Early voting in Texas has begun. Despite us just being spectators in the presidential race, there are state and important local races to be considered. Fifty thousand citizens are registered to vote in Orange County. It looks like, in early indications that at least half will vote. That’s very important. In the presidential race all parties agree that the race is down to seven swing states, even though I believe it’s just five states. The most important state is Ohio. If president Obama can hold on to Ohio, there’s a good chance that he will win. On the other hand, it will be hard for Gov. Romney to win without Ohio. That’s why I’m still puzzled about why Romney didn’t pick Sen. Portman from Ohio for VP. No Republican has ever won without winning Ohio. Someone wanted to know what ‘Swing State’ meant. Well, it’s what we refer to as a purple state and usually has a senator from both parties and is divided by Democrats and Republicans and 20 percent Independents that usually decide the winner.  Example, Texas is a red state. Everyone in the state can vote for Romney and it won’t elect him. Same thing for Obama in the blue state of California. Our votes really won’t count. It’s the Electoral College that gets down to the swing states. Obama sits at 237 votes, Romney, 191. It takes 270 to get elected. If Obama carried Ohio, Iowa and New Hampshire, he wins. The math is harder for Romney. *****Well, I have a long way to go. I’ll give you my take; mine alone, on the foreign policy debate. It won’t matter in our situation but it’s the way I see it. You might agree and it doesn’t hurt if you don’t. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


Well, the final debate is over and the nation is less than two weeks away from selecting the person who will oversee this country for the next four years. Several weeks ago, I mentioned in this column, that I was a child of Pearl Harbor; my entire life was shaped by that attack and the wars that followed. I lived through a million young Americans killed in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, then came Iraq and Afghanistan, the longest war in our history. Eleven years. My childhood fears were reinforced with the second attack on our mainland on 9-11. With this background, I was concerned that through this long presidential campaign neither candidate was talking about foreign policy and even more importantly to me, our national security. The final debate was of up most importance to me. I was surprised at some of the things I heard from Gov. Romney. He had done a complete flip-flop from a neo-con to agreeing with the Obama policies. Good I thought, he was distancing himself from the war mongers like Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who would like to have us fighting three wars. Mitt had moved along from the Far Right just a few weeks ago to the middle. In his budget plan he wants to add two trillion dollars to the military budget. In my view, that’s preparing for war. They also want to appease the defense contractors who survive with war. It would also be a plus for Romney in Virginia. Before I go any further, let me say this, Gov. Romney lied big time to a lot of people. He either lied to the Tea Party and Extreme Right in the primaries to get the nomination or he lying now. Can’t have it both ways. The Tea Party never trusted him and Newt Gingrich said, “Mitt Romney will say anything to be president.” I believe that because he’s proved it. He doesn’t care about governing; he’s a wealthy guy who can buy anything. His dad ran for president and didn’t make it and he would be the first Mormon in the world’s most powerful position. This is what I strongly believe is his motive. He would sign a contract for just one four year term. Now back to foreign policy. In the debates he and Paul Ryan showed they had zero knowledge about foreign policy. Ryan with Biden and Mitt with the President. Monday night Obama didn’t sit on his hands like he did in the first debate. He didn’t attack Romney but he corrected him when he told falsehoods. Obama controlled the agenda. He talked about moving ‘heaven and earth’ to kill Osama bin Laden, standing arm in arm with Israel, backing tough sanctions on Iran, acting against unfair trade practices by China and his ending the war in Iraq. He painted Romney as a flip-flopper who keeps trying to ambush history. When Romney said, “The Navy needs more ships; we have fewer than we did in 1917.” Obama shot back, “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military changed.” He also said that today we have aircraft carriers that planes land on. The president controlled in substance and in style, on issues from sanctions on Iran to the overthrowing of Mubarak. Romney found himself agreeing with the president. A post-debate poll by CBS News found that Obama won the debate by over two to one. 53 percent to 23 percent. Romney broke out in a sweat after not landing any punches. He was strictly out of his league, anyone saying different is not being honest. It’s scary to think of Romney/Ryan heading up our national security. Maybe for eight years. President Obama portrayed his Republican challenger as an inconsistent opportunist in a constantly dangerous world. He painted Romney as an ill informed, novice. He brought out that Romney had a ten percent investment in Global Tech, a Chinese factory to make toasters and other appliances for U.S. manufactures, phasing out American jobs. I came away from the debate feeling it may be dangerous to turn back now.


