COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS

Even though we start on a sad note with the passing of so many good people, I’m thankful that God chose to put us Cajuns and the crawfish down in the same place. How awful it would have been if he had put the Cajuns in Arizona. Personally, I’m thankful for great friends. We’re thankful for the outstanding readership The Record Newspapers enjoy. Thanks to the business people who support us. We remain today the most popular papers in Orange County. We’re thankful to our staff that are dedicated to their jobs and take pride in putting out a good, loyal, hometown newspaper, locally owned and locally supported. We should all be thankful for the great area we live in. Think about it, in just a few minutes we can be at a fishing hole on the lake or out in the Gulf. The fresh and saltwater fish are plentiful and most of the time it’s “Chamber of Commerce” weather with eight months of summer. We’re two hours from Houston and only a few hours from New Orleans. We live on the interstate and are surrounded by rivers and the intercostal waterway. We grow a lot of beautiful plants, fruit and fresh vegetables. Most of all it is truly a blessing if we have good health. A happy Thanksgiving to you all.*****Hop on and come along, it won’t do you no harm.

THE PASSING OF TWO GREAT FRIENDS

John Roy Frederick, Sr., age 76, unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack Thursday, Nov. 21, and Judge Joe Parkhurst, 77, passed away Friday, November 22.

John Roy Frederick, Sr.

The death of John Roy was a real shocker. Last Monday he came by the office and brought a box of persimmons he had picked from two trees his grandfather had planted over 75 years ago on Fredrick’s Knoll, where John Roy’s tire and lube shop is located. He attended the Wednesday Lunch Bunch gathering Wednesday where he and I sat elbow to elbow. John Roy was full of stories and told several jokes. He really liked people and people were attracted to him. He was upbeat but seemed to be concerned by only one thing.  An environmental group had notified him they would inspect his shop Thursday and to be prepared to show his records for the last three years. How he had disposed of every used tire and every drop of used oil. In the 10 years in business he had never dealt with them before. He relayed horror stories about the environmental agency that he had heard. He spent all week and weekend cleaning up and finding what records he could for the Thursday visit. He had worried about the inspection. I tried to calm him by saying more than likely in the worst case scenario they would fine him and order changes, if any, he would have to make. He asked if he should have attorney Rex Peveto there when they visited. I said if he needed an attorney it probably could wait until after they came.  I got the shock of my life on the very day they were coming, when I got a call from Marlene Merritt that John Roy had passed away. “Can’t be, I was with him several hours before, I said.” John Roy would go any where at anytime to help anyone. He enjoyed life and liked to fellowship with the Lunch Bunch. He loved his church and the last meeting of the Lunch Bunch, he invited everyone to the annual Mauriceville gathering held in early December. John Roy was an ambassador for the community that raised him. His folks were early pioneers and he loved his heritage, his family and friends. John Roy Fredrick was laid to rest Tuesday, November 26, at the old Linscomb Cemetery, in Mauriceville, after a 2 p.m. service at Claybar Funeral Home, in Orange. He will be missed by all who knew him. Condolences to his family.

Judge Joe Parkhurst

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 2 p.m. at North Orange Baptist Church for Judge Joe Parkhurst, burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Joe was a proud product of the Cove community. He often sited the names of the many good folks raised in the Cove, which Judge Janice Menard was one of. He was a left-handed pitcher for Bridge City High School and attended Sam Houston on a baseball scholarship. He studied Journalism under longtime, legendary writer Leon Hale. Joe loved to fellowship with the Lunch Bunch crowd. He and Joe Kazmar often spoke of their semi-pro baseball days. According to them they were unbeatable with the lefty Parkhurst and righty Kazmar on the mound. Joe lived a good life, spent in different vocations. He and wife Gayle enjoyed their driving trips to Las Vegas Gayle didn’t fly; Joe didn’t mind, the trip together was always a treat. One of his proudest moments was living to see his son Steve become a district judge. He was extremely proud of his family and often invited his grandson, in the Coast Guard, to attend the Lunch Bunch meetings when in town. Pam Honeycutt, who acts as secretary of the Lunch Bunch, visited with Joe by phone while he was in the hospital. He was optimistic that he would be coming home soon. She too was shocked to learn that later that day he had passed away. Over the years, I enjoyed many great hours with my friend Joe. I always thought of him and Judge Derry Dunn as a pair. They spent many years together as educators at LCM High School. Joe Parkhurst was a good man. I’m honored to have known him. May he rest in peace.

