Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux’s Nest
Friday is Valentine’s Day and here are a few sweethearts I would like to acknowledge this year. First, Alice Cole Hartsfield for all the time she gives towards helping the elderly and being available to help whenever needed.***Also a special sweetheart is Nancy Gillis, a nice lady we have known for several years. Nancy is a technician at Brown Hearing Aid Center in Orange. She goes far beyond what is required to help people with maintaining their aids to their highest quality. She wears a hearing aid and knows first hand when hearing aids are not operating correctly.***Pam Scales Honeycutt, who seems to be involved in everything, Cowboy Church, Lions Club and as secretary of the Wednesday Lunch Bunch. She’s great at keeping everyone informed.***An extra special sweetheart who keeps me supplied with chocolate year around is my friend Marlene Merritt. We have been Lunch Bunch partners for over ten years. This is the last year in office for Sheriff Keith. I hope they will stick around, I really enjoy their company and friendship.***There are several more who deserve to be 2020 Sweethearts but because of space here is my final pick. I’ve always felt the personality of any business or office bleeds down from the top. The boss sets the personality in County government as well. One of the most stressed out departments, due to such demanding workloads, is the Tax Assessor’s office. Even when overloaded with customers and sometimes short handed these employees maintain their composer and friendliness. Tax Assessor Karen Fisher deserves credit for that. Her personality bleeds down. For that she’s a Valentine Sweetheart.
TAKE OFF THE BLINDERS
Last week President Trump made several false statements about the economy. First he said at a rally that he was the greatest job creator God ever made. He said this in the greatest economy the world has even known and then added, “America is winning again.” Here are the facts: Trump has averaged 191,000 jobs a month, Obama added 229,000 jobs a month, nearly two million more than Trump in any three year period. Today we have the highest deficit since George W. and the highest national debt in history. Trump has added less manufacturing jobs than any of the last five presidents. It is true that unemployment is the lowest since the Vietnam War but at 3.6 it is only one point behind Obama’s 4.5. The economy is good but Trump didn’t build it, he inherited a strong economy that he just stepped into. Remember, he said in Youngstown and Warren, Ohio, that he would replace all those rusty buildings with new, shiny ones. He also said he would bring back so many jobs we wouldn’t be able to fill them all. Today, since Trump made that speech, jobs are slightly down. President Trump’s new budget has a $4.89 trillion price tag and a $1.08 trillion deficit this year and for as far as the eye can see. The Trump blue print calls for half a trillion dollar cut to Medicare, $900 billion in cuts to Medicaid and a $24 billion cut to Social Security. Trump wants to put $2 billion in his monument, “the southern border wall.” Trump claims a hundred miles have been built, a lie, only one mile of new wall has been constructed. Trump’s budget proposes steep cuts in domestic programs including Health Care while increasing military spending and other programs that appeal to his base. Trump’s massive 2017 tax cuts have sliced into revenue and haven’t paid for themselves as was claimed. By juicing the economy with deficit spending Trump is doing for America something like he did as a private businessman, loading his hotels and casinos with so much debt that they ultimately had to file for bankruptcy. The debt load will burden future generations. Today’s massive deficit in interest payments on loans is $382 billion this year and will reach $819 billion in four years. The national debt under Trump is now $23 trillion and climbing. Trump likes to claim that our economy is the best it has ever been. That is an exaggerated boast, a re-election ploy, with robust economic numbers that don’t tell the full story. Under Trump’s leadership, the government is running up red ink at rates typically seen only during recessions and war. It’s typical Trump red ink that has caused him to personally file major bankruptcy four times in his business life. It’s time for citizens to take off the blinders and see what he is doing, not only what he’s saying, because the numbers under Trump just don’t add up to the hype.
