HERO-STATESMAN-PATRIOT-LEADER

Wednesday, Aug. 29, would have been Sen. John McCain’s 82nd birthday. He died Saturday, Aug. 25, after battling brain cancer for the last year. McCain spent 30 years in the United States Senate. Over the years he wrote multiple books and made hundreds of speeches. He was known and admired around the world. He twice ran for president, losing the GOP nomination in 2000 to Texas governor George W. Bush. He lost the general election in 2008 to Democratic U.S. senator Barack Obama. Ironically both Bush and Obama will give the eulogy at his service at McCain’s request. He also expressed that Trump not be welcomed at his funeral. As a Navy pilot in the Vietnam War, on his 23rd bombing mission, his plane was shot down. He bailed out and was captured. He suffered a broken arm and leg on the ejection. The young officer spent five and a half years as a captive, much of it in solitary confinement. Because of his father’s influence as a Navy Admiral, he refused to be released ahead of other captives who had been in prison longer than him. Meanwhile, on the same day of his capture, Donald J. Trump graduated from a small business school. His father had arranged five deferments for him because of a bone spur on his foot. In Trump’s 2015 campaign he said McCain’s five years as a prisoner of war didn’t make him a hero. “I like people who weren’t captured,” he said. Two days before McCain died, Trump at a rally, criticized the senator, while his Bubba’s cheered. Today, some of Trump’s soldiers have been captured by the Federal Government and are starting to sing while Trump is being backed into a corner and could become a captive himself. When Trump met with and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and invited him to the White House, Sen. McCain had heard enough. He called it, “One of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” On Sunday Trump ordered the American flag not be lowered. He also avoided praising McCain as a war hero. Monday morning I had a friend, a public official, visit me and he made the statement that if Trump doesn’t order the American flag lowered he will lose every military person in the country. By Monday afternoon, the American Legion cornered Trump and put the horse head at the foot of his bed. Within an hour Trump issued a statement praising McCain and ordering all flags on government buildings and all ships at sea lower their flags to half-staff. John McCain was a patriot, a man of deep conviction, who put country above self and party. Unlike Trump, Sen. McCain was a statesman with high morals. On Friday his body will lie in state at the U. S. Capitol, a rare honor bestowed on only 31 people in 166 years. On Saturday, a full dress service will be held at Washington National Cathedral. On Sunday, a private service will be held before his burial at the place he loved, the United States Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland. John McCain found his love for his country while a POW. In his memoir “Faith of My Fathers” He wrote, “In prison, I fell in love with my country. I had loved her before then but like most young people, my affection was little more than a simple appreciation for the comforts and privileges most Americas enjoyed and took for granted. It wasn’t until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her.” In November, 2016, on the senate floor, in response to Trump’s stance on torture, McCain said, “I don’t give a damn what the President of the United States wants to do or what anybody else wants to do, we will not water board. We will not torture people. It doesn’t work my friends, we are better than that.” Sen. John McCain was a great example for the youth of our country to follow.

OUR CONDOLENCES

Funeral services will be held Friday, Aug. 31, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church for Ray Paul Jungen, age 78, who passed away Aug. 25. He was a graduate of Bishop Byrne High School, served in the U.S. Air Force and was retired from DuPont. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jackie, nine children, 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. We extend our sympathy to the entire family. He was a good man. May he rest in peace. Please see obituary.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2008

