Well, after my deadline last week, Speaker Boehner called for an up are down vote on the fiscal cliff. I told you all along that Boehner would need help from the Democrats to get it passed. Even Rep. Kevin Brady voted for raising taxes on the nations wealthiest. He had the okay from Grover Norquist, who Brady is pledged to. Four Texas Republicans voted for the bill. Now the Congress faces the debt ceiling that is totally a different animal then the cliff. The debt ceiling deals with past obligations. Debts that were made in the past, like the invasion of Iraq and the Afghanistan war that weren’t paid for so payment must be made on the debt are the U.S. will go in default. That hurts our credit rating if not paid on time. It also could affect our bank rating. Republicans want to tie cutting the deficit to the debt ceiling, which has nothing to do with paying our past bills. Republicans will not give up on changing Social Security or Medicare, their number one goal to privatize both. They will try to use the debt ceiling as an axe. President Obama has already said he won’t play that game so get ready for another knock down, drag out.

The other big fight will be the conformation of Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary. Hagel, 66, is a Vietnam War hero with two Purple Hearts. A Republican, he left the Senate in 2009. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, on “Meet the Press,” wouldn’t say if he thought his former colleague would get through a vetting process. (A Sidebar: Few people know that Hagel saved McConnell’s brother’s life in Vietnam.) It won’t be only Republicans who oppose him, so will some Democrats. Both Texas senators will fight Hagel’s nomination. By the way, actress Ashley Judd, sister of Wynonna and daughter of Naomi Judd, is preparing to run against Sen. McConnell in Kentucky next year. That would be one to celebrate. *****I have some mail to get out and it will probably cost a small fortune. This week, back in 1963, the United States Post Office raised the cost of first class mail from 4 cents to 5 cents and post cards went from 1 cent to 3 cents. Everyone complained about the rate hike. *****I guess I’d best quit jawing and get started. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


For the first time since Rep. Kinard was our first state representative; Orange County will not have a local state representative. Louis Dugas was elected the youngest in Texas and served four terms. Dugas, while a student at Texas, worked in the Austin office of state senator Jep Fuller. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party, defeated Dugas with Clyde Haynes and D. Roy Harrington then defeated Jep Fuller. Wayne Peveto, a conservative defeated Haynes. Ron Lewis, of Newton, ran against Peveto unsuccessfully. He moved to Orange and when Peveto didn’t run for reelection, Lewis teamed up with Haynes’ liberal forces and was elected. He served long and well as a Democrat.

When Gov. Rick Perry and Tom DeLay gerrymandered the state, Orange County was split in two parts. Ron Lewis was ready to move on to bigger and better financial security. My information is that he recruited Mike Hamilton to run as a Republican. It was a safe district for Hamilton. Perry then supported redistricting that removed Hamilton from Orange County and took the entire county and put it in with Allen Ritter’s Jefferson County district.

Ritter, a former Democrat, now a Republican, is a good guy, successful businessman and experienced in the House. That’s not the point. Orange County has lost its last thread of local representation. Orange County has been treated like an unwanted stepchild in Austin since Perry took over and there is no outcry from local citizens.   They continue to vote against their own interest. We haven’t had a local state senator since Carl Parker and Perry and DeLay’s redistricting that moved all Southeast Texas power to the Houston area.

We now have a new state senator Robert Nichols from East Texas. That is a big improvement for us. The first senator, Tommy Williams, was another Houston politician. Orange County’s vote figured little in his reelection. He wasn’t even visible here, Sen. Nicols will be. He has shown that we are important to him. He has already shown an interest in wanting to help us and will be accessible, which Williams wasn’t. Back to the original topic, Orange County, for the first time in our history, will not have a state representative who lives right here among us. Orange County once had a lot of stroke in Austin and Washington. We once had several citizens who served on state boards. Citizens need to take off their blinders, look back and see just how badly we have been screwed.


