The big question always was who is going to beat Kentucky? The answer always was nobody. With two freshmen and two sophomores, Kentucky won the national basketball championship by beating Kansas 67 to 59. Four players on the Wildcat team will be drafted by the NBA, freshman Anthony Davis, 20, will be the first player taken overall. It will almost be total rebuilding by Kentucky next season. *****How about those Lady Baylor Bears. The game against Notre Dame Tuesday night is after my deadline but I’m betting they went 41-0 and won the national championship. *****Storms and two large tornados ripped through the Dallas/Fort Worth area about 1 p.m. Tuesday. Damage is extensive. I’d rather have our hurricanes. *****Well, here we go with another column. I try to be diversified, a little something for everyone. Sometimes I do all right, other times I make a low C. Thanks to our family of advertisers for bringing us to you. Hop on, come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


During Holy Week and the approach of Easter Sunday, my mind always drifts back to my early years and our Christian ways. In the Catholic faith it was a time of penance. It is a time to examine our faith and our permanent journey with Jesus Christ. Lent remains a popular time for the sacrament, commonly known as Easter duty. Traditionally Catholics have gone to confession during Lent to be forgiven of any mortal sins before receiving the Eucharist on Easter Sunday. Catholics still begin Confession in the traditional way, “Forgive me Father for I have sinned” or maybe by saying “Bless me Father, it’s been (so long) since my last Confession.” At the end of each session the priest raises his hand to offer God’s absolution saying, “Go in peace” or “Go and sin no more.” I chose the Sacrament of Confession to write about as my small part during this Holy Week because it’s the least understood by my non-Catholic friends. We are giving the opportunity this time of year, regardless of our Christian faith, to enter in a time of penance to prepare our hearts for the greatest moment in human history, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.


The GOP primaries were held in three states Tuesday, Wisconsin being the main one. Mitt Romney, like he’s done so many times before, again buys the elections. It’s my belief that if Rick Santorum had been able to raise the same amount as Mitt, instead of being outspent 7-1 to 21-1 in every contest, Rick would be leading the GOP by a good margin. Mitt is buying this nomination. He should have buried them all a long time ago. Santorum has been complaining about what he calls the establishment. Romney’s campaign will not identify his major fundraisers, which operate mysteriously. Those have come up with $75 million separate from Super Pacs. The money ranges of top donors of GOP and Democratic candidates are routinely identified. The lack of transparency by Romney about his top bundlers prevents anyone from knowing who wields influence with Romney and how their interest might benefit if he is elected. A good enough reason for Rick to complain. It’s a good move by the Jeb Bush interest to circle the wagons for Jeb four years from now by endorsing Romney now. This connects with those bundlers and Romney rich friends. They know Mitt won’t win and they’re getting a heads up for Jeb in 2016. They waited until it was almost certain Mitt would be the nominee before endorsing. Notice George W. is not in the mix.
Over the weekend a USA Gallup Poll shows President Obama has opened a big lead in a dozen top battleground states such as Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. In all of them he leads 51 percent to 41 percent among registered voters. Important to the Obama campaign is his lead of 19 percent over Romney with women. Their number one reason is health care. Contraception came in sixth place. If the Supreme Court becomes an activist court and throws out the Health Care Act it will help Obama with women even more. A killer Romney won’t be able to shake with women, Independents and elderly is that he now owns the Paul Ryan Budget that guts health care, the poor and middle class. Romney’s biggest problem however is that he is honestly out of touch with average Americans. He was raised rich, chauffeured to school in his little Promroy suit the first day of school and there after. To him, all his blunders are not blunders; it’s normal rich man talk. The same as children of those of us raised in the Depression can’t connect and are not in touch with what we went through and how we live and struggled just to survive. Mitt has no idea about the struggles so many of our people are going through. I believe Mitt will sew up the nomination on April 24. That is not good for local GOP candidates running in Texas. The United States senatorial race won’t be enough to pull the wagon and a light turnout will hurt in the primaries. GOP voting is already down in every election so far. Point of interest: Mitt won Wisconsin by a few points. Obama is favored to win in Wisconsin in November. If the GOP primary gets to Texas May 29, Santorum will carry Orange County. I’ll bet a lollypop. President Obama may well surprise some people here in November. I’m hearing a lot of rumbling from former GOP women.


