Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest
Last updated 6/9/2020 at 11:17pm | View PDF
MERRITT-A GOOD SHERIFF RESIGNS
I've known every sheriff since Sheriff Chester Holts and over the years the sheriff's duties have changed with the times. Holts had only 13 employees, today that number has grown twenty fold. Today's sheriff is more of an administrator. The gun toting sheriff went by the wayside a long time ago. To further complicate a sheriff's job is that several years ago, law enforcement agencies started organizing. That in itself is not bad but the way it is often used is. A sheriff often is rebuffed on decisions he feels is best. Of all the sheriffs I've known Keith Merritt is the very best administrator. Keith is a numbers guy who documents everything. He's always been up to date on where the department was financially and what grant money was available. He has worked with several different commissioners courts and with all of them Merritt has always been up front with the court on the bottom line. Merritt has been one of the best sheriff's ever but doing his job became more difficult daily. Nine months is just too long a transition. Many of his best officers were leaving; while others that were staying were showing loyalty to the incoming sheriff, Lane Mooney, making it difficult to supervise them. More good officers will leave or be let go. The new sheriff is entitled to build his own department. When he takes office he can hire who he wants and name his captains. What Sheriff Mooney will learn down the line is that he will not be able to hire and fire or move personnel without the Sheriff's Association giving their approval. Sheriff White gave that control away. I can assure you that down the line Sheriff Mooney also will have to face that reality. I hear that Pct. 3, Constable Mark Philpott will join Sheriff Mooney's team. Brad Frye will take over as constable. I wish everyone the best in their new endeavors. Special thanks to Keith Merritt for his many years of service as a constable and sheriff. He made the best choice for himself and for the county to leave now. He gave his best.
COX SAID, "YOU MADE ME FAMOUS"
I was just sitting here staring at a blank sheet of paper before me. This was going to be the first Breaux column I had written in 25 years that "Neighbor" Cox wasn't around. He read every column, every week, and often called me to discuss it. He repeated every Cajun story like it was his. He was famous for his joke telling. The phone ringing woke me up from my staring into space. It was Judge Pat Clark. He had called with condolences. He didn't know Cox, but over the years he had kept up with what I wrote about him. "He must have been a good man, I saw how much you thought of him and I just wanted to express my condolences for the loss of your friend." Coming from Pat I knew that was heartfelt. He's known me long enough to know I was grieving. It was a hard loss that was unexpected. Cox's daughter stopped by and dropped off a few pieces of petrified wood that came from the old Cox homestead in Joaquin. I'm going to put it with the other pieces Cox had given me, as a monument to the old soldier, in my courtyard. I was glad to learn that his son Rodney, who was recently widowed, will be moving into "Neighbor" Cox's home, in "Mr. Cox's Neighborhood." We've had a lot of fun and some great time in that neighborhood and shared many country boy stories. We were blessed to have known him. May he rest in peace. Please see obituary and Down Life's Highway column.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
10 Years Ago-2010
