THE RAINS CAME, IT HAS TO HELP
Well, we finally got some rain Tuesday and it looks like more might be coming. You can’t bet on South East Texas weather, however. Your neighbor might get a barrel full and you a cup.*****I love this time of year because of fresh vegetables. Thanks to Judge Derry, Commissioner Burton and Neighbor Cox, I’ve managed to keep a supply of tomatoes. Owen did get me some of Tom’s squash but besides that other vegetables have been scarce. I’m told it was the lack of rain. No okra and few cucumbers have been available. I love fresh picked tomatoes and am thankful for them. *****Things have been slow and quiet around here with half the staff out of town but thankfully everyone is back in the saddle. Thanks to Evelyn for the help. Not its time for me to get started with this column. I have a long way to go. I’ve burned too much daylight. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.
ANOTHER CAJUN DONE GONE
The pride of Big Mamou, Jimmy C. Newman, 86, died Saturday, June 21, in Nashville after a short illness. His first top 10 hit was “Cry, Cry, Darling.” That was 60 years ago in the summer of 1954. Jimmy was born in High Point, La. near Mamou in 1927. He is survived by his wife of 66 years Mae Daire Newman; son Gary Newman and his wife Sharon of Broussard, La; granddaughter Natalie Newman Valdes and husband John of Pompano Beach, Fla.; step-grandchildren Neil Simon of Houston, Texas, and Jacy LeBlanc and her husband Mike of Lafayette, La; step-great- grandchildren, Michael and Emmy LeBlanc. A public memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. June 25 at the Ryman Auditorium. He had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 58 years. Some of his many hits were “Lache Pas la Patate,” “Alligator Man,” “Jole Blond,” “Diggy Liggy Lo,” “Artificial Rose,” “Back Pocket Money” and many more. I recall in the early days stopping at a club near the bridge in Mermentau, on Hwy. 90, when Jimmy was the Saturday night featured band at the big night club.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME 10 Years Ago-2004
Dominating the news is the turning over of Iraq’s sovereignty. The Bush administration declared victory by freeing the people of Iraq. The reason given for invading Iraq in the first place by Bush/Cheney was the idea that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat to the Unites States and Iraq’s neighbors. That’s what so many young Americans were killed, wounded and maimed for. Now the Bush team is doing a victory lap. (Editor’s note: That was one of the biggest lies told to the American people in my lifetime. Today those same liars are trying to shift the blame to President Obama claiming he owns the problems in Iraq. The truth is we had no right to ever invade and occupy Iraq because they were never a threat to the United States; they were only guilty of having plenty of oil. We were led by oil men.)*****Nolton and Jessie Brown are recognized at the State Democratic Party convention as Mr. and Mrs. Democrat of Orange County. (Editor’s note: Both of these fine people have died in the past 10 years. It was my great pleasure to have known and worked with them on political issues. They were true grassroots.)*****Mark Carter, 49, is named new Orange County Democratic Chairman. He is the son of Leon and Billie Carter, nephew of Judge Flo Edgerly and is a lifelong Democratic.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Lee Fults, 76, died June 23. Service was held at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City on June 26. Fults, a Korean War vet, is survived by wife, Ethel, daughter, Sharon Gearhart, sons, Randy, Larry, Wayne and their families. This writer had known that good family since 1965. Lee was a good man.)*****James Smith, 76, “Mr. Lock and Key” died June 26. He was in the Calvary during WWII. He is survived by wife, Thelma. *****Gay Nell Stinton Seal, 61, died June 23. *****Yvonne Farmer, 79, died June 24. *****Marlin Bradley Freeman, 77, of Orange, died June 25. He is survived by his wife, Honor, daughter, Marilyn and son, Brad. *****Ella Rogers, 84, of Bridge City, died June 21. *****Lena Smith, 80, died June 21. She is survived by husband, Darrell Smith, daughters, Karen Comeaux and Sharon Robertson and their families.
