COUNTY SET TO MOVE FORWARD

Today Orange County again is under a different administration, this time by design. The last two years have had as many county judges as the previous 40 years. After Dean Crooks resigned the county judge post, former county judge Carl Thibodeaux, a Democrat, was asked to fill the post for a few months and at the time of his resignation appoint someone to fill the vacancy on the court. One of the present commissioners would resign and the rest of the court would appoint that person to become county judge. It was decided early that Commissioner John Gothia, of Pct. 3, would be their pick. All of the commissioners have less than three years experience on the court, including Gothia. John is a chamber type guy who will have a keen interest in economic development and seems to have a sincere desire to learn and become an effective leader and county judge. He’s very intelligent, has that personality of never meeting a stranger and most of all, he has a good commissioner’s court. Thibodeaux fulfilled his duties by appointed Kirk Roccaforte, former Bridge City mayor, who has 25 years of service on the city council. No person has ever come on commissioner’s court with Kirk’s experience. No one has ever been better prepared for the job. He has served in several positions on the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Board, including president. Over his years of service at Bridge City, he’s weathered several storms starting with the evacuees from Katrina, the bad Rita storm, Gustav, the devastating Ike, to the latest Harvey storm that again flooded the city. When Roccaforte first came to the city council, Bridge City had little drainage, a two inch rain flooded many homes. Today, drainage in the city is well improved and a far cry from what it was a few years ago. Many other improvements have come to the city, also new businesses; many old houses are gone or improved. Many of the people in the city when Kirk came to the council have been replaced with new, young families, and new homes. During those years, Kirk and his late wife Shirley built a successful business they had pioneered. He has the business experience. Kirk is very much like Thibodeaux in many ways without the Cajun tantrums. He’s a soft-spoken leader who uses common sense in his approach to a situation and negotiating with others. I’ve known Kirk for a lot of years and he’s grown in knowledge over the years that will serve him well on commissioner’s court. He and Gothia, along with the other members, give us hope that these leaders will take Orange County forward after a smooth transition. Gothia and Roccaforte will have to run for election next year it they want to continue in their positions. *****Now I need to move on. Hop on board and come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

THE ONE MAN SHOW

A UK newspaper published more leaked memos revealing blunt assessments of the Trump Administration, including one in which the British Envoy to Washington claimed President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal to spite President Barack Obama. The deal had been worked on by previous presidents and U.S. allies. Trump’s decision to abandon the international accord was call an “Act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons, because the pact was Obama’s deal.” Boris Johnson visited Washington in a failed attempt to persuade the U.S. not to abandon the nuclear agreement. He said Trump had no strategy, no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies. It was a sick move by the President of the United States that makes the world far less safe, with many complications to come. On Sunday, Trump again invoked a stupid act when he called for four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to the crime infested countries they came from, ignoring the fact that all of the women are American citizens, three born in the U.S. like he was. Trump continues to divide our country to appease his core base that follows the teachings of David Duke. The bottom line is far worse than U.S. citizens realize.  An editors note:  Trump was condemned by the Congress Tuesday evening for his racist remarks.  Comments, “unfit to be President.”

