A STORM CAME “WAS I DREAMING”

I woke up Sunday morning confused, was I in the twightlight zone or had I dreamed the events of the last few days? Imelda, a rain carrying storm, had hit the Gulf Coast area, from Houston to Cameron, Louisiana. She was no Harvey generally but to those affected she was just as damaging. I heard stories about families who had just moved into their Harvey repaired homes that were flooded again. In some cases folks that had dodged Harvey damage were struck with over-flowing rivers. I toured the area and found many vehicles were lost, while hundreds of other residents had parked their cars and trucks on the highway road embankment. Thankfully, a lot of areas were spared that had been washed away by hurricanes Ike and Harvey. The most improved drainage in the area is the city of Bridge City. My rain gage topped off at 10 inches so I don’t know how much rain fell in the B.C. area. What I do know is that much less rain, 10 or so years ago, would have flooded 40 percent of the homes. I just saw one or two blocks on Elizabeth Street with blockades, and as far as I know not one house flooded unless it came from Cow Bayou that I’m not aware of. The Bridge City schools were the first in the county that had school and ran buses on all routes on Monday. The largest of all the many improvements that the City of Bridge City has made over the last 10 years is solving the terrible drainage that the city experienced over many years. I see a few problems but boy, they are minor in comparison. The City of Orange also seems to be getting a better handle on their drainage problems. As long as the Sabine River doesn’t overflow, rainfall is handled better today than in years past. The elevation is so low Orange will never solve the problem completely. I don’t know how the problem can be solved in Mauriceville. Water is blocked in by highways and railroads and can’t drain to a waterway. It would be a major undertaking but it could be done with underground drainage to major holding tanks, etc. I understand that Bridge City requires all new construction to be at a certain elevation. That requirement might be a good idea for all cities, as well as the county. Massive construction of new subdivisions throughout the county has helped create the flooding problems. I don’t recall nearly as much flooding 60 years ago, even through hurricanes. Common flooding of today didn’t exist. Elevation is the answer. That’s my take. I guess I wasn’t dreaming but some will say I’m still in the twightlight zone.*****I have to move on. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

“PETE” ENJOYED PUBLIC SERVICE

I was sorry to learn that Mayor Pete Runnels had to resign as mayor of Pinehurst because of health problems. I wasn’t surprised however, just saddened. I had seen it coming for sometime. Having known Pete since he was nine years old, I could read him like a book. From his visits, over the last year, actually going back to when he wanted to run for county judge, I noticed that his thoughts would drift. I advised him to give up the plan to run. He wanted to be involved and that’s when he signed on to help Dean Crooks get elected. Judge Runnels, over the years, has given much of himself to his county and community and as mayor of Pinehurst. Mayor pro-tem Don Mohon has correctly suggested that Mayor Runnels should be honored for his service. The former county judge had also served as Orange County Democratic Chairman when the county played a big part in state and national politics. Pete was once a delegate to the national convention where he made friends with Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe, head of the delegation. That friendship later led to the benefit of Orange County. There was a time when statewide candidates came to the county and Pete was one of the first people they sought out. I wish only the best for my friend of nearly 70 years. I’ve admired Pete not only for his public service but most of all for the constant care he gave his wife Charmin, who for many years has been a resident of nursing homes. Many years ago she had a stroke and Pete has seened to it that she is well cared for.  He visited her most days and often took her out on weekends. There is a lot more to Joseph “Pete” Runnels, the man, than people realize. His grandfather and father were pioneer politicians and his mother Inez gave much of herself to help others. One of her endeavors was to help the poor or uneducated citizens get their drivers license at no charge. He has two siblings, Barbara and Kay, who were raised in Orange but have since moved away. Pete stayed. He loves Orange County and never wanted to live anywhere else. Today he lives with his oldest son in the Dallas area. It’s hard for me to imagine Pete not being around. He was always everywhere and visited multiple places in the community everyday. I’ll miss seeing him and he is in my prayers.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2009

