Orange County is where the sun rises on Texas and the stars shine first. One of our latest stars is Earl Thomas, a downtown Orange lad who honed his young talent at West Orange-Stark High School under the coaching of Dan Hooks and Cornell Thompson. WO-S has been a factory for developing young football talent over the years. Coach Thompson has been a master at taking an ordinary kid, with good speed, and molding him to reach his highest potential. It is said that if a kid is good enough to play safety for Thompson chances are he’s a good prospect for college recruiters. West Orange-Stark, over the last three decades, has produced many outstanding football players who went on to make their mark in the college and pro ranks. Those young athletes played their high school football in local stadiums in Bridge City, Orangefield, LC-M, Vidor, Newton, etc. When one of these young stars appears on TV in a Saturday or Sunday game, many local fans can say they watched that youngster right here on our field when he was just starting out in high school. Earl has brought recognition to our community while at the University of Texas and now as an All-Pro safety for the Super Bowl bound Seattle Seahawks. Earl has been a great ambassador for Orange. He never fails to remind the country where his roots are. Everyone who knows Earl, including former school teachers, say he has always been courteous and respectful. Today, even though he’s a leader on the best pro-defense in the country, he remains humble. Which brings up the subject of his buddy, cornerback Richard Sherman, who was in Orange this summer for Earl’s football clinic. Everyone who met him says his post game triad Sunday is not at all like he is. He’s a highly motivated, emotional young man and even though he’s a pro, one of the best, he admits he just got carried away in the moment. Sherman, on that one play, saved the 49’ers from winning by one point. That play sent the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. Sherman graduated from high school with straight A grades in advanced placement classes. Raised by a father who works as a garbage man and whose mother teaches disabled children, he chose Stanford to play football because of its academic reputation. That 10 second post game interview is not who that young man is. Nowhere in his back ground has that emotion ever surfaced. However, he had never just won a trip to the Super Bowl before. In closing, Earl will only be the second Orange County lad to play in a Super Bowl. Kevin Smith, a WO-S product was the other and he brought home a championship ring. Here’s hoping Earl will do the same. Even if he doesn’t we’re still proud of what he has accomplished. He makes Orange proud.*****Gotta move on. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


10 Years Ago-2004

Area police chief officers are Mike Stelly, West Orange; Dan Robertson, Pinehurst; Sam Kittrell, Orange; and Steve Faircloth, Bridge City.*****Young baseball player, Matt Hicks, 12, was hit by an auto on Hwy. 408 while riding his bike. He took a big hit and was broken up badly. (Editor’s note: Matt did suffer some altering injuries but that didn’t prevent him from seeking his dream. He was a great B.C. Cardinal pitcher and shortstop and is now a pitcher for the Ragin’ Cajuns of LSU Lafayette. Matt is facing his senior season.)*****Houston will host the Super Bowl next Sunday between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are a seven point underdog. Of course, all area Cajuns will be pulling for Cajun quarterback, Jake Delhomme. (Editor’s note: Do you remember who won?)*****Capt. Dave Reeves, of the sheriff’s office, leaves for military service in Afghanistan.*****On Jan. 20, Jason Menard, of Bridge City, a soldier in the U.S. Army, left for war in Iraq.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. Esther E. Engan, 87, of Orangefield, died Sun., Jan. 18.***Robert “Choo Choo” Mays, 69 of Orange, died Sun. Jan. 16.***Diane Ratcliff, 47 of Deweyville, died Jan. 17.***Marilyn L. Block, 57, of Orange, died Jan. 12.***Robert Lee Taylor, 57, of Orange, died Jan. 15.***Rhea E. Snelling, 51, of Orange, died Jan. 12.***Rosalie L. Besse, 76, of Bridge City, died Jan. 16.*****The Bridge City Youth Recreation Association elects new officers. Scott Raggio, president; Fred Zoch, VP;  Jan Menard, secretary; Christy Hyde, treasurer. *****Local hunter, Bryan Thibeaux, 46, takes a unique big buck on his property in East Texas. The 15-point buck displayed a rack shaped like a basket. The rack had no spread, the points ran straight up. Thibeaux’s deer weighed 140 pounds field dressed.