CONDOLENCES

We were sorry to learn of the death of Dora Ellen Barte Barnwell, 90, on Nov. 23. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Dora, a 1946 Orange High School graduate, married James Bardwell, May 6, 1949. They had four children, “Jimbo,” “Tommy,” “Ernie” and Nancy. Dora, a devout Christian, was loved by everyone who knew her. She was “MeMaw” to all her offspring who were devoted to her. Our condolences to her family and friends. *****Peggy O’Quinn Mortimer, 84, passed away Nov. 24. Funeral services will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m. at North Orange Baptist Church. Visitation scheduled 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Claybar Funeral Home. I had known this beautiful, kind lady and her late husband “Yankee” Mortimer over many years. Ms. Peggy waited on me many times as a department head when it was fun to buy clothes at Bealls. She and “Yankee” raised a great family, George, Mark and Sherri. “Nana” was loved by all and was a great lady. May she rest in peace. Please see Obituaries.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2009

In Orange on Friday the 61st annual Jaycees’ parade will start at MacArthur Shopping Center and travel all the way down to Fourth Street. Parade marshal will be Skipper Thrailkille Free, a fun lady and one of our few remaining characters. Skipper was born at Shangri La in a house owned by Lutcher Stark. Since that birth, in the early 1930s, Skipper has seen many changes, from World War II to the present. She also knew many of the great pioneers, now deceased, that built Orange into what it is today. As a youngster, she and lifetime friend Gordon Baxter, entertained throughout the area. Many of the places had chicken wire in front of the bandstand to stop the flying beer bottles. Skipper is a collector of history and her mind is filled with stories of a life filled with fun. Her joyful personality is geared to being forever young. She’s a great choice for marshal; she has seen the many faces of Orange and knows so much of its history.*****Bridge City kicks off holiday season on Saturday with a day filled with activities, bargains from local participating merchants and a “Parade of Lights.”*****The community, devastated by Hurricane Ike, is going all out for a big 50th celebration. According to chairwoman Donna Scales, it will be a holiday shopping spree throughout the city. Activities will go on all day. Everybody loves a parade.*****Mark Dunn, chamber president, invites the entire community and it’s neighbors to come join in the spirit of Christmas.***** It was with deep sadness we learned of the passing of Brian Patrick Bergeron, 43, on Thanksgiving Day. We had known Brian since he was born in 1966. Services were Saturday. Our sympathies go out to his mom Janie, a longtime friend, son Joshua Lawrance, named after Brian’s late father, and brothers David, Gary, Mike and their families.*****We were saddened to learn about the death of Billy Nelms, 48, who lost his life in an automobile accident near Rayne, La., Nov. 29. Bill had spent Thanksgiving with his aunt Mary Stanton and her family in Bridge City. (Since then Mary has passed away.)***** We’ve lost our list of birthdays to Ike but here are a few special ones. Richard Briggs celebrates this week, also Buddy Sheppard. Whatever became of him anyway? We haven’t heard from him since the sheriff’s election.*****Randy Philpott has a birthday, also Eddie Robertson, Lois Boehme, John Garrison, Patty Gilliam and Shea Bolton.*****Attention: Sharon Bearden has been trying to peddle some kittens around the courthouse. He is pimping for his Siamese mama cat and taking orders for her next litter.***** County Commissioner Owen Burton has announced for re-election of Precinct 2. The primary election day is March 2, with early voting Feb. 5 to Feb. 25. Friday, Dec. 4, is the first day to sign up for Democratic and Republican primaries. So far, we have received announcements also from Justice of the Peace Janice Menard, Precinct 3 and Judge Derry Dunn, Precinct 2. We also received an announcement from David Peck, who is seeking the office of JP Precinct 1. Judge Joe Parkhurst is not seeking re-election. It’s expected that Precinct 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton, will file for re-election as well as a couple more candidates announcing for JP.

