By Sherlock Breaux
For the Record 

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest


Last updated 9/8/2020 at 9:39pm


Many citizens find themselves surround by destruction around their homes and at best a lot of clean up. I find myself in both. Some people have done a great job putting their places back in shape. I’m still waiting on an adjuster, due to come by on Saturday. I have fought hurricanes all my life, going back to 1939, in an Ike type surge and many others after. Twelve years ago for Ike I was much younger and when you’re not old and in good health, storms are just a bump in the road. Ike took nine months to get back to our home. At least this time I’m home and comfortable but the outside is a wreck and a large pecan tree lies on the roof. Fences and shed need major repairs. In younger times, I would have been gathering limbs, cleaning up and thinking about moving on till the next time. Today energy has been snapped from this old body, there is not much labor left in it. I’m thankful that at least my mind is somewhat intact so I’ll knock this column out like I’ve been doing for over 50 years and let someone else put this place back in shape. There is one thing I’ve noticed and I’m sure you have also. A dozen years ago, you could get help for ten bucks an hour, today; craftsmen want three times that much. I thank you for tagging along with this old codger for all these years. I plan on being around for awhile. Hope you hang with me. I have to move on. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


Jeffry Goldberg, editor-in-chief of “The Atlantic” magazine, details disparaging remarks that President Trump made about dead American soldiers. Goldberg quotes four people with first hand knowledge that the real reason Trump refused to visit the American cemetery near Paris was because he did not want to get his hair wet. He felt it wasn’t important to honor those buried there saying the cemetery was “Filled with losers.” Goldberg also reported that on the same trip Trump called U.S. Marines who died in the World War battle at Belleau Wood, “Suckers.” Since the Atlantic release, the Washington Post, New York Times, Associated Press and Fox News have quoted anonymous sources that backed Goldberg’s claims. Jennifer Griffin, who reported for Fox News, said through her sources she was convinced the story was true. Trump went into a rage and took to twitter demanding that Griffin be fired immediately. Sunday on Chris Wallace’s show, the reporter substituting for Wallace, said Fox stood behind their reporter. Oddly enough Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity did not appear live Friday and ran re-runs. They were caught off guard by the “Breaking News” and had not had the time to rehearse a defense of Trump. Monday was Labor Day so their first show since the bombshell is Tuesday night after my deadline but I’m interested in seeing how they spin this one. I believe Trump’s “Sucker and Losers” story is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a good bet that other shoes will drop. Trump believes that the military is for a lower class of people. Trump himself dodged the military service by paying a doctor to certify that he has bone spurs. Trump has been heard to say those who can’t figure a way out of serving are “dopes.” According to his niece, Mary Trump, her uncle told Donald, Jr. when he wanted to go into the Army, that he would disown him if he did, saying, “That stuff is for suckers.” No Trump has ever served in the military. Donald’s father, Fred, managed to avoid World War II. There never was but one Trump to serve in public office. His sister Mary Trump Berry, a federal appellate court judge, is the only one and she had unkind words to say about her brother. She accused him of being a liar, with no principles and never has been very smart, “He paid someone to take his SAT to be able to get into college.” Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohn, is releasing his new book this week. He knows where all the bones are buried. The Trump spinners will be out to discredit him as being a liar. (The kettle calling the pot black.) Not many Republicans are coming to Trump’s rescue, especially from the congress and senate. Here in Texas, Sen. John Cornyn is keeping a lot of distance between himself and Trump. Two weeks ago, when Trump came to Orange would have been a good chance for a photo-op with the president in Texas. He dodged it and let Ted, who is not running do the honors. What still upsets me most is that Trump doesn’t care enough about our soldiers to broach the subject with Russia’s Putin paying bounties to kill them. Possible he believes those youngsters are suckers and losers to join the military to start with. Four years ago, I predicted if Trump was elected it would be four years of chaos and that there were two things he would never do is turn on Putin and release his tax records. My bet is if Trump is re-elected Vladimir Putin will be a guest in the Lincoln bedroom. Only 55 days to Election Day. It will seem like six months. There are no extremes Trump won’t go to win, expect the worse.


