I really enjoyed the Olympics and it made me proud of the USA. I was constantly amazed at the great talent those youngsters posses.  I found the closing ceremony fascinating. I was just lukewarm on the entertainment but the show of lights, fireworks, etc. made for a great show.*****Now it’s time for the big game here at home. Every four years we have national elections. We elect a president and vice-president. Well, that’s not exactly true. In this election none of us in Texas will have anything to do with the outcome. The Electoral College in about seven swing states will determine the winner. President Obama needs to carry two of those states. Romney must run the board or win six out of the seven. We won’t have anything to do with it, we’re just spectators but like the Olympics, I like watching how they play the game. Anything I say, whatever you think, how we vote, regardless of what any columnist says, Texas won’t change the game. In my case, it’s a way to play a harmless game and see if I can guess the outcome. I find it fun and informative. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


I was as surprised as anyone that Mitt Romney would pick Con. Paul Ryan, the author of the controversial “Paul Ryan Budget” I had predicted he would pick Rob Portman because Romney had said he wanted someone who could step up if need be. Portman has the experience and probably is more qualified than Romney. His only governmental experience is being governor of Massachusetts and he ran away from that. Also, no GOP candidate has ever been elected without carrying Ohio and Portman is popular in Ohio. When Romney returned from his devastating European trip, his ship was sinking and taking on water fast. He, like McCain before him, who picked Sarah Palin, needed a Hail Mary or so his handlers believed. I believe Gov. Joe Christie would have been a better gamble because from now until election day, it will be the Ryan Budget, Medicare and rewarding the very wealthy. Neither Romney or Ryan have any foreign policy or national security experience. ZERO. I wonder about a major world crisis because I’m a child of Pearl Harbor and every election since then national security has been the number one issue, 9-11 reinforced that. Time will tell if Mitt made the right choice. He had to do something, a game changer, but he had a better choice. Ryan has spent all of his professional life in Washington as a congressional aide, a staffer at an extreme right ideological think tank and as a member of congresses’ leadership in the worst congress over the last 20 months in U.S.History. He was a leader in the Bush congress that led to eight million lost jobs and the great recession. He has voted against all work bills that would move the economy out of it’s deep hole. Over 30,000 schools in poor districts need repair, 150,000 bridges are nearly 50 years old, many highways need expanding, 500,000 teachers and 100,000 policemen would have been added, creating over three million jobs. Over the last two years congress hasn’t passed one major bill. Instead, they served as obstructionist. Most importantly Ryan has no executive experience. He has never met a payroll. He’s the darling of the Tea Party, whose budget plan strips away entitlements but also guts the safety nets for middle-class, poor and elderly. I don’t believe that he helps Romney win but he does excite the base. If the GOP is successful in suppressing the Democratic vote in many states and it’s a low turnout, it gives Mitt a chance. Something he didn’t have before picking Ryan.


I hear from time to time from Birthers. They usually have a new twist about Obama not being born in the United States even though it’s been proven many times that he was. Now the Birthers have come up with a theory that Obama‘s grandmother stole someone’s social security number to put on Barrack because she knew he would someday run for president. Well, maybe I can get the Birthers to relax a little. Ted Cruz, who is the Texas GOP U.S. senatorial candidate was born Rafael Eduard Cruz, in Calgary, Canada, in 1970. My question was if not born in the U.S., could he run for president? The answer is yes, like senator McCain, born in Panama, they were both born to mothers who were U.S. citizen, that makes them U.S. citizens, no matter where they were born. The same would be true about Obama. His mother was a U.S. citizen, so he is, and also is qualified to serve as president regardless of where he was born. No issue aggravates Independents more than the Birther issue. They despise Donald Trump. So why won’t they leave it alone because it doesn’t matter.


