Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest
Last updated 7/13/2021 at 10:43pm
FROM THIS DAY FORWARD
Billionaire Richard Branson has hurled the world into a new orbit. Aboard his own winged rocket ship Sunday, he brought Astro-Tourism a step closer to commercial space travel. He beat out richer rival Jeff Bezos. Branson, age 71, and five crew members from his Virgin Galactic space tourism company, reached an altitude of 53.5 miles over the New Mexico desert, experiencing four minutes of weightlessness, witnessed the curvature of the earth, then glided to a runway landing. That short flight was really history making, it is the first of many commercial flights to come from paying customers next year. Bezos, the richest man on the planet, sent Branson his congratulations, “Can’t wait to join the club.” Bezos plans to ride his own rocket into space from West Texas on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo II moon landing. Bezos’ Blue Origin Company intends to send tourist past the Karman Line, 62 miles above earth. Branson’s Virgin already has 600 reservations, initially costing $250,000 apiece. The future of space is now. It’s no longer science fiction. In time the cost will come way down, like flying from Houston to Boston. Many of our offspring will be aboard. In reality, they will become astronauts, something we grandparents believed to be impossible, just science fiction. Would you believe making trips to the moon? *****I must move on. You would do me proud if you came along; I promise it won’t do you no harm.
DEMOCRATS EXIT TEXAS PREVENTING QUARUM
Most of the 67 House Democrats flew to Washington and plan to remain there through the Texas Special Session. Texas House Democrats stand united to break a quorum to prevent trampling on Texans freedom to vote by placing new barriers on the ability to cast a vote. A dozen or more Republican controlled states passed laws restricting voting by changing election rules. Some laws make it easier to replace local election officials with partisans, all in response to President Trump’s false claims that voter fraud cost him the election. Nowhere in the country has fraud been found by the FBI or other intelligence agencies. Then why are they doing it? As far back as I can remember government has asked the news media to promote voting turnout. I remember during President Reagan’s time signs were seen of Uncle Sam holding a placard that said VOTE. Clinton, Geo. W. and even Trump harped on how it was important to vote. “Every vote counts,” they said. Why change now? Republicans are facing unfavorable demographic tides. The Democratic Party is growing, while the GOP is at a standstill so their future is linked to limiting Democratic turnout. Any way, you look at it, that’s cheating. Let me give you one small example of voter suppression. As an elderly person who has been voting nearly 70 years, I now receive an absentee ballot for every election, drainage district, port, city, school, etc. I fill it out and send it back in. So do other senior citizens that requested absentee ballots long ago or even last year. Now what the rule change would consist of is that all of us, even those in nursing homes, would have to request a ballot for each election, then receive a questionnaire, mail it back, then receive a ballot, all stamped at voters expense. In the proposal it would be a felony to help someone vote, even if they are handicapped, blind, no use of the hands, etc. Senior citizens won’t have secretaries to fill out a request for every election. It is estimated that under the new rule, 1.5 million fewer senior citizens will vote in Texas. Why prevent old people from voting, my grandson asked. That’s simple, a majority of citizens over 70 years of age, vote Democratic. Trump won Texas by only 5.7 percent. Republicans see the gap closing so they must suppress the votes of minority and elderly. My take is the audacity of Republican voting restrictions, to gain an advantage, will ignite a backlash that will power a grassroots voting movement inspired by independents that will increase Democratic turnout in the mid-term.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
10 Years Ago-2011
