Everyday I think about how fortunate we are, thanks to Ms. Nelda’s foresight, to have the Stark Foundation in Orange County. The Foundation is a great asset to Orange. This month in “Texas Monthly” people will be able to read, in a two-page layout, about the W.H. Stark Victorian House, in the heart of historical downtown Orange. The Stark Foundation gives so much to the community, in so many ways. *****Well, this week, our friend Mayor McDonald of West Orange and his city staff are putting on their annual “Holiday in the Park” event on Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. till dark. There will be plenty for the kids and adults to do.***** Also it’s Bayou Bowl time. The annual big game between Orangefield and Bridge City. It’s always a good game and unpredictable. The winner gets to keep the Buzzie Gunn trophy for a year. The Orangefield Bobcats will host the big game Friday night. Come tailgate and support two good football teams.****Another event to be held Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m. is the tribute to Johnny Preston to be held at Port Arthur Lamar Performing Arts Theater. Performing will be Jivin’ Gene, Dickie Lee, Chris Montel and Johnny Tillotson. All great artists. Advance tickets are available at Museum of the Gulf Coast or by calling 982-7000.*****I haven’t gotten around much to visit the natives but maybe by next week I can report what is going on with them. For now I’d best get going with what I’ve got. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


Back in the 1970’s, I wrote about how someday the middle-class would find itself in it’s now present situation. Then, when President Reagan fired and dismantled the air controllers, I wrote about his action being the first step in delivering a blow to labor and the working class. Through the Reagan, George H., Clinton and Geo. W. years the middle class continued to fade. The worker making $22 an hour in the 1980s has seen his hourly wage drop to $17 per hour. Through these times, the wealthiest saw their income go up 280 percent. The middle class rose 18 percent, stayed the same or fell back, not even getting a cost of living raise for several years. The middle class didn’t improve under President Bill Clinton but it was under President George W. Bush that the rich got richer and many in the middle class dropped, many to poverty level. The medium income has gone from $72,136 in 2006 to $64,401 in 2010. Medium housing prices came down 30 percent from 2006 to present. Food costs much more and medical, dental, vision and drugs have gone up 38 percent for 2006 to present yet salaries are down. The average worker makes $100 less a week than they did in 2000 but living cost have escalated. The wealthiest one percent of Americans now earn more than the bottom 90 percent. Income, since Reagan, has shifted to the top tier of households. Back then 53 percent of the nation’s income went to the middle class. Analysts call it the middle class squeeze. The recent recession made it worse on the middle class. Employers cut work hours, froze salaries, furloughed or imposed layoffs. At the same time family assets, homes, etc went down. The really scary thing is there is no relief in sight. Our government is in a deadlock. The United States congress refuses to raise even the smallest amount of taxes on the wealthiest Americans, who percentage-wise, pay the least and have the advantage of many loopholes, plus most traveling expenses, meals, business vacations are deducted. If adjustments are not made and the wealthiest asked to pay their fair share, we will someday find ourselves with the middle class gone. We could end up like a third world country, with only the rich and the poor who work for them. For years now it’s been coming on. By protecting the wealthy at all cost to our economy, the vast middle has less of the pie than ever before. Unemployment holds at nine percent and there is no interest in the congress to help improve it. They absolutely refuse to even look at a plan that takes away from the rich. Another hang-up involves reducing the debt that was created in the years between 2000 and 2010, when the national debt doubled from $5.6 trillion to $11.4 trillion. They are blaming the wrong people. The middle class didn’t profit, the wealthy did.


