I hope you have had a nice Christmas. I sit here Christmas Day dumfounded that already another year has flown by. I totally lost a month or two. Honestly, I’ve just a few months ago broke myself of the habit of writing 2010 on checks and by my next column it will be 2013. I used to think that when elderly folks said how quickly time was flying by they were thinking ahead to the time they had left. “The past 10 years have flown by,” they say. The truth is they were 60 then and 80 is just 10 years away. I’m sure there is something to that. Time gets shorter, not longer. In most cases, mine included, seniors today are more active, stay involved and the down time is far less. A few years ago, I used to ask, “Nanny, how did your day go?” She would answer, “Oh, it was such a long day; I thought it would never end.” All she had done was sit around and wait for another day to end. So much of the speed of time and the quality of later life is based on staying active. For that we pay the price of how quickly our lives are flying by. Given the choice, I’ll stay on this jet and ride it until it crashes. I’ve never had a boring day. I’ve been lonesome but never lonely. I can enjoy being with myself even though I prefer being with others. I find interest in most people and nature and try to barricade myself from extremist or those who know it all. I can’t teach them anything, plus my views won’t matter. I’m fortunate to know and associate with and allowed to travel this great free land with so many good everyday folks. I may have enemies but that’s their problem. I lay my head on the pillow, thank my God for my many blessings, ask forgiveness if I’ve wronged anyone and ask the Lord to make me better and help me to be compassionate and considerate of everyone I meet and leave the judgment of their actions to a higher power. Those are my thoughts this Christmas Day and the basis I will use to make my New Year’s resolutions. Love those that will let you, ignore those that won’t, and try to at least do something meaningful each and everyday. Time will fly; it’s a small price to pay. ***** I’ve got to move on. You won’t agree with everything I say but come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm and it might give a little food for thought. I’ve concluded no one is always right or wrong and someday this jet ride will be gone. The only thing that will matter is what we’ve left behind.


After the events of the last few days, my mind has reached back to a couple of years ago when I predicted the newly formed Tea Party would end up being the National Republican Party’s albatross. My base knowledge was that extremism, in any form, doesn’t work or last in the long haul. It’s a destructive maneuver, like divide and conquers. I think every third grader can see the divide in this country. The Tea Party’s goal, after years of sitting on their hands, was to conquer the government by defeating President Obama. The American people gave President Obama a loud and decisive victory, the only Democratic President to win two consecutive races with over 50 percent of the vote, more Electoral College votes than anyone since President Reagan. Any way you look at it, it is a clean mandate. He made no secret about saving Social Security, Medicare and raising taxes on the top two percent of the wealthiest. That shouldn’t even be on the table. Deficit reduction needs to be hammered out. Speaker John Boehner was hung out to dry by Eric Canter, Grover Norquist and others who said they would support increases over a million dollars in earnings then refused to vote on it. I said a few weeks ago that the Tea Party, led by Canter, would never go for raising taxes on millionaires and the Speaker’s only chance was to bring the senate bill up for a vote, get around 70 regular Republicans and a majority of Democrats to support him and pass it. His concern is what I said, that it would likely cost him the speakership. Canter wants to lead, God forbid that would happen. I told you he had a black heart and that he and Paul Ryan make Tom DeLay look like a choir boy. We dodged a bullet when Mitt Romney wasn’t elected because they would have run the government. Letting the country go over the cliff will be bad for the entire country, everyone will suffer but it might be the only way to save the middle class in the long run. The country is on the upswing. The economy is ready to break wide open. Thirty states are under seven percent unemployment. Gas prices, like I said before, are dropping, reports say that by 2020, the U.S. will lead the world in oil and gas production and we could see 98 cents a gallon gasoline. Follow the money. Everything is profit. Big oil, defense contractors, gun manufactures, etc. and folks that’s why Canter and company are protecting all of them. It’s not for the good of the country; it’s for the good of the profiteer.


