Christmas time is just a few days away. I hope for you and yours everything good comes your way. Most of us are truly blessed but there are those among us not as fortunate, those with far less and who are just trying to do their best. Remember them and try to give them a helping hand. It’s a sad time of year for some who are alone. Their loved ones may be gone, they may be fighting poor health or they may be facing the end before long. There is no bigger joy and blessing during the Christmas season then to pass on a little love to someone who needs it. You’ll be rewarded with a warm feeling from the Prince of Peace up above, who looks down kindly on us for sharing our love and blessings. That is a true gift from man to mankind, a gift that leaves no guessing. As a person gets older and starts hitting their twilight years material things become much less important. Family, friends, a little kindness and health occupy the front row in your life. At Christmas time I give thanks for my friends, who I know I can always call on, and hope they know I am always available to them. True friendship doesn’t have to be spoken, it’s that something special you feel inside. My thoughts and best Christmas wishes are for the friends and people I know who are battling health problems. Good health is a great gift that we took for granted as youngsters. The ages have taught us that true wealth is family, friends and a healthy life. Other gifts are that little something extra. May you have a very Merry Christmas and be blessed with everything that really matters.*****I have to move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

It’s the second time in school history that the football team has won back to back state championships. However there was something that seemed different about the 2016 Mustang team than all the other great teams the school has produced over the years. It didn’t have that super star that every major school in the country is trying to recruit. Rather it had a bunch of youngsters who bonded. Their chemistry as a unit served them well. Of all the area championships over the years none ever received so much publicity before and after winning the 4-A Division II Championship over Sweetwater 24-6. Every publication, television network and radio stations adopted the Mustangs. There was something special about this bunch. They were not only dedicated, hard workers on the field, they were likable, just fine youngsters. A lot of that credit goes to parents and coaches. They were fun to watch as they mastered each position. They will long be remembered as being special. Twenty seniors will leave school and football behind but they also leave great memories. West Orange-Stark is known not only for rebuilding but for simply reloading. A friend of Coach Thompson says, “Cornell will earn his money if he can reload next season after losing 20 players.” We think it’s possible.

Donald Trump pledged not to be beholden to anyone. He would finance his own campaign and when elected he would “Drain the Swamp.” The truth is ‘The Donald’ spent only $3 million of his own money and when it was all said and done, he was paid back the money he had loaned the campaign. Now we learn that individuals tapped to serve in his cabinet and inaugural committees have donated more than $35.7 million during the election. Linda McMahon, Trump’s pick to head the small business administration, contributed more than $7 million. J. Joe Ricketts donated $1 million. Ricketts’ son Todd is picked to be deputy commerce secretary under billionaire investor Wilbur Rose, also a big donor. Hedge Fund CEO Steven Mnuchin, tapped to serve as treasury secretary, was also a large contributor. Remember what Trump said about Hedge Fund operators? Trump billed himself as an outsider who wouldn’t be beholden to rich donors. Casino owner Sheldon Adelson is pledging $20 million to underwrite Trump’s inauguration. Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel donated $1.25 million. Billionaire Robert Mercer donated $2 million. Just a few of the millions that have gone to benefit Trump. He always follows the money. Mayor Rudy, Christy and Newt lived on television, lying and cleaning up after Trump but they weren’t money men so they are out of the loop. Now people in on the know say Donald Trump’s soft spot for Russia is based on decades of courting wealthy Russians to buy condos and invest in his real estate ventures. In the 1980s, after several bankruptcies made it hard to raise money in the United States, he and also his children, traveled to Moscow to talk deals and attract investors. In 2009, Donald Jr. said, “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” These business dealings explain Trump’s comfort level with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now Trump wants to bring in Exxon Mobile CEO, Rex Tillenson, as secretary of state. Tillenson is also reported to be tight with Putin. A former campaign chairman also has strong ties to Russia. So you see it’s like I’ve said all along, it’s about the “Trump Brand” and the bottom line is Trump has friends in Russia and one is the former head of the KGB. Donald Trump has conned the American people but he will never outsmart Putin, who will continue his aggression. The end result will make the “Trump Brand” billions but it puts the United States in jeopardy. If a crisis ever arises with Russia, it is what it is. We’ll see and hope for the best.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Daryl Broussard, 52, who passed away December 17. Daryl had fought cancer for a year but was always upbeat. He worked most of his last year. He was a Court Clerk for Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Joy Dubose Simonton. For several years he had clerked for Judge Janice Menard. What I noticed most about Daryl was his kindness. His caring was real. He was a good guy that left us way too soon. Our condolences to his mother Ms. Emma, brother Whitney and family and to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. Please see obituary.