Profits climb for Exxon Mobile, Chevron and Shell. Exxon profits increased 41 percent to over $10 billion. Other oil companies reported large profits, plus these companies receive billions in tax deductions. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones average surged to it’s biggest monthly gain since 1987. Chrysler and G.M. showed increased profits over 20 percent. The GDP is up 2.5 percent which shows the economy is growing, not great but improving, despite a non-cooperative United State congress. In a few months unemployment would drop to below eight percent if the American Jobs Act would pass the house and the country would be back to rolling again. The Republican led congress is hell bent on not helping President Obama turn the economy around. If it was up to speaker Boehner a deal would be in place but he can’t deliver because of the Tea Party members. Meanwhile, United States domestic oil production is up an incredible 14 percent since Obama took office. The reduction in imports is less than half, which means tens of billions of dollars now stay in our country. Gas production is up 16 percent, gas liquids up 26 percent, solar generation up 14 percent and wind generation up 59 percent. Democrats are supposed to dislike oil and gas production but Obama has opened up offshore production, something multiple Republican presidents and governors failed to do. Against all odds U.S. energy policy is finally reaping significant rewards for all of us. The President’s policies have boosted the oil industry. Our energy President deserves a fair share of the credit, which in some quarters he’s not getting.

Eight Years Ago-2003

Bill Nickum will be Parade Marshall of the Bridge City Holiday Parade, Nov. 11. *****County Commissioner John Dubose is honored by the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Southeast Texas. Commissioner Owen Burton, of Pct. 2, nominated Dubose for the Texas Courthouse Community Award.*****Meanwhile, Burton opens new Pct. 2 office in Mauriceville.*****Professional female boxer Valerie Mahfood trains in Bridge City at “The Gym” with trainer Chris Williams. Her personal trainers in the ring are Henry Murdock and Austin Green. Mahfood was defeated recently by Laila Ali, daughter of Mohammed Ali, and is now hoping to regain her title in a rematch. (Editor’s note: “What became of her anyway?)*****The Bridge City water tower gets a makeover.*****Doris Sanders, 70, died Sunday, Nov. 2. Services were held Wednesday at Claybar Funeral Home. This good lady left behind husband Lynwood, daughter Ann, sons Alan, Jim, Steven and their families. (Editor’s note: Hard to believe eight years have gone by.)*****Mary Bryant has triple bypass surgery at Park Place Hospital. She is expected to be released next week. Son Matt, kicker for the New York Giants, flew in to be with his mom. Sunday Matt watched his replacement, Brett Conway, miss a 39-yard field goal that would have won the game. However, in overtime, Conway kicked a 29-yarder to win the game for the Giants.*****Country Music Awards are coming up. Country, going back to it’s roots, nominated Willie Nelson, Randy Travis, George Strait, Dolly Parton, Alan Jackson and Patty Lovelace.*****Joel Steirman’s wife says a big party is being planned for Nov. 21, when Joel turns 60. (Editor’s not: I attended that party at the Boat Club and it was big. Now Joel will be 68. Two years away from 70. Where will the next party be held?)*****Gene and Judge Flo headed to the deer lease. Flo kills them, Gene does the heavy lifting.*****The Record’s “Football Players of the Week are Ryan Crouch, West Orange-Stark, Luke Lyons, Bridge City, John Medina, Orangefield and Donald Tardy, Little Cypress-Mauriceville.

32 Years Ago-1988

Jim Gunter, a native of Pinehurst, wears three hats; he works at B.F. Goodrich, is a real estate broker/insurance salesman and he sings and picks a guitar. Jim also plays harmonica and entertains at local restaurants. He perfected a routine for “Orange Blossom Special,” which, according to “Music Trade” magazine, can’t be done. Gunter plays two harmonicas, the guitar, the drums and bass all at the same time. It compares to typing and writing at the same time. He calls his act “Funny Business One Man Band.”*****Tim Hughes, a Scot-Irishman, recently returned from Ireland. While there he located a Irishman named Timothy Hughes.*****Corky and Betty Harmon have just returned from a trip to Germany, Egypt, Holland, Belgium, the Nile River and the Pyramids.*****A new building has been completed next to H.D. Pate’s law office and will be occupied by Rusty Nicks Real Estate and Larry Webb, CPA. (Editor’s note: That building later became “The Creaux’s Nest” and H.D. no longer occupies his building. Ike got the Creaux’s Nest but it is slowly being remodeled.*****The West Orange-Stark Mustangs wiped up on Thomas Jefferson with a 34-14 win. Ernest Anderson scored first and Kerry Franks booted the extra point. Franks also scored an 80-yard touchdown run. Anderson ran for 120 years on 25 totes. Franks had 97 yards on six tries.*****The Bridge City Cards beat the Silsbee Tigers 21-6. Bryan Ward took the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. Ward threw an option pass to Shannon Foreman for a T.D.*****Bill Clements and wife, Rita, to make a stop in Orange. He is a Republican candidate for governor.


