Again we have witnessed mass killings with assault weapons. The shooting deaths of police in Dallas and now in Baton Rouge were committed by lone gunmen using semi-automatic weapons. What’s different about these killings is that in both cases the gunmen were former military service members. Police say rage may have driven the Baton Rouge police killer. He saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gavin Long, 29, served five years in the Marines. Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, is a former Army reservist who fatally shot five officers in Dallas. Weather there is a link between their military service and the shootings is unknown. In recent years, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has drawn on a collaboration with scientists to explore weather this tendency toward anger and aggression can be reduced in soldiers after they come home. Military researchers have studied the issue of anger and PTSD for almost a decade. One thing we know for sure is that there would not have been so many good officers killed if assault weapons were not available to anyone 17 years and older.*****On a more pleasant note: We finally got a little rain at our reservation. Just enough to keep everything alive for one more week. We need more. It has been above normally hot, 95 to 100 degrees every day. I recall those long ago hot days in the cotton fields, but I don’t believe it was this hot. We could not have made it in those long pants, heavy shirts and bare footed. We were only protected from the heat with a straw hat. So far the high pressure is a good thing. It’s a sure way to keep a hurricane away. Being hot and dry is worth it.*****I’ve got to move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


It really wasn’t unexpected that the Trump, family led, Republican convention would be chaotic and bumpy right from the start. I told you several weeks ago that Trump would put his family in the limelight. This race is a win, win for the Trump family. If Donald wins, his family, who by the time the convention ends, will be the world’s best known. If he doesn’t win the presidency he still wins by advancing the Trump brand to the next generation. If he does win, and his family is running his blind trust, that is when they will find the big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’m talking making billions. Wealth is the bottom line. Opening night the top time spot was reserved for Trumps beautiful wife Melania. She delivered a 15 minute speech. In her broken English she praised her husband. She read the speech off of the teleprompter. The only problem was the speech she was reading was Michelle Obama’s convention speech in 2008. By now you’ve heard plenty about that plagiarism. It wasn’t a very good first night. Hillary Clinton’s name was mentioned three times more than Trumps. Mayor Rudy Giuliani looked amateurish; he tried to excite the crowd and delivered a vigorous defense of Trump and a full blown screaming attack on Hillary. Then they brought Patricia Smith out again. She has appeared on Sean Hannity and other FOX shows several times. She repeated her attack on Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, blaming her for her son Sean Smith’s death in Benghazi. Having watched her tell the story before its plain to see the lady is disturbed and still grieving for her son. It’s unfair to her to keep parading her out like that and also she’s not being truthful. Eight Benghazi hearings and $7 million spent determined that Sec. Clinton did nothing wrong and was cleared of all responsibility in the four deaths. The four day extravaganza will feature all four of his children and a series of videos designed to put Trump in a good light. There are plenty of Republican Party icons who do not believe Trump is qualified to be president. They believe he doesn’t have the temperament and has alienated too many factions. Many are staying as far away from Trump as they can. Ohio’s host governor John Kasich for one. Also not coming to dinner is Mitt Romney, who calls Trump a “phony” and a “fraud.”  Then there’s Sen. John McCain, who war heroism was denigrated by Trump. Keeping their distance are both Bush presidents, 17 senators, dozens of congressmen and 16 Republican governors. A number of speakers on the Trump show have publicly bad-mouthed Trump. Ted Cruz, who addresses the convention Wednesday, called Trump “a pathological liar,” “utterly amoral,” “a bully,” ”a serial philanderer,” and a “narcissist.” Tuesday night Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Republican Speaker Paul Ryan spoke. Both had condemned Trump’s racist smears. Another Tuesday night speaker, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, has written that a “Trump presidency would imperil our national security” and “the nation doesn’t need a president who summons applause with tantrums and homicidal fantasies.” With friends like that you don’t need enemies, but Trump has plenty. There will be plenty other convention screw ups before the week is out. That’s the nature of Trump. It would be four chaotic years under a Trump presidency. Can any American believe deep down that Trump measures up to being the commander-in-chief of this great country?


We were sorry to learn that Eugene “Gene” Guillotte, 90, of Bridge City, passed away July 18. He was another from the Greatest Generation and had served under General Patton in WWII and was in the Battle of the Bulge. Gene was an Orange native. He retired from Dupont. He was a good man. To wife Patty and the entire family, we extend our sincere condolences. Please see obituary.


