This week on Sept. 13, we mark the fifth anniversary since Ike, the hurricane, blew into Orange County and left the worse devastation on our community, since the storm of 1865, the year the Civil War ended, wiped out the city of Orange. The storm left only four homes standing.

Today’s recovery, especially to the community of Bridge City, seemed a far away dream of five years ago. Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Kirk Roccaforte and help from Houston Mayor Bill White, we got needed help from FEMA. Thanks also to City Manager Jerry Jones and the city administration, the city has made a remarkable comeback.

Much has changed in Bridge City since that horrible storm. In so many cases the improvements have been for the better. The entire infrastructure is far better today. Blight areas are no more. Streets, sewer and water improvements have all been advanced. Jones and the city continue to make necessary improvements. The vast improvements by the school district have given the students state-of-the-art school buildings second to none. Meanwhile, under the leadership of County Judge Carl Thibodeaux many improvements have added much value to Orange county assets. The county has been hit by two storms, Rita and Ike. Rita destroyed a million trees and left destruction, causing the county to dig deep into their cash reserves, then came Ike. Today many new buildings stand out across the county, all paid for, debt free. What changed the most in Bridge City is the makeup of it’s people. Many of my old friends have left, leery of facing more storms. Now young couples have come, like we all did many years ago. It’s a new day for an old community. Better days are yet to come as a good community continues to grow with a new generation of citizens.*****I need to move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


We’ve come on a dozen years since the 911 terror attacks. A month later, in Oct. 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan. Nine out of ten Americans supported the invasion and war. The longest war in U.S. history is now the most unpopular American war ever. Not Vietnam, Korea or Iraq has ever fallen so far in public esteem. Never has U.S. support started so high and sunk so low. Now the nation debates a military strike in Syria while the bad taste of Afghanistan, that began as a righteous fight for as long as it took, plunges 60 percentage points. Through the 12 years of 9-11 we are reminded, for better or worse, why we fight. If you’re one of the Americans who waver, all you have to do is watch the video of men and women jumping from the 100th floor of the World Trade Center. Think about the choice they had to make, stay and burn or fall 1,000 feet to their death. Since then President Obama ordered the killing of Bin Laden and was successful. Just over a year from now, we will leave behind the longest war in our history in Afghanistan.  The 9-11 anniversaries remind us of our obligations in crisis, such as Syria and Assad using Sarin, poison gas to kill his own citizens. Americans are weary of war but for the most part, Americans believe that morally we must always fall on the side of right. The U.S. is the only country that has the might to stop what someday could become a world disaster, using poisonous gas at will because back in 2013 it wasn’t held in check. Just my thoughts on this 9-11 anniversary. Do you recall where you were on that dreadful day?  Not too long after we leave Afghanistan the Taliban will again rule. Barbers will no longer do business because compulsory beards will be back. Meanwhile, what do we do about Assad and his poison, ignore it or confront it?


The Ruby-throated hummingbird is a common sight this time of year. Those are the ones that are migrating. They are eating plenty, preparing for a 24-hour journey over the Gulf. They’re getting their bodyweight up so they can go 24 hours without eating. They are easy to spot, the male has a ruby throat, the female does not. They winter in southern Mexico, South America, the West Indies and even Costa Rico. Did you know a hummingbird weighs as much as a penny and uses spider webs to secure it’s nest to a tree? The bird has a pellet size brain, lays an egg the size of a blueberry and has two broods a year from two eggs? I find them a delight to watch. They’re tough for their size. They don’t fly at the speed of a bullet, it just appears that way.


“American Idol” is betting that Jennifer (J-Lo) Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr. and Keith Urban will fare better with viewers than the bickering divas Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj did last season. As judges for season 13, they will be the shows first panel consisting solely of singers. That has worked for NBC’s the “Voice.” Randy Jackson will be back in a new role, in-house mentor to the contestants. Ryan Seacrest will again host. He also will host the new NBC “The Million Second Quiz.”*****New Orleans Saints’ fans are calling Coach Sean Payton the “Payton Saint.” His return is like the return of John the Baptist and a black and gold return to the Super Bowl would be like the return of Christ himself. Payton’s popularity seems higher than ever. Remember when the Saint fans were wearing paper bags over their heads? Well that ain’t no more.*****Katie Couric, 56, to wed John Molner, 50. He gave the former Today host a ring last week. Katie’s husband Jay Monahan died of colon cancer in 1998. She has two daughters ages 21 and 17.*****Alec Baldwin has been hired by MSNBC for a once-a-week talk show in primetime. A good bet would be they will put him up against Bill O’Reilly on FOX.*****Shellie Zimmerman has filed for divorce from George. Her filing reveals that she owes creditors more than $90,000. She wants both dogs, Oso, a 2-year-old Rottweiler and Leroy, 8-year-old mixed breed. Over the weekend Shellie called 911 because George threatened her with a gun.


