Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest
Last updated 9/29/2020 at 10:29pm
BIDEN WINS CHAOTIC DEBATE
It wasn't unexpected it's been chaotic for the entire Trump term. Trump was everything but presidential. It wasn't a slam dunk by Biden but he definitely won the debate. Trump, to me, proved that he doesn't believe he will be re-elected. I'm two hours past deadline so I can't comment any further but the fact checkers across the board say Biden won the debate. As for me, Trump's performance was embarrassing. He blew the election for sure. He can't recover from his actions.
NEW YORK TIMES DROPS TRUMP'S
Four years ago, I wrote in this column, to elect Trump would be a mistake that would haunt this country for many years. I have followed Trump's life for over 30 years as a subscriber of the New York Times and Trump's appearance on radio shows, especially Howard Stern. I knew what we were getting if Trump was elected. I was frustrated and disappointed when I failed to convey what I knew about Donald Trump. I wrote at the time that Trump was a New York shyster, a con man, who had stiffed many contractors, workers, banks and retirees, who invested their life's savings on his schemes. I also pointed out that Trump University was a scam, a degree not worth the paper it was written on. Trump had been sued over 4,000 times for non-payments. He finally settled the suits for a penny on the dollar years later. He had to pay up to $25 million on his university scam. He has filed bankruptcy six times and lost the fortune he got from his father. I had been convinced Trump is a crook and would surround himself with the same type. They started filling their pockets with rubles on day one. Several indictments followed. I wrote if the voters wore blinders and elected Trump it would be four years of chaos. Two things I picked out was that Trump would never, in a hundred years, release his tax returns and never turn on Russia's Vladimir Putin, probably both for the same reason. A point of interest, two years ago, Mark Cubin said Trump was not what he claims to be. Trump was claiming to be worth $10 billion. Cubin said he doubted Trump was worth one net billion, then added, "The Trump organization will be broke in seven years, he's top heavy in red ink and none of his properties are paying off." Now we find out by this bombshell story by the New York Times that Trump owes $427 million to a foreign lender that must be paid in four years. The fear of that is who has that kind of leverage on the president of the United States. Since being elected he has paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017 and paid no taxes in 11 of the last 18 years. If it's about colossal loses, it raises doubt about Trump's self-image as a smart and successful businessman. No wonder Trump has waged a legal battle to keep his tax returns hidden. The Times has let the cat out of the bag and it won't go back in. Much more is yet to come, like paying $70,000 to hair stylist and $778,000 to his daughter's consulting firm. His former lawyer, Michael Cohon, says, "Just another way he laundersone money from under the table." Trump's taxes already are the focus of two probes, state's attorney and Manhattan DA. Just the tip of the iceburg.
CARLOS VACEK-BANKER'S BANKER
Our friend of many years, banker Carlos Vacek was honored by the Texas Banker's Foundation with the "50 Year Banker" award on Sept. 23. The award honored bankers with 50 years or more in the banking industry. I recall when Carlos started his long career in 1970 at First National Bank in Orange. After ten years, he joined First Texas Bank in Vidor. I believe he replaced a guy call Claude Keeler as president. He then put a group together consisting of Joe Burk, Glenn Oliver, Pete Sterling and others and acquired Orange Bank from Vincent Kickerillo, the glass bank on 5th Street. The group sold the bank to Hibernia in the fall of 1997. During the eight years the group owned the bank, with Vacek as president, the bank became one of the top banks in the nation for their asset size. In the sale the investors all made a good amount of change. In 1999 Carlos put another group of investors together and acquired First National Bank of Newton, expanding to other locations, including the Round Bank in Orange, originally built by Edgar Brown. Again the group picked up a pocket full of good change when they sold the banks to Walter Umphrey's group. Carlos stayed on as president for eight more years and retired in 2015. It seems just a short while later I visited with Carlos at our office he said his son Damon wanted to go back in banking. Carlos told me he believed he had one more banking venture in him. He formed another group and they purchased First State Bank in Three Rivers. They moved the main office to Orange where they built a new, modern bank on Interstate 10 and named it First State Bank of Texas and expanded with branches in Vidor and Beaumont. The Texas Banker's Association is the largest and oldest state banker's association in the nation. Carlos has a great reputation as a banker but he's also recognized as a good, honest and decent person. My knowledge of Carlos goes back before banking when he was a star halfback for the TCU Horned Frogs during their hay day in 1956 to 1958. These days he spends his time serving as chairman and CEO of his new venture in banking. I wonder if there's an award for 60 years because banking is in his blood. Joe Burke once told me, "Carlos made a lot of people wealthy."
