From the Creaux’s Nest
ANOTHER WEEK TO BE THANKFUL FOR
Well, as we embark on another column it is still hot and dry and still no storm heading our way. However we need the high pressure to return and stay until October. ****Meanwhile, Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, 83, was convicted on 31 of 32 counts of murder and racketeering. He’s eligible for a life sentence plus 30 years. His case will be appealed on the grounds that the Justice Department had a deal with him. They promised him immunity from prosecution in exchange for protecting the life of an FBI Strike Force chief. *****A federal judge ruled Monday that the New York Police Dept. frisking practice discriminates. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is blasting the decision and the city will appeal. If that ruling stands the test of the courts it could hamper police throughout the country. However, the New York police had been warned since 1999 of widespread fourth amendment violations.*****The good news this week is that Hannah Anderson, 16, was rescued in the Idaho wilderness from her captive James DiMaggio, 40. He had killed Hannah’s mother and 9-year-old brother and set the house on fire before taking the 16 year old girl captive. The girl was unaware of the deaths. After a week on the run the couple was spotted and DiMaggio was killed by FBI agents after he fired at them.*****I watched three hours of the CMA show and with only a couple of exceptions it was anything but country. Made me long for Gene Watson, Willie, Alan, Travis, Garth, Merle, George and Mark Chesnutt. If that was country, I’m an Italian. *****I’d best get going; I have a long way to go. I’d be proud if you came along; I promise it won’t do you no harm.
Three district judges approved a raise, effective Oct. 1, recently requested by county auditor Mary Johnson. This will bounce Ms. Johnson’s salary from $70,000 a year to $77,000 per year. By law the judges hire, fire and determine the salary of the auditor and also approve the budget for that office. Commissioner’s Court has no input into the decisions by the district judges. The judges will hold a public hearing concerning the auditor’s pay increase this Wednesday at noon in one of the district court rooms in the county courthouse. The raise has already been granted so the public hearing is like shutting the gate after the cow got out. Apparently the district judges felt the raise was warranted. I have no problem with anyone getting raises and I’m not sure the raise alone is what’s stirring up all the dust. Timing is everything and if the auditor is correct, that the budget is extremely tight, items must be cut, and there is no room for frills, then at this time it makes a 10 percent raise look excessive. Some employees of the county have not received raises in a few years. Ms. Johnson has only been the county auditor since January, 2012. Orange County, to finish the year out, will have to borrow about $4 million until revenues start coming in January. The most complaints we hear from both county employees and citizens are that this is not the year to give one employee a 10 percent raise on borrowed money when others may not see a raise at all. It’s bad timing and appears to be a snub to all other employees even if it isn’t. It’s like pouring salt on the wound. Next year things are projected to be better, cash flow will carry over and a loan will not be necessary. If you hear the county is broke don’t believe it, far from it. It’s only a cash flow problem that hasn’t caught up since Hurricane Ike. The county assets have continually grown. Accounts receivables from taxes will exceed $26 million. Starting in January, $15 million of that amount will start coming in. Today the county has $5.5 million in the general fund. Orange County is better off than most counties in the state because we don’t have any debt, plus the county is owed $2 million in FEMA grants that are slow coming. We don’t have a strong congressman like we’ve had in the past that would knock the right door down. Orange County is very fortunate and well off but like every business, sometimes you have to tighten the belt to make it through the shortfall. We’ve been through some tough times and have faired quite well and brighter, prosperous days are ahead. The time is right around the corner but it’s not now and timing is everything, good or bad. We are fortunate to have a well run county. County jobs are some of the best in the area and employees need to appreciate the job they have and not worry about who gets paid what.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
9 Years Ago-2004
