Barack H. Obama made history in 2008 by becoming the first African American to become United States President. On Jan. 21, 2013, on the day that would have been Martin Luther King’s 84th birthday, President Obama was sworn in for a second term. He and Vice-President Biden’s inauguration drew over a million people. Obama’s first inauguration four years earlier made Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream real. Four years earlier President Obama expressed grim resolve to overcome an economic crisis that had driven the U.S. into a deep recession and a military strapped with two wars.

Obama, the 44th president, after taking the oath of office Monday for his second term, predicted that a resilient nation that has endured a series of crisis will emerge stronger if leaders can work together for progress. For the 57th time the oath had been administered. Obama is the 44th president. The oath was given by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Obama placed his left hand on two Bibles, Martin Luther King’s and President Abraham Lincoln’s. Vice-President Joe Biden was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic ever to administer an inaugural oath. President Obama didn’t mention Democrats or Republicans in his speech but he took several digs at the GOP law makers who have blocked much of his policy agenda for the past two years. President Obama comes into his second term with a strong mandate from the voters. His popularity is a strong 74 percent, while the congress sits at 28 percent. House Speaker Boehner, 18 percent and the obstructionist Tea Party, 9 percent. The President will continue to raise the middle class. His quote, “Our country can not succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.”*****Making sports history, the Super Bowl, for the first time, will pit two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, coaching against each other. Jim, with the 49ers, and John, with the Ravens, setting the stage for the biggest rally in NFL championship game history. The San Francisco 49ers overcame a 17-0 deficit to beat Matt Bryant, of Bridge City and the Atlanta Falcons, 28-24. Local Bryant fans had hoped to see him in the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Coach John Harbaugh and Ray LewisBaltimore Ravens beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, 28-13 to claim the AFL championship. The sibling rivalry will come to a head when they clash in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, at New Orleans. In the loss to the 49ers, Matt kicked a field goal and three extra points. *****Well, let history reflect all of the above. Now it’s time for me to move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.


President Obama signed an array of executive orders last week but he acknowledged the most useful ideas he outlined will require congressional approval. In recent years an average of 31,536 people in America have died annually from gun violence. More in one year than in all wars and it continues to grow. Of that number, 18,783 killed themselves, 11,583 were murdered, 584 were killed accidentally, 334 were killed by police and 252 died, intent unknown. Americans, as polls increasingly suggest, say they want reasonable, effective new weapons restrictions. Interest spikes after a terrible incident like the slaughter of those children and before those against change, the forces of delay and defeat, mobilize and the tears dry. I don’t know what will happen in the congress but 267 legislatures have a grade “A” weapons lobby report cards. I wouldn’t bet the farm that they will act to change gun laws yet it has the best chance ever. It will be a bloodbath before any conclusion is reached. I doubt you can ever cut down on mass killings there are just too many guns. However, the biggest misconception is that the government will take your guns. It’s even foolish to think so but the merchants of fear will keep pitching it to those weak enough to buy into the scare tactic.


10 Years Ago-2003

On Jan. 20, Matt Bryant’s number 99 was retired at Bridge City High. Mark Dunn writes a good story on Matt, his dad and mom and the Bryant family and their contribution to Bridge City.*****Former Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson quarterback, Craig Stump, has been let go as a coach at Mississippi State by his former Aggie coach Jackie Sherrill. Stump is expected to be named head coach at 4-A Lockhart. *****Nancy Vincent had corrective eye surgery last week. *****Joyce Poche’ Bernard has released her book, “A Journal of Remembrance.” Vickie Parfait wrote the introduction. The book is mostly about life at Poche’ Bridge, where Joyce was raised. (Editor’s note: We haven’t spoken to Joyce in awhile but she’s in her 90’s now and lives on Holly Street, in Bruner Addition of West Orange. She still has the pretty white picket fence around her place. She doesn’t get around much but we pray she’s doing alright.)*****All of Bridge City was pulling for native son Jason Mathews and the Tennessee Titans to make it to the Super Bowl but that didn’t happen; Oakland won 41-24 to advance to the Super Bowl to play against Tampa Bay. *****Aimee Fuller is the new television anchor on Channel 4, along with Albert Zipp. She replaces Lisa Pinto of Orange, daughter of former city manager Chuck Pinto. (Editor’s note: What happened to all of those people anyway?)*****I thought it might be interesting to see what was happening in different years in Orange County’s past. In 1958, 55 years ago, commissioner’s court passed a resolution to call the Neches river bridge the “Port Arthur/Orange Rainbow Bridge.”***Jessie Stephens bought Border Motor Company and named it Stephens Buick. ***The Jack Tar Hotel held a first anniversary celebration. *****In 1948, 65 years ago, Chester Holts announced candidacy for sheriff. ***C&M Motors sold the Kaiser-Frazer car dealership. ***Last week, Jan. 16, KOGT radio started daily broadcasting. The first signal went out in the predawn hours with veteran announcer Sam Leavitt at the mike. ***KFDM radio built a $190,000 tower transmitter north of Bridge City.*****In 1923, 90 years ago, the Orange Lions Club held it’s charter meeting with 25 charter members.***Orange city school board permitted Bible reading in school The board meeting was held at board president, Mrs. James Neff’s home.