10 Years Ago-2010


Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast on Aug. 28, 2005 causing major damage to the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastlines. Many lives were lost in New Orleans while citizens waited for help that never came. A million people would later flee the city. Many came to Texas, including Orange County. Volunteer groups assisted with food and lodging. New Orleans’ Ninth Ward was like a bomb had hit it. I had never seen destruction like I witnessed in Waveland, Bay St. Louis and Diamond Head Mississippi. On Sept. 24, 2005, believe it or not, we fled from Hurricane Rita, to the area Katrina had practically destroyed. Rita slammed Orange County Texas with brutal winds and many twisters. As many as 100 thousand trees were uprooted and many fell on houses and buildings. The County looked like a war zone. The damage seemed impossible to recover from. Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever and the worst storm we had witnessed. Rita would probably be the worse we would have in a lifetime. Next we ran from Humberto, Sept. 12, 2007, then Gustav, Sept. 4, 2008, both did minimal damage. The area, still recovering from Rita, was finally getting back in shape when the unexpected happened. For years old timers and seasoned weather men had predicted that if a hurricane ever took dead aim at Lake Sabine it could put water over Bridge City all the way to the interstate. Hurricane Ike was the largest storm to hit the Gulf of Mexico. It was so wide and big that it took in the entire Gulf, from Galveston to Florida. Bridge City and much of Orange were submerged with as much as eight feet of water in low areas. Those who stayed climbed in attics and rooftops, surrounded by snakes and debris. Ike wasn’t a big blower like Rita, winds were around a 100 mph with gusts up to 135 mph. The twisters it spawned did much destruction to homes, lifting ceilings and attics, loosing framework. However, the worse was the rushing salt water carrying ocean bottom mud, rushing into homes some six foot high, totally destroying homes and buildings. Recovery seemed impossible and would take many years. Many old timers, 50-year residents of the Bridge City area, collected their insurance, sold the property and moved to higher ground. Others with no flood insurance chose to stay and rebuild. ***** We were sorry to hear about the death of coach Bill Tennison, age 76, who passed away Sept. 4. Services were held Tuesday, Sept. 7 at Orangefield High School Gym. Bill, a former chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, spent 24 years at Orangefield High as a coach and teacher. We have lost a good, honest and special man ***** Condolences also the family of David Darby, Sr., age 62 who died Saturday, Sept. 4.


Obituaries 10 Years Ago-2010

Bobbie Jean Stakes, 73, of Orange, died Friday, Aug. 27. Funeral services were held Monday. She and her husband were the owners and operators of Stakes Electric Company.

She is survived by her husband, Calvin Stakes Sr. of Orange; son, Calvin Stakes Jr. of Bridge City; daughter and son-in-law, Kellie and Scott Muckleroy of Tulsa, Okla.; sister, Billie Don Carter of Orangefield; and granddaughter, Citori Stakes.*****Kenneth R. Lumpkin, 63, died Friday, Aug. 27. A graveside service took place Monday. He served in the National Guard reserves and loved the outdoors and fishing and was an avid guitarist. Ken is survived by his wife of 45 years, Marilyn (Lyn) of Orange; son, Terry Lumpkin and his wife, Penny; daughters and sons-in-law, Kim and Paul Dickerson, Janice and Troy Green; and six grandchildren.