10 Years Ago-2002

Bar Association recommends second court-at-law for Orange County. A second county court-at-law would help deal with a backlog of more than 8,000 pending criminal cases. They claim the bar made them pitch the plan to Commissioners’ Court to explore the possible benefits. It would be up to the state legislature to create a second court. (Editor’s note: The court was created and Troy Johnson has been its only judge. From all reports over the years, Judge Johnson has and is doing a good job. No one is complaining about a backlog of cases. Maybe someone will suggest we go back to one court.)*****Elvis Aaron Presley died 35 years ago, Aug. 16, 1977. Gloria Moore, an Elvis fan, has a myriad of Elvis memorabilia. (Editor’s note: I wonder if she still has her collection or if like so many collections Ike got it.)*****Celebration birthdays are David Fusilier, Butch Holbrooks, Jacob Worster and Monty Eshbach. (Editor’s note: That’s a pretty good hand to draw to.)*****Coach Claude Gilstrap, 88, who was AD and head football coach at UTA, died Aug. 9. In 26 seasons his record was 162-88-9. Attorney H.D. Pate was recruited from Austin High School by Gilstrap and was a three year starter. Pate plans to attend his funeral.***Bridge City Wal-Mart has a grand opening. It was once doomed for the wrecking ball.***Roy Dunn writes about the hurricane season and speculates that 25,000 to 100,000 could die if New Orleans is hit by a major hurricane. “New Orleans is a bowl with levees surrounding it. A direct hit on Sabine Lake could put Bridge City under Sabine Lake water all the way to the Interstate.” (Editor’s note: In both cases, a few years later, both came to pass even though loss of life wasn’t as large as it could have been.)*****A group of golfers from Orange ventured to Abbeville for  a golf tournament and a night of partying. Pauline Wimberly, an excellent golfer, had the misfortune of having Louis Dugas as a partner. J.C. Trahan, an Abbeville native, served as ambassador and golfed with wife Dixie. Judge Claude and 20 others from Sunset Grove Country Club attended.

35 Years Ago 1977

The Orange County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at arena on Highway 105. The shows are being dedicated to Sam Lucia Jr. and Walter Carey, both former longtime members. Their families will be special guests. Rodeo activities are being headed by Bruce Patillo, chairman, Melvin Hogan, area director and Betty Jo Spence, Posse president.*****County Court at Law Judge Grover Halliburton will not be a candidate for the post he now holds. His present term will expire Dec. 31, 1978. He was appointed to the post after Judge David Dunn vacated it to accept an appointment to the 163rd District Court. Gov. Dolph Brisco appointed Dunn after the resignation of Judge Fred Trimble. Halliburton was within a few days of being appointed to the now created 260th District Court when he withdrew his name from consideration. Don Burgess, a Bridge City attorney and former assistant county attorney, announced his candidacy for the judgeship of the newly created 260th District Court. Burgess came to Orange in 1972 and in 1973, worked in the office of District Attorney Louis Dugas. In April, 1975, District Attorney Jim Sharon Bearden named him first assistant. Burgess entered private practice and formed a partnership with H.D. Pate in Bridge City. Burgess issued this statement, “In light of the recent events concerning the appointment to the district court and Judge Halliburton removing his name from consideration for appointment to the court, I feel that I should announce my candidacy in order to provide the voters with an open and honest campaign.” Judge Halliburton has not said he wouldn’t be a candidate and in fact, is expected to run.*****On August, 16, Elvis Presley dies in his bathroom while sitting on the pot reading a book. (Editor’s note: His home Graceland, in Memphis, Tenn., is the second most visited house today behind only the White House. Elvis was only 42 years old.)*****Donald Harmon, a 1974 graduate of LC-M, recently graduated from Notre Dame University in record time. The achievement of obtaining a degree in just three years at N.D. is considered almost impossible. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Don Harmon of Orange.*****After eight years of courting, Al McKay has taken Pam Budge for his wife. Al is known for not rushing into anything, but eight years is a little much. (Editor’s note: Al started and operated Bridge City Cablevision. He died at age 42 after selling the cable company and becoming a millionaire.)*****The new record albums are out. Elvis Presley’s “Moody Blue” features a lot of J.D. Summer and the Stamps. Another album, “To Lefty from Willie” has great Frizzel songs done in Willie Nelson style. Also the album called “Fats Domino” is Fats at his best.