10 Years Ago-2006

Robert L. Jackson recalls his experiences as a prisoner of war under the Nazis in WWII. He recounted his experiences to G.J. Ragsdale in a story in The Record Newspapers. On May 12, 1944, he was shot down over Germany. He was a tail gunner on a B-17, only 23 years old. He was injured on the parachute jump and captured behind enemy lines. His imprisonment followed, with 10 days in box cars and seven days in solitary confinement. For 90 days he was on the Black Hunger march, prisoners marched under freezing temperatures with little food. His weight dropped from 130 pounds to just 60 pounds. Tortured for the 90 days, they were not allowed water. They ate small amounts of clean snow. They were given one boiled potato a day. Staff Sergeant Jackson acquired dysentery, worms, vitamin deficiency and pellagra. He was partially blind, lost his teeth and developed blisters, vomiting, and diarrhea. In May, 1945 the Nazis lost control and POW’s in Germany found freedom. Jackson says, “We were released to the British who flew us to Belgium to the Americans. After many years of silence, he wanted Americans to know the price of freedom and the horrors of war. (Editor’s note: Mr. Jackson lived in Vidor 10 years ago. I’m not sure if he is still there are still alive. We’ll check into it.)*****OCARC celebrates 50 years of service this week. It was started in 1965 by Cathryn Boyd and other concerned parents and citizens in Orange. It has grown into a means of giving mentally challenged adults the vocational training and skills that would assist them in obtaining jobs in the private sector. Originally it was held in Boyd’s home and soon moved to the Thomen Center. In 1960, Nelda Stark donated the property on Park Ave. where the workshop is now located. The list of merchandise offered to customers, who started as arts and crafts, has grown into signs, trophies, plaques, engraving and much more. John Thomas is director. On the 50th birthday, OCARC has 65 clients ranging in age from just out of high school to a 72 years old named Warren. They still have five of the original group. They are Bobby Swinburn, Judy Bonnin, Roger Livingston, Flix Orta, and Nancy Ray. This will be the 19th fishing tournament to be held Aug. 5. Last year they broke the record with 298 fishermen. (Editor’s note: Thomas has been with OCARC 42 years. It is one of Orange’s most successful stories. *****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Iris Ellen Pierce Hare, 65, of Orange, passed away July 14. Services were held July 17.  She had lived in Orange for 46 years and was a homemaker and loving wife, mother and grandmother. She is survived by her husband of 46 years Thomas C. Hare, son Thomas “Moe” Hare, daughter Paula and grandchildren. *****Ruth Stanfield, 88, of Orange passed away Friday, July 14. Services were held Monday, July 17. She was employed by the cafeteria at DuPont for 25 years. She taught Sunday school for 60 years at North Orange Baptist Church. She is survived by daughters Elaine Hammerly and Fern Stanfield, son Thomas, 12 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren, 8 great-great grandchildren.*****Orville Taylor “Bud” Conner, 72, of Bridge City, died July 15. Services were held July 18. He was an Army veteran and was employed by Neches Butane and later retired from Firestone. He was an avid hunter and a jokester who loved people of all walks of life. He is survived by his wife, sons Mark and Barron and daughter Julie and grandchildren.

40 Years Ago-1976

Max Staudt, of Staudt’s Jewelry, hold pre-inventory markdown. *****Tim and Ann Lieby, of the Print Shoppe, return from print show in San Antonio. *****Doug Harrington took in a mental health seminar at Rusk. (Editor’s note: It doesn’t say if he attended the “Nut House” for his own good or to help others. Anyway, he has escaped.)*****Roy Wingate buys Jim Kirby Conn a drink of plain water at the Yacht Club. Jimmy didn’t appreciate it much. (Editor’s note: That was before folks bought water to drink.)*****Sandy Parkhurst is saluted at July 12 BP&W meeting as “Member of the Month.”*****Keble’s Kuttery, a new concept in barbering and hair styling, opens in Northway Center. Barbers and stylist are Johnny Burton, Jack Welch, Skipper Free and Keble.*****The top 10 country sons are #1: “Teddy Bear,” by Red Sovine; #2, “The Door Is Always Open,” Dave and Sugar; #3, “Golden Ring,” George Jones and Tammy Wynette; #4, “Strange,” Johnny Duncan; #5, “All These Things,” Joe Stampley; #6, “When Something is Wrong With My Baby,” Sonny James; #7, “Vaya Con Dios,” Freddy Fender. The last two were duets #9, “Is Forever Longer Than Always,” Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton; #10, “The Letter,” Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty. The top album was “At the Speed of Sound,” by Wings.