Some significant events take place this week. The Bridge City School District holds commemorative ceremony honoring Roy M. Hatton Elementary at 10:35 Wednesday, Sept. 30. The school, along with Sims Elementary, will be demolished. The late Bill Townes, a former school board member, won a contest naming the school Roy M. Hatton after a pioneer who served on the first school board. Hatton, however, did not donate the land for the school as many believe. His namesake is grandson Roy Michael Hatton, a banker in Beaumont and a Bridge City native. *****Lamar State College-Orange celebrates its 40th anniversary Wednesday. A reception honoring first president, Dr. Joe Ben Welch, who played a large part in getting the school off to a good start. Also being honored is former Sen. Carl Parker, one of our local guys, who always looked after the home folks. Parker is one of the smartest people I’ve known. If not for Sen. Parker’s efforts setting up Lamar-Orange and Lamar-Port Arthur as state schools both would have community college status. This would mean the schools would be supported by a taxing district paid for by local citizens and would just be a shadow of itself. Parker’s bill attached the school to the Texas State System along with Texas, TCU, A&M and others. Local taxpayers have been saved millions of dollars. *****Former State Rep. Ron Lewis is also being honored. He is primarily responsible for the establishment of the Lamar library bearing his name. His friendship with Gov. Perry that goes back to when they were freshmen representatives was a major factor in Ron getting the library funded by the state.*****Carlton “Corky” Harmon is another honoree. “Corky” and the committee he has served on many years, the Lamar Foundation, are responsible for almost every acquisition of property the university now owns. The expansion of Lamar would have been impossible without the great work of that foundation. Harmon has been a member of the Foundation since its inception. The recognition of these men is well deserved. Lamar is a great asset to the greater Orange area. Through good leadership it continues to grow. *****On Sept. 22, there was a tragic auto accident in which three women lost their lives and a three-year-old precious little girl hangs on to be the only survivor. We feel for the families of all those who lost their lives in that crash on FM 1442. One of those people was beautiful Kathy Viator, the only child of Beverly Mire and Wilson Roberts and beloved wife of Blain Viator. We had known Kathy since her dad, longtime peace officer, was Bridge City’s first police chief. Kathy was one of the prettiest teenagers around. On Nov. 15, she would have been 48. Kathy raised a family of four children.*****Our buddy Jessie Domingue, a member of the Louisiana Cajun Music Hall of Fame, will be inducted to the Texas Cajun Music Hall of Fame at the Winnie Rice Festival. To qualify, one would have to have entertained for at least 50 years. Jessie is one heck of a talent. Makes good fig preserves too. ***** We were sad to learn that Euna Guidry, 78, passed away Sept. 28. She and her late husband Charlie operated a tug boat business for many years. He referred to her as “Safire.” She was a great lady.

40 Years Ago-1979

Car salesmen at Bickman Lincoln-Mercury are L.C. Swan, M.B. Slocum, Benny Thompson, Ollie Halten, Roy Johnson and Jody Peabody.*****Phyllis Breeden, from Little Cypress, is a sophomore twirler at McNeese.*****Orange’s recording artist Jim Taylor’s newest record, “The Old Man and the Organ,” has been released. The flip side is “One Too Many Times.” His last release made it into the top 100. ***** Joe Runnels, former Orange mayor, celebrates a birthday Oct. 1.*****Johnny Janot, master of KLVI’S Cajun Bandstand, spins records from his large collection at Sparkles in Bridge City each Friday and Saturday night. Some oldies and goodies and a Cajun tune now and then. *****The Opportunity Valley News’ sister paper, Community Post, published its first issue this week in Port Arthur. The response to the new 32-page paper has been great and has proved to be a good outlet for local advertisers. (Editor’s note: The paper did have tremendous success and it and the OVN in Orange were sold nine months later to Cox Enterprises).