35 Years Ago-1979

Bridge City’s $172,000 administration building is dedicated. Legislators speaking at dedication include U.S. Congressman Charles Wilson; State Senator Carl Parker and State Representative Wayne Peveto. The Rev. Ed Robinson delivered the benediction. City Manager C.R. Nash proclaims the opening as a red letter day for Bridge City. Ground breaking on the new city hall started in January, 1978. On Dec.1, 1978, moving into the building started. Twenty-five employees, seven of them full-time, will work in the building that houses the city administration, fire marshal, building inspector and police chief. The building contains 4,400 square feet. Nash was cited for bringing to pass the new building. He became city manager on Dec. 1, 1976. Nash and his wife have two children. They are members of the Second Baptist Church. *****Hal Wray is named ‘Citizen of the Year’ by greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce. Roy Wingate presented the award. Six hundred attended. Howard Jarvis was speaker.*****Judge Sid Caillavet is in Orange hospital after taking a nose dive in his bedroom. Friends kidded that his big nose broke the fall.*****Freddie Chapman will be 17 on Jan. 25.*****Senator Carl Parker and State Representative Wayne Peveto file joint resolution which would repeal all state ad valorem taxes and set up a higher education assistance fund (SHEAF) similar to the permanent university fund available to University of Texas and Texas A&M.

 40 Years Ago-1974

Earlene Hilliard, 48, announces she will seek another term as county treasurer. She served 13 years as first assistant under county auditor, Walter Ebanks and Luther Sebren before becoming treasurer.*****Joe Kazmar named ‘Salesman of the Year’ at Butler-Baker Pontiac American.*****Spotlight on Bridge City basketball coach, Don Calvert. Players are Randy Fults, Steve Harmon, Billy James, Art Simmons, Jeff Gephardt, Shannon Martin, David Weishaar and Robert Truncale.*****Bridge City football coach Chief Wilson accepts new position with school district. He becomes vocational adjustment coordinator. Chief had coached in six different school districts. He has been in BC the last 12 years. Chief and wife, Ramona educate their children in the district. *****Pete Sterling is your clean shaven State Farm Life Insurance agent. *****Evangalan Mixon married Raymond Grossman on Jan. 18. *****Allen and Viola Bendy celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary.

50 Years Ago-1964

Flashy Eddie Sutton, bleeding from a gash at the mouth, threw caution to the wind and hammered out a unanimous decision over Lafayette’s Anneal Foreman. Sutton won the ‘Outstanding Boxer’ award. Other Orange winners were Gary McCamey, Ken Ballard, Oscar Dominguez and Larry Carpenter. *****The new First Savings and Loan is dedicated. Formal speaker was Congressman Jack Brooks. Officers are Ward Stephenson, director; Wayne Cox, executive V.P.; Davis Cooper, V.P. and director; Joe Powell, Walter Ebanks and Donald Cohenour, directors; and Jessie Dickerson, assistant secretary.*****Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr will be the principle speaker at the Jaycee banquet that highlights Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, beginning Jan. 17.*****Commissioners Casey Peveto and Asa Mansfield seek reelection. State Rep. Clyde Haynes asks for a third term. W.D. Bill Joyce, former County ID officer seeks sheriff’s post in Newton County. *****Stark High football players C.E. Riggs and Frank Beauchamp are named to 3-A, All State Team.


