At one time Jefferson County had more pro football players than any other area in the U.S. In fact, Beaumont was known as the pro football capital because so many players came from the area. It seems every year a local southeast Texas boy is involved in the Super Bowl. This year, in Super Bowl 51, Orange County is represented by Bridge City kicker Matt Bryant. Before Matt was safety Earl Thomas. The late Shane Dronett, from Bridge City, was also a Super Bowler. Then we’ve had Port Arthur’s Jimmy Johnson, a head coach, and Wade Phillips, as an assistant. Port Arthur produced several players as did Jasper and surrounding areas. More than 300 former Texas high school players have taken part in Super Bowls but Earl Campbell and Coach Bum Phillips never made it. Earl says, “I believe if Bud Adams had kept Bum we would have made it in 1981 or 1982.” In 1978, Earl’s rookie year, his NFL debut came against Atlanta. He had a 73 yard touchdown and rushed for 137 yards. The AFL and NFl began merging in the 1960s and the first Super Bowl was Jan. 15, 1967 and a full merge came in 1970. In 1960, Adams, with the AFL, got the attention of the NFL when he signed 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon of LSU, to a three year $100,000-plus contract making him the first six figure pro football player in history. (Editor’s note: Today they make far more per game but Cannon remains LSU’s lone Heisman Trophy winner. On Jan. 1, 1961, 56 years ago, Houston hosted the first AFL title game. The Oilers defeated the Chargers 24-16. George Blanda was the quarterback. It was 20 years later before players received Super Bowl rings. The first championship game was played at Jeppesen Stadium, at the University of Houston. Orange’s Hogan Wharton was ejected in the second half for fighting. His father-in-law, who had driven from Orange to see the game, collapsed at half time and died, a victim of a heart attack. It was a bitter and brawling game. It was the AFL’s introduction to the nation. Bud Adams and Dallas Texan owner Lamar Hunt founded the league to combat the NFL. Later came the merger responsible for Sunday’s Super Bowl LI. Orange County will again be represented this year by Matt Bryant, kicking for the Atlanta Falcons, against the New England Patriots. I once wrote, “Never bet against Tom Brady and genius coach Bill Belichick.” So I won’t bet but I’ll make a prediction with my heart not my brain. The Falcons will win 30-27, with Bryant kicking a 54-yard field goal to beat the Patriots. “Go Matt.”*****Now I better move on. Come along, I promise it wou’t do you no harm.
Some of you may recall that I predicted if Donald Trump won the nomination he would wreck the Republican Party. I then predicted that if he won the election we would live with four years of chaos. The noise is already loud and clear. Protests have swept the nation in answer to Trump’s executive order on suspending entry of millions of Muslins to the United States for 120 days from countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The known killers from abroad mostly came from countries not on Trump’s target list. The 9-11 hijackers hailed from Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The second attacker, the San Bernardino killer Tashfeen Malik, was born in Pakistan and came from Saudi Arabia. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the Trump organization does business in many of the countries whose citizens are still allowed to come to America. In 2015 Trump proposed a “Muslin Ban.” Former advisor Rudy Giuliani says that is what Trump is trying to achieve through the back door. Trump underscores that his order is arbitrary and irrational. What is likely to happen is that Trump will galvanize more homegrown terrorists by saying he will give favoritism in refugee admission to Christians. Recruiting in the United States is now easier for ISSI and other terrorist groups. That’s far from keeping our country safe. Trump is increasing our insecurity. He’s lost sight of what made America great in the first place. Trump’s order ignores the real danger. He doesn’t address our vulnerability to home-grown, radicalized Americans. The chance of someone coming from any of those countries he’s banned to do us harm is so small (remember it’s never happened before) that this resembles using a machine gun to kill a roach. To make things worse, Trump elevated Stephen Bannon, former Breitbart news editor, an extreme Right Wing agitator, to a full seat on the principal committee of the National Security Council. The move undercuts Trump’s own security picks, including Jim Mattis, John Kelly and Michael Glynn. Injecting Bannon’s ideology and partisan politics into the process of National Secuity. Bannon is a plant. That’s what dictators do and Trump’s heroes are dictators. He has issued twenty executive orders and he didn’t brief the Congress on any of them.