Gustav held Gulf Coast hostage and a mandatory evacuation was called for 6 a.m. Sunday. Commissioner John Dubose drove a bus moving evacuees to Jefferson County Airport. Dubose, Judge Thibodeaux and other officials were hands on throughout the evacuation and afterwards. Also on Saturday, 150 county prisoners were moved to Polk County on three large buses. Most of our newspaper staff stayed mainly to keep our website up for minute-by-minute happenings. We had generators but we prayed we wouldn’t lose our electricity. We dodged the bullet.***** The Democratic National Convention was a history-making event. Barack Obama became the first mixed race candidate to be nominated by a major party. His speech, to a national audience, set new viewer records with 38 million people watching. Mile High Stadium was filled with 84,000 Democrats. Bill and Hillary Clinton were the unifying force.***** Sen. John McCain killed the surge of the demo convention Friday morning with a desperate play. A ‘Hail Mary’ attempt to stay in the game. The 72-year-old McCain, who is a four-time cancer survivor, picked Sarah Palin, 18-month governor of Alaska, as his vice presidential choice. Palin’s previous experience was being mayor of a small town about the size of Pinehurst, population 5,000. She is in no way qualified to be a heart beat away from the presidency.***** The GOP convention started Monday but Hurricane Gustav detoured President Bush and VP Cheney from making an appearance. Bush appeared by satellite Tuesday night. The GOP convention was scaled down. It would have looked bad on a split television screen to be celebrating while Gustav was hitting the Gulf Coast. All the above seems a lot longer than just 10 years ago.*****Dan Hooks and his ‘Stanges’ put it on Nederland 33-13 in Bulldog Stadium. That win over 4-A Nederland makes a big statement in Class 3-A. *****Karen and Tony Fuselier celebrated their anniversary on Labor Day and waited for Hurricane Gustav to come to the party.  *****Goddess and sex queen Raquel Welch turns 68 on Sept. 5. Old age waits on no one.*****Tuesday citizens started returning. Even Cox showed up, he and his family, including his 89-year-old sister Dolly, visited grandson Kevin and wife and Cox’s niece in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.***** I find it funny how Con. Brady and Con. Poe and other Republicans are using the none hurricane, Gostav, as an excuse not to attend the GOP convention.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

