TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TESTIMONY BEGINS

At 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 25, aides in the White House Situation Room gathered around a speaker-phone, pens in hand, to document what they heard. The call was from President Trump to Volodymyr Zelensky, the new Ukrainian president. By the end of the conversation Trump asked Zelensky, in dire need of U.S. military aid to fight Russian led invasion, for a favor. He said, “You have to do us a favor though.” He wanted dirt on Joe Biden and wanted Ukraine to find evidence that Russia wasn’t involved in the 2016 elections. That 30 minute conversation has now emerged as a mortal threat to Trump’s presidency. This week, the House of Representatives begins public hearing that could lead to Trump’s impeachment. The Ukrainian saga is yet another Trump and Rudy episode in which Putin and Russia are the beneficiaries of White House decisions. Sean Hannity’s clones, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes and others will try to switch focus using smear campaigns in the hearing but the evidence is stacked against Trump as witnesses testify to the real facts. Take the blinders off, perk up your ears and be a fair jury. Remember Trump, is using tax payer money as the bait. The Whistleblower story broke Sept. 9 and the money Trump was withholding for months was released to Ukraine two days later on Sept. 11. The people testifying, mostly Republicans, with a long history in the state department, were at one time all praised by Trump as “good people, patriots.”  The next few days on television will prove if the president is a crook or not. The evidence is about Trump, not Joe Biden, Hillary or the Steele Dossier; it’s all about that phone call, bribery, obstruction of justice and violating our constitution. You be the judge. *****I have to move on but I’ll be watching the hearings. Come along, it won’t do you no harm.

A GREAT TIME WITH WWII VETS

The Lunch Bunch again hosted World War II heroes. A great crowd joined in the celebration. The veterans were fed lunch compliments of attorney Rex Peveto and his law firm. What I noticed about those old veterans is that they all seemed to have good appetites. Where some of us might have left food on our plates, those vets ate all they were served. Someone said that’s a generation thing. I was told all WWII Vets were raised in the Great Depression with very little to eat. They were all thankful to Rex for the feed. Also thanks to Mark Dunn and the Record Newspaper for the beautiful cake announcing Pearl Harbor survivor Credric Stout’s 98th birthday. Special thanks also to Record reporter Dave Rogers, who is the keeper of the records on the WWII Veterans, contacts them all throughout the year and stays in constant touch with his heroes. Thanks to photographer Larry Trimm for his contribution of great photos and thanks to waitress Carrie, who gives great service and finally to Robert, of Robert’s Restaurant, for making his facility available. This week the Lunch Bunch will dine with WWII veteran JB Arrington at his J.B.’s Barbecue restaurant. Next week the Bunch will dine at Southern Charm, always good food and service. Last week, Judge Troy Johnson said he was invited by John Roy. It was great to have the Judge with us but an invite is not necessary. Everyone who wants to break bread and enjoy fellowship with some of the county’s great folks is always welcome. Just drop in and you will be welcomed, no dues or reservations.

REMEMBERING MIKE HAMILTON

We were sorry to learn of the death of Michael “Mike” Hamilton, 58, who passed away Friday, Nov. 8, after suffering a major heart attack a few days earlier. Mike was a former state representative who served Orange County until, due to redistricting, Gov. Rick Perry pitted him against an incumbent state representative in Hardin and other East Texas counties. When Mike was first elected he bought Gov. George W. Bush to his Tuffy’s restaurant for a big reception. Rep. Hamilton carried the mantle for Orange County on many important local issues. He was always available and attended most local functions. His office was in Mauriceville with Beth Rash, his assistant, maintaining the local office. Hamilton served in the Texas Legislature from 2003 to 2012. During his time in office he served in various roles. He was a great asset for this part of the state in water funding and issues. Even though Mike and I were often adversaries, I always respected his service to the local people, something we haven’t had since Rick Perry’s and Tom Delay’s gerrymandering. Service for the former state representative was held Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Beaumont. His interment is at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. He will be laid to rest at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin along with other public officials who served Texas. He would be proud of that fact. Our condolences to his mother Carrie Hebert, wife Terry, daughters Melissa and Lacey, sons Alex and Michael and their families. Mike left us way too young. May this good man rest in peace.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2009