Amy Skidmore, Kimberly Hall, Olin Mahfouz, Laura Clark, Ruby Elizabeth Steppe, Dale Dardeau, Joyce Grant, Julia Letcher, Keith McCurry, Marge Everitt, Ruby Hickey, Skeet Boehme, Anne Garrison, Rosemary Spell, David Caples, Tommy Green, Vicki Lowe, Courtney Courville, Dale Carlton, David Hebert, Donna Bell, Denise Stanton, Jim Simon, Loretta Meadows, Marilyn Prewitt, Pam Guyote, Gail Hass, Kathy Arceneaux, Kim Moore, Louise Fuselier, Myrtice Moore, Ruth Walker, Camden Walton, Sharon Dunn, Chris Rogers, Gina Beaulieu, John Dubose, Kember Ess, Margaret Thibodeaux, Robert Rubel, Viola Thibodeaux, Carrie Larson, Derek Grooms, Faye Harrington, Kathy Johnson, Kay Wingate, Johnny Mantagne, Robin Schaffer, Jackie Litton, Greg Broussard, Claris Collins, James Bergeron, Barbara Lopez, Bob Johnston, Cheryl Swenson, Chuckie Ganze, Dee Moran, Bryana Hernandez, Debra Burch, Keith Longlois, Aaron Hommel and Dixie Brint.


Our longtime friend, Anabel Rost, stopped by to say she had been to her and Roy’s class reunion in Abbeville. She tells us next weekend is a great time to visit the Cajun town to attend the “World’s Largest Omelet Festival.” Certified chefs from around the world, France, Italy and others, come to help cook the omelet. The omelet will be prepared Sunday afternoon on Concord St. in Downtown Abbeville.*****The reason we have over one million uninsured children in Texas, doubling all other states, is simple. If you recall the 2003 Texas budget cut of $200 million from CHIP. In that same budget Perry asked lawmakers for, and received, $227 million to initiate his “Texas Enterprise Fund.” He made the choice to turn his back on the children. He could have used the $227 million to keep CHIP whole. It’s that simple.*****We spoke with our friend Doug Harrington, who is still in Houston. He will take his last treatment next Monday, Nov. 7. He can’t wait to get home after all these many weeks.***** Some special folks celebrating birthdays this week: Someone who is truly special in every way is Denise Stanton, who marks another birthday on Nov. 3. I believe she will be 42. She’s a gifted child who is a real kick.***A special lady we have known and been involved in her life since she was 14 is Sharon Dunn, who celebrates her birthday Nov. 5. Best wishes and good health and a long life.***Johnny Montagne Jr. has his mother’s work ethic plus an engineering degree from Texas A&M. He also is married to one of Devra and Bobby Cormier’s beautiful daughters. He doesn’t need much more luck. “John Boy” is a year older on Nov. 5.***His granddad Cedric Stout, turns 90 on Nov. 7. A big celebration will be held on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5 to honor this Pearl Harbor survivor. A great guy and true hero.***Commissioner John Dubose celebrates on Nov. 6. He was quite young when we first met him. He’s a true conservative in every sense of the word. He still has the first dollor he ever earned.***Belated birthdays we just slapped missed last week. Joe Kazmar, longtime sports writer, former Little League world championsenserage golfer and a friend of many years. It’s hard to believe Joe turned 70 last Friday.***Judge Don Burgess turned 65 last Friday also. Like Kaz, we have known him for 40 years.***Celebrating also in Oct. was 52 year old Ron Sigler. A good buddy. Happy birthday to all.*****Happy anniversary to Mary and Don Straton. They’s going to rumble on their day, Nov. 5.*****Shirley and Butch Choate celebrate on Nov. 8.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week then back to Robert’s next. Everyone always welcome.*****Herman Cain is leading Perry in a Texas poll. His backbone throughout the country is the Tea Party, who was for Palin, then Bachman, Perry and now Cain. In the end they will have to support Romney, want to are not, or they can go fishing. Perry, while running for governor of Texas last year, said he would not run for president, has now cost Texas taxpayers over $500 million in security, etc., while he runs around the country. The cost could well hit $1 billion and he won’t even be invited to be a vice-presidential candidate. He will still make plenty of money on the speaking circuit when it’s all said and done, following the Sarah Palin model that has made her super rich.*****A point of interest that caught my ear, Perry told Chris Wallace, on FOX News Sunday, that he will reduce federal funding for elementary and secondary education by 50 percent. Now that’s really what this country needs, sending education back to “Ned” in the first grade primer.*****Grim news for oyster and seafood lovers and also seafood restaurants. Red Tide has killed three million fish. It doesn’t kill oysters but the algae in their flesh can poison anyone who eats them. For now, harvesting shellfish off the Texas coast is banned. A lot of rain freshwater is the only savior.*****CREAUX’S TIP OF THE WEEK: Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks. You can also do this with towels and linens.*****CAJUN DEFINITION: Tasso, (tah-soh) strips of spiced pork or beef which are smoked like jerky and used to flavor many dishes. A sort of Cajun pepperoni. Tasso can be found locally at Robert’s, Danny’s or K-Dans. Try it, it’s great in anything from beans to gumbo.*****Well, I have to comment on the World Series. I still believe the Rangers were the best team. St. Louis wasn’t even the best team in the National League. They backed into the playoffs as a wild card but they had that Cinderella thing, destined to win. The baseball angels wouldn’t let them be denied. In game six the Rangers twice came within one strike of winning it all. That was probably the best baseball game I’ve ever watched. Tony LaRussa, who announced his retirement, is one of the great coaches of our times.