35 Years Ago-1979
New Bridge City Bank on Roundbunch nears completion. *****Bridge City Rotary held installation at Wayside Inn. C.R. Nash was installed as president replacing Albert Gore.*****Leon Smith gives disco lessons in Beaumont Club to lovely ladies Beth Dugas, Marty Conway, Phyllis Dunn, Betty Harmon, Martha Hughes and Virginia Gilbeaux.*****Marty and R.J. Conway recently returned from a trip to Europe.*****Doug Harrington has caught the sailing bug. He and John Brooks and several other cohorts have been sailing Sabine Lake for recreation. Capt. Harrington and his crew are also entering sailboat racing. *****A collector’s item being sought is a recording of “McDonald’s Place,” released by county judge Pete Runnels in the early 1960’s. The recording did not make the top 100 and Judge Runnels is not planning to re-release. (Editor’s note: About that same time Pete gave the Dunn’s a dog named McDonald that was represented to be a boy dog. A couple months later McDonald had 13 puppies.)*****Allen (Bull) Middlebrook, Ronald Smith and Nolan Wayne Gaspard, three young Bridge City men, were killed in a car-train accident in Port Arthur. Also killed was a young lady from Jefferson County. *****Harmon Chevrolet is scheduled to move into their new location on MacArthur Drive on July 6. *****June 30 always seems to be an important historical day. That is the birthday of lovely Barbara Mulhollan. We knew her when she was a young girl in the D.A.’s office. She was Jim Morris’ “Girl Friday.” At the time we thought we would never be old. *****It looks like New York is too small for Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson. Reggie may soon be history with the Yankees. *****The Houston Astros are the fifth worse hitting team in the Major League with a .256 team average. *****Dallas Cowboy “Too-Tall” Jones switches from football to boxing.*****First City National Bank of Orange, 16th Street and Green, is now open with 12 drive-in lanes.*****Richard Corder reports that Tom Mann, originator of the “Jelly Worm” has come out with several new baits including a “Swimmin Tail Grub” and a “Jelly Fish.” Richard says they may prove to be real speckled trout killers when they return to Sabine Lake. *****Dupuis Gulf, in Bridge City, is Orange County’s newest Michelin Tire dealer. *****Pam Folsom, “The Guitar Lady,” is the featured entertainment at the Jack Tar.
40 Years Ago-1974
On June 28, Capt. Danny Gray was killed at Orange City Jail in a shootout with Billy Wayne Dowden and Clifford Blansett in an attempt to break Dowden’s brother out of jail. A stray bullet caught Gray in the head and killed him. Danny was one of the rare breed you hear about. At age 31, he was highly respected throughout the area. A ten year veteran of OPD, he had advanced rapidly through the ranks and was furthering his professional career by attending law enforcement classes at Lamar. Hundreds of officers from throughout Texas and Louisiana paid homage at his funeral rites, proving how well he was thought of. (Editor’s note: Those involved, with the exception of Blansett who died in prison, were prosecuted by D.A. Sharon Bearden and are still in prison serving life sentences.) *****Wally Fowler brings International Gospel Music Festival to Orange Sheriff’s Posse Arena. Ten Nashville groups, including The Stamps, performed at the sundown to sunup show. A packed house attended the all night concert. *****Mr. and Mrs. Earnest Willard Franks will celebrate their 37th anniversary on July 7. He writes beautiful poetry.*****LaPlace on 6th Street, owned by Ernest and Ann McCollum, now serves New Orleans beignets.
