2018 COMES TO END–WELCOME 2019

Several weeks ago I made an observation and told the readers to remember where they read it first. Trump was bragging about the greatest economy ever like he was the one who created it. We all know he inherited a growing economy. Obama had predicted if it was cared for, it would continue to grow. Well, Trump didn’t take good care of it. He used it to brag, while causing trade problems with our neighbors Canada and Mexico, and putting tariffs on them and China. He bragged to his ‘Bubba’s’ that he was going to make them pay more because they were taking advantage of the U.S.  Fact Check says Mexico and Canada came out better then the previous deal. Anyway, I said that between the time I made the prediction and February, the stock market would be in free fall. It came sooner than I expected. I said the way Trump is handling things the balloon was headed for bust. Now Trump has shut down government in order to force the congress to give him the money to build his monument, “The Trump Wall.” Six miles of the wall has been paid for, it will cost $33 million a mile.*****Sometime in late January Trump will fly to Texas for a photo-op where he will claim the wall he promised that Mexico would pay for is being built. Which will be another lie. He can’t stand Ann Coulter, Rush and the rest of the extreme radio nuts calling him gutless. He even shut the government down because they belittled him. All of that is not what I fear the most in 2019. There’s some bad road ahead that I will be talking about in the coming weeks. *****I’ve go to move on. I invite you to come along; I promise it won’t do you no harm.

CONDOLENCES

Service for ‘J.D.’ Jones to be held.

We were sorry to learn of the tragic death of Jerome ‘J.D.’ Jones, 83, of Orange, who lost his life Saturday, Dec. 22 in a one car accident on FM 1130, between Perry Street and Alice Street. His vehicle left the roadway, struck a tree and rolled over. He passed away after being transported by Air-Med helicopter to a Lake Charles hospital. Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, at Dorman Funeral Home. Visitation Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. He was a well known, retired county employee who retired after many years. He was also known as the ‘Quail Man’ who raised the birds. Our sincere condolences to his wife Jackie, son constable Mark Jones, son, Romey, daughter Tina and their families. A good man has left us.

Remembering a real character, ‘Tony’ Fuselier.

We were sorry to hear of the death of Clinton Tony Fuselier, 74, who passed away Dec. 21. The Cajun from Mamou was one of the few really loveable characters still around. Tony was born in the Cajun Country but was a lifelong resident of Bridge City. He was a Jack-of-All-Trades and pioneered several business ventures. He was successful because he was a hustler and promoter. His love for Cajun music, Cajun culture and Cajun food was forever present. He loved his vittles to be Cajun spicy. Tony once told me that his wife Karen was the world’s best Cajun cook. I can swear to that. She is a great Cajun lady also. She and Tony never met a stranger but they had their own battles that often blew over till the next one. I loved them both and was careful not o take sides. Karen is not in good health and was in Baptist Hospital when Tony died. I will long remember fun loving, a happy go lucky guy who brought joy to everyone who was fortunate to know him. Condolences to his large family and many grand and great-grandchildren. Cremation was under the direction of Claybar Funeral Home. 

Service Held for Bill Lovelace

William ‘Bill’ Lovelace, 74, passed away Dec. 21. Funeral service was held Wed. Dec. 26. He was the eldest child of the late Edell and Edwin ‘Ed’ Lovelace. As a young man Bill had worked for his dad at KOGT as a D.J. and was known as “The Night Rider.” He also worked in law enforcement and in construction in Houston. He married Patsy around Christmas time in 1995. They had a great life until he lost his love in June 2017. Bill came from an interesting family that I had known since he was three years old. May this good Christian man rest in peace.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 YEARS AGO-2008

