BUSH HAD EARLY ORANGE CONTACTS

A couple of weeks ago, attorney Nolan LeBlanc and I were visiting about politics in years gone by and he brought up the fact that George H. Bush, while running for U.S. senator against Lloyd Benson had held a rally and fundraiser in Orange. The event was hosted by Ben Briggs, president of County Bank, the Round Bank, owned by Edgar Brown, Jr.,  a Republican and a supporter of Bush. When the event ended, Nolan said his dad, Dr. Nolan LeBlanc, others all went for bacon and eggs breakfast at the Brigg’s home. I remember all the buzz about this good looking guy who was a war hero. He had moved to Texas from up North and started an oil company in the Midland-Odessa area. The only problem was that Texas was almost a pure Democratic state. In fact, the Democratic Party was made up of two factions, the conservative branch of the party, pretty much controlled Texas. Bentsen was a conservative, probably more so than even the Republican Bush. There was a lot of talk back then that this Bush guy would some day be president. Of course, the rest is history. No one ever served as president that had more government experience. From the early beginning, and the breakfast at Ben Briggs house, George not only went on to be a two term vice-president, he was the first vice-president in 150 years to be elected president. After just one term he lost the presidency to a young governor from Arkansas, Bill Clinton. Bush and Clinton later welded a friendship that survived the Bush loss and later saw George vote for Clinton’s wife Hillary over his parties’ nominee. George H. witnessed the election of his son George W. as president of the United States. All this week, the 41st President, who died Nov. 30, at age 94, will be honored in Washington, Houston and finally laid to rest in Aggieland, the latter to me is the biggest surprise of all. Texas A&M will forever be grateful that this good man, who could have chosen anywhere for his library and final resting place for his wife Barbara, daughter and himself, showed what an unpretentious life he lived. He is the last president from the Greatest Generation, a hero, one of the nation’s youngest bomber pilots, who dedicated his life to service.***** I’ve got to move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

THE DEMISE OF FOX PRIME TIME

Roger Ailes, who died in 2017, at age 77, after resigning in disgrace amid sexual harassment allegations, had masterminded the launch of Fox News, with the backing of Rupert Murdoch. From that perch he gave birth to conservative “Talking Heads” like Bill O’Reilly, who became prime time’s biggest star. Others were Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren. O’Reilly met the same fate as Roger over sexual scandals and cost the network millions of dollars in settlements. O’Reilly, who had led the time slot for 17 years was let go. The slot was filled by Tucker Carlson, who was unable to hold the O’Reilly crowd. Hannity’s time slot was moved up one hour and picked up some of the O’Reilly’s followers, making Hannity the number one opinion show. Now the O’Reilly followers have started trailing away from Hannity, becoming bored with his “Smoking Gun.” Night after night he has a new major scandal that never materializes. Hannity wanted to promote his hour as a news show. It is not at all fair and balanced. Shepard Smith, a newsman on Fox’s breaking news, had taken exception to Hannity’s news show claims. Hannity is not a newsman. He even goes on the stump for political candidates, something no newsman worth his salt would ever do. Now the Fox News Network has started promoting their prime time opinion shows on sports show, game shows, etc. because of the negative feed back that the Carlton, Hannity and Laura shows have when called news shows. Today, in the Hannity time slot, the number one show is Chris Cuomo, on CNN. In fact, it is the number one show in all time slots., like O’Reilly once was.Rachel Maddow, on MSNBC, is at number two and at time hits the top spot. Hannity has fallen way behind and some changes could be coming to FOX programming as the tide starts to switch on Trump he may no longer be able to rely on
FOX News
to prop him up. The Wall Street Journal, owned by the Murdock family, has already shown signs of drifting away from the president, who will be facing inquiries by the new congress. My bet is Hannity might end up with a different type show in a different time slot. FOX News is no longer the reliable place for real news and is no longer the political force Roger Ailes founded.

