Some weeks are like this, when your mind and body seem to drop back a notch. Every time it happens, I hope it’s not permanent. My mind wants to relax rather than work, even when there is plenty ahead and a deadline looms. I’ve been meeting deadlines forever, going back to when the cows had to be milked by 4:30 a.m.*****Every morning I stop by and see Courtney Myers, Bootie and the crew at the Express Mart. That bunch will get you started on a high note. I don’t know how they stay so upbeat. I’m told the personality of the store starts at the top with manager Courtney. Of course she’s the one who told me that. Bootie just gives you that big ole’ smile. She’s easy to pick on. *****If you were fortunate enough to drive through East Texas or went up to the lakes over the Thanksgiving weekend, you were treated to an abundance of color. What folks call trash trees, the Tallow, was showing all its colors, along with the sweet gums, oaks and etc. They put out the bright, burnt orange of UT, the maroon of the Aggies, the yellow and purple of LSU and all the others thrown in. The big leaves shifting slightly in the breeze set off an explosion of color in the forest. Who needs to go up east to Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc. ***** Even as late as I’m going, I’ve got all involved in my new Texas Monthly. Read all about Willie Nelson and his 45 year old guitar, “Trigger.” It was a great interview with Willie but also a feature story on “Trigger.” I first met Willie at the Hilltop, right after he and Paul got kicked out of Nashville. He had a crew cut then. Thanks to my friend Helen, a longtime Willie friend, I got to hang out with him and the guys. Ms. Mattie, 100 year old writer with the Shelby County Light, wrote a couple of months ago that her friend Willie would be coming out with his new book, “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” in November. Well, last night Willie was on the Pierce Morgan Show on CNN hawking the new book. What a life that guy from Abbott has lived and think of the treasures he’ll leave behind. *****I’d best get started. Hop on board and come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.




“Bill” Clark was born Lee O’Daniel Clark, in Fairmont, on August 22, 1939 and died Nov. 25, at age 73. I never did know for sure but I suspect he was named after Texas governor Pappy Lee O’Daniel. I had known Bill well over 40 years even before he got into radio, when he and Doris Ann were young newlyweds and before their two girls came along. Bill, over the years, had worked for most country music stations in this market. He had a big following of fans and also an advertising base that stuck with him as he moved from station to station. For his Sunday in the Country show, he furnished his own collection of records. He was proud of his home where he kept his collections. They even named the street where he lived, off Hwy. 408, in Bridge City, Clark Lane in his honor. I had known most of his siblings, even before I met Bill. They are down to earth, real country folks. Junior Clark, who was Judge Pat Clark’s dad and Doyle, a great guy, are both gone now. H.K. Clark, another brother is a longtime fixture in Bridge City, who helped build the city. Bill had a lot of beautiful sisters. I remember Mozell, the best but there was Jo Nell, Bobbie Lena and Reba. Of all the Clarks I’ve known, Bill was different. His talent was no different from the others however when it came to the gift of gab. They’ll talk your horns off. Bill was really artistic and for years he wrote a column in The Opportunity Valley News. He was gifted. Nephew Pat shares that gift but few people know about his great poetry.

Bill was liked by the many radio personalities he worked with including Baxter and Jimmy Joynt, KYKR owner. He and Bax got fired many times but always landed on their feet. The folks that fired them often hired them back because they weren’t only good; they brought their cliental with them. Although Bill and I spent great times visiting, he and Skipper Free shared all their secrets. She was like a mother hen trying to get Bill to take care of his health. We have lost a great personality.

Visitation for Bill will be Wednesday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. Services will be Thursday, 10 a.m. at First Baptist. Burial will be in the Clark plot in Fairmont where they all came from in Sabine County. May he rest in peace. Please see obit.



More Republicans are starting to signal that they are ready to step away from Grover Norquist’s pledge not to raise taxes. Their unwillingness to break ranks could prove crucial to leaders of both parties as they scramble to reach a deal before a slew of taxing and spending changes take effect in January. The search for a compromise started Monday when law makers returned to Washington for a lame duck session of congress. They have been off 14 weeks out of the last 16 weeks. They worked two weeks out of the last four months. I wonder if our congressman will continue to keep his pledge to Norquist. For two years, the pledges’ have sat on their hands and accomplished nothing. Con. Brady is due to become a committee chairman in January and we will end up with a ghost congressman. I look for Medicare age to go from 65 to 67. President Obama wants to let tax cuts expire for those with annual net incomes above $250,000. I believe that will happen. Social Security doesn’t add to the deficit so that won’t be touched. However, food stamps, Medicaid and other entitlements will be tightened. We won’t go over the cliff for long, if at all.



