AMERICANS IN THE REAL WORLD

The Mid-term Election brought some silver linings. The election bought an end to “Rubber Stamp” government that is akin to dictatorship. The election of a new congress will bring checks and balances. Some of the military battle troops, sent to the border in a political ploy of an immigrant caravan coming to invade the country, will get to go home. President Trump had tweeted that “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in the caravan.” The claim was to justify using the military for political reasons. It was a false claim. Billions of dollars were spent on those shenanigans. Now it seems the troops might get home to their families by Christmas. Many people bought into that political ploy that was given birth by Sean Hannity and Trump. Seventy-six fires in California, continue to destroy thousands of homes, claim lives, with 1,300 citizens still missing. Meanwhile, it’s been seven weeks since journalist Jamel Khashoggi vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudis have offered a shifting series of fables to explain what happened to him. What happened to Khashoggi’s body? A complete report is due to reach the president this week.  It’s common knowledge that the Saudi Prince ordered the killing and body dismemberment. The truth puts Trump in a tough moral dilemma. He stops short of blaming the 33 year old Saudi leader, who he sees as a vital ally, plus there are business ties to son-in-law Jared Kushner. Anything less than severe sanctions, diplomatic, economical and military, amounts to letting the Crown Prince get away with murder. Trump is in a box on this one. It will be interesting to watch how he will waltz around it. His final conclusion will never reach the boss, the Crown Prince. A cover up is likely to succeed. Time marches on: Wall Street will soon show signs of cracking and a recession is in our future. We’ve had 94 months of economic and job growth. A $1.5 trillion tax giveaway has failed again to trickle down. The deficit is reaching an all-time high and somewhere down the line the balloon will bust because of some bad calls.*****I’ve got to move on. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

MASS SHOOTINGS AMERICA’S CANCER

Three hundred-seven mass shootings took place in 311 days of 2018. This is an average of a deadly incident almost every day of the year. Four of the largest mass shootings in five decades took place at Stoneman-Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida-17 deaths; Santa Fe High School, in Texas,-10; Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, PA-11; Borderline Bar and Grill, Thousand Oaks, CA-12. In all, 328 people were killed and 1,251 were injured. The number includes attacks in which four or more people were shot or killed; this does not include the shooters. Hatred continues to grow in our country. There is no reason to believe it won’t get worse. No one is giving more than lip service, prayers and photo ops to turn this cancer around. Meanwhile, we keep escalating hate on everyone that is not like us or share our beliefs. No matter how many such massacres occur Americans must never become desensitized to this violence by just cleaning up the blood and moving on. Politicians could respond to these killings with common sense gun laws that establish universal background checks and band assault-style rifles. Congress remains paralyzed on limiting the nation’s growing arsenal of firearms and mass killing accessories. More and more, every day we put our police officers in a position of rushing headlong into horrific violence to save lives, limiting the dying event if it means injury or death to themselves. The NRA will continue to insist that “guns don’t kill, people do.” The gun lobby will say what we need is more “legally-armed citizens.” They are in the business of selling guns, even military style weapons to citizens with out a background check. One would hope that the new congress coming in January, made up of younger people and over 100 women can get the issue moved off center in the house, putting pressure on the senate and president to act. The number of killings keeps growing, it will slow down only when a congress has the guts to take on the NRA and I believe we are at the right place and time in history to move forward on real gun control legislation.

THANKS TO THE BAKERS

I once had every one of Gordon Baxter’s “The Best of Bax” books that he published from time to time going back to the early 1960’s. Starting in the 1990’s, his books were mostly rerun stories from his weekly column printed in our Opportunity Valley News. Another of our writers, Betty Em Giarratano, sometime had stories in the Bax book. One of the many stories he told was “The Dragon Lady” and the night he spent with the KKK. Those stories are the most remembered. I lost all my books when Ike came and took so much of my collection of things. Anyway, I recently received a package with four of Baxter’s books from Elaine Baker. Back in the 1990’s, she was a note teller at Bridge City Bank, a pretty lady who worked there 21 years. Her husband Morris, who is retired from DuPont, had gotten the books from his mother Lois. Bax had autographed each book to her. They had been raised together in Port Arthur. Anyway, thanks to the Baker’s. Many of the stories Baxter wrote would be worth reprinting. He was a good writer with a great imagination.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2008