Lester “Buckshot” Winfree is well deserving of the Command Control Center being named for him. The ceremony Monday brought a lot of people out. A large group of high-profile people including U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady. Many in the crowd were his longtime friends and family led by wife Barbara, little brother Bobby Cormier and Devra, Dr. David Olsen and Barbara, Port Director Gene Bouillion, board members John Young, Jimmy Smith, Jerry Hughes and Keith Wallace. Stan Mathews, Jim Pruter, Joel Steirman, Jerry Davidson, Corky and Betty Harmon, Giesla Houseman, State Rep. Mike Hamilton, mayors T.W. Permenter and Roy McDonald, Nancy Vincent and Gary who are headed to cold country to visit mom. Pete Shelton, longtime Beaumont Port Director and Shaun Davis, manager of SETEX Regional Planning were in attendance. These were just a few of the over 250 friends who attended. Also in attendance was his chauffeur and personal photographer Johnny Montange.***** Sean Hannity is caught with his finger in the pie. He superimposed video of past “Tea Party” gatherings with a recent rally that didn’t draw many people. Hannity used fear mongering and unsubstantial rhetoric. He seeks support from the less knowledgeable with bigotry. *****Ms. Mattie Dellinger has been writing a column in the Center, Texas newspaper, “Light and Champion,” for many years. Her column is very much like this one, a little bit of everything. However, Ms. Mattie, a historian, with a computer mind, goes way back farther in time than we do. She recalls events more than 80 years ago, Amelia Eirhart, Huey P. Long, Will Rogers, Henry Ford, Lindbergh’s flight and the kidnapping of his baby. She remembers FDR’s “Fireside Chats,” the CCC camps and the birth of the Dionne quintuplets, born in Canada in May, 1934. She even recalls when Alexander, the grown son of Blondie and Dagwood, was called “Baby Dumplin” and his sister, born in the 1940’s, was named “Cookie.”  Once Mattie said she didn’t like Willie Nelson. He heard about it, came to Center, loaded Mattie in his bus and drove her around town. She has been a fan since. Willie sent an emissary to bring her a gift for her last birthday. You see, Mattie is 97-years-old. Thanks to Neighbor Cox, who has been one of Mattie’s many fans and one of ours also, for passing Mattie’s columns on to us. (Editor’s note: Mattie has since died but folks in East Texas still recall her writings.)***** Phyllis Dunn was surprised last week when she tuned to “Nightline” on ABC and saw a special on the HINI Virus filmed at University Hospital Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The feature was about the ICU unit at Case where granddaughter Dr. Amber works. A great gift for a grandmother to have a visual of where Amber is working and who she works with. *****Do you remember wrestler Ike Khoury? He was a gentle giant, a great guy and a good wrestler. He made his home in Bridge City for many years. Coincidently, Ike the storm, destroyed Ike the wrestler’s old BC home. Ike died a few years ago. He wrestled all over the country with Paul “Big Ears” Bauch, who had the ugliest ears I ever saw. Ike was featured on a television wrestling show out of Houston. Everyone around BC loved Ike. Anyhow, I just learned that pretty Christy Khoury, chief deputy treasurer for county treasurer Vergie Moorland and running to replace the retiring Vergie, is Ike Khoury’s granddaughter. She has a lot of fond memories of the gentle giant.***** The national GOP has created the Tea Party movement. It’s a snake that is sure to bite them in the end. They created a monster they can’t control. Wait and see.*****Pam Dionne of Bridge City was a $5,000 winner at Delta Downs “Hot Seat Give A-way.”***** The Wednesday Lunch Bunch met at Van Choate’s last week. It was a great outing. WWII veteran Cedric Stout brought his wife and two lovely daughters. Christy Khoury brought a friend. Judge Joe Parkhurst brought pretty and lucky Gayle, who recently hit a nice jackpot. Nelda Burton attended, leaving Commissioner Owen home fighting spiders. Nova Dee Strickland announced that her book “Bugscuffle-Are We There Yet” will be available Dec. 15.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

10 Years Ago-2009

Robert E. “Bob” Hailey, 78, of Orangefield, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 10. Graveside services were at the Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery. Bob retired as a heavy equipment operator for the Orange County Road and Bridge department and was a veteran of the U.S. Army during Korea and Vietnam. He is survived by daughters, Beate Griffin, Ana Schultz, Yvonne Hilliard, Annette Hailey, Elaine Smith, Gina Ledbetter, Charlotte Belrose, Dianne Walker and Suzanne Nichols; son, Arthur Foux; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.***** Vena G. Harrison, 80, of Orange, died Wednesday, Nov. 11. She was a member of the Orangefield and Orange Communities since 1948. Vena was retired from Holiday Inn and enjoyed being a member of TOPS. She is survived by her husband Gene Harrison; daughters Sharon Meyer, Bonnie Borel and Vena Katherine Hutson; son Johnny Harrison; eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