We were sorry to learn of the unexpected death of Kenny Bradley, 58, who died Sunday night, April 1. We had known Kenny most of his life as well as his mom and dad Wayne and Bernadine and his three boys Derick, Trey and Heath. Services are pending at Claybar Funeral Home. *****Forrest Hudson, 77, died Saturday, March 31, at Methodist Hospital in Houston. Services were held Tuesday, April 3. Over the last 45 years we had known Forrest to be a good man. He served as constable of Pct. 1 and was also county commissioner. To his wife Peggy and her family, we send our deepest sympathy. Please see obit. *****We were also saddened to learn of the death of Homer Burd, 91, who died April 2. Services are pending.

10 Years Ago-2002

The Bridge City School District narrows applicants for Athletic Director from 50 to two to replace James Conway, Supt. Sam Lucia said both Claude Traver, of Hampshire-Fannett and Davy DuBose, of Brady, both feel Bridge City has a top-notch, strong school program. (Editor’s note: Traver was hired. I don’t recall how long he stayed or why he left.)*****Department of Public Safety Trooper Ronnie Fikes has served in Orange County 21 years. A 1976 grad of Evadale High School, Fikes says local troopers influenced him tremendously. None had more of an impact on him however than Trooper Billy Rowles, Jasper County sheriff, who became notorious after the dragging death of James Byrd. On one of Ronnie’s more humorous moments was a time when he and his partner stopped a car with a naked driver. They didn’t arrest him. It seemed he was a married man who barely escaped from a woman’s house when her husband arrived unexpectedly. (Editor’s note: What became of Ronnie anyway? Did he retire, move away or is he still around?)*****Rev. Martha Girling gave her last sermon at St. Paul Methodist Church on Easter Sunday. An overflow crowd attended her last service. *****Anthony ‘Tony’ Pavia, 79, died March 28. Tony is remembered as the official photographer of Bridge City High’s run for the state football championship in 1965 and the title in 1966. Tony took most pictures around today of that football team. Many appeared in The Penny Record. *****Jim Broud, 78, died March 29. You might recall the tall guy at all the crawfish races. He was a member of the Texas Crawfish Racing Commission. He, Buddy Porter and A.J. Judice were appointed by Gov. Preston Smith. *****Cooking expert Nancy McWorther celebrated her birthday April 3. (Editor’s note: Nancy and Mac moved away several years ago. I’d like to hear from her if anyone is still in touch. Last we heard Mac was in bad health.)*****Debbie Aarons, of Bridge City, and Jim Aarons, of Vinton, announce the engagement of their daughter Jessica, an A&M grad to Drew Merritt, also an A&M grad. Wedding date is May 18.

35 Years Ago-1979

Joe Kazmar marries Susan Bybee on April Fool’s Day. The nice lady is a math teacher. Folks are placing bets on how long this April Fool’s joke will last. (Editor’s note: Now we know, 35 years and counting. Best wishes for many more healthy, happy years together.*****April Fontenot will be all of 13 years old on April 2.*****”Peanut” Garrett passed away a few days ago.*****Bridge City High announced Cindy Adams, Craig Fisette and Kevin Haynes have been named valedictorians for 1977. Salutatorian is Donna Becker. *****Lon Hubbard escorted Michelle Harris, who will represent Bridge City at the Woodville Dogwood Festival. *****Bill Godwin is principal at Bridge City High School. *****Donald Clark is a local artist who signs his work “Beer Can.”


