The latest Federal Elevation Flood Map, as it stands, is devastating to the Bridge City area. Elevation has been raised from eight feet to nine feet. That’s not the entire problem however. The City of Bridge City has already raised their building code to nine feet. The major problem, it seems to me, is that the flood zones are based on the water Ike brought. The insurance companies, after Ike, refused to pay residents water damage from rising water, claiming it was a surge, not flood waters. Today, just the opposite claim is being made, using the surge as the high water mark for flooding. The truth is Bridge City doesn’t flood. Over the years there have been some circumstances, with very heavy, unusual down pours, that water has entered some homes but the city has done extensive work on previous draining problems. The city is not prone to flood anywhere, not even in six and seven foot elevations. New ditches, widening of canals and an overall drainage work program has improved the conditions in Bridge City to the point that it’s unfair to classify such a large portion of it as a flood zone. I’m smart enough to know that Ike cost a lot of money all up and down the coast and the thinking is, “We’re not going to take this kind of lick again.” Bridge City shouldn’t stand the blunt, based on a once in a lifetime hurricane surge. Allowed to stand, Bridge City would see stagnated growth. I have all the confidence in the world in the city manager and the city administration. They also have strong support from Judge Carl Thibodeaux and the county government. What we really need right now is something we don’t have and haven’t had for a long time. That’s strong representation in Washington through our congressman. Through gerrymandering, we have ended up with a congressman from downtown Houston that no one knows. Steve Stockman is useless to our problems, a radical who in his first actions in office is presenting a bill to impeach the president. You can imagine how much stroke that radical has when it comes to going up front for us. I yearn for the days of Charlie Wilson, Jim Turner, Jack Brooks, John Dowdy and yes, even Nick Lampson. Those old boys would knock doors down. I don’t know of one federal government official local government can turn to. We have been naked in our little part of Texas since Perry and Tom DeLay cut us out and put us in no man’s land with no local representation. I know Jerry Jones and the interested officials will do all they can to correct the elevation injustice at Bridge City but they will have to do it alone. Their best bet, if they can’t get satisfaction locally, is to load up and call on Washington themselves. They’ll be surprised at the help they might find. It’s a sure bet they can’t depend on Stockman to get relief.*****Well, the above is indeed serious business. I wanted to put it up front. Now I must move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


Bridge City’s Matt Bryant sealed a win with a 49-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining to beat Earl Thomas and the Seahawks 30-28. That kick put the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL title game against San Francisco 49ers, next Sunday, FOX TV, 2 p.m., at Atlanta. The 49ers are 3.5 points favorite. Matt missed with his 49-yard first attempt to win the game, the kick went wide right. As luck would have it, Seahawk Coach Carrol called time out just as Matt’s foot connected with the ball. That gave Matt a second chance and this time he nailed it right down the middle. That was the third time this season Matt had kicked the winning field goal. That was his 36th field goal of the season and 155 points with PAT points. It was his third field goal of the day. Matt joined the New York Giants in 2002, at age 27. Since then he has kicked 236 field goals, an 85 percent average. He’s added 327 extra points, missing two, with a 98.9 average. He joined Atlanta in 2009 after four years with Tampa Bay. Matt is one of the captains of the Falcons. (SIDEBAR: His dad Casey was Bridge City’s first football coach in 1955 at the new high school.) The day started with three Orange County boys in the NFL looking to advance. Had the Seahawk-Falcon game ended eight seconds earlier, WO-S standout Earl Thomas would have been the hero and named defensive player of the game. Thomas intercepted a pass that turned the game around for Seattle. It was a hard loss for Earl. Falcon linebacker Sean Weatherspoon consoled him after the game. Earl Thomas and the Seahawks are the team of the future. I bet Earl is already back home in Orange. Coach Wade Phillips, the other Orange native on the hot seat Sunday, saw his Houston Texans take a licking, 41-28, at the hands of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Wade’s defense, one of the best early in the season, gave up 457 yards and will be looking for depth in the off-season. Meanwhile, the Patriots are a 7.5 point favorite to beat Ray Lewis and the Ravens on Sunday, CBS at 5:30 p.m. One thing is for sure, Orange County will be pulling for native son Matt Bryant and the Falcons to beat the SF 49ers, who are a 3. Point favorite to win the NFL Championship and advance to the Super Bowl.