John Burton was the first man to own and operate a cotton gin near Orange. Burton also owned and operated the first syrup mill, made by David Harmon, son of Orange County’s first white settler, John Harmon. Burton also cut the first ditch that shortened the distance by five miles from orange to the mouth of the Sabine, known as the “Cut Off.” Many of John Burton’s offspring still live in Orange County. One is County Commissioner Owen Burton.*****The first section of the sewer system was laid on Green Avenue in 1902.*****The first stockmen to introduce Brahma cattle in the County were John Turner and John Bland, who ranched on the south side of Cow Bayou, now known as Bridge City. Those two men also have relatives who still live in the area. I couldn’t help but notice how many of our pioneers were named “John.”*****The first automobile owned in Orange County was a 1903 Ford, “The Red Devil,” bought in New Orleans by E.W. Brown. That’s the year Murphy King was born.

 35 Years Ago-1978

The state political scene has Attorney General John Hill running against Gov. Dolph Briscoe. Former Governor Preston Smith, the third candidate, will probably force a runoff between Hill and Briscoe. The race for Democratic U.S. Senate seat pits Bob Krueyer against Joe Christie, the boy from Rising Star. The winner will have to unseat Sen. John Tower in the November election and that will be an uphill climb.*****Price Daniels, Jr. is the favorite to beat Mark White for attorney general.*****a few of the unique old houses in downtown Orange: The 79-year-old home at 702 Fifth St. us occupied by Jean Malone Watts; the home at 611 Seventh St., built in 1903, is the present home of Hubert and Dorothy Meadows; the W.D. Bettis home, at 511 N. Seventh, was built in 1893 and is now occupied by the Bob Lumpkin family; the home at 905 Pine St. was built in 1894. Miss Alma Belle Dodd, daughter of the original owner, R.A. Dodd, still resides there. *****Roger Staubach vs. Graig Morton. The Dallas Cowboy and the Cinderella Denver Broncos will meet in Super Bowl XII. *****Orange native R.C. Slocum accepts the position as linebacker coach at Ole Miss. He got frustrated as the end coach for A&M, a team that doesn’t pass.*****County Attorney Jim Sharon Bearden, in order to solve and bring to justice a rash of pending crimes, has hired Wilson Roberts, former Bridge City police chief, as an investigator. Roberts joins Linnes Hubbard and J.W. “Kid” Henry, investigators for the district attorney’s office. Bearden is turning up the heat on criminals.


Sandra Peveto, Caitlyn Lindner, Cindy Cain, Eryn Leroux, Harold Collins, Jennifer Grizzaffi, Logan Mitchell, Lyndell Hodgkinson, Stephanie Smith, Sue Harris, Karen Anthony, Larry Gray, Randy Franklin, Toni Robertson, Eric Shuford, Amy Kidder, Garland Gresham, Jessica Hobbs, Judy Rogers, Malissie Bailey, Melanie Thevis, Tayler Thompson, Taylor Fraccastoro, Chelsea Anderson, Frank Richardson, Marie Howell, Noreen Cook, Haley Parish, Flip Flippen, Hayden Anderson, Mike Faulk, Nancy Vincent, Ollie Butler, Ginny Pelpier, Ron Huebel, Tommy Wolfford, Hazel Reedon, Jonathan Arnold, Kimberly Barclay, Melanie Prosperie, Mick Weidner, Tori Lummus, Virginia Pelitier, Bill Dixon, Cheryl Gonzales, Hollie Fregia, William Carpenter, Justin Gearhart, Chase Rendall, Colin Briggs, Jim Snider, Mary Ann Scofield, Rosalie Clark, Sheryl Richard, Sterling Werkheiser, Virginia Robinson and Kerstin Jewel.