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

Ten Years Ago-2009

Right after midnight on Tuesday, July 21, our longtime friend Cal Broussard passed away. He had fought a long, tough battle and defied the odds. He survived many surgeries, and seven months without food or drink. Several times he beat the doctor’s prediction and got to enjoy some quality time before chemotherapy and radiation knocked him down again.***** Walter Cronkite, 92, died Friday, July 17, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, July 20, 1969. As the landing was complete Cronkite could only say, “Oh Boy, oh boy,” remove his glasses and say to astronaut Wally Schirra, “Wally, say something, I’m speechless.” The moon landing was the greatest event of that era. Think about it, less than 20 years earlier we were driving crops to the mill in a mule drawn wagon. Space ships and the moon had been science fiction. Weekdays at 5:30 p.m. throughout the 1960s and 1970s, people stopped whatever they were doing to watch Walter’s daily news. He earned the title, “Most trusted man in America.” He was the voice of every major event during that period in our lives. The Kennedy assassinations, Jack and Bobby, Jack Ruby killing Lee Harvey Oswald, the Nixon years etc. He was 10 when he moved to Houston. He graduated from San Jacinto High. In the late 1960’, Cronkite hosted “The 21st Century” the voice of the space age. A private funeral will be Thursday, July 23, in New York. His ashes will be buried next to Betsy, his wife of 60 years, in Kansas City, Mo.***** In July 1976, Dr. Albert Pugh took over the Bridge City Animal Clinic. On July 25, the clinic will celebrate its 35th anniversary with special activities starting at 1 p.m. The event will feature “Best Dressed Pet,” “Ugliest Dog,” a “Best Trick” contest, plus the annual “Wiener” dog race and much more. Pugh and his able staff welcome all animal lovers for a fun animal house time. They can be found in their newly-remolded hospital at 2832 Texas Ave. in Bridge City. ***** Robert Carpenter, Orange native and descendant of the pioneer Carpenter family, which there are many, is quite a talented guy. Robert was born to sing now has a new CD recorded, “Reflections from the Past,” Two of the five songs were written by Robert. “Life Ain’t Worth Livin,” is a great song about the adversities life can bring. It is serious but has a comic aspect to it. “Road to the Top,” is a feel good story. Both feature Robert’s great voice. The album also features three of Ray Price’s best songs.***** For more than 30-years, Richard Corder and the late Sue Bailey had been pushing for fishing piers on the Lake off Bailey Road. Commissioner John Dubose promised when he was a candidate that he would work to have piers installed. Last week, Richard and Sue’s dream came true with the ribbon-cutting of the facility. Commissioner Dubose said the road improvements, drainage tanks under the road and other improvements were the effort of many and he thanks them all. *****It was somewhat of a surprise to see the AMA endorsed President Obama’s health plan. I think everyone agrees that something must be done. The hang up seems to be how to go about it. Our health care in the world’s richest country is really pitiful.***** Economist reports Monday that the recession may soon be ended. “The government stimulus efforts will gain traction in the coming months and lift the economy from the worst slump since the Great Depression.” When Obama took over Jan. 20, 2009, the U.S. economy was in a free fall. In just over six months, he’s on the verge of reversing the Bush Recession plus gas prices at the pump are down $2 a gallon, lifting the load of the poor and middle-class.***** Sheriff Keith Merritt is attending the sheriff’s convention in Corpus. Two-hundred-sixty-five sheriffs all under the same roof. Some of those West Texas sheriffs still wear a tied-down holster with a big hog leg, like the Colt Peacemaker, inside. Sheriffs come in all sizes and weights. Many walk around looking over their shoulder with guns cocked.***** David Letterman’s Late Show leads Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show in the ratings. Letterman picked up many of Jay Leno’s fans.***** Monday, July 20, President Barack Obama met with the three Apollo II astronauts of 40 years ago, Buzz Aldren, the second man to walk on the moon, Michael Collins, the command module pilot and Neil Armstrong, who took the first small step on the moon. The President said, “The touchstone for excellence and discovery is always going to be represented by the men of Apollo II.”*****Forty-four years ago, July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare laws and boy, has that helped.*****David and Patsy Peck flew to Odessa over the weekend where they attended David’s daughter’s wedding. He’s a Canadian and that’s not all bad, a little French blood in the family will improve the bloodline. David’s daughter Amber married Pascal Bernart July 18. It was an outside wedding with about 100 in attendance. Her husband is from Montreal and a professional hockey player. Amber is a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines. They plan to make their home in Odessa.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Obituaries 10 Years Ago-2009

Charles Wayne Dorman Jr., 48, of Orange, died Wednesday, July 15. Graveside service were Saturday, at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Survivors include his mother, Susie Elizabeth Dorman; brothers, James Allen and Richard Dorman; and step-father, Carl Kibodeaux.***** Adella Pauline “Lucille” Johnson, 67, of Orange, passed away Thursday, July 9. A memorial service to remember her life was held Saturday. She lived in the Orange area for 56 years and graduated from Little Cypress High School and was a homemaker. She is survived by her daughter, Adella Pauline “Lucy” Gravett; son, Lance Fredrick Johnson; sisters, Faye Davidson, and Ione Buxton, three grandchildren and her great-granddaughter, Myiah Grace Fisher.