State Republican office holders are lining up to challenge each other. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who lost the United States senate race to Ted Cruz, is firm on running for re-election but folks are lining up to challenge him. His longtime friend, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Comptroller Susan Combs, just to mention a few. The big Texas prize will be for governor. Everything Governor Rick Perry is doing is to put himself in line to try again to get the nomination for President in 2016. Cutting taxes at the expense of education is just one of his moves “the only state to cut taxes.” His best chance would be to run as governor, but wait a minute, Attorney General Grey Abbott, a friend of Perry, says to close friends that he’s running for governor regardless if Perry runs or not. According to insiders, Abbott has a big war chest and is the most beloved Republican in Texas. Perry however, reminds everyone that he beat U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and that he has been underestimated many times before. Many believe Abbott is running a bluff to scare Perry off. It might just work. One thing Perry can’t afford is a loss if he has any chance for the Republican Party nomination for President.


Last Sunday, Jan. 13, at 3 p.m., Community Church filled with mourners who came to say their goodbyes to five-year-old West “Indy” Parkhurst, who lost his battle to inoperable brain tumor. Throughout his illness, diagnosed in early 2011, “Indy” remained active and fun loving. Everyone who knew him and the compassionate community, who heard of his plight, loved him. A wise, elderly woman, once told me that she had learned in her long life that God sometimes loans us special little Angels who bring sunshine into our lives until it’s time to go home. “Indy” was a little treasure who brought joy to a loving family while he was on loan. His stay will never be forgotten by those who loved the little guy so much. “Indy” has gone home now, to rejoin the Angels. We are truly blessed that he came and brought special meaning to the lives of so many. May he rest in peace. Our deepest sympathies to his family and the many that cared so much. (Please see obit.)


We were saddened to learn about the death of Betty Lou Womack, age 75, who passed away Jan. 10. She was a longtime resident of Orange, who recently had moved back to her hometown of Madisonville. For over 30 years she was a school teacher at West Orange-Stark. Married to Phil Womack until his death she made the best of life and was liked by everyone who knew her. She was a caring, compassionate person. She and her friend Cal Broussard enjoyed great times together until Cal started battling cancer. Betty Lou stayed by his side and slept in his hospital room in Houston every night for nearly a year until Cal died at her home. Se enjoyed people and liked her times with the Mardi Gras crew and her group travels. I personally treasure the friendship my family and I shared with this kind lady. May she rest in peace. Please see obit.


10 Years Ago-2003

Ray Trahan, 63, suffered a massive heart attack and died Sunday, Jan. 19. Services were held Jan. 22. A native of Kaplan, in Vermillion Parish, he had been a resident of Orange County 51 years. He was an account executive for The Record Newspapers. He had retired as director of advertising for the Leader, where he worked for 45 years. Record editor, Glenda Dyer had known Ray many years as a co-worker at the Leader, where she was the editor, said about Ray, “He was one of the best read people I knew. Very intelligent, well versed in many languages and was working on learning languages of the Middle East and about the Muslin religion. Nancy Vincent called him a longtime friend, and was well versed on any subject and had a true wit. Roy Dunn, publisher of The Record, wrote a Down Life’s Highway column about Ray and their similar Cajun background. He and Ray had breakfast together every morning with Ray often bringing boudian from Veterans Grocery. Roy furnished the daily newspapers and they discussed the items of the day, in national and world affairs. “Boo Boo was one of a kind,” Dunn said. “He had read the complete Bible twice and had just completed reading the Quran. Ray could recall every family he had known and their offspring. He had total recall. He often spoke of the old times. He was good at playing tennis, loved his family and was very generous.” (Editor’s note: Even though Ray has been gone 10 years, he is still talked about. His next door neighbor, Anabel Rost recalls him fondly as do so many others.)*****Twenty-five Orange County citizens attend Orange County Day in Austin. *****Orange County Commissioners consider Court-at-Law request. Commissioner John Dubose said the request under consideration would not establish a court but would ask the legislatures to give state approval so that county officials could decide to establish a new court if they choose to. *****Judge Thibodeaux and some commissioners claim the court would never pay for itself and would cost the county in excess of $250,000 a year. The request comes from the Orange County Bar Association. Most office holders felt one court was sufficient and it was added expense. (Editor’s note: Later the second county court at law was established. Lately its need has been questioned.)*****Jace Tyler Belk Bruney celebrates a first birthday Jan. 17. His mother is pretty April Belk Bruney. He’s Linda and Clint Belk’s first grandchild and a great grandchild of Richard, who has set quite a trail for young Jace to follow. *****Bridge City High School retires football jersey #99. That was the number worn by kicker for Bridge City High, Matt Bryant, now a NFL pro place kicker.

