On Patriots’ Day, the day that marks the beginning of United States independence, at the world famous Boston Marathon, two well placed Iraq-style bombs hurled shrapnel, jagged glass and ball bearings at marathon runners and onlookers. Over 180 people were injured, 17 critically and three killed. My guess is the bombs were the work of domestic terrorists, not the sophisticated plastic bombs of foreign terrorist groups. Like the other attacks, the bombings came as a surprise. How do you protect the 26 mile route of the marathon? It’s impossible to safeguard every place people gather. You can’t protect everything all the time. Even places full of weapons are vulnerable. Nidal Hasan proved that when he shot and killed 13 military personnel at Fort Hood. In 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing was done by homegrown terrorist Timothy McVeigh, the Atlantic Olympics, in 1998, was by a white supremacistSince 9-11, the Heritage Foundation has counted more than 50 terrorists plots, 42 of them homegrown. We’ve had luck at foiling them. Six years ago, April 16, it was the campus of Virginia Tech. Last July a movie theater in Colorado and in December, an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and now the finish line of the Boston Marathon. How do we wrap our heads around it. It is incomprehensible. I came up in a country where we feared only our foreign enemies, now we have to fear each other. American crack pots, hell bent on doing harm to America.*****A side bar: Mark Dunn picked up his daughter Jenna and grandchildren, 10 years old Nate and 5 year old Delilah at Houston Hobby Monday. They had arrived from Boston Logan airport. While in flight, the Boston bombing took place. Jenna had passed up a later flight for the early one. Good thing, because Boston was on lock down and they couldn’t have left that day. They will be spending spring break with the Dunn’s and will be joined later by Jenna’s husband Robby for a family reunion in Lafayette of Roy’s Cajun relatives. Also at the scene of the bombing in Boston were the Brittnel’s from OrangeAmanda ran in the marathon and Brad was a bystander. Will attacks in our future become inevitable, a way of life*****Gotta move on. Come along; I promise it won’t do you no harm.


When I read a recent report I was reminded of something our then congressman Kevin Brady had said after the BP oil release in the Gulf. Brady said the restrictions President Obama was putting on oil drillers in the Gulf will kill the oil industry and would cost 50,000 jobs right here in South East Texas. Of course Brady was protecting Big Oil, restrictions cost money to make wells safe. A state of energy report contradicts what congressman Brady projected. The industry now employs 976,000 workers in the U.S., 379,800 in Texas, 34,600 of those jobs added after restrictions. National average wage for oil and gas industry workers was $107,206 last year. Texas wages were $128,000 last year. Thirty-nine percent of oil and gas jobs are in Texas. Texas has 11,700 oil and gas businesses. Twenty-eight percent of businesses are based in Texas. Workers in oil and gas extraction earned the highest annualized average wage at $162,200 in 2012. That doesn’t sound like an industry that was going down the tube if restrictions to prevent oil spills and make wells safer was enacted. We are producing more oil and gas ever in our history. Beware when a politician hollers wolf.


It’s always so distressing to me when a young person, full of life, is suddenly, without notice taken from us. I’m told there is no greater hurt than the loss of a child. We were deeply saddened to learn of the auto accident that took the life of 16-year-old Blair Nicole Ray last Thursday, April 11. She was the daughter of Lt. Tom Ray Jr., of the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. and his former wife, Nichole Landry Sexton. I understand she also had lost a son, Tyler, in an auto accident. He was Lt. Ray’s stepsonBlair was from a large, loving family. She was also adored by her classmates and teachers at Port Neches-Groves and her co-workers at Market Basket. ***** Also killed in an auto accident Saturday on IH-10 was Brittany Lewis, 20, of Vidor. Four other passengers, ranging in age from 4 to 16 received only minor injuries. It’s life that is so uncertain and can be over so quickly. A constant worry to all parents anytime a youngster is on the road. Our deepest sympathies to both families.


Our condolences to Margie Stephens and her family on the death of her dad, Dan Redding, 74, who died Saturday in Winchester, Ky. Dan was retired from the West Orange School District. A native of Kentucky he moved back after the death of his wife, Margie’s motherHarry and Margie had just returned from Kentucky and his death came sooner than she had expected. Service will be held Thursday in Kentucky. Dan was a great, nice guy. May he rest in peace.