A FEW HAPPENINGS
We were glad to hear that Judge Don Peters, who is in Baptist Hospital in Beaumont is out of ICU while test were run. He’s now back in a regular room. Here’s wishing the goodJudge a speedy recovery.*****Linda “Granny” Newton, who is having a hard time trying to make ends meet since Dale died, is asking for help. If you have any scrap iron, aluminum cans, old air conditioners, etc. she can sell the scrap iron and raise enough to run her air conditioner and buy a few items that will help her get by. If you can help, give her a call at409-659-5986.*****Our buddy Sean Cade Gros, Karen’s middle son and Roy and Ms. Phyl’s grandson, was sworn into the Coast Guard this week. He flew from New Orleans to Cape May, New Jersey to start a two month boot camp. Sean is a great youngster. We wish him the best in this four-year hitch but he will be missed.*****We had a nice phone visit with out friend Jessie Domingue who has been staying busy since fighting off sickness. Jessie is a good entertainer and has been playing some with the band “Cadillac.’ He hears from old Swamp Pop friends like Warren Storm and the guys.*****We also had a long visit with former newspaper reporter and editor Glenda Dyer. She and Paul live on the old home place with 400 acres near Nashville. She stays busy writing. They have had plenty of Texas company this summer. Glenda said they love company. She is a people person. Did you know that she went within one year of completing medical school then she decided that was not what she wanted to do with her life.*****Speaking of medical school, John and Kerry Kimbrough’s son Grant, a U.T. Austin grad, is now a medical student at UTMB in Galveston. You have to admire any youngster who tackles medical school. It is extremely hard and very demanding. Their time is limited outside of books. In fact, Grant came home for Father’s Day just long enough to cook his dad John a steak, give everyone a hug and rush back to the books. It takes total dedication to become a medical doctor. If they chose to specialize, it takes 12 years of learning and it ain’t no easy road.*****Neighbor Cox is batching while Ms. Ginny visits daughter Karen in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Nuttz and Boltz,at Bridge City Automotive Repair, Cox’s neighbors, are charged with checking on him. They make sure he shuts the garage door, zips up, turns the water off, etc.*****Bill Cosby is bringing his “Far From Finished” tour to the Lutcher on July 24-25. Both shows start at7:30 p.m.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. On June 25, the Korean War started in 1950. ***Born on this day also, many years later, are Constable Chris Humble, Linda Taylor and Erin McFarlane.*****On June 26, a good guy, Sherby Dixon celebrates as does Judy Cagle, Phyllis Davis, Becky Hodgkinson and last but not least Claudine Hogan.*****June 27 finds Jody Raymer, who has been under the weather and battling health problems, celebrating another birthday. Jody, we wish for you a better, healthy year starting with your birthday. Celebrating also is our ace reporter David Ball. A great lady, Euel’s better half, Doris Norwood, celebrates. This is also the date Chief Jerry Wimberly died in 2013.*****On June 28, Kelly Kimbrough, Kathy LeBlanc, Joan Cunnings, Karen Tomlin and Al Baas celebrate.*****On June 29, our friend of many years, the lovely Barbara Mulhollan counts another year. (How young we were.) Also celebrating is a great friend and a beautiful lady Ann Lieby, Jana Fisette and Lester Morris.*****On June 30, one of the good guys, longtime West Orange mayor Roy McDonald celebrates as does Nancy Wood.*****Roy writes in his “Life’s Highway” column about Walley Fowler, one of the most interesting celebrities he ever met. He tells about Fowler’s upbringing and the stars he helped hit the big times, the youngest of 14 children on a poor Georgia farm and how he and Roy’s paths crossed.*****I understand our friend Mary Stanton is having eye problems, had cataract surgery and may have more surgery.*****Judge Pat Clark has been batching. He has been feeling sorry for himself. No one is looking after him. Ms. Rosalie is in Houston tending to their daughter who had surgery.*****Over the last two weeks, we have had a bad problem between our place and the press. For some reason their computer hasn’t been picking up the jump page that carried the conclusion of stories on the front page. We apologize and hopefully the problem has been solved.*****Donna Blalock, 163rd Dist. Coordinator, Judy Mingle, 260th Dist. Court Coordinator, 128th Dist. Court Judge Courtney Arkeen, 128th Dist. Court Reporter Holli Harrison and the Court Administrator’s office staff hosted a surprise lingerie shower for Judge Arkeen’s Court Coordinator, Latonia Leverett, Wednesday during lunch hour. No one missed work and a great time was had by all.*****Mike and Sheila (Brooks) Keeler, of Buna, became grandparents for the first time June 11. Granddaughter Avalyn Elizabeth weighed in at 7 pounds and was 19 ½ inches long. Sheila is the daughter of Tom and the late Betty Brooks. Sheila is a graduate of Bridge City High School.