The Record names All Orange County team

The Record hands off the biggest award, the 2008 All-Orange County Most Valuable Player, to Ortavious Hypolite, senior quarterback for the WO-S Mustangs. Hypolite passed for 1,469 yards completing 94-165 passes for 15 touchdowns. He also rambled for 810 yards for 12 touchdowns on 134 carries. With Hypolite in the Mustang backfield was Quintavious Garrett, 2008 All-Orange County Offensive MVP. Garrett struck like lightening in the start of the season churning out 317 yards against the Nederland Bulldogs, a school record. He carried that momentum through Dist 21-3A and into the playoffs. Garrett rushed 22 times for 216 yards and two touchdowns that gave the Mustangs a three-touchdown lead in their 37-7 Class 3A Division II area round victory against Caldwell. He earned his spot at MVP. It is probably no surprise that Mustang defensive back Kevin Robinson would become the All-Orange County Most Valuable Player on defense. Robinson has already garnered All-State honors for the season. He led the Mustangs with 104 tackles in the famous ‘Chain Gang’ defense that allowed opponents an average of less than 150 yards rushing and passing per game. In 2008 Mustang head coach Dan Hooks completed his 28th season that included his 19th trip to the playoffs and 16th district championship. The Mustangs carried a 29 game district winning streak into the playoffs. Hooks got his 261 win against Caldwell in the area round this season before the ‘Stangs’ fell to Gilmer 35-23 in the Region III playoffs. Appropriately, Coach Dan Hooks is The Record’s All-Orange County ‘Coach of the Year’. It is rare to find a freshman runningback in the starting lineup but Bridge City Cardinal Matt Menard earned a lot of respect there. After the injury of Joseph Robertson, Menard was moved up to the backfield. With Robertson pushing him on, Menard rushed for 537 yards and 85 carries that included four touchdowns. The Cardinal freshman is entitled to the honor of All-Orange County ‘Newcomer of the Year.’ His mentor, Robertson, remained a captain and a team leader for Big Red that finished the season 4-4. Robertson gets the 2008 All-Orange County ‘Team Leadership Award.’*****Judge Janice Menard, justice of the peace in Precinct 3, feels homeless. She is living in an apartment now. Her beautiful home will almost cost as much to fix as it would to build a nice size home somewhere. I know the Judge loves the home she and Bobby built and can’t wait to get back to it.***** We extend best wishes to friends Josie and Van Choate who lost their Mauriceville restaurant, Tuffy’s, to Hurricane Ike. The place is getting fixed and totally remodeled but is running a little behind their January reopening and has been set back to mid February.*****We extend best wishes to Sheriff Keith Merritt and his administration. It’s a big and important job that won’t be without it’s hitches. To our friends we wish success. Law enforcement is always a rocky road.*****Best wishes to Sharon Bearden who had a bad thing happen to him in the last few days. He turned 70 and we know how traumatic that is for him. (Editor’s note: Fast forward 10 years, Sharon hasn’t let age stop him, just slowed him down a bit.)*****Andrew Guidry, 76, passed away Sunday, Dec. 28. Services were Dec. 31 at St. Mary’s in Orange. We had known Andy nearly 50 years. He was one of the first class guys we had the pleasure to be friends with. Our families went back to his first wife Ann, who died at a young age. She was the mother of Coach David Guidry, Richard Guidry, Paul Guidry, daughters Jennifer Franklin and Paula Jacobs. All youngsters we’ve known since they were little guys and gals. A great bunch of kids. Andy never knew a stranger and always loved being a farmer and working with the soil and livestock. Condolences to his wife Carrie and the family.*****Law enforcement made big changes Jan. 1. Keith Merritt became the new sheriff. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux swore him into office at midnight. He and his wife Marlene are both Orange natives. Merritt was serving as constable in Percent 1 when he defeated Sheriff Mike White. Upon taking office Merritt made several changes in the administration. Not rehired were Chief Deputy David Reeves, Capt. David Peck, Capt. Ralph Osborne, Lt. Pete Kindall and several other deputies. Janois Strause was named captain of the support division, Clint Hodgkinson replaces Peck as captain of the patrol division, and Capt. Don Harmon replaces Osborne at the jail division. Tommy Smith was retrained, as investigator, captain Rodney Harrison, formally with Port Arthur PD, is the new chief deputy replacing Reeves.***** Three new constables were sworn into office. Chris Humble, Pct. 1; Rob Strause, Pct. 2; Mark Philpott, Pct. 3; Weldon Peveto Pct. 4 was re-elected. *****A new county commissioner, David Dubose replaced James Stringer in Precinct 1. ***** Deaths in 2008 that were a part of our lives include Paul Newman, a class guy, great actor, and 10-time Academy Award winner. He died Sept. 26 at age 83. Part of our music culture singer Eddy Arnold died May 8 at age 89. Heart surgeon Michael Debakey passed away at age 99. Musical genius Bo Diddley died June 2. Tim Russert, 58, author and host of “Meet the Press” died June 13. One of the greatest football players Sammy Baugh, 94, who played with TCU and Washington Redskins. “Slingin Sammy” once led the NFL in passing, defensive interceptions and punting. Preacher Roe, 92, died Nov. 9. In a 12-year career with St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Brooklyn he was 127-84 as a pitcher. Eartha Kitt died Dec. 25 at age 81. She was the first sultry black sex symbol. She was hot in the 1950s. She had a black Cherokee mom and white dad.*****Special anniversaries: Longtime friends Johnnie and Millie Spears, married in 1948, celebrated their 60th on Christmas Day. They raised a great family of seven children and now have a busload of great grandkids.*****Roy and Phyllis Dunn celebrated their 54th New Year’s Eve.. They were picked by KICKER-95.1 to received a Rao’s Bakery gift certificate.*****Wendell and Sandra Winstead celebrated their golden anniversary Friday, Jan. 2. They are Rick “The Tileman’s” parents. Someone asked which of his parents he took his gift of non-stop gab from. I really don’t know but I’m told they are great folks and being married 50 years is quite an accomplished.***** Nick’s Pharmacy, in Bridge City, in business more than 50 years, has always been one of the most successful, independent drugstores. Word is out the store has been purchased by the Walgreen’s chain store.*****The 2008 hurricane season brought one storm after another to the Gulf of Mexico. In two weeks time we were forced to evacuate or face the storms. First Gustav, on Labor Day, brought only a little rain, then on Sept. 13, Hurricane Ike came ashore at Galveston. The storm, four miles wide, resulted in a storm surge up to nearly 20 feet in some places, caused much loss, expense and grief. It was the third costliest storm in U.S. history. Orange County was hit especially hard. I’ll never forget the sight of house after house, across the length of the town, with possessions piled 10 feet high on the curb.*****Many of our friends, who we watched raise families, care for grandkids and help make our community better, have relocated and are not coming back. Our friends of many years, Joyce and Kenneth Young, have sold their home of 56 years. Also leaving are the Carl Reed’s, Ray Leleau and hundreds of others. Those that stayed live in FEMA trailers.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

