After the big freeze comes the big thaw. The high pressure system that dropped termeratures into the teens and 20s, will move out, allowing much warmer weather and moisture from the Gulf. We should be back to short sleeve weather by Friday. Three nights of freezing has destroyed foliage and left the area ugly. Most plants left exposed bit the dust. Let me caution you however, just hang on, don’t throw your plants away and don’t be quick to cut them back. Leave them alone until March, most will come back to life from the roots. Our friend John Heard, the citrus grower, says even though temperatures got down to 19 degrees at his place the orange and grapefruit trees don’t look bad. He says the 18-hour freeze time is what worries him, some trees could die later. John has plenty of citrus and if you would like to purchase the best, fresh Orange County oranges and grapefruit, give John a call at 988-5231. He will tell you how to get to his place. One good thing the freeze  brought is cold enough weather to kill the bugs. The mild winters the last few years have allowed a large variety of bugs to accumulate. Even with spraying they have been hard to contain. This spring we can make a fresh start; save the plants we can and replant new ones. Most of the landscape needed refreshing anyway. It should be a boom time for nurseries and landscapers. As for now, I’m ready for a little rain to wash away some of the ugly.*****I’d best move on, hop on and come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


What can we expect from the “do nothing” Congress? Very little. The main focus will be the November elections. Even though most GOP congressmen are in gerrymandered districts they may still be facing opposition from within their party as Tea Party candidates try to unseat established Republicans in the Senate. The Tea Party challenge is making incumbents move further to the right so they are not likely to support anything that puts the Obama administration in a good light. Expectations are so low that early actions on White House priorities of raising the minimum wage, restoring unemployment benefits, and any overhaul of immigration laws are likely to not go anywhere. For two years the Congress has sat on their hands and done nothing about a farm bill. If nothing is done soon expect milk, for example, by mid-February, could go to $5 a gallon and much higher by May or June, maybe to $7 a gallon. Last week, Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, was playing down expectations for any major legislative achievements in this 113 Congress. Congress, which passed fewer laws than any in recorded history, has been dubbed the worst in our lifetime. In 2013, the House was in session only 135 days and we know they do nothing on Monday andFriday, that leaves four work days. The average American worker is on the job around 250-plus days a year. The House’s do nothing pace and narrow agenda angers a few GOP members but others, who face tough re-election fights, cheer the drag ‘your feet’ tactics. Some must do  task are ahead however, like on Jan. 15, the government will again run out of money unless a spending bill is passed. Democrats say doing nothing is not an option. To the public they will lay blame on the GOP. Republicans have little to fear in the House, only 28 Republican seats are in play, 207 are considered safe. That could change slightly if Republicans overplay their hand. One example is voting against the minimum wage.


10 Years Ago-2004

Orange County didn’t get snow for Christmas but Albino squirrels are adding a white attraction to various areas. Several residents report seeing entire families of the unique white squirrels. John Wayne and Janette Clark, of Pinehurst, report having several in their neighborhood.Jeannette says the fluffy, snow white squirrel, with pink eyes, showed up after the big ice storm a few years ago. Eunice Blankenstein, director of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, said that Lutcherbought the original albino squirrels and some black squirrels from a dealer in Central Texas and set them loose in Shangri La. He started with a pair of each and they have since multiplied and spread throughout the area.*****On Sunday, Jan. 4, Renis Trahan, 81, formerly of Bridge City, died. A native of Maurice, LA., he lived in Mauriceville. He was the father of Shirley Walker, Tony Houseman’s “Girl Friday.” (Editor’s note: Shirley is still chief in charge now for Giesla Houseman.*****Britney Spears and Jason Alexander’s wedding, in Vegas, lasted all of 14 hours. “I slept with Britney” is good for bragging rights for years to come.*****Willie Nelson to release anti-war ballad, “Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth.”  One line in the song asked “How much oil is a human life worth.”*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Seth Allan Boullion, 22, of Bridge City, died Dec. 30.***Walter E. Snelgrade. Jr., 45, of Orange, died Dec. 31.***Charles “Jiggy” Adams, 63, of Orange, died Jan. 1.***Harry Elmo Davis, 82, died Jan. 3.***Betty June Landry, 57, died Jan. 3.***Linda Bailey, 37, of Orange, died Jan. 3.***Bob F. Crow, 83, died Jan. 4.*****The first baby born in Orange for the New Year is Dwight James Davis. (Editor’s note: For sometimes now babies are no longer born in Orange County. Native children, but not native born.*****George Navarro, Bridge City city councilman, challenges John Ford, 33-year constable of Pct. 3. He is the first opponent Ford has had in 12 years. Johnny Welch and Larry Granger ran against him in 1988. Ford got 2,888 votes, Welch 1,198,andGranger 1,089. Ford won two races in 1984. He had three opponents,Bobby Lawrence, John Tarver and Leon Leonard. Tarver made the runoff with 1,866 votes to Ford’s 2,317. In the runoff Ford won a tight race with 2,332 votes to Tarver’s 2,092. (Editor’s note: Ford was re-elected in the race against Navarro. When Ford retired, Mark Philpottwas elected to replace him and is the present constable in Pct. 3.*****Officers at County Bank for the year 2004 are Carlos Vacek, Lin Bingham, Mike Moreau, Billy Burow and Bryne Hurley. (Editor’snote: The ownership of the bank was changed and only Vacek remained.)

