THE SCANDAL IS HERE TO STAY

I never thought I’d live long enough to see a U.S. President shut down the government and be proud of it. Over a useless wall at that. I knew he would go to extremes for a monument. Not many schools will be named after him. A long time ago, I wrote there were two things Donald Trump would never do; release his tax statements and get cross-ways with Russian Vladimir Putin, both for the same reason. There’s a reason they are joined at the hip. I also wrote, back before he took office, that the country would face four years of chaos. Even before he took office some of his cabinet members were filling their pockets with Rubles. His approval rating is now 37 percent for good reason. On Jan. 20, he will reach the half way point of his term and also, according to fact finders, is bumping on 8,000 lies. That’s not the worst. The President’s attempts to hide the content of his conversations with Putin are not only abnormal but also deeply suspect. The Intelligence community, members of Congress and the public, should always be anxious whenever any American official talks to a top Russian leader and then tries to seize the notes. The President’s enablers are dismissing all of this as just more of a “Deep State” conspiracy set in motions by an FBI aggravated by the firing of James Comey. Trump personally fears Russian President Vladimir Putin for reasons that can only suggest the existence of compromising information. Special counsel Robert Muller’s report on the Trump team ties to Russia could make these new revelations sound small compared with the bombshells about to explode. But even had Mueller never been named, we are already to the midst of the most astonishing scandal in American history.*****I’ve got to move on. Please come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

ST. MARY MAGDALENE AWAITS FATHER JIM

Orange native Father Jim Sichko will preach at the historic St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, in Abbeville. This is the church that Orange Countian Roy Dunn was baptized in as a baby. He and Annabelle Rost were partners in receiving their First Holy Communion over 70 years ago. Father Jim will preach at all weekend masses Feb. 2 and Feb. 3. His mission presentations will be on Monday Feb. 4 and Tuesday, Feb. 5. at 6:30 p.m. Father Jim us a fulltime preacher, evangelist and motivational speaker. He uses real life experiences and ties those experiences to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. His presentations are entitled “60 Minutes for Jesus” and is geared for all in a family household with no exceptions. Father Sichko also produces a spaghetti sauce named for his mom called “Miss Marie’s Sauce” enjoyed around the country. Marie passed away Jan. 25, 2017. His dad was William, siblings are William Jr., Marifrances, Samuel and Thereze, who is our friend at West Orange-Stark. Gordon Baxter used to say, “You are never as famous at home as you are away.” That stands true for Father Jim, who is famous among many of the country’s super stars, including Ellen Degeneres and her family. I knew Jim when he was a youngster and after becoming a Priest, when he hung out at Gunn’s Studio with Buzzie, Dayle and the kids. Father Jim is an ambassador for Orange, Texas around the country even though he is based in the Diocese of Lexington, KY. Early February would be a good time to visit Abbeville and catch the Father Jim’s masses and while treat yourself to a meal of oysters at Shucks.

NFL FOOTBALL SUNDAY

The Rams will be out for revenge in New Orleans. The Saints ended their perfect record with a 45-36 win in game 9. Turn the heat up on the gumbo, bust a beer and get ready for the shoot out at 2 p.m.**The Patriots will visit the Chiefs, with aopportunistic defense, paired with Brady’s diverse and balanced offensive attack.  It will be the professor verses the younger Patrick Mahomes, who is the new sensational. Could this be the game that turns Brady out to pasture? The fire works begin in prime time. I believe most area fans will be pulling for the Saints in game 1 and the Chiefs at dusk. Let’s have a party. 