We were saddened to learn of the death of Cecil Williams,75, of Call, who was killed on Jan. 20, in an automobile accident in Newton County. Williams was a longtime Bridge City resident and was the owner of Cecil’s Garage Door Company.*****The Madison Masonic Lodge 126 celebrated its 160th anniversary. The Lodge was chartered Jan. 19, 1854, in what was then Madison, Texas which later became Orange County on Feb. 6, 1858. The founding members were William Smith, G.A. Patillo and Hugh Ochiltree..*****We were sorry to hear of the death of Jim “Poochie“ Darby, 85, who died Friday, Jan. 17. Visitation was held Tuesday, Jan. 21 and burial Wed. 10 a.m. under the direction of  Garmier-Oberle Funeral Home, Port Arthur. Darby was a longtime Cow Bayou resident and owner of Darby‘s Auto Parts. He was founder of “Poochie”, a convenient store chain. His wife, Trelia, passed away three years ago.  Condolences go out to his children Bart, Claire, Leslie and their families. *****We ran into Charlie Warner, one of the great guys we’ve known since he was a tot. Charlie is excited that he will be a brand new granddad in May by way of his daughter. I bet if it‘s a boy he‘ll get a baseball glove on his first birthday. *****Speaking of baseball, congrats to Hunter Uzzle, who will be playing for Panola, a great baseball school. I’m sure Hunter will use it as a stepping stone. One thing for sure, no one on the team will out hustle him, plus he‘s one of the finest young men you could ever hope to meet. By the way, if you read in Chuck‘s column a couple weeks ago about the big goose and duck hunt the guys went on in Oklahoma, we were fortunate enough to have Hunter bring us a mess that turned into a great championship football gumbo Sunday. *****Congrats to Orangefield softball star, Kelsey Ancelot, who has signed to play with Kilgore next season. *****The Chuck Young alumni baseball classic will be held at Bridge City stadium Feb. 8. The alumni team will again be coached by Jacob Monceaux. For more information contact Chris Moore at BCISD.net.*****Last week at the Wednesday Lunch Bunch we were surprised by Patti Hanks, who was in town from Vegas for the birth of her new grandchild by way of daughter, Jamie. It is always good to see our former editor. The Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert‘s this week and at Peggy‘s Off the Bayou, Hwy. 62, next week. Everyone is always welcome.*****I recently learned from Judge Pat that many years ago, the late Roy Wingate asked Judge Clark for permission to build a lawyers bench in his courtroom in order to have something for attorneys to place their papers on. Roy found cherry wood that perfectly matched the judge‘s bench and that‘s how the bench came to be in the 128 District Court room. Another tid-bit about Roy is that he designed, cut and nailed every board one by one, to make the nice, sturdy picket fence that surrounds the old Sim’s house, (Historical Museum). Roy built many things, including furniture that he donated to needy. *****A few good folks we know celebrating their special day in the coming week. On Jan. 22,  Judge Janice Menard, a special lady of integrity celebrates her special day.***Celebrating a special event are our friends of over 50 years, Dorris and Euel Norwood, who were married 60 years ago, on Jan. 22, 1954. She’s a beautiful, good hearted woman and he’s an honorable man. I’m proud to call them friends and wish them a happy anniversary. Sixty years may not be a record but it’s a damn good average. *****On Jan. 22, Wilson Stillwell reaches 101 years of age. He was born in 1913, that was before WWI, just think of the history he’s seen in his lifetime. He enjoys good health and looks forward to the years ahead.***Also, happy birthday to Sandra Peveto, Sue Harris and Caitlyn Linder.*****Jan. 24 finds Mary Jo McClain, the widow of the late F.L. McClain, and mother of our staffer, Melodie, turning 88 years old. She’s still healthy and still independent. ***Also, celebrating on this day are Larry Grady and Randy Franklin. They share birthdays with Mary Lou Retton, who turns 46, and Neil Diamond, 73.*****Jan. 25, celebrating 89 years is our buddy and neighbor here on Henrietta Street, Roy McDaniel.***Also, having birthdays on this date are  Taylor Thompson and Judy Rogers.******Jan. 26 finds longtime friend, longtime banker, Nancy Vincent, retiring from First Financial Bank, formerly Orange Savings, this week after many years and also celebrating her birthday on this day. Nancy is special and will be missed but she has earned and deserves the time off and time to visit with mom. ***Also, on this day, our friends Pat and H.D. Pate celebrate their anniversary. *****On Jan. 27, “Scooter” Leland Gros celebrates his 5th birthday. He’s the son of Brittney and Garrett, grandson of Karen and the youngest great-grandchild of Roy and Phyl. *****On Jan. 28, the twins, two sets, celebrate. Mary Ann Scofield and Rosalie Clark turn a year older.  Rosalie’s twin grandsons, Jackson and William Patrick Clark, sons of Pat Jr. and Rachel Clark will be 8-years-old also on this day. Of course, Judge Pat is a proud granddad. I guess twins run in families but they seem to jump one generation. ***Celebrating on this day also is our buddy Mary Stanton, longtime bride of Don. ***It’s also Bill Dixon, Colin Briggs and Justin Gearharts special day. Happy birthday to all. Please see complete list.*****Our buddy, Lyndi Morris, who was recently named ‘Manager of the Year’ at Express Mart on Texas Ave. at Roundbunch, has been transferred to the Express Mart on Hwy. 62 at Hwy. 87. I’m not sure if ‘Bootie’ will join her but about the time I get clerks trained they transfer them. Paula will now be the new manager. *****Attorney Sharon Bearden hit a milestone Tuesday, Jan. 21. He turned 75. A large crowd of friends gathered for food, laughter, stories and a few lies. I’m sure sorry I missed it but duty calls. I’m running way past deadline to get this column out so here I sit at 7 p.m. still trying to finish. I’m sure everyone had a great time at Sharon’s expense. He takes a lot of abuse from his friends but he’s one of the great guys.*****Reporter David Ball visited withGeorge Holder, manager of David Self Tractor in Buna. He enjoyed the visit and wrote a feature on Texas’ number one tractor dealer. Read about it inside.*****Let me tell you about Bridge City Automotive, located in Mr. Cox’s neighborhood, at 125 Vick. Brian and Mark, certified mechanics, run the place. I know through experience that there is nothing on a vehicle they can’t fix. Everyone is a specialist. Neighbor Cox is the manager-in-exile. I’m told he’s a rear end specialist. They do dependable work at reasonable prices, however, what I want you to know is that this auto repair shop would make an ideal, made for TV, reality show. You’ll love these guys and find them fun and knowledgeable. They look like TV characters. Throw Cox in the mix and they are more fun than Sanford and Son. Tell’um we sent you.