10 Years Ago-2003

Attorney Louis Dugas says, “You know you need a new lawyer when the prosecution team sees who your lawyer is and high-fives each other.”*****On a sad note, Mary Leigh Slaugher, 17, was killed in a auto accident April 10. Her 15 years old sister Kayla received massive injuries and is in Children’s Hospital. They are the daughters of Judy and Randy. Bill Tillman is the girl’s granddad.*****A benefit barbecue for Bubba Ritter will be held Saturday, April 19 to help cover his funeral expenses.*****Louis B. “Chubby” Blanchard, 74, died Sunday, April 13. He was retired from Texaco and the Orangefield resident was a member of the Cajun French Music Association. Services at St. Helen Catholic Church, 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 15.*****The Opportunity Valley News, born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1971, came to its death April 9, 2003. The newspaper, founded by Roy Dunn, was sold to Cox Enterprise on Dunn’s birthday June 5, 1980. The first issue of the OVN featured on the front page a photo sport’s editor Pete Runnels presenting Texas All American Steve Worster with a painting of number 30 running the ball. The painting was by artist Virginia Gilbeaux. (Editor’s note: It was a great painting. I wonder if it was lost with Ike. So many art works and collectibles went the way of that great storm.)*****Bridge City cancels election. The three council members unopposed are Place 1, Kirk Roccaforte; Place 2, George Navarro; Place 3, H.N. “Moe” Litton.

35 Years Ago-1978

Shelia Beeson makes history by becoming the first woman elected to a city council in Orange County. Shelia was elected at Rose City last Saturday.*****Lannie McMillon rolled a perfect 300 game She is on the Ball and Chain Bowling team.*****Bridge City/Orangefield Community Center holds mock beauty pageant. Bill Dryden, “Miss Willowy Willoment,” was crowned queen. Jess, “Jessia Just Luscious” Freemont, was runner-up. Other brave contestants were Bobby Cormier, Fred Broussard, J. Lawson, Gene Edgerly, Jim O’Cliff, Hank Eckhardt and Lawrence Helton. Richard Corder was Master of Ceremonies.*****Attorney Louis Dugas is traveling Texas teaching at seminars on Texas Law.*****West Orange native Dolores Cantu is featured in “Modern Screen” magazine. She appears in a movie, as well as a television series. She appeared in “Saturday Night Fever” and “Class of 1967.” She is a 1968 grad of West Orange High.*****Jo Amodeo and artist Tim Finnell were top winners in the Art League’s art show. Jo took top amateur category. Tim won as best professional for a pen and ink of the old Stark home.*****The Orange Yacht Club features Jesse Domingue, a multi-talented artist.*****Pat Garrett has been appointed district coordinator for the 1978-79 Projects Division of Pilot International. Mrs. Garrett served as local club president in 1972 and 1975. She has played a major role in developing programs for Pilot Clubs throughout Texas. She is a member of the Volunteer Association for Retarded Children, past state president for Jaycettes, past president of March of Dimes. She will attend her 10th annual Pilot International convention at Washington, D.C. in July. She is married to G.L. “Red” Garrett. (Editor‘s note: Both Pat and Red are now gone.)*****Judge Don Burgess, 260th district court judge serves free gumbo at Old Timer’s Pavilion. (Editor’s note: That was the last time Burgess gave anything away free.)*****Don Kachtik, county extension agent and Dr. Jim Davis, state fishery specialist, run the crawfish traps at Amos Roy’s farm in Mauriceville. Roy has four demonstration crawfish ponds.*****Monthly supper club gathers. Ace and Jo Amodeo were hosts. The group took in Chez OCA Restaurant in Lake Charles. Attending were Bill and Martha Hughes, Louis and Beth Dugas, Corky and Betty Harmon, James and Janet Fontenot, Beverly and Wilson Roberts, Bob and Doris Jones, Roy and Phyllis Dunn and Mike and Terri Pasternak.****Harold and Sheila Beeson host a gathering at their Rose City pad. Unique artistic people attended. Gordon and Diane Baxter, along with baby Jenny, Betty Em and Bernard Giarratano, Don and Patsy Jacobs, Earl Newlin, John Palmer, Dennis and Lynn Hall, Jerry Wright, Bill McKay and a dozen or so others.