RECALLING THE BONIN TWINS

I had known the pretty, identical Bonin twins, from Kaplan, from the time they were little girls attending church in Abbeville. A few years after I came to Orange, when the twins were 12 or so years old, their parents Jessie and Anna, moved the family to Orange. The twins, Audrey and Flaudry and brother Jessie were raised in Gilmer Homes. Throughout all of those years we were in constant contact. Over the many years, nearly 70, the girls had kept me supplied with Cajun updates from back home that we called the “Motherland.” I can’t recall when I didn’t know those girls and I kept up with them as we traveled through life. Everyone knew the beautiful Bonin twins with their great outgoing personalities. Flaudry Mae Plant, 81, passed away last Thursday, Nov. 29, after fighting a long illness. Funeral service was held Sunday, Dec. 2, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Orange. Her twin sister Audrey McDonald, husband Larry Plant, proceeded her in death, along with her mother and father. She is survived by her son Larry Clint Plant, his sons, her brother and several nieces and nephews. May this beautiful lady rest in peace.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2008

I’m sitting here on the 67th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. I recall it quite well. My mind races through all the events I am thankful to have witnessed, the friends I made along the way and how swiftly those years have flown by since America was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.*****Unemployment in November reached 533,000 jobs lost. Over the past year nearly two million people became unemployed, the most since the Great Depression. Texas is still in fair shape but falling. *****Before President George Bush’s first term was over we said First Lady Laura would never stay at the Crawford ranch. She wants more action than that so they have bought a home in Dallas. A Laura book will be published but publishers have told W. “thanks, but no thanks, come back in a few years.”*****On Thursday Orange Savings Bank will host a retirement celebration honoring Darby Byrd. The event will be from 9 a.m. throughout the day, ending with a Chamber mixer from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Darby has spent 37 years in banking and has been successful at it. (Editor’s note: He passed away several years ago.*****Happy birthday this week to David Claybar on Dec. 11.*****Prohibition that started in 1919 ended on Dec. 5, 1933. Believe it or not, Utah was the state that made the 36 states needed to ratify the 21st Amendment.*****Harrington’s and King’s Pharmacy in Bridge City have merged to form Family Pharmacy. *****Caroline Kennedy, the only living child of President John F. Kennedy, wants to be appointed to Hillary Clinton’s senate seat. The two-year-appointment is up to New York Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat. I wonder how the Clintons feel about that since Caroline and the Kennedy clan supported Obama.*****Carlos Vascek is a happy camper now days since TCU finished No. 11 in the national poll standings. They will play No. 9, Boise State, in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Dec. 23,***** On Jan. 5, No. 2 Texas will play No. 10 Ohio St., in the Fiesta Bowl..*****The BCS National Championship game between No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Florida will be played Jan. 8 in Miami,.*****David Gregory, 38, will become the new moderator of “Meet the Press” next Sunday. Tom Brokaw has filled in since Tim Russert’s death.*****I was sorry to hear about the death of the old cowboy boilermaker Jerry Lanford Sr., age 69. He was a colorful, great guy.*****The stock market continues to climb as investors bet on President-elect Barack Obama’s economic plan.***** The “Peacock” NBC is giving Jay Lano a five night, prime time show starting in the fall. Conan O’Brien takes over “The Tonight Show” in May..***** “Opie” Ron Howard started in show business at age 4, in 1959. He joined Andy Griffith’s Mayberry show in 1960. Boy, I’m getting older.*****Pitcher Greg Maddux, 42, retires with 355 victories and four Cy Young awards.***** Beautiful Bliss Payne was only 18 years old when she lost her life in a car accident on Dec. 2. The accident also took the life of her friend, 19-year-old Jacquelyn Branch of Nederland. Bliss, a former Bridge City High School cheerleader, was the daughter of BC police officer Jon Skipper and Leah Payne. Bliss was everybody’s dream for a daughter, beautiful in and out, bright and a joy to be around. For many years we have been friends of her grandparents, Joe and Dee Payne. *****We were also saddened to learn of the death of Kenna Tinsley Peveto, only 44. This beautiful person went to join the Lord on Dec. 5, a dark Friday for those who loved her so much. She was a beautiful person who we knew as a bank employee. To husband Sam, daughter Kayla, mother Joyce, sisters Ronda, Nancy, Joy and brother Bill and the entire family and many friends, we send our condolences. *****Carolyn and Melvin Hogan have been pillars of the community. They married as youngsters and marked their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 5, the day Carolyn, age 67, passed away. She was always a lady. Carolyn was an ideal woman. She gave much of herself to improve life in her community. To her two daughters Taura and Holli, their families, siblings and large family, we pray you will find peace in the memories of this fine woman.*****For many years Richard Gandy, age 74, and I have been friends. We weren’t out of high school very long when we met. Richard died Saturday, Dec. 6. He was one of the true characters I’ve been blessed to know. Richard served in the Air Force, worker for some car dealers and even sold cars for Leon Slaytor before going into a variety of businesses for himself. To wife Aileen and the rest of the family our sincere condolences.