10 Years Ago-2006
Going into effect January 1, cigarettes will go up $1 a pack. The tax increase is almost 344 percent, from the current 41-cent state tax. It is part of a plan Texas lawmakers approved to lower local school property taxes by increasing and expanding some state taxes. (Editor’s note: Apparently it didn’t do what it was designed to do. School taxes are
still high.)*****Vidor City Attorney Rodney Price will take oath of office for Justice of the Peace, Pct. 4. Five candidates ran for the office. He had to run three races, in March, the runoff and November election. He ran as a conservative Democrat.*****The West Orange Mustangs lose early in playoffs allowing Play-by-Play voice, Gary Stelly, to schedule early surgery for a growth on his vocal cords. He will be spending Christmas and New Years without a voice. When he can speak, the radio announcer is not sure if he will sound like Tiny Tim or J.D. Sumner. (Editor’s note: His voice came back almost normal. By the way Gary and John did a great job broadcasting the Mustangs state championship game.)*****Attorney Wayne Peveto is recovering from knee surgery.*****The Little Cypress area will be annexed by Orange in January.*****The God Father of Soul, James Brown, died at age 73, on Christmas morning of a heart failure.*****Bob Phillips, of Texas Country Reporter, has been hanging around Beaumont a lot lately. We now hear Channel 6 TV anchor Kellie Atkins not only has enhanced her measurements but also told her ex goodbye. (Editor’s note: Since then Bob and Kellie have married. She left Channel 6 and the couple is on the road together for The Country Reporter show.)*****Betty and Morris Ramsey, of Bridge City, celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary Dec. 28. (Editor’s note: If they are still together and both living “Happy 60th anniversary.”)*****I’ll cut this part short because there are plenty “Gone but Not Forgotten” names to mention. I knew most of them, all great folks, who left us ten years ago.)*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Andy Campbell, 59, of Orange, died Dec. 24. Services were held Dec. 27. He had lived in Orange 29 years and was an area specialist for DuPont. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and being with his family. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Deborah, sons Hogan and Heath, parents Clyde and Jenny Campbell, sisters Jacie Dennis and Jody Robinson and their families.*****George Walter McClendon, 66, of Orange, died Dec. 22. Memorial service was held Dec. 30. He was a lifelong resident of Orange and was a lab tech for DuPont, a U.S. Army veteran and member of the American Legion. He is survived by his wife Judy, sons Dean McClendon and Clint Sullinger, daughters Sylvia Sullinger, Shelly Sullivan and Sally Hamilton, sister Lenora George, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.******Floyd Benedict DeRoche, 77, of Orange, died Dec. 22. He was a 48 year resident of Orange and was a self-employed plumber. He is survived by his daughters Roxanne Swift and Melissa Vilo, sons Rocky and J. Lance, brother John Alfred DeRoche Jr., 11 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and their families.*****Billy “Bill” Braus, 44, of Bridge City, died Dec. 23. Services were held Dec. 27. He was employed by Costal lumber and was a U.S. Navy veteran and served on the USS New Jersey. He is survived by his wife Janet Patton Braus, parents Lercy and Jean Braus, sons Christopher and Andrew, brothers James Braus and wife Sissy and Mark Braus and wife April and their families.*****Dustin Lee Cox, 21, of Orange, died Dec. 24. Services were held Dec. 29. He was a Boilermaker and was employed by Jacobs Engineering. He was preceded in death by his father Dewey Cox. He is survived by his mother Tammy Cox, grandparents Tommy and Jan Day and sister Jessica Cox.*****Clovis Joseph Mott, 85, of Orange, died Dec. 21. Services were held Dec. 23. He was owner and operator of Mott’s TV and had worked as a pile driver, iron worker, shipfitter, welder, carpenter, plumber and electrician. He was also an avid Harley motorcycle rider. He is survived by sons and daughter-in-laws Roger and Loretta, Lonnie and Rose, Danny and Gyle and their families.