40 Years Ago-1978

The Houston Oilers, with Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, drilled the Dallas Cowboys 27-13 in Texas Stadium. First year Oiler Campbell, 5 foot, 11 inches and 224 pounds, rolled for 151 yards in just 14 carries. Mark Dunn, Opportunity Valley News photographer shot photos at the game. He got shots of a 25-yard run by Tony Dorsett, a run by Campbell and shots of disgusted Roger Staubach, Cowboy Q.B., Brian Billick and Coach Tom Landry. *****Well known country star Don Williams and the Oak Ridge Boys appear before more than 2,500 people at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School stadium. *****More than 200 Knights of the Ku Klux Klan gathered in Orange County. Three crosses were burned. Reportly some 1000 to 1,300 county residents are active Klan members. Klansmen carrying semi-automatic rifles protected the weekend activities. (Editor’s note: Hard to believe all the Klan activity was just 40 years ago.)*****Cardinal Albino Luciano, an Italian Prelate, last week was elected 263rd Pope and leader of the world’s 700 million Roman Catholics. He took the name John Paul. Both John Paul VI and John XXIII had a strong influence on the present Cardinals. *****Tropical storm Debra brings a lot of rain to Orange County. *****Vivian Holbrook is sure to have a place in heaven. On Aug. 30 she celebrated another anniversary of being married to Fain. (Editor’s note: Fain has since passed away. He was a great guy.) *****Some 30 businessmen and educators attended local meeting for John Hill for governor’s committee in the office of Wayne Peveto, on Border St. J.D. Stanfield, county coordinator for the Hill campaign presided. Att. Martin Dies, Sue Pate and Flo Edgerly will head up registration drive. *****Roy and friend, Conley Windell, continue trip through southwest and have just left Tombstone, Arizona and arrived at Bisbee, Arizona. Excerpts from Roy’s writing 40 years ago:  “I had never heard of Bisbee when we took the back roads of Hwy. 80 out of Tombstone. With no idea where the road would lead us, we knew if we headed east or south we would be going towards Texas. The discovery of Bisbee was the biggest surprise of our trip. We were just too amazed at such a big hole in the ground that housed many homes and businesses. The historical marker gave me my second surprise. A civilian tracker and part-time prospector by the name of Jack Dunn is credited with the discovery of the potential mineral wealth of the Mule Mountains that became the town of Bisbee. Dunn, along with a group of soldiers from nearby Fort Bowie were trying to capture Indian renegades. In May 1877, Dunn found a characteristic faint green stain on a hillside, which indicated the presence of copper, lead and perhaps silver. As I stand here today, 99 years later, looking down on the hole, I learned Dunn’s find has produced eight billion pounds of copper, 102 million ounces of silver and 2.8 million ounces of gold, along with millions of pounds of zinc, lead and manganese. Phelps Dodge ceased operations three years ago in 1975. In 1910 the city was considered the largest in the territory with over 25,000 people. The Cochise County seat was relocated from Tombstone to Bisbee in 1929 and was known as the ‘Queen of the Copper Camps.’ With the departure of its influential base the real estate market in Bisbee collapsed, hundreds of homes went up for sale. The Bisbee of today is a well-known artist’s community whose architectural and historical heritage has been preserved. It’s an ideal spot for tourism. It has the most perfect year-round climate in the country. Conley and I discovered it by accident. My father Clay used to say all Dunn’s or kin so maybe Jack and I were. (Editor’s note: Bridge City attorney H.D. Pate has visited Bisbee many times and recommends it to visit or to retire.) Next Roy and Conley heard east to where ever the road leads them.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Last week we heard from one of our longtime friends who spoke of his cotton picking days. Pat Clark is one of the youngest cotton pickers because shortly after his days in the field in the mid-1950’s, automation brought in cotton picking machines. Roy had written about his cotton picking experiences in the 1930’s and early 1940’s in his Life’s Highway column last week. Pat changed the way pickers brought water to the field. He came up with the idea of putting water in a canteen, preventing the walk to where water bottles were stored under the cotton plants to keep  cool. Other pickers adopted the idea Pat started with his Cub Scout canteen. Before we forget, we want to wish Pat and Rosalie a happy 49th anniversary. They will celebrate on August 31. We love both of them and pray for them to have a long and healthy life together. (Side note: Pat is the most conservative liberal I know. He even beats Judge Burgess.)**********Coming up this week, on Sept. 2, is the 14th year of Roy’s mom, Marie’s death and the death of his friend Parker P.T. Thompson. He buried his mom and spoke at P.T.’s funeral. He still speaks of both often and has featured his mother in many of his columns.*****Aug. 29, marks 13 years since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. This week also marks one year since Hurricane Harvey brought so much devastation to our area.*****I find it ironic that Sen. John McCain and Sen. Ted Kennedy both passed away on Aug. 26, nine years apart, from the same form of brain cancer.*****My thoughts are with Pauline Wimberly. Sept. 4 would have been she and Judge Claude’s 64th anniversary. He passed away just after their 63rd.*****On Aug. 29, two of my special, longtime friend-girls, Glenda Dyer and Janice Overman, Inez’s lovely daughter, both celebrate birthdays. I just want them to know they are in my thoughts.*****Judge Pete Runnels, Mayor of Pinehurst, stopped by Monday morning. He’s looking farward to the Senior Labor Day Picnic. He wants all seniors to know they don’t have to be from Pinehurst to attend. There will be plenty of entertainment starting at 10:30 and food will be served at 11. Y’all come.*****Our buddy is home after knee surgery in Houston. Sharon Bearden is a tough guy. At age 76, he’s not going to let a knee slow him down. He’ll be in the courtroom at age 90 is my bet.*****The top paid public employee is this state is basketball coach Shaka Smart at the University of Texas. His annual salary is $3,040,417. The nation’s highest paid coach is Alabama football coach Nick Saban. His overall compensation is $7.5 million, with an extra incentive bonus each year.*****Most folks, at some time, are in need of a handy man. Mostly it’s for a minor repair such as painting or building shelves or building a shed. Tim Benoit does it all. He’s local, dependable and reasonable. See his ad in our classified section. We recommend him.*****Congrats to Dena Gray Hughes for being named chief executive officer of Tan Health Care, located in Orange and Beaumont. Dena, over the last couple of years, was a director. I know her team in Orange, they are friendly, caring people. Dena has one of those great personalities you often find in leaders. She’s missed the Lunch Bunch lately but we hope she will be in Orange more often and can attend.*****The Lunch Bunch will dine at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s restaurant this week. Next week the Wednesday Bunch will be back at Novrozskys.  Last week at Robert’s, Theresa Beauchamp and Dr. Nina were the real gabbers. Theresa actually can out gabs everyone. Everyone always welcome.