We were saddened by the death of Steven Scott Curtis, 31, who was killed in an auto accident Oct. 20, when the vehicle he was a passenger in was struck from behind. He was riding in the back seat of a Toyota with his one year old child, who was in a car seat. His wife, Katie was driving and slowed down for an accident that had occurred on IH-10 Neches River Bridge when a Ford F350 pickup slammed into them. The child and mother did not have life threatening injuries. When Scott woke up that morning he had no idea this would be his last day. Something we should keep in mind every day. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Visitation will be at 5 p.m. Thursday. We send our condolences to Katie and family who we have known all of her life. She is the daughter of friends Lon and Kim Hubbard. Please see obit.


 10 Years Ago-2002

Early voting is underway for the Nov. 5 general election. For the first time in Orange County history, voters will elect two state representatives to represent the county. Before districts were gerrymandered by Republican leaders, all of Orange County was in Rep. Ron Lewis’ Dist. 19. The new redistricting line chops off the eastern edges of Orange County and Bridge City and places 14,000 residents into Rep. Joe Deshotel of Beaumont’s Dist. 22. Deshotel is running unopposed but in the new alignment, attorney Paul Clayton, Democrat and Michael Hamilton face off. Lewis did not seek re-election. By cutting Orange and Bridge City out, Dist. 19 is expected to benefit the Republicans. (Editor’s note: I remember that. You probably do too. That was the controversial Tom DeLay’s 2000 gerrymandering heist that has given Orange County 10 years of Houston representation in the congress and state senate. Now we’re back to one congressman, but pitted against a much larger Jefferson County vote.)*****Bridge City High honored Mattie Neely as 2002 homecoming queen at Friday’s game. The B.C, Cards won the game 42-0 against Hardin. Members of the homecoming court were Summer Stephson, Christy Baker, Rachel Comeaux, Shanley Hubbard, Gabrielle Freeman, Brittany Anderson, Dana Allen, Jessica Blanda and Rachel Briggs.*****County Bankshares, Inc., parent company of County Bank in Orange, has named Dr. Rod Fisette and Mike Moreau as advisory board directors. Fisette is a graduate of LSU and received his medical training at Charity Hospital. His practice was in Bridge City. (Editor’s note: We ran into Doc a few days ago. He and Sue moved into their new home at the same location on Cow Bayou a few months ago. They still have the Stoneburner home on the property.)*****Louis Dugas asked, “If grown old men are codgers are grouchy old women codgerettes? *****Harold and Ruth Scales celebrates 50th wedding anniversary Oct. 24. *****Longtime friend, junior Clark, celebrated his 80th birthday last week. (Editor’s note: Junior, who was Judge Pat Clark’s dad, died a few years ago. He would be 90 years old today.)*****John Kibbe, the last of the Bridge City Kibbe family, died last week. *****Louisiana governor, Edwin Edwards, 75, started serving a federal prison sentence on Oct. 21, in Fort Worth. His son Stephen also entered prison on same day. He served in a Port Arthur prison. (Editor’s note: Both have been released from prison. Stephen had eight years to serve.)