A new report shows children displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have serious health problems and mental ailments. It’s reasonable to assume we will see some of the same results from Ike. My belief is that the elderly are even more affected. Displaced and often in poor health, they are removed from years of regular routines. I believe a study would show that many are dying prematurely or their health is declining. FEMA seems to be in slow motion when it comes to getting the senior citizens home. It’s been traumatic times for many who lost a lifetime of possessions and are now looking at wrecked homes. In the meantime, they wait at a displaced location not knowing what the short time they have left will bring. Most have family support, but some have no one. We ran into some of those good citizens and it just breaks your heart. Because we’re in the middle of it Ike is ever present but the truth is nationally, Ike and its damage is a forgotten storm. ***** According to the new rule allowing individuals to be honored, Bob Hope’s image will be on a postage stamp. They couldn’t have honored a better person. Bob was familiar to many people in our area. ***** American Music Awards named Brad Paisley Country Music Artist of the Year; Taylor Swift was named Country Female Artist and Rascal Flatts Best Country Band, Duo or Group.***** The death of Jim Mattox, age 65, brings to an end the true “Yellow Dog” era. Attorney H.D. Pate was a friend of Mattox and through him several Orange folks got to know Jim. Mattox’s career, which included a bitterly fought loss for governor to Ann Richards in the 1990 primaries, was sometimes productive, sometimes mean and often controversial. Ole Jim was never dull, however. His political style was bare-knuckled. He took no prisoners. He was one of the colorful politicians that mark Texas history. ***** Congrats to Jay Trahan, first director of Orange Economic Development. Sharon Bearden is off on one of his famous deer hunts. Many stories, which you must subtract from, will be told about that trip. ***** Monday, President-elect Obama cited an “economic crisis of historic proportions.” First the bleeding must be stopped and that has already started on Wall Street when word got out Friday that Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, both Centrists, would be in charge. Geithner, as treasurer secretary and Summers, who will head the national economic council. Obama is surrounding himself with experts. With Sen. Hillary Clinton on board and Joe Biden as vice president, our world standing will improve like Wall Street did, almost overnight. Obama’s cabinet will be seasoned professionals like Bill Richardson, Geithner, Dashle, Ed Holder, etc. The work horses will be Obama’s inner circle: bright, young people like Rahm Emanuel, Greg Craig, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Pete Rouse, Phil Schillird, Patrick Gaspard, Ellen Moran, Robert Gibbs, Ron Klain and Jackie Norris. The White House staff is the one who will be helping Obama to get the country back on track, a team of Centrists who will be doing the heavy work for the cabinet.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Obituaries 10 Years Ago-2008

Harold Dean Osborne, 71, of Orange, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 18. Funeral services were Nov. 22. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn Osbone, daughters, Vickie Easterly, Wanda Matejek and Belinda Hall, sons, Jerry Osborne and Tim Osborne, 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.***** Ida Marie Dickens Stark, 85, of Orange, died Wednesday, Nov. 19. Funeral services were Monday Nov. 24. She was also a charter member of the Orange Service League, had volunteered as a Gray Lady at the former Orange Memorial Hospital and served with the Orange Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee. She is survived by two sons and one daughter, William Henry “Bill” Stark III, Randall Hill Stark and Linda Stark Barras, 15 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.***** Katherine Mertice Rush, 86, died on Nov. 18. Funeral service was held Nov. 21. She was employed as a bookkeeper. Katherine is survived by her husband, William “Percy” Rush, two daughters, Connie Wood and Linda Huebel grandson, Jared Wood.