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2009

Barack Obama is our 44th President. He faces daunting challenges and high expectations. Like Franklin Roosevelt, he faces an economy in vast disarray. He has the advantage of political capital; an 80-percent approval rating that can get him off to a good start. It has been my experience that political goodwill is fast fleeing if expectations seem to take longer than the masses expect. His honeymoon and window of opportunity is about a year. He has to hit the road running. President Obama has assembled a great team of qualified members for his cabinet. People are hurting out here and face an enormous sense of urgency. The Barack Obama story is amazing and extraordinary. I for one never would have believed I would live long enough to witness the first African-American president of this great country. It is indeed a historical time. Billions of words will be written about one of the biggest events in our country’s history. A crowd that exceeded the record 1.2 million from Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration in 1965 lined the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route to the White House.***** On Jan. 15, Merle Luker, 92, passed away. Our association and friendship with this good man went back many years. Merle was raised in the newspaper publishing business. His dad Albert owned the newspaper in his hometown of Grapeland, Texas. After serving in the Navy in World War II Merle returned home to help the family publish the Grapeland Messenger. Before moving to Vidor, Merle served on the city council and two terms as mayor of Grapeland. Merle and Vidor fit like a glove. He arrived in 1959 and in every aspect became “Mr. Vidorian.” He served on the city council but that was just a small part of his civic contributions to the community he loved and helped to build. The longtime newspaper publisher, with his Vidor papers and printing presses, for 50 years was the voice of the community. His boys Dan and Randall, along with mom Adair, a beautiful lady and folksy down-home writer, will continue to operate the family business, the newspapers and 4-Star Press.***** We were glad to hear that Roger Reinert got out of ICU at St. Elizabeth on Saturday. While in Vidor doing business last week, he became ill and was rushed to the hospital to be incubated. I think it started with the crud everyone seems to have lately. Nova said he scared Wanda Beth and the family with this near-death experience.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Ronny Halliburton, 51, who passed away Jan. 16. Services were Sunday at Claybar in Bridge City with interment Jan. 19 in Diboll. Our condolences to wife Sarah, parents Roy and Mary and the children and grandchildren.***** James Zay Roberts was absent from the Martin Luther King March Monday. Roberts had led the march and been master of ceremonies since 1986. He had suffered a stroke that has left him in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital. James was found in his FEMA trailer after not being seen for a few days.. We have known him very well for years. He was a booster of the NAACP and had attended functions where Martin Luther King spoke. What a shame he waited a lifetime for this day and is not aware of it. ***** Is it true? The Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl? Really, it’s true; it’s not a cruel joke. It’s been 61 years since it’s last NFL title but ageless Kurt Warner threw four touchdowns, three to unstoppable wide-receiver Larry Fitzgerald to win a 32-25 battle against the Eagles. The Cardinals gained their first trip to the world championship against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who edged out the Baltimore Ravens 23-14. I wonder what the odds would have been in September that these two would be in the Super Bowl to be played Feb. 1, in Tampa, Fla. Probably 10,000 to 1.***** Here’s a story where being unlucky is a good thing. Amber Dunn was in New York City for two days interviewing for an internship. At LaGuardia Airport her plane was running late, which would effect her changeovers down the line to El Paso. She had a free ticket coming from U.S. Air so she tried to switch to the earlier US 1549 flight. Too late, the plane was full with 156 passengers and no cancellations. She took the next flight to Charlotte, N.C., and not until arriving there did the passengers find out flight 1549 had gone down in the Hudson River. The injured were taken to Roosevelt Hospital where she had spent all day and many of the future interns she had interviewed with at Roosevelt and NYU were on the downed plane. Unfortunately for her family, Amber loved New York. She visits Miami this Friday and maybe she’ll like it there better. Footnote: She said she looked like O.J. running through the Chicago airport, but made it to El Paso despite missing that U.S. Air 1549. (Editor’s note: The path to becoming a medical doctor is not easy. Today Amber is an anesthesiologist and married to Dr. Clay Greeson, a surgeon. They met while doing their internship in Ohio. They have two boys, Luke, 2 years old and Liam, 5 months. Amber is the daughter of Mark Dunn and a Bridge City grad. 

