CROOKS TAKES OVER AS COUNTY JUDGE

The smart thing for the Commissioners Court to do is to appoint the person who won the election. Now I understand that is what they did. It would have been a no brainer to have done otherwise. Even though Judge Dean Crooks has never gone through preparing a budget, there are some sharp people on the court that can be of help. The new judge is also very smart and together they will make it work. Putting such a large budget together is very difficult. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle making all the parts fit, mostly satisfying all department heads. Not everyone will be happy. In all my years I don’t recall the replacement of a county judge before a budget is complete. There are other good reasons to have appointed Crooks. One is that it will give him a jump start when his term starts and two new members of the court join him in January. It gives him the opportunity to get all of the state required schooling done. He will be better prepared to guide the new court. Tuesday’s Commissioner’s Court meeting took two closed sessions and two open court votes. The final vote was 4-0 for the majority to name the duly elected Crooks to the county judge position.*****In this week’s issue, in Roy’s Down Life’s Highway column, he writes about life 65 years ago and before. As primitive as those times sounded, the changes will be just as drastic 65 years from now. The mind can’t conceive how advanced technology will be like. Folks will be saying, “Man, you mean you had to drive your own car,” or “You really had to do school education in a building, with real teachers.”*****I have to move on. Please come along. I promise it won’t do you no harm.

CONDOLENCES

We were sorry to hear of the death of our longtime friend Hubert “Sprad” Spradling, age 81, who passed away last week. His funeral service will be held Saturday, April 28, 2 p.m. at Claybar Funeral Home, in Orange. Visitation will be from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. Friday. We had known Sprad since the late 1950’s. At one time he was one of the largest boat dealers in the area but he was much more. For many years he was chief promoter of Orange, along with his friends Charlie Wickersham and Ed Lovelace. Many stories, some national, have been written about the famous ‘Aqua Demons and Aqua Debs’ ski club that he and Charles started. They both put their beautiful wives on wooden skis that they built. Calvin Stakes, who is now the only remaining member of that group, also had his lovely wife Bobbie, doing acrobatic skiing maneuvers. All of them once skied from, Orange to Galveston. It is said that Sprad did it barefoot. He was a rare, fun loving guy, who never meant anyone any harm. You had to really know him to understand what a kind heart he had. I for one will never forget him. May he rest in peace.

OUR SYMPATIY

Ruth Launa Gothia, 74, passed away April 21. Funeral services will be held Friday, April 27, at Faith United Methodist Church in Orange. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Claybar Funeral Home, in Bridge City. Our condolences to her son, County Commissioner John Gothia and his entire family.

STRUTTERS HOLD SPRING REVUE

Don’t miss the 21st. annual Strutters Spring Revue at the Lutcher Theater, Saturday, May 5, 6 p.m. This great variety show features the national award winning Bridge City Strutters. Over the years, Cathy Riley, longtime director, has done great work with these youngsters. Her dedication has built one of the finest high school programs in the state. In this week’s issue of The Record you can also read about all the good things going on at Bridge City High School in their monthly bulletin.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2008