Buffalo invade Bridge City and residents who were up early Saturday morning were treated to the sight of a small herd of buffalo. The buffalo, from Louisiana, swam across Lake Sabine and the Intracoastal Waterway before roaming the streets of Bridge City. Orange County animal control officer Will Winfree, with some volunteers, rounded up the rogue heard. The three bulls and five cows weren’t quite full grown according to Winfree. The buffalo were loaded up in a trailer and returned to Gray Ranch in Louisiana. ******Masons level new Bridge City High School cornerstone. *****Harry’s Appliance is moving from 911 Green Ave. to their original location at 10th & Main. The store is having a big moving sale. (Editor’s note: Harry and Margie are still at 10th & Main. Harry recently had knee surgery. Even as an old Marine and an open heart surgery survivor, he says this knee business is the worst pain he’s been through. *****Eric Eshbach, world class polevaulter, has proposed to lovely Stacy Becker and will marry June 5, 2005, in Lincoln, NE.*****A new survey shows that 52 percent of women prefer panties, 31 percent thongs, the rest prefer nothing. (Editor’s note: I wonder if that has changed in nine years.)*****Crude oil prices jumped to $46.58 a barrel, an all time high. Oil companies report the largest surge of profit ever in second quarter. (Editor’s note: That was three years into George W. Bush’s term. It was the beginning of the end for low gas prices at the pump.)******Matt Bryant is trying out with the Dallas Cowboys. If he makes the team he would become the third Orange County boy to play for Dallas. The other two were Rocky Colvin and Kevin Smith.*****Debbie Fusilier’s son David Jr. and her mother Helen McCardle both celebrate birthdays this week. Kimberly Hubbard and Henry Bland also celebrate this week.*****Spotted celebrating at Van Choate’s Cajun Cookery were Judge Pat and Rosalie Clark and their crew including mom and dad. Also seen were Commissioner Owen and Nelda Burton, Richard and Ruth Corder, Roy and Phyl Dunn and Judge Pete Runnels, Constable Parker Thompson and Judge Carl Thibodeaux. (Editor’s note: What a great place to dine.*****Roy and Mark Dunn, of The Record Newspapers, were honored at the BCISD school board meeting for being named to the Texas Association of School Boards Media Honor Roll. Superintendent Sam Lucia made the presentation. The Penny Record has been serving Bridge City and Orangefield schools since 1960. The Dunn family roots go back to 1926 in the Bridge City community.*****The opening of fall semester classes at Lamar State College-Orange will mark the beginning of the 36th year of higher learning in Orange County. (Editor’s note: Add nine years and that makes Lamar 45.)*****St. Mary Catholic School in Orange names principal. She happens to be the grandmother of two current students and mother of seven of St. Mary’s alumni. *****First Baptist Church of Orange is planning for its 125th anniversary to be held Oct. 30 and 31, 2004. (Editor’s note: That was the church on Green Ave. recently bought by the Stark Foundation. First Baptist built a new church in North Orange.
37 Years Ago-1976
Fire destroys Howard’s Supermarket in Bridge City. The blaze was discovered Aug. 15 at 2:45 a.m. The Howard Morse family operated the store. Bill Townes was recently hired as general manager. He thanked fire chief Richard Solomon, fire marshal Bill Kihni and all the firemen for saving the adjacent stores. A new 12,000 square feet store will be rebuilt on the spot and will be called “Big Red Pantry.”*****County Court-at-Law Judge David Dunn has asked the grievance committee for $11,000 raise for a total of $30,800. District judges earn $36,700. *****A.J. Judice and wife Lois make their home on Cow Bayou their permanent residence. He promised city officials he wouldn’t cause any trouble. *****Opportunity Valley news editor Nina Harden is in the hospital in Galveston. Joe Grossman and Jim Robicheaux are both in Orange Memorial. *****Joe Nacol, one of the original Nacol brothers, died Aug. 14. *****Doris Ann hosted a surprise birthday party for hubby Bill Clark. The surprise was the party time. She set out two long tables of food, told Bill the published time was 7 p.m. but called the guests and told them not to show up until 7:30 p.m. Roy and Phyl Dunn were the only guests told to come early. Bill got real depressed thinking he only had two friends. Phyl said that was a cruel joke. Over 100 friends finally showed up.*****With nothing else to do since their store burned down, Wayne and Sherri Morse traveled to Oklahoma to visit former Bridge City manager Bill McClure and wife Betty.*****When Tim Hughes and son Mike went fishing, Mike caught all the fish. As per their deal, Tim had to clean the fish. *****Joe Runnels says, about the stuff that’s being shown on the big screen, “A peeping Tom is a guy too lazy to go to the movies.”