45 YEARS AGO

Coach Chief Wilson retires from coaching. Football at Bridge City has come a long way since Wilson became the athletic director and head coach. His record included two trips to the state championship and winning it all in 1966. Bridge City, under coach Wilson, never had a losing season. *****Constable Morris Collier resigned his Pct. 2 position to become a candidate for county commissioner of Pct. 2. *****After 27 years in law enforcement “Slim” Folsom, former chief deputy, who had been demoted, resigned. *****Bridge City football players, Lanston Fall and Mark Dunn, flew to Dallas on a school visitation. On the same plane was radio personality Gordon Baxter. One of the boys commented that “lightening might well strike this plane.” The BC boys were among the very first to fly out of the new Dallas-Fort Worth airport on Sunday, the day it officially opened. The football players reported that the airport was so big that the stewardesses at the northern end wear blue uniforms and the ones at the southern end wear gray. That’s one big terminal. *****State Rep. Wayne Peveto, in Austin as a delegate to the state constitutional convention, has announced he will be a candidate for reelection. *****Betty Kazmar is a candidate for Orange City Council. *****Trying to outdo each other in the county judges race, Judge Grover Halliburton and James Stringer take on the energy crisis. Halliburton is buying a horse and buggy to tour the county, Stringer says he will tour on a 10-speed bicycle. This should be quite a race. If they make it to William’s Settlement, they might be a month getting beck to Orange and that would be a good thing. *****Earlene Hillard, 48, asked for a second term as County Treasurer. She is married to G.W. “Wallace” Hillard and they have one daughter, Guandine, a freshman at Texas A&M. *****For sale, oak firewood, $22 per load, mixed $17. *****The spotlight is on Bridge City basketball. Coach of the team is Don Calvert; team seniors are Shannon Martin, Jeff Gephart and David Weisman. Returning players are Billy James Jr. forward, Steve Harmon, sophomore guard, Art Simmons, sophomore forward, Randy Fults, sophomore center and sophomore Robert Truncale.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

We were sorry to learn of the death of “Butch” Collins, 71, of Bridge City, who passed away Jan. 12. Services will be Thursday, Jan. 17, at Claybar Funeral Home. Butch, a Texaco retiree, was the owner of The Silver Fox, in Bridge City. He was one of those folks that if you knew him, you liked him, just a great guy. Please see obituary.*****Tommy Gunn, David and John Dubose, along with Jim Mouton, arrived in Kansas Thursday. Friday and Saturday they hunted peasant in the snow. Sunday morning they faced a hard freeze and despite of the weather, when I spoke to John Saturday, they were bagging a good amount of birds. I’m not sure of the final results. John said they needed every stitch of clothing they had brought. A few weeks ago, Judge Stagner made the pheasant hunt in Kansas using dogs. Everyone says how much fun hunting pheasant is. As for me, if any kind of hunting gets below 40 degrees, they can have it.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch had a fun gathering at Van Choate’s Tuffy’s last week. Van and Josette were great hosts. Van even prepared the meal. I had forgotten how good the food is at Tuffy’s. Former commissioners Owen Burton and John Dubose, who served on the court together, got in a good visit. John Roy Fredrick was leaving to have animals spaded in Buna. Nova Dee again left her jacket and cell phone behind. We missed the courthouse gang because the court was in session until 2:30 p.m. We had a nice group that included 97-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor Cedric Stout, wife Cherry and daughter Darlene. It’s always an honor to fellowship with hero Cedric. Judge Derry was still elated about his great results at M.D. Anderson. Author Wanda Holts Reinert said she still had a few books for sale. Call her at 745-1156. Roy left with some fresh-dug turnips and onions from Owen’s garden. This week, the Bunch dines at Robert’s with some special guest expected. Next week the Bunch will gather at JB’s.*****Some special friends we know celebrating birthdays this week. Our friend and next door office neighbor, Glenn Oliver, celebrates on Jan. 16.***Longtime friend and attorney John Cash ‘Jack’ Smith hits the big one Jan. 17. It’s also pretty Gail Meadows birthday. Our friend David Cagle, who passed away in 2018, also would have celebrated on this day.*** Our friend at 5 Point, in Bridge City, Kim Patnaude, celebrates on Jan 18.***Jan. 19 is Judge Hershel Stagner’s birthday and also Country singer Dolly Parton. On this date in 2003 that we lost our buddy Ray Trahan.***On Jan. 20, Deputy Sheriff Janois Grizzaffi celebrates.***Our longtime buddy Judge Janice Menard celebrates her special day Jan. 22.*****Last week, pretty Virgie Moreland celebrated her birthday at Tuffy’s with her retired county employees. Among those who drove up to Tuffy’s Wednesday was 95-year-old Marcell Adams. She’s ready to drive until she’s at least 100.*****According to multiple reports the length of the super-yacht recently purchased by Cowboys owner, Jerry 

Jones, is longer than a football field. YachtHarbour.com and NBC 5, in Dallas, reported the yacht, named “Bravo Eugenia,” was delivered to Jones before the end of 2018. It is reported that it is worth $250 million and named after his wife Gene Jones. Keyaw! Dats a big pirogue yea.*****Alabama safety Deionte Thompson is going pro. He will be the third West Orange-Stark safety to play in the NFL. A rumor out is that the Seattle Seahawks will make him their number one choice if he’s available How ironic would that be to replace Earl Thomas, a hometown boy and Deionte’s hero.