We were sorry to learn about the death of Neighbor Cox's sister Dollie McElroy, 90, who passed away in Port Arthur Monday. Service was held in Center on June 15. Dollie was a true fan of this newspaper and each week Cox had to bring her the latest issue. To Millard, Virginia and their family, we send our sympathies.(Editor's note: Ten years later, June 4, Cox died.)***** In a heartbeat the Big 12 Conference became the Big 10 with the desertions of Colorado to the Pac 10 and Nebraska to the Big 10. It's not just football and rivalries which would be affected but we're talking big bucks, as college football is an industry. Texas will make off like a bandit by keeping the Big 12 intact.***** Special folks we know having birthdays coming up. Everybody's buddy, Wilson "King" Dunn turns 92 Wednesday, June 16. A finer man is hard to find. Every week "King" breaks bread with the Lunch Bunch, tends to his place and checks daily on his wife of 72 years who is in a local nursing home.***** Our bestest friend, Mary Alice Hartfield, who never forgets our special days, celebrates her special day June 17. We wish her the best of everything.*** Here's a pair of aces worth drawing. To John Cooper, one of the great guys and Commissioner David Dubose, who happens to be Harriet's husband. Best wishes to these two aces.***The very active Beverly Perry celebrates her special day June 16. Best wishes, Bev.*****A few friends who are on the mend. Our buddy Daniel Jacobs, in Houston battling leukemia, was waiting for test results Tuesday that will determine the next course of action. His wife is by his side and he says she's a blessing.***Judy Hidalgo is still in Houston fighting the cause to beat lung cancer. Husband Gene and their son have been sharing time looking after her. As bad as it is on the patient, it is very hard on the caregiver also. ***Bobby Bernard, Babette's dad, had surgery in Houston, came home, is doing great and giving up his walker. ***One of the finest young men we know, Russell Bottley, only 37, is battling cancer. Kevin Smith and others are planning a cowboy fundraiser. Russell is traveling for treatments twice a week. If you recall, since he was a teenager, he was the late Betty Jo Spence's sidekick, taking care of her race horses. Russ, here's wishing you God's speed.***** Billy Tubbs gives up athletic director position at Lamar but will continue to eat at the trough. He has accepted a new gig as special assistant to President Simmons, as a consultant, sports public relations or whatever. Named interim A.D. is girls' basketball coach Larry Tidwell. We've met and spent time with him, a very down to earth guy, who since he got to Lamar has been selling the program. David Ess and Johnny Montagne are sure to be happy their friend will be athletic director.*****Gene Cropper, 74, died last week in Port Arthur. We had known him since we were all youngsters. I bet Gene danced a million miles in his lifetime.*****Our friends Betty and Corky Harmon renewed their marriage vows in the Catholic faith last weekend. Fifty-three years ago, when they were married, Betty was the baby sitter for his two boys. Her plans were to enter the convent and become a nun. Because of circumstances they could not marry in the Catholic faith although Betty raised all of the children Catholic and always maintained her loyalty to the church. It was a happy time for them to have Father Daleo perform the ceremony.*****We were sorry to hear about the death of Sheriff Keith Merritt's dad, Bob Merritt, last week. He was mowing his lawn when death called unexpectedly. Marlene says they learned the importance of everyone having a will. You never know when that call will come and the family will be left to sort through legal matters while trying to make arrangements. Condolences to Keith and his family.***** Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in WW II would have just been 85 on June 20. We met him 60 years ago and thought he'd be older.*****The Judds broke up in 1991 after coming from rags to riches in the music business. This November they start an encore tour of 18 cities.***** Many of us will remember the times spent with Jimmy Dean, a fun guy to be around. Jimmy died Sunday at age 81. He is best known today for Jimmy Dean Sausage but some will recall his smash hit about the workingman's hero, "Big, Bad John." He had other hits and a television show also. He was born in poverty in Plainview, Texas and dropped out of high school in the ninth grade to help support the family. Mark Dunn took pictures of Jimmy and his dad, Roy, who has many Dean stories.