Birthdays This Week
Erin McFarlane, Chris Humble, Linda Taylor, Becky Hodgkinson, Marie Williamson, Phyllis Davis, Reggie Rogers, Jan Henry, Judy Cagle, Rodney Davis, Sherby Dixon, Barbara Whitrock, Bridgett Teaff, Claudine Hogan, David Kimbell, Jessica Simon, Kristin Lollar, Shanna MacCammond, Shanna Scott, Trevor Kimbell, Jimmy Marshall, Jody Raymer, Dorris Norwood, Jeff Bourdier, David Ball, Jeri Whitmire, Al Baas, Alyce Haynie, Joan Cummings, Karen Tomlin, Kourtney Derouen, Leighia Barron, Tina Bernard, Brett Barclay, Connie Berry, Eric Broom, Kelly Kimbrough, Jana Fisette, Lester Morris, Rachel LeBlanc, Nancy George, Cobey Sonnier, Rebecca Griffin, Barbara Mulhollan, David Sandlin, Katie Keneson, Chris Huebel, Nancy Wood, Beverly Haggard, Mary Beth McClure, Roy McDonald, Sonya Jarreau, Deanna Shuford, Eula Waters, Frances Osborn, Betty Derrick, Charlie Learned, Dian Arnold and Jeff Eby.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Tophile Robicheaux wat is in his early 70’s was having him some drinks at TeeBoy’s Bar and Grill Saturday wen dis beautiful young woman came in and sat at da bar two stools down from him. He tole TeeBoy to put the lady’s drink on his tab. Da young woman tanked him and dey struck up a conversation. Before long, Robicheaux and dat young beauty walk out of da bar. A block down from TeeBoy’s dey walked into Fontenot’s Jewelry Store.
Robecheaux tell Fontenot, “I’m looking for a nice diamond ring for my girl friend.”
Fontenot take out a $5,000 ring.
Robeicheaux say, “Look, you don’t’ understand, I want someting very unique me.”
Fontenot say, “Here’s a stunning ring dat cost $40,000.
Robicheaux look at da young woman and he axe, “You like dat one Babe?”
Her eyes sparkled, “Mais yea, I like dat me.”
Robicheaux say, “Fontenot, I’ll take dat one me.”
“How you gonna pay for it?” Fontenot axe.
“I’ll write a check me and you can phone da bank Monday morning, den I’ll come fetch da ring me.”
Monday morning Fontenot was mad, mad, him, wen he called Robicheaux. “You lied to me; dere is no money in dat account.”
Robicheaux say, “Mais, I know, but boy Fontenot, can you imagine wat a fantastic weekend I had me.
Forty years this week has gone by since Orange Police Department Capt. Danny Gray lost his life in an attempted jail break. Three were convicted and sent to prison for capital murder. Clifford Blansett died in prison, brothers Billy Wayne Dowden, 77, and Charles R. Dowden, 79, are both still in prison serving a life sentence. Billy Wayne is in Stiles Unit and Charles at Ellis Unit. Sharon Bearden was the D.A. at the time. The early 1970’s were tying times in Orange County for law enforcement and the D.A.’s office as many brutal crimes of murder and drug related offences took place. Today, Bearden, a longtime criminal attorney, practices with his son Jim Sharon. See story in this issue. Sharon has worked both sides of the street and if I could pick only one person to have my back, it would be Bearden. I also know the stock from which he came. On the Dowden brothers, their release date is 999-99-99. It looks to me like Blansett was the lucky one; he got to check out early. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert‘s this week and at Novrozsky‘s next. Everyone is always welcome. *****Read us cover to cover and please check out our advertisers who bring you this publication free each week. Shop with them when you can and tell them we sent you. Next week is our Fourth of July special issue. It’s a great time to advertise your business. We are offering special rates. Give us a call at 735-7183 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. *****My time is up; thanks for yours. Take care and God bless.