BIRTHDAYS

A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the coming week. Jan. 16: Kaitlyn Louvier, Gary Dearing, Clayton Gearhart, and John Green, III all celebrate. Also model Kate Moss, 44, singer Sade, 59 and baseball player Albert Pujois, 38.***** Jan. 17: Celebrating on this day are, Erin Hanks, also former First Lady, Michelle Obama, 54, actors Jim Carrey, 56 and Betty White, turns 96.***Jan. 18: Brenda Oliver, Bonny Sarver, Dylan Huckebay, and Tara Thompson. Joining them are actors Kevin Costner, 63, Jesse Martin, 49 and Jason Segel, 38.*****Jan. 19: Krystle Weston, Candance Clark, John Michael Foote, Michael Amsden all celebrate today. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are chef Paula Deen, 71 and Shawn Wayans, 47.*****Jan. 20: Celebrating are Melissa Berry Beth Fisher and Steve Griffith. Also celebrating are astronaut Buzz Aldrin, 88, actors Rain Wilson and guitarist Paul Stanley, 66.*****Jan. 21: Beverly Delahussaye, Charles Arceneaux, Millagro Foster and David Doucet. Joining them are R&B singer Billy Ocean, 68, actors Jerry Trainor, 41 and Gene Davis, 62.*****Jan. 22: Celebrating today are Michael Smith, Meloney Delano, Julian Meadows, Don Collins, Gary Baker and Myra Sherwood. They are joined by chef Guy Fieri, 50, rock singer Steve Perry, 69 and actors Diane Lane, 53, Linda Blair, 59.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

One day Tee-Neg Comeaux and Peanut Primeaux were sitting around Tee-Boy’s Bar and Grill just talking and drinking a few beers. Tee-Boy him, was behind da bar eavesdropping on dere conversation.

Tee-Neg Comeaux says to Primeaux, “Peanut, if’n I was to sneak over to your trailer Saturday and make love to you wife while you was off hunting and she got pregnant and had a baby, would dat make us kin?”

Primeaux him tink about dat for a minute den he scratched his head, squinted his eyes tinking real hard about da question and finally said, “Well Tee-Neg, I don’t know about dat kin but it for sure would make us even.”

C’EST TOUT

Leon Hale, 97, Still Writing

Leon Hale, longtime columnist with the Houston Post and Chronicle, will be 98-years-old on May 30. He was born in 1921. He retired a few years ago but you can still read his work on his Facebook page. On Jan. 7, he wrote about Cousin C.J.’s Big Lie. On Jan. 8, he wrote about supporting the 600,000 school district employees in the state and why they need our support. He writes, “Teachers are the foundation of all other jobs and careers.” Years ago, I would visit him when he stopped for lunch at the Tradewinds when traveling the area to find stories. Leon was a Journalism professor at Sam Houston for awhile. One of his students was Joe Parkhurst, who attended the university on a baseball scholarship. Leon is still a great writer and will probably do it until 100 or longer. I never missed one of his columns. I would pass the columns on to Neighbor Cox, who looked forward to his home-spun stories. After he retired I lost track of him. I knew he still lived in Houston but had a place in Winedale. He doesn’t drive the loop around Houston or drive south to find Spring anymore but he’s still active enough to share his work with his “Customers” as he call us. Look him up. He usually post around 10:30 a.m. or 10:30 p.m. He must stay up later, he use to be an early riser. Check this talented guy out. He’s given me many hours of enjoyment and you will find him brilliant and entertaining. facebook.com/leon.hale.372.***** My time is up, thanks for yours. Please shop our family of advertisers and tell them we sent you. Take care and God bless.