45 Years Ago-1975

A letter was received this week from Anna, Illinois addressed to Jackie Harmon, P.O. Box 3300, Harmon, TX. Now we have all known for sometime that Jackie bought up a lot of downtown Orange property but we were not aware that he had bought enough of the city to change it’s name to Harmon, Texas.*****Gov. Dolph Briscoe attends a coffee for citizens at the Orange House while touring the area.*****Lynn and Sue Ableson are the proud parents of a baby boy and have also moved into a new home. (Editor’s note: That baby boy is 45 years old today.)*****Mrs. Ovie Harmon is in Orange Memorial for a routine check up.*****Lynn Hall’s son, John Sanford, turns 11 years old this week. (Editor’s note: I can’t believe that boy is 56 years old today. We knew his lovely mom when she was much younger than that.)*****LuAnn Dumas, Miss Bridge City, reins over Bridge City Day festival. Chief Fulton Battise, of the Alabama Coushatta tribe, served as parade marshal. Dr. David Olson is chamber president.*****Earl Thomas, West Orange running back, leads team in a 26-7 victory over Leon Godchaux. (Editor’s note: His son Earl Jr. is a former University of Texas safety and NFL star. *****Vic Hern, Dennis Powell and Jack Couvillion witnessed Bill White, with his five wood on the DERA 163-yard, no. 9 hole, ace the hole after the ball took a hop into the green and scooted right into it. (Editor’s note: I wonder if Judge Powell can recall that far back?)


Last week the staff put out a nice Laura hurricane newspaper under very difficult conditions. Many locations ran out of papers and requested more. Fortunately, like in other hurricanes, we had held back 1,500 papers in case. Thanks to the IBEW, all of Orange County was back on electricity by the weekend. Those people are amazing. Twenty states were represented as workers flooded the county. We dodged the worst of the hurricane when Laura, by one slight move east three hours before landfall, missed us by just a few miles. Vinton was destroyed. Ray Cotton’s little goldmine, the Longhorn, was wiped away. Little Cypress, closest to Vinton, got the worst blow here. *****A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. Sept. 9, is longtime friend, deputy sheriff Shanon Gearhart. It’s hard to believe this good looking lady woman 65. ***Also celebrating today is Gerald and Penny’s daughter Janet Leleux. And Pam Smith.***My thoughts today turn to my late friend “Neighbor Cox,” who would have been 97 years old. I miss him a lot. *****Sept. 10, one of the nicest people I’ve known since she was a toddler, Tanya Strickland Birdwell, celebrates today. She’s one of Nova Dee’s two lovely daughters and celebrating also is Jamie Oliphint. ***Happy anniversary to our friend Dist. Att. John and Kelly Kimbrough. Best wishes for many more healthy years.*****Sept. 11, Happy birthday to Andrea Peoples, Billy Fontenot, Chris Kavatch and Shannon Sparks.*****Sept. 12, Celebrating today Karen Warner, Bryan Riedel, Buffy Bean, Cynthia Claybar, Dustin James and one of our favorite gals Brenda Lund.*****Sept. 13, Mark’s youngest daughter, who has given him four grandchildren, Jenna Dunn Bellou, celebrates today, also Kade Hanks and Margaret Jeffcote. This is also the date in 2008 that Hurricane Ike landed and destroyed much of Orange County. *****Sept. 14, Fadra Thibeaux, mother of 9 (3 sets of twins,) grandma of 10, great grandma of 4, turns 82 today. Also our longtime friends Cathy Garretson and Karrie Dunn.*****Sept. 15, Our buddy, a great gal, Ethel Dunn, has a birthday today, also Tara Smith, Jon Berry and Ginger Ellis. Happy Birthday to all. *****For the first time in many years, Sheriff Keith Merritt evacuated. In previous years he always stayed at the command center. He and Marlene returned to find they didn’t have much shade left in their yard. If FEMA did anything in Orange County I haven’t found it. Returning here trying to clean up the mosquitoes overtook us. A call to Pestco took care of that. They rushed over and sprayed their special herb formula. I haven’t been stung since. They really destroyed the “Skeeters” for the next few weeks. ***** Louis DeJoy, who heads up the U.S. Postal Department, is in a lot of trouble for reimbursing employees who made the $2,5000 donation limit contribution to the Trump campaign. I recall when an Orange businessman got a conviction for doing the same thing in the Geo. W. Bush, Tom Delay, Karl Rove days. They should nail DeJoy to the closest fence post.*****Neither the governor, during his Thursday meeting with state and local officials at Orange City Hall, nor President Trump in his visit at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center Saturday, would attempt to pronounce Gothia’s name. Thursday, Abbott thanked by name every elected or appointed government official standing behind him and some who were in the wings. But he referred only to Gothia as “Judge” every time he talked about or to the county leader. Saturday, Trump did the same. But finally, Abbott was heaping more praise and said Gothia’s name. Sort of. He pronounced the name of the county’s top elected official “Judge GOTH-e-ya.” John tells me it’s GO-the-A.