Joseph Taylor, Janice Todora, Jane Istre, Jessica Christiansen, Kaylie Byrd, Natalie Miller, Rachel Fowler, Ronnie Haymon, Shelby Bickham, Shelby Sellers, Steve Evans, Whitney Anderson, Cheryl Puntes, Matthew Franklin, Megan Waguespack, Grant Mott, Emily Gilson, Barbara Sarver, Dustin Gibbs, Shirley Bonnin, Mandi Chesson, John Fuss, Cheryl Patterson, Maurelle McDonald, Ryan Ferguson, Bill Nickum, Brad Williams, Theresa Lieby, Bill Broussard, Beverly Raymer, Donna Wiegreffe, Emory Webb, Ken Brown, Becky Atkins, Belinda Norman, Benjamin Ezell, Baylor Trantham, Don McFarlane, Bonnie Short, Joy McNamara, Courtney Williams, Dana Hill, Virginia McNair, James Corley, Christian Dubose, Marshall Myers, Scott Fisher, Madeline Harper, Michael Harper, Jr., Joseph Jackson, Allison Rendall, Adrienne Colletti Platt, Amelia Hollier, Brandon Fisher, Glen Prince, Lacy Rutledge, Jason Smalley, Linda Robinson, Nancy Rendall, Paul Zoch, Samantha Briggs, Jeremie Breaux and Kathie Stephson.


The big crawfish festival at Mauriceville is coming up this weekend starting Friday till Sunday. It’s a fun weekend for the entire family. Plenty of food, games, rides and entertainment. Y’all come.*****Speaking of Mauriceville, Nova Dee Strickland was out of the house early Saturday morning. I bet there was a great garage sale somewhere and she wanted to be the early bird.*****Warren Claybar is a first time farmer. He planted his garden on Friday and the three inch rain blew in Wednesday night. Warren was up past midnight worrying about his new crop being washed away. The garden survived and Warren is looking forward to his first crop.*****I assure you that mosquitoes are coming. If you’re planning outdoor activities in the next few weeks, I suggest you call Cindy, Donna or Marty at Pestco. They will spray your yard with good smelling herbs that will keep the “Skeeters” away for five to six weeks and beyond.*****Things have really tightened up in District-AAA high school baseball. The B.C. Cards traveled to Silsbee Saturday and after having a four run lead, the Cards lost 5-4 in a Silsbee walk off win. The two teams will likely face each other again to determine Dist. 21-AAA championship. They have beaten each other once, the only loss for each team.*****A few folks celebrating their special day. On April 17, Ms. Cheryl Puntes marks another birthday as does Janice Todora, Jane Istre, Ronnie Haymon and Shelby Bickham.***April 18, Grant Mott and Emily Gilson will celebrate.***April 19, our buddy Dustin “Dusty” Gibbs reaches his 29th. He’s our “Girl Friday” Nicole Gibbs’ “Old Man.”***Also celebrating birthdays on this day are Shirley Bonnin and our friend of many years, insurance man Bill Nickum, one of the great guys we’re honored to know.***On April 20, a beautiful lady, retired school teacher Beverly Burgess Raymer, Jody’s better half and the youngest of Ms. Pearl Burgess’ three daughters will be a year older.***Joy Simmons McNamara and Christian Simonton, the son of Joy, grandson of Joyce and John Dubose and a senior at Bridge City High were born on April 21.***Also on this day in 2010, Mickey McNamera, 76, was murdered at his insurance office.***On April 22, the lovely Adrienne Colletti Platt, a photographer married to Joey, is a year older.***On April 23, Rev. Paul Zoch, Glen Prince and Jason Smalley all celebrate birthdays.***Our friends Lou and Kathy Garriga celebrate their 53rd anniversary on April 23. Congrats and best wishes.*****Bob Jack Perry, the state’s largest contributor to Republican candidates and PAC’s, died Saturday in Houston at the age of 80. He came from humble beginnings in rural Bosque County. He founded Perry Homes in Houston in 1967. It is one of the largest home builders in the nation. Perry was also third on the list of super donors and was Rick Perry’s largest donor. He leaves behind a wife and four grown children.*****I have nothing but kind words for Ronnie Terrell’s Tree Service. They do a good job at reasonable cost. They also clean up the mess and haul it off. These lumber jacks are real experts.*****I got an email from our friend Debora. She has a word of advise. She says men have two emotions, hungry and horny. So if you see a gleam in your man’s eye make him a sandwich.*****I hear our friend attorney Jim Sharon Bearden has proposed to pretty Cassie Caillouet and she said yes.*****Jenna Bush Hager, one of the Bush twins made George W. and Laura grandparents Saturday. Born in New York, they named the baby girl Margaret Laura Mila Hager, after her grandmothers.*****Sen. Marco Rubio appeared on every Sunday news show, ABC-NBC-CBS-CNN and FOX. Do you suspect he is running for something?*****Gun background check vote goes to the U.S. Senate this week. It takes 50 votes to pass. The NRA has threatened any legislature who votes for it, despite 88 percent of Americans supporting it. My guess is it may pass Senate and fold in the Congress.*****County Clerk Karen Jo Vance was nominated as “County Clerk of the Year,” last Thursday in Huntsville. She did not win but was thrilled and pleased to be nominated two years in a row.*****The West Orange Stark Elementary inventions Robotics team took third place at the state competition. They competed against third to eighth graders. The team consists of Ethan Estrada, Victoria Vela and Nicholas Provost.*****The Democratic Party will meet Thursday, April 18, 6 p.m. at Robert’s Steakhouse. Party chairman Mark Carter urges all Democrats to come to this very important meeting.*****Faith is gone. I wait all day for Sunday night, not for the football game but for Faith Hill to do her thing. Now I learn she won’t do Sunday night rock anymore. What a shame.