40 YEARS AGO-1973

A snow storm blew into Orange County last week. The highway froze, and some people were left stranded and had to walk from the Rainbow Bridge back to Bridge City. Meanwhile, some of the partying folks at Albert’s Inn, on Division Street, walked across the street and built two large snowmen at Attorney Bill Sexton’s law office yard.*****Joe Runnels ordered a steak at the Jack Tar Restaurant when Delia, the cute, sexy waitress, asked him, “How did you find your steak sir?” Joe replied, “Oh, I just moved the potato and there it was.”*****Sue Vercher is the restaurant manager and Catherine and Millie Tallboy” are two other waitresses.*****Doug Perry, longtime employee of the Jack Tar Barber Shop, owned by Joe Blanda, is the new shop owner. The hairless barber invites all of his fair-haired friends to come by and let him clip them. *****The district attorney’s staff is working six days a week rather than five. New County Attorney Sharon Bearden is setting up new record keeping in order to get higher efficiency and production. Bearden, a mover and shaker, works hard and expects his staff to do the same. *****President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) died Monday, Jan. 22, in the Texas hill country, the land of his birth. It has been said that during his administration, more was done for the American people than during any period in history. His administration achieved major landmarks in civil rights legislation. The largest criticism aimed at him in the latter part of his administration stemmed largely from the Vietnam War, a war he inherited from President John F. Kennedy.


Don Bailey, Jon Mott, Gary Dearing, Clayton Gearhart, Joel Meyers, Glenn Oliver, Jerry Ashby, John Green III, Matthew Lee, Milly Arnold, Gail Meadows, Tanner Wilson, Bob Couser, Brenda Oliver, Laverne Walles, Bonny Sarver, Dylan Huckebay, Mary Louise McKee, Misti Jagoe, Tara Thompson, Virginia Sanford, James Crabtree, Candace Clark, Jimmy Whittle, John Michael Foote, Lisa Costilla, Michael Amsden, Brenna Manasco, Melissa Berry, Beth Fisher, Gloria Bertrand, Joy Gilliam, Steve Griffith, Beverly Delahoussaye, Charles Arceneaux, Sarah Bonds, Millagro Foster, David Doucet, Cris Anderson, Meloney Delano, Joseph Trantham, Julian Meadows, Don Collins, Gary Baker, Janice Westfall, Lyndon Robinson, Myra Sherwood, Nancy Sieck, Suzanne Pittard and Betty Stephenson.