Believe me, every responsible gun owner and grass roots NRA member have one interest, a right to bear arms. The right, afforded by the Second Amendment, to be able to hunt, protect their property and families and collect guns for their own collections. Outside of that, there is no reason to own assault weapons except to kill in mass. What else can you slaughter with them besides groups of people or shooting little children’s bodies as many as ten times? Now comes Wayne Lapierre, CEO of NRA, blaming all the shooting on the mentally disturbed. Okay, so I agree, but if that mentally challenged person could have gotten a gun that shot only ten shots, he would have shot one child ten times, not 20 children and six adults over 200 times. Access to that weapon put the mass in killing. Lapierre says to solve the problem, put a gun at every school. Can you imagine Barney Fife with his one bullet cap pistol standing up against a mental disturbed, determined person who has willed himself to die at all cost. The other suggestion is to arm the teachers. I’ve known teachers I wouldn’t trust with a BB gun, plus that’s not their job. They are there to teach, educate, and build a civilized, intelligent society. Blame it on movies or whatever but I know the NRA is the arm of the gun manufacturers, any regulations will cut deep into profits. Lapierre says that not under any condition would the NRA and it’s congressional supporters accept any kind of change to gun control. Grover, the “King Pen,” Norquist, who is holding our congress hostage, is also on the board of the NRA and has made it plain that the NRA will use their war chest to defeat any legislator who makes any move that would change our gun laws. Their attitude will continue to be that if school children, theater goers, mall shoppers or those at any other venue are killed in mass, it’s not the assault weapon that shoots 100 rounds that did it, it’s the mentally disturbed. How do you tell a mentally disturbed not to play with that gun, don’t kill a lot of people and yourself with it. It’s all about profit and that comes first. Thirty-thousand people are killed every year by guns, six this past week alone in Houston. It made a paragraph in the back pages. That’s not what we’re talking about. Other than profit, give me one good reason to have assault weapons if not for mass killings. Contact United States congressmen or senators about this problem.


10 Years Ago-2002

Laurence Winfree named “Citizen of the Year” by the Greater Area Chamber of Commerce. “An honor that is long over due,” said Chamber president Betty Harmon. Winfree is considered a legend in Orange County. The Winfree Community was named for his father, Will Winfree, who pioneered the area. According to J.B. Arrington, Laurence, a longtime rancher, promoted and helped the Junior Chamber with the purchase of land to produce some of the finest RCA approved rodeos in Texas. “Several Hollywood and music stars participated in many rodeos right here in Orange County,” Arrington said. Winfree’s wife Gladys died of cancer in 1977 after being married 57 years. They had two children Lester “Buckshot” and Jeannette Winfree. ***** Newly elected officials to be sworn in to office New Year’s Day. Owen Burton, who turns 60 in a few days, is the newly elected County Commissioner of Pct. 3. He defeated incumbent Sue Bearden for the post. Only his second elected post, the Mauriceville businessman was on the Orange County Drainage Dist. Board 30 years ago. He gives credit to Commissioners John Dubose and James Stringer, along with newly elected Pct. 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton for preparing him for the post. “They took the time to show me around and educate me to the issues the county faces,” Burton said. On returning recently from a state seminar he said, “I’m eager to go to work; and instead of rocking the boat, I plan to get an oar and row.” Burton is a fiscal conservative Democrat.*****Roy Derry Dunn, after a 33 year career in education, is leaving the Little Cypress-Mauriceville School District to become Justice of the Peace in Pct. 2. This week, he said goodbye to the students and the teachers he has worked with. He was principal at LC-M High. A resident of Mauriceville, he is the son of Wilson “King” Dunn, longtime Port Master. His uncle, Gordon Dunn, was a County Commissioner. Dunn, a conservative Democrat, in his first run for office defeated Cimron Campbell, the incumbent J.P.*****After working in the J.P. office in Pct. 3 for 20 years, Janice Menard ran to succeed her boss Judge Flo Edgerly. Menard reflected on the past 20 years with Edgerly starting as a part time clerk and being promoted to chief clerk, “Not only experience in the J.P. Court but also life experiences has prepared me for the job.” In 1990 she lost her daughter Julie Traver and her husband Bobby, who died at age 62 in 1999, while at the dinner table. Her brother Patrick was killed on FM 1442 in 1994, her youngest brother died in 1992, her oldest brother in 1976 and his two sons have died since. Of five siblings, Janice only has one sister left. Her father died at age 82. (Editor’s Note: At the time of this writing, her mother was still alive and lived alone in the Cove, however since then, she has also passed away.)  “One of the hardest things about the Justice of the Peace position is dealing with death Judge Menard said, I’m prepared, I’ve been through so many deaths of loved ones.” She agrees tragic deaths have made her stronger. “I know what happiness is and I know what real sorrow is.” (Editor’s note: All three of those newly elected officials ten years ago this week have lived up to the billing. All have done great work for the citizens of Orange County. We thank them.)*****Every major newspaper in the country headlines Matt Bryant, of Bridge City, after he kicked the winning field goal in overtime to put his New York giants in the NFL playoffs in a 10-7 win. Five months ago, Matt, who worked at a local pawn shop, was umpiring 11 and 12 year old Little League baseball games for $25 a game to earn extra money. It’s a Cinderella story of how a local boy became a star. (Editor’s note: Ten years later, Matt is still kicking field goals, now for Atlanta.)*****Over 300 people showed up for Judge Flo Edgerly’s retirement party at the Bridge City Community Center. Barry Pickett played the music, with special guest Jivin’ Gene. A few folks spotted were Sheriff Mike White, Judge Carl Thibodeaux, Scott Barnes, Joey Hargrave, Owen and Nelda Burton, John and Joyce Dubose, Jessie and Nolton Brown, Glenda and Danzel Thompson, Judge Barbara Dorman, Shorty Woods, Roy and Phyllis Dunn, Darlene and Bob Zavada, Mark and Ronda Carter and many, many more well wishers.

