Back in January, I said not to be fooled by an early false spring, that I expected cold weather in late February and early March. Hopefully, it will skirt a freeze but stay above it. Expect big happenings all over the globe in the next few days.*****Sen. Chuck Hagel, on a 58 to 41vote was confirmed Tuesday by the United States Senate to be Defense Secretary. A war hero, and very qualified, Hagel was exposed to undue hassle by some radical senators. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose dad was one of Castros’ top aids, and who himself was born in Canada and never served in the military, was the most crude and rude. Both Texas senators opposed Hagel‘s nomination. To the victor goes the spoils. Do you believe that will help Texas get defense contracts or stop base shut downs or downsizing? In some smart states, at least one senator supported Hagel.*****Pope Benedict resigns Feb. 28, the first Pope to resign in over 600 years. Blunders, scandals and claims of mismanagement said to plague the Vatican. The next Pope will meet many challenges. Pope Benedict’s intellect and successful role as a spiritual leader for the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics is not in doubt. When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger took the name Benedict XVI, it was a nod to sixth century St. Benedict of Nursia, who had lived for several years in a cave in Italy. On Thursday at twilight, Pope Benedict XVI will board a helicopter and fly off into retirement, renouncing the throne. Within days, the Cardinals will huddle in the Sistine Chapel to pick one of their own as the new Pope. That is known as a conclave. Before Polish native John Paul II, the Pope before Benedict, 45 Popes, back to 1522, were all Italians. Experts believe that the new Pope will also be Italian. Pope Benedict will live nearby at Castel Gandolfo for the remainder of his life.*****Billboard says Kree Harrison surged to the top in last week’s competition. Billboard writer Kevin Rutherford said about Kree, who sang ‘Up to the Mountain,’ “Finally, someone I can talk about with growing admiration. Harrison really jumped out for the first time as a real contender. Vocally, she’s one of the best, with a voice that tends toward country but could go many ways. The only thing I’m waiting for is the stage presence. If she wants to win, she’ll need to connect with the audience a bit more than she did. After what I’ve seen so far, she’s golden.” Family members assure us that once she goes to playing to the call-in audience, she will turn on the charm. She will perform again once the 10 females have been chosen. Kree was chosen to be in the top 10 when she was one of the first five picked. Five more will be picked this week. Ten boys and ten girls will compete to be American Idol.****I’ve got to move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


If the budget war between President Obama and a divided congress is not solved, it will likely affect all our lives. It could hamper economic growth, drive up unemployment and test the military‘s ability to respond to threats at home and abroad. Across-the-board spending cuts totaling $85 billion a year, $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction in 10 years. The effect of the Sequester would be severe and go right to middle-class families. Obama and Democrats want to keep Medicare and Social Security intact, Republicans want cuts or privatizing. There is no expectations that congress will compromise before Friday. I believe both sides will gamble and risk it for a month, that would move the deadline another 30 days. The country can’t grow under the $85 billion cuts. President Obama and congress has already cut $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions since 2011. We need a balance between cuts and tax revenue, a move the congress is not willing to do. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaigned on closing loop holes, now Speaker Boehner can’t get his caucus to agree to one loop hole.


I don’t want to get on my soap box about high gas prices but it still doesn’t make any sense. No reason for $3.59 a gallon gasoline. Texas is awash in oil and gas, with drilling in fields across the state. Texas recently has 839 drilling rigs operating. That’s half of all rigs in the U.S. and 22.7 percent of all rigs worldwide. Most rigs are working in five regions of the state. Permian Basin, in West Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale, South Texas, the Granite Wash, in the Panhandle, the Barnett Shale, in North Texas and the Haynesville Shale, in East Texas. Any direction you go Texas is flush in oil and gas, so the question remains, why are we getting raped at the pump by Big Oil? There’s a frenzy to sell more U.S. natural gas overseas. Next will be a much bigger battle to start selling domestic crude to foreign customers. America is on track to surpass Saudi Arabia in daily crude production. They charge 35 cents at the pump, as we head to $4.


The 85th Academy Awards didn’t disappoint me. Four hours of red carpet and acceptance speeches were about as boring as I expected. The Oscar is the big prize. Best Movie, “Argo” eased out ‘Lincoln.’ Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence, for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook;” Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln;” Best Supporting Actress, Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables;” Best Supporting Actor, Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained;” Best Director, Ang Lee for “Life of PI;” Ben Affleck was director of “Argo” did not get a nomination, so “Argo” as best picture was a vindication. First Lady, Michelle Obama, made the best picture presentation from the White House. Seth MacFarlane, from The Family Guy, did a better hosting job than I expected. William Shatner, in the show opener, was in character as Capt. Kirk, from “Star Trek.” Some of the ladies were beautiful and didn’t show as much skin as in years passed.


