The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred 75 years ago. President Roosevelt had been steering the United States away from the war in Europe and Asia but the invasion galvanized our country uniting all Americans who were determined to defend our way of life. Millions of Americans volunteered to serve their country and help the war effort. Every patriotic American wanted to do their part to help secure freedom’s victory over tyranny. I recall when the announcement came that we had been attacked at Pearl Harbor, a place we had never heard of. It happened on a Monday and schools let out early. I went uptown; groups of men were gathered at every street corner. Little did we know how much our lives would change as we entered WWII against Japan and Germany, much like 9-11, in 2001, made major changes in how we live today. We hadn’t fully recovered from the Great Depression and now every community planted Victory Gardens when spring came. For months we had all lights out for simulated raids while the sirens squalled. Today, the United States and Japan are sworn allies but after their raid on Pearl Harbor Americans were bitter haters of the Japanese people. On that sunny Sunday morning the surprise attack in Honolulu killed 2,403 Americans. The great battleship USS Arizona was blown up, hundreds of sailors and marines are still entombed inside. Orange Countian Cedric Stout, 95, of Bridge City, is believed to be the only area’s surviving veteran of Pearl Harbor who was on the USS Utah when the raid came. The Utah was a former battleship. All were trapped when the ship capsized after being struck by a Japanese torpedo. The Utah was not a lucrative target for the Japanese. It was commissioned in 1911 and was converted to a target vessel in 1931 for planes doing practice bomb runs. It had been stripped of its big guns and had a crew of only 525. Sixty-two sailors were killed, most of them trapped when the ship rolled over. Cedric and a fellow sailor made their way out through a port hole and were amazed at the sight that awaited them. Several stories have been published by us about Cedric Stout and other area Pearl Harbor survivors over the years. Stout is the only survivor today. See Dave Rogers feature in this issue. As for the Utah, the Navy worked for years trying to salvage the vessel before giving up. The National Park Service hopes someday to bring tourists to visit the ship but that is still at least a few years away. Because of our friendship with Stout most of us who know him or have read about him have accepted the USS Utah as our connection to Pearl Harbor.*****Gotta move on. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

West Orange-Stark Mustangs will face the Navarro Panthers in the Class 4-A Division II State Semifinals Friday, 7:30 p.m. at NRE Stadium in Houston. Both teams are undefeated. Navarro has scored 648 points while allowing 171 in 14 games. They had four shutouts. West Orange-Stark is coming off a 48-5 win over Giddings, Navarro beat Giddings 37-21 in their first game of the season. The closest game the Panthers played was against Refugio winning 14-6. Navarro is a high scoring team that runs a variation of the T-Formation and has developed a good passing game off of it. The Mustang Chain Gang will have their hands full with Navarro’s potent running game. The high scoring Panthers have relied on the big plays to bust a game open. The Mustangs have been selfish with giving up points. Turnovers could determine the state collide, the winner will play for the State Championship. For the Mustangs it would be a chance to defend their championship and again repeat as 4-A, District II State Champions. Last Friday’s game drew a good crowd of Orange County supporters for the Mustangs. Wear your own school colors, let the Mustangs know Orange County supports them. Attend the game at the home of the Houston Texan NRG Stadium.

We were indeed sorry to hear of the death of Glenn Roy Bradley, 87, of Bridge City, who was killed in an auto accident on Texas Ave. on Nov. 28. The former Army veteran was a hero to many. We first got to know Mr. Bradley through Coach Dwight Thacker. A couple of years ago this publication published a story on Bradley. He was famous for making wooden toys that he gave away. Some of his art is now scattered all over the world. Services were held last Friday. Please see obituary. May this good man rest in peace.