10 Years Ago-2007
The last time the presidential race was as wide open was 80 years ago, with no president or vice-president running for the nomination. Yes, the race is on. Voters’ choices for 2008 include the most formidable candidates in U.S. history. They include female Sen. Hillary Clinton, black Sen. Barack Obama, Hispanic Gov. Bill Richards and Mormon Gov. Mitt Romney. Others are Demos Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Joe Biden, Sen. Christopher Dodd, Gov. Tom Vilsack and Sen. Dennis Kucinich. On the Republican side are Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain, Gov. Tommy Thompson, Gov. Jim Gilmore, Sen. Tom Brownbeck, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Tom Tancredo and probably Newt Gingrich. *****Five United States soldiers were killed last week in Iraq. The government reported they were killed in a gun battle. The truth is, they were handcuffed and executed, found with bullets through their heads. Meanwhile, the ‘paid talking heads’ were spinning how things were improving in Iraq. That Hannity guy, by coloring the truth, has become a millionaire. Only in America.*****Things don’t look very good for Molly Ivins, age 62. Her breast cancer is back with a vengeance. She is hospitalized in Austin at Seton Medical Center. Molly completed a round of radiation in August but the cancer returned and has spread throughout her body. Describing her treatment for cancer the first time in 2000 she said, “First they poison you, then they mutilate you, then they burn you. I’ve had more fun.” Her column appears in more than 300 newspapers. She’s written six books, four best sellers. ‘Life in George Bush’s America’ was written with friend Lou Dubose, who is county commissioner’s John Dubose’s nephew. Ivins was first diagnosed with cancer in 1999. *****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch is headed to Van Choate’s Tuffy’s this Wednesday. It’s always fun. Last Wednesday at Robert’s, we had special guests, Betty Harmon and Katrine Frey, Will’s widow. Skipper Free came in with her ‘talking boob’, which shocked and amazed Cal Broussard. Judge Pete Runnels brought Richard Hunter, assistant curator at Stark Museum, who has resigned to take a job in Dallas and is leaving this week. He’s a nice guy and we wish him the best. *****So far 770 contract workers have been killed in Iraq, 7,761 injured, some have died since. Seven more U.S. soldiers were killed Saturday, 28 injured.*****We were glad to hear that our 95-year-old friend, Virgie Scales, is out of the hospital rehab center. What a gal.*****Attorney H.D. Pate will have knee surgery on Wednesday. The cause, too much football long ago and too much weight on the poor little knee.*****We were sorry to hear that Jack Lovett’s wife, Arthena, is in Houston Methodist hospital in very grave condition. Our prayers go out to both. They have been together as great partners going back to their youth. *****Texas has eight percent of the United States population and 10 percent of all pickups in the country are driven here. *****Republican big money men in Texas, including T-Bone Pickens and Texas Ranger, radio mogul Tom Hicks, and John Connally III are supporting and raising big bucks for Rudy Giuliani. ***** Our friend Jerry McInnis had open-heart surgery over the weekend. A couple of weeks ago he was honored as Bridge City citizen of the year. We wish this good guy a speedy recovery. Just too much excitement lately for an aging guy.*****GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Evangeline Smith Evangeline (sister Buggy) Smith, 86, of Orange died Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007. Funeral Services were held Tuesday, Jan. 30.. Mrs. Smith was a caregiver for Texas Home Health. Those left to cherish her memory are her daughters and sons-in-law, Pat and Roy Bendy and Beverly and Tommy Burk both of Bridge City; grandchildren, Rhonda Droddy, Becky Howe, Nathan Carrico, Melinda Smith, Stacey Bendy, Michelle Gephart, Michael Macaluso, Jerry Smith, Ronnie Smith, Jr., Johnnie Smith and Jennifer Smith; 15 great grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren.*****Andrew Clifford Font, Sr. with passed away at Jan. 27. Funeral Service will be at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 30. He served in the naval branch of the military and moved to Texas in 1953. He was a consultant for Lime and Cement plants, later becoming sole proprietor of F.C. and B.C. Corp for 40 plus years. He was a member in the Madison Lodge #126 of Orange and a Mason for 42 years He served in the naval branch of the military and moved to Texas in 1953. He is survived by sons Clifford and Alton, daughters Bobbie Jean Day, Patsy (Buchanan) Trotter, Dianna Walker, Brenda Vordenbaum, Myra Kretzschmar, DeeDee Hidalgo,and Rose Marie Alfaro. He is also survived by 22 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren, sister, Nellie and brother, Paul.***** Winnie Raymond, 87, of Orange, passed away Jan. 19. Services were held Tuesday, Jan. 23. She retired from Southland Corporation, where she managed Seven Eleven Stores. She was an avid 42 domino player and she enjoyed old classical country music. She was a member of McDonald Memorial Baptist Church in Orange. She was a wonderful cook. She is survived by five children; Joan, Wayne, Virginia, Norma, John C., grandchildren Mona, Russell, Jeffrey, Gina, Kenneth, Leigh Ann and five great-great children.