40 YEARS AGO-1976
Just in time for Christmas at Harmon Chevrolet, a 1977 Impala Coupe, loaded, will set you back $5,530, a new Chevy pickup V-8, loaded only $3,932, or you can buy a loaded Suburban wagon for $7,900.******Sheriff Allen ‘Buck’ Patillo will end his 36-year law enforcement career. He was defeated in a re-election bid by Ed Parker. Patillo, 68, served as Pct. 3 constable for 28 years before defeating Chester Holts, Orange County’s longest serving sheriff.*****One of Orange County’s most beautiful women, Anne Segura, will celebrate her birthday on Dec. 26. It’s worth a trip to Bridge City Cleaners to look at this lovely woman and get a kiss and hug. Ann loves everyone.*****Chuck and Sandy Mulhollan are proud new parents of a little girl Carla Lynn, Dec. 12. Grandparents are Stewart and Kate Mulhollan and Ray and Mary Saulter.*****Granger’s Seafood, 995 Roundbunch in Bridge City, offers an all you can eat noon buffet for $1.85. A large bowl of fresh shrimp gumbo is only $1.95.

Happy 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 23, to Carol and Judge Buddie Hahn. Here’s wishing you both many more years blessed with good health. Also happy 61st. anniversary on Dec. 24 to Lucy and Rene’ Hanks, may the years ahead be good ones. The Mayor of Starks learned to say “yes ma’am” many years ago. It’s served him well. Congrats.******We heard from a nice guy last week, Pete Grisham, who is 85 years old. He came from near Nacogdoches, in East Texas, many years ago to make a small fortune in Orange. Pete recalls the hard times in East Texas and the fact that you could buy a gallon of coal oil for a dime. Good to visit with Pete.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will gather at Robert’s this week for the annual Christmas luncheon, hosted by Robert and his great bunch of folks. The Bunch will not meet next week between Christmas and New Year’s but will dine at JB’s Barbeque the first Wednesday in January (Jan. 4, 2017). Everyone is welcome.*****We understand NFL star Earl Thomas, who is home in Orange recuperating from a broken leg hosted a gathering of West Orange-Stark football champions at his home over the weekend. Also Kevin Smith “Pup” welcomed local Mustang fans at his place in Dallas before and after the game. Earl and Kevin have been strong supporters of Coach Thompson’s program at WO-S.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. Dec. 21: Our longtime friend, a good guy, Judge Buddie Hahn celebrates a birthday today. I first met him 40 years ago. He didn’t have one gray hair. Happy birthday Judge. Coach Rick Deutsch celebrates today also as does Daniel Perry, Rachel Guidry and Paula Hall. Dec. 22 is also the first day of winter. Celebrities celebrating today are actors Samuel L. Jackson, 68, Ray Romano, 59 and Jane Fonda, 79.*****Dec. 22: Happy birthday today to Rodney Harmon, Donny Robins, Debi Foster, Dale Burns and Yvonne Veillon. Celebrities joining them are politician Ted Cruz, 46, pop singer Jordin Sparks, 27, actress Dina Mayer, 48.*****Dec. 23: Buzzie’s master piece, and our buddy Chris Gunn, was born on this day. Happy birthday also to Sue Cowling and Walter LeBlanc. Joining them are rock star Eddie Vedder, 52, drummer Harry Judd, 31 and model Holly Madison, 37.*****Dec. 24: Helen “Ms. Al” DeRoche celebrates today. Also Terri Estes, Mike Dillion, Trey Clark, Mindy Granger and Toni Thompson. They are joined by TV host Ryan Seacrest, 42, pop singer Ricky Martin, 45, and fashion designer Kate Spade, 54.*****Dec. 25: This is Christmas Day and Haaukkah also begins today. Celebrating a birthday is longtime friend Judge Flo Edgerly and friend Ronnie Hutchison. Also celebrating are Janelle Deutsch, Earline Russell, Randy Wuske, Evelyn Foster and Mary Frances Hartley. Christmas was also the birthday of our late friend Gordon Baxter. Joining them are singers Jimmy Buffett, 70 and Annie Lennox, 62, actress Sissy Spacek, 67 and football player Demaryius Thomas, 29.*****Dec. 26: Kent Broussard, Jennifer Ferguson, Laura Floyd and Ashley Burris all have birthdays. Our late friend Curtis Lee died on this day in 2011. Celebrities celebrating on this day are actor Jared Leto, 25, rock singer Chris Daughtry, 37, and drummer Lars Ulrich, 53.*****Dec. 27: Attorney Sharon Bearden, our longtime buddy, has another birthday. He doesn’t get older, just a little slower, but he gets it done. The pride of Newton, Bobby Fillyaw, celebrates today as does Kirk Roccaforte, longtime Bridge City mayor and councilman. Coach Russell Bottley, who battled cancer and won, Lorraine Bonin, Bobby Sibert, Judy Taylor and Jean Marshall also celebrates today. They are joined by wrestler Bill Goldberg, 50, actor John Amos, 77 and soap opera actress Eva LaRue, 50.*****On December 20, 1803, 213 years ago, the Louisiana Purchase formally transferred ownership from France to the United States. For most of that time, Cajun French was the predominate language spoken in the 13 Cajun Parishes. Today the Cajun dialect is not the chief language in most Cajun homes. It could some day become a lost language.*****Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99, died Sunday, Dec. 18, from a heart attack. The great aunt of Paris Hilton, she was like Paris and the Kardashians, but was the first however to become famous for just being famous. She had nine marriages, seven divorces, one annulment. She was married to Prince Frederick von Anhalt, who claimed to have had an affair with Anna Nicole Smith. She was the most famous of the three Gabor sisters.*****Speaking of sisters, I ran into Mel Campbell, one of the Kemp sisters. Wendy is oldest and Shea is the youngest. They have an interesting life story. Their father, banker Carrol Kemp, disappeared over 40 years ago and has never been found. Their mother Sue died at a young age. Mel married Joey Campbell. They went through some rough spots but 18 years ago Joey went into business for himself and has done quite well. I’m so proud of them. By the way, Mel, a former legal secretary, is still a fox.*****Electoral College votes puts Trump over the top. Next month, on Jan. 21, he will become President of the United States. He surpassed the 270 votes needed but his election wasn’t a landslide. He came in 46 out of 48 elections with 302 votes and lost the popular vote to Clinton by nearly three million votes. Fifty-two percent of Trump supporters believe he won the popular vote. Mostly because he tells them daily that it was a landslide and he won by millions of votes. They believe whatever he says, that’s why he says it.*****Congrats to former editor and entertainment writer Tommy Joe Mann, Jr., who just graduated from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences. I believe Tommy plans a career in teaching.

