Chanccs look good for us to dodge a hurricane this year even though there is still plenty of time before November. As bad as storms are on the Gulf Coast , I much prefer them to living in Tornado Alley or facing the fires in California and the constant floods in other places. It’s worth the risk of living on the coast for all the benefits it offers. Technology is changing the world. By 2019, Apple plans to manufacture and ship electric cars. Apple’s first vehicles may not be autonomous; there will be other competitors, like Google, which has been testing self-driving cars. A range of traditional automakers from Audi to Volvo have stepped up research and development labs.*****Neighbor Cox and I came from the mule-drawn wagon days, it’s hard to imagine that we might live to see and sit in a car that drives itself or is handled by a robot.  We won’t even have to say gitty-up, gee-haw or whoa. We’ve seen a lot come down the pike, Cox and I. We hope to see a little more. *****Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.
Autumn will arrive on Sept. 24 and the sky promises to bring a nice day. That was not the case ten years ago when autumn welcomed Rita, carrying the strongest winds most Gulf Coast natives had ever witnessed. I’ve been in or near hurricanes my entire life; I recall an unnamed storm in 1939 that brought strong winds and plenty of water. Compared to most storms, what was different with Rita was her strong winds that knocked out most vegetation but brought very little rain. Tornado like winds formed around her eye. Personally, three large water oaks fell on my house. The utility pole on the corner was snapped in two. Millions of trees fell victim to Rita. Fortunately, two trees, the front yard live oaks, lost limbs but withstood Rita’s fury. Orange County has some two hundred year old live oaks and like Louisiana oaks, they have survived many storms. Water oaks however just fall. That‘s why we don’t have many old water oaks. Rita destroyed thousands of pines also. The Brown Center wasn’t really visible from Hwy. 90 ( Strickland Dr. ) before Rita but during the storm 80 percent of the trees were destroyed. Now the Center is clearly visible. The same thing happened at the Country Club, where Rita destroyed hundreds of trees. The category five storm packed winds of 165 miles per hour. You would have had to see it to believe it. Every street going anywhere was shut down because of debris. In our neighborhood Sylvia Gisclair cleared the road with her tractor. Getting to any door of our home was impossible. The entire yard was stacked deep in limbs, down trees and leaves. Over 9,000 utility workers came in to restore service. We went nearly three weeks without power and were unable to produce a newspaper. Workers poured into the county with Bobcats to clear land and many carpenters and roofers lived in tents and campers while rebuilding the community. This is just a capsule of a very bad storm. It is impossible to visualize the amount of damage that Rita brought to the area 10 years ago. Many horror stories can also be told about the misery of the evacuation….
5 Years Ago-2010
Two weekends in a row high school football has taken a blow. First the sudden death of 17-year-old Reggie Garrett, Jr. and the untimely death of Newton coach Curtis Barbay, 68, on Saturday, Sept. 25. Never before has the death of a local person drawn so much national attention as the passing of Reggie. So far the cause of death has not been officially determined. The first report didn’t show anything obviously wrong with his heart. As I write this Baylor Medical Center has been asked to do more testing. Coach Barbay, a graduate of Bishop Byrne High School in Port Arthur and Lamar, was from the old school of coaching. In 36 years at Newton he had 317 wins, 16 playoff appearances in a row and two state championships and another as an assistant many years ago in 1974. Coach Barbay was the third winnest active coach and fourth ranked in state history. Two of his sons, Darrell and Bryan, followed in their dad’s footsteps and are head football coaches in Anahuac and Coldspring. Coach Barbay could have coached in many other places and larger districts but he was a country coach who loved his job and wasn’t motivated by the big dollars. Like