On Nov. 2, K.D. Lang will be 50; Nelly, 37.***Roseanne Barr will be 59 on Nov. 3; Dennis Miller, 58 and Kate Capshaw, 58.***Sean “P Diddy” Combs will be 42 on Nov. 4; Kathy Griffin, 45 and Matthew McConaughey, 42.***Bryan Adams will be 52 on Nov. 5.***Rebecca Romijn will be 39 on Nov. 6; Sally Field, 65 and Maria Shriver, 56.***John Mellencamp will be 60 on Nov. 7; Christopher Knight, 54.***Bonnie Raitt will be 62 on Nov. 8; Mary Hart, 61; Tara Reid, 36 and Jack Osbourne, 26.


Note from Cuzzin Sostan

Dear Cuz,
Me, I wanted you to know dat da utta night I was watching FOX News and you guvaner, Rick Perry, was on da tv. He said to save da U.S. economy, dat wen he becomes Prezident he will order da immigration department to start deporting old people instead of illegals, in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs. “Old folks are easier to catch dem, and dey will not remember how to get back to dere homes,” he said. “I started crying me wen t’ought about you.” See you on da bus,
Your Cuz Sostan


It’s throw Herman Cain overboard with a long ago sex scandal and Perry will be the beneficiary. Rick is a lucky guy, plus he has $17 million to spend. Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party, after leaving Perry, will come back to him if he doesn’t appear to be drunk. They just don’t want Romney. Cain supposedly said some off color things to a couple of women back 20 years ago. It might be hogwash but it sells. It will knock him out of the V.P. spot.*****We were sorry to see our longtime friend and employee Al Deroche retire. He has called on the business trade for The Record for the past 14 years. At 84 years old he still had a great work ethic. His wife Helen’s health is failing so he’ll stay home with her. He won’t be happy not working; he’s worked since he was 8 years old. He retired from Gulf after 30 years and became a contractor, then a sales executive. We wish him the best and thank him for the years.*****Don’t forget to turn back your clock Saturday night. Savings Time starts at 2 a.m. Sunday morning.***** My time is up, thanks for yours. Read us cover to cover and look the ads over for great bargains. Take care and God bless.