40 Years Ago-1977
Pickets go up at Levingston Shipyard. Both sides hope the walkout won’t be a prolonged one. *****Gary’s Restaurant, with one location in Orange, will be building an eating establishment on Texas Ave., Hwy. 87, in Bridge City. Ground breaking in late February expected. *****Sarge Ledford returns as manager of Bonanza. The retired Army sergeant just can’t retire. He enjoys people. *****Uncle Jim ‘The Fisherman’ McKay was spotted at the Orange House sporting a new hat and a black bow tie. He was all smiles as folks made over him. *****Debbie and David Fusilier, a young married couple, have moved their residence from West Orange to Orangefield. Debbie says not everyone can claim that an oil well is in their backyard. Only problem however, the black gold money goes in someone else’s bank account. *****Robert Hanks, formerly with Flair Real Estate, is opening his own realty company in Bridge City. *****Jerry Smith has passed away. He took his own life on Jan. 26, 1977. He was a true gentleman. *****Bobby Smitherman and Jerry Pesson, owners of P.S. Tires in Bridge City, are having a big cash sale. Pay with cash, get a nice discount. *****Bridge City folks attending Orange County Day in Austin are Fred Gregory, H.D. Pate, Bob Montagne, Nolton Brown and Sara and ‘Tick’ Granger. *****The Bridge City girl’s basketball team is headed towards the playoffs but their coach Barbara Williams may not be with them. She is in the last month of her pregnancy. *****Chuck and sexy Carolyn Hare have moved into their new home on Roundbunch. *****Lennie Rutledge, formerly of Bridge City, is in town visiting her kids and friends. Lennie is now teaching in Corsicana. *****Jerry Hughes, past president of the Orange County Board of Realtors, was presented the ‘Salesman of the Year ‘ award by Tony DalSasso at the annual installation banquet.*****The second annual Gumbo Cookoff will be held Feb. 14. Ten thousand Cajuns and ‘want-to-be Cajuns’ are expected to attend.
Rod Stewart says, “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”
Steve Martin, “You know ‘that look’ women get when they want sex?” “Me neither.”
Sixteen million people call in sick the day after the Super Bowl so Heinz is giving employees the day off. Heinz asked supporters to sign a petition at WWW.Sunday.org. They say if they get more then 100,000 hits they will send the petition to Congress. Houston will host the Super Bowl this Sunday, Feb. 5.*****If you are in the market for a pre-owned car or truck may I suggest you shop Harmon Used Cars before you buy. Donnie, who has dealt with cars since he was in short pants, hand picks only dependable, clean cars. They can sell for less because of low overhead and will also handle all financing. Shop um, you’ll see what I mean. Located on MacArthur Drive at Henrietta Street. *****Our buddy of many years, Judge Claude Wimberly, has been in poor health and as of late Pauline has had help from Hospice to care for him. He’s confined mostly to his bed. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days: Feb. 1: Garrett Kerger, Brittany Leonand, Wyane Sullivan, Bobby Anderson and Jake Williams all celebrate. Joining them are MMA fighter Ronda Rousey, 30, singer Lisa Marie Presley, 49, actors Michael Hall, 46, and Pauly Shore, 49.*****Feb. 2: The old Aggie, one of Bear Bryant’s Junction Boys, Don Kachtik is a year older today also celebrating are Vance Thomas, Kelly McBride, Daric Rogers and Fred Dohmann. Celebrities joining them are singer Shakirab, 40, TV star Duane Chapman, 64 and movie actor Gemma Arterton, 31.*****Feb. 3: Stephanie Carpenter, Michael Hilliard and Alssa Allensworth all share birthdays on this day. Joining them are pop singer Sean Kingston, 27, boxer Daniel Jacobs, 30 and George’s wife Amal Clooney, 39.*****Feb. 4: State champion polvaulter Eric Eshbach has added several years and celebrates another birthday. Also celebrating are Brad Freeman, Mary Bull, Sylvia Holloway and Lisa Ludwig. Celebrities joining them in celebrating are singers Alice Cooper, 69, Gavin DeGraw, 40, and Oscar De La Hoya, 44.*****Feb. 5: Madi Johansson and Madison Johansson celebrate today. Also celebrating are singers Bobby Brown, 48 and Sara Evans, 46 and baseball player Hank Aaron, 83. This is also the day in 2010 that we lost Mary Fontenot.