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK
Diane Justice, Jerry Windham, Kevin Berry, Lindsey Schaffer, Myrtle Singletary, Bill Triggs, Britanie Long, Charlotte Conn, Christina Myers, Tiffany Schlicher, Gavyn Fisher, Kristie Gunn, Valerie Richter, Brandi Arnold, Norma Smith, Beth Holm, Christine Johnson, Jorge Cortez, Rachel Daigle, Gwen Boehme, Joe Sanders, Martha Armstrong, Brenda Gage, Johnny Stimac, John Everett, Jordan New, Karen Day, Nancy Finchum, Shandi Conner, Dagma Hood, Danielle Heil, Jane Busby, Carolyn Ward, Helen Gresham, Ian MacCammond, Pat Brown, Linda Tibbitts, Maggie Joubert, Nancy Weidner, Ryan Prejean, Ted Shensky, Terry Ford, Braydon Denison, Brett Heil, Brett Johansson, John Forsythe, Elmer Ernst, Steven Higgs, Kelsie Matlock, Melinda ,Ja’arah, Sam Fulderson, Sarah Byers, Dorothy Lee, Frances Delcambre, Jimmy Findlay and Marilyn Guerrerro.
A FEW HAPPENINGS
What’s with mid-August? Julia Childs would be 101 on Aug. 15. She died three days before her 92nd birthday in 2004. ***On Aug. 16, 1948, Babe Ruth died at age 53. ***On Aug. 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at age 42. ***Kathie Lee Gifford was born Aug. 16, 1953. Her husband Frank Gifford, 83, was born Aug. 17, 23 years earlier. ***Madonna was born Aug. 16, 1958. ***Robert Redford will be 77 Aug. 18. ***Former President Bill Clinton celebrates his 67th Aug. 19. ***On Aug. 16, Doug and Regina Harrington’s daughter Britanie celebrates her 30th birthday. She and husband are expecting their second daughter in Oct. *****On Aug. 16, 59 years ago, Sports Illustrated magazine made its debut. ***Eddie Mathews, Milwaukee third baseman, was on the cover. I’m not sure but I think Michael Jordan still holds the record for making the most covers but don’t bet on it.)***On Aug. 14, 1945, President Harry Truman announced that Japan had surrendered ending World War II. That was 68 years ago this week. Millard “Neighbor” Cox remembers it quite well; he was ready to get back to East Texas. Three years later, on Oct. 2, he married his Ginny. They’re coming on number 65. *****Our friends, Karen and Tony Fuslier, after 30 years, have decided to shut down their Cajun Corner Furniture Outlet. Tony says Karen was burnt out so he’s retiring her. He’s going to park her at the Cow Bayou Marina and put a fishing pole in her hands. They will keep their moving business going. Tony, besides having lung problems, has now been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He can deal with that as long as they don’t mess with the Cajun’s voice box. Visit them at the Marina; they always have something on the stove.*****The seniors at the Senior Citizen Center in Bridge City read The Record cover to cover each week thanks to our girlfriend Jesse, who picks up extra copies and sees to it everyone gets one. Those seniors have been reading The Penny Record for 53 years and it hasn’t done them any harm. *****Simon Cowell, 53, is the highest paid TV personality according to “Forbes” list. He earns $95 million a year. Unbelievably, shock jock Howard Stern has now tied him. *****A few local folks celebrating birthdays this week. On Aug. 14, a lovely lady, Charlotte Conn, the widow of the late notorious Jimmy Conn, celebrates. Also Jerry Windham, Bill Triggs and Lindsey Schaffer. ***Aug. 15, Kristie Gunn, daughter of Cindy and Chris Gunn and granddaughter of Dayle and the late Buzzie Gunn, celebrates on this day. Also Valerie Richter, Norma Smith Brandi Arnold and Beth Holan. ***On Aug. 16, Gwen Boehme and Martha Armstrong mark birthdays. ***Aug. 17 is a special day for Nancy Finchum, Johnny Stimac and Karen Day. It also would have been the birthday of the late Gene Hidalgo, who died much too young. ***On Aug. 18, a truly beautiful lady in every way, Carolyn Ward, widow of the late Larry Ward, marks another birthday as does Helen Gresham.***Also on Aug. 18, our friend, co-worker and ‘Girl Friday’ Nicole Gibbs and husband Dustin “Dusty” Gibbs celebrate six great years of marriage. Happy anniversary. *****On Aug. 19, one of Leah’s sons, Brett Johansson, celebrates. Also Linda Tibbitts, Braydon Denison, Ryan Prejean and Terry Ford celebrate. ***On Aug. 20, one of our dearest friends, Shaun’s better half, Tammy Davis, celebrates. ***Also Dorothy Lee and Steven Higgs. Happy birthday to all. Please see list. *****Thirty-four years ago this past weekend Joe Kazman, while golfing, hit his first hole-in-one. In fact, it was the first one Joe had ever seen. That was in 1979. I wonder if that’s the only one Kaz hit in a lifetime of golf. Has he witnessed anyone else making a hole-in-one? For many years Joe has written a sports column I always fine full of facts and most often correct predictions. Kaz is an important member of The Record writers that we are all proud of. No one does a better job. I think that with Kaz, Capt. Dickie, Capt. Chuck and Gabe, all experts in their fields, we have the winning edge throughout the area. *****We received a lot of good response to Gabe’s breaking story last week on the death of Coach “Chief” Wilson.