Early voting for the November 8 General Election got off to a fast start in Orange County Monday with a total of 3,450 votes cast in person and by mail. About 25,000 votes are expected to be cast early and on Election Day. In the 2012 presidential election, 123 million voted. Obama received 63.56 million votes, Romney 59.93 for a total of over 129 million. Obama had 332 Electoral College votes, Romney 206. In 2008, Obama had 365 and McCain 173. What do I expect in this election? I had predicted Hillary would gain 329 Electoral votes, I now believe she could get as much as 352, Trump 186. In the senate I predicted the most Democrats could do is a tie, 50-50. I still believe that but if Sen. Kelly Ayotte loses in New Hampshire or if Rubio loses in Florida then the Democrats could lead by one giving them a 51-49 advantage. I wouldn’t bet on that. Republicans hold a 59 vote advantage in the congress. I predicted Demos would pick up 14 to 16 votes, I now believe it will be 18 to 20, however that will still leave Republicans controlling the house by 10 to 12 votes. I look for between 121 and 124 million votes to be cast. We will probably see a big shift in the Electoral College map with some red states turning blue. Maybe one blue state will turn red. Hillary won’t carry Texas despite all the talk. Her campaign is not making a play for it. Trump has only a three point lead according to the polls. Clinton could have won Texas and would have if Democrats were in contested races. They chose not to spend $10 million just on Hillary’s race. I believe that would have won it but they have made no effort in this state. The biggest change ever could be coming to Washington. After 240 years a woman could govern from the highest office in the country and become leader of the free world. There is no bigger change.***** I must move on, just two more weeks to go and we will all know. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

On August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the 19th Amendment extending the vote to women. The Amendment was ratified as part of the United States Constitution. The 19th Amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Forty something years later it was ratified. The final passage was the culmination of the woman’s suffrage movement which was fought at both state and national levels to achieve the vote. In the November, 1920 elections women across the country participated for the first time in the 67th Congressional vote. A few days before that vote, on Oct. 27, 96 years ago, Pearl Myers Burgess was born. She has lived an entire lifetime. This week she will be 96 years old and this is her first opportunity to vote for a woman for president. On the date of her birth Warren G. Harding was president. Pearl first voted in 1940 in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term. She has voted in 19 presidential elections, 11 different presidents have been elected. Her vote for Hillary Clinton will be her 20th time and will be the 12th president and very first woman. Hillary, if elected, will be the 45th president. There have been 44 men elected. All of her life Pearl has taken voting seriously. She has studied the issues. She and her late husband Billy Burgess always made it a point to vote and taught their three daughters the importance of voting. Pearl’s hope was to live long enough to vote for a woman for president. This week, 96 years after her birth, on the 96th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, she got to do so.
Betty Harmon, age 80, shares a birthday with Pearl on Oct. 27. Betty, who all of her life has given back to the community through civic work and any endeavor that needed doing, has also waited a lifetime to vote for a woman for president. This week she mailed in her ballot. She says “Hillary is about what we care about. At this time in our history a woman’s prospective might just be what the country needs. She certainly has all the qualifications. Even though I waited so long to vote for a woman Secretary Clinton made the choice easy. Her values outweigh her opponent’s values. I trust her more to pick a cabinet of experienced experts. No one can run the government alone. She will carry the banner for all women who follow. I’m thankful to be here for this historical unprecedented time in our country.”
Essie Bellfield, 84, has been a political activist most of her life. The Orange city councilperson and former mayor was in the march on Washington 60 years ago. This former State Democratic delegate to the national convention has had the opportunity to meet Hillary and President Bill Clinton. There even is a picture of him giving Essie a kiss. She says, “Of all the candidates who have run for president in my lifetime no one has been better prepared to be president than Hillary. She has the experience and qualifications to be a great president. Hillary has paid her dues through hard work on behalf of the less fortunate. She has a lot of compassion. I’m proud to be finally voting for a woman. My heart will swell with pride when I get to call her Madam President.”
Above are three testimonials from women who have waited a lifetime for this opportunity. We have spoken with other younger people who have told us that they want to be part of history and some day can tell their grandchildren they voted for the first woman to be elected president of the United States. Many men, along with women, take pride in participating in this historical event that took such a long time coming. I too am proud to be part of it.