9 Years Ago-2003

Mildred Wozencraft, 78, recently gave four acres of land on IH-10 to the Orange Chapter of the American Red Cross. *****Orange couple Earl and Ruth Davis are home again from the Holy Land where, as volunteers, they promoted better relations in Israel.*****Hot shot service personnel at Dupuis Full Service Station, in Bridge City, are Earl Duhon, David Talland, Bart Foreman, Gary Cooper and owner Kenneth “KeeKee” Dupuis. The present station was opened in 1953 on Texas Ave. where it remains today with the same great service. The original station opened a block away in 1941. (Editor’s note: Next year Dupuis will celebrate its 60th anniversary. It is one of the county’s longest continues businesses. The personnel has changed some but it’s still a happy-go-lucky crew. A bunch you can depend on to care for your auto. It is the only full service gas station in Orange County.)*****Joe Burke celebrated his 85th birthday Saturday, Nov. 22. He ventured to Newton for a special outing with friends. (Editor’s note: We lost our friend Joe about four years ago.)*****Donald Gunn, former constable, is due to have open heart surgery Monday, Dec., 1, at St. Elizabeth to repair or replace the A-valve. (Editor’s note: We lost Donald a few years ago. Thank God his private nurse and longtime wife, Mary Ann, is still with us and trying to keep up with the young folks.)*****Robert “Bob” Hicks, Sr., 82, died Wednesday, Nov. 19 at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. *****Dereck Cloeren signed to play baseball at Northwestern and Shon Landry signed with McNeese. Both baseball players were Little Cypress-Mauriceville stars. *****United States Rep. Jim Turner cast a vote against the Republican sponsored Medicare bill (HR1) to privatize Medicare. The bill passed narrowly, 220-215. Seniors will be forced to join a private HMD or PPO to receive medical coverage. (Editor’s note: The bill failed in the senate. Republicans have been trying to privatize Medicare and Social Security for a longtime.)*****Orangefield High School junior Angela Ledford to compete for Miss Teen USA on Nov. 28-30. *****Kathy Steirman threw a 60th birthday party for husband Joel. The party was held at the Orange Boat Club and was catered by Robert’s Restaurant.


39 Years Ago-1973

An overflow crowd Saturday night at West Orange witnessed perhaps the most important game between two Orange County schools in nearly a decade. They observed an awesome display of power on the gridiron which brought back memories of the Bridge City football machine back in 1965 and 1966 season. The Chiefs showed plenty of poise in the early stages of the game when hit with a pair of first period fumbles failed to unnerve the Chiefs confidence. When Bridge City twice failed to capitalized at the goal line and West Orange’s Kenneth Stephenson swiped a Terry Bridgers pass in the end zone, Ol’ Mo showed up for the Chiefs. The game could very well have gone either way if Bridge City had scored after two six pointers, both point after tries failed. In the second period, it was Lorance Wills who scored. Mervin Kyburz made the PAT, giving the Chiefs a 19-0 lead at half time. Both teams came out and scored one TD each. In the third quarter, West Orange quarterback Ray Pousson dashed for a 22-yard touchdown. Bridge City’s Lanston Fall, who rushed for 148 yards, burst across the goal line for six. Bill Powers was good on the PAT. Barney Duhon scored for WO. Pousson threw to Randall Teate for the 2-point conversion. The final score came when BC quarterback Terry Bridgers zipped one to end Craig Morris for a 7-yard TD. The two-point attempt failed. When the whistle blew, WO had earned the right to play Crosby for the District title after defeating BC in a hard-fought contest. The Cardinals allowed more points in this game than they had in all of their previous nine games. The Chiefs were penalized for 170 years and had two TDs nullified. It just wasn’t Bridge City’s night. The Chiefs were too strong, avenging their loss from the year before to the same bunch of Cardinals. Bridge City coach Chief Wilson’s crew, with just one loss (8-1-1) is the best a Bridge City team has done since it captured the state title in 1966. Both teams are loaded with seniors who have played together for years. Next year could see both teams rebuilding. (Editor’s note: this is the last year that Coach Wilson coached football. Through the years, he always spoke fondly of his 1973 team.)