55 Years Ago-1967

(Editor’s note: Just for kicks and to change the routine, I thought I’d research 55 years ago to see what was going on. Some of you may recall the year).

County Treasurer Bertha Block reports that the financial outlook for the county is much brighter than a year ago.*****County Tax Assessor-Collector Fred Force reports the tax roll as $1,219,095,55.*****Gov. Price Daniel visits Orange to take part in the 10th Annual Governor’s Duck Hunt. T.O. “Doc” Charlton, president of Orange Chamber, welcomed the governor. Also attending were Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey, Sen. Jep Fuller, Dr. Daniel Baur, Dr. Tom Blocker, president of UT Medical School of Galveston and Dist. Judge Joe Fisher of Jasper. (Editor‘s Note: That‘s before Orange County was a Houston area stepchild.)*****Dudley Meredith, Lamar Tech’s All American football player entertained last week at the West Orange High football banquet. He picked his guitar and sang like Elvis. *****A permanent organization for Lloyd Grubbs Post of the American Legion auxiliary was set up this week. *****Optimist Club to hold a beauty pageant. Judges are Bill Sexton, A.H. Prince and R.S. Manley. Dick Eddleman is club president.


Ashley Burris, Emily Glover, Jennifer Ferguson, Kent Broussard, Laura Floyd, Jean Marshall, Rebecca Johns, Rob Turner, Bobby Sibert, Judy Taylor, Kirk Roccaforte, Lorraine Bonin, Max Pelham, Lynda Montagne, Jacob Broussard, Stacy Roberts, Debbie Taylor, Harriet Dubose, Kenneth Wiemers, Karen Jo Vance, Linn Cardner, Raymond Costilla, Pam White, Slade McClanahan, Pam LeDoux, Sam McLellan, Jacklyn Bradberry, Larry Padget, Sherrie Reid, Lauren Leger, Kari Stringer, Kate Kazmar Butcher, Kyler Walron, Paula Aven, Kendra Peveto, Madison Ranee Hanusch, Marie Perkins, Rebecca Hannegan, Richard Hunter, Jessica Anderson, Norma Fusilier, Sandra Hovind, Hayden George, Kenny Dupuis, Joanne Hill, Cynthia Hernandez, Glenda Wilburn, Robert Hoke and Ronnie Hearn.