We were sad to learn about the death of Ryan Michael Winfree, age 13, who passed away Sunday, Feb. 24, at his home. Service was held Tuesday, Feb. 26. Our sincere condolences to parents Will and Carol Winfree and their family. Ryan was proceeded in death by grandfathers Lester “Buckshot” Winfree and Wade Reese. Please see obituary.*****We were also sorry to learn that Charles Lee Pratt, 77, died Monday, Feb. 25, at 4 a.m. Service will be held Monday, March 2, at 2 p.m. at Rosewood Funeral Home in Humble. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Edith (Edee), son Charles Pratt Jr., grandsons Phillip Wayne and Chris Pratt and great grandson Aiden Rossettie. Charlie will be buried next to his daughter. Charlie was an Army veteran who was awarded the Sniper Award in Korea. He loved his family, John Wayne movies and his two dogs. He was a friend. May he rest in peace.


10 Years Ago-2003

Temperature, 42 degrees, wind blowing between 20 to 25 miles per hour, it’s a full moon. The weather has been up and down like a yo-yo. Many people are sick. It rains almost daily, three more inches yesterday. Neighbor Cox won’t stick his nose out. He stares out the window wondering when it will be dry enough to plant a spring garden. (Editor’s note: History repeats itself it seem.)*****The headline in the Houston Chronicle reads, “Millions worldwide protest U.S. war with Iraq.”*****Gas at the pump expected to hit $2 by the end of the year. *****The first Mardi Gras parade comes to Orange Feb. 28. Stephen Lee and Randy Jarrell are co-chairmen. *****Actor Sidney Poitier turned 76 last week, Feb. 20. (Editor’s note: That means today he is 86.)*****Michael Waltrip won the Daytona 500. He’s Darrell’s younger brother. *****The 28th annual Gumbo Cook-off will be held May 2 and May 3. Monte Marphew is this year’s chairman. *****Specials at Danny’s and K-Dan’s are ground round, $1.79 lb. Cajun Boudain made fresh several times daily, $1.59 lb. Golden ripe bananas, 38 cents per pound. (Editor’s note: Over the last 10 years the price for bananas at these two markets has not gone up. Bananas are still 39 cents per pound.)*****The Home Builders Association of South East Texas named Mike Johnson, “Home Builder of the Year.” Johnson, 44, a native of Bridge City, owner of a home building company, has been framing houses since he graduated from high school in 1976. “My dad is a carpenter and his dad was too,” Johnson said, “I’ve been exposed to carpenter work at all levels growing up. My dad, Charles, is a hard worker who insisted we work hard as youngsters.”*****Louis Dugas has cataract eye surgery. He says, “After my operation, I thought the world had been repainted in living color.”

35 Years Ago-1978

A drive to raise funds to pay for the 24,000 square foot Bridge City Community Center has been launched with a number of events slated. Residents will seek to raise $200,000 for the structure. *****Jeanne Wood, Bridge City High speech and drama teacher, has been chosen Woman of the Year by BP&W Club. Guest speakers were Glenn Pearson, superintendent; several former students; and her husband, J.R. Wood. Juliet Patton, club president, introduced the guest. Sue Pate read letters of praise. Special guest was her mother, Mrs. J.H. Reistemeyer of Leavenworth, Kan. *****Sen. John Tower spoke to a group of area residents at the Orange House Hotel. He called for continued control of the Panama Canal by the U.S. *****Attention, Buddie Hahn is running for Vidor school board. He is taking on incumbent Joe B. Foster. *****Vidor Mayor Robert Watts publicly endorses Judge Grover Halliburton for the job of 260th District Court. Halliburton is facing Judge Don Burgess.*****Harold Beeson and Bill Maddox have received word from Follett Publishing Co. that their book, “Rage and Patches,” will be released Sept. 4. A Hollywood production company has taken an option of the screen play Beeson has written from the book. *****Ken Johnson holds grand opening of Pinehurst Pharmacy on Strickland Drive. *****Pat Clark and Sharon Bearden dressed as angels in the Follies. Bearden insisted on wearing his boots. What a sight.*****County Judge Pete Runnels proclaimed Monday, Feb. 20-26, as Orange Bowling Week in conjunction with National Bowling Hall of Fame Week.*****J.R. Harrington Sr. died Sunday. He had lived in Bridge City since 1949. He is survived by his wife, daughter Virginia, sons J.R. and John, and brother Sen. D. Roy Harrington.*****James Briggs Sr. named bailiff of the newly created 260th District Court.*****Sheila Beeson and Roy Dunn interviewed Kris Kristofferson and Muhammad Ali from Ali’s suite at the Las Vegas Hilton. Dunn also received a call from Leon Spinks from the Ail-Spinks fight. Dunn’s partner in Triangle Press, Gene Wright, is attorney for Ali and arranged the interviews. Larry Messier, president of Olympic Inc. and a Canadian friend of Wright’s arranged the Red Foxx and Spink interview.