******At 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and another on Nagasaki, Japan, killing 90,000 Japanese. The Japanese had built up an army of several million soldiers and had vowed that 395 thousand U.S. soldiers would be killed. President Harry Truman ordered the dropping of the two bombs in a move to end WWII. At the time the U.S. was the only nation with the bomb and could have taken over the world. There are still many of us around who recall that day 68 years ago this week.*****On Aug. 8, 1988, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the last baseball park without lights, turned on the lights for the first night game in its history.*****Here’s one, maybe Neighbor Cox will remember it. On Aug. 12, 30 BC, Cleopatra committed suicide after her boyfriend Marc Anthony lost the battle of Actium.
Last week several local people attended the funeral service for Coach ”Chief” Wilson held in College Station. Darrell Segura and Troy Woodall picked up Johnny Miller in Dayton. They brought the large state championship trophy for a presentation to Chief’s son, Rusty. The trophy was later returned to the Bridge City High School trophy case. Those spotted were Harry Chester, Chief’s nephew, Steve Sanders, Warren Ducote, Rodney Jaynes, Chief’s son-in-law, Dr. Chuck Majors, Ben Esterling, Kent Buford and many other former players coached by Chief. Amazingly, Chief’s church family had no idea that he had ever been a football coach. On the other hand, his football family had no idea about his church involvement. A witness says it was like Chief had lived two lives. No one seems to know if he was buried or cremated, his body was not at the service.*****We were sorry to learn at press time of the death of longtime Bridge City resident Lercy Braus, who passed away Monday around 2:30 a.m. His funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug.15, at St. Henry Catholic Church in Bridge City. Please see obit.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
On a beautiful spring morning towards the end of da school year, four Abbeville High School boys, Roy Lee, Bobbay, Gomez and Tee-Mac decide dem dat dey would skip morning classes and go fishing. After lunch dey reported to da teacher Ms. Trahan dat dey had a flat tire dem.
Ms. Trahan smiled and said, “Well you couldn’t help dat but you missed a test dis morning.” “I will give you a test now.”
Da boys felt relieved dem.
Mrs. Trahan say, “Take a seat apart from one anotter, take out a sheet of paper.” Wit a smile da teacher axe, “Ready?” Den she said, “I’m going to axe da first question, “Which one of dem tires was it hanh?”
(Editor’s note: Old teachers are wiser than youngsters think.)
While congress is on another five week break, Republican officials haven’t missed the opportunity to question the President for taking off a week with his family. The Obama family will be staying at a friend’s estate. The President pays for lodging, food and other incidentals. The tradition of criticizing president’s vacations is as old as the republic. Democrats used to criticize President George W. Bush for spending too much time away from Washington. At the same point in Bush’s presidency he had spent 367 days at the ranch in Crawford or his parent’s compound at Kennebunkport, Maine. President Obama has spent only 92 days on vacation. The congress works four days a week, 34 weeks of the year. On the other hand, the President is never totally away from work. He travels with aides and receives daily briefings and private conversation on a variety of issues. The partisan grumblings is just a way to keep the negatives flooding and divert the attention away from a non-productive congress. *****Congrats to the Orange County Historical Society for receiving the 2012 Service Award. The Historical group will unveil another marker Saturday, 5 p.m. at Cormier Museum in Orangefield during its centennial celebration. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this Wednesday and back to Novrozsky’s next. Everyone is welcome to join in the gathering. Lots of fellowship and good folks. *****Gotta go, thanks for your time. Please read us cover to cover and make it a habit to check us out daily on our website, TheRecordLive.com. It is constantly changing and bringing the latest happenings. Also when you can and please shop our family of advertisers. Take care and God bless.