10 Years Ago-2006
Orange County and the City of Orange honor the state champion and gold medal winner by declaring Dec. 11, “Drew Bean Day.” Bean, a senior at Little Cypress-Mauriceville, won the state 4-A cross country championship. He won by running the course in 15 minutes, 15 seconds. One minute, 40 seconds faster than his run as a freshman. LC-M track coach David Guidry said, “Drew is the most dedicated student I’ve ever coached.” Bean started running track in the seventh grade. This season he will compete in the 1600 and 3200.*****Wanda Landrey, author and historian, will be autographing her new book, “Betting, Booze and Brothels” at Harrington’s Pharmacy on Dec. 20. the book tells about vice, corruption and justice from Spindletop to the 1950s in Jefferson County and the Tom James commission bust. The book took Landry and Laura C. O’Toole ten years to research and write. (Editor’s note: If there is still any old Local 195 Pipefitters around, they will remember the Hall being upstairs in the Dixie Hotel, next door to the famous brothel. If you went in the wrong doors you were in the presence of the ladies. Not many of us around who remembers Judge Claude Might.***** Orangefield girl’s basketball coach Sondra Ancelot couldn’t be more pleased with her snappy squad of Lady Bobcats as they downed the Port Neches-Groves Lady Indians 76-44 in the final round to win the tournament crown. Scoring was led by Kristy Sanders and Kaylin Little. The combined talents of Sanders and Little, along with Jessica Shores, Alyssa DeRamus, Laura Riddick, Paige Roy and Nichole Judice out gunned all opponents as they climbed the ranks toward the tournament championship.*****December 2006 new car prices at Harmon Chevrolet, a fully loaded, ’07 Chevrolet Crew Cap, $21,295; ’07 Malibu, 4 door, $16,495; ’07 Avalanche, $30,967; ’07 Tahoe, $29,595; ’07 Suburban LS Group, $31,642.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Scott William Sexton, 28, died Thursday, Dec. 7. Services were held Dec. 9. A graduate of Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School as valedictorian and with honors from Rice University, he was employed by 
Deloitte Consulting as a senior consultant. He is survived by his father Charles and mother Kaye, grandmother Doris Welsh, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.*****Gary “Greaser” Johnson, 54, passed away Friday, Dec. 8. Service will be held Dec. 12. A longtime resident of the Orange area he was a member of the Boilermakers Local 587 and worked construction. He is survived by sons Chad and Jack, daughter Candice, brothers Tony and Webb and sisters Clara Jo, Adele, Karen, Patrica, Debra, Codia and their families.*****Bettye Jo “Nanny” Rinehart, 75, of Orange, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 5. Services were held Sunday, Dec. 10. A 50 years resident of Orange she was a homemaker. Nanny is survived by her daughters Rhonda MacFarlane and Melody Barron, son Hughes Stanley, brother Charles Lacy and grandchildren.*****Myrtle Bennett passed away Dec. 8. Funeral services were held Dec. 10. She retired as a secretary from the Pipefitters Local 195 and was an active member of her church. She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

40 YEARS AGO-1976
The 1976 Opportunity Valley News All Orange County Football Team named. Most Valuable Player was Cal Peveto, Vidor; Offensive Player, Tony Mulhollen of Bridge City; Defensive Player, Jeff Fruge, of Orangefield; Named Coach of the year, Ed Peveto of Orangefield. Offensive players named were James Gallier, center, Bridge City; Lon Hubbard, guard, Bridge City; Butch Leger, tackle, Vidor; Brian Day, end. Orangefield; Randy Martell, quarterback, West Orange; Tony Mulhollen, back, Bridge City; Tony January, back, West Orange; Wade Kachtik, back, Little Cypress-Mauriceville; Rory Rhodes, Stark; Defensive Players named were Jeff Fruge, line, Orangefield; Hosie Boston, line, West Orange; Charles Champine, line, Stark; Doug Seymour, line, Vidor; Patrick Sillers, linebacker, Stark; Cal Peveto, linebacker, Vidor; James Bell, linebacker, West Orange; Ronnie Rudeseal, linebacker, Orangefield; Jeff Peveto, back, Orangefield; Kevin Harmon, back, Little Cypress-Mauricevile; Lynn Hogg, back, Little Cypress-Mauriveville; James Skeeler, punter, West Orange; Back up players were Bennie Pousson, West Orange; Mark Eghers, Stark; Shon Jones, Little Cupress-Mauriceville. The team was selected from 4-A, 3-A and 2-A players.*****Orange passes mix drink law. Election was backed by the Orange Chamber chairmen Lew Malcolm and Robert Nelson.*****Roy Wingate named “Citizen of the Year” by the Greater Orange Chamber.*****Carl Thibodeaux’s ‘Pet Stick’ is missing. Apparently someone lifted it from his business, West Orange Pharmacy, on Western Ave. Only two other ‘Pet Sticks’ exist. Richard Corder owns one, Roy Dunn the other. Dunn let Carl borrow his stick for one day to help relieve the pain of his loss.*****Sherry Morse, the girl with good lungs, celebrated her 29th birthday on Dec. 4.*****Huey Simon is spreading his babies out, the oldest is 24, the youngest 8 and his lovely, young wife is expecting. He says he hasn’t decided if he should smile or cry.*****On Dec. 26, Ann McCullen and Jack Landen will be wed.*****Doug Harrington took Danny Brack and Carl Thibodeaux fishing to help Carl get over his loss. Doug celebrates his 35th birthday on Dec. 15.