40 Years Ago-1979

Recently joining the U.S. Air Force was James H. Cole.*****Visiting with Pete Sterling are sons Dean and Scott.*****A swimming party was held at Sunset Grove for Chris Culpepper, son of Gloria and Ben Culpepper.*****Gary White, 14, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas White, died Saturday, July 21, of injuries from an auto accident. Injured also were Benjamin and Carl Winters, Jr, who is in critical condition.*****Birdie Ferguson is elected president of ABWA chapter. Donna Frederick, vice-president, Alice Coulter, Mary Hodgson and Irene Garrett, secretary / treasurer. Speakers at banquet were State Rep. Wayne Peveto and Billye Minter.

45 Years Ago-1974

John Connally has been indicted. The main witness against him is his old friend Jake Jacobson. Both were together with LBJ for many years. They saw many deals go down. Jake sold John out to save himself. That’s what is bad about immunity. Jake goes scot-free. ***** Kay Runnels Harris and Joe Dan Harris are the proud parents of their third boy in a row.

70 Years Ago-1949

According to trainer Ellis Landry, Orange paperweight fighters who take part in the Boy’s Haven benefit fight are Sharon Bearden, (say what! Paperweight?),  Francis Tucker, Phillip Kowle, Morris Dyson, Rod Tolar, Marvin Willey, J.R. Hollis, C.V. Hudnall, Richard Stanfield, Logan Harris and Henry and Mark Griffith. (Editor’s note: As far as I know, Bearden is no longer a Paperweight but is still living and still working. Could be worse.)

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Sue and Tommy Simar brought in some fresh figs picked by son Bud. Thanks to Bud for picking the big, juicy ones. Figs are my favorite fruit. If the rains don’t do any damage there will be a bumper crop of figs this season and Sue looks out for me.*****Happy 60th anniversary to longtime friends Mary and Joe Ware. The best move Joe ever made was when he convinced pretty Mary to marry him on that long ago July Fourth day, I’ve known both for most of those 60 years. Mary is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Today their three children have given them eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Best wishes for many more healthy, happy years.*****I got a nice bunch of Longhorn okra from Mark Brinson, who I believed got the pretty okra from Mr. Broussard. Neighbor Cox and I shared the gift. Thanks Mark.*****Capt. Dickie is looking out for us some white perch and we still haven’t given up on John Roy catching some from his dock.*****Three times as many Democrats already have filed to run for congress in Texas with elections still well over a year away. Democrats have 66 candidates who have signed up to run in 30 different districts. Six Republican members of congress won their election in 2018, with 52 percent of the vote or less. State Democratic leaders believe Trump has hurt the Republican Party in Texas by more than the 2 percent it will take to overtake them.*****Some great folks we know celebrating wedding anniversaries this week. On July 22, Linda and former mayor Brown Claybar celebrate their 23rd. T.W. Permenter will have been married to pretty Lyndia for 58 years. Congrats to both couples.*****Some of you people who are at least 55 years old will remember the first moon landing when Neal Armstrong said, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” That was July 20, 1969, 50 years ago.*****This Wednesday, July 17, one of the toughest ladies I’ve known, Edee Pratt, celebrates her birthday. She has weathered a lot of health problems but she never quit. Years ago she was the best ad salesman we ever had. Happy Birthday Ms. Edee. I hope this message finds you doing good.*****Also a very happy birthday to Pam Honeycutt on July 19. Pam is the busiest person I know. She does a lot for Cowboy Church activities, service organizations and keeps the Lunch Bunch folks informed and much more. In case you forgot, she was Vergie Scales daughter so she comes from tough Mansfield and Scales stock. Her mom made it to age 102.*****Speaking of birthdays and before I forget, Wed. July 24 is Margie Stephens’ birthday. She was in diapers when Harry ran off with her all those years ago. She and Harry are aging together as the years fly by.*****We dodged the bullet last week when the storm Barry, that came from Georgia, dipped in the Gulf and took dead aim on Louisiana packing a lot of rain. My first Louisiana storm was in 1939, 80 years ago. Water got over the kitchen table that my mom had placed me on. I’ve seen many storms since but apparently a lot of people who lived here hadn’t, they loaded up with enough stuff to last a month. They emptied the shelves at supermarkets and by Thursday markets were out of water. By Friday morning Earl at Dupuis in Bridge City, was waiting on a gas truck. Folks had emptied his tanks.*****I got an email from our friend Juliet Smith, who is in the mountains of Colorado overseeing the renovation of their condo that flooded when a pipe broke back in May. Jack flew home last week and has been very busy with legal work. He will rejoin Juliet as soon as the work is done, both here and there.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s again this week. Next week the Bunch will lunch on some of JB’s Barbeque. Old man Arrington starts the fire every day long before daylight. Two days later the meat is tender and smoked just right. You can’t beat it with their special sauce.*****None of my buds had any luck growing tomatoes this year. Judge Derry Dunn brought me a few early but that was it. The Burton boys, Owen, Barry and Tommy struck out also. Barry said he planted three times and has a few on the vines the size of a golf ball. Bad mater year.*****The $8 billion Chevron Phillips plant is going somewhere on the Gulf Coast but the final decision on the location is not expected until well into 2121 and if the Orange County site is chosen it could be late 2024 before the groundbreaking. Over 6,000 construction jobs for that long would be a boom for our economy. Once the construction is complete between 300 and 600 full time jobs will be available, that however could be eight years away.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK

On July 17, Daniel Eaves and Deborah Ashcraft celebrate. Also Country singer Luke Bryan, 42, actors David Hasselhoff, 66, Donald Sutherland, 83 and Prince Charles’ wife Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles, 71.*****July 18, finds Sandra Navarro, Cynthia Chataignier and Don Fields celebrating. Joining them are actors Vin Diesel, 51 and Kristen Bell, 38.*****July 19, Diane Grooters, Paige Williams and Robin Thibodeaux have birthdays. Also actors Benedict Cumberbatch, 42 and “Supernatural” star Jared Padalecki, 36.*****July 20 is the date of the first moon landing. It is also the birthday of Carrie Hunt, Megan Stephson and Rebecca Toal. Celebrities celebrating are dance Julianne Hough, 30, guitarist Carlos Santana, 71 and actress Sandra Oh, 47.*****On July 21, Todd Hurst and Sandra Bickham celebrate. Also Folk singer Cat Stevens, 70, actor David Spade, 54 and basketball player DeAndre Jordan, 30..*****A year older on July 22 are Lori Frederick, Jeff Anderson. Joining them are football player Ezekiel Elliot, 23, Pop singer Selena Gomez, 26 and game show host Alex Trebek, 78.*****Celebrating birthdays on July 23 are Linda Brinson, Travis Estes and celebrity actor Woody Harrelson, 57, guitarist Slash, 53, and “Vampire Diaries” Paul Wesley, 36.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Cussin Sostan’s little granddaughter Cookie got in trouble at school again. The teacher, Miss Badeaux, was giving a lesson on da circulation of da blood. To make her point, Miss Badeaux said, “Now class, if I stood on my head me, da blood would run into my head and my face, it would turn red.”

Most of da class said, “Yes teacher.”

Den Miss Badeaux axe, “Why den, while I am standing, da blood don’t all run to my feets?”

Sostan’s “Little Cookie,” raise her hand and say, “Cause your feet ain’t empty.”

Da next day, the chilluns were lined up in da cafeteria for lunch. At da front of da table was a large pile of big, red apples. Miss Badeaux had put a big note on da tray wat said, “Take one, only one, God is watching. At da utta end of da table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. So Sostan’s “Little Angel” wrote a note, “Take all you want, God him is watching da apples.”

C’EST TOUT

Study predicts extreme extended warmth and rising temperatures could break heat index as the globe warms in the coming years. Days with extreme heat are forecasted to skyrocket across the country. Kristina Dahl, a climate scientist, said in a statement, “Nearly everywhere people will experience more days at dangerous heat in the next few decades.” On some days conditions would be so extreme that they’d exceed the upper limit of the heat index. Man-made global warming (climate change) is caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil. Extreme heat is one of the clearest signs of global warming.*****Please read us cover to cover and patronize those in our advertising family. Take care and God bless.