35 Years Ago-1977

Joyce Dowdle, the hair stylist-barber, has moved to Jim Dugas’ barber shop. “The Sports Den,” formerly “El Matador,” owned by Louis Gay and Dugas. Joyce will start taking appointments Nov. 1.*****Besides his job as publisher of Orange County’s Opportunity Valley News, Roy Dunn is serving as president of the greater Beaumont area’s Consumer Beacon. He is also serving as president of the Triangle Press, a commercial newsprint operation, which prints papers for several Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana newspapers and circulars for several national companies. Dunn is immediate past president of the Bridge City Rotary and past lieutenant governor of the Optimist International. He and wife Phyllis and children Mark, Allen and Karen make their home in Bridge City.*****Waylon Jennings, popular song “Luckenbach” might have had something to do with a McLewis couple, Kenneth and Rita Burgess Heimer’s purchase of a ranch in Luckenbach where they are moving. Rita is Sybil Burgess’ daughter. (Editor’s note: Don’t know what became of Rita and Kenneth.)*****Bill Hare, from Aggie Land, is manager of Beall’s department store. His assistant is Tommy Locke. *****Cal Broussard, former Orange policeman, has been away several years located all over the country as a cable TV manager. He presently is manager of a cable company in Fort Smith, Ark. Cal said he looks forward to the day he can return to Orange County. (Editor’s note: He finally made it back 24 years later. He made his home on Cow Bayou, in Victory Gardens, where he spent time with friends and checked daily on his mom Gladys and brother. Cal passed away a few years ago.)*****The Dallas Cowboys are 6-0 and could be headed to the Super Bowl. *****The Shirt Hut, custom made T-shirts and caps at 2090 Texas Ave., in Bridge City and Nederland, is owned by former Stark High coach Neal Morgan.*****Ruth Ann Drucilla Hickey Anderson, a resident of Jones Nursing Home, celebrates 100th birthday, Oct. 27.*****Jerry Wilson is auto body shop manager at Jim Austin Motor Company. His employees are Keith Forsyth, Yon Pae-Pak, Pilar Almozon, Pete Garcia, Robert Kirkling, Billy and Don Harin. (Editor’s note: Not a Cajun in the bunch.)*****Patsy Fisette is now working for Conway Real Estate, owner by R.J. and Marty.*****The best homemade pizza is at “The Bamboo Club” on Texas Ave. “Where friendly people congregate” and a few drunks too.*****Orange County treasurer is Earline Hillard. She is the wife of the late G.W. (Wallace) Hillard. *****Ron and Nancy Johnson opens “Ron and Nancy’s Book and Gift Center,” 1627 Strickland.


Debbie Fusilier, Cheyenne Sweet, Bailey Berry, Ron Batchelor, Tammy Scales, Victoria Brown, Dale Morris, Darren Wilson, Jordan Schamber, Mary Stanton, Marilyn Fonthieu, Ramona Scott, Ramona Valentine, Connie Curphey, Mary Chamblee, Sandy Huckaby, Roy Lee Helm, Ken Soileau, Rachel Sanders, Tanner George, Connor Ziller, Evan Swenson, Phyllis Yeats, Deedra Wilson, Toni Dyer, Don Cummings, Geneva Buker, Hunter Smith, Rene Marsolan, Dan Sanders, Brent Burch, David Dupuis, John Lumpkin, Nathan Coffey, Pierce Butler, Pearl Burgess, Betty Trantham, Betty Harmon, Becky Cooper, Derrick Cole, Chris Stone, Ronna Dickman, Ronnie Moerbe, Barbara McLellan, Cori Woodard, Heather Dubose, Beverly Brown, Don Burgess, Joe Kazmar, Ron Sigler, Brandon Allensworth, Emma Scott, Vicki Cormier, Zach Corbello, Brock Whittle, Jessica Bradberry, Kevin Sorrels, Carla Pesek and Laura Moreau.



