FALCONS CALL ON MATT BRYANT

The Atlanta Falcons make abrupt change at kicker. They signed pro-bowl kicker, Bridge City’s Matt Bryant after they had cut him seven months ago. Matt was invited in for a tryout Friday and less than 24 hours later they signed the 44 year old to a new deal paying him $3 million for one year. The Falcons had not renewed Matt’s contract and brought Giorgio Tavecchio in but he has struggled through the preseason. Matt looked sharp in the tryout. He credits some changes to his off season program. He said that he never considered retiring. His mother Mary Bryant still lives in Bridge City. Matt is the Falcon’s all time leading scorer with 1,122 career points. He also is the fourth most accurate kicker in NFL history. Over his 17 year career he has a 90.7 percent in field goal attempts. We are proud of our “Home Boy” and glad he’s back in the saddle. *****Now I have to move on. Hop on, come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

AMERICA IS UNDER THE THUMB OF THE NRA

After the killings of Mexicans in El Paso I predicted there would be at least two more mass shootings with an assault weapon before Christmas. On Saturday, Aug. 31, Texas was hit again with a mass murder in the Midland/Odessa area. Seven citizens were killed and 22 wounded with an AR assault style weapon. The shootings came at an already violent month in Texas. On Aug. 3, a gunman with an assault weapon in El Paso killed 22 people at a Wal-Mart store. Mass shootings along have killed 70 people in the state of Texas. Gov. Abbott said again, like he’s said before, “Too many people in Texas are in mourning; too many Texans have lost their lives. The statues-quo in Texas is unacceptable, action must be taken.” Abbott however was non-committal about imposing new gun laws in Texas. At every killing he says the same thing, then kicks the can down the road until the next mass shooting. In fact, on the day of this mass shooting Texas relaxed its gun laws allowing people to carry any kind of gun they want anywhere in the state. Both of our U.S. senators are out of sight. We know Ted Cruz is gutless; John Cornyn just hides when it’s not a good photo-op. Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell don’t care. If you think I’m being too severe take a look again at the photo of Trump’s visit to an El Paso hospital with his smiling wife holding a small child whose parents had both been killed. Trump is grinning like a possum while giving a thumbs-up sign. The couple looked like they were posing for a Christmas card. It’s an American nightmare that won’t leave unless we make changes at the top, killings with weapons of war will be common place. Unfortunately, the NRA has them by the nuts. They won’t take a chance of losing an election to do what is right for the county. If they start to waiver the NRA squeezes a little harder. All of them shout in a loud voice, “It’s a mental health problem, background checks won’t help.” When Trump acts like he might do the right thing, the NRA puts a horse head at the foot of his bed and he kicks the can down the road. The only thing that will ever change total control by the NRA is an election that cleans house from the White House to the State House, if not America will remain under the thumb of the NRA.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2009

We are set to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Ike that arrived in the wee hours of Sept. 13, 2008. Orange, Cove, West Orange and Rose City took a bad blow but it was the community of Bridge City that was met with total destruction. On Sunday, Sept. 13, residents will gather at the Community Center grounds in Bridge City for a “We Remember,” get together. All residents are urged to attend from 1-6 p.m. Lots of music, food, fun and prizes.***** The Republican Party, urged by their leaders Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and the others, protested that the little school chilluns of this country shouldn’t hear a positive message from their United States president. Believe me, it had nothing to do with the message. It was more of a political football aimed at the mid-term elections. When I was a boy our class would listen to all of FDR’s Fireside chats. Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George H. Bush and George W. Bush all addressed the school students. In fact, that’s what George W. was doing when the 9-11 attacks happened on his watch.***** Two important people over the years in the Bridge City community passed away last weekend. Betty Smith, 72, passed away Sept. 5. A native of Forman, Ark., Betty and her husband of 57 years, Bill Smith, came to Bridge City many years ago. They established Central Office Supply and also real estate ownerships. Bill served on the Bridge City City Council and several civic organizations. Ms. Betty was also active in various clubs and supported Bill in his endeavors. She had been in failing health for some time. Service was held Sept. 8. *****Gerald “Jerry” Pesson, 67, passed away Sept. 3. Jerry was a former longtime resident of Bridge City where he was very active and served as Fire Chief. He also was instrumental in the passage of a fire district for Bridge City and Orangefield. Jerry was the charter president of the Bridge City Rotary Club. ***** Frank Hatton, passed away Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. He was the last of the original Hatton family born to Lois and Roy Hatton in Prairie View, now known as Bridge City. Frank is survived by his wife of 63 years Marjorie Hatton.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch gathered at Robert’s Restaurant and celebrated Sprad and Margaret Spradlin’s 59th anniversary. Also celebrating their 55th was Judge Claude Wimberly and the lovely Pauline. Mayor T.W. Permenter’s 72nd birthday was celebrated along with Sheriff Keith Merritt’s 58.***** Making the wire news last week was a lady from Zachary, La., who was caught on video shoplifting a case of beer (24 cans) between her legs. The arresting officers and those at the station tried to duplicate the crime. None could successfully walk with the case between their legs. It’s reported the lady wasn’t a large woman, just strong leg muscles.*****Karen and Tony Fuselier gave us a great book, “Memories,” a pictorial history of south Louisiana and east Texas musicians from 1910-90, compiled by Johnnie Allen. Jivin Gene, Johnny Preston, Bobby Charles and all the Gulf Coast sound boys and every Cajun group that ever performed.*****We were honored with a special guest last week. Sharon Gearheart, the sheriff’s prettiest deputy, stopped in for a quick hello. The former waitress will celebrate her birthday this week, Sept. 9. She is still very foxy. Happy 56th.***** President Barack Obama is paying a heck of a price for the problems he inherited from Bush and the Republicans. Primarily the American people don’t trust the government because of Iraq, Katrina, FEMA etc., yet it’s the Republicans making the case against Obama, who is trying to solve the problems they made.*****Lannie Claybar died 40 years ago in the early morning of Sept. 6, 1969, in a Houston hospital. It would have been a simple bypass in today’s world but they screwed up and it cost his life.***** QUOTE OF THE WEEK this week comes from coach Neal Morgan, once coaching at Stark High with Wade Phillips, Dexter Bassinger, Ralph Smith and others. Neal says, “There are those who objected to their children listening to a president, duly elected by the people. The same ones who allow their children to watch murder and mayhem on television, ignore homework and stay up until the wee hours. President Obama has had so much to overcome after George the Second but one thing he cannot overcome and it looms large in the eyes of so many deep east Texans. They can’t get beyond President Obama being an African-American. He’s a black man. It’s very sad but many of us can’t get beyond basic bigotry.”