I have been a baseball fan since back in the 1940’s when I listened to the St. Louis Cardinals on a crystal radio set. Later, I listened to the great Yankee, Dodger and Giant rivalry. I was fortunate to see many of the greats after the Astrodome opened. I played the game, coached the game and even today I’d walk a mile to see baseball game. I’m a real sports fan who likes competition, boxing to football and everything in between. All that is said to bring me to Yankee shortstop, Derek Jeter, who last week, July 9, 2011, became the first Yankee ever to break the 3,000 hit barrier. Think about it, Babe, Joltin Joe, Mickey, Yogi and all the rest didn’t reach that goal. That leaves Jeter in a Yankee class of his own. On that day, he went 5 for 5 at the plate, scored the winning run, had a stolen base and hit a homerun to record his 3,000th hit. Jeter became only the 28th major leaguer ever to record this feat. Only two players have ever reached 4,000 hits. One is Pete Rose, who I believe should be in the Hall of Fame for his accomplishments on the field. He hit 4,256, while a guy Rose is often compared to, Ty Cobb, hit 4,191. My favorite, Hank Aaron, got 3,771 hits. Stan ‘The Man’ Musial was next with 3,630 hits. The last player to reach 3,000 hits is everyone’s favorite, Astro Craig Biggio, who ended up with 3,060. The great Roberto Clemente hit an even 3,000, while ‘Hey-Hey’ Willie Mays logged 3,283 hits. So you see, it’s no small accomplishment. Baseball, a game born and played on the sandlots and fields all over our country, from Little League to the big leagues, is as American as all of us,. Baseball heroes are part of the red, white and blue.*****Sorry to hear Mayor Kirk Roccaforte experienced some health problems last week. He’s a tough Italian/Cajun and I bet he’ll be fine.*****Speaking of tough old birds, our 93-year-old buddy King Dunn, ended up with a short stay in the hospital due to low blood pressure and dizziness. I’m sure he was dehydrated also.*****I was sorry to hear about the senseless death of police officer Bryan Hebert. I didn’t know him but I know people in the Groves who did and they spoke highly of him. I remember his parents when they worked at Howard’s Super Market in Port Arthur.*****First Lady Betty Ford, age 93, died July 8. She was one of my favorite first ladies. She fought her demons and won, leading the way for others.*****Special folks celebrating their special day this week. One of my favorite people Virginia (Ms. Ginny) Cox celebrates her birthday July 13. Ginny is truly a remarkable lady. She and Millard are salt-of-the-earth folks I’m proud to call my special friends. (Editor’s note: Both have passed away in the last few years.)***** Everyone’s friend, ‘Mr. Shangri La’ Mike Hoke celebrates July 19.*****Facebook friends celebrating birthdays this week. On July 14, Karyn Trantham; July 15, Devin Melton; July 16, Cathy Ware; July 18, Robbie Fontenot, Darla Foster, Glen Granger, Sr., Wayne Potter and Sandra Navarro; July 19, Denise Simmon and Robin Thibodeaux.*****We’re still in a terrible drought with no end in sight. The sun and lack of rain is not paying any attention to fire bands, everything is burning up.
22 Years Ago-1999
Ed Barton becomes the new Orange County Democratic Party chairman.*****Alan Sanders, Jerry Pennington, Karla Rogers, Rodney Price and Dennis Powell are lined up to run for the 163rd District Court judgeship. (Editor’s note: Has that already been 22 years?) Dennis won in a runoff against Alan. Judge Powell is now retired.)*****Charlotte Anderson left on a three-day trip but forgot her luggage at home. She attended the ‘Smoke Meat’ Festival in Ville Platte without a change of clothes.*****Doug Harrington is back in the ranching business. Now he’s raising registered goats. The only problem is wife Regina is allergic to them.*****Bridge City school superintendent Sam Lucia had gall bladder surgery.*****Over 400 people attended the wedding of Selena Hebert and T.J. Knight last Saturday. The wedding had bagpipes, 50 gallons of gumbo and a lot of fun for all.*****Orange’s Jay Canizaro’s knee was injured by a sliding base runner while turning a double play with Class AAA Fresno. He will be out of action five to seven weeks. He was due to return to the majors.*****Bruce Aven goes out of the game due to a tightened hamstring. He is batting .326 at the all-star break for the Marlins.*****Rusty Nicks and Jessie Brown, two fine ladies, celebrate birthdays.
42 Years Ago-1979
Tony Griffin is laid to rest. His death brought sadness to all who knew him. He was owner of Griffin’s Menswear.*****Steve Worster, Bridge City and UT football star, is the proud father of a new baby girl born back on June 8. The family also has a three-year-old son, Scott. They live in San Antonio. Steve was in town visiting his parents, R.B. and Louise Worster.
47 Years Ago-1974
Houston Baker, Leland Morrow, Roy Dunn, Mike Pasternak, Jerry Pesson, Richard Corder, Joe Kazmar and Ed Lovelace attended the Texan and Chicago Fire game in the Astrodome. The trip was made by bus with Lovelace driving. The group visited with Fire coach Jim Crossland and Garland Boyette and Pat Gibbs, of the Texans, who had a good game but lost to the Fire.*****For many years barber Joe Blanda has walked from home to his shop at the Holland Hotel and later the Jack Tar. Last week, for the first time, he was knocked down and his money sack was taken.