We were sorry to learn of the death of Rucie “R.E.” Earl Odom, age 87, who passed away Feb. 9. Funeral service was held Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Johnson and Robison Funeral Home in Sulphur. Visitation was at 10 a.m. at start of service. Rucie owned Bridge City Bank and several other business enterprises. He was the only child of Babbitt Odom and possibly the wealthiest man in the county. He had quite a life’s story. His mother was from both the Brown and Stark families.*****Bettye Jeane Bennett, 97, passed away February 7. A graveside service will be held Saturday in Houston. Our condolences to Barbara Olson and her family on the death of her mother. Please see obituary.***** We were sorry also to learn of the death of Kathryne “Kathy” Faye Devillier Walker, 62, who passed away February 6. Funeral service was held Sunday, February 9. She was the daughter of Nolan Joseph Devillier and Mary Nell (Tate) Devillier. Kathy is survived by her husband of 13 years, Raymond “Red” Walker, children, grandchildren and siblings. Our sincere sympathy to her family. May she rest in peace.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
10 Years Ago-2010
Walter and Audrey Gaston started The Penny Record in Bridge City and operated it for 30 years. He passed away Tuesday morning at age 89. Audrey had died a few years before him. Walter was Bridge City proud. He loved the community he helped build. He was also proud of what the newspaper had become and the addition of The County Record, the sister paper that serves the greater Orange and outlining areas. About The Penny Record, he said, it’s the voice of the community. He believed every good town had its own newspaper. The Penny Record, over the years, has published local events, the formation and incorporation of the city, high school championships, including the state football championship. The paper was there through hurricanes and floods. The paper has covered deaths and weddings, recording a history of the communities of Bridge City and Orangefield. Walter was a veteran from the Greatest Generation and for many years was Mr. Lion’s Club in Bridge City. Walter once asked if we were going to change the name of the paper that started with Penny Classifieds. It’s been thought of many times but the conclusion is always that The Penny Record is Bridge City. You can mention the paper anywhere and the reply always comes back, “Oh, in Bridge City.”*****Colleagues said, “Charlie could strut while sitting down.” Congressman Charles Wilson’s death last week left many friends he had made in Orange County saddened. Congressman Charles Wilson’s death last week left many friends he had made in Orange County saddened. Charlie, from the conservative Lufkin area, had been a state representative and senator when he announced for Congress. Con. John Dowdy had been indicted so it was decided that his wife would run in his seat. Dowdy had enjoyed liberal support. Charlie, a conservative, was suspect with the local labor leaders and liberals. Attorney H.D. Pate was contacted by Jere, a friend, to help Charlie. Ironically Charlie’s wife Jere and H.D. had dated when he was in college on a football scholarship at UTA. Jere Fay lived with her parents across the street from the campus. While in Washington, she had written a weekly column for the Dunn family owned Opportunity Valley News. On Wilson’s first day in Orange County, after taking him around, Pate and his wife agreed to help him despite some liberal friends supporting Mrs. Dowdy. Charlie was elected in 1972 and served until 1994. He made a lot of local friends including Lynwood Sanders, his county campaign chairman. He also became a close friend of Charlie Wickersham, as well as many others. Charlie worked Orange County real hard realizing it was the largest and most important voting block in the district. Shaun Davis, along with his wife Tammy, worked for Charlie for many years. Roy Dunn says Charlie, without notice, would pop into the OVN office and be accessible to any reporter who wanted to question him. He visited all newspapers and courthouses in his district regularly. He called it “keeping up with the home folks.” Many stories and a movie “Charlie Wilson’s War” have been written about Charlie’s exploits. Many more could be told by locals. This writer, while in Austin asked “Who is that wild nut on that motorcycle?” I was told it was “Good Time Charlie Wilson, state senator.” A memorial took place Sunday in Lufkin and as a Navy veteran Charlie was buried in Arlington Cemetery in Washington. In closing here’s a quote by Karen Tumulty in the recent issue of Time magazine” “Nobody could have made up a character like Charlie Wilson.” Molly Ivins once wrote, “He hadn’t an ounce of hypocrisy.” Charlie wore out two hearts; he died Feb. 10 at age 76. We re-elected him 12 times. No office holder ever did as much for our county.***** Kenneth Charles Thayer was only 58 years old when he passed away Feb. 11, in Little Rock, Ark. Ken was a crime scene investigator for the Orange Police Department. His death was a big loss to the department and even more so for Chief Sam Kittrell who lost a friend and a man who had his highest respect. All of us got to know Ken as the personable owner of Yocum Photography.*****The Bridge City Chamber’s annual banquet is held to celebrate the accomplishments of the community. A Bridge City standout and University of Texas All-American, Steve Worster will be recognized as Citizen of the Year. He will be honored for the years of publicity and pride he brought to his city.*****Johnny Montagne and Roy had their annual kidney stew dinner last week. Special guest was Chad Jenkins, Ag teacher at Orangefield.***** I bet Baylor graduates attorneys Sharon Bearden and Tommy Gunn are filled with joy since Baylor has hired Ken Starr as their university president.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Obituaries 10 Years Ago-2010
William Otis “Billy” Latham Jr., 82, of Orange, passed away Sunday, Feb. 7. He is survived by his loving wife, Anna Sue Peveto Latham; daughters, Molly Latham Schilling and Mary Latham Brandli; son, Lamar Latham; six grandchildren, four stepgranchildren, seven great-grandchildren, six stepgreat-grandchildren.***** Alice Louise McRae, 79, of Bridge City, died Wednesday, Feb. 10. Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 13. She is survived by her sons Robert Townsend, Kenneth Townsend and Rodney Townsend; stepson, Kenny McRae; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.***** Fred Joseph “Jody” Fusilier III, 45, of Orange, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Funeral services were held Saturday, February 13. He was survived by his wife of 11 years, Dixie Fusilier; stepmother, Debbie Fusilier; sisters Brenda Coody and Kim Fusilier; brother Bryan Fusilier stepsister, Adina Pratt; stepbrother, Micah Shirley.