40 Years Ago-1973

John McDonald elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Livingston Shipbuilding. *****Connie Jarell, a beautiful Bridge City High senior, received a four-year twirling scholarship to McNeese State.*****Jerry Wimberley accuses Richard Gandy of stealing fish from a trot line.*****Charlie Wickersham marries the lovely Maurine at 7:30 a.m.*****Dr. Lombardi checked out Judge Grover Halliburton’s heart after it flared up. Doc. Says the heart is in the right place and not too black. *****Bridge City banker Fred Gregory raised hell with Hubert Marshel for depositing horse droppings on the new carpet in his newly remodeled office. *****Helen Dunlap was named Woman of the Year at Wayside Inn banquet. BP&W members who arranged the program are president Helen Moore; Mrs. Albert Gore, Mrs. Gene Rutledge, Mrs. Joe VanBreeman, Mrs. Jack Pulliam, Mrs. Carl Mozingo and Ms. Jesse Evans. Mrs. Dunlap is currently in charge of teaching and training vocational nurses at Stillwell Technical Center.*****Orange beauty Claudia Conway, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Preston Conway, was selected with 47 other Apache Belles to go to Mexico City. They will perform for the University of the Americas at the National Basketball games.


Jeffrey Fregia, Beth Lee, Ellen Nickum, Bailey Noah, Beth Mathews, Butch Choate, David Claybar, Gretta Brinson, James Wilkinson, Lindsey Moreau, Sarah Havens, Allisha Bonneaux, LaVerne McDonald, Anna Marshall, Randy Lowe, Bob Moore, Amy Ball, Kathy McKenzie, Kurt Reeves, Royce Pendergast, Ginger Romero, Logan Dubose, Will Brinson, Kevin Jones, George Cassidy, Jennifer Thomas, John Gooch, Louise Hamilton, Monica Wilson, Robert Foster, Aiyana Bland, Kay Butler, Craig Nugent, Apryl Carter, Tommy Andrus, Brittany Waguespack, Franklin Scales, Lola Duncan, Lori Bonds, Joan Broussard, Andy Pryor, Donna Sullivan, Carolyn Miller, Vickie Parish, Darrell Evans, Jo Young, Frances Brood, Travis Reeves, Barron Nimitz, Carolyn Sheppard, Cathy Kimbrow, Lenzi Childress, Carolyn Hillsten and Don Bayliss.