Barbara Peveto, Andrea Tupper, Jerry Childress, Haley Barlow, Lynda Walther, Preston Shuford, David Fusilier, Tiffany Osborn, Cappy Ricks, Cassandra Carpenter, Drew Craft, Barbara Peveto, Jade Seibert, Melissa Jenkins, Keith Lange, Sharon Evans, Troy Manuel, Maddox Manuel, Abby Reynolds, Shirley Beaudion, Angela Harkness, Angela Webb, Carrisa Guidry, Freda Riley, Erik Tutt, Jim Bob Aven, Zenobia LeBlanc, Erin Evans, Jamie Applebach, Evelyn Brandon, Ricky Jacobs, Sandra Smith, Kenneth Manuel, Leah Vogt, Tish Garrett, Brad Braus, Howard Minor, Ricky Harper, Ryan Anderson, Vance Chauvin, Bill Hare, Ed Theriot, Stephen Clopp, John Garrison, Frank Welch, Kelsey Dardeau, Mitchell Backer, Wesley Duncan, Amanda George, Cheryl Fornols, Jake Glazner, Vergie Thomas, Lisa Walker, Beverly Blalack, Edd Brown, Eddie Robertson, Marie Moran, Wayne Scales, Barbara Blackwell, Sandra Huthison, Susan MacCammond, Todd Wilson, Trisha Anderson, Bill Hinton, Amber Franklin, Vincent Hoyt, Carolyn Andrus, Chris DeCuir, Slyvia Bland, Bill Force, Dana Simmons, Catherine Allen, Dick Jackson, Gwen Tallant and Stephanie Kreger.



Congratulations to coach Thompson, the staff and the West Orange-Stark Mustangs on their win over the West Columbia Roughnecks. The Stangs, 12-0, take on Lorena, 10-2, at 7 p.m. Friday at Waller Stadium. They will face quarterback Harris Coleman, who has been a one-man show all season. He rushed for 1,823 yards and 31 TDs and threw for 1,698 yards and 15 TDs. Each week the Mustangs meet a team that is better than the last. When a team gets to this level in the playoffs you can’t be 80 percent on your game and advance, you best be hitting on all cylinders. Foolish mistakes and turnovers can turn a game around. To be a state champion takes total focus every game to get there. I felt last week the Mustangs lacked some of that focus. Their defense is good enough to beat most teams but from here on out, they won’t be playing most teams. They are special or they wouldn’t have gotten this far. Usually the talent is about equal and it gets down, on every play, to which team wants it the most. Good luck Mustangs, bring home that victory. *****We congratulate Community Christian also on their 54-8 win over Lake Jackson. They meet Seguin Lifegate Christian next. Good luck. *****Also congrats to Deweyville on their great season. The Pirates lost 24-22 to Elysian last Saturday. *****A few folks we know celebrating their birthdays. On Nov. 28, David Fusilier turns a year older. He’s been with Debbie and Cormier Well Service for most of his life. *****Our friend, former editor, married to lovely Barbara, Jerry Childress, celebrates also on that date. I also have Sear’s Russell Dillow celebrating Nov. 28. I thought his birthday was last Saturday.***Melissa Jenkins marks a birthday Nov. 29, also Angela Webb and Jim Bob Aven.***Our buddy and website staffer Evelyn Brandon celebrates her big day Nov. 30 as does longtime “Big Red” man Vance Chauvin, longtime married to Cindy, one of those pretty Scales girls. I’m sure “Kee-Kee” Dupuis and Ray Leleux will have something special for him.***Celebrating Dec. 1, is “The Drummer Boy,”  longtime IBEW member and married to Judge Flo, since he was a kid. Happy birthday to our friend Gene Edgerly.***Also celebrating on Dec. 1, is Ed Theriot, retired from the County Appraisal District, and now spending his time enjoying working with the Orange Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Also Bill Hare, longtime boss at Bealls and native of Aggieland, marks a birthday Dec. 1.***On Dec. 2, Buster Lapeyrolerie, father of a lot of great folks, celebrates.***On Dec. 3, John Hurd, the citrus man who grows good Orange County oranges and grapefruit and is married to pretty Ms. Linda, will turn another year older. Also Wayne Scales, Todd Wilson, Carolyn Andrus, Chris DeCuir and Slyvia Bland. ***Fourth generation Texan Bill Hinton will celebrate his 80th birthday on Dec. 3. He will celebrate with family and friends this Saturday with a party hosted by his children. He and wife Emalois came to Orange County in 1961 where they raised four girls. Daughter Donna Riley is one of our special people. Best wishes Bill for many more healthy years. ***On Dec. 4, Dick Jackson and Gwen Tallant celebrate. Happy birthday to all. Please see complete list. *****To good friends Sue and Tommy Simar, Creaux and I say happy 24th anniversary this week. They drove to Pennsylvania so Sue could get a little Yankee charge. About every two years Tommy has to get her recharged however, Sue says they have made their last driving trip. *****Bridge City’s Matt Bryant and the Falcons beat Tampa Bay 24-23. Matt made a 31-yard field goal and missed a 21-yarder. In all Matt added six points. Atlanta is 9-1, the same as the Houston Texans. Wade Phillips defense wasn’t as sharp as usual but the Texans barely pulled out a 34-31 win over Detroit in Thursday’s game. Bryant and the Falcons play host to the New Orleans Saints Thursday night. Meanwhile, Wade and the Texans travel to Tennessee for a noon match up Sunday.***By the way, the Cowboys dropped another one to Washington 38-31 last Thursday. West Orange-Stark star Earl Thomas and the Seahawks lost to Miami 24-21.*****Disappointment around my place Sunday was the Saints 31-21 loss to the 49ers. Cajuns love their Saints.*****”Johnny Football” Manziel is only a 19 years old freshman at Texas A&M. Last year he was a high school student at Kerrville, today he’s being considered for the Heisman Trophy. Saturday he put on a clinic against Missouri throwing 44 passes and connecting 32 for 372 yards. He rushed for 370 yards in the 59-29 win. His freshman season he threw 25 TDs and ran for 17 more. Oh yes, it’s true, Mack Brown passed him up. The only two major colleges interested in him was A&M and Baylor. His one regret is that he won’t get to play against the Texas Longhorns.*****The scandals surrounding Rupert Murdock’s News Corp British trials are poised to regain attention as criminal trials involving former executives nears. News Corp is a family controlled company and very complicated. After 18 months of unremitting scandal in Britian and threats of government action in the U.S., the 81-year-old Murdoch’s British papers are accused of hacking into the voice mail boxes of thousands of politicians, royals and celebrities, as well as ordinary people, including a murdered 12 year old. Payoffs to the police have been investigated and the accused will now face trial. However, Murdoch keeps moving on and is on an American buying spree. He is interested in some big newspapers and a stake in the YES Network, with it’s New York Yankee franchise. Scandals that would have destroyed most people will probably see Murdoch walk and someone else take the fall. When it’s all said and done, it will be one for the case books.