James Wroten, Ed McCracken, Debbie Kendick, Hovel Chandler, Jason Ballard, Jeremy Simmons, Joe Peery, Kathie Dorman, Kirk Jordan, Mike Callahan, Rose Cormier, Sandra McRight, Shiloh Walker, Spencer Johns, Travis Primrose, James Wroten, Al DeRoche, Brandie Fowler, April McGee, Dan Domas, Jean Taylor, Carl Himel, Niki Viola, Janet Bland, Helen Mahfouz, Libby Harrison, Lisa Coffey, Nancy McWhorter, Race Dearborne, Cora Woodard, Cyndie Chauvin, David Blanton, Helen Locklin, James Bourdier, Jean Saxon, John Green, Shirley Hayes, Bob Cummings, Brenda McPherson, Shelly Watts, Janet Anderson, Kevin Ernst, Linda Juneau, Wayne McPherson, April Butler, Billie Jo Nelson, Brandy Block, Cathy Riley, Joyce Kleinknecht, Lindsey Etheridge, Camrie Helm, Mike Knox, Gary Chaffin, Lorene Zoch, Mrs. David Goode, Patsy Herrington, Peggy Drane, Bob Todd, Melissa Pittman, Brad Ernst, Trey Dubose, Ken Swenson, Jomie Chapman, Kristi Trahan, Terri Brent, Tonya Burch, Wayne Currie, Adam Prosperie, Barbara Allen, Janet Montagne, Barbara Goins, Ed Cox, Elliot Purcell, Jamye Martin, Jayme Martin, Johnnie Nicks, K’Lynn Ess, Katie Olson, Matt Day, Nancy Hood, Alivia Duhon and Austin Brent.


I understand that the Stark Museum of Art is featuring, on display through June 2, two prominent Russian artist Nicolai Fechin, 1881-1955 and Leon Gaspard, 1882-1964. The exhibition on view features over 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings. A portrait of H.L. Lutcher Stark, never exhibited for the public, will also be featured. The Russian artist emigrated and settled in the American southwest. Sarah Boehme is director of the Stark Museum. If you haven’t visited lately, you will be amazed at the new LED system that produces better viewing conditions and new lighting. The Museum is one of Orange’s great treasures. Other Stark gifts to the community are the W.H. Stark House, the Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts and Shangi La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. Thanks to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, we have plenty to be proud of and thankful for. *****Joshua Ledet, our guy from Westlake on American Idol, is still one of the eight finalist. Last week he received 60 pounds of crawfish, boudain and jambalaya from his home state of Louisiana after saying what he missed most in Hollywood was Cajun food. Now he’s getting a special delivery of Zwolle tamales. Zwolle, a town near the Texas border, is home of the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta. Monday, the Lakeview Front Grocery, famous for their tamales, sent 19-year-old Ledet several dozen of them. We still believe Joshua will finish in the top three, even though a black male has only gotten past fourth place once. He’s making Louisianan cooking more famous than it already is. *****Congrats to James Ellis, of Bridge City and Ariel Sherman, of Orangefield, named students of the month by the Bridge City Chamber. *****Silsbee and Bridge City have rescheduled their game for Friday, April 20, after twice being postponed. *****Rick Perry’s sad run for president cost taxpayers $3.6 million. He has put nearly $700,000 in his own Super Pac. He should do the right thing and return it to the state. I’m sure that’s what a good conservative would do. *****Best of luck to Rodney Townsend, Sr. and attorney Alan Sanders in their dispute with the city of Port Arthur, who seems to be arrogant about the entire process. It’s unfair treatment to Townsend, who has been taxed and is receiving zero services. The City of Port Arthur has taken the attitude of “To hell with it.” Maybe the only way to wake them up from this pious attitude is to file suite in an Orange County District Court. Maybe that’s the only way to bring them to their milk or they could lose the whole cow worth $700,000 a year. *****Best wishes to Bridge City track star Bree Fontenot. Go Bree, win district, win regional and bring home a state medal. *****Alec Baldwin, 54, will wed Hillarie Thomas, 28, a yoga instructor. Alec was once married to Kim Basinger. *****Another Orange Countian does good. Timothy Chagois, a West Orange-Stark grad and Orange native, was named new superintendent of the Beaumont ISD. *****The Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 vote that jailers may perform invasive strip searches even for minor offenses. I see potential problems down the road with someone abusing it. *****Actress Frances Fisher, 59, West Orange graduate and a star in the movie Titanic, says her next project “The Host” is a science fiction thriller now shooting in Baton Rouge. It’s about aliens who inhabit humans and take over their personalities. “I play one of the resistance fighters,” Fisher said. She’s a natural red head and through the years she’s attended class reunions at West Orange. She and Clint Eastwood have one child. *****Happy birthday April 4, to Burl LaSalle, “Paw Paw” Harvey’s right hand man on Hwy. 1442. They cook up a lot of goodies and the best hog cracklins I’ve ever eaten. *****Our longtime employee and buddy Al Deroche celebrates his special day April 5. He’s either turning 84 or 85 and still very sharp. Happy birthday. Please see complete birthday list in this newspaper. *****Monday, the National Archives and Records Administration released records from the 1940 census gives us a look at our nation as it emerged from the Great Depression and prepared for World War II. Here are just a few interesting facts. Population of U.S. was 132.2 million. Today it is 308.7 million. The largest city was New York with 7.5 million; today is has an 8.2 million population. Houston, in 1940, had 400,000 citizens and was #21. Today it has 2.1 million and is now #4. The annual salary for men was $956 today it is $33,276. For women the annual salary was $592 and today it is $24,157. You can learn more by going to the WWW1940census.archives.gov.