Services for Terry “Dusty” Glenn Kirkland, 62, will be held Thursday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m. at Memorial Funeral Home of Vidor. Visitation begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. “Dusty” was a longtime member of Boilermaker Union 587. He gave the man a days work for a days pay as he traveled the country following his trade. Our sincere sympathy to his family.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Joy Young Parish, 90, who died Jan. 3, in Tyler. She had been a lifelong resident of West Orange until recently. We had known Joy for 60 years and had regular contact with her until the last few months. She was a nice lady. Condolences to her daughters and their families. May she rest in peace.*****Services for longtime friend Don Mosier, 80, were held Jan. 5 at McDonald Memorial Baptist Church. We first met Don when he returned from the service during the Korean conflict. We got to know Don well when he served as a deputy sheriff under Sheriff Chester Holts. Don was one of the great guys. You could go to the bank with whatever he told you. Our deepest sympathies to Barbara, his wife of 59 years, and her family. Don will be missed.


10 Years Ago-2003

Ronnie Anderson, longtime baseball coach at West Orange-Stark, where the baseball park bares his name, gets another honor. This past week, coach Anderson, along with former Snyder baseball coach Albert Lewis, were inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame at Waco. After coaching two years at Orangefield, Anderson coached seven years at West Orange and then 14 years at West Orange-Stark. His resume includes 444 wins with 14 playoff appearances, 11 in a row, and two state championship appearances. Sixty-two of his former players got baseball scholarships. At the ceremony a great talk was given by former major leaguer Tug McGraw. (Editor’s note: Tug was the father of singer Tim McGraw.) Anderson was introduced by Bridge City coach Chuck Young. Anderson spoke about his 28 years career. His stories kept the crown laughing. A few of his former players make the trip to Waco. Catcher Dan Green, with son Slade were in attendance. Green’s son Tony also played at West Orange-Stark. Other players were Wade Phillips, who pitched at Texas, no kin to coach Wade Phillips; Jimmy Skeeler, Tony Dallas, David Fregia, Jay Hall, Sam Moore, Corey Gafford and J.E. Lancaster. Jay Cantizaro and Bruce Aven, pro ball players, sent email congratulations. *****New York Giants place kicker Matt Bryant was home in Bridge City after the Giant season ended. Monday morning Matt was back at his old job at K.C. Pawn Shop. Matt said, “People ask me why I’m still working, it’s because I enjoy it here plus you never know in the kicking game when the checks will stop coming.” (Editor’s note: The checks for Matt are still coming ten years later. He’s a star kicker for the Atlanta Falcons who are in the NFL playoffs with the best record in football.)*****Home invasion turns deadly for Orange County couple. Joan Leleux, 65, was murdered and her husband Emerson left in a coma by Walter Rice Jr. Chief deputy sheriff John Tarver is in charge of the investigation. (See story by Debbie Schamber in this issue.)*****Attorney John Cash Smith joins law firm of Bush, Lewis and Roebuck, PC. Smith will manage the firm’s new office at 1006 Green, in Orange. He will be joined by his son Chris Smith. *****Orange native Wade Phillips is the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator. *****The Kroger Koffee Klub (KKK) meets every weekday, 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Murphy King, the old pawn shop king, is president of the KKK group. Wynne Hunt is his secretary. (Editor’s note: The Klub still gathers but Murphy and Wynne are no longer with us. Norman Berry and the guys invite any old timers to join them for a Kup of Koffee.)*****PFC Eric Ridley, of Bridge City, son of Laura Ridley, completes Marine boot camp. He is home on leave and will return to Camp Pendleton. *****Mary Elizabeth Rost becomes bride of Mark Alan Goodwin Saturday, Jan. 4. *****United States Representative Jim Turner is sworn in for his fourth term in the 108 Congress. Turner co-chair of the “Blue Dog” coalition, a group of moderate to conservative democrats. Orange County is Turner’s largest voting block. (Editor’s note: Turner lost his seat when Orange County was thrown into a Houston District that diluted the county’s voting strength.)

 40 Years Ago-1973

District Judge Graham Bruce, Tax Assessor-Collector Louvenia Hryhorchuk and District Attorney Jim Sharon Bearden are all sworn into office. Also sworn into office New Year’s Day were David Dunn, county court at law, Sheriff “Buck” Patillo, Commissioners Casey Peveto, Gordon Dunn, and Asa Mansfield, constables Morris Collier, John Ford, Forrest Hudson and Carl Ward. Also sworn in was District Judge Fred Trimble.*****Immediately following the oath District Attorney Bearden announced that Bill Joyce, former sheriff’s captain and Newton police chief, had been hired as criminal investigator for the county attorney’s office. Bearden also hired Steve Williams as assistant in charge of misdemeanor cases.