The new issue of Las Sabinas, the official publication of the Orange County Historical Society is out and may be purchased for $6 each, or for a $20 a year membership you receive them all. This issue features John Moses Hatton, the Cormier family of Orangefield and a lot of other interesting facts. The issue can be ordered by sending payment to P.O. Box 1345, Orange, TX 77631. *****Cheryl Donnaud, longtime friend and Judge Hahn’s court coordinator, is a new grandmother to five “Weiner” puppies. The last we heard, she was trying to find just the right box for a baby bed. Miss “B” has gotten good at babysitting. For years she babysat Bearden and Mike White, now she’s looking after Buddie. Her husband hasn’t been no easy job either over the long haul. *****A big day was held for the Wednesday Lunch Bunch last week hosted by Robert and his able restaurant crew. Even though several longtime Lunch Bunch regulars weren’t able to attend for various reasons, nearly 30 wonderful people enjoyed the food and fellowship. The Lunch Bunch is open to anyone who likes being in the company of good, friendly, knowledgeable folks. No dues, no speeches, just an exchange of ideas and interest in the community. The Bunch meets every Wednesday noon. This week, Dec. 26, they will dine at Novrozsky’s and then back at Robert’s next week. Feel free to attend anytime.*****By the way, our friend Phillip Welch, a Lunch Buncher and Granger Chevrolet, PR man celebrated his birthday Thursday, Dec. 20, At age 54 it’s amazing how much younger he looks since leaving the school business. His sidekick, Don Shockley, was under the weather with a bad case of virus and at the same time wife Judy injured her back. That duels the Holiday season. *****Johnny Montagne went off to the deer lease and got sick the first day, 100 miles from the nearest doctor. He toughed it out for a few days but never took his gun out and came back home empty handed. That means no back strap for me this New Year. Last I heard Johnny was still only half alive*****Big happenings this week and New Year‘s Eve at the Longhorn. Tina and Ray Cotton promise that you will have a great time. Come to the Longhorn and welcome in the New Year. It will be a night you will never forget. Just great, safe fun hosted by some great folks. See you there. *****A few friends and folks we know celebrating their special day. Missing Christmas by one day, Kent Broussard, Ashley Burris, Laura Floyd and Jennifer Ferguson celebrate Dec. 26.***Dec. 27, finds some interesting folks celebrating birthdays. One of our bestest buddies, Sharon Bearden, hits number 73, Mayor Kirk Roccaforte is fast forwarding toward the rest of us. Our friend Russell Bottley, who beat the big “C” and the odds is celebrating another Dec. 27.***On Dec. 28, native Orangeite and Ms. Edee’s longtime hubby Charles Pratt celebrates.***Also a lovely lady, a good friend who runs a tight ship, county clerk Karen Jo Vance marks another one on the Dec. 28.***David Dubose’s favorite gal and longtime sweetheart Harriet, celebrates Dec. 28.***Linn Cardner, Lynda Montagne, Stacy Roberts and Debbie Taylor all share Dec. 28th birthdays.***Pam White, Jacklyn Bradberry and Sherrie Reid are a year older on Dec. 29.***Dec. 30 is the big day for Paula Aven, Kendra Peveto, Marie Perkins and Rebecca Hennegan.***On New Year’s Eve, longtime friend and Debbie’s mother-in-law, Norma Fusilier is celebrating as is Kenny “KeeKee” Dupuis.*****Dec. 31st is also a special day for Roy and Ms. Phyl. She’s put up with him 58 years. ***Jerry and Barbara Childress also mark their anniversary on Dec. 31. ***Jan. 1 is Robert Hoke and Ronnie Hearn’s birthday. Best wishes to all. Please see complete list. *****Last week, Dec. 18th we missed a very important birthday, Vesta Quirk turned 87. She is a retired Bridge City election judge and was Imogene’s sidekick over a lot of election years. *****Judge Troy Johnson’s longtime court coordinator, Toni Dyer, is retiring Dec. 31. She began work at the county in 1987, 35 years ago. Toni says it breaks her heart to leave her “Court House family.” Replacing her at Judge Johnson’s court is Diana Edwards.*****Recently retired Sandy Kaufman has been spotted several times visiting her friends at the court house.*****Speaking of retirement, Judge Pat Clark was spotted doing what he does best, negotiating prices with the clerk at the Dollar General store.*****New CCAL Judge Mandy White-Rogers has hit the ground running. She and Judge Johnson are keeping Karen Jo and the staff at the county clerk’s office busy.*****Mark Anderson and Phillip Welch were guest of Jamie Harrison, former Bridge City School Superintendent and now in the hierarchy covering all Texas high school sports. Mark and Phillip joined Jamie in his personal box for all nine state high school games at Jerry Jones’ country stadium. They arrived in Arlington Thursday and stayed through Saturday’s games. Meanwhile, Jamie was on statewide television during the events. Of importance to local high school fans, Navasota, who beat WO-S in the playoffs, won state 3-A Division II championship with a 39-3 win over Gilmer.*****Two of our  Orange County boys in the NFL had good days over the weekend. Kicker Matt Bryant, who had a field goal and four extra points, helped beat the Lions 31-18 assuring the Falcons home field advantage in all playoff games.***Earl Thomas and Seattle secured a spot in the playoffs by defeating San Francisco 42 to 13. Amazingly all three of our NFL guys, including Coach Wade Phillips and the Houston Texans, are in the playoffs. The Texans blew having home field advantage. Matt and the Falcons are the winnest team in the NFL.


Wen little Sid Fontenot got home from school Friday to start the Christmas Holiday vacation, his dad, Big Sid,  axe him, “How was school today Little Sid?”

“Well, Papa, I tell you, da darnest ting happen,” he said.

“Wat was dat?” Big Sid axe.

“Well, Papa, some of dem high school boys turned one of dos white mice from da science lab loose in our turd grads classroom. Everybody started screaming as dat little mice run all over da room. Finally, dat little mice run under Miss Badeaux, da teacher’s desk. Den Papa, dat mice him, run up her leg. Miss Badeaux her, screamed, grabbed her skirt, jumped up on her deck and you know wat Pappa, she squeezed about a pint of water out of dat little white mice.”


We made it through another year. This publication is coming up on its 53rd birthday and for all those years it has been distributed free, with home delivery, thanks to our family of advertisers. Today The Record is the trade areas most popular and widely read. Our circulation doubles that of all print media combined. There is absolutely no better way to reach the vast majority of consumers. Everyone reads The Record. *****We say goodbye to County Commissioner John Dubose this week. In the over 50 years of watching commissioner’s court, there has never been a commissioner who has done a better job. He was dedicated, knowledgeable and concerned. A conservative CPA, he kept his eyes on the books. He will be missed. John had no organized opposition and no negatives that would hurt him politically, unfortunately, he wasn’t judged on his merits or demerits, he became a victim of circumstances that he had no control over. He was caught in a national election straight party vote against President Obama which affected all down ballot candidates. He deserved reelection. We wish newly elected Commissioner John Bankin the very best. Gotta go. See you next year. Take care and God bless.