Coach Dan Hooks at WO-S, Barbay had a hard time filling games in new district play. He was often forced into having to play against 3-A and 4-A teams with his 2-A team and 22 players. He often beat all comers. It is said that he was an offensive wizard. He was due to see a heart doctor this week because he had been experiencing shortage of breath. His number was called before his appointment came up. A legend has passed our way. He was one of the good ones. This week Coach Hooks and his gang will face their first game without Reggie. They face Kirbyville at home. That game will be a real test for the West Orange-Stark offense and what adjustments will be needed when district play begins. Reggie is gone but life goes on. If I’ve learned anything about Hooks and Coach Cornell Thompson it is that they will always have their team ready to play. If they can’t beat you with their offense, Coach T. will beat you with his defense. The spirit of number 12, Reggie Garrett, will be a strong motivating factor. No telling how far he would have taken them. We’ll never know but I’m not betting against Hook’s bunch regrouping and moving on. *****
Sept. 29, proclaimed Bum Phillips DayCoach O. A. “ Bum” Phillips, born on John Street , in Orange , celebrates his birthday this Wednesday, Sept. 29. The former high school, college and pro-NFL coach is probably Orange County ’s most nationally known and beloved native. He just recently published his autobiography and dedicated the first chapter to his early life in Orange where his grandfather Parrish taught him to become a cowboy. His new book “Coach, Cowboy, Christian” is drawing great reviews and hopefully an autograph party locally can be arranged soon. Coach Phillips once told this writer, “I was born and will be buried in Orange .” I don’t know if that still stands but all of his folks were laid to rest here and he still has cousins and family in the area. Judge Carl Thibodeaux and the Commissioner’s Court proclaimed Bum Phillips Day at Monday’s court meeting. Hopefully someday something permanent can be named for both he and his famous son, Dallas Cowboy coach Wade Phillips, also a native of Orange . Incidentally, last Sunday Wade tied his dad’s NFL win record. Mid-county is making waves about naming a permanent structure for the time they spent there but both have roots in Orange County . We should proudly claim and take advantage of their notoriety in promoting our city and county. I’ll never forget and will always cherish the times I spent with Bum throughout the years during the Bum Phillips Charity Golf Tournaments and Bob Hope functions. I’m proud this good man is our native son and congratulate Commissioner’s Court for recognizing him. (Editor’s Note: Coach Phillips died in 2013, age 90, and is buried at his ranch in Goliad.)
40 Years Ago-1975
Bridge City Cardinals pulled out a heart-stopping 21-14 victory over the South Park Greenies. After a scoreless deadlock in the first half, quarterback Richard Slayton and running back Tony Mulhollan provided over 100 yards rushing. Safety Gary Worster came up with the big defensive plays, which halted the Greenies on several occasions. Bridge City now 2-0 in district will face Silsbee also 2-0. *****Stark shut down West Orange 12-0 in the first half. Craig Couvillion threw two touchdown passes to Mark Bonnin. West Orange Chief tailback Lorrance Wills ignited a second half comeback tying the game 12-12. In the fourth quarter Couvillion threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Wendell Rhodes. Late in the game Couvillion threw his fourth touchdown pass to Reggie Kelly for a 27-12 Tiger win. *****Jasper’s Oliver Hadnot went over, around and through the Little Cypress-Mauriceville defense for a total of 260 yards rushing to beat the Bears 41-28. Next week B.C. visits Hadnot in Jasper.
 85 Years Ago
Point of interest: B.L. Thompson, on trial for robbery with a firearm, was given 35 years in prison. He was granted a separate trial from Clyde Dawson for his part in the murder of Police Chief Johnny Godwin. Dawson received a life sentence for the killing. (Editor’s note: I had always wondered what punishment Dawson had received for killing the police chief. Life back then was 25 years. I don’t know how long he served of that time.)