35 Years Ago-1979

Bill, Bill and Bill are the leaders of our state. Clements, Governor,Hobby, Lt. Governor,  Clayton, speaker of the house.*****Wayne Boggus, a former undercover drug agent who worked Orange County and made many drug cases, was the witness in the Cullen Davis murder trial. The DPS officer testified on the attempt to serve the subpoena onCullen’s brother Bill.*****Bill and Martha Hughes and kids braved zero weather in Dallas where Bill’s alma mater was playing Notre Dame. The Hughes left the game in the fourth quarter with the Cougars way ahead. Notre Dame rallied and went ahead to win the game in the last two minutes.*****Former judge Grover Halliburton receives invitation to Gov. Bill Clements inauguration. That had a bunch of Democrats wondering.*****Bill Townes named general manager of Howard Morse’s operations consisting of several convenience stores, Howard’sSuperettes and Howard’s Big Red Pantry in Bridge City.*****Bum Phillips, coach of the Houston Oilers, subscribes to the Dunn family owned Opportunity Valley Newspaper. Dunn said in his note that Bumsaid he wanted to keep up with what is going on in Orange County. (Editor’s note: The OVN was a very popular weekly paper that theDunns sold to Cox Enterprise in 1979.)*****Julia Bacon celebrated a birthday on Jan. 5.*****Pretty Mel Campbell will celebrate hers on Jan. 14. She was notifying everyone in advance.*****Jim Welsh is named to replace Crip Trahan (who recently passed away) on the drainage district board.*****Folks at Bill Payne Chevrolet are passing out cans of beans instead of business cards. The promotion is “Get a Beans Saving Deal from Payne.”*****Louis Dugas didn’t ski on recent Colorado trip but those who did were Beth, Dianne and Brooks Hill, Nancy and Frank Finchum, June and Houston Baker and Jamie and Bob Franklin.*****Bridge City Chamber to hold installation banquet Jan. 11.Bill Nickum, president; Don Burgess, VP; Albert Pugh, VP; Shannon Messer, secretary and treasurer. Other directors include Neil Bond, Cecil Brown and Glenda Garrison. Speaker will be judge James (Jim) Farris, Judge of the 317th District Court.*****Bridge City boxers win in Lake Charles. Jamie, Jimmy and Johnny Brooks were all winners. Also winners were Bubba Thurman, Shawn O’Dell and Bubba Ritter.