Birthdays This Week

Cris Anderson, Meloney Delano, Mary Jo McClain, Joseph Trantham, Julian Meadows, Don Collins, Gary Baker, Janice Westfall, Lyndon Robinson, Myra Sherwood, Nancy Sieck, Suzanne Pittar, Betty Stephenson, Sandra Peveto, Caitlyn Lindner, Cindy Cain, Eryn Leroux, Harold Collins, Jennifer Grizzaffi, Logan Mitchell, Lyndell Hodgkinson, Stephanie Smith, Sue Harris, Karen Anthony, Larry Gray, Randy Franklin, Toni Robertson, Eric Shuford, Amy Kidder, Garland Gresham, Jessica Hobbs, Judy Rogers, Malissie Bailey, Melanie Thevis, Tayler Thompson, Taylor Fraccastoro, Chelsea Anderson, Frank Richardson, Marie Howell, Noreen Cook, Haley Parish, Flip Flippen, Hayden Anderson, Mike Faulk, Nancy Vincent, Ollie Butler, Ginny Pelpier, Ron Huebel, Tommy Wolfford, Hazel Reedon, Jonathan Arnold, Kimberly Barclay, Melanie Prosperie, Mick Weidner, Tori Lummus, Virginia Pelitier, Bill Dixon, Cheryl Gonzales, Hollie Fregia, William Carpenter, Justin Gearhart, Chase Rendall, Colin Briggs, Jim Snider, Mary Ann Scofield, Rosalie Clark, Sheryl Richard, Sterling Werkheiser, Virginia Robinson, and Kerstin Jewel.


A few years ago, cussin Sostan got hisself a ticket for da Super Bowl. He gave $200 for it. He sure was disappointed dat his seat was so high up he nearly got nose bleed him. He knew two players him. He had worked wit Kevin Fauks’ papa and his wife, Sugar Bee, is kin to Jake Delhomme’s mom, Marie. Tee-Boy had sold him da ticket but it was closer to da blimp dan it was to da field.

Sostan look through his binoculars and he spots an empty seat plum across Reliant Stadium.. After several minutes of observation, Sostan decides to make his way across the stadium to see if he can use dat seat him. “Excuse me please, is dat seat dere taken?” he axe.

No, says da man, you are welcome to use it.”

“Tank you very much,” Sostan say.

He axe da man, “Why do dis seat be empty, hanh?”

“Oh, dat was my wife’s seat, after 50 years of marriage she died.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry me, Sostan say, but couldn’t you have given da seat to family or a friend, after all, man, dis is da Super Bowl.”

Da older man replied, “No, I tried but they’re all at da funeral dem.


Making all the wire services this past weekend was Houston mayor Annise Parker, tying the knot with her partner of 23 years. Parker married Kathy Hubbard last Thursday in Palm Springs. She had waited for Texas to legalize same-sex marriage but it wasn’t happening. Parker is the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city. “This is a very happy day for us,” Parker said. “We have waited a very long time. Kathy has been by my side for more than two decades, helping to raise a family and nurture my political career and life events that come with a committed relationship.” Parker tweeted, “I am privileged to now be the wife of the woman I have loved for more than two decades. I couldn’t be happier.” I thought since this event had some historical reference that I should at least publish it, for now and future generations, because someday such an event will be insignificant and common place.*****I’ve run way past deadline. Thanks for your time and please shop our family of advertisers. We thank them for supporting their local community paper. Take care and God bless.