After four days in Cuba Pope Francis arrives in the USA. He will visit Washington , New York City and Philadelphia . Most likely the Pope will make political waves. The Papacy has not been this politically relevant since the end of the Cold War. Some see him as the new Nelson Mandela, a new source of moral authority in the world. While in Cuba he championed the poor and called for the end of the 50-year old U.S embargo on Cuba . The US Congress has refused to do that so far. Pope Francis could be the charismatic catalyst to bring the United State and Cuba closer.*****Joe Chenella, who worked for BCISD for four decades, now living in College Station, along with his wife Nancy, will be in Bridge City Friday. He plans to attend the celebration of the unveiling of the monument for the state champion 1966 team. He’s sure to see many of his students and other old friends.*****Speaking of football, you have to feel for University of Texas kicker Nick Rose, who missed the extra point that would have tied the game with Cal 45-45 and put it in overtime, giving Texas another shot at winning. He’ll live with that miss the rest of his life. I really felt for his parents. None of us can stand to see our children hurting. ***** –Lenora Sayers will represent the BCHS Class of ’70. We hear she’s already made a cute shirt to wear.***** Happy 1st birthday to Hixon Keddy. We know grandparents Becky and Tracy Andrews spoil him rotten.  *****“Blood Moon” to appear Sunday night for the first time since 1982. A super moon lunar eclipse like this has happened only five times in the last 115 years. It’s called a “Blood Moon” because of the reddish tint that appears when the moon is hit by sunlight. The next time it appears will be 2033. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch dines at Luigi’s Italian Restaurant this week and back at Robert’s next week. It’s an interesting group and everyone is always welcome. ***** -Siblings Kristi and Russell Bozman were spotted at the recently remodeled Kyle Field at Texas A&M University . We hear they had a great time.*****Congrats to Destiny Garza on passing her nursing certification exam. She is going to be a great nurse.   *****I’m glad to see Brian Williams back on the air. He’s one of the best at painting the picture with clarity. He is on MSNBC and will be doing special reports like covering the Pope’s visit. *****Our waitress friend at PK’s Grill, Tammy Yawn, was a television star on Channel 12 last week. I recognized her before she turned around. She did good. *****The Boogie Kings, one of the best bands in the country, will be coming to the VFW onOct. 30. Stay tuned for more on this group. Advance tickets can be bought at Swamp Pop Sound Shop on MacArthur Drive . *****Lamar beat the third ranked Sam Houston 49-46 for the first time since the 1950’s. Cardinal running back Kace Harrington broke Sammy Carpenter’s rushing record with 313 yards. Carpenter had 290 in 1952. *****Peggy’s on the Bayou has some great weekend specials. Check them out.*****The months of June, July and August, were the planet’s hottest on record according to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This year remains on track to beat the hottest on the books worldwide, breaking the 136 year record. NOAH however, predicts areas of Texas, near the Gulf Coast, will have cooler than normal temperatures. ***** Kevin Norton and mom Patty Walker returns from a trip to Nashville . Patty said a trip to Nashville would not be complete without going to the George Jones Museum.*****Halle Skinner, daughter of Chelsea and Ryan Skinner, is the Cardinal mascot at BC Middle School. We hear she does an outstanding job. Also at the Bridge City Middle School pep rally cheering on son Braydon was Joey Little.*****Kevin and Tracey Mott were spotted at the Houston Astros game. Wherever Kevin and Tracey are people around them are sure to have a great time.*****Archie and Julia Myers are back from a trip to Miami . Julia had an opportunity to visit family she has not seen in a long time*****As long as I can remember, even when I was a little boy, I listened to baseball on the radio, usually on a crystal set. At night the only game broadcast in the south was the Atlanta Braves. Milo Hamilton, “Holy Toledo ,” for most of my adult years, was a baseball broadcaster. His last 27 years he was the voice of the Astros. From 1985 to 2012 he broadcasted Craig Biggio’s entire baseball career and Jeff Bagwell’s 15 years with the Astros. Milo had previously broadcasted play-by-play for the St. Louis Browns (1966-1975, St. Louis Cardinals (1954), Chicago Cubs (1956-1957), and (1980-1984), Chicago White Sox (1962-1965), Atlanta Braves (1966-1975), Pittsburgh Pirates (1976-1979, and Houston Astros (1985-2012). I was listening when Milo called Hank Aarons record breaking 715 hone run, breaking Babe Ruth’s record, on April 8, 1974. Milo died Sept. 17 at age 88. He is enshrined in Baseball’s National Hall of Fame and his voice making historic calls can be heard in the museum.***** Outstanding BCMS Math Students received Sonic Slushes.  