Irby and Gertie Comeaux had two beautiful teenage daughters but Irby him, always talked about having a boy. He wanted a son. Wen Gertie got pregnant her, Irby was so excited. Sho nuff, Gertie delivered a healthy baby boy. Irby rushed to the nursery to see his new son him. He was shocked and horrified at da ugliest child he ever saw.

He rush back to Gertie’s hospital room and tole her, “Look here Gertie, dere’s no way I can be da papa of dat baby no. Look at da two beautiful daughters I fathered me. Gertie, you must have been fooling around behind my back yeah.”

Gertie her, smiled sweetly and replied, “No Irby, not dis time.”


Rainbow Bridge opens September 8, 1938

The week of Sept. 8th marks 82 years since the $3 million Rainbow Bridge was opened. A regatta on the river with many speed boats and such was seen by a large crowd. A parade, barbecue, dance, rodeo, fireworks and other activities were on the program. Ms. Phyl, her sister Jo and their parents attended the opening although she was too young to remember much about it. I first crossed the bridge in 1940, two years after its completion. It was an unbelievable sight. The tallest structure I had ever seen in this flat land was a three story sky scraper. It was a cloudy day with low clouds and the tall bridge seemed to extend into the clouds. I’ve often thought about the large structure costing $3 million. Today it cost more than that to paint it. Orange mayor W.E. Bill Lea, was master of ceremonies. Years before he was attorney in prosecuting the claim for the bridge. Fifty-years later, for the anniversary celebration, three of Lea’s sons, Bill, Hugh and Dick, all lawyers, attended. The Rainbow 50th anniversary celebration was held at the Sparkle Paradise grounds. Gordon Baxter served as M. C. for the 1988 celebration. The address of welcome was given by Commissioner Don Cole, speakers were Texas State Senator Carl Parker and Judge Don Burgess, 9th District Court of Appeals. The celebration committee members were Glenda Dyer, Chairman, who was the brainchild for the celebration; Charlotte Chiasson, Larry Hamilton, Pat Lancaster, Tom Perry and Neil Bond, Bridge City Chamber; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Toronjo, Jr., Orange County Historical Society; Jerry McInnis and Sissy Wood, Jefferson County Historical Commission; Barbara Humphrey, Groves Chamber; Candy Smith and Lonnie Hoyt, Vidor Chamber; Bob Anderson and Art Spencer, Port Arthur Chamber; Dr. Sam Monroe, Port Arthur Historical Society; Dr. Howard Williams, Orange Historical Commission; Wade Granger, Orangefield; Christy McClintock Loupe, Port Arthur; Bill Potter, resident engineer Texas Dept. of Highways, Port Arthur and Frank James, resident engineer TDH, Orange. The bridge was started March 3, 1936 and was completed in just under two and a half years. Six lives were lost working on the project. Mary Elizabeth Mills cut the red, white and blue ribbon with Texas Governor Allred in attendance. In cost and time comparison, repair to the swing bridge on Cow Bayou, which has taken more than three years, so far has cost over $3 million. Side Note: DIVE OFF BRIDGE. While the huge throng looked on aghast, Ogden Smith, 34, daredevil high diver, leaped approximately 180 feet from the bridge at 2. p.m., streaked arrow-straight to the river below and cut the water cleanly, feet first. After vanishing a few moments Smith re-appeared swimming and was assisted into a small boat manned by attendants. He appeared uninjured. A wild outburst of cheering greeted Smith. The diver made one complete revolution in midair en route riverward. Smith was reported to have received $300 for the dive.*****That’s all for this week. Take care and stay safe. God Bless.


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