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
10 Years Ago-2010
Two weekends in a row high school football has taken a blow. First the sudden death of 17-year-old Reggie Garrett, Jr. and the untimely death of Newton coach Curtis Barbay, 68, on Saturday, Sept. 25. Never before has the death of a local person drawn so much national attention as the passing of Reggie. So far the cause of death has not been officially determined. The first report didn't show anything obviously wrong with his heart. Coach Barbay, a graduate of Bishop Byrne High School in Port Arthur and Lamar, was from the old school of coaching. In 36 years at Newton he had 317 wins, 16 playoff appearances in a row and two state championships and another as an assistant many years ago in 1974. Coach Barbay was the third winnest active coach and fourth ranked in state history. Two of his sons, Darrell and Bryan, followed in their dad's footsteps and are head football coaches.***** Sept. 29, proclaims Bum Phillips Day. Coach O. A. "Bum" Phillips, born on John St. in Orange, celebrates his 87th birthday this Wednesday, Sept. 29. The former high school, college and pro-NFL coach is probably Orange County's most nationally known and beloved native. He just recently published his autobiography and dedicated the first chapter to his early life in Orange where his grandfather Parrish taught him to become a cowboy. His new book "Coach, Cowboy, Christian" is drawing great reviews.*****It's been 12 years since we published a story on district attorney John Kimbrough and his crew. Probably time to run another one. At the time big John said, "When I came here in 1985, I was fresh out of law school, had a full head of hair, was assistant D.A., unmarried, carefree, no bills and no problems, now look at me. In 1998, son Ryan was six, now he's 18, Grant was four, now 16, wife, Kelly, hasn't aged, John gets older. I wonder what he thinks today about his travels from single life, fresh from law school, to the present. One thing we know is that he's served us well. I wonder what his take is today in 2020? *****Thirty-five years ago a group of young couples formed a dinner club with a different couple hosting each outing, cocktails at their place, then visiting at different restaurants in the area. Since then several from the dozen or so couples have died. Others have divorced. This past Saturday Betty and Corky Harmon hosted a reunion of those remaining or able to attend. Janet and James Fontenot came in from their home in Georgetown to attend their granddaughter's wedding and to make the reunion. That old Cajun, from Washington, LA, traveled the world for Dupont. Janet is still as pretty as ever. Martha Hughes Kirkland and husband Glenn attended. Martha's husband Bill died years ago. She is still the life of the party. Phyl and Roy Dunn were glad to see their longtime friends.*****We were sorry to hear that Rev. Scott McIntosh, age 50, pastor of North Orange Baptist, suffered a major heart attack last Thursday. He has been in Baptist Hospital in Beaumont and we hear he is doing better at this time. Our prayers are for a complete recovery. ***** Sunday was a good day for Orange County boys in the NFL. Orange native coach Wade Phillips and his Cowboys beat Houston 27 to 13. ***Bridge City's Matt Bryant kicked the winning field goal in overtime for Atlanta to beat the New Orleans Saints 27 to 24.***Earl Thomas, the pride of West Orange-Stark, made two picks. The final interception on the goal line preserved a 27-20 win for the Seahawks over San Diego. The boys make Orange County proud. *****A few special folks celebrating birthdays in the coming week. Our buddy, constable, Rob Strause, is a year older. ***Martha Hankins, who just lost her husband, editor Robert Hankins, marks another birthday. There won't be much celebrating as she misses Robert so much. We wanted her to know we are thinking about her. ***A great guy, Karen Jo's better half, Robert Dale Vance, marks another year.***Jared Dillion, an outstanding guy, former Bridge City baseball standout and McNeese pitcher turns 20 this week.***Jimmy Smith celebrates another one as does Eddie Free and Darlene Stephens.*****Condolences to the family of Peggy McKenna, 83, who died last week. What a great, compassionate lady she was. She was one of the founders of the Hospice movement. She was the founder of Southeast Texas Hospice in Orange, the first Hospice in Texas and helped develop other units throughout the country. Ms. Peggy was also a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.*****We were saddened to learn about the death of Jack McLelland, 80, who passed away Sept. 28. We had known Jack for over 45 years. His mom and dad Elizabeth and Randolph lived on Forest St. in Bridge City as did his brother Billy Ray.