This week, Dec. 29, 163 years ago, in 1845, Texas became the 28th state. This happened nine years after the Alamo fell in 1836 and San Houston defeated Santa Anna and the Mexicans at San Jacinto. Texas was still fighting renegade Indian tribes through most of the 1800s. The Lone Star State took its name from the 1836 one-star flag of the republic. It’s the most recognized nickname of any state.*****I noticed in our birthday list that some interesting guys all celebrate birthdays on the same day, Thursday, Dec. 17. Noted criminal attorney, Sharon Bearden, turns 80 years old today. Just doesn’t seem possible that so many years have come and gone. I recall the day he graduated from Baylor Law School and the day he was sworn in. When Sharon first set up shop, he and  Roy shared a small office on Border St. For a short time Dunn was owner of Gulf Coast Bail Bond, the first bail bond company in the county. Roy has always referred to Sharon as his little brother. Louis Dugas, who would be 90 today, was their big brother, Roy the middle child. There are loads of stories that could be told about those three over 50-plus years. I suspect Sharon is good to go for another 10 years. Happy Birthday friend, I have a lot of respect for you.***It seems Mayor Kirk Roccaforte was a young man just a few hurricanes ago. Kirk has and continues to do great public work. Bridge City is better off today because of his efforts. Happy Birthday and best  wishes for many more.***Bobby Fillyaw is a year older today. Hard to believe 70 is not too many years away. I remember him when he was in short pants hanging out around the Newton Courthouse in the summertime, while his dad was county judge and Ron’s dad, Bo Lewis was a commissioner. Bobby served as director of Orange County Economic Development with Shirley Zimmerman his ‘Girl Friday.’ Today Bobby has a great job but is best  known in Newton as the radio voice of the state champs Newton Eagles. I like Bobby, he was done wrong. Best wishes for many more happy, happy years.***Also celebrating a birthday today is Coach Russell Bottley. Now there’s a story in perseverance. Russell has faced the worse odds, not once but twice. He fought cancer daily and never lost his optimism and great, friendly personality. He tried his hand at different trades, even handled race horses for his friend, longtime teacher Betty Jo Spence, but dreamed of becoming a coach. He prayed about it and worked hard to make it happen. Happy Birthday Russ, best wishes for long life and good health.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch had a smaller group than usual for the Christmas gathering at Robert’s this year because of many other holiday activities going on. The Chamber had their luncheon at JB’s and different offices parties were also being held. The Lunch Bunch however, has some quality folks show up. Robert again hosted the group. By the way, if you haven’t visited Robert’s Meat Market and Restaurant lately you will be impressed with all the renovations. It’s a great market to shop at and a great place to dine. The Lunch Bunch will gather at Tuffy’s, with Van, on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Everyone always welcome. A seafood outing will be a big change from all the holiday food. Y’all come.*****Thanks to Ginger at Ginger and Company for the goodies. Nice folks who make pretty ladies prettier. Those professionals have been styling hair for some time. No telling who you might run into there, even Judge Pat, with his Rosalie, patronize that shop of specialist.*****Jack and Juliet Smith’s Christmas card  pictured with their two pups Nube and Archie. Mr. Kitty wasn’t pictured on the card, he had escaped when the photographer showed up. Jack and Juliet look half their age. I believe Jack’s picture was air brushed and photo shopped, Juliet is naturally pretty.*****Donnie Harmon, who goes on the road to buy hand-picked, low mileage cars was in Corsicana Saturday and stopped by Collin Street Bakery. Donnie brought us back a large, fruitcake from the famous place featured on CBS last Sunday Morning. Incidentally, the car he bought there Saturday was sold by Monday. Harmon’s has a quick turnover on those hand-picked cars. Check with them if you’re looking for a good pre-owned vehicle. They sell for less due to low overhead.