We hated to hear Sam Moore was leaving Bridge City School District. The assistant baseball coach said he loves B.C. and he hates to leave but he will continue to live in the area. He accepted a position as an assistant at Sulphur, a 5-A school that pays $10,000 more a year than he’s making in his present position. In coaching, you just can’t pass up opportunities like that. Sam will still have his coaching school in Bridge City in the fall. Also, longtime Bridge City native and coach, Cody Knight has accepted employment at Barbers Hill, where he will join his brother Tony. *****Tommy Simar came by to drop off some figs. He and Sue usually take care of our yearly supply for preserves; however, Tommy says because of rain shortage, the fruit is small and falling off the trees early. That means this winter our biscuits will be without Ms. Phyl’s great fig preserves.*****When Wayne Peveto was a youngster he was a rodeo cowboy, later he was a state representative and could run up the state capital steps two or three at a time. Last week he took his grandkids to the War Memorial in New Orleans and was so stove up and sore the next day that he could barely move around. Father time waits on no one. *****Last week the Wednesday Lunch Bunch dined at JB’s Barbeque. Keith Wallace brought his two sons. The attendance is usually down in the summer months but if it’s a dozen, two or three dozen, the fellowship is always good and everyone is welcome to come join in. This week the group will gather at Robert’s Restaurant and at PK’s Grill next week. *****A few folks we know who are celebrating their special day in the next few days. On July 20, Mary Lloyd’s granddaughters, the Stephson triplets from Bridge City, Amanda, Megan and Summer celebrate. Also celebrating is Rebecca Toal and Kenyettia Foster. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are professional dancer Julianne Hough, 28, actress Sandra Oh, 45 and musician/guitarist Carlos Santana, 69.*****Danika Dubose, Joel Bourdier and Amiel Leleux all celebrate on July 21. This would have been the birthday of the late Von Broussard who published recipes for several years in this publication. It also is the date, in 2009, that our friend Cal Broussard died. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are folk singer Yusuf Islam, commonly known by his former stager name Cat Stevens, 68 and actor Josh Hartnett, 38.*****On July 22, our buddy Rev. Jeff Anderson is a year older, as is Rocky DeCuir. Brown and Linda Claybar celebrate their wedding anniversary today. It also has been a year since Daryl King passed away on this day in 2015. Celebrities celebrating today are pop singer Selena Gomez, 24, actors David Spade, 52 and Danny Glover, 70.*****On July 23, Linda Brinson, Jim Reves, Daniel Peet and Travis Estes all celebrate. Also on this day T.W. and pretty Lyndia Permenter celebrate their 56th anniversary. They join actors Daniel Radcliffe, 27 and Woody Harrelson, and country singer Allison Krauss, 45. *****July 24 finds my buddy, Margie Stephens, Harry’s child bride celebrating another birthday. Also Madge Fontenot, Lee Harris, Judy Batchelor, Renee Newson and James Rucker. They are joined by singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, 47, actress Kristen Chenowith, 48 and Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin’s daughter, actress Bindi Irwin, 18.*****On July 25, medical student Ryan Kimbrough celebrates a birthday as does Misty Cappel, Marsha Brown, Bobby Batchelor and insurance man Larry Wingate. They are joined by “Friends” actor Matt LeBlanc, 49 and Robert Kennedy’s grandson Connor Kennedy, 22. *****On July 26, I only have one birthday on my list for this day and it is Laura Berman. She is joined by Sandra Bullock, 52, Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, 73 and TV show host Chris Harrison, 45.*****Corky is home from the hospital but he’s battling pneumonia now. Daughter Debrah and son David are splitting time staying with him. Betty remains in hospital but hopefully can be home by next weekend. It’s time for the Harmon’s to straighten up.*****Megan Kelly is the latest to drop the hammer on Roger Ailes at FOX over his sexual advances. My guess is the fat man will be gone and other shakeups at FOX NEWS.*****St. Mary Catholic School resumes classes on Aug. 11. See ad in this publication for more info about registration.*****Big $7 margarita and strawberry daiquiri on special Friday and Saturday at Judice’s in Bridge City.  I hear they are going for only $4 each.*****A few years ago I wrote, in this column, that radio talking heads who were spinning venom needed to tone down the rhetoric, hate and fear mongering, otherwise some day it would become common place and come back to haunt us down the line. That’s exactly what it’s done. Words matter. Remember the “Birther” issue. It hasn’t slowed down since.


A week after Boudreaux bought a bull at da auction, he complain to his friend Comeaux, “All dat bull does is eat grass, him. He don’t even look at no cows.”

“Mais, why don’t you take him to de vet, hanh?” Comeaux aks him.

De nex’ week, Boudreaux is much happier, “De vet give him some pill, and dat bull service all my cows,” he tole Comeaux. Den he broke t’ru de fence and service all my neighbor’s cows. He’s like a machine him.”

“Kee-yaw!” Comeaux said, impressed. “Mais, tole me, what kind o’ pill did dat vet give him?”

“I don’t know, me,” Boudreaux say, “but dey got a peppamint taste, dem.”


The Life of a River Boat Captain

Last Saturday I got to visit with Roy Bendy at a gathering to honor the life of his late brother-in-law “Tonka” Hoosier, who died last week. Roy is a tug boat captain, has been since he was a young man and he says life as a tug boat captain has changed drastically over the years. In the early years, it was hard, dangerous work. A captain had to be constantly alert; his eyes had to scan from shoreline to shoreline.  A slight mistake pushing barges could mean disaster. Today, he says, the computer does it all for you. All the captain has to do is watch the charts and make the adjustments. The computer tells you everything, even the speed and name of the ship coming towards you.  Roy has been a tug boat captain most of his life. It is his life and he loves it. At age 73 he doesn’t plan on quitting the river anytime soon. He just signed a new, five-year contract extension with a Mississippi tugboat company. I envy Bendy. Those wayward river boat riders are a breed of their own. Free as the breeze, the problems stay on shore, but the tug has a load to deliver and the captain heads it down river. The life of a river boat captain ain’t for everybody but it’s special to those who live it. *****Well, my time is up, thanks for yours. Also thanks for your loyalty. Shop our family of advertisers. Take care and God bless.