40 Years Ago-1980
A Mardi Gras Ball was held in Orange. Dr. George Eastman was crowned king. The winning masquerade team, “The Schlitz Sixpack” consisted of Louis and Beth Dugas, Brooks and Diana Hill and Claude and Jean Hamerly. Corky and Betty Harmon and James and Janet Fontenot were dressed as “Chinamen.” Karl and Joyce Kleinknecht were dressed as an “Indian chief and his squaw.” Bernie Kerwin, Frank Riddick, Becky Zoch and friends joined in the moving streetcar. Dr. Nolan Leblanc cheered everyone on. A great time was had by all. *****Bill Townes was hospitalized in Dallas with severe chest pains. He is in ICU. *****Tara Mathis will be 18 on Feb. 22. *****Billy Joe Holcomb and Gertrude Bellaire celebrate Feb. 23. *****Wilda and Lewis Martin celebrate an anniversary on Feb. 24. *****Anna Kuykendall is elected assistant cashier at Bridge City Bank. *****Fred C. Gregory, John N. Brooks, B.J. Fields, R.E. Odom, Austin Floyd, Dr. Paul Meyer, Dr. J.E. Barnett and Howard Morse were reelected to the board of directors at Bridge City Bank.*****A book-signing was held at the new K-Mart store in Orange for author Gordon Baxter. Manager Paul Wise reported a large crowd had waited for over an hour for Bax to arrive. Orange Mayor Major Inman who could not wait, turned the ceremonies over to Roy Dunn, who is mentioned in the book, “Village Creek.” Baxter was presented with a special designer’s paperweight from the City of Orange. A few in the crowd of over 200 were June Wingate, Bessie Mazzola, Jeannie Bell, Bobbie Strawther, Reggie Ezell, Judy Brint, Janet Copeland, Barbara Newman, Betty Hudson, Barbara and C.W. Bryant, Nita Ladner, Joe Raber, Tallulah and Luke Higgins, Lynn Hall and Keble and Skipper Free, who preformed with Baxter in the past at night spots and Mary Stevens, who has listened to Bax since the 1940s on a Port Arthur radio station. *****Pretty Lynne Gooch, 17-year-old Little Cypress-Mauriceville senior, is the recipient of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s $1,500 scholarship. She will represent Orange County at the rodeo and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Gooch of Mauriceville. *****Brian Beard and Holly Hollingsworth were crowned king and queen at Bridge City High School coronation by Principal Joe Chenella. Louis Garriga and Christi Ballard were named grand duke and grand duchess.*****Fred Gregory accompanied an all-girl jogging team to Houston in a 26-mile marathon. Running with Fred were June Gregory, Joette Jeannise, Sandra Broussard and Sue Sharp. June came in second in her division. Temperature was 33 degrees. (Editor’s note: Fred died several years ago, June, at 81, still lives in Bridge City.