The Bridge City Chamber banquet was a big success with an overflow crowd in attendance. The large Scales family alone can fill a community center. Congrats to Jimmie Scales, Donna‘s longtime husband, who was named “Citizen of the Year.” KOGT and Gary Stelly were awarded the “Business of the Year.” Congrats also to all the active lady folks in the BC Chamber who are putting in a lot of time to again put the Bridge City Chamber on the top shelf. Our friend Brandy Slaughter is the new incoming president. All Brandy needed was one more chore but she‘ll do a good job, after all she has a lot of good elves.*****Best wishes to Vidor High School teacher Misti Dotson, who recently underwent brain surgery and is on the road to recovery. Misti is our friend Marilou Gunn’s granddaughter.*****Actress Jodie Foster, 50, used the Golden Globe awards to come out. She thanked her partner and co-parent, Sydney Bernard, and paid homage to the sons they share, Charlie and Kip. Through her long explanation, that brought tears to many in the audience, she indicated she had been gay always and now wanted to enjoy the privacy. John Hinkley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981, to impress Jodie. He admitted his infatuation with the child star. Had he known Jodie was gay, I wonder if he would have committed the crime that has kept him in prison 30 years. *****Politics wins big at the 70th Golden Globes. Even Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill made a surprise appearance to introduce the movie “Lincoln.” Our friend Tammy Davis has insisted I see Lincoln even if she has to pick me up and take me. She has already seen it twice. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s where you always get a good meal. The Bunch will be back at Novrozsky’s next Wednesday, 12 noon. Everyone is always welcome. Judge Janice has been missing for the last couple of weeks while she battled the flu.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the coming week. Our friend and one of the smartest, nicest guys we know, Glenn Oliver, celebrates a special milestone on Jan. 16. ***Retired professional baseball player and Orange native Roderick Robertson will reach 45 on Jan. 16.***Also on Jan. 16, Gary Dearing, Joel Meyers, John Green III and Millie Arnold celebrate.***Gail Meadows, a nice lady who has given much to public service, celebrates her day Jan. 17***Also Erin Hanks, one of Pattie’s lovely girls marks another birthday Jan. 17. She’s getting older and so is mom.***A special guy, one of a kind, attorney John Cash “Jack” Smith climbs the ladder one more notch on Jan. 17.***Pretty Brenda Oliver celebrates on Jan. 18 as does Laverne Walles, Dylan Huckebay, Mary Louise McKee and Virginia Sanford.***Jan. 19 marks birthdays for Candace Clark, John Michael Foote and Brenna Manasco.***Jan. 20 is Steve Griffith’s special day and also Beverly Delahoussaye.***Celebrating Jan. 21 is Charles Arceneaux and David Doucet.***Jan. 22 is a special day for a special lady. Judge Janice Menard marks her birthday and we wish her a good one. ***Other Jan. 22 babies are Julian Meadows, Don Collins and Myra Sherwood. Best wishes to all. Please see complete list.


A note from Sostan


I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know I bought me a Porsche. Sugar Bee like it too. Boy, I made a good buy me. I was reading da paper when an ad caught my eye what read, $500 Porsche, 2009 model, low mileage, like new. I’m tinking me, dat mus be a joke, but I go to see da lady wat is selling it anyway.

She was lawyer Felix Harrington’s wife. She took me to her garage and sure nuff, dere sit an almost brand new Porsche.

Boy, I got excited me. I ax Mrs. Harrington if I can take it for a test drive, me.

“Sure,” she answer.

Man, dat car run perfect and still got da new smell in it. Wen I got back I ax Mrs. Harrington, “Why you selling me this great Porsche for only $500, hanh?”

Mrs. Harrington her, she laugh den say, “My husband Felix him, ran off with his little huzzy secretary and he told me, “Velma, you can have da house and da furniture, just sell my Porsche and send me da money.”

Cuzz, that’s how I got dis nice Porsche me.

Your Cuzzin, Sostan.


After a few days of lousy weather it looks like we are in for a few good days. I’m ready and know you are also. It’s no wonder so many people are sick.*****Well, Lance Armstrong has come clean in an interview in Austin Monday with Oprah to be shown on her network Thursday evening. Personally I think all he did was open a can of worms. I believe you should let sleeping dogs lay. His time in the next few years will be spent in court rooms. The Postal Service wants $100 million dollars back. A dozen more lawsuits will be filed and the Feds will likely file criminal charges. He says he’s confessing to doping so some day he can compete again. That’s a pipe dream. That will never happen. He’ll be too old to compete plus he can’t win without dope. That’s if he would ever be allowed to compete.*****Gotta go. Please shop our advertisers. Take care and God bless.