Theophile Leger’s boy, Oray, went to New Orleans to look around and spend some time in the big city. While hanging out around Jackson Square, he met dis woman who invite him to sit on da bench. After dey walk around, she took him to her apartment in da French Quarter.

Oray him, he spent da night. After a big night of fun, he rolls over and is looking around wen he notices a framed picture of anutter man on da night stand.

Oray him, he start to worry, “Is dat you husband?” he ax.

“No silly,” she replied, while snuggling up to him.

“Is dat you boyfriend den?” he questioned.

“No, not at all, “ she said, while nibbling on his ear.

“Is dat you dad or you brother?” Oray ax, hoping to be reassured.

“ No, no, no,” she said.

“Well, dammit, who it be den?” Oray demanded.

Calmly da girl replied, “Honey, dats me before da surgery.”



A party was held for D.J. “Ace” Amedeo at the nursing home Monday to celebrate his 88th birthday. It would have been fun to have been there to share all those old stories. *****I wonder what Brad Frye has on “Cochise.” He had him and Phillip working like slaves putting up a 14 foot Santa in an outhouse.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine with Uncle Jim at Novrozsky’s this week and will be at Robert’s next week. Everyone is always welcome. *****People in New Jersey and New York are facing the same problems with insurance companies as we did. They are refusing to pay, calling the damage caused by a surge, not a flood. I feel for those people having to fight those vultures. Who they need up there is John Cash Smith. He knows how to bring them to their milk. *****Don’t for one minute believe that Hostess is not pulling a Bain Capital type deal. They will get rid of 18,500 employees, retirement and health insurance and start over under a different name. *****Donald Trump must be the world’s biggest phony. He’s saying now that the GOP should be kinder to people of color and not so racial. Trump is the original “Birther” claiming President Obama wasn’t born in the United States. He says now that the GOP lost because they didn’t listen to him. *****I’m upset that the Houston Chronicle is treating our area as bad as Rick Perry, Tom DeLay and the redistricting folks did. The Chronicle no longer puts out a Sunday edition in Orange County. They send a paper on Saturday that they call the weekend edition. No Saturday sports but most importantly no Leon Hale column. I’ve followed Leon for 60 years, way back in the Houston Post. They don’t send that section in their Saturday/Sunday publication. *****Finally, let me say a little about Fort Worth native Larry Hagman, who died over the weekend. As J.R. Ewing, in Dallas, and in that show in particular, Larry presented an image of Texas that is imbedded in people’s perception of Texas all over the world. The acting and story line was that believable. South Fork and the Long Branch will long be remembered. J.R. is gone for good this time. Goodbye Larry. *****Well, I made it. Thanks for tagging along. I’ve met another deadline and didn’t spill the milk. Take care and God bless.