A little trivia: I bet you didn’t know that Steve Worster, the All-American football player, was also an All-State baseball catcher in high school. (Editor’s note: I was in the stands at Stark High and visited with a baseball scout with the St. Louis Cardinals who was taking notes on Steve. He said he was primarily looking for big catchers and big first basemen. That was 50 years ago.)*****Another little trivia from 1966, Joe Chenella was serving as time keeper when Bridge City scored against Conroe in the playoffs before the clock started. Bridge City led 7-0 with no time off the clock after Mike McElhaney recovered his own kickoff in the end zone.*****Here are some other interesting numbers, Steve Worster’s Cardinal career rushing yardage was 4,957 yards, 2.8 miles, on 736 carries,, for a 6.7 yard average. A story that has been told for 50 years is that with the score 30-6 in the state championship game and two minutes left, extra point kicker Charles Johanson purposely missed the extra point so the score would reflect Steve’s number 30. I’m told a coach told him to miss it. True or not it’s a good story.*****Everyone’s friend Gabby Hammett will be entering Baptist Hospital in Beaumont Wednesday morning where he’s scheduled to have a procedure to check out a spot on his lung.*****Meanwhile, Judge Claude Wimberly is home after a six day stay in hospital for a bronchial infection.*****Next Wednesday, Dec. 14, Betty and Corky Harmon will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. I’m not sure about how much celebrating is going to happen but it does mark a special occasion. It’s not a record but 60-years with one woman is a darn good average. Betty was a child bride who raised Corky’s two sons and had two children of their own. Congratulations to our longtime friends.*****Senator Robert Nichols and his sidekick J.D. stopped in early Friday morning for a short visit. They had attended the Orange Chamber banquet. They were pleased at Butch Campbell’s selection as “Citizen of the Year.” We also congratulate Butch, who we have known since he was a puppy. J.D. and the Senator will be on the road for the next two weeks then will take off for the holidays before the session begins in January. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nichols is not preparing for a statewide run. He would be a good choice at several positions.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day. Dec. 7: Our buddy Jim Keith, who reads us on-line celebrates today. So does former Bridge City councilman Buddy Sheppard and Randy Philpott. Celebrities celebrating this day are pop singer Aaron Carter, 29, basketball player Larry Bird, 60 and football player Terrell Owens, 43.*****Dec. 8: Samantha Peveto, C.R. “Dick” Davis, and Channing Larkin all celebrate. Joining them are rapper Nicki Minaj, 34; country singer Sam Houston, 32 and baseball player Josh Donaldson, 31.*****Dec. 9: Barry McKenzie, Bobby Couthran, Mark Braus, Jay Fuss and Elissa Kern all celebrate. They are joined by movie actor Kirk Douglas, 100, football player Dick Butkus, 74 and TV actress Simon Helberg, 36.*****Dec. 10: Our buddy “T-Ray” Sehon turns 20 on this date. He just underwent foot surgery and is going through a tough time. We wish him well. Also celebrating are Cindy Briggs, Sean Ureta, Shelly Motts, Doris Peveto, Karri Piccone and Monica Placette. Also having a birthday on this date is Dan Mohon who turns 77. He just had his second hip surgery last week and is doing great. Dan is one of the good guys. They share birthdays with chef Bobby Flay, 52, TV actress Raven Symone, 31, reality star Evelyn Lozada, 41 and TV show host Susanne Reid, 46.*****Dec. 11: Longtime friend that we haven’t seen in a long time, David Claybar is a year older as is Kent Sarver, Cody Caples, Jo Lynn Mott, Tara Fountain, Rob Clark and Nathan Vogt. They are joined by TV actor Rider Strong, 37, music producer Dj Yella, 49 and pop singer Brandon Rogers, 39.*****Dec. 12: George Sehon, the family head of a large clan celebrates along with Lucy Hanks, Pattie’s mom, Rene’s longtime bride, as does Scott Derouen, Bonnie Albright, Zackery Anderson and Daniel Bates. Celebraties celebrating today are actors Jennifer Connelly, 46, Regina Hall, 46 and Kate Todd, 29.*****Dec. 13: Coach Dwayne “Beaver” Dubois, Bridge City athletic director and football coach chalks up another year as does Hazel Smith, Dennis Lee, Jenny Duncan, Kristy Kidwell, Melinda Swares and Melissa Poydence. Joining them are pop singer, Taylor Swift, 27, actors Jamie Foxx, 49 and Steve Buscemi, 59.*****The Texas Bucket List crew featured the Windmill Museum in Nederland last weekend. They are due to feature Orange next Saturday and Sunday, 5 a.m. and 5:30 .m. on ABC and NBC local stations.*****In the last three weeks, Judge Carl Thibodeaux has had three new stints installed, two in his legs and one to his heart. I believe “Thib” holds the record for having the most stints in his body.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch was scheduled to dine at PK’s this week, however due to a conflict, the Bunch will dine at Robert’s and be at PK’s next week. The annual Christmas gathering will be at Robert’s on Dec. 21. Everyone is invited to attend for picture taking and fellowship.*****Special thanks to Mustang Insider Meri Elen Jacobs, who is doing such a great job recording the weekly history of the West Orange-Stark Mustangs as they make their way toward another chack at the state championship. Meri Elen tells their story in words and pictures.***** We were glad to hear that Joe Kazmar is much improved and is due to have his column and Kaz’s Fearless Forecast back this week.