45 Years Ago-1974

Bob Dartez, longtime butcher, takes over Western Avenue Grocery and Meat Market. *****Corky and Betty Harmon are on their way to Rio de Janeiro for eight-day stay. *****Luther Sebren, county auditor, has resigned effective Oct. 31. *****Larry King and Neal Kelly, new Marines, showed up in Bridge City with heads totally shaved. *****Orange County tax assessor collector Louvenia Hyrhorchuk and her crew were awarded the top rating by the state of Texas. *****Carl Thibodeaux put a wreath on Doug Harrington’s Pharmacy front door. The oldest, ugliest wreath with a sign that read “Big Red is Dead.” The next day it reappeared at Carl’s West Orange Pharmacy after Bridge City defeated the West Orange Chiefs 7-0. The only score was a 43-yard run by Charlie Hillebrant. Richard Slydon is Bridge City quarterback. Andre Robinson was the top ground gainer for the Chiefs. Randy Feverjean was the top defender for the Cards. West Orange quarterback Ronny Green and running back Lorance Wills take on Stark High Tigers next week. Bridge City faces the powerful South Park Greenies.*****St. Mary’s Junior High School Hornet cheerleaders for 1974-75 are Annie David, Kathy Fere, Tina Anderson, Julie Garcia, Cathie Powell and Anna Albright.*****Rod’s Barber and Hair Designs is a complete shop. They also sell Hombre hairpieces. Employees are Rod Dowdle, owner, beautiful wife Joyce, Sherry Watkins, Johnny Barton and manicurist Nancy White. (Editor’s note: Joyce Dowdle, said goodbye to Rod a long time ago. *****The pretty, longhaired blond in Gunn’s studio ad this week is LeAnn Carroll, Little Cypress-Mauriceville cheerleader. *****In the Texas House, Rep. Carl Parker is running for speaker against Bill Clayton, who appears to have the speaker ship locked up after switching some of Parker’s commitments.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Last Saturday, while many people in the Mauriceville area were flooded out, Josette and Van Choate opened their doors of Tuffy’s and fed everyone who came by and also gave them extra meals to take home to their families. They fed hundreds of families. The Choate’s’ are two of the finest and generous folks I know. This wasn’t their first time to be good Samaritans. Both born and raised here, they never fail to assist.*****The Wednesday Lunch Bunch canceled the gathering at Robert’s last week due to weather but will dine at Southern Charm this week. A good time to get caught up on all had flood problems. Next week the Bunch will return to Robert’s Restaurant. Every one is always welcome.*****Ninety-six years ago, on Sept. 29, 1923, O.A. “Bum” Phillips was born at home on John Street in Orange. Over the years he brought much publicity to his hometown as a high school, college and NFL pro coach. His son Wade, who is still an NFL coach with the Rams, was also born in local hospital in Orange. It’s always amazed me that no government, county, city, etc or no service organization has ever done anything to recognize these famous natives in their hometown. I have some ideas if anyone is interested. I’m sure Wade wonders why at least his dad hasn’t been honored here. Nederland and Port Neches did name a street for him and all he did was coach there. Bum’s grandparents on both sides were natives of Orange County. *****Just a few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. On Sept. 27, big Mike Hughes, Loretta and the late Jerry Hughes’ little boy and Debbie’s husband, adds another year. ***On Sept. 28, Tyler Thibodeaux turns 30 today. I recall when his dad, just a couple of years older than Tyler today, came to town as a pill pusher. The rest is history.***Also former Record editor, Darryl Brinson celebrates today and Roy’s sister, Fay Boudoin has a birthday.*****Sept. 29, “The Cajun sculptor” barber Ray Leleux, who will clip you if you sit in his chair, celebrates on this day. Also celebrating is the other half of the Granger brothers, Al’s little brother Dean. *****A bunch of great guys celebrate Sept. 30. Our buddy Howard Fisher, Richard Albair, who hasn’t only fought multiple floods but has been waiting three years for the Cow Bayou Bridge to reopen to his business, Karen Jo’s longtime partner Robert Dale Vance, and also Rob Strause, the top “Nark,” celebrates today. No one is better than Rob at what he does. *****HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL. Please see complete birthday list.*****Capt. Dickie Colburn won’t have a column this week. He is assisting his daughter and son-in-law who lost their home to the flood. We hope he will be back next week. He column is one of our most popular.*****This week of Sept. 24, 1934, Babe Ruth said farewell to baseball as a player in a game between the Yankees and the Red Sox. Boston won 5-0.*****No end is in sight for General Motors strike by 49,000 auto workers.*****Congratulations to Gisela Houseman, recognized by Gift of Life, as an “Angel among us.” Well deserving.*****Pete Runnels’ retirement will bring out many “Pete” stories. One of his most enjoyable trips was Jan. 16, 1992, when he and Roy attended the Dallas-Miami Super Bowl at New Orleans Tulane Stadium. Cowboys 24-Miami 3. Pete covered the game for the Opportunity Valley News. He got to drink wine and eat caviar in the press box with sports writers from around the world and also did locker room interviews. Pete was in Atlanta attending the Summer Olympics at Centennial Park on July 27, 1996, and was a witness to the bombing that occurred. *****Don Mohon, former Orange mayor and longtime Pinehurst councilman, will be sworn in as new mayor Oct. 8. There is no better person to serve as mayor. Pinehurst still has millions of dollars coming their way. Don’s experience will serve him well. *****We were saddened to hear of the passing of Larry Spears, Sr. this week.  We recall all oh his great years on the football field with the West Orange Chiefs.  Our heartfelt condolences to Mayor Larry Spears, Jr., FeLica Conway and their family members.