40 Years Ago-1979

Mary Sue Roy, 42, administrative assistant to county judge Pete Runnels suffered a stroke and died Sunday. She and Ronald were camping at Sam Rayburn. *****Our sympathies go out to the families of Fred Bean, Paul Weinman and Mark Darby who all recently passed away.*****T.O. Gunn, Orange’s best photographer, is in Beaumont hospital awaiting heart surgery for three bypasses.*****Bill and Martha Hughes held their annual Labor Day cookout.*****Neil Bond had gall bladder surgery.*****Debbie Fusilier was making the rounds showing off her 2-week-old son David Jr. The kid has a full head of hair. Debbie is trim and looks like she has never been pregnant.*****One of our favorite people, Debbie Alborn, is moving away. She is headed to Portland, Ore., where she will live in sight of Mt. Hood.*****Bobby Hoosier will be 22 years old on Sept. 11.*****The Bridge City Chamber will host Bridge City Days on Oct. 20. Mary Railey and Shirley Cone have started a new business. They now are selling stained glass at the Cone’s Village Squire location.

45 Years Ago-1974

A Bridge City Rotary Club was formed last week. Jerry Pesson was elected as the club’s first charter president. The Orange Rotary sponsored the new club. (Editor’s note: The B.C. Rotary is still active 45 years later. First president Pesson has passed since.*****Peggy Smitherman celebrated her birthday Sept. 6. *****Several former Bridge City football players were spotted at the Cardinal game Friday night against Sulphur. This was coach Andy Griffin’s first game win 14-13. All American Steve Worster, watched his kid brother Gary play. Other ex-Cardinals watching were Lanston Fall, Lamar, who has been hampered by a pulled hamstring also Mark Dunn and Jimmy Lacomb in from UTA for a short visit before returning to football practice.*****Bill Clark joins Richard Corder and Ed Lovelace at KOGT. What a threesome. *****Beth Dugas has just returned from Greece. She says the first song she heard after arriving there was “Jambalaya” by Hank Williams. Greece is a long way from crawfish pie and file gumbo. It shows their good taste in music.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