Students were nominated by their math teachers for the hard work they have shown in class! Good job Michael Brown, Jackson Knight, Kember Ess, Natalie Varney, Elizabeth Torres, Hannah Varnon, Kylee Martin, Jacob Brent, Jorge Rodriguez , Israel Ortega, Gabby Tims, Hannah St Germain, Gracie Hebert , Shay Fredeck, and Iris Lobatos. *****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. On Sept. 23, our buddy, Sue’s other half, Tommy Simar celebrates. He needs a good day. The last few months he has been immobile. It’s putting in hard time for an outdoorsman who loves farming. Also celebrating this day are Penny LeLeux, Dorothy Roddam, Julie Saltzman, Grammy Pratt, Megan Fontenot, Laura Roberts and Katie Baker. Celebrating also on this day are singers Bruce Springsteen, 65, Julio Iglesias, 71 and Jason Alexander, 55, (Seinfield actor).*****On Sept. 24, longtime school teacher, former city councilperson, Marcel Adam’s daughter, Frank’s wife and our friend Teresa Beauchamp celebrates another birthday. Also celebrating is our buddy Trey Rhodes, Mark Norwood, Jeannie Barnes and Bill Nugent. They are joined by “Mean” Joe Green, 66, Steeler football player, John Young, 84, Apollo astronaut, and Nia Vardalos, 52, actress “Big Fat Greek Wedding). Hurricane Rita hit the Gulf Coast on this day in 2005.*****On Sept. 25, School teacher Phyllis Tarter celebrates, also Donna Ford, Kailey Childress, Bessie Rach, Joellen Grooms and Scott Stout.*****On Sept. 26, a longtime friend, a great guy, Joe Romano celebrates. We hear Joe has been under the weather and we wish him God speed. Also celebrating is longtime peace officer, short time nurse, deputy sheriff, one of Annie’s boys, Joey Hargrave has a birthday as does Dan Barclay and Theresa Blanchard. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are tennis player Serena Williams, 33, and actress (Little House on the Prairie) Melissa Sue Anderson, 52. *****On Sept. 27Superior Tire boss man Mike Hughes celebrates as does Justin Burchfield, Hayley Dardeau, Scott Harris and Starla Lee. They join actors Wilford Brimley, 80 and Gwyneth Paltrow, 42 and rock singer Meat Loaf, 67.*****On Sept. 28Mary and Casey Bryant’s daughter, Matt Bryant’s sister, Sherry Mulhollan celebrates. Also Roy’s sister Fay Baudoin, Zack Sarver and former Record editor Darryl Brinson celebrate. They join actress Hilary Duff, 27 and Brigitte Bardot, 80. *****On Sept. 29Aaron Milligan, Priscilla Burns, Richard Estes and Ricky Benefield all celebrate. Also this would have been the late Bum Phillips birthday.  Celebrities enjoying birthdays on this day are basketball player Kevin Durant, 26, football player Calvin Johnson, 29 and comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay, 57.***** Ed Scales newly retired from Orange County Road & Bridge Departments says good bye to fellow co workers. Ed retires after 22 years. He will be missed. He did a great job for the citizens of Orange County . Also saying good bye to friends at the Courthouse was Kelly Burns, Official Reporter for County Court at Law. Kelly retires after 22 years of public service.
Da utta night Clovis Boudreaux came into Tee-Roy’s Bar & Grill and axe Tee-Boy, wat was tendin da bar, for a drink. Boudreaux him, downed a couple of quick drinks, den ask for an utta one.
Dat worried Tee-Boy and he axe, “Wat da matter wit you Clovis ?”
“Me and my wife Anna Mae got into a fight us, and she said she wasn’t gonna talk to me for a whole 31 days.”
Tee-Boy t’ought bout dat for a while den he say, “Clovis, sometimes it’s a good ting wen dem naggin wives isn’t talking to you, don’t you tink?”
“Yeah, I sho do, except today is the last night, give me anutta drink.”
The National Republican Party is unraveling. Locally they are not doing very well either. For now let me stick to the National Party. The Party is coming apart at the seams and the leadership is at a loss to get respectability back on track. Monday, their fair-haired boy, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who a month ago was on top of the heap, quit the race. He was the Koch Brothers choice. He said Republicans has shifted to personal attacks. He also encouraged other candidates to consider dropping out as well so voters can coalesce around a viable candidate. For the likes of me I can’t see who that would be, none standout as leaders and certainly not commander-in-chief. Thrump will never be president. That would be a real disaster for the country. I never understood the Ben Carson attraction. Now Carly Fiorina is emerging as a favorite. Of all the candidates in the GOP she has the most baggage. As a CEO she dismissed 30,000 longtime workers, shifted jobs to China and gave herself a $100 million bonus, bought a yacht and jet before the board said enough and fired her. She hasn’t been able to land another job in the last decade. She ran for U.S. senate last year and got beat badly. She’s going nowhere. In the end I believe the Party will pick someone who has served or is serving in office. The Grand Old Party ain’t what it used to be. My Republican friends are even disgusted with the Republican leadership in both houses. If they shut the government down on Sept. 30, the Party will lose badly up and down the ballot. Until Thrump is gone, the Party will stay struggling but I see no cream that will rise to the top. *****I’ve got to shut down for now. Thanks for your time. Please read us cover to cover and shop our family of advertisers when you can. Check us out 24-7 on the web Take care and God bless.