Jennifer Garner, 41, and Victoria Beckham, 38, were born April 17.***On April 18, Conan O’Brien will be 50 and America Ferrera, 29.***Ashley Judd will be 45 on April 19, James Franco, 35 and Kate Hudson, 34.***Carmen Electra will be 39 on April 20 and Joey Lawrence will be 37.***Tony Romo will be 33 on April 21 and Tony Danza will be 62.***Jack Nicholson will be 76 on april 22 and Ryan Stiles, 54.***Michael Moore will be 59 on April 23; George Lopez, 52 and Lee Majors, 74.


A long time ago, during World War Twice, I ever will forget dat me, I was in Kaplan, Looziana, about 10 or nine mile from a li’l town wat dey call Abbeville.

A whole bunch of us mens and boys too were in Leblanc’s bar and saloon havin’ a meeting, us., drinking buttermilk, wen Clovis Abshire, him, came runnin in an he say, “Hurry! Hurry! We got to leave here rat now, us. Me, I just hear on da raydio dat dem German was all over Abbeville, dem. Com on, let’s got ourselves outta here.”

“Wait jus’ a minute, Clovis, slow down. Dat’s not Abbeville, Looziana no; dat’s Abbeville, France, wat Abbeville in Looziana was name after,” Alcid Thibodaux say.

Boy, everybody say poo-yai, wit’ relief dem, and sat demself back down to start de meeting over again.

“I feel so sorry fo dem Frenchman, me. I don’t know what to did,” Harry leBoeuf say.

“Not me, no” Otis Mouton piped up. “I ain’t got no sympathize for dem no. Dem crazy fool never should have left Looziana and gone over dere in de first place.”


Our girl Kree Harrison, on American Idol, will perform Wednesday night to make it to the top four. Last week Kree was in the top two. Should she make it through this week, she will reach my prediction when the show started that she would be in the final three. This girl could win it all. She’s had great support from South East Texas. She attended school in Bridge City as an eighth grader and was a member of the Cardinal Singers. American Idol will visit the Dam B, Woodville area where Kree spent ten years as a child. It is very important to vote for Kree Wednesday. It could mean her staying in the competition or going home.*****Gold has the worst drop in 30 years. In 2001, gold was $255 an ounce and had gone as high as $1,900 an ounce in 2011. Silver got tarnished as well, falling to $23.36 an ounce. Rumors swirled about what caused gold to tumble, from selling by the Central Bank of Cyprus to a seller dumping 53,000 gold futures. Each future is worth 100 ounces of gold. Traders worry that other European countries might start dumping their gold reserves.*****You don’t want to miss next week’s issue of the Penny or County Record.  This newspaper will be great one. Gotto go. Thanks for your time, take care and God bless.