40 Years Ago-1978

Vivian Morrow died on Nov. 26 after being in an auto accident near Longview. She had been to Oklahoma to visit her mother. She and husband Leland own Morrow’s Appliance stores. The Morrow’s came to Orange in the early 1940s. *****On Wednesday, Nov. 29, the Stark Museum of Art opened. The Stark family, primarily by Lutcher Stark and his wife Nelda, gathered all objects in the museum collection. ***** David Fusilier celebrated a birthday on Nov. 28. *****Brad and Brenda Lapeyrolerie celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary on Nov. 25. John Lapeyrolerie turned 4 on Nov. 25. *****Grover C. Halliburton, attorney, now located at 707 Division Ave. ***** W.T. “Boss Cajun” Oliver treated folks from all parts of the country with a “Boucherie” to demonstrate the many facets of Cajun customs. A hog was killed, scraped and cooked over an open fire; big iron pots filled with cracklings. Cajun dishes were served while a Cajun band played. The pork fricassee served with dirty rice was hard to beat. *****Tyler Bearden celebrates his 7th birthday Nov. 29. His mom Carol and uncle J.B. both will mark birthdays on Dec. 13. *****Sports Illustrated features Houston Oiler running back Earl Campbell on its cover. The cover’s “kiss of death” prevailed again. Earl was injured in the first period causing Bum’s Oilers to lose 13-3 to Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

This year, Nov. 22, the day that John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas in 1963, 55 years ago, falls on Thanksgiving Day. Almost every person over 60 years old recalls that dreadful day. Roy writes, in his Down Life’s Highway column, about that day and the times that surrounded why JFK came to Dallas. Check it out. It may bring back memories that had been forgotten.*****Last week, the picture of the 15 WWII Veterans, honored by the Lunch Bunch, appeared only in the County Record, not the Penny Record. If you would like to have a copy, some County Records are available at our offices in both Bridge City and Orange.*****I was sorry to hear about the death last Thursday of Roy Clark, 85, who died at his Tulsa, OK home from pneumonia. Clark was a favorite of mine, not just because of his great personality and talent and good will. He just made folks feel good. For 24 years he was a “Hee Haw” co-host but his musical talent was far deeper than that corn show. He worked with greats like Hank Williams and Orange native, blues artist “Gatemouth” Brown. In 1969, Clark’s recording “Yesterday When I Was Young” was a big crossover success. In 1995, Roy preformed that song at the great Mickey Mantle’s funeral. Clark was the very first country star to open a theater in Branson. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. He also was one of the great guitarists of our time and was a teacher to many others, including Brad Paisley. He inspired countless pickers. Clark was truly a beloved ambassador.*****Environmentalists plan to build a $3.5 million, man-made oyster reef in Galveston Bay. That’s okay by me. Bring on the oysters and lower the price.*****Last time we saw Capt. Chuck Uzzle, he and Hunter and their group of “Dead Eye” shooters were packed and headed to Oklahoma to hunt ducks and geese. They have a house there and hunt four times a year. From their local hunt they brought us a mess of birds, a Thanksgiving tradition. Capt. Chuck will surely give us a report on the Oklahoma hunt in his column. That should be interesting.*****Last week I checked on my friend John Heard. I hadn’t heard from him for awhile and I knew he and Linda had a bad blow from Harvey, plus John had health issues. Every year I have gotten oranges and grapefruit from John but so far he hasn’t gathered any citrus. He’s hoping to get some picked soon. There is no better than Orange County grown citrus, although Mr. Burrell says it hasn’t been a good year for grapefruit. We’re still hoping.*****Special thanks to Chuck Peterson for the fresh laid, brown, yard eggs. That guys a real character.***** Sean Gros, a real Saints fan, attended the Saints-Eagles game in New Orleans Sunday. Tickets compliments of his dad. He hopes to be at the Super Bowl with the Saints playing in it. Sean just completed four years in the Coast Guard and is back in college.*****Thanks in advance  to our friends Sue and Tommy Simar for the frozen figs they are bringing us we will soon turn into great fig preserves. The wet season cut down on fig production. We are thankful to be blessed with friends who remember us.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch won’t gather this week but will dine at Robert’s next week. Everyone welcome.