Harold Williams, Chad Meadows, Ken Steppe, Pat Gunstream, Ralph Buker, Susan Kelly, Evelyn Duncan, Frank Skeeler, Sandy Uzzle, Scott Gerrald, Emily Breaux, Ann Olliff, Ashley Rion, Davie Thompson, Fermin Brown, Grant Gilson, John Craus, Madeline Dawn Evans, Teresa Franklin, Beth Lindner, Donald Edgerton, Bill Braus, Charles Pou, Dana Sandlin, David Pendergast, Jimmie Allen, Lynnette Lothman, Susan LeBlanc, Kent Hannegan, JoLynn Sholmire, Lyndia Permenter, Jack Stout, Mandy Jaarah, Patricia Coppage, Chris Williams, Brittany Trantham, Joan Lyons, Mel Campbell, Rob Fisher, Tommy Thompson, Bill Pryor, Don Thompson, LaDonna Bell, Brennan Broussard, Carson Peet, Joy Hughes, Margaret Cavanaugh, Tyler Reves and Dee Culpepper.


A move is on to legalize gambling in Texas. The excuse that will be used to convince Texans that we should have gambling is that the money earned will go towards education. No doubt education needs the money; it was robbed of $5.4 billion when Rick Perry wanted to balance the budget without raising taxes, improving his position to get the presidential nomination.  However, remember when we passed the Lotto, the money would go to education. It didn’t happen and again we will be sold a bill of goods. Gambling doesn’t help our little part of Texas. In fact, it will hurt. Gambling will be in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas areas. We would loose nearly 2,000 jobs at the Louisiana casinos and also the dollars being spent here at hotels, restaurants, gasoline, shopping, etc. It would not benefit us at all. *****The Orange Mardi Gras parade is set for Feb. 2. The people who are involved go all out planning their floats and costumes. They treat it like the social event of the year. Today, it’s a big deal. I recall it in a simpler time when we gathered chickens and goods by horse back.*****Speaking of looking back, on January 2, 1948, Chester Holts, 38, was appointed sheriff to fill the unexpired term of the late Sheriff Dick Stanfield. He and his wife Iva have a 19 years old son, Morgan Ray, a 14 years old daughter Nova Dee and a 16 month old baby girl Wanda Beth. Holts went on to serve 21 years, the longest serving sheriff in county history. Chester, Iva and Morgan are all deceased. Nova and Wanda live in Mauriceville. For all the years Holts was sheriff, the family made their home in the county jail. Nova Dee has written a book about those times. “Bugs Scuffle” may be available through contacting Nova Dee Strickland. *****Our friend Chief Jerry Wimberly started radiation treatments this week and is optimistic that he will be just fine in time. Our prayers are with him.*****Misty Songe, our friend with Verizon, lost her home a couple of week ago when a twister came through Vidor and a tree came down on the house.*****Shirley Zimmerman is still talking about her holiday trip to Oklahoma to see her new grandson. She says it’s just too long between visits. *****I recently heard a great good old boy story. Every time I hear a good, funny story, I think of our late friend “Buckshot.” No one enjoyed stories better than “Buck.” J.B. Arrington said, “Buckshot had him tell the same story a dozen times.”*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines at Novrozsky’s this week and back at Robert’s next. Everyone is always welcome. *****A few natives we know celebrating their special day this week. It’s hard to believe that our buddy, “Blue Eyed Bill,” “Billy Jack” just a few years ago, is now 18 years old. Collin Slade Gros is now a Bridge City High School senior. The years have flown. Throughout those years he’s been a great youngster to be around. He hasn’t changed much since the “Blue Eyed” and “Billy Jack” days. He just smiles and rolls on. A great guy to have as a friend. Happy Birthday, January 10 and clear sailing ahead. ***Also celebrating Jan. 10 are Frank Skeeler, Sandy Uzzle and Emily Breaux.***Celebrating Jan. 11, Bill Mello, your happy plumber and Davie Thompson and Teresa Franklin.***On Jan. 12, Beth Linder, Bill Braus and Susan LeBlanc celebrate.***Jan. 13 is a special day for a special beautiful lady, our friend Lyndia Permenter, longtime wife of T.W., celebrates her birthday. We send best wishes. ***Jan. 14, Norman’s mom, Ruth Berry, turns 93. *** A gal we’ve known since birth Mel Kemp Campbell also celebrates her special day as does Robert Simonton, Bridge City councilman, who is a year older on Jan. 14.***Jan. 15 is a special day for Tyler Reves, Joy Hughes and Dee Culpepper.*****Happy Anniversary to friends Margie and Harry Stephens on 27 years of marriage on Jan. 11. Best wishes for many healthy years ahead. *****All three Orange County boys in the NFL are still in the playoffs. At least one will still be standing after next weekend. Orange native Wade Phillips and the Texans are coming off a 19-13 win over Cincinnati but next they travel to New England to face Tom Brady and the Patriots. The other game pits Bridge City’s Matt Bryant and the Falcons against West Orange-Stark’s Earl Campbell and the Seahawks. Earl had a pick that turned the game around for Seattle when the team was behind 14-3. They came back to beat a hurt RGIII and the Redskins 24-14. The Falcons playing at home gives them the favorite spot.*****The Tide was just too strong for the Fighting Irish to handle. As much as I disliked it, Alabama was just over powering. They ran all over Notre Dame 42-14 to capture the national championship. Alabama has won the championship three out of the last four years. More reason why college football should have an eight team playoff system. A&M beat up on Oklahoma and ended up tied for fifth place with Georgia.*****Our friend, Parks Director Donna Scales, tells us that  500 Rainbow Trout are due to be released at Claiborne West this Wednesday.*****The Orange County Riverfront Festival, held in conjunction with BassMasters Elite Series, will be held March 14 to 17.*****The 53rd annual Bridge City Chamber “Taste of the Bayou” Banquet will be held Monday, Jan. 14, 6 p.m. at the Community Center. Great food from 15 of the area’s best restaurants with a variety from Cajun to Cuban and everything in between. Tickets are only $15 and the event is open to the public, dress is casual. Please call 735-5671 for more information.