BIRTHDAYS

Aug. 29: Gary Bonneaux, Glenda Dyer, Kira Amy and Janice Overman all celebrate on this date. Also having birthdays are actors Dana Basco, 42 and Carla Gugino, 46.*****Aug. 30: Celebrating today are Mike Cedars, Pamela Comer and Dal Moreau. Joining them are actors Cameron Diaz, 45 and Michael Michele, 51, also entrepreneur Warren Buffett, 87.*****Aug. 31: Dominic Nguyen, Erin Weidner, Mary Behnke celebrate today. Also celebrating are actors Chris Tucker, 46, Richard Gere, 68, Sara Ramirez, 42 and singer Deborah Gibson, 47. This is also the wedding anniversary of our friends Pat and Rosalie Clark. Happy anniversary.*****Sept. 1: Celebrating today are Paul Fournier and Haley Aldridge. They are joined by TV host Dr. Phil  McGraw, 67 and actress Lily Tomlin, 78. This is also the wedding anniversary of our friends Tony and Karen Fuselier. Congrats.*****Sept. 2: Happy birthday to Cody Knight, Tanya Sterling and Peyton Choate. Joining them are actors Keanu Reeves, 53, Salma Hayek, 51 and Garrett Hedlund, 33.This is also the date of the deaths of P.T. Parker and Roy’s mom, Marie, in 2004.*****Sept. 3: Debby Herrington, T.W. Permenter, Tammy Stevens, Barbara Daigle, Rachel Briggs, Robert Boehme, Ryan Fisette and Thomas Tisdale celebrate today. Also celebrating are actor Charlie Sheen, 52, snowboarder Shaun White, 31 and actor Garrett Hedlund, 33. *****Sept. 4: Celebrating today are Candi Cannon, Ginger Williams, Jamie Forse and Shirley Choate. Also celebrating are singer Beyonce, 35, comedian Damon Wayans, 57 and actor Wes Bentley, 39.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Every trip truck driver Tee-Nonk Dartez stop by Fayola’s Truck Stop Diner for a piece of her fresh, homemade pie. One day, wen he was dere, tree bikers came in.

Da first biker him went over to old man Dartez and pushed a cigarette into his pie and sat down at da counter.

Da second biker went over to da old man and spit in his glass of milk and sat down at da counter.

Da turd biker turned over old man Dartez’s plate and sat down next to  his buddies. Tee- Nonk, an old truck driver himself, didn’t say nuttin, he jus got up and left da diner.

One of dem bikers said to Fayola, “Dat guy is not much of a man.”

Fayola replied, “Old man Dartez is not much of a truck driver either, he jus backed over three motorcycles on his way out. He jus crushed um.”

C’EST TOUT

I recall August 28, 1963, like it was just a few years ago, yet 55 years have gone by since Rev. Martin Luther King delivered his, “I have a dream speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I thought that was the best speech I had ever heard. I’ve always loved to listen to great speeches. I started listening to President FDR on our battery radio. There have been other great speeches given but in the modern age, JFK, Clinton and Obama were the best. Most great speeches are written by professional writers. Obama wrote most of his speeches, as did Kennedy. Few people could deliver a speech better than those three. We hear very few great speeches today. One guy I remember who could really deliver a speech was Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr. He became a friend. He was a great guy.*****Thanks for your time. Mine is up. Thanks to everyone who participated in this Labor Day edition. Stay safe, take care and God bless.