IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS BEGAN

For the third time in my life, the United States is going through impeachment hearings to find out if the president purposely violated his oath of office. The testimony and evidence have been clear from the start. The summery of Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president shows Trump asked for a “favor” that would directly assist his reelection. Military aid appropriated by congress was being withheld by Trump conditioned on Ukrainian investigations of Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and son Hunter. He also wanted Ukraine to take the blame for the 2016 hacking of the DNC, not Russia. Every U.S. intelligence agency confirms that it was Russia, no one else, who interfered in our election. The President and A.G. Bill Barr have stonewalled investigations and not allowed witnesses to testify. His own cabinet members could clear Trump if he’s not guilty. Trump has no defense but his defenders on the Republican committee side, will do their best to put up smoke screens. When the evidence is all in, the American people will have a clear picture of corruption by Donald Trump and his administration.***** Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.

NATIONAL PARK RANGERS SENT TO BORDER

The Trump Administration has ordered national park rangers around the country to travel to the United States/Mexico border to fight illegal immigration and drug traffickers. Critics say Trump is improperly using park officials to staff his border plan when the national parks are desperately understaffed and over crowded. The rangers have little or no training in border security tactics. There are fewer than 1,800 rangers watching out for nearly 320 million visitors at the 419 national park sites which include 85 million acres of land, parks, battlefields, historical sites, seashore and scenic trails. The fulltime national park service staff has decreased by 16 percent. Trump has requested $18.2 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection which includes $5 billion for his new border wall construction. Last week Trump said he is putting his son-in-law Jared Kushner in charge of seeing that a wall is built before the end of 2020. Farmers are protesting the building of the wall which they say will take some of their farm lands and their access to the Rio Grande, a wall which will only cover a few miles of the 2,200 mile border. The portion of the wall that has already been constructed has been easy penetrated with tools from the local Home Depot. We stated a longtime ago that Trump wants that wall as his monument, with his name and picture on it, plus he promised his followers that he would build a southern border wall. At the time he led the chant that Mexico would pay for it. The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump Administration over the President’s plan to build a border wall through the National Park system. They said, “It’s one hundred percent a publicity stunt to pull the rangers to the border and will have very real consequences for national parks. It’s also wasting of billions of dollars on a wall that can and will be breached.”

A BIG TIME IN THE OLD COMMUNITY

I got a note from my buddy and sweetheart Nelda Burton, reminding me of the Annual Senior Citizens supper in Mauriceville this coming Saturday, Dec. 7, 5 p.m. to be held at First Baptist Church. The supper brings together all current and past citizens of the Mauriceville area 50 years or older. The event stirs up old memories with longtime friends about growing up in this unique country community. The auctioneer, Judge Chad Jenkins, will also be the M.C. That alone is worth the trip. Other entertainment will be by the Martin Family and the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School choir. The last time I saw my late friend John Roy Frederick he was promoting this annual event. This will be the first time in a long time that John Roy, who loved the community, won’t be there. Hook up the buggy and come pass a good time with good food and fellowship.

PEARL HARBOR AND AFTERMATH REMEMBERED

On Sunday, December 7, 1941, 78 years ago, on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, the Japanese attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor. Twenty-one ships in the U.S. fleet were sunk or damaged, 188 aircraft destroyed, 2,403 Americans died, 68 were civilians. On the Arizona alone 1, 177 were killed and 2,729 were injured over all. Twenty-year-old Cedric Stout, of Bridge City, was on the Utah when it was hit at 8 a.m. He managed to escape into water filled with blood and fire. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the attack, “The date which will live in infamy.” What I recall was that the attack propelled America into World War II. Life changed in America. Rations were put on every commodity. Sugar, flour, meat etc were available only with a stamp from your war book. Most folks didn’t have a car but within a few months tires and gasoline were not available. Scrap iron was collected and communities planted what was known as “Victory Gardens.” Everyone pitched in. Shipyards sprung throughout the country. Shipbuilding for the war effort created a boom in the economy. Orange Texas grew from 7,000 to 70,000 when workers poured in from all over the country to work at Levingston Shipyard and American Bridge. “Rosie the Riveter” was born as women entered the workforce while their men were at war. The Navy base at Orange went into full swing. Many of the sailors took local brides and returned to make Orange their lifetime home. Today, survivors of WW II are dying at a rate of 950 a day. Soon, they will all be gone. Their stories will be lost in history but like President FDR said, Pearl Harbor will never be forgotten.

TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

10 Years Ago-2009

Right after Hurricane Ike dealt Bridge City an unexpected blow, the city’s image went down. I’m proud to say that 15 months later Bridge City has taken great steps to recovery and putting the city in a good light. A lot of credit goes to the residents, who really dug in. The business community has been fantastic. Also a consecrated effort by the city, school district and chamber of commerce moved the city image further down the road than was expected. Bridge City city manager Jerry Jones and the administration of mayor Kirk Roccaforte are to be commended for their work. BCISD superintendent Jamie Harrison and the school board took the lead in image changing. This year, chamber president Mark Dunn, the chamber board and staff have initiated programs that let everyone know that Bridge City, even though temporarily crippled, was again going to be the envy of the Triangle. Some great things are in the works that will benefit the city. Donna Scales and her helpers put on a great 50th anniversary night Christmas parade that brought out the pride of many residents. The past year has shown a lot of accomplishments by the chamber, city and school. With a new school, new parks, new street repairs, new and remolded homes and just being a great place to live. *****We were indeed saddened to learn about the death of Claude Abney, 74, who passed away Thursday. “Buster” moved to the area in the mid-1960s and worked for the Neon Sign Co. before going into business for himself. He was one of the most talented people we have ever known. In any direction that you travel in Orange and Jefferson Counties, you can find some of his high-quality work. He was an artist; some of his best work is displayed in the school cafeteria in Vidor. Many of the signs displayed around the area are his creations. We have known “Buster” all these years but our knowledge of him goes back to when he was a young boxer out of Lake Charles. He kept up with the Louisiana Boxing Fraternity where he and Roy were members. Roy says Claude’s talent constantly amazed him. A guy who could do almost anything. Services were Dec. 8.***** Congrats to City Councilwoman Theresa Adam Beauchamp, Athena Award recipient. She’s Marcelle’s youngun and Frank’s better half. Theresa is a friend and a real jewel from good stock. Her dad “Cowboy” would be proud of his angel. Her mom is a previous winner of the award. Acorns don’t fall far from the tree.***** Jerry Jones has given Jason Garrett full control of the offense by naming him assistant head coach. Wade should have the last word but he doesn’t. The rest of the Cowboy schedule is a killer. *****The Saints, like champions, continue to find a way to win and stay undefeated. What a match up, Drew Brees against Payton Manning in the “Big One.” It could happen. *****Hepatitis C drug shows promise to chimpanzees being tested in San Antonio. The new gene based therapy fights Hepatitis C and other diseases. ***** Our longtime buddy Doug Harrington celebrates another one. Our friendship goes back 40 years when we never imagined living this long. Semi retired now, Doug puts in time at the Bridge City Family Pharmacy but he and Regina spend most of their time at their farm in Crockett. Doug, a cancer survivor since he was 26, is now in his 70s. He’s beat the odds and looking forward to 20 more. His dad, Sen. D. Roy, lived to be well into his 90s.***** The jewel of Cow Bayou, Shirley Roccaforte, celebrates another one. It was a lucky day for Kirk when she found her way to the Bayou Country from Arizona,***** Others celebrating this week are Danny Blacksher, Mac Hughes, David Claybar, Mark Brous and our own Robert Hankins, who week after week, brings us good work through his writing and editing.*****Tim Tebow is the only player to be a finalist for the Heisman three times. Tim has won it once. Colt McCoy is the only Longhorn to be nominated twice. Both have hurt their chances to win it in their last outings. I still believe overall McCoy should get it. It looks like Mark Ingram of Alabama may have the inside track now with 1542 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Obituaries 10 Years Ago-2009

Ron “Uncle Ron” Bloodworth, 49, of Bridge City, died Tuesday, Dec. 1. A memorial gathering was held Saturday at Claybar Funeral Home. Cremation arrangements were under the direction of Claybar Haven of Rest Crematory in Beaumont. He is survived by his wife, Dee Wilson;  mother, Gladys “Boots” Bloodworth, father, Johnny Bloodworth, children, Junior Piazza, Laresa Rasberry, Quentin Bloodworth, Charles Ganze, Jared Ganze and Hannah O’Grady and two grandchildren.***** Glenn Moran, 89, of Orange, passed away Dec. 1. Funeral services were Sunday. After graduation he served in the Army during World War II, and was employed by DuPont Sabine River Works for 30 years. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Fruge Moran; son, Dr. Glenn T. Moran; daughter, Sherry Lester; brother, Montie Moran; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.***** Christopher D. Erwin, 44, died Sunday, Dec. 6. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. He was employed as a boilermaker.  He is survived by his wife, Karla Erwin; son, Joshua D. Erwin, daughter, Natasha R. Erwin; father, Rickey Erwin; mother, Pamala Smith; sisters Sherry L. Palombo, Cynthia McDaniel, Vickie Wall and Pete Philmon; numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and a host of friends. 

40 Years Ago-1979

Texas A&M beat the Tea Sippers of Texas at Kyle Field. TU was a 12-point favorite.*****H.D. and Sue Pate hosted a party at their home for area Democrats. The occasion was a fundraiser kickoff for President Jimmy Carter’s campaign.*****BCHS choir and drama department presents “Pardon me, is this planet taken?” Space Capt. Jamie Church is played by Paul Davis. Other roles played by Darrell Gurney and Shelly Pate. (Editor’s note: Paul is now Bridge City Police Chief, Darrell lives in California and Shelly, after living several places, has settled down in Beaumont. *****John Edgerly broke his foot at basketball practice. *****Dedication of a historical marker took place last week at Claiborne West, which will soon be a county park at Cow Bayou and IH-10. *****Boss Cajun W.T. Oliver holds a Cajun Boucherri. The pig got away, was chased in the woods, caught, butchered and roasted over an open fire. Cracklins were cooked in a big iron pot. Jambalaya, beans, sausage, ribs and fricassee and all the trimmings were served. (Editor’s note: That might have been the last Boucherri held in Orange County. This writer is proud to have made it. I miss those great times.)