62 Years Ago-1949
Orange paperweight fighters trained by Ellis Landry are part of the card to benefit Boy’s Haven. Some fighters on the card are Rod Tolar, Richard Stanfield, Logan Harris and Sharon Bearden. (Editor’s note: Did I read that right, Bearden a paperweight.)
A FEW HAPPENINGS
We were proud to hear that our homeboy Chad Dallas, star pitcher, 11-2, for the University of Tennessee, was drafted in the fourth round, 121, by the Toronto Blue Jays. He is eligible to receive a $473,700 bonus. He reports to Florida in a couple of weeks to start minor league training.*****Judge Thibodeaux and Micah went on vacation last week. Carl’s idea of a vacation is to visit the Mother Land. He makes all the back roads in Cajun Country. This time however, they visited St. Francisville and toured the plantation homes. They also visited Roy’s hometown of Abbeville, took advantage of the good food and also attended mass at St. Mary Magdalen Church where Roy attended as a youngster and was Baptized.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the coming days. July 14: Mayor David’s big brother Calvin Rutledge celebrates, also Brenda Ellender and Ella Stuebing. On this day in 1881, Billy the Kid was killed by Pat Garrett.*****July 15: Our buddy Tommy Harmon celebrates today, as does Orange mayor Larry Spears, Jr. and Mark Grazzaffi. Two beautiful ladies, Peggy Stringer Claybar and Melissa Eshbach celebrate.*****July 16: Our friend Preston Fuller is a year older today. We haven’t seen him in over 18 months. Carlis Reed Roy celebrates also. We have known her long before she married Brad. Coach Jimmy Johnson is 78 years old today.*****July 17: Happy Birthday to our longtime friend Eddie Pratt. We hope she is dong well. Also celebrating is Daniel Eaves.*****July 18: Former city manager, Don Fields, celebrates, also Sandra Navarro, Cheryl Richard and Cynthia Chataignier.*****July 19: One of our bestest friends, Pam Sales Honeycutt, has a birthday today, as does pretty Robin Thibodeaux and Paige Williams. Kurt Moerbe and Preston Wayne Sullivan also celebrate. It’s attorney Richard Turkel’s birthday.*****July 20: Happy Birthday to Carrie Hunt, Kenyettia Foster, Megan Stephson and Rebecca Toal. Today marks the first moon landing in 1969.*****Also a belated Happy Birthday to Robert Stevens who turned 55 on July 13.*****Our friend Phillip Welch and family vacationed in the Smokie Mountains and visited all the great place, including Dollywood. They had a great time but Philip said the area has really gotten commercialized.*****Me and my bride had an enjoyable evening watching the Home Run Derby. Mets slugger Pete Alonso defended his Derby title after batting a record 35 homers in the first round. Alonso, with his blue and orange bat, went 6 for 6 in the last 29 second stretch to beat Mancini by one run. We were looking forward to Tuesday night’s All Star game to see what Angel pitcher and hitter, (the new Babe Ruth), would do. Shohei Ohtani started as leading pitcher and lead off batter. By now you know the results of that.*****The hot dog eating champion ate 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes. If ever there is a boudain ball eating contest I want to sponsor Dr. Tom Johnson, raised in Port Arthur on Nick’s and Judice’s boudain balls. He can really put down the balls; he eats a dozen for an appetizer before his meal. If you doubt me, ask Commissioner Roccaforte. Doc loves Robert’s boudain balls best. He’s a champ in the making.*****Having Mayor David Rutledge chosen president-elect of the Texas Municipal League is not only a big honor for him but also for his city. It is also a big deal. He was chosen from 1,600 eligible mayors. The selectors loved the job he’s doing as mayor of a small Southeast Texas town, “The Jewel of the Gulf Coast.”*****There is no reason for anyone to die of COVID-19, yet more will. Orange County is on the low end on vaccinations at only 28 percent. The state of Texas is only 50 percent vaccinated. I fear what we might be into come late September, October, when most likely there will be a spike in COVID cases due to football games etc. Our elected officials need to do more to promote vaccinations. People are still getting sick but no reported record. *****Former President Donald Trump spoke for an hour and a half at the CPAC convention in Dallas. FOX News carried every minute of the nonsense, no substance. The CPAC didn’t offer any new program or platform for the future of the GOP, which has been hijacked by one person’s ego. Meanwhile, on the conspiracy network, Sean Hannity called the Biden family the most corrupt family in the country. He forgot who’s family business is under 15 indictments and facing more. The guy can’t stand that Biden’s approval rating is a 62, with 36% approval of Biden’s programs by Republicans. No, Joe isn’t weak, frail or senile. The FOX star, Tucker Carlson calls a military general “A Pig,” and accused the FBI of being responsible for the mob insurrection of the U.S. Capital. I can’t imagine why some people believe that stuff. By the way, the economy is the best ever in any president’s first five months, more jobs added than ever and the stock market is setting new records. That’s just the facts. *****We were sorry to hear about the death of Gov. Edwin Washington Edwards. The three time governor of Louisiana passed away at age 93. He died of respiratory problems. My relatives had a farm that joined the Edward’s farm in Crowley. He was all Cajun, filled with wit and charm. If you ever met him, like W.T. Oliver, you would not forget him.
