child, Tom Jr., lives in Tennessee and they will be near him. Tom has been battling cancer for some months. They gave a lot of themselves and for that we are thankful. We wish them the best. (Editor’s note: We were notified Tom passed away at 9 p.m. Eastern Time Tuesday night. The paper had already been sent to press. There are no funeral details known at this time.)*****We understand that attorney H.D. Pate is undergoing knee replacement surgery but will maintain his practice. *****If you stop by Danny’s around noon no telling who you might run into. Monday, the Mike Trahans were enjoying lunch with Richard Sims. Back a few years ago, their dads, “Crip” and Robert Sims, were the movers and shakers about town. “Crip” was an Abbeville native who resided in West Orange; Mike now lives at the old home place on Lansing St. We also saw David Richard who told us his wife, Fay, just went through cancer surgery and is doing quite well. When she was coming out of the drugs she got to rattling about telling Roy she had put those papers on the table next to the managers office like he told her to. This was 35 years later and she was still delivering Dunn’s newspaper, the Opportunity Valley News. Old newspaper carriers never forget. She’s a sweetheart and we pray for her complete recovery. *****Special folks celebrating birthdays. Our buddy Tommy Simar is a year older on Sept. 23. I bet Sue has something special planned for him. ***Our girl Penny LeLeux celebrates another birthday on Sept. 23. Her birthday sure seems to come around often. ***Marcel’s little girl, city councilperson Teresa Beauchamp, marks another year Sept. 24. She stays the same, it’s only Frank that’s ageing.*****Goodbye Hanna. She was quite a lady, a champion Ridgeback. Hanna died over the weekend. For years people had seen Mark Dunn and Hanna running the track and the stands. She gave birth to some good pups. Mark only has Raz left. Hanna brought him many years of joy. *****Special thanks to Ms. Pearl for the homemade brownies and pound cake. Goodies come in handy on these long Tuesdays. Good too. *****Pattie Hanks was in from Vegas to see Braelyn Zion Scott, her new grandson. She and daughter Jami brought the youngster by. He had his mom’s good looks. *****Jerry Wayne Bell was spotted hauling a port-a-potty around town. I had heard the sickness was going around but didn’t know it was bad enough to haul an outhouse with you. *****Don’t forget the Farmer’s Market. Always good produce. Saturday I got fresh grown tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, watermelon and squash. Check them out. Big Lots parking lot on Wednesday 4-6 p.m. and Saturday morning, 6 a.m. till. *****Thanks to Commissioner John Dubose, Roundbunch Road to Hwy. 1006 is sure nice to travel on now. *****If you are in the market for a nice pre-owned car or truck, be sure to check out David Self Ford before you buy. His autos are certified with a full warranty. *****A lot of fun can be had at the free show and tunnel boat races to be held on the Sabine River in downtown Orange. The races will amaze you. Load up the kids for an experience they will never forget. *****We were sorry to hear about the death of Dolores Hope, age 102. She died Monday, Sept. 19, at her home. We had been fortunate to have met her when she accompanied Bob to Port Arthur for the Hughen School benefits. Bob Hope died at age 100, on July 27, 2003. The couple married Feb. 19, 1934. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week and be back at Robert’s Restaurant next week. Everyone is welcome.


On Sept. 21, Faith Hill will be 44; Luke Wilson, 40; Nicole Richie, 30; Bill Murray, 61 and Stephen King, 64. ***Andrea Bocelli will be 53 on Sept. 22; Joan Jett, 53 and Scott Baio, 50. ***Bruce Springsteen will be 62 on Sept. 23; Jason Alexander, 52; Ani Difranco, 41 and Jermaine Dupri, 39. ***Barbara Walters will be 80 on Sept. 25; Michael Douglas, 67; Catherine Zeta-Jones, 42; Heather Locklear, 50; Scottie Pippen 46 and Will Smith, 43. ***Olivia Newton-John will be 63 on Sept. 26; Linda Hamilton, 55 and Serena Williams, 30. ***Meat Loaf will be 64 on Sept. 27; Lil Wayne and 29; Avril Lavigne, 27.


Joe Thibodeaux got himself a little farm between Abbeville and Maurice. He plant himself a big cornfield and he watch over it good. One day he spotted a big, black crow flying around dat cornfield. Joe say to hisself, “You not gonna git my corn you.”
Boom, Boom, Joe him, kilt dat crow dead. Dis particular crow had a band on its leg from da Washington Biological Survey, to check da immigration habit of da bird.
Joe read da abbreviate message dat say, WASH. BOIL. SURV.
Da next week, Joe ran into his farmer friend, Otis Comeaux, and tole him bout dat banded crow dat he shot on his field.
Comeaux axe, “Joe, wat you do wit dat crow hanh?”
Joe answer, “Jus like da instruction say, I wash him, boil him and surv him and he still taste like da devil him, jus awful.”


It’s been that kind of week. My boat has been loaded and time has caught up with me. I thank you for tagging along. Time didn’t permit but I hope to do an editorial opinion piece next week. *****Maybe before too long the Tea Party will quit saying “No” to everything and help get a job package together. *****Read us cover to cover and stay tuned daily to our web, for up to the minute breaking stories.*****We reach consumers throughout the trade area. If you are an advertiser or need more business and are not advertising in The Record Newspapers, you’re missing the boat. We are read by more people locally than any other publications combined. Please shop with our family of advertisers who bring you this paper. I’ve gotta get out of here. Take care and God bless.