45 Years Ago-1974

Rep. Charlie Wilson nominates Samuel Ceraso Sichko of Orange to the United States Military Academy in West Point.*****Willie Blanchard will still be around with Grover Haliburton being re-elected as county judge.*****The spotlight on the Stark Tigers basketball team. The top five players are Donald Mosby, Michael Davis, Marcus Floyd, Robert Kelly and Gerald Antoine.*****Dallas Cowboy Bob Lily says his career after this year is over unless coach Tom Landry wants him to come back as a backup.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

On December 9, Sid Caillavet, Jr., celebrates his 90th birthday. I’ve known Sid over 60 years. I recall when he worked for Griffin’s Men’s Wear before operating his own store. His dad, Sid Sr., had served as mayor and county judge. He was a native of Biloxi, MS. I once drove him there to visit relatives.
Sid Jr.’s
mother, Dennis, was a Bland and a direct descendant of John Harmon’s daughter, who landed on the banks of the Sabine between Christmas and the New Year 1827, at the location of Orange City Pavilion. They were the first settlers. Sid Jr. was married to Peggy, a beautiful lady who passed away Sept. 22, 2016. Here’s wishing Sid Caillavet, Jr., a great birthday and good health. I have fond memories of the great times I spent with your dad.*****Our friends Tom and Sue Simar stopped by for a visit. Both are hobbling and find it more difficult every day to get around but they won’t let it stop them. *****Speaking of friends, I haven’t heard from Linda and John Heard in quite awhile. Hope they are doing okay.*****Southeast Texas Hospice will hold its annual Toilet Paper Tea Thursday, December 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their place 912 W Cherry Ave., in Orange. The Tea helps the organization restock their shelves with necessities to help their clients and also to celebrate 40 years of service. It’s a good cause and lots of fun. Make plans to attend.*****It was worth losing my sleep just to see the frustration on Tom Brady’s face in the Patriots 28-22 loss to the Texans.*****Trump’s tariffs to boost prices on toys, smart phones, laptops and hundreds of other items. On average Christmas shopping will cost consumers 25% more because of Trump’s China trade war. Shoppers will pay more than $15 billion because of the tariffs that Trump falsely claims China will pay for.*****This weekend, December 6, will be 14 years since “Bubba” Hubbard passed away in 2005. Bubba was a leader in the development of the city of Bridge City as the thriving force to incorporate. He served on the first city council.*****So far in local politics several candidates will be vying for several positions. It should be an active campaign season. It looks like the county judge’s seat, held by Judge John Gothia, will have three candidates for the post. The sheriff’s post being vacated by Keith Merritt, is set to have at least two challengers for the open seat. County-court-at-law judge Troy Johnson is facing one challenger. Pct. 3 county commissioner Kirk Roccaforte will face an opponent. Pct. 3 constable seat is being vacated by Mark Philpott. Two candidates are filing for that post. District judge Dennis Powell is retiring from the 163rd district court and at least two candidates have filed to fill that vacancy. Filing started Nov. 9 and will continue until Dec. 9. We will list all the candidates who have filed by deadline.*****The Lunch Bunch dines at Robert’s this Wednesday and at Southern Charm next week. The annual Christmas gathering will be Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Robert’s. We urge everyone to join the gathering for the last time this year. Mark your calendar. Everyone always welcome.

CAJUN STORY

Cousin Sostan put his father-in-law in a nursing home in Crowley. Otis Badeaux is Sugar Bee’s papa. One day wen he was visting Badeaux, a little old lady was running up and down da hall. As she walked, she would flip up da hem of her nightgown and say, “Super Sex.”

Den she walked up to Badeaux, wat was sitting on a bench, she look him in da eyes and said, “Super Sex.”

Badeaux looked her up and down, sat silently for a moment, den he finally answer, “Me, I’ll take da soup.”

C’EST TOUT

A RECORD SETTING LOVE STORY

With a combined age of 211 years, one couple in Austin, Texas, has been named the oldest living couple in the world, according to Guinness World Records. John Henderson is 106 and his wife, Charlotte, is 105. The Hendersons have a love story that has quite literally stood the test of time. On December 15, they will celebrate 80 years of marriage. The two met in class at The University of Texas in 1934. Charlotte was studying to become a teacher, while John was a guard for the football team. They married in 1939 during the Great Depression and spent just $7 on the hotel room for their honeymoon. In fact, John is also the oldest living former UT football player. For the past 84 years, he’s held a tradition of attending at least one Longhorn football game each year. Both are still very healthy, and John exercises every day. Ten years ago, the two moved into the Longhorn Village, a senior living community associated with a University of Texas alumni group. The only secret to a long life and happy marriage according to John, is to live life in moderation and be cordial to your spouse*****Thanks for your time. Please check the ads from our family of advertisers. Read us cover to cover. Take care, goodbye, good luck and may God bless you.