Tiffany Schlicher, Gavyn Fisher, Kristie Gunn, Valerie Richter, Brandi Arnold, Norma Smith, Beth Holm, Christine Johnson, Jorge Cortez, Rachel Daigle, Gwen Boehme, Joe Sanders, Martha Armstrong, Brenda Gage, Johnny Stimac, John Everett, Jordan New, Karen Day, Nancy Finchum, Shandi Conner, Dagma Hood, Danielle Heil, Henry Bland, Jane Busby, Carolyn Ward, Gene Hidalgo, Helen Gresham, Ian MacCammond, Pat Brown, Linda Tibbitts, Maggie Joubert, Nancy Weidner, Ryan Prejean, Ted Shensky, Terry Ford, Braydon Denison, Brett Heil, Brett Johansson, John Forsythe, Elmer Ernst, Steven Higgs, Kelsie Matlock, Melinda Ja’arah, Sam Fulderson, Sarah Byers, Dorothy Lee, Frances Delcambre, Jimmy Findlay, Marilyn Guerrerro, Davis Jones, Julianne Longlois, Helen McCardle, Olga Graham, Bill Clark, Kimberly Hubbard, Meri Ellen Jacobs, Shirlyn Findlay and Alexandra Wild.


Doug Manning, assistant county attorney, recently returned from a mission trip to Central Honduras. During the days he was there the group built and put a roof on an adobe church, rescued a woman who was living at the dump and held vacation bible school.*****We wish a speedy recovery to Robert Manning, who was injured in a head-on collision Aug. 10th on Hwy. 62. He is still listed in critical condition at St. Elizabeth.*****Congrats to Victor and Jo Ellen Enmon who are expecting their first grandbaby. Their daughter Christen and husband Justin are expecting in September.******Mike Langley, with Jenesis Events, is planning to set a Guinness World Record in Orange on Feb. 23. He will need more than 1,600 people to ride space hoppers which some may remember as the “Hippety Hop.” Sign up now to participate. For more information contact Mike at*****Former Bridge City police chief Joey Hargrave graduated recently after completing the LVN program. He will start working on a RN in June. Nice work Joey.*****Longtime Orange and Bridge City resident, Dan Barker, turns 80. He will celebrate with friends and family his becoming an octogenarian at a community reception Saturday, Aug.25, at First Baptist Church, 200 W. Roundbunch in Bridge City from 3 to 4 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Please join Dan and his family in celebrating this milestone in his life.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day. First on the list is Kristie Gunn, who celebrates Aug. 15. She’s pretty Cindy and Chris Gunn’s baby girl and I believe she turns 19. Just the other day it seems her mom was that age.***Frank’s better half, Nancy Finchum, celebrates Aug. 19.**One of my favorite people and a favorite of everyone who knows her, Carolyn Ward, celebrates on Aug. 18.***Aug. 18 also would have been the birthday of our late friend Gene Hidalgo.***Our “Girl FridayNicole and husband Dustin “Dusty” Gibbs will celebrate their 5th anniversary on Aug. 18. Best wishes for a long, healthy and happy life.***A real sweetheart, Tammy Davis, marks another birthday on Aug. 20. She’s the longtime wife of Shaun Davis, mother of three, and daughter of the H.H. Kirkpatrick’s.***One of the great guys, tall Texan and former lawman Tucker Clayton, turns 91 on Aug. 21. Now there’s a guy that would do to ride the range with.***Aug. 21 is also the day our former editor, Robert Hankins, died back in 2010.***Bill Clark, of radio fame, celebrates on Aug. 22.***Happy belated 88th birthday to everyone’s friend Jim Finklea. His birthday was Thursday, Aug. 9. There’s not another 88-year-old man in Orange County that is as young as Jim is.*****Don and Shirley Marshall are celebrating their wedding anniversary on Aug. 19. They have been married 55 years. Congrats to a great couple.*****George and Shirley Parker also celebrate an anniversary on Aug. 14.  The Parker’s, whose daughter Lucy Terry is the owner of Lucy’s Bakery on MLK, have been married 57 years.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines with Uncle Jim at Novrozskys this week. Always a great meal at Uncle Jim’s hangout. Last week we had a nice crowd at Robert’s. It was great to see Commissioner Owen Burton. He and Judge Derry tell stories about being boys in Mauriceville. We have had lots of good response to the column by Derry’s late father, Wilson “King” Dunn. Next week the Bunch will be back at Robert’s. Everyone always welcome.******AWARD FOR THE BEST NATIONAL SMILES. Magic Johnson, Gabby Douglas and President Barrack Obama. Their smiles are contagious. You smile with them.*****Monday was “LeftiesDay. I finally figured out why this office always seems to be going backwards. On “Lefties” Day I found out that several staff members in The County Record office are left-handed: Nicole, Chris, Debby and Penny.*****Debby interviewed our friend Ray Cotton. Look for Ray’s story in this week’s issue. He’s from the old school and there are few of us left. Ray is one of the special characters of our times.*****We are hearing a lot of good things about L&L Coins and Collectables. Leonard Duhon is an honest and fair dealer and his customers tell us that he will buy, sell, trade or he will just shoot the bull with you.*****Mark Dunn just returned Tuesday after vacationing in Honduras, Central America. That should be an interesting story I just haven’t had time to hear it yet. I did get a bag of coffee out of it that I’m anxious to try.