40 Years Ago-1980
Huey Simon was killed in a single car accident. The funeral held Sunday, June 9, drew one of the largest crowds ever for a local funeral. It's memorable because Huey was just a common man, not a politician or anyone who had accomplished great wealth. Roy Dunn, who had known Huey since their very first day of school in Abbeville says, "On our first meeting Huey and I fought over who would occupy a certain desk. On our first day of learning I got the worse of it. Before I even had a desk, I was in the hospital with 14 stitches in my head from landing on a bookcase and splitting my head open. Huey and his family moved to Orange and later, when I did, Huey and I became friends. He had a lot of friends. He was one of the finest, big-hearted individuals you could hope to meet. He helped people from all walks of life and was respected by all who met him. That explains why so many attended his funeral. He was a likable guy but always tough." Huey was only 45 years old.*****Tick Granger is elected county commissioner, Pct. 3. Jack Thompson elected constable in Pct. 1.*****Bridge City Cablevision starts up the first television cable service in Bridge City. Owner/operator is Al McKay, in partnership with Carl Parker and Oscar Wyatt. *****Opportunity Valley News announces winner for "Best Dad of the Year." First place went to Herbert Ray Jones, submitted by stepson Lyle Everett; second place Dr. Joe Ben Welch, submitted by daughter Wendi; and third place, Don Peters, submitted by daughter Rammi. More than 100 names were submitted. *****Dr. Welch's wife Dottie, with daughters Wendi, Sandy, Robin and Roxie were in Zachary, La., celebrating Joe Ben's dad, Joe Welch's 64th birthday. They also visited with mom Pill and siblings Mike, Bobbie and Wanza.*****Mark Dunn left to retrieve his finance Kerrie Lewis in Boston. He drove with hopes of bringing her to Texas. Also headed to Boston is his friend Valerie Ingls, KOGT-AM commentator. (Editor's note: Mark did bring Kerrie back. They were married by Judge Pat Clark and had two daughters, Amber and Jenna. They have long parted and live different lives but have remained good friends. Kerrie didn't like Texas and resides in Massachusetts). *****Sue Pate of Bridge City is vying for one of seven Texas positions on the Democratic National Committee. Election will be June 20-21 at the state convention. There has never been a member on the committee from this area. (Editor's note: Sue, a Bridge City schoolteacher, was elected and became the first person ever to serve from South East Texas. She was married to attorney H.D. Pate. Sue is now a resident of Lake Charles).
A FEW HAPPENINGS
One thing I haven't lacked while being here in lockup is good food thanks to some very good friends. Van Choate, a prince of a guy, spends his days riding around finding people who need help. He keeps his lawn mower and weed eater handy and finds elderly people whose yards need cutting. That's not all; he prepares a lot of balanced meals using his new vac-pack equipment to remove all the air and seal the individual meals. He loaded me down so my partner and I have a complete meal every day with meat and vegetables. They are delicious. My favorite is fricassee, thick gravy, with plenty of meat, served on mash potatoes. He also presented us with his famous Italian sausage and breakfast sausage and lots of other extras. That guy is making his way to Heaven.***I also got a couple of messes of fresh caught Perch thanks to Allen and David. I've had three fish fries in the last week. Perch seasoned with Doug Nelson and fried crispy so I could eat the whole thing. Thanks guys.***Judge Derry Dunn sent me a mess of fresh tomatoes. Every year I count on Derry having a good crop. He doesn't eat tomatoes but his grandson, Jane and I do.***Thanks to Judge Chad Jenkins we made a big pot of chicken and sausage gumbo. Chad's deer sausage is a one man project. He kills the deer, skins it and personally processes the meat. He makes the sausage with his own seasoning, stuffs it and puts it in his own smokehouse to cure. It's great anyway it's prepared. I love it fried for breakfast but it sure made good gumbo.***My friends Sue and Tommy Simar have been holed up at their place. Sue tells me that if nothing comes along to ruin it the figs this year will be a bumper crop. I'm still shelling some of the pecans Coach Les Johnson brought to us. At least once a week we make a chocolate, fudge, pecan, pie. The Farmer's Wife, Lou, at Farmer's Mercantile, ran the recipe in her weekly column.***Thanks also to Brenda, family and friends who have kept us supplied with staples, fresh French bread and other goodies.***Thanks to Carroll Holt for again sharing his famous homemade vanilla. Nothing helps a recipe better that Carroll's vanilla. It is said that Trump has gained 30 pounds since he has been in office. At the rate I'm going, I will beat that if I stay locked up too much longer.