BREAUX BIRTHDAYS

Celebrating on Sept. 25 is Donna Ford, Bill Nugent, Scott Tout and Bessie Rach. Joining them are actors Michael Douglas, 75 and Mike’s wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, 50 also Donald Glover, 36.*****Sept. 26: Kyra Day, Melisa Groff, Mistee Bouget, Lynn Gremillion, Kara Day, Theresa Blanchard and Vicki Jeter all have birthdays on this day. Also celebrating are tennis player Serena Williams, 38, singer Oliver Newton-John 71 and politician Beto O’Rourke, 47.*****Sept. 27: Brittni Briggs, Hayley Dardeau and Emily Padilla have birthdays today. Joining them are rapper Lil Wayne, 37, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, 47 and rock singer Meatloaf, 73.*****Sept. 28: Peggy Derouen, Brigitte Howard, and Mat Taylor have birthdays today. They are joined by actors Hillary Dunn 32, Naomi Watts, 52 and Michael Ronda, 23.*****On Sept. 29: Richard Estes and Ricky Benefield celebrate today. Celebrities having birthdays on this day are basketball player Kevin Durant, 31, comedian Andrew Dice Clay, 62 and singer Jerry Lee Lewis, 84.*****Sept. 30: Tammy Lumpkin and Debbie Tutt celebrate today. Joining them are Barry Williams, 65 and actors Fran Drescher, 62, Levi Miller, 17. *****Oct. 1: Aaron Iles, Jamie Freeman, Kim Cooper, Brandon Gerald and Kenton James have birthdays today. Also celebrating are Julie Andrews, 84, actress Sarah Drew, 39 and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, 95.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Agnes Boudreaux is da church gossip her. She appointed herself monitor of da church’s morals and kept sticking her nose in everybody’s business. Several members of Rev. Gaspards church didn’t approve of Agnes’ behavior but fearing her wicked tongue dey said notin dem.

Agnes made a mistake however. She accused Joe Comeaux, a new member of da church, of being an alcoholic drunk him after she saw his old pickup truck parked in front of Tee-Boy’s Bar for several hours. Agnes told Comeaux and utta members, “Dat it’s easy to see dat everyone would know wat Comeaux was doing him dere so long.

Joe, a man of few words him, stared at Agnes for a moment, said nuttin, just turned and walked off. Later dat night Comeaux quietly parked his old pickup in front of Agnes’ house den he walked home. He left da old truck dere all night. (You gotta love dat Comeaux.)

C’EST TOUT

Trump’s disinformation campaign to hurt Biden

Trump must really be concerned about the run against former VP Joe Biden, as well he should be. Joe is right; he would beat Trump like a drum. Trump and Rudy have fabricated the Biden Ukraine story. The Wall Street Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns FOX News, broke a story that Trump, eight times, had asked the Ukraine president to come up with some dirt on Biden’s son Hunter, where there isn’t any dirt. Trump won’t call the WSJ fake news, if he loses Murdoch that means he’ll lose Sean Hannity, “the venom thrower.” Trump has the most corrupt administration in my lifetime, since day one, when five cabinet members were convicted. There is no line Trump won’t cross, but on this one he might have gone too far. The call for impeachment will get louder. Trump and his shyster A.G. Bill Barr will continue to stonewall. There will be a price to be paid, even if it’s after Trump leaves office. Something Rudy Giuliani might think about is that Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen once said he would take a bullet for Trump. Now he is serving a three year prison sentence. He became the fall guy. Rudy has much in common with Cohen. History might repeat itself. There’s a book out call “Everything Trump Touches Dies.” Many bodies are left in Trump’s wake.*****I’ve gotta shut down. Shop our Family of Advertisers and tell them we sent you. Thanks for your time. Take care and God bless.