Twenty Orange travelers just returned from a Mediterranean Cruise arranged by Patsy Peck and Ellen Ray’s Travel Agency “Traverus.”  The trip included stops in Spain, Italy and France. Betty Harmon, one of the group, said, “I‘ve taken many group trips but no one has ever done as good as job as Patsy and Ellen putting trips together.” Patsy was unable to go but Ellen accompanied the folks and did a great job according to the travelers. The travelers were Randy and Kathy Brown, Wayne and Pam Dionne, Sheila and Keith Brown, Betty Harmon, Hugh Dean and Ellen Ray, Gisela Houseman, Mark and Jean Magnuson, Anita and David Green, Wayne and Phyllis Brint, Dorthy Smith, Becky Galey, Johnny and Cheryl Sargent. Betty left Corky instructions on how to wash his shorts and socks. Corky threw them away and bought new ones.***** Commissioner John Dubose stopped by. He tells us what a great job Gene Smith, VA officer,  is doing. By the way, I can tell you that John was conservative long before being conservative was popular. If you don‘t believe that just ask his wife, Joyce.*****Keith Wallace is getting Beth Rach an apple crate to sit on. I’ll tell you why next week.*****Our friend Jesse Domingue is in the hospital this week to under go surgery. Our best wishes and prayers.*****Sen. George McGovern, 90, died over the weekend. Besides being the Democratic nominee for president in 1972. He was a B-24 pilot in and flew 32 missions. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving his crew by landing his damaged bomber in a British airfield on a small island controlled by Tito‘s partisans.*****Garth Brooks was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Also inducted was singer Connie Smith, who was once married to Carl Smith and is now married to Marty Stuart. Keyboard player Hargus “Pig“ Robbins was also inducted.*****Orange County native, Houston Texan defensive coach, Wade Phillips, saw his team have another great outing. The Texans beat the Ravens 43-13. That gives them a two game lead. They control their own destiny. They should have home field advantage in the playoffs for Super Bowl XLVII. I didn‘t like it when the TV announcer said Wade was a Houston native. We know he‘s not.*****Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys, on four field goals, squeezed out a 19-14  win over the Panthers.*****Special folks we know who are celebrating their special day: Our longtime ‘Girl Friday,’ who over 35 years worked alongside us, going back to 1973 with the Opportunity Valley News, celebrates another on Oct. 24. We send a special ‘Happy Birthday’ wish to our friend Debbie Fusilier.***Also celebrating on that day is a special lady and friend Mary Stanton.***Happy birthday Oct. 24, to a beautiful, young mother, Brittney Stillwell, who is the mom of Leland, or “Scooter” to some of us. Brittney is a great mom and great all around person. ***Jordan Schamber, son of our editor, Debby, turns 17 on Oct. 24. ***On Oct. 25 send happy birthday wishes to Sandi Mobley Huckaby, who started her working career for the Opportunity Valley News back in 1974.***On Oct. 26, Phyllis Yeats, Toni Dyer, and Hunter Smith celebrate another year.***Julia Robertson turns 75 on Friday, Oct. 26. She‘s the mother of the famous baseball brothers from Orange, Andre‘ and Roderick Robertson. She is also the mother of daughter Harvetta Henry and the late Harlan Robertson. Perk up, shake a leg, and have a great day.***Oct. 27 is a special day for our sweetheart, poet and friend Ms. Pearl Burgess, who will celebrate her 92nd birthday. By the way, she’s recovering quite well from her “Flying Nun” act and soon the bruised ribs will be only a memory. She’s one tough cookie. Happy Birthday Ms. Pearl.***Also a great friend of many years, a beautiful lady who has spent a lifetime doing community work and helping others, we wish the happiest of days to Betty Harmon, Corky’s better half.***Now here are three old boys that are a pretty good start on a straight flush. I’ll start with the oldest, a sports writer who has been writing for us at least 35 years, Joe Kazmar. Joe, over the years, has been accurate and knowledgeable on his stats reporting. He’s the dean of sportswriters. **Next is judge Don Burgess, who served as district judge and applet court judge. However, of all his success, the best thing he ever did was marry Bobbie Grossman. She cleaned him up, shaved his beard and took away his big ten-gallon cowboy hat. **The youngest of the three is former county commissioner, city councilman and drainage manager, Ron Sigler. One thing I have never doubted is Ron’s intelligence. We wish a very happy birthday Oct. 28th to those three old boys. ***Also on Oct. 28th we send best wishes to Becky Cooper, Chris Stone, Barbara McLeman and Heather Dubose, the lovely wife of commissioner David Dubose.****On Oct. 29, best wishes to Vickie Cormier and Emma Scott.***Oct. 30 is a special day for longtime banker, a friend and nice guy, Carlos Vasek, and also Jessia Bradberry and Laura Moreau. Happy birthday to all.



You can never underestimate the innovation of dem Cajun farm boys. 

Da utta day, at da Abbeville High School, little Joe Comeaux and his friend played a prank. Wat dey did dem, was turn lose some small alligators, bout two-feet long, inside da school. First dey painted numbers on da top of dem alligators. Dey paint da numbers 1-2-and 4. Da principle Mr. Thibodaux and dem school teachers spent all day dem, looking for number 3.


Boy, we can’t complain about the weather. It’s great but I can’t understand why so many of my birds have flown away.*****Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears and Bridge City Cardinals both have homecoming this week. Good luck to both. Have a good time, enjoy the special week.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine with Uncle Jim at Novrozsky’s this week and Robert’s next. It’s time for some of you folks that have been away lately to return. Everyone is always welcome. *****A word of caution, all kinds of advertising gimmicks come down the pike but don’t be mislead. If your goal is to reach the Bridge City/Orangefield consumers and also the greater Orange area, the only media that will totally reach that market is The Penny Record and The County Record, delivered free to each home, on every street. Your message gets into the home. No TV, radio or any other print media has such reach for such a low cost. Did I tell you that you get two ads for the price of one and you don’t miss the commercial when you go from one to the other? We are locally owned and are members to the Chamber of Commerce in both areas. Have a nice week, take care and God bless.