We were sorry to hear about the death of Bonnie Swanson, 85, who passed away on October 22. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 Thursday at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. We had known Bonnie for many years and remember her as a very pretty young woman. She and Ernest had been married over 60 years before his death. We also knew her family. Her mother, Eunice LaGrappe, was a well known poet and responsible for starting the Red Hat Ladies and was very active in politics. Her late brother Joe LaGrappe, a great guy, was also a good friend to everyone who knew him. Her late sister Greta went everywhere that her mother went. Bonnie was a very talented lady and very compassionate. To daughter Janet Foreman and her family, we send our deepest condolences. Please see obituary.

10 Years Ago-2006
The October issue of “Sport’s Illustrated” features a double-truck (two-page layout) on Bridge City native Matt Bryant. The layout shows both teams at the point of impact of a 62-yard field goal, with no time left on the clock, allowing Tampa Bay to beat the Eagles 23-21. (Editor’s note: I lost my copy of that magazine to Hurricane Ike.) *****Tillman Franks, 86, well known in Orange County and very close to the Runnels family, died October 24. Tillman, a music promoter helped launch many careers, including Elvis, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton and many others on the Louisiana Hayride. Tillman was in the car accident that killed Horton. Shorty Taylor, a friend of Tillman’s brought us an autographed book of Tillman’s life. (Editor’s note: Another Ike victim. We lost so much in that storm.)*****The St. Louis Cardinals win World Series in five games over Detroit. (Editor’s note: When I was a boy in the 1940’s and 1950’s, St. Louis was the only team regularly broadcasted in our area. We were all Cardinal fans)*****The General Election will be held Nov. 7. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux is being challenged by newcomer, 55 years old, Republican Raymond Smith. For State Representative, Dist. 19, Paul Clayton (D) will again attempts to unseat Mike Hamilton (R), who represents Orange and Newton Counties. Hardin County however has been added for this election.*****Congressman Kevin Brady, (R), is being challenged by James “Jim” Wright (D), Gov. Rick Perry, (R) is opposed by Chris Bell, (D) and Independents Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton-Strayhorn.*****Riding on the arm of senior Andre Bevil, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, 8-0, cruised to a 40-0 victory over Jasper. Senior Earl Thomas was Bevil’s favorite target snagging seven passes for 162 yards, six of them in the first quarter and two TD’s. Jacoby Franks had three catches for 138-yards, junior DePauldrick Garrett had 16 totes for 52 yards. The defense posted their third shutout, limited Jasper to only 139 total yards. Coach Dan Hooks had a lot of praise for his offensive line, “They blocked for Bevil and created holes for our backs.”*****The Bridge City Cardinals fall to the Kirbyville Wildcats 27-12.*****The Hampshire-Fannett Longhorns defeated the Orangefield Bobcats 20-7.*****The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears, who had not been scored on at home this season, lost to Nederland 15-12 in Dist. 22-4A race.*****Former Bridge City distance runners Randy Becker and Aaron Brannen helped Lamar win the 43rd Southland Conference Meet Cross-Country championship. They were visited at the meet by their former Bridge City coach Rick Miller.*****Bridge City Cross-Country team wins 21-3A meet. For the boy’s Ryan Kelly took first place. For the girls Erica Garza finished first. GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Floyd Anderson, 59, of Orange, passed away Oct. 24. Services were held Oct. 27. Floyd was a longtime resident of Orange. He was a mechanic and enjoyed fishing. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving during the Vietnam era. He is survived by son Floyd, daughters Carolyn Anderson and Lisa Anderson, brother Daniel and sisters Viva Spurlock and Thelma Flanigan.*****James Burns, 76, died Oct. 29. He was employed by DuPont Sabine River Works for 12 years, retiring in April 1985. He served in the United States Army and served in the Korean Conflict. He enjoyed bowling, dancing, gardening, fishing and playing guitar. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Billie Burns, daughter Paula Garrett, son Kriston Burns and several grandchildren.