Boudreaux-Boudreaux and Comeaux Construction Company were preparing a site for a new rice mill in Abbeville. Da company hired several new workers for da project. One was a young Texas worker who bragged and made fun of da Cajun mens.

“Tex” him, made it a special point to make fun of one of the older Cajun workers. He bragged dat he was stronger dan any one else, especially da older man. Finally Clovis Fontenot him, couldn’t take it no mo. He had had enough of dat smart mout.

Fontenot say to him, “Me, I bet you a days pay dat if I can haul someting in da wheelbarrow over to dat tool shack, dat you won’t be able to wheel it back, you.”

Paul him, he laughed at old man Clovis and said, “You’re on, old man, let’s see wat you got.”

Fontenot him grabbed da wheelbarrow and put boat his hands around da handles. He nodded to da young Texas bragger and said, “Get in you.”


I’ve come to the end of another column for another week. I didn’t get around much but hope to visit more this week. I haven’t even seen Neighbor Cox and Ms. Ginny. Cox’s namesake, Millard Fillmore, was born this week in 1800. He was the 13th United States President. I haven’t seen one of my favorite people Beth Rach since her job was eliminated in the state representative’s office at Mauriceville. We have known Beth since she was a young puppy.*****I’ve had some questions about our new congressman, Steve Stockman, and how we will be affected by the difference between he and congressman Kevin Brady as far as Orange County is concerned. I’ll try to give my views on that next week.*****Please trade with our family of advertisers when you can, they bring you this publication free every week. Speaking of advertisers, no one does a better job than Keith Wallace and the folks at Reliable Cleaners. Great service. Also, if you’re looking for a new car check out David Self Ford first before you shop out of town. They are making great deals right now.***** Take care and God bless.