 

45 Years Ago-1974

The American Legion Lloyd Grubbs Post 49 had open house for Veterans Day. Guest speakers were David Claybar and Raymond Scott.*****Wyatt’s Cafeteria opened this week in Northway Shopping Center. *****The Opportunity Valley News publishes its All East Zone Football Team. Players on the star studded team were: On offense, Randy Fults, Bridge City center; John Lee, Stark guard; Kelly Bunch, LC-M guard; Jerry Hillburn, Stark tackle; Paul Speed, South Park tackle; Reggie Kelly, Stark end; Rick Smith, LC-M end; Craig Couvillion, Stark quarterback; Ken Maxson, South Park halfback; Lorrance Wills, West Orange fullback and Andre Robertson, West Orange punter. On defense, Randy Feverjean, Bridge City tackle; Victor Enard, West Orange tackle; David Smith South Park end; Doug Cash, Stark end; Charlie Hillebrant, Bridge City linebacker; Andrew Martin, Stark linebacker; Ken Johnson, South Park linebacker; Eddie Horn, South Park cornerback; Chris Judge, West Orange cornerback; Gary Worster, Bridge City safety; Dale McCall, LC-M safety and Eddie Lovelace, LC-M place kicker. Coach of the Year was Steve McCarty, South Park. Most Valuable Player on offense was Ken Maxson and MVP on defense was Doug Cash of Stark. *****The 1974 Homecoming Queen for Stark was DeAnn Albright. *****Terry Ann Carter is bride-elect of Don McFarlane and Toni Leigh Green is bride elect of Darrell Wayne Terry. *****Gene Koci is president of the Bridge City Optimist. He announced that the Christmas parade would be held Dec. 7. *****Doug Harrington, Jerry Pesson, Bobby Smitherman, Curney Lormond and Bill Townes were just a few of the many deer hunters who scattered throughout Texas to hunt the big buck.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Millard “Neighbor” Cox will visit Dr. Morbia for the first time Thursday. Talk about a pair of aces. Morbia is from India and Cox was raised in Joaquin with the Indians. One thing I know is that if Cox has a problem, Dr. Morbia will find it and get it solved.*****I ran into former Orange policeman Gerald Jones last week. We had a long visit where he refreshed my memory on the Danny Gray shooting and attempted jail break. One of the Dowden brothers is now out of the pen and Blansett died years ago. Jones said he had also worked the car accident that killed Terri Stakes and two others 45 years ago this past May, two days before her graduation.*****LSU emerges as number one after defeating Alabama 46-41. LSU will be at Mississippi Saturday on ESPN 6 p.m. Other games of interest that could change the rankings are #3 Clemson, still undefeated, should remain that way against Wake Forest. The game will be on ABC at 2:30 p.m.; #5 Georgia will play #13 Auburn on CBS at 2:30 p.m. and #10 Baylor will play Oklahoma on ABC at 6:30 p.m. Alabama should win over Mississippi State on ESPN at noon. It should be another exciting Saturday of college football.**** In the NFL, the Saints and Cowboys went into a daze and lost games they should have won. However, they are still number one in their divisions. It’s been a longtime since Drew Brees didn’t throw one TD pass. The Saints only scored 9 points on 3 field goals. Dallas and New Orleans both looked like their defenses were on vacation.*****Long John weather will be with us the next couple of days but we have been spared the brunt of the Arctic cold front.*****Is the chase for the Heisman Trophy already over? Joe Burrow, LSU, has a big lead on the pack with 63 first place points; Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma, 34, is in second place; in third place is Ohio State’s Justin Fields, with 12 points; in fourth is Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, with 7 points. All are quarterbacks. Ohio State’s defensive end Chase Young, a junior, is in fifth place. Burrow was the only one to get first place votes, receiving 21 in a U.S.A. survey.