40 Years Ago-1979

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs lose hard fought game, 12-7, to Baytown Lee in the Astrodome. Coach Steve McCathy’s Mustang 22-AAAA champions lost the bi-district contest but have a lot to build on next year.***** David Richard is upset at the dentist who made his dentures too big. He says it makes his lips so tight he can’t pucker up. Then he added, “A coonass who can’t pucker is out of business.”*****Students honored by the Optimist Club are Bill Fort, LC-M, Nancy Bulovas, Ray Rogers and Norma Roberts of WO-S and Arnal Miller of Orangefield.*****Randy Lynch and Kirk Guidry are recovering after being involved in an auto accident. *****We received an invitation that states at midnight on January 1, at Brown Center, Vicki Drake Curtis will become Mrs. Frank Brown. She is the daughter of Betty and Earl Drake. (Editor’s note: They have been married for coming on 40 years. Frank is the son of the late Edgar Brown III.

45 Years Ago-1974

Basketball season opens for local high schools. Little Cypress-Mauriceville will feature Clint Plant, Dale McCall, Buck Roberts, C.E. Roth and Gary Mikschion on the court. The Stark High Tigers will spotlight Donald Mosby, Michael Davis, Gerald Antoine, Robert Kelly and Marcus Floyd.*****The Dolly family all celebrates birthdays in December. Mama Vera, on the 5th, Jerry, 7th, Kenny, 10th, Kathy, 11th and papa Gerald, on the 12th. (Editor’s note: I wonder what became of those people. Gerald and Vera’s handle on their C.B. radios were Dagwood and Blondie. Good folks.)*****Peggy Smitherman is the only person on the P.S. Tire hunting trip that bagged a 6-point deer. *****Used car dealer Cecil Scales, also a bail bondsman, is running a used car special, “If you buy a car from him in December, he will bail you out of jail FREE during the holidays.” You can booze it up and not have to worry about the hoosegow. *****If you were to ask who is the nicest police officer you know, a majority would say, without hesitation, officer Charles Frederick, Orange P.D. (Editor’s note: I agree, he was a great guy in or out of uniform. I knew him well.)

A FEW HAPPENINGS

The Bridge City Christmas Light Parade will be held on Pearl Harbor night, Saturday, Dec. 7, starting at 6 p.m. The Red, White and Blue parade will feature Cedric Stout, 98, the area’s only Pearl Harbor survivor as parade marshal. Everybody loves a parade.*****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. Nov. 27, finds District Attorney John Kimbrough celebrating his birthday. John was a youngster when elected DA. The years have flown by and he’s looking at his hole card, is it time to go or stay. John continues to do a good job, my guess is that he still enjoys his job and will give it one more term.***Also celebrating Nov. 27, is D.J. “Ace” Amadeo, 94, a World War II veteran. At one time “Ace” was the go to guy to find out what was going on throughout the county. In his head “Ace” has volumes of Orange County history and happenings, even death at the city jail where he was the dispatcher. Today he’s in a Pinehurst retirement home. Happy Birthday “Ace,” thanks for the memories.***Celebrating also is Roy’s sister Shirley Kogas, a proud Saint’s fan.***** On Nov. 28, a good guy we have known since he was a teenage groom, who married Debbie, David Fusilier, has spent a lifetime as the go to guy at Cormier Well Service.***Also celebrating is former Record editor and VA Administrator, Jerry Childress and our friend Russell Dillow.***Nov. 29, celebrating today is former county commissioner Barry Burton.***Also celebrating on this date is one of Sharon and Carol’s two boys, Tyler Bearden. Tyler married Brad and Carlis Roy’s daughter Ashley and moved to Houston to raise their family. A great couple.*****Nov. 30, finds our friend Evelyn Brandon celebrating today. Evelyn is sharing her birthday with Kirk Ellender and Vance Chauvin. One can sing, the other can whistle.*****Dec. 1, we extend our best Happy Birthday wishes to a great guy and longtime friend, Flo’s better half, Gene Edgerly.***Happy 41st anniversary wishes to Janelle and George Sehon and to Stephanie and Alex Hurst on their first year anniversary.*****Dec. 2, happy birthday to Carolyn Smith Andrus and to Ms. Phyl’s only sibling, Jo Ann Huard, who turns 87. Happy Birthday to all.****U.S.A. Today reported Tuesday that Central Texas is on a pace for a ninth straight year of record-setting home sales. People from other states continue to pour into Texas.*****Here’s a prediction that I’m making. HEB, as previously planned, will not build a new store at the MacArthur Shopping Center location. The buildings have all been cleared away and HEB has until January to back out of the deal. I figure since they are entering the Dallas market for the first time, that’s where their money and efforts will go. I could be wrong, sometimes I am, but I’d bet on this one.*****The Lunch Bunch will dine at Robert’s Wednesday, Dec. 4. We will miss a couple of the regulars who, this week, have gone to their Heavenly home. Everyone welcome. Please make an effort to come join us.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