40 Years Ago-1978

It’s hard to believe attorney Louis Dugas will be 50 years old on Tuesday, Dec. 12. (Editor’s note: It’s even harder to believe that Lou, our longtime friend would be 90 this year.) We knew him when he was a young 26-year-old state representative. He and wife Beth, both so active in the community, have both died in recent years) *****Mike and Polly Gamblin celebrate their first anniversary this Friday, Dec. 8, which is also Mike’s birthday. (Editor’s note: We remember Polly as a young teenager when her mother Violet Chapman Brown worked for the Opportunity Valley News years ago. *****Pittsburgh Steelers fullback Franco Harris became the fifth best all time rusher in NFL history Sunday in a game played against Houston. He surpassed the 1,000 yard milestone for the sixth time, ranked only behind Jim Brown’s seven. *****Wright Brother’s Vinyl Siding is located at 111 W. Green. *****Price and Tarpley Auto Parts are at 201 7th St.*****Lawrence Helton is funeral director at Bridge City Funeral Home. *****Believe it or not, Glen Campbell and Ronald McDonald both live on Circle 6 in Roselawn. *****Ace and Jo Amodeo hosted the monthly dinner club. The group took in Chez Oca’s in Lake Charles. Lou and Beth Dugas introduced the group to $110 wine. *****Dewey “Teddy Bear” Cox, who attended the national convention said, “Conventions consist of a donkey and elephant and a lot of bull.”*****Stacy Savoy, 10-year-old daughter of Gary and Judy Savoy, was crowned 1978 Junior Miss Texas World after four days of competition in Houston. *****Murray Spector was the recipient of the Silver Spur award at the 1978 Orange County 4-H Club banquet. *****A new four-door 1979 Impala sedan, fully loaded will set you back $6,295 or $157 a month at Harmon Chevrolet, Third Street and Green in downtown Orange. Working on the Used Car lot are Don Harmon Jr., L.J. Schrieber and Preston Fuller. *****Nina Scales and Charlotte Bevil are seniors at Bridge City High, Brenda Braquet and Billy Bryant are juniors, Richard Briggs and Bryan Ward, sophomores, Jude Lemoine and Fred Zoch freshmen. All honor roll students.

A FEW HAPPINGS

The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Novrozsky’s this week and next week with the old vet J.B. at his barbeque place. The following week, Dec. 19, the Bunch will have its Christmas meal and final gathering of the year at Robert’s. Everyone is welcome.*****This week, on Dec. 6, will mark 13 years since we lost Bubba Hubbard, at age 71, in 2005.*****Also this week, Dec. 10,  my buddy, “T-Ray” Sehon, turns 22. I’m pulling for “T-Ray.” He’s already overcome some bad health odds and is moving right on up to the East Side.*****President Trump was in Tupelo, MS. last week. He said many people said he reminded them of Elvis (The King). That’s like John Bolton reminding me of Clark Gable. They both had mustaches.  I probably have some folks scratching their heads wondering who Clark Gable Is.*****Here’s a great deal to get over the turkey and ham hangover. Danny’s and K-Dan’s are featuring Angus, Boneless, Rib-Eye Steak, only $8.95 lb. That’s what I’m ready for, a custom cut, nice, juicy steak, ¾ inch thick. That’s the best bargain in town this week.