Orange County is where the ‘Sun Rises on Texas and the Stars Shine First.’ One of our early stars use to carry a shoeshine box, where he shined shoes in Orange and Bridge City. He still has that box on display in his office. Former Stark High star, R.C. Slocum, went on to be the winnest football coach in TexaS A&m history. Next week, Jan. 14,Slocum will be honored with the Alonzo Stagg award, presented by the coaches association. This week, R.C.’s longtime friend Joe Kazmarwrites a feature on our native son. Be sure to read it.*****Last week our buddy Tony Fuselier got himself sprayed with a lot of lead. Tony took pellets from a shotgun to the head and neck. This time the lead was not in his butt. He’s doing okay but it could have been much worse. LoyalKaren will nurse him back to health. The guy who shot him is out on $100,000  bond set by Judge Peck. The rental business can be a tough business. Folks don’t like to pay for their lodging and they take it out on the landlord.*****On Jan. 1, 1948, Ronnie Shugart was the first born baby of the year. That was 66 Years ago. Not only did his family get a fine baby boy, they received other prizes from merchants.****Justice of the Peace Judge David Peck held 1455 arraignments, set bonds, signed felony warrants and held 36 inquest and dozens of trials. Goes to show you that JP’s are some of the busiest people in government. They call it the ‘People’s Court” but now even Jim Goodman knows that Judge Peckhasn’t been loafing.*****LBJ’s war on poverty speech was 50 years ago, Jan. 8, 1964. From it came Medicare and Medicaid. Some folks have been trying to do away with it ever since.*****We understand pretty Jana Ridgeway had her baby New Year’s Eve. Not sure if it was a boy or girl.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day this week. On Jan. 8, former Bridge City and Lamar football star and Dupont employee Lanston Fall celebrates as does Joey Halliburton, Sandra Cole and Darryl and Gretts’s son Sean Brinson.***Jan. 9 finds Ken Steppe, Harold Williams and Susan Kelly celebrating.***On Jan. 10, our buddy Collin Slade Gros reaches year 19, his last year as a teenager. Also on this day our longtime friend Frank Skeeler is a year older as isSandy Uzzle. George Forman is 65 and Rod Stewart, 69.***On Jan. 11, plumber, Orange city councilman Bill Mello marks another birthday and also Gabby Leblanc, Teresa Franklin and Naomi Jedd, who turns 68.***Margie and Harry Stephens celebrate their 28th anniversary on this day also.***On Jan. 12, Jimmie Allen, Susan LeBlanc, Donald Edgerton and Beth Linden celebrate.***T.W.’s pretty wife Lyndia Permenter celebrates on Jan. 13 and also Kent Hannegan, Jack Stout and Jolynn Sholmire.***On Jan. 14, we are proud to extend best wishes to Ruth Berry on her 94th birthday. Also celebrating is pretty Mel Campbell, she is one of the original Kemp girls and Bridge City city councilman Robert Simonton, Chris Williams and Brittny Trantham,all a year older.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine atRobert’s this week and Novrozsky’s next. Make plans to attend. Great fellowship and everyone is welcome.*****This week, on Jan. 7, 1800, the 13th president, Millard Fillmore, was born in Summerhill, N.Y. He is the President that East Texan Millard “Neighbor” Cox was named after.Fillmore didn’t leave much of a mark on history but anyone who ever met Cox won’t soon forget him. He’s full of it.*****Florida State National Football Champs. I was prepared for a runaway by theSemioles but it turned out to be a nail bitter. The Auburn Tigers made Florida State earn it. The Tigers led by 18 points at the half. A 100-yard runback for a TD and a 13-yard pass by Heisman winner James Winston,with 13 seconds left in the game, gave Florida State a 34-31 win overAuburn. It was the first time a team with a halftime deficit would rally to win the BCS national championship.*****The Texas Longhorns namedCharlie Strong as their head football coach. Strong becomes the first Black head coach in any major sport at U.T. Up until 1970, Texas didn’t have any Black players. They were one of the last major schools to sign Black players and took a long time hiring a Black coach.*****The Houston Texans hired Bill O’Brien to take over as head coach. He released most assistant coaches including Orange native Wade Phillips. Wade will land on his feet but like his dad, he doesn’t like to leave Texas. That leaves him only the Cowboys in the pros. You know that wouldn’t be a bad deal for Jerry or Wade, where his son is an assistant. Also Jerry needs to make a defensive coordinator change.*****The New Orleans Saints travel to Seattle Saturday to take on Earl Thomas and theSeahawks. The Saints are a seven-point underdog. I’ve learned to never bet against Drew Brees. At home the Seahawks should win but I thought the same thing last weekend when the Saints beat the Eagles in their house.*****Ted Williams stopped by to drop off his political announcement and to give us a run down on Joy Scarborough. We haven’t seen her in a few months. Ted says she doesn’t drive anymore. Got rid of the car but as soon as the weather gets better he will bring her by. The former school principal is a nice lady. We miss her and her fudge also.*****Someone asked about Bobby Taylor and how he is doing. I haven’t heard lately. I believe he’s still in hospital. He’s a good man. Our prayers are with him and Ms. Barbara.*****A few days ago, Rayford “a tall drink of water”  Jimerson came by. He’s an interesting guy who still works out daily. He’s in better shape than most 60 year olds. He has a bag full of stories and is one of this papers biggest fans.