*****Feb. 6: Karen Cox Duplichin, Ms. Ginny and “Neighbor Cox’s pride and joy celebrates a birthday today. The school teacher and her husband Keith now live in Oklahoma but come home often. Also celebrating are Grant Jones, Lindsey Day, David Gryder and Peggy Jones. Joining them are pop singer Fabian, 74 and TV show host Jason Silva, 35. *****Feb. 7: Jeanna Campbell, Luke Lyons, Darlene Brown and Jamie Beaulieu, comedian Chris Rock, 52, actor Ashton Kutcher, 39 and basketball player Steve Nash 43.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and at PK’s Grill next week. Everyone always welcome. Speaking of dining out, Josette and Van Choate are reopening “Tuffy’s” in Mauriceville. They have already started cleaning up and are doing extensive remolding before opening but should be good to go within the next 90 days. Many folks will be excited about that. Josette and Van run a great restaurant and with both working full time in the operation, customer satisfaction is assured. I can hardly wait.*****Good luck to David “Bishop Petty” Richards, of Orange, who is competing in “The Voice” auditions. He is waiting for word to see if he has made the next round of competition. He auditioned Jan. 21. “The Voice” is scheduled to air the first show of the season Feb. 27. Coaches will be Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton. Gwen Steani will return as a judge after skipping last season. Richards says if he is fortune enough to be selected he would pick Keys or Shelton as his coach. David, we would be proud to have you represent Orange County on the national stage.*****The University of Texas study estimates that Texas has some 313,000 victims of human trafficking who have been forced into prostitution or labor. Law enforcement says Texas is a hub for human trafficking in the United States.*****Many United States companies, from startups to big corporations, are worried how Trump’s ban will effect foreign investments and recruiting. Stock markets sink amid the uproar. Officials are also concerned that talented Muslim students will be deterred from attending American universities. Oil companies are concerned about employees who work overseas and travel back and forth.*****The United States universities are warning foreign students about returning home stating they may not be allowed to re-enter the states. CEO’s warned “As this president is closing the door on the world, the world is going to start closing the door on us.”
During a revival las week in Cheneyville, a little town between Bunkie and Alexandria, on La. Hwy. 71, da Evangelist, Brother Roy Lee Anderson, was bring da service to an end him.
Da people dem were standing at da alter waiting for Rev. Anderson to lay hands on dem. He axed each individual wat dey really need. When it was Sostan Tibeaux’s turn, who is from Oakdale, he replied, “Me, I want you to pray dat my hearing is gonna be real good.” Dat’s all I axe, me, dat my hearing gonna turn out all right.
Da Evangelist, Brother Anderson, took his finger him and put it in Sostan’s ear. He raised his uddah hand in da air, look up to start his prayer and say “Heal.” Noticing dat da expression done change on Sostan’s face, da Reverand him, tinking a miracle had already happened, axed, “Bruddah, tell us how’s your hearing?”
Sostan him, a little confused, looked around at da curious congregation and say, “Well, I don’t know me, da hearing ain’t till next Tuesday in Opelousas.”

Congrats to Stan Mathews new SRA President
At the annual board of directors meeting of the Sabine River Authority of Texas, held in Rockwall, local businessman Stan Mathews was elected board president. He is the owner and operator of Mathews Jewelers in Orange and Beaumont. Other Orange Countians on the nine member board are Earl Williams, of Orange and Sharon Newcomer of Mauriceville. Born and raised in Orange, Stan and his wife Linda reside in Pinehurst. Stan is very active in several civic endeavors. We congratulate this native son.*****President Donald Trump nominates Supreme Court Justice. Judge Neil Gorsuch Of Colorado I doubt conformation will be non-partisan.*****My time is up, thanks for yours. Read us cover to cover and shop our family of advertisers. Take care and God bless.