LOOKING BACK AT THE PAST
Sixty-six years ago, on Feb. 1954, Howard Morse, a resident of Bridge City, bought Neches Supermarket in Bridge City. Morse in announcing the purchase stated that the name of the store has been changed to "Howard's Food Lane." Morse had connections with Cliff's Drive Inn and Grocery on Green Ave. in Orange. Prior to the purchase, Morse had been employed for 12 years by the Texas Laundry and is well known in this area. The meat department will be under the management of Marshall Wingate. Marshall is one of the Wingate brothers of Orange. Other brothers in the meat business are Roy, Cecil, Nick and Lance. (Editor's note: If I remember correctly, the store was located on the corner of Texas Ave. and Roundbunch, where the present Exxon Mobile is.) Howard went on to own "Howard's Big Red Pantry" on the corner of Texas Ave. and Roberts. The store later burned to the ground. Howard went on to acquire a chain of convenience stores and served on the board of Bridge City Bank.
A FEW HAPPENINGS
For years I had been thinking about the youngsters in the lower grads not getting recognition even though they compete in events. I checked into it once and was told they couldn't be photographed without parental consent so I dropped it. I don't know whose brain child it was but I was really impressed with the Bridge City ISD's monthly news bulletin. in our paper last week. They featured pictures and names of 7th and 8th grades, boys and girls, who compete in volleyball, cross country, football, cheerleaders and middle school kickers. It was really impressive. We noticed Thursday that locations in Bridge City were calling for more Penny Records. It's usually Friday when we get calls. I suspect many of the youngsters wanted a copy to send to Granny and Grandpa or other relatives. Congrats to a great bunch of youngsters from Bridge City Middle School. I bet some get their copy laminated. A great job by BCISD. *****I noticed also in last week's paper that Al Granger and managing partner Bobby Wilkins have recently added the local Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep store to Granger's Chevrolet and R.V. outlet. For several years, when Al first went into the used car business, he used our paper exclusively to advertise his cars. I believe the late Dean Granger would be excited about this move by brother Al. *****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Sept. 30: A bunch of good guys share birthdays today. Peggy's other half, Richard Albair, is a year older.*** Karen Jo's longtime hubby, Robert Dale Vance, celebrates, also Howard Fisher and Rob Strause.***Today one of Mark's granddaughters, Willow Grace Ballou, turns six years old and lil' miss Julie Lund turns 11.*****Oct. 2: This is a day I always remember, it was the wedding anniversary of my friends Ginny and Neighbor Cox. They were wed in 1948. This would have been their 72nd but both have passed away in the last year. I still miss them. *****Oct. 3: This day finds Jason "The Cook" Montagne and Eddie "The Clippers" Free celebrating. *****Oct. 4: Happy Birthday to Kyle Ezell. *****Oct. 5: Jared Dillon celebrates and we wish a very happy day to old friends Coach Troy Woodall and former port commissioner Jimmy Smith. Please see complete birthday list. *****I had a phone visit with Pearl Harbor survivor Cedric Stout and his wife Cherry. They came through hurricane Laura with no real damage. Right now they are enjoying good health. Cedric, the old Navy veteran, will turn 99-years-old on Nov. 7, four days after the election. They are both looking forward to voting. *****Former Trump campaign manager, Brad Parscale had threatened suicide when his wife called the police. He is under suicide watch.*****Over the weekend at a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump again lied about the southern border wall when he said again that the "30 foot high, beautiful wall, has now 340 miles completed construction." Investigation by a San Antonio newspaper finds that only 7-miles have been completed, their goal is 10-miles by Election Day. Trump had told his supporters that he would build a 2,100-mile wall and Mexico would pay for it. Five will get you ten that he puts his name on that short wall before he leaves office.*****Meanwhile, Ted Cruz has already started running for president in 2024. Ted has written a book promoting himself. He appeared on The View Monday and is staying very visible on TV, net works, and is a regular on FOX News.*****Today I heard from Vivian Holbrooks, Fain's widow, folks I have known since 1971. She had moved to Dallas but is now a resident of The Meadows in Orange. For 50 years she has been a dear friend. She tells me there will be a meeting at Pinehurst City Hall, Oct. 13, concerning the Fire Department and Meadow residents concerning first responder's service.