We were sure glad to learn that our friend, 97-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor, Cedric Stout, is doing much better and after five months without solid food, he can eat again. Cherry has got to go back to cooking. She’s been on vacation with Cedric on a liquid diet.*****A new law that took effect Sept. 1, allows Texans who want treatment for an injury or pain management to see a physical therapist without first visiting a physician or other healthcare provider. Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association and Texas Orthopedic Association all spoke against it but Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 29 anyway. Medicare doesn’t pay for physical therapy without a referral but some efforts are in the works to change that law at the Federal level. Personally, I think it’s a bad law. Medical doctors spend a lot of money and ten or 12 years to get through medical school and are years paying back school loans only to give their work to less qualified people. In time we will drive young people away from long expensive medical school, instead they can take the short cut and patient care standards will continue to decrease.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s this week and plans are being made to celebrate Sheriff Keith Merritt’s 68th birthday and also the birthday of John Roy Fredericks. Next week, the Bunch will dine at Southern Charm, in Pinehurst. Everyone always welcome.*****In 1956, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley were all at the top of their game and they all were with Sun Records. A special 18-hour documentary, by Ken Burns, on Country Music will air Sunday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m. on PBS. It also looks at the influences of African instrumentals, rhythms and blues and many others. Dozen of artist including those listed above will appear. That would be a great collection to have. Burns is a great historian.*****Some folks celebrating birthdays and events in the next few days. A couple of friends, Sheriff Keith Merritt, will mark his 68th birthday on Sept. 6. He appears much younger but he says the miles have added up. Also on this day, a real character, John Roy Fredrick, who has lived three lives in one lifetime, will be 76 today. ***Sept. 7, is Gerald Leleux’s birthday. This quite, congenial guy has been married many years to Penny, who is anything but low key. This good guy just rolls with the punches.*** Sept. 8, is birthday no. 86 for the Rainbow Bridge, completed on this day in 1933.Today is also Grandparents Day. Don’t forget them.***On Sept. 9, a special friend, Millard “Neighbor” Cox, A WWII vet, turns 95 years old. I’ve known him since he was a young 70 year old. Over the last few years his main daily obligation is visiting his bride of 71 years, Virginia “Ginny” at Golden Years Nursing Home where she is a resident. It breaks his heart that she can’t be home but he’s thankful she is well cared for. Happy Birthday my friend. ***Sept. 10, a special lady Tanya Strickland Birdwell, one of Nova Dee’s lovely daughters, celebrates today. She really is a nice, kind lady who devotes much of her time at Thrift and Gift.***This also is a special day for a great couple, Happy Anniversary to Kelly and John Kimbrough and best wishes for many more healthy, happy years.

BIRTHDAYS

Some special folks celebrating birthdays on Sept. 4, Candi Cannon, Jamie Forse, Shirley Choate, also celebrities Pop singer Beyonce, 37, comedian Damon Wayans, 59 and actor Phil Lewis, 41.*****Sept. 5: Branden Bailey, Cindy Myers and Jason Toal all celebrate. Having birthdays also are actors Michael Keaton, 68, Raquel Welch and 79. *****Sept. 6: Brenda Lawson, Quida Simonton, Randy celebrate. Also politician Chris Christie, 57 and Soul singer Macy Gray, 50.***** Sept. 7: Having birthdays on this day are Gerald Leleux, Eric Cox, Karen Morse, Laina Sparks and Terri Childs. Joining them are comedian Leslie Jones, 52, actor Corbin Bernsen, 65 and Pop singer Gloria Gaynor, 70.***** Sept. 8: Celebrating birthdays on this day are Darla Cricchio, Ronnie Bullion also Pop singer Pink, 40, politician Bernie Sanders, 78 and actor David Arquette, 48.*****Sept. 9: Janet Leleux, Sharon Gearhart, Pamela Smith, Jesse Thurman and Joel Jeffcote. Celebrities celebrating are Country singer Hunter Hayes, 28, actors Adam Sandler, 53 and Hugh Grant, 59,  Jazz singer Michael Buble, 44.***** Sept. 10: Having birthdays on this day are Tanya Birdwell, Mason Pruett, Dena Bates and Jamie Oliphint. They are joined by actors Colin Firth, 60 and Ryan Phillippe, 47. Happy Birthday to all.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Joe Gilbeaux walk into Tee Boy’s Bar and Grill and he axe, “Do anybody in here got da number of 911?”

Comeaux axe, “Wats da emergency?”

Gillbeaux say, “Is dat you red truck wit da Great Dane dog in it?”

Comeaux answer, “It sho is, wat about it?”

“Mais, I got some bad news for you me, my dog done killed your Great Dane.” Gillbeaux answer.

Comeaux axe, “Wat kind of dog you got hanh?”

Gillbeaux say, “I got a little Chihuahua me.”

Comeaux him started laughing, “You must be drunk you, explain to me how your Chihuahua dog can kill a Great Dane?”

Gillbeaux says, “He got stuck in his throat.”

C’EST TOUT

Crow’s “Threads” Album Hits Market

Since her first smash single, “All I Wanna Do” in 1994, Sheryl Crow, now 57, has won nine Grammy awards and sold more than 50 million albums. “Threads” her new album came out this past weekend. Sheryl’s new work was three years in the making. On it she honors those who helped her find herself as an artist. “Threads” features Crow with an assembly of her peers. Fans will find Sting, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Johnny Cash, who sings her song, “Redemption Days.” The 17-track album also features younger artist including Maren Morris, Jason Isbell, Gary Clark, Jr. and St. Vincent. Crow says about the album, “There’s something to be said about being on the back nine.” Her ambitions are unfinished but seasoned now by experience. She says, “The recording time with Kris Kristofferson felt great.” Crow feels the freedom to create music now without the need to be commercial and popular—yet this album is sure to be a commercial success and will become a collector.*****DON’T FORGET 9-11 this Wednesday. It’s a day that we should never forget. Good luck, good health, take care and God bless.