We were sorry to learn of the death of Grady Leverne Smith, 58, who died Monday, Sept. 9. Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. Visitation will be held Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at  Claybar. He was the brother of Kenneth and John Smith and son of the late Snuffy and Rachel Smith of Bridge City. Please see obituary.


10 Years Ago-2003

Two years have gone by since 9-11. Jim Turner, of Crocket, is our congressman.*****Orange Mayor Brown Claybar announces that the city has finalized the last purchase of land for a city park and boat ramp on Simmons Drive.*****Gertrude Dotson, 93, still drives and enjoys life. At a recent Pinehurst Labor Day picnic, she said, “Honey, I get more hugs and kisses at these picnics than you can imagine. Pete Runnels gave me a big hug. He’s the sweetest man. I also got a big hug from Parker Thompson, he’s a mess.”*****Wayne Peveto, attorney and former state representative, holds the annual dove hunt at his farm. Wayne was ill so son Rex hosted the outing. Lots of folks, lots of food, prepared by James Claybar and served with Wayne’s famous beer biscuits.*****Pretty Ms. Sharon Fults Gearheart celebrated her 50th birthday Sept. 9. She doesn’t look a day over 30.*****Bridge City’s Matt Bryant kicked three field goals for the New York Giants. He scored 11 points in all. The Giants beat St. Louis  by 10 points, 23-13. Jason Mathews, of Bridge City, is a lineman for the Tennessee Titans.*****On Sept. 8, 1900, the great hurricane hit Galveston killing 6,000 people.*****1974 Bridge City grad, Tracie, is a medical graduate. Doctor Updike’s practice is in Port Arthur. (Editor’s note: Over the years, B.C. High School has produced many grads who went on to become doctors.)*****The Record’s “Players of the Week” are Kerry Franks, WO-S; Shon Landry, LC-M; Michael Gauthier, BC; and Thomas Hamrick, OF. (Editor’s note: Gauthier is the fastest athlete to ever attend Bridge City. He won state championships in track and starred for Lamar.)*****A new 2003 Silverado EXT Cab pickup at Harmon Chevrolet will set you back $20,749, that’s with $4,000 rebate.

 40 Years Ago-1973

Thrift and Gift Shop opening held Sept. 1 at 207 Fifth St. in Orange. Gift items, made by senior citizens, will be on sale. Part of the store will be a thrift shop where people can buy clothing and items donated by Orange Countians. This store is a new idea and could become a very special place in our community. (Editor’s note: 40-years later the Thrift and Gift Shop can be found at 350-37th St. inside the old Salk School.)*****The LC-M twirlers this year are Vicky Moore, Leesa Smith, Candie Brock, Sue Melton, Neva Lindley, Madelon Minton, Donnarie Campbell, Lauri Melton and Glenda Becker.*****The West Orange Chief’s cheerleaders are Chris Doyle, Sherry Sullivan, Debbie Chapman, Christi Hall, Terri Mouton, Jan Robinson and Candi Campbell.*****Football season kicks off this week. Some of the star players to watch are senior David Guidry, #20, a track star who goes both ways for the Cardinals; Also teammate senior quarterback Terry Bridgers; Little Cypress-Mauriceville features #11, quarterback Don McClain, who is scheduled to start against Kelly Friday night.. At West Orange, besides the Duhon brothers, senior tackle, 215 pound Rex Andrews is the pulling guard that coaches say is the most improved player. At Bridge City, Randy Fults, #73, 210 pounds, will be the only sophomore starting for the Cards. He replaces injured Dave Smith at defensive tackle. Steve Culp, #50, 190-pound senior, is the Cards starting center; next to him is pulling guard, #63, Craig Turner, 215-pounds, 6’2” senior. Big Red takes on Sulphur, in Louisiana, Friday night. B.C. Coach Chief Wilson held a sever-hour practice workout on Labor Day. Hurricane Delia was expected to bring winds and rain Tuesday, and it did, running the players indoors. Coach Wilson had guessed right by doubling Monday’s practice time.*****Marie LeBlanc becomes Mrs. Mayo Brasseaux on Sept. 1.*****Inez Runnels is wearing a cast on both arms. Her accident has something to do with walking into a moving truck.*****Dr. Joe Majors claims he hasn’t smoked in 14 months. He hadn’t bought any cigarettes in five years. He only smoked what he could bum.*****Glen Earl, newsman on Channel 4, does a feature story on the grave markers found under the Orange Library. Louis Dugas wrote the story for the OVN. The paper also furnished the pictures for Glen’s TV story.