Jimmy Johnson won the Daytona 500 for the second time. Danica Patrick, who came in eighth, made history as the first woman to win the pole and the only woman to lead the race. There were several multiple crashes but none approached the magnitude of the wreck Saturday that injured over two dozen fans in the grandstands in the second tier series. I’m amazed that more drivers are not killed when you see cars going at 200 mph, crash and totally destroy the auto. Dale Earnhardt was the last killed 12 years ago.*****We were glad to see that coach Toby Foreman finally landed the head football coaching job that he had been seeking for sometime. He had applied for several jobs in the past. He landed the 4-A Central job. He is well prepared to be a head coach, he learned the ropes early as an assistant of West Orange-Stark, under Coach Dan Hooks and his dad, Mark Forman, plus he has been successful in other programs. I’d bet he will be a successful head coach. He has the desire and drive and it’s been his passion and dream. Go get um’ Toby. *****Remodeling and new construction is under way at Peggy’s on the Bayou. Richard is closing in the front porch, allowing for more customer space. It’s amazing how far they have come, starting with a bare piece of swampland that has taken years to fill. The food and scenery is great. *****A little local history about Lamar football you may not be aware of. Orange High’s Sammy Carpenter, while at Lamar in 1951 to 54, rushed 444 times for 2,703 yards. He scored 33 touchdowns or 198 points, which might still be a record. What is amazing, he played on bad teams that won 12 and lost 27. *****Wendell Hebert, longtime Bridge City CPA, who now lives in Austin, was Lamar’s quarterback from 1959 to 1962. He completed 192 passes for 23 touchdowns and 2,962 yards. His team won 31 games, losing only 12, the best four year record in Lamar’s history. The coach was J.B. Higgins. Wendell played high school for the Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson Yellow Jackets. He married Jessie Day. Jessie was very active in Bridge City civic affairs and served on the BCISD school board. *****This past weekend, in 1958, snow blanketed the area. That was 55 years ago but I often run into people who mention that heavy snow. *****A few folks celebrating their special day. Our longtime friend, who came to Bridge City many years ago, married Bill and is now involved in aNe Insurance, Ellen Nickum, celebrated Feb. 27.***Also celebrating that day is Gretta Brinson, Married to Darrell, who was the Record editor a few years ago. They moved to Houston from Deweyville and I lost track of them but I know they keep up with area news on our website. We send best wishes. ***Butch Choate and David Claybar both celebrated Feb. 27. ***Celebrating on Feb. 28 are Randy Lowe, Ginger Romero and Kathy McKenzie. This also was the day operation Desert Storm ended in 1991. It started just four days earlier on Feb. 24. ***On Feb. 29, our buddy Logan Dubose, who has been a fan of this column since he learned to read, celebrates. I think but am not sure that Logan will be 18. Hard to believe also celebrating on Feb. 29 is Will Brinson, who went to college when he was only 15. Happy birthday guys. ***March 1 is a special day for Louise Hamilton, Robert Foster and Jennifer Thomas. ***March 2, is Texas Independence Day, 177 years ago. It’s also the day our longtime friend, Moe Litton gives up his independence. That’s the day he takes a bride. We wish a long, happy life. ***Celebrating birthdays March 2 are Craig Nugent and Tommy Andrus. ***On March 3, Franklin Scales, a friend of many years celebrates. His uncle Cecil Scales was just one of his many Scales relatives. ***Also happy birthday to Donna Sullivan and Lola Duncan. ***On March 4, Carolyn Sheppard, former teacher and Buddy’s better half celebrates. ***Vickie Parish, Travis Reeves and Jo Young also celebrate on that day. ***On March 5, Don Bayliss and Lenzi Childress celebrate. ***Next Wednesday, March 6, is coach Sam Moore’s special day. He knows baseball and teaches it at “The Zone.”***Belated happy birthday to our production manager, Chris Menard, who celebrated his 35th Thursday, Feb. 21. The former Army veteran is highly educated in the field of computer communications and we are fortunate to have him here at The Record.


Da mob in New Orleans wat controls da video poker games in Louisiana, found out dat dere bookkeeper in Lafayette had cheated dem out of millions. Da bookkeeper, Clarence Guilbeaux, is a deaf-mute, dats why dey hired him in da first place. He would not be able to testify against dem for wat he heard.

Da mob sent Bruno, dere best hench man to confront Clarence. He brought Lafayette lawyer, Joe Landry, wit him because he knew sign language, him. Da mobster tells da lawyer, “Axe him where da money is?” Lawyer Landry, using sign language axe Clarence, “Where’s da money?”

He signs back, “I don’t know watt you talking bout me.”

Da Mobster pulls out his pistol and puts it to Guillbeaux’s head and says, “Axe him again or I’ll kill him?”

Lawyer Landry signs da message to Clarence. He started trembling and signs back, “Okay, you win, da money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind da shed at my cousin Sostan’s house.”

Da mob man axe, “Wat did he say?”

Lawyer Landry replied, “He says you don’t got da balls to pull da trigger you.”


High school sports has really gone into full swing in both baseball and lady softball, with tournaments all over the place. Coach Chad Landry’s Bridge City Cardinals have been logging many highway miles. Last weekend was spent at a tournament at Rockdale. The Cardinals recorded four strong wins but dropped two. Monday they were on the road again, a special trip for the youngsters against College Station High, played  at Texas A&M’s Blue Bell Stadium. Bridge City hammered out a 9-6 win, returning late Monday night. Starting Thursday, Bridge City will play in the LCM ‘Don Gibbon’ tournament through Saturday. All other Orange high school baseballers will be playing in tournaments.*****To my knowledge this is a first but it may not be. David Rainey, an Orangefield Bobcat, will be signing a soccer scholarship at 2:45 p.m. Friday, March 1, in the lobby of the new gym. Everyone is invited to come celebrate David’s accomplishments. Coach Josh Smally is Orangefield Athletic Director. I’m sure that this is the first time that Smally, a Bridge City boy, has been involved in a soccer scholarship. Congrats David.*****Over at West Orange-Stark, sophomore Deionte Thompson has been recruited by coach Nick Saban to play football with national champions Alabama. Thompson must first complete two more years of high school. Alabama is picking players young. They also recruited a 14 year old, eighth grader. He is 6 ft. 2 in. and weighs 220 pounds. Next year he goes into high school. If you have the opportunity attend a high school event. These youngsters will amaze you with their talent. Both girls and boys. It’s great entertainment.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s. You are invited to share fellowship and break bread with interesting, fine folks.*****Take care and God bless.