BIRTHDAYS

A few folks having birthdays in the next few days. Dec. 5: Gwen Tallant, Belinda Force, Mary Bridgers, Shea Bolton all celebrate along with actors Frankie Muniz, 32 and Paula Patton, 42.*****Dec. 6: Debbie Bishop, Cheryl Jones and Richard Briggs celebrate on this day. They are joined by football player Johnny Manziel, 25 and actress Millie Davis, 11.*****Dec. 7: Celebrating today are Lisa Durso, Danielle Gorbett, Jim Keith, Buddy Sheppard and Randy Philpott. Joining them are former basketball player Larry Bird, 61 and football player Terrell Owens, 44.*****Dec. 8: Celebrating today are Leah Cummings, Channing Larkin, C.R. Dick Davis and Samantha Peveto. Also celebrating are rapper Nicki Minaj, 35 actors Ian Somerhalder, 39 and Kim Basinger, 64.*****Dec. 9: Barry McKenzie, Bobby Couthran, Dr. David Jones, Mark Braus celebrate today. Joining them are Donny Osmond, 60 and actor Kirk Douglas, who turns 101.*****Dec. 10: Having birthdays today are Doris Peveto, Michelle Watson, Sean Ureta, Cindy Briggs. They are joined by chef Bobby Flay, 53, actors Raven Symone, 32 and Nia Peuples, 56.*****Dec. 11: David Claybar, Brandy Rainwater, Lois Johnson, Kent Sarver and Cody Caples celebrate today. Joining them are singer Jermaine Jackson, 63 and actress Rita Moreno, 86.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Joe Boudreaux him, call his son Alfred, wat lives in Phoenix a couple of days before Tanksgiving. He said, “Alfred, I hate to ruin your day me, but I got to tell you dat me and you mama are divorcing us, after 40 years of misery.”

Papa, wat da hell you talking about?” screamed Alfred. “We can’t stand da sight of each utta anymore,” Boudreaux say, “We’re sick of each utta and me, I’m sick of talking about dis, so call you sister Agnes in Chicago and tell her.”

Frantic, Aflred calls his sister who explodes on da phone, “Like hell dey getting a divorce,” she shout “I’ll take care of dat me.”

She calls Abbeville immediately and screams at her fatter, “You are not getting divorced, don’t do nutten until I get dere.” “I’m calling Alfred back and we’ll both be dere tomorrow night.” “Until den don’t do a ting Papa, do you hear me?”

Joe hangs up da phone and says to his wife, “Honey, da kids, dey coming for Tanksgiving and paying their own way.”

C’EST TOUT

This Friday, Dec. 7, marks the 77th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I recall all the buzz and confusion, men gathered on street corners speaking about our country being attacked by the Japs. At that time, before President FDR spoke to the nation, citizens didn’t even know where Pearl Harbor was. The only thing I knew about Pearl Harbor was that I had a first cousin stationed in the Navy there. He had mentioned it once when he was home on leave, stating his ship was stationed at Pearl Harbor until they headed to Europe and the war zone. For several days my Aunt walked to twon to talk to some government people, trying to get word about her 18 years old son Hubert.  Nearly a week went by before a deputy sheriff came by Grandma’s house and told her Hubert had been injured and had been transferred to a hospital in California. A life boat had fallen on his head which required a metal plate. He was several weeks before he got home. He was dressed in full Navy uniform. I remember being so proud of him. Ironically, sometime later, while home on leave, he was killed in a freak accident. That was so long ago, yet it lives in me when I think about my old, 97 years old friend, Cedric Stout, who is still with us and was with my Cussin Hubert on that dreadful day, Dec. 7, 1941.***** My time is up, I thank you for yours. Please shop our family of advertisers who make this publication possible. Take care and God bless.