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. June 10, finds Jennifer Broussard, Tyler Derouen and Chris Riedel celebrating.***June 11 is a special day for Judge Mandy White Rogers. Fifteen years ago, in 2005, our longtime friend Bax died.***June 12, on this day a beautiful lady, Wesley's better half, Ronda Dishon, celebrates.***June 14 is Flag Day and also Bobbie Burgess' birthday. She once was Bridge City mayor. She and Judge Don moved away several years ago after Ike. Also on this day two folks we have known since they were teenagers, Peggy and David Claybar, celebrate their anniversary and longtime marriage.***June 15, someone very special to this writer, Janelle Sehon, turns 60. This column would be nearly impossible without her help. She's appreciated every day.***Also, longtime buddy and a really good guy Lyle Overman is a year older today. ***Nancy and Kenneth "KeeKee" Dupuis' special child Adam turns 42. That guy is a real kick. He and his dad are spending a lot of time at the lake since Kenny retired.***We wish James Nezat a very special 85th birthday. Best wishes for good health.*****June 16, a special lady, cancer survivor Beverly Perry is thankful to be celebrating another birthday. We wish her many more.***On this day 21 years ago, in 1999, John Kennedy, Jr., his wife Carolyn Basette and her sister Lauren were killed in a plane crash. It just doesn't seem like it's been that long ago. Time really flies when you reach that last quarter.*****A great guy, longtime friend, Kenny Pigg, gave me a remedy to help my memory. He said it helped him after the doctor recommended it. I'm still sharp for an old guy but I'm having some slippage.*****I had a phone visit with 98-year-old, Pearl Harbor survivor, Cedric Stout. He was having heart test Tuesday while wife Cherry was going to the doctor for stomach problems. Otherwise, Cedric said they were keeping on keeping on. Cedric will be 99 in November.*****I hear John Bolton's "Tell All" book will further expose Trump. Four generals, who served under him, plus Gen. Colin Powell, have exposed Trump's credibility and his failure to lead.
Celebrating birthdays on June 10 are Jennifer Broussard, Tyler Derouen, Caroline Henigan and Chris Riedel.*****June 11, Harold Wallace, Jacqueline Bourdier and Jane Minor.*****June 12, Candice Steele, Jesse Walles, Pam Williams, Caitlyn Villanoueva and Kaaren Kline.*****June 13, Ryan Kelly, Shawna Gauthier, Duane Anthony and Tammy Droddy.*****June 14, Selita Ernst, Carley Swenson, Ben Perry, Brandon Duhon and Brandy Aldridge.*****June 15, David Cardner, Faye Sherwood, Sherri Fruge, Alex Eby and Carol Hall, Special happy birthday to Janelle Sehon who turns 60 today.*****June 16, Beverly Perry, Christian Louvier, Jennifer Harrison, Ruby Bell and Alex Brent.
June 10: Prince Philip 99, Prince; Elizabeth Hurley 55, Actress; Lee Brice 41, Country Singer.****June 11: Shia LaBeouf 32, Actor; Sadie Robertson 26, Reality Star; Joe Montana 64, Football Player.*****June 12: Mark Henry 49, Wrestler: Chris Young 35, Country Singer.*****June 13: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen 34, Actors; Tim Allen 67, Actor; Chris Evans 39, Movie Actor.****June 14: Donald Trump 74, US President;; Paul O'Grady 65, Comedian; Lucy Hale 31, Actress.*****June 15: Neil Patrick Harris 47, Actor; Ice Cube 51, Rapper; Courtney Cox 56, Actress; Helen Hunt 57, Actress.****June 16: John Cho 48, Actor: Phil Mickelson 50, Golfer. Missy Peregrym 38, Movie Actress
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Mary Margaret Thibodeaux, a nice, calm, very respectable lady went into Landry's Drug Store and axe for Mr. Landry, da pharmacist. She look him straight into his eyes and said, "I would like to buy some cyanide me."
Landry axe, "Why in da world, Mrs. Thibodeaux, you need cyanide, hanh?"
"I need to poison my husband Joe, me."
Da pharmacist's eyes got big, big, and he said, "Lord, Lord, Mrs. Thibodeaux, have mercy." " I can't give you no cyanide to kill you husband, dat's against da law, dey would trow both of us in jail and me, I'll lose my license." "I can't let you have no cyanide."
Mrs. Thibodeaux reach into her purse and pull out a picture wat show her husband in bed with Agnes, da pharmacist Landry's wife.
Landry him, he look at dat picture a longtime him, den he turn to Mrs. Thibodeaux, "Well, now dats different, you didn't told me you had a prescription."
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Trump wins this one. No doubt Trump's protest around the country is far bigger than protest in Obama's term, period." By Sean Spicer, "Just kidding."*****I've run out of time and space. Please read us cover to cover. Take care and God bless.