Andrea Peoples, Bob Aven, Beh Arnold, Billy Fontenot, Casey Stephenson, Chris Kovatch, Donna Lanthier, Shannon Sparks, Greg Ball, Jennifer Burns, Jona Gilchrist, Karen Warner, Kathleen Williams, Lloyd George, Molly Anthony, Shannon Eickenhorst, Tiffany Higgs, Bryan Riedel, Buffy Bean, Betty Nezat, Collin Findlay, Betty Nezat, Cynthia Claybar, David Haddock, Kade Hanks, Tommy Chapman, Margaret Jeffcote, Nina Dilbert, C.M. Marshall, Connie Swope, Darlene Brown, Gregory Barclay, Gene Elkins, James E. Braus, Justin Granger, Kim Norris, Morgan Milligan, Nikki Wingate, Pamela Vaught, Pat Tilley, Randy Jones, Betty Fuss, Bo Dilbert, Gene Donahey, Greg Choate, Janis Leyendecker, Jon Berry, Colton Coleman, Huey Schrieber, Madison Lewis, Valgene Donahey, Ginger Ellis, Harold Tally, Nick Heil, Shonna Hunt, Talmadge Hutchison, James McQueen, David Cupp, Ian Putman, Phyllis Dunn, Stephanie Morris, Todd Estes, Valerie Gilbeaux, Mark Conner, O’Shanique Foster, Tommy Purdy, Landin New, Linda Schulz, Delana Huebel, Lynda Stout, Kevin Chambless, Mark Anderson and Chase Burch.


A roast of everyone’s friend, Ross Smith, is being held by the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce this Thursday, at 6 p.m. at the Community Center. Ross has done so much for our communities. He’ll do to ride the range with.*****The Orange Chamber held a ribbon cutting at Peggy’s Off the Bayou Tuesday.***** This week the Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s and next week, the Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Peggy’s on Hwy. 62 at Norton’s RV Park. Make note, that’s a change of places. Everyone is welcome.*****Coastal mosquitoes from the salt marsh have invaded Orange County. The “Skeeters” hatched on a recent wave of high tides along the Gulf Coast and moved inland. The county mosquito control board is doing a great job controlling them. If however you’re going to have an outdoor outing call Pestco and they will rid them for up to six weeks.*****All Bridge City businesses were damaged by Ike, some were totally destroyed but it’s amazing to see them today. Most stayed and rebuilt and new businesses came. Visit them this week during the 5th anniversary of Ike. *****We heard from our friend Doug Harrington. He’s doing much better but the gall bladder surgery, done the old fashion way, really set him back but it looks like he’s beat the cancer.*****Our friend Don Harmon is still battling his cancer problem but seems to be improving daily. Our prayers are with him. *****We haven’t heard from Bobby Taylor lately. He hasn’t been around here so we’re hoping he’s hanging in there. *****A few folks we know celebrating their special day this week. On Sept. 11, Bob Aven, Billy Fontenot and Shannon Sparks celebrate.***Celebrating on Sept. 12 is Cynthia Claybar, Bryan Riedel, Buffy Dean and Karen Warner.***On Sept. 13, Mark Dunn’s youngest daughter, Jenna Ballau, mother of his two grandchildren, Nate and Delilah, celebrates. Also longtime friend Faydra Thibeaux, Abbeville native, mother of nine marks another year. It is also the day Hurricane Ike visited the coast in 2008. ***Sept. 14 is a special day for a special lady. Amber and Jenna’s mom, Kerrie Dunn, is one year older. Also Cathy Garretson, who never met a stranger. Quite a gal. ***On Sept. 15, Jon Berry, Ginger Ellis and Shonna Hunt celebrate. ***Sept. 16 is the big day for Phyllis Dunn, “Ms. Phyl,” the family monarch, and boy does she deserve a great day. ***Sept. 17, Darlene, who keeps the Montagne ship upright, celebrates on this day. What a great lady. Also marking a birthday is Bridge City native, school board member Mark Anderson. Happy birthday to all. Please see complete birthday list.*****Today, here at the Record, on deadline day, we find ourselves in a pickle. Our girl Nicole is off ill and I don’t know when or if she might be back. We wish her nothing but the best. She’s been a great asset. We will miss her if she’s unable to return.*****Congress returned Monday after a 40 day vacation. They work an average of 16 days a month, four days a week. The Far Right took the time to throw bombs at President Obama while he confronted a crisis. It worked. His approval numbers are down while the Congress has an increase of five points in popularity, from nine percent to 14 percent.*****Meanwhile, a good report out Monday shows that our economy will continue to grow in 2014. Unemployment will continue to drop and most importantly, inflation will not rise.*****It was a late night, I sweated out the Houston Texans, who came back late in the game to pull out a 31-28 win over the Chargers.*****The big college game of the week will be next Saturday at Kyle Field when #1 Alabama comes to the Brazos Valley to take on Johnny Manziel and #7 Texas A&M Aggies. There is no place I would rather be Saturday, however, the game will be on CBS at 2:30. Get ready for a shootout.*****Meanwhile, the Texas Longhorns have way more problems than just firing their defensive coordinator. I wasn’t that impressed with the Cowboys either.*****Our longtime friend Gary Lusignan died Aug. 29 on his 62nd birthday. What are the odds of that? A celebration of Gary’s life will be held at Larry’s French Market in Groves Thursday, Sept. 12, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. His mother Gert, dad Lucky, brother Butch all proceeded him in death. He was a good guy.*****This week’s biggest idiot is Dennis Rodman, biggest phony Karl Rove.*****Something to think about: Whatever became of water fountains, telephone booths and glass milk jugs?*****We are hearing nothing but good things are happening at David Self Ford. Their volume is way up since more local customers find out that David Self is meeting Houston prices. There is no need to go out of town to make a great buy. Keep you tax dollar at home. Check their ad out and call the phone number listed in the ad.*****Just heard from Sharon and Jack Darby that our good friend Jivin’ Gene is to have knee replacement surgery Sept. 16 at St. Mary Hospital. We hope all goes well.*****If you need some good okra, call Leonard at 409-330-7882. Only $1.50 a pound.