Robert Vail called to tell us Sue Bailey, age 85, died during the night. She had been a friend of many years. She was the foremost authority on Sabine Lake and an expert on nature. It is hard to imagine this community on Lake Sabine without its queen. Sue spent a lifetime promoting the Audubon Society and life on the lake. She was a beautiful, kind lady who was loved by everyone who knew her. The world lost a great one. Services were Thursday, May 1 at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. ***** We were sorry to hear about the passing of Ray Herman, 84, who died April 25. Services were held April 29. Ray was a good man who faced many tragedies but he rolled with the punches. No man had a stronger work ethic and he was liked by everyone who knew him.***** The Record Newspaper’s annual ‘Person of the Year’ recognition goes to a person in each of our markets. The County Record, which serves the greater Orange area, has selected Sam Kittrell, Orange Police Chief, for his many years of dedicated service to law enforcement as well as his service to the betterment of the city of Orange. The Penny Record, the community paper of the Bridge City/Orangefield area, has selected BCISD Assistant Superintendent Joe Chenella for his many years of service to the district and his dedication toward education. Over the years he has worn many hats. He has always carried out his duties, putting principle first in every decision, no matter the consequences.***** Rachel Smith, 81, died April 27, service held Wednesday, 10 a.m. at Second Baptist Church in Bridge City. Rachel and husband, Heubert ‘Snuffy’ Smith, came from Union, Mississippi, many years ago. They were devoted to the community, church and family. To sons John, Kenneth and Grady and their families, we extend our deepest sympathies. Longtime friends of ‘Snuffy’ and Rachel, Bill Kilhnl, Tom Brooks, Jerry Chesson, L.K. Jarrell, Bob Moore and Joe Elam served as pallbearers. ***** Congrats to Bridge City Cardinal Corey Smith for qualifying for state at the regional, taking silver in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.29. Also bouquets to WOS quartet Josh Gloston, James Haynes, Trey Franks and Seth Thomas who are headed to the state meet in both the 400-meter and 800-meter relay, taking the gold in the 800 and the silver in the 400. Bridge City Tim Cude took the bronze in both the 3200-meter and 1600-meter run and just missed qualifying for state by an eyelash.***** We first met Dorothy and Lee Brown in 1964 as members of the Orange Optimist Club. On May 10, they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Many years ago Lee and Dot established Brown Hearing Aid Centers in Orange. Over the years they spread their business to several states. Many times I have stopped at restaurants and locations far away from home and seen brochures from Brown’s Hearing Aids, manufactured right here in Orange. (Editor’s note: Lee passed away a few years ago. Dorothy, still beautiful, is now anxiously waiting to get back in her Harvey damaged home.)*****‘The Home Place,’ home of Gisela Houseman, was a beautiful setting for a wild game dinner Saturday evening, April 26, hosted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens. An experienced cooking team of Game Wardens presented a menu of wild game ranging from squirrel and dumplings to elk and several varieties of game in between. Gisela furnished full service with a host of tuxedo-clad personnel. The hundred invited guests, casually dressed, ate wild game from china plates and good silverware. Tony Houseman, who passed away August 3, 2007, was a sportsman and hunter and an avid supporter of Game Wardens.***** Pat and H.D. Pate ventured to the historic Cajun town of Abbeville over the weekend. It was their first time. They visited Mary Magdalene Church, which will be 100 years old next year. It is the fourth Catholic Church on the high knoll. Others burnt down or storms got them. They found the food great and saw many tourists. An enjoyable, impressive trip they say.***** Dickie’s column is on LSU Freshman Johnny Dishon, who we watched play high school baseball just last year.

40 Years Ago-1978

James D. Stringer is running against county judge Pete Runnels. In one newspaper advertisement Stringer says, “Spend! Spend! My opponent has spent $7,450 on his own campaign. It seems to me he’s spending his campaign money just like he does your tax dollar.” Judge Runnels responded with an ad saying, “All you have heard from my opponent is cheap criticism. Have you heard one idea from him? No. Have you heard what his goals are? No.” (Editor’s note: What was a lot of money, $7,450 spent on a county race then is a drop in the bucket today. James and Pete, two former county judges, are good friends. Professional politicians don’t hold grudges.)*****Distributive Education Club chose Bobby Smitherman of P.S. Tire Supply in Bridge City, ‘Boss of the Year’. Jerry and Bobbie Pesson celebrate the first anniversary of Bridge City Recreation Vehicles. *****Father Frank Schanzer is being transferred from St. Henry Catholic Church.***** Novella and Wayne Choate are owners of Way-No’s Lounge, located at 2890 Texas Ave. in Bridge City. (Editor’s note: No time to tell it but there is an interesting story here. Husband Wayne, after they broke up, kept the lounge they owned together called ‘Way-No’s.’ Novella opened a lounge in competition across the highway called ‘No-Way’s.’ Novella was quite a gal. She died a few years ago from cancer. She and Wayne remained friends through it all. He still lives in Bridge City and so do some of the kids.)***** Bill Kendig owns Circle Gulf Service Station, full service plus most auto repairs. *****Spector Wrecking and Salvage Company has served the area for 60 years. Murray, Sammie and Toby Spector are owners.*****Allen Mott owns Mott’s Gulf Service, 1923 Western Ave. *****Gary Savoy is a new car salesman at Harmon Chevrolet, 3rd and Green.***** Opportunity Valley News Office Hound Tee Shirts are on sale this week for $2.99 at Kresge’s. Three colors, all sizes. *****One Hour Park Avenue Cleaners offers alterations by seamstress with tailoring experience. Owners are Earl and Betty Drake, manager is Steve Drake. *****Editor: And so it was the last week of April 40 years ago-1978. Most of the players are now gone.