Clotile Robicheaux had just gotten out of the shower her, when her husband Sostan came in da bashroom. Suddenly the doorbell rang. Clotile put a towel around her and went downstairs. Wen she opened da door, da next door neighbor, Clovis Comeaux, was standing dere.
He said, “Clotile, I’ll give you $500 if you’ll drop dat towel.”
She dropped dat towel, grabbed da $500, slammed da door shut and ran upstairs to tell Sostan.
Before she say a word her, Sostan yell out, “Hey Bebe, was dat Clovis wat dat $500 he owes me.”

I was watching the game like many of you when teammate Kam Chancellor, moving at top speed, collided with safety Earl Thomas III. The results for Thomas was a broken tibia that will sideline him for the rest of the season. The former West Orange-Stark and University of Texas star tweeted from the locker room Sunday stating, “The game has been good to me. A lot is running through my mind, including retirement. Thanks for all the prayers.” Chances are that Earl was just feeling disappointment. He has been competing in football since he was seven years old. Facing his first major injury is a set back but he’s a competitor, he’ll be back on the field. Missing the playoffs and maybe another chance at the Super Bowl is hard on a champion. My take is that without Earl’s leadership and play at safety it will be difficult for the Seahawks to make it to the Super Bowl. The rookie at safety will be tested. He already gave up a TD on his first play in Sunday’s game. See you next year Earl.*****Meanwhile, Bridge City’s Matt Bryant, 42, continues to be one of the most reliable kickers in the league with 27 of 29 field goals. He kicked three Sunday in a 29-28 loss to the Chiefs. Matt also in that game tied the franchise record with a 59-yard field goal. Three yards short of his 62 yard record.*****My time is up. Thanks for yours. Please read us cover to cover, shop our family of advertisers when you can. Take care and God bless.