*****Jennifer “Jen” Spell McCormack, 46, passed away Friday, Oct. 20. Services were held Oct. 26 at Claybar Funeral Home. She was a 1978 graduate of Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School and in 2000 she organized “Second Watch,” a southern gospel singing ministry, taking her to several states. She is survived by husband Charles McCormack, mother, Beverly Spell, sons Jonatham Hutson and Justin Hutson, brothers Joel Spell and Mark Spell and sister Joanetta Pyron.*****Raymond “Cowboy” Anderson, 93, passed away Oct. 25. A longtime resident of the area he was a retired heavy equipment operator and was a member of Local #450/ Services were held Oct. 28. Cowboy is survived by son Wesley Ray Anderson, step-son Jerry Lynn Treadway, daughters Betty Lawhon, Verna Sonnier and Cecil Bowers, step-daughter Glenda Thompson, 13 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

40 Years Ago-1976
Vying for Bridge City homecoming queen are Dee Dee Jones, Tammy Poindexter, Tish Bratton, Sherri VanBreeman, Terry Medley, Cynthia Soileau, June Nezat and Trudy Vaughn.****Nancy Dupuis was hospitalized last week.*****Mrs. Perry Prince is in critical condition in a Houston hospital.*****Jana Stimac, is Stark High homecoming queen, Kathy Rogers and Michele Thibodeaux are princesses.*****The Little Cypress-Mauriceville football sweetheart is Melanie Cunningham. Cheerleaders are Lauren Leifeste, Johnnie Ray Heard, Lacy Gunn, Lori Kolar and Tara High.*****A big hit in country radio is “Among My Souvenirs,” by Marty Robbins, also on the pop charts, “Disco Duck,” by Rick Dees and His Cast of K.C. and the Sunshine Band.

It was nice to see and visit with Bobby Fillyaw at TheWednesday Lunch Bunch gathering last week. The Bunch dines at PK’s Grill this week and JB’s Barbeque next week. Everyone always welcome.*****The 112th World Series between Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians got started Tuesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Game two will follow Wednesday. I don’t always get to watch baseball but I always keep up with the World Series. This year it will be a good break from politics. It’s been 45 years since the Cubs were in the World Series and 102 years since they won it. I’m not betting but if I were I’d consider that the Cubs led the majors with 103 wins. Their 3.15 ERA was the lowest of any team. Chicago’s starters were even better, with a 2.96 ERA. Then it gets down to Cubs power over the Indians speed. The Cubs were the best defensive team in the majors. I like the Cubs chances in seven games.*****I stay so busy watching TV, from sports to politics, and then writing this column also takes up a lot of time. I just haven’t had time to read anything that’s not news coverage but when the Election and World Series is over I look forward to reading John Grisham’s new book, “The Whistler.” Grisham’s legal knowledge is impressive and his ability to convey it is unparalleled in popular fiction. Grisham has had a great career for 25 years. He has excelled at describing injustice and corruption. If you read “The Whistler” let me know what you think.***** A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. Oct. 26: Toni Dyer, Hunter Smith, Phyllis Yeats, Evan Swenson and Don Cummings all celebrate. Joining them is Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, 69, country singer Keith Urban, 49, actor Seth Macfarlane, 43 and TV star Emilia Clarke, 30. This is also the day, in 1893 that Clay Jackson Dunn, the Dunn family monarch, was born in Rising Star, Texas. He died Feb. 19, 1959.*****Oct. 27: Two lovely ladies, Pearl Burgess and Betty Harmon celebrate today. Joining them are David Dupuis, Betty Trantham, John Lumpkin and Dan Sanders. Celebrating also are pop singer Charlie Lenehan, 18, TV host Kelly Osbourne, 32, rapper T-Wayne, 26, and guitarist Casey Moreta, 21.*****Oct. 28: Judge Don Burgess has gotten over 40 years older since I first met him when he came to work for Bearden as a young prosecutor in the D.A.’s office, longtime sports writer Joe Kazmar was also a young McNeese grad when he came to Orange, covered sports and played simi-pro baseball and Ron Sigler, a Jack-of-All-Trades, former city councilman, county commissioner, drainage director and owned several businesses locally and was manager of several industries away all celebrate. Also celebrating is Heather Dubose, Chris Stone, Ronna Dickman and Brandon Allensworth. Also having birthdays on this date are reality star Caitlyn Jenner, 67, actress Julia Roberts, 49, country singer Brad Paisley, 44 and entrepreneur, Bill Gates, 61. *****Oct. 29: Banker, TCU grad Carlos Vasek celebrates a birthday today. Also celebrating is everyone’s buddy, Kevin Sorrels. He’s a special guy, make him a special day. Happy birthday also to Jessica Bradberry and Laura Moreau. Joining them are pop singers Astrid Smeplass, 20, Fleur East, 29 and Tove Lo, 29, actress Winona Ryder, 45 and Gabrielle Union, 44.