 It’s another vodka tip. Vodka has a lot of medicinal cures. For example: this time of year poison ivy gets plentiful and many people are allergic to it. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the Urushiol oil from your skin. Try it, it works.


Dirty Rice: Pan fried, leftover cooked rice, sautéed with green peppers, onion, celery, stock, liver, giblets and many other ingredients. You can put almost anything you like or have that’s left over, like a half tomato, etc. As long as I have rice I have something to eat. A couple of fried eggs, sunny side up, on a bed of fried rice ain’t bad.


On April 6, 1917, the United States entered into World War I. Many men from this area served. Roy says his dad, Clay Dunn, told about marching through France while fighting hand to hand combat with a bayonet at the end of his rifle. Also thousands of soldiers died from the flu.
On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron hit his record breaking 715 homerun off of Al Downning.


Robert Downey Jr. will be 47 on April 4; David Blaine, 39; Maya Angelou, 84 and Jamie Lynn Spears, 21. ***Colin Powell will be 75 on April 5; Michael Moriarty, 71 and Pharrell Williams, 39. ***Marilu Henner, 60 on April 6; Paul Rudd, 43 and John Ratzenberger, 65. ***James Garner will be 84 on April 7; Francis Ford Coppola, 73; Jackie Chan, 58 and Russell Crowe, 48. ***Julian Lennon will be 49 on April 8; Patricia Arquette, 48 and Taylor Kitsch, 31. ***Hugh Hefner will be 86 on April 9; Kristen Stewart, 22; Dean Koontz, 67; Dennis Quaid, 58 and Jenna Jameson, 38. ***Steven Seagal will by 60 on April 10; Babyface, 54; Mandy Moore, 28 and Haley Joel Osment, 24.


A group of da Cajun mens were reminiscing about da BP Gulf Oil disaster and cleanup. Joe Comeaux was telling da story bout getting a job for Alcid Premeaux’s boy, Tee-Not, wat is not very bright him. Joe sent Tee-Not to see his brother-in-law, Clarence Boudreaux, da top forman for Homeland Security, in LaFourche Parish. Boudreaux gave Tee-Not a gopher job. He tell him to go clean da pelicans at da shelter and report back to him when he finish. Meantime Broudreaux say, “I got to make plans to feed all dese workers me.” In a couple hours Tee-Not returned and said to Boudreaux, “Boss, I clean all dem pelicans me, do you want me to boil some water and cook some rice too, hanh?”


The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine this week at Novrozsky’s. Last week at Robert’s incoming Republican Chairman Zach Johnson attended with Rodney Townsend. Rodney is a former Bridge City football star. He and teammate Jason Mathews were given a full ride scholarship to BYU Jason transferred to Texas A&M then went on to the NFL. Rodney hurt his back and was forced to give up football. Another of their teammates was Shane Dronett, U.T. star and NFL great. With that much talent on one team why didn’t Bridge City win state? Shane and Rodney were also well known as alligator wrestlers. A few years ago, I personally saw Rodney jump in the water and wrestle a gator until he landed it in the boat. About four years ago, while in Atlanta, Shane took his own life. Two years ago, Jason retired from the Tennessee Titans. Rodney married Larry Judice’s pretty daughter Amy, a medical doctor, and he practices law in Orange. Next week, the Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s. Everyone is always welcome. *****I’m out of time. Thanks for yours. Have a happy, blessed Easter. Take care and God bless.