Happy Birthday to the following readers, Brandon Taylor, Debbie Tutt, Denna Elizondo, Jamie Freeman, Keely Guidry, Gerald Brignac, Kenton James, Ann Wilkinson, Herb Spencer, Logan Bonds, Alexandra Bates, Bobby Romero, Ruth Scales, Beverly Gill, Tricia Prosperie, Jami Anderson, Tyler Miller, Kevin Staudenmier, Kay Bilbo, Jerald Ziller, Cathye Liepy , Charlie Dorman.
Sept. 30: Actors Barry Williams, 66; Fran Drescher, 63; Levi Miller, 18.*****Oct. 1: United States president, Jimmy Carter, 96; Actors Julie Andrews, 85 and Sarah Drew, 40.*****Oct. 2: Rock singer Sting, 69; TV host Kelly Ripa, 50 and Actress Camilla Belle, 34.*****Oct. 3: Actors Lean Headey, 47 and Neve Campbell, 47, Pop singer Gwen Stefani, 51.*****Oct. 4: Actors Dakota Johnson, 31; Susan Sarandon, 74 and Liev Schreiber, 53.*****Oct. 5: Rock singer Brian Johnson, 73; Actor Kate Winslet, 45 and Entrepreneur Nicky Hilton, 37.*****Oct. 6: Actors Elisabeth Shue, 57 and Amy Jo Johnson, 50.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Otis Bertrand was sitting at da bar at Tee-Boy's Lounge jus staring at his drink. Den one of dem trouble making bikers comes up next to Otis, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig. Den he says, "Well, buddy, wat you gonna do bout it hanh?"
Otis him bust in tears, den start crying uncontrollably.
Dat biker him say, "Man, I didn't tink you would cry, I cant's stand to see a man crying."
Otis say, "Dis is da worse day of my life. I'm a complete failure me. I was late to a meeting and da boss fired me. Wen I got to da parking lot my old truck is gone. Somebody done stole it and I don't' got no insurance. Den I left my wallet in da cab I took home. Den I find my Clotile in bed wit my neighbor Tophile. So me, I came to dis bar to work up da courage to put an end to it all. I buy a drink; I drop a capsule in and sit here watching da arsenic dissolve. Den some smart-ass jerk shows up and drinks da hole ting. However, enough bout me, tell me buddy, how's your day going, hanh?"
Six takeaways from New York Times investigation
Here are excerpts from the New York Times' reporting on President Donald Trump's tax returns, citing tax documents and data from two decades.
Trump paid very little taxes: Thanks to business losses and write-offs, "Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750. He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years, largely because he reported losing much more money than he made."
Trump paid more to other countries: "In 2017, the president's $750 contribution to the operations of the U.S. government was dwarfed by the $15,598 he or his companies paid in Panama, the $145,400 in India and the $156,824 in the Philippines."
Trump faces a crunch: The IRS audit could force Trump to pay a massive tax bill, on top of millions in personally guaranteed loan debts that are due soon.
Trump claimed a $72.9 million refund a decade ago: "The legitimacy of that refund is at the center of the audit battle that he has long been waging."
Trump wrote off up to $26 million: Between 2010 and 2018, as unexplained "consulting fees" as a business expense across nearly all of his projects.
Trump writes off expenses: He deducted high operating costs from his companies, such as the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, such as $109,433 for linens and silver and $197,829 for landscaping in 2017.*****That's it for today. Stay safe and God bless.