Birthdays This Week

Mike Comeaux, Joey Halliburton, Nadine Whitsett, Philipp Hunt, Sandra Cole, Sean Brinson, Harold Williams, Chad Meadows, Ken Steppe, Pat Gunstream, Ralph Buker, Susan Kelly, Evelyn Duncan, Frank Skeeler, Sandy Uzzle, Scott Gerrald, Emily Breaux, Ann Olliff Gabby LeBlanc, Ashley Rion, Davie Thompson, Fermin Brown, Grant Gilson, John Craus, Madeline Dawn Evans, Teresa Franklin, Beth Lindner, Donald Edgerton, Bill Braus, Charles Pou, Dana Sandlin, David Pendergast, Jimmie Allen, Lynnette Lothman,  Susan LeBlanc, Kent Hannegan, JoLynn Sholmire, Lyndia Permenter, Jack Stout, Mandy Jaarah, Patricia Coppage, Chris Williams, Brittany Trantham, Joan Lyons, Mel Campbell, Rob Fisher, Tommy Thompson


Brother Gaspard, Sugar Bea’s cousin, is da preacher where she attends church, her. The Rev. Gaspard him, told his wife Agnes dat he was frustrated, dat he was failing to reach da young people and had decided with spring coming soon dat he would give a sermon on water skiing first ting Sunday morning. Agnes agreed and said, “Honey, dat a great idea, da teenagers dem would relate to da sports reference.”

Wen Sunday morning came, Preacher Gaspard looked around da church. Since dere wasn’t enough youngsters in attendance, he changed his mind and decided to change da topic to sex, a sermon he had previously prepared. He gave a brilliant sermon at the 8 a.m. service.

Agnes didn’t attend da early service. Wen she arrived for da 11 a.m.service, members stopped her to compliment her husband on da best sermon since dey arrived at da church.

Agnes said, “Why tank you so much, I can’t believe he sounded like such an expert, him. He only tried it twice and he fell off once, lost his breath wen he was short-stroking and it made him sick both times.”


Judge Buddie Hahn’s hometown of Sanderson is a fading West Texas town. The Ford dealership shut down, the football team went to six-men and Kerr Mercantile called it quits. The landmark 19th century Southern Pacific train depot Hahn remembers as a boy is no more. The Terrell County News Leader shut down in July, leaving only a public bulletin board for local news. It was more than some people could tolerate. A group of citizens rolled up their sleeves and created a newspaper with feel good stories. The Terrell County Sun hit the streets in December with a four page paper. County Commissioner Kenn Norris said, “You don’t miss it until you don’t have it, it created some buzz in town.” Today, the paper is up to six pages and printing 500 copies. Here is how Judge Hahn, the home boy who went off and did good for himself, can help. He just slid into his last term as a District Judge and long career. The Sunneeds a good front page feel good story about a native son and Buddiecan help by contributing his story. The editor is Allison Taylor. Everyone who works on the publication is a volunteer. The town, founded in 1882 as a switching station, before Hahn was born, was once an important center for wool and mohair production. I bet Buddie knows a little about sheep and goats. All but a few sheep remain and Buddie is long gone, off to make his mark in the world a long way from the West Texas town, 67 miles north of Fort Stockton. Now Judge, you owe it to that little dusty town to do your part. Maybe even a weekly column, but at least a feature story for the folks back home. I’ll let editor Taylor know that I did my part by informing the legendary judge of how he could help. I wonder how many district judges came out of Sanderson.*****I must shut it down for now. By the way, if you get the chance, Roy got off his you know what, and wrote a Life’s Highway column. Check it out. Thanks again for your time and loyalty. Take care and God bless.