A Texan was driving da back way, following da Louisiana Gulf Coast. He drive through Cameron, Lake Arthur, between Gueydan and Kaplan. He sees a sign in front of an old wooden shanty-style hours, “Talking dog for sale.”

Da Texan him, knocks on da door, da owner Otis Comeaux tells da Texan da dog is in da backyard him. Da guy goes in da backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting dere, “You talk?” he axe.

“Yep” da Lab says. Da Texan him is nearly in shock from hearing a dog talk.

So wats your story?” he axe.

Dat old Lab looks up and says, “Well, I discovered that I could talk wen I was jus a Cajun pup. I wanted to help da government so I told da CIA. In no time dey had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms wit spies and world leaders. No one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was dere most valuable spy me, for eight years. Den I decide to come back to Cajun country to settle down. I got a job at da Lake Charles Airport doing undercover security. I uncovered some incredible dealings. I was awarded a bunch of medals, got married and had a mess of puppies. Now I’m retired, me.”

Da Texan is so amazed he can’t say nuttin. He goes to the old shack and axe Comeaux wat he’d take for dat dog.”

Comeaux says, “I’ll take ten dollar for him.”

“Ten dollars?” says da Texan, “Dat dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so darn cheap?”

Comeaux said, “Because he’s a liar him, he never did any of dat crap.”

C’EST TOUT

Bret Stephens, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal Europe, starting in 1999, now retired, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times calling for the impeachment and removal of the President. The piece he wrote titled, “The United States is staring to look a lot like Ukraine,” is an eye-opening column too long to run in my limited space. In it he sites the congressional testimonies of Marie Yovanovich, Bill Taylor, Gordon Sondland, Alexander Vindman and especially Fiona Hill. None had anything to gain and plenty to loose by being truthful. Fiona Hill, in her testimony, warned members of the House Intelligence Committee that they ran the risk of themselves falling victim to “politically driven falsehoods regarding a bogus theory about Ukrainian political interference that so clearly advances Russian interest.” Yet the person who is both the principal consumer and purveyor of the falsehoods is the president of the United States, just as he has been a purveyor of so many other conspiracy theories. This should astound us. It doesn’t because we’ve been living in a country undergoing its own dismal process of Urbanization; of treating fictions as facts and propaganda as journalism (Fox) and political opponents as criminals, political offices as business ventures, personal relatives as diplomatic representatives, legal friends as shadow cabinet members and extortion as foreign policy. He refers to fellow citizens as “human scum, and mortal enemies as long lost friends. He then acts as if all this is perfectly normal. This is more than a high crimes, it’s a clear and present danger to our security, institutions and moral hygiene. Ukraine fighting Russian aggression in the field for a better government has shown itself worthy of the worlds support. It is to the enduring shame of the Republican Party that they have been willing to debase our political standards to the old Ukrainian level just when Ukraine is trying to rise to our former level. The only way to stop this is to make every effort to remove Trump from office. We shouldn’t have to wait a year. (Editor’s note: The latest poll out Tuesday shows 50 percent agree Trump should be impeached and removed from office. That’s the opinion of 61 percent of all women.)***** Thanks for your time. Let us hear from you. My time is up. Goodbye, good luck and God bless. Happy Thanksgiving.