Two womens were sitting next to each utta at da bar at Tee-Boy’s Bar and Grill. After a while one look at da utta one and say, “I can’t help but tink from listening to you dat you are a Cajun you.”

Da utta woman responds, “I sure am me.”

Da first woman say, “Me too.”

Da utta woman say, “I’m from Breaux Bridge me.”

Da first woman say, “So am I, wat street did you live on?”

Da utta woman answer, “On Canal Street, next to the levy.”

Da first woman say, “Wat a small world, me too. Wat school did you go to hanh?”

Da utta woman say, “St. Mary’s, I graduated in 1982.”

Excited, da first woman say, “Da good Lord must be smiling down on us, I graduated from St. Mary too in 1982.”

About dat time Sostan walk in and sit down at da bar and order a beer. Tee-Boy brings it, shaking his head he tells Sostan, “It’s going to be a long night.”

“Why you say dat?” axe Sostan.

“Well,” says Tee-Boy, “Da Badeaux twins from Breaux Bridge are drunk again.”


Closing on a serious note, President Barack Obama addressed the nation Tuesday evening. All major TV networks and cable news channels, including C-Span and PBS carried his message. On Monday, former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton weighed in on the use of chemicals by Syrian President Assad to poison his citizens, including women and children. Russia offered a proposal that Assad would give up his stockpile of Sarin gas, which by the way he had denied he had, for not being attacked by the United States. The U.S. Congress was yet to vote on a resolution approving a strike if diplomacy doesn’t work. Personally, I believe the Russian proposal is a stall. I wouldn’t trust Russia in an outhouse with a mussel on. The big issue is that giving the President our confidence to call the shots on any national security problem is being blocked by the extremist in both parties. Sen. Rand Paul however has flip-flopped. Diplomacy will work only if the U.S. is united and stays strong. A no vote by the congress will weaken the U.S. in the eyes of the world, giving a green light to other rogue countries and dictators. It sends a message to Iran that they can escalate their goal for nuclear weapons. I don’t believe, if the congress doesn’t back their Commander-in-Chief that any president in the future will ever again go to the congress for a resolution. Our President can carry a big stick that keeps the world and America safer in times of national security if we are one, united nation. Assad needs to go; but you can forget that. If we can’t even strike his chemical facilities, what do we do if he decides to spray Israel with chemical warfare? Do we sit idly by? The offer from Russia and a diplomatic solution came only after Obama’s threat to strike. Never before has a president been put in this spot, and it will affect every president that follows. There comes a time in all generations when we must all stand tall together as one nation, with one commander. It’s no time to play politics and look weak. *****Thanks for your time. Take care and God bless.