Milton Comeaux’s wife, Velma, is in a nursing home. Since den Mr. Comeaux, 92, live alone but Home Health looks after him every day to be sure he takes his medicine, eats good, etc.
Everyone calls him “Uncle Billy.”
His health care provider Telma, visited him last week and axe, “Uncle Billy, did you take you medicine today?”
“Sho did,” came the reply.
“Uncle Billy, did you have a bowel movement today?”
“Sho did,” bout tree dis morning.”
“Really 3 o’clock,” said Telma, “what time did you wake up hanh?”
“Bout five,” Uncle Billy answered

Elliott’s celebration gives Salvation Army a Boost
Ezekiel Elliott’s emergence as an impact player has crossed into new territory after millions witnessed a touchdown celebration by the Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Sunday night. He hopped into one of the huge red kettles behind one of the end zones at AT&T Stadium, crouched to disappear and then sprung to applause. Online donations to the Salvation Army spiked 61 percent, according to the charity. “We don’t normally see spikes like that at random,” Lt. Colonel Ron Busroe, the Salvation Army national secretary for community relations said. Elliott, the NFL’s rushing leader, apparently struck a nerve with viewers of the Cowboys’ 26-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Busroe said the increase was measured from 9:30 p.m. Sunday to 10:30 a.m. Monday. Elliott drew a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration but that penalty turned into a positive. He pledged to match whatever fine he drew from the NFL with a donation to the Salvation Army. A suddenly benevolent NFL said Monday that it wouldn’t fine Elliott for the gesture.*****Well, my time is up, thanks for yours. A big thank you also to everyone who made this issue possible with your advertising. We really appreciate you. Have a safe and great Merry Christmas.