Red Hebert, him, stayed all night drinking at the Midway Lounge in Abbeville. Finally, Slim, the bartender, told Red, “You got to go you, because it’s time to close da bar. Red say OK, and he stands up to leave and falls on da floor. Red lay dere awhile den he figure he’ll crawl outside and get some fresh air, and maybe dat will sober him up. Once outside, Red stands up and falls flat on his face. So he jus crawl him. He crawl da four or tree blocks home. Wen he got to his door, he stands up an falls flat again, so he crawl in da house. Wen he reaches his bed he try to stand up again. Dis time, he falls right into his bed and falls sound asleep him. 

Da next morning his wife, Estelle, wake him up standing over him shouting, “Red, you lying Cajun, you have been out getting drunk again.” Red rubbed his bloodshot eyes and ax, “How you know dat, Hon?” Don’t hon me, da Midway Bar called and said you left your wheelchair dere again.”


Brazos County Pct. 1 Constable Brian Bachmann arrived at a small home south of Texas A&M campus shortly after noon, he never got to the door. Thomas Caffall, 35, met the constable outside. Both were armed. The confrontation sparked a gunfire exchange that would kill or injure seven people. A 9-1-1 call reported “officer down.” Officers from multiple agencies descended on the neighborhood. Police were met with gunshots and fired their weapons. The constable and shooter lay on the ground shot in the chest and were later pronounced dead. Before he died, Caffall asked that a neighbor apologize to the officer on his behalf. The hail of bullets also killed a bystander. A College Station police officer was shot in the calf and two of his colleagues were treated and released. A lady was injured when a bullet hit her car. She underwent surgery and is in serious condition. Constable Bachmann was attempting to serve an eviction document known as Forcible Entry Detainer. Constables, in most cases, work alone. I know our constables, Mark Philpott, Pct. 3, Chris Humble, Pct. 1, Welden Peveto, Pct. 4 and Rob Strause, Pct. 2 work alone. It’s my opinion that they are the least appreciated in law enforcement. They have a very dangerous job, serving papers and evicting people from their homes. They never know what’s on the other side of the door and no one is ever happy to see a process server or lawman at their door, especially to put you out of your home. Constables do a lot of good. They help a lot of people, they are the ones you can go to in your community if you need answers or help. They have their jobs to do and never know what they will run into, like the officer in Brazos County. Caffall’s mother said her son was having mental health problems. She said, “The minute I saw the TV, I knew it was him.” He had no criminal record and was known as a good guy. So you see, all law enforcement officers can possibly face that one situation when someone just snaps..*****Well, my time is up, thanks for yours. Read us cover to cover, shop our family of advertisers and also check us out on the web at Take care and God bless.