BIRTHDAYS

  A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next week. April 25: Jeff Fisette, Louise Savoy, Marriet Litton. They are joined by actors  Al Pacino  77, Renee Zellweger, 48 and Sara Paxton, 29.***** April 26: Celebrating on this day are Pam Broussard Christi Goodyear and Donna Lee. Also celebrating are President Trump’s wife,  Melanie Trump,  47,  actors Channing Tatum, 37 and Kevin James, 52.*****April 27: Gus Harris, Mike Cain and Chelsea Ballard all celebrate. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are actors William Moseley, 30, and Jenna Coleman, 31.*****April 28: Peggy Dunbar and Josh Applebach celebrate today. Also celebrating are actors Jessica Alba,  36,  Penelope Cruz,  43,  Ann  Margret,  76  and TV host  Jay Leno,  67.***** April 29: Celebrating birthdays today are Jimmie Simmons, Judy DeCuir, Tommy Bourgeois, Kelsea Burns and also comedian Jerry Seinfeld,  63, country singer Willie Nelson, 84, actress Michelle Pfeiffer, 59.*****April 30: Nina Leifeste, Harold Haymon, Jenni Barrow, Katie Smith, Smantha Ziller, Virginia Woods and Kim Izer all celebrate today. Joining them are actress Kirsten Dunst,  35. baseball player Asiah Thomas  56, and TV actor  basketball player Sam Heughan,  37.***** May 1: Celebrating today are Karolyn Doiron, Frank Carpenter, Newt Hodges, Cindy Landrum and Christina Johnson. Also celebrating are country singer Tim McGraw,  50  actor Jamie Dornan,  35, and   TV actress Joanna Lumley,  71.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Remembering some friends who passed away on April 29. Inez Runnels, 83, died in 2007. She was Judge Pete Runnels’ mom.***On this day, April, 29, 2012, we lost a great guy, longtime Mauriceville post master, Wilson King Dunn, age 93.***In 2017, we lost former county commissioner Don Cole, 90. Great folks who are gone but not forgotten.*****Portland, Oregon, whose motto is “Keep Portland weird,” recently hired a new police chief named Outlaw.***** Last week at the Lunch Bunch gathering, former chief deputy sheriff David Bailey brought several police badges that had been worn by Orange County police chief E.L. “Gene” Nance. He was chief from August 1946 to August 1950 and again served one month, August to September, in 1952. Nance also served as a deputy sheriff for awhile for Chester Holts. David, who is married to Nance’s granddaughter, also had that badge. The Bunch will dine at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s this week and at JB’s Barbeque next week. Everyone always welcome.*****Monday, April 30, Willie Nelson will turn 85. What I would like to do Sunday is load up all his albums and listen to his music all day. It would probably take more than one day to hear every song. Willie is a real American treasure and is still on the road doing his thing. *****On April 27, 1836, Santa Anna surrendered to Sam Houston.*****We were glad to hear that our friend Steve Parkhurst, who will be the incoming district judge, replacing Buddie Hahn, received only a few bruises in an auto accident Sunday on North Hwy. 87. Steve was due to get a MRI on his neck that had previously been injured. He was just minding his business when two vehicles collided, pushing one into him. His truck flipped in the ditch after being hit.*****We were also glad to hear that Nova Strickland, the eldest from the Holt clan, is out of the hospital after a bout with pneumonia. What was the toughest part for her was not being able to talk for over a week. We just love her.*****One of the good guys, former Orange mayor, now a Pinehurst city councilman, Dan Mohon, is the recipient of the latest technology. Dan had a procedure done on his back where a device with a battery helps operate his right leg and reduces the pain. What will they be making batteries for next? Dan is one of the most likable guys I know.*****Speaking of nice guys, Donnie Harmon, our neighbor here on Henrietta, with Harmon Used Cars, has been hand picking some low mileage, pre-owned vehicles that are flying off the lot. If you’re looking for a good, pre-owned auto or truck, check with Donnie or Joe Payne before you buy.*****Next Tuesday, May 1, McDonald Baptist Church will mark their 87th anniversary.*****Also on this day, May 1, our late and good friend of many years, Dot Eshbach, celebrated her birthday. She always remembered mine, I’m proud to remember her.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Percy ‘Teenot’ Cormier, Walter Fontenot and Henry ‘Paw’ Jagneaux were sitting on the bench in front of Thibodeaux’s drug story in Mamou. Da tree old mens were talking bout da aches and pains, body functions and da utta problem wat comes wit old age. Cormier, wat is 70 yers old him, says, “I have dis problem me, I wake up every morning bout 7 a.m. and it takes me 15 minutes to finally pee.”