BREAUX BIRTHDAYS

A few folks celebrating birthdays this week. On Nov. 13, Karla Holden, Kimberly Ray,  Cody Edgerton, Karen Schriber and Sidney Leblanc celebrate. TV show host Jimmy Kimmel, 52 also celebrates along with actress Whoopi Goldberg, 64 and Gerard Butler, 50.*****On Nov. 14: Darla Murphy, Mary Dixon, Pat Gifford, Susie Riedel and Dana Perkins have birthdays. Also British Royalty Charles, Prince of Wales turns 71, actor Josh Duhamel, 47 and composer Yanni, 65.*****Nov. 15: Julian Oceguera, Nikki Courtney, Travis Sheppard, Wade Barron, Carol Izer, Chris Ford, Glenda Dixon, Stuart Bertles, Paige Bigler and Kelli Peery celebrate birthdays. They are joined by actors Ed Asner, 90, Sean Murray, 42 and Johnny Lee Miller, 47.*****Nov. 16: Celebrating today are Dr. Servet Satir, Pete Gresham, RaeAnna Todora and actors Brooke Elliott, 45, Bruno Amato, 58 and Marg Helgenberger, 61.*****On Nov. 17: Laurie Kosh, Patsy Brister, Reba Eddins and Barbara Musser celebrate. They are joined by actor Danny DeVito, 75, director Martin Scorsese, 77 and show host RuPaul, 57.*****Celebrating on Nov. 18 are Theresa Evans, Lyndsie Neie, Malanie Claybar, Bryan Garrett, Mickey Smith, Tim Bayliss, Aimee Huckabay, Jonathan Vogt. Also baseball player David Ortiz, 44, actors Owen Wilson, 51, Damon Wayans, Jr., 37 and news anchor Megan Kelly, 49.*****Celebrating on Nov. 19 are Helen Stankus, Kade Parkhurst, Michelle Judice, Kristina Denman, Linda Klein, Liz Harris, Trina Stringer, Ben Carpenter and Charles Cagle. Also having birthdays are Calvin Klein, 77, actors Jodie Foster, 57, Meg Ryan, 58 and TV host Larry King, 86.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Slim Gilbeaux hangs around Tee-Boy’s Bar and Grill, hustles a little pool and plays dominos for to make a little money. He stays dressed up, with his white shirt and spit-shined shoes. His fingernails are as clean and shiny as his 1998 Cadillac. One day he drove up to the welfare office to pick up his monthly check. He marched straight up to da counter and said, “Hi, I’m Gilbeaux me, and I jus hate drawing welfare. I would much rater have a job me.”

Jules Hebert, da social worker said, “Mr. Gilbeaux, your timing is excellent, we just got a job opening. A very wealthy old man in Lafayette, wants a chauffeur and bodyguard for his beautiful daughter. You’ll have to drive around in his 2019 Mercedes C.L. He will supply all your clothes and meals. You will be expected to escort his daughter on overseas holiday trips and you will have to satisfy her urges. You will be furnished you own two bedroom loft, loaded with a Plasma TV, stereo, bar and such. The salary is $200,000 a year.”

Gilbeaux him is jus plain wide-eyed. He said, “You’re kidding me.”

Da social worker Mr. Hebert said, “Yeah, well Gilbeaux, you started it.

C’EST TOUT

ON THE NATIONAL FRONT

A question many political people are asking is, “Will Trump dumps VP Mike Pence for Nikki Haley as his running mate?” Some say she is lobbying for the job while others, who have known Trump many years, say he has absolutely no loyalty. For his own benefit he will throw anyone under the bus.*****On another front, Donald Trump and his charitable foundation has been fined $2 million for using the foundations money for personal and campaign expenses, including $10 thousand apiece for large, photographs of himself to be hung in all his hotels and golf course clubs. You will recall in 2016 Trump dodged a debate by holding a televised fundraising in Iowa that he said raised $6 million for veteran’s charities. He only gave out $2.8 million and pocketed the rest. The state of New York ordered the foundation to disband and Trump and family never be allowed to have another foundation. Maybe that’s why he moved to Florida.*****Meanwhile, John Bolton has a book deal with Simon & Schuster with a $2 million advance for the book to come out before the election. It will be a tell-all best seller.*****Former Texas Governor, U.S. Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, gets a lucrative oil and gas deal from Ukraine for Perry supporters Houstonian Michael Bleyzen and his partner Alex Cranberg. Perry was one of the Three Amigos who were negotiating a meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelewsky to investigate Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden. Perry will be out of a job with Trump come December but it seems he’s secured his future livelihood.*****I’m all done. Thanks for your time. Stay warm and God bless.