BIRTHDAYS

Celebrating birthdays this week. Nov. 21: Jennifer Mott, Joel Steirman, Jason LeLeux, Bart Williams celebrate. They are joined by former football players Michael Strahan, 46 and Troy Aikiman, 51 and actress Goldie Hawn, 72.*****Nov. 22: H.D. Pate, Butch Campbell, Larry Bridges, Belinda Thibodeaux and Jackie Roberts celebrate. Joining them are tennis player Billy Jean King, 74, actors Scarlett Johansson, 33, Mark Ruffalo, 50 and Jamie Lee Curtis, 59.*****Nov. 23: Barbara Beynton, Randall Morrie and Haylie Belcher celebrate. Also having birthdays on this day are singer Miley Cyrus, 25 and TV show host Robin Roberts, 57.*****Nov. 24: Celebrating today are Steve James, Cindy McLaughlin, Thomas Hutchison, Jeff Hollis and Candace Todora.  Joining them are actors Katherine Heigl, 39, Colin Hanks, 40 and Billy Connolly, 75.*****Nov. 25: Kim Hubbard, Debbie Hughes, Sherry Hickman,  and Amber Permar celebrate today. Also singer Amy Grant, 57, actors Kevin Chamberlin, 54 and Christina Applegate, 46.*****

Nov. 26: Celebrating birthdays today are B.C. Elementary nurse Shelly Hollier, Christi Nelson, Taryn Hubbard, Dana Bryant, COS’s Eric Andrus and Judge Courtney Arkeen. Celebrating also is singers Tina Turner, 78, Natasha Bedingfield, 36 and actress Jamie Rose, 58.*****Nov. 27: DA John Kimbrough, Sharon Gregory, Betty Simonton, Cindy Huckabay and Shirley Kogas all celebrate today. They are joined by actress Robin Givens, 53 and politician Caroline Kennedy, 60.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Billy Bob Boyd, a Texan, walked into Tee-Boy’s Bar and Grill and started bragging that no body could drink like a Texan could. Billy Bob said, “If any of you Cajuns can drink a whole case of beer in one hour or less, I’ll pay you $100.”

No one took him up on his offer and in fact Clovis Comeaux got up and walked out. A while later, Comeaux came back inside him, and axe da Texan if his offer was still good?

Billy Bob said, “Sure is pardoner, in fact, I’ll even pay for the beer.”

Comeaux told Leroy, da bartender, to line dem up.

Comeaux drank down one beer after anutta and finished dat case of beer in well under an hour.

Boy, dat totally amazed Billy Bob, da Texan. He paid for da beer and handed Comeaux $100 bucks. He was a little curious and axe Comeaux, “By da way, when I made da offer you left, where did you go?”

Comeaux answer, “Mais, I went to Boudreaux’s Lounge across town. I had to make sure I could do it me.”

C’EST TOUT

From all of us at The Record, our hope for you is a great Thanksgiving season. May you be blessed with good vittles and surrounded by family and love ones. Sunday Mark and the Dunn family, welcomed Mark’s daughter Jenna and her four children in from New Hampshire and Amber and her two boys from Kansas. Garrett and his two children are expected to make it Thursday and also Karen’s two other boys will join the family for Thanksgiving dinner. All in all Roy and Phyl’s three children, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren will celebrate Thanksgiving together, a rare occasion because of them being so scattered around the country. They will see some of the youngsters for the first time. A real blessing. Mark’s wife, Ethel arrived from Guatemala in time for the celebration and will be staying with the family for a few weeks. A trip has been planned for her to visit Abbeville, LA, Roy’s hometown. She has heard the stories and looks forward to the Cajun tour and learning more about the Acadians. She speaks several languages but Cajun is not one of them. She’s interested in the culture and lots of memories will be made over the next two week at the Dunn place. Hope you and your family will have a great time and also make lots of memories. This is especially important for the young who will take those moments with them for a lifetime. Happy Thanksgiving to all. May you all be blessed. Take care and God bless.