Fontenot, wat is 80, says, “Yea, dis old age ain’t no good. My case is worse, I get up at 8 a.m. and I sit and sit dere and grunt and goan for near one hour before I finally have a bowl movement me.”

‘Paw’ Jagneaux, wat is 92 him, says, “At around 7 a.m. I pee like a horse me, at about 8 a.m. I dump like a cow.”

‘Teenot’ and Walter axe, “Well ‘Paw,’ so wat is your problem hanh?

‘Paw’ drops his head and says, “Well me, I don’t wake up until 9 o’clock.

C’EST TOUT

Hannity desperate defender of Trump

Sean Hannity has emerged as the ‘Golden Boy of Poison’ in Fox News primetime. Hannity, who was dragging the tail end of the 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. time slot, made his way up after the departure of Bill O’Reilly and Megan Kelly. Five nights a week, at those time slots, fox News offers no news. The three hosts operate talk shows with opinions and pro-Trump coverage. Night after night, Hannity has been poisoning the well, claiming special council Robert Mueller is deeply corrupt. Last week Hannity went on a ranting rage with large doses of hate propaganda. “This man’s is leading the biggest abuse of power scandal in the country’s history,” he said. Then he depicted on a large board “The Muller crime family.” He called former FBI director James Comey a liar, and CNN a bunch of pervets. Every night he is still running the campaign against Hillary. He slandered special council Muller, who is really one of the United States’ military heroes. He led a Marine rifle platoon in Vietnam, has been awarded a Bronze Star, two Navy commendations, a Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After being shot he continued leading his troops in battle. He would continue his service in Vietnam even after the opportunity to go home presented itself. Compare that to Trump, Hannity, Newt and dishonest lawyer Joe DiGenova. Trump, despite playing tennis, golf and football in college took five deferments for bone spurs in his feet. On the day Trump graduated from college, having dodged the draft, 40 American boys were killed in Vietnam., yet Hannity, beneficiary of Trump’s twitter news praise, and has done nothing for his country, is far too comfortable attacking Muller and an American hero, who has spent his life honorably serving his country in times of war and peace.  His record has been spotless. In fact Newt Gingrich, who is now spreading the poison with Hannity, tweeted six months ago, “Robert Mueller is a great choice to be special council. His reputation is impeccable for honest and integrity.” No one has ever said that about Hannity. Don’t be surprised if he gets caught up in the Michael Cohen, New York investigation. Hannity is Fox News’ biggest star and until a few weeks ago, he led the time slot ratings. In recent weeks he has been clobbered by MSNBC’S Rachel Maddow. Fox, on the air since 1996, in recent polls has fallen behind CNN and MSNBC for being trust worthy even though Fox anchors Sheppard Smith and Chris Wallace both received high marks for unbiased reporting. Some of Fox’s own editorial employees are mortified by the Mueller coverage. Even Fox insiders cringe and some have quit and others will. They insist what Hannity and some of the others report is not news, it’s unjustified paranoia. Hannity is bringing in a lot of money because of the large ‘Bubba” audience but can it last? I say no. Just watch what happens in New York.*****My time is up, thanks for yours. Please shop our advertisers who make this all possible. Take care and God bless.