Last week, I ran into our girl Penny LeLeux and her friends with the Red Hat Ladies at Peggy‘s. The ladies weren’t only wearing unique hats, they are a unique bunch of beautiful ladies who seem to enjoy the fellowship. *****Elton John and David Furnish are parents of a second son, Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish John, born last week in Los Angeles to a surrogate mother. I don’t know which male was the donor but I would guess Elton since the baby’s name ends with John. *****I spoke with our friend Doug Harrington last Thursday. It was he and Regina’s 32nd wedding anniversary. He was glad I reminded him. He’s doing alright with his cancer but had been in the hospital for over three weeks after having emergency gallbladder surgery the old fashioned way, not laser. He has a therapist who comes to teach him to walk again. That’s life. He was once a track sprinter star at A&M, now he’s learning to walk. Life can sometimes be a bitch. *****I got some citrus from our friend John Heard. You can’t beat Orange County oranges and grapefruit. The oranges have about run their course but grapefruit is still plentiful and at their best. Give John a call and “Get you some,” just call 988-5231.*****Attorney General Greg Abbott has amassed a campaign war chest of $18 million, three times more than Gov. Perry. That could add up to trouble for Perry. My bet is that Perry won’t face that hill. A loss and he’s done. Abbott will scare him off. Perry can read numbers. *****Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell filed his version of bill SB182 last Thursday. The bill failed by two votes last session. Birdwell seeks to ban any public university from prohibiting students, faculty or staff with a handgun license to carry on campus. This includes classrooms. Birdwell said, “It’s about trusting citizens with their God-given rights.” Texas may be the gateway back to the West. I worry about pot and guns mixing. Monday there was a shooting at Lone Star Community College near Houston. *****Our longtime friend Robert Ewing, after an extensive stay in the hospital, is home and we understand improving. Robert is a great guy. We wish him better roads ahead. *****I watched 9-year-old Daisy Cutchins on TLC‘s “Toddlers and Tiaras” show last week. The Bridge City beauty was by far the best and prettiest one in the event. By the way, Daisy won. *****Ms. Pearl Burgess puts out another great poem in this week’s issue. *****A few people we know celebrating their special day. Jan. 23, is a special day for a special lady. Happy birthday Sandra Peveto. Also best wishes to Sue Harris and Karen Anthony.***We send a very special wish to a special guy. Matthew A. Korczynski, who celebrates his 90th birthday on Jan. 23. ***On Jan. 24, Toni Robertson and Randy Franklin celebrate. ***On Jan. 25, our buddy Roy McDaniels turns 88. He is blessed with a great mind and good health. ***Tyler Thompson turns 21 with a lot of road ahead. ***Jan. 26 is a special day to banker Nancy Vincent, a special lady, a special friend. ***On Jan. 27, Leland Clay “Scooter” Gros reaches his 4th birthday. He’s a special little guy and Ms. Phyl and Roy’s great grandchild. ***Jan. 28, special buddy Mary Stanton adds another year but age serves her well. ***A good guy, Bill Dixon, celebrates this day also. ***The twins, Mary Ann Scofield and sister Rosalie Clark celebrate another birthday. Their birthday sure seems to come around often. ***Speaking of twins, Lynn Greenwell and Leslie Smith, celebrate their big day Jan. 29. ***** A special happy anniversary to Pat and H.D. Pate who celebrate Jan. 26. Best wishes for healthy, happy years ahead.*****Pauline Friedman Phillips, 94, better known as “Dear Abby” died last week from Alzheimer’s disease. She started her “Dear Abby” column in 1956. She wrote under the name Abigail Van Buren. For years she competed with her twin sister’s column, “Ann Landers.” Her real name was Esther Lederer. She died in 2002. My favorite Abby is the guy who wrote, “Dear Abby, my wife has run off with my best friend. What should I do? I miss him.”*****The Lunch Bunch dined at Robert’s last Wednesday. Judge Janice was able to make it but still wasn’t 100 percent. She had been battling pneumonia. Chief Jerry Wimberly also was in attendance. He has had one chemo treatment and is due another this week. So far, chemo hasn’t made him sick; if it does he says he’ll be looking for marijuana. I’m not sure he was joking. New constable David Cagle joined the Bunch. Shirley Zimmerman and Bobby Fillyaw had to rush off to meet the delivery of the new Economic Development magazine. Marlene Merritt still can’t wear a shoe but she has been released to drive. She said she felt like a prisoner being house bound. The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week and back at Robert’s next. Everyone is always welcome.


Tee-Neg Breaux, my cousin Sostan’s boy, ain’t so bright him. It runs in da family, being a couple marbles short.

Anyhow, Tee-Neg, him, and dis gal were locked in a clinch in de front seat of her car.

She wisper in his ear, “Cher, Tee-Neg, you wanna go in de back seat?”

“Mais, no,” Tee-Neg reply.

A few minutes later she aks him again, “Tee-Neg, you wanna get in de back seat now?”

“No,” he say, “Me, I wanna stay in de front seat wit’ you, babe.”

Another time Tee-Neg was hitch-hiking from Lafayette to Texas to visit a cousin in Vidor. A man in a big Lincoln Continental pick him up. Tee-Neg, him, he notice a bunch of golf tees on de front seat.

He say, “Hey, Mister, w’at dem t’ings dere for?”

De Texas man, him, he say, “Well, those hold my balls while I drive.”

“Kee-yaw!” Tee-Neg blurted out, “Dem Lincoln Contiminual, dem, dey have every’ing, hanh?”


After a few weeks of nasty weather it’s come on spring like weather. It may not last but for now it’s nice and might put an end to all the sickness.*****Orange Mardi Gras Parade will be held Feb. 2. More floats are always welcome. There will be beads, beads, plenty of beads and fun for everyone.*****Remember, you can’t buy better local advertising, two papers, The Penny Record and The County Record, for the price of one. More reach for your buck. To advertise call 886-7183 or 735-7183.*****Read us cover to cover and please patronize our family of advertisers. My time is up but I thank you for yours and for making us the best read publications in Orange County. Take care and God bless.