A FEW HAPPENINGS
Neighbor Cox got himself a Pacemaker on Monday. Dr. Morbia says that should put Cox back into high stepping but probably not in time to get a garden in this year. Maybe if I can get Dan Cole to plow it up, he might get a few veggies in the ground.*****Last week we were pleasantly surprised by a visit from Glenda and Paul Dyer. They came down from their farm near Nashville to visit their daughter Martha and grandkids. They live on a 400 acre spread that has been in Paul’s family over 150 years. Their next door neighbor is Country singer Trace Atkins, who has a new wife and is building a big, new home on his farm.*****Feb. 12, 1809, is the birthday of President Abe Lincoln, who served from 1861 to 1865. He did a lot and changed the country in just four years. He was 56 when he was killed,*****Feb. 13 is our friends Heather Sztaba and Amy Britnell’s birthday.*****On Feb. 14, former mayor and Lynda’s better half, T.W. Permenter, celebrates today. Feb. 15, the senior family member of the Bob Montagne family, Robert Montagne, celebrates today.*****On Feb. 16, everyone’s friend, Port Commissioner, Reliable Cleaners CEO, Keith Wallace, celebrates today.***Roy’s late sister Jane’s little boy Clint Britt is a year older.***Also a boy we’ve known always Gary Stephens turns 57 on this day.*****On Feb. 18 it seems like just a couple of years since I wished Norman Berry a happy 70th birthday and today he celebrate his 80th.*****Happy Birthday to all. Please see complete list.*****Van Choate will be cooking links Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walgreens in Bridge City to introduce the fine folks who are running for office. Free hot-link dogs and a drink. Come by and meet the candidates.*****County Judge Gothia and Commissioner Johnny Trahan are attending classes at A&M this week hoping to learn something from the Aggies.*****Last week Trump took a giant step towards dictatorship. I’ll explain that at another time.*****I thought I had heard the last of Coach Jerry Granville but I tuned into a couple of XFL games over the weekend and was very impressed with the first games of the season. I discovered Jerry is defensive coach of the Tampa Bay Vipers.
Folks celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Feb. 12: Karlee Barney, Christy Reves, Jordan Guererro and Michele Moore celebrate.*****Feb. 13: Celebrating today are Lee Ann Jaarah and Jeremy Delano.*****Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day celebrants are Devon Anders, Judy Harrison and Fred Kennedy.*****Feb. 15: Drew Domas is a year older today.*****Feb. 16: Judy Brownlie, Patricia Davis, Vicky Stanley celebrate birthdays today.*****Feb. 17: Kim Harmon, Tom Edwards, Ashley Floyd and Melissa Tuttle have birthdays on this date.*****Feb. 18: Celebrating today are Justin Broussard, Amie Smith, Leah Gunstream and Charlotte North.
Feb. 12: Tara Strong, 47, Voice Actress, Bill Russell, 88, basketball player; Josh Brolin, 52, Actor; Arsenio Hall, 64, TV Host.*****Feb. 13: Jerry Springer, 77, TV Host; Michael’s son, Prince Jackson, 24, Instagram Star.*****Stockard Channing, 77, Actress; Peter Gabriel, 71, Rock singer.*****Feb. 14: Freddie Highmore, 28, Actor; Tiffany Thornton 34 TV Actress; Simon Pegg, 50, Actor,*****Feb. 15: Jane Seymour, 70, Actress; Alex Borstein, 47, Actress; Matt Groening, 66, Cartoonist.*****Feb. 16: Ice T, 62, Rapper/Actor; Elizabeth Olsen, 31, Actress; Christopher Eccleston, 56, Actor.*****Feb. 17: Ed Sheehan, 29, Pop Singer; Michael Jordon, 57, Basketball Player; Larry the Cable Guy, 57, Comedian/Actor; Jim Brown, 84, Football Player.*****Feb. 18: John Travolta, 66, Actor; Matt Dillon, 56, Actor Wanna White, 63, Game Show Host; Yoko Ono, 87, Activist.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Clovis Boudreaux, 87, was stopped by da police on Highway 13, between Crowley and Kaplan. Da old man talked his way out of a speeding ticket. He told da policeman, “Well me, I was hurrying because I wanted to get dere before I forgot where it was dat I was going.”
Special Lunch Bunch Gathering
The Bunch will dine at Southern Charm this week. Next week, Feb. 19, a special gathering will be held at Robert’s to introduce the new Orange City Manager Mike Kunst and welcome him to Orange. Mayor Larry Spears and other officials will be in attendance. Make plans to attend. Everyone always welcome.*****Take care and God bless.