BIRTHDAYS

Friends celebrating birthdays this week. Dec. 26: John Podnewich, Ashley Burris, Jennifer Ferguson, Kent Broussard and Laura Floyd all celebrate today. Joining them are rock singer Chris Daughtry, 38 and actor and singer Jared Leto, who turns 46.*****Dec. 27: Celebrating today are Bobby Fillyaw, Rob Turner, Bobby Sibert, Kirk Roccaforte and Lorraine Bonin. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are actors Olivia Cooke, 24, Chloe Bridges, 26 and country singer Shay Mooney, 26.*****Dec. 28: Marcy Messer, Karen Jo Vance, Lynda Montagne, Stacy Roberts, Debbie Taylor, Harriet Dubose Linn Cardner and Earl’s mom, Debbie Thomas all celebrate today. Joining them are singer John Legend, 39, TV host Seth Meyers, 44 and actor Danzel Washington, 63.*****Dec. 29: Having birthdays today are Kenneth “Kee Kee” Dupuis, Monica McCullar, Pam LeDoux, Jacklyn Bradberry, Sherrie Reid, and from the famous Burger Town, Donna Self. Celebrities celebrating are actors Jude Law, 45, Ted Danson, 70, Jon Voight, 79 and Jane Levy, 28.*****Dec. 30: Karl Stringer, Paula Aven, Rebecca Hannegan, Richard Hunter, Norma Fusilier, Hayden George and Holly DeRouin celebrate.Anniversary wishes go out to Rene and Lucy Hanks on 63 years together, Jerry and Barbie Childers and Roy and Phyllis Dunn. Also celebrating on this day are actors Anthony Hopkins, 80, Val Kilmer, 58 and Ben Kingsley, 74.*****Jan. 1: Having birthdays on this day are David Kuch, Joanne Hill, Glenda Wilburn, Robert Hoke and Ronnie Hearn. Joining them are actors Morris Chestnut, 49, Colin Morgan, 32 and Angourie Rice, 17.

C’EST TOUT

Here’s hoping you had a very good Christmas. Mine was smaller than usual, a dozen folks who could put away the food. J.B.’s fixed our meat and Danny’s supplied his famous rice dressing. Plenty of side dishes and way too many deserts. During the Holiday season Allen Dunn used some duck and geese Capt. Chuck Uzzle had given us, added some andouille sausage and made a great gumbo. If you’re going to get J.B.’s to smoke something special for New Year’s, call them now. Turkeys and hams are available. I’m getting a ham. Danny and K-Dan’s have chicken and leg quarters specially priced at 10 lbs. for $1.90. That will make one heck of a gumbo and leave some for the pit. You can also buy sweet potatoes with the savings.*****If you’re on the road be careful and also sober. DPS troopers are increasing their patrols on state roads and other law enforcement officers will step up patrolling. Besides being dangerous on the road, a DWI could cost you thousands of dollars in fines and loss of your driver’s license. Stay safe and have a happy New Year. Take care and God bless.