*****Oct. 31: It’s Halloween, the spooks came out for “Trick or Treats.” Mark Dunn, Stacy Doiron, Taylor Thurman, Janel Menard and Joey Campbell all celebrate today. This was also the birthday of Pam’s mom, Virgie Scales and our longtime friend Don Harmon was also a Halloween baby. Rapper Vanilla Ice, 49, TV actors Vanessa Marano, 24 and Nadine Lustre, 23 and guitarist Frank Lero, 34 are all Halloween spooks.*****Nov. 1: Celebrating today are Patty and Pat Cooks daughter, Whitney Gonzales who is getting a year older as is Nancy Blacksher, Rebecca Phelps, coach Chris Moore, Alice McCray, Lauren Bland, David Moreau, Marla Carter and Caroline Young. Celebrities joining them are TV hostess Jenny McCarthy, 44, singer Rocky Lynch, 22 and drummer Alex Wolff, 19.*****You might not realize that Orange has a local candidate in the United States congressional race. Hal Ridley, Jr., a Bridge City native is running for congress on the Green Party Ticket. You are allowed to vote straight party and still vote for a candidate of your choice who is not on your party’s ballot. Example you can vote straight Democratic and choose to vote for a Republican candidate or Green Party or Independent.*****Tuesday, here at the Creaux’s Nest, is our long day, sometimes going into the wee hours. This week Ms. Essie was kind enough to bring a load of good, hot food. That lady is just too sweet.*****A majority of people who buy insurance on the exchange will still get insurance for less than $100 and that’s a great deal because in most cases they were probably uninsured before. There are still 30 government exchanges. Most folks whose insurance is going up will receive subsidies. It’s just a big political football for Republicans to kick around.

Las week Tee-None Gaspard pass by Tee-Boy’s Bar & Grill and sit himself at da bar. He told Tee-Boy to fix him a Jack and Daniel, wit tree drops of water in it.
After downing dat drink, Tee-None ordered anutta one of dem drinks but he said, “Tee-Boy just put two drops of water dis time.
After a while, Tee-None done drank dat drink and ordered anutter one. “Dis time Tee-Boy, just put one drop of water.”
Tee-Boy say, “I have owned dis bar 20 years me, and I have never seen nutten like dat before. Tell me why you want only one drop of dat water?”
Tee-None say, “Well, when you get to be an old man you got to learn how to hold you water.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton won’t be able to avoid trial on criminal securities fraud charges. Paxton was indicted eight months after winning his 2014 election. He is accused of misleading wealthy investors he personally recruited in 2011 for a high tech startup called Servergy Inc. which paid Paxton with 100,000 shares. Paxton has spent most of his 22 months on the job under felony indictment. A trial for Paxton will likely be next year. Texans elected Paxton as the state’s top law enforcement officer despite being aware he was shady.*****Now an important question that may never be answered. First Gov. Chris Christi is in charge of Trumps transition, like Dick Cheney was in charge of putting together a government for President George W. First Cheney named himself vice- president. Christi can’t do that but he will pick Trump’s cabinet, plus there are 4,000 other jobs to fill. The cabinet and other important positions that need filling right away are about 150. No doubt he will have mayor Rudy’s help because Rudy wants to run the country as chief of staff. He couldn’t be the governor or senator from New York, also he ran for president and got nowhere. Christi is sure to name himself attorney general. Come January he will be out of a job so, like Cheney, he will take care of himself. The question of who is going to fill all those other important jobs plus every general will be fired by Trump, who says he knows more than the generals. By the way, Gen. Colin Powell is voting for Clinton. Picking the right people for the right position is most important. Christi or Trump , have no idea who the experts in any field are. In most cases, the cabinet is picked from both parties. What’s important is picking the very best regardless. Christ, Trump or Rudy have absolutely no experience building a government that will function in a large, troubled world. That’s scary. Add Putin’s involvement to the mix and it’s a big chance to take. Hopefully that question will never have to be answered. This is no time for amateurs with no clue.*****I’ve run the clock out. Thanks for your time. Also thanks for your loyalty. Please read us cover to cover. Take care and God bless.