Some friends celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Amanda Stephson, Preston Wayne Sullivan, Jared Ganze, Joe Rion Melani Woodruff, Lance George, Ledia Miller, Melissa Darbonne, Mitchell heil, B.J. Graham, Cassey Polk, Marlin McKinney, Phil Dickman, Mary Dorsey, Don Hightower, Harold Lonadier, Harry Barclay, Marion Whittle, Matthew McKinney, Dorothy Hagy, Melissa Martin.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Every Saturday afternoon, tree old friends, since dey retire dem, wen dey finish taking dere nap, dey meet at Tee-Boy’s Bar and Grill for a couple of beers. Dey talk bout wat happen since las week or bout LSU or da Saints, da grandkids and bout de old times wen dey was young mens.
One afternoon, da conversation turned to do hereafter. One of dem axe, “Wen you in da casket and you family, friends and church members are mourning over you, wat would you like dem to say hanh?”
Premeaux, who owned da drugstore, answer, “Me, I would like dem to say I was a good husband, family man and I helped a lot of people dat was sick.”
Preacher Comeaux answer, “I would like dem to say I was a fine, spiritual leader, a servant of God who made a huge difference in people’s lives.”
Chief Dartez, da longtime peace officer say, “Well, I’ll tell you me, wat I want dem to say is, “Look, look, come see, Chief, he’s moving him.”
Mayor Randy Branch and City of West Orange
I had met new West Orange Mayor Randy Branch, but never visited with him until last week at the Lunch Bunch gathering. Randy was raised in Little Cypress during the Coach Jim Crossland days. Jim was one of my very best friends so I have a lot of Crossland stories. He was very intelligent and organized. For several years he wrote a column for our paper. A lot of folks remember the coach from Oklahoma by one of his eyes that went south. Both Jim and Diane are dead now. Mayor Branch is a personable type guy, very mellow but astute. He stepped into some big shoes following 21-year mayor Roy McDonald. West Orange is a Home Rule type of government, so they have no city manager. The daily chore of governing the city falls on the mayor, council and a reliable staff. I’m told Randy is a hands on mayor, at the office daily and interested in all functions of the city. He is fortunate to have a good, experienced, staff starting with city secretary Teresa VanMeter, chief of police Michael “Mike” Stelly, fire chief David Roberts and Simmie Gibson his assistant. Judge Carl Thibodeaux is municipal court judge and Shirley Bonnin is alternate judge. City attorney is Christopher Leavins. I’m not familiar with him. He replaces Rex Peveto, who was elected district judge. Teresa serves as court clerk, assisted by Dana James. Five members of the council, along with Mayor Branch, run the business of the city. They are Shirley Bonnin, Dale Dardeau, Brent Dearing, Meritta Kennedy and Mike Shugart. Having said all of that, in a home run city with no manager, one of the most important positions is public works director. That takes in several responsibilities. Jon Sherwin is that guy. Mayor Branch and council have a lot of confidence in Jon and their city employees. I am really impressed with Randy. The City of West Orange is well served by this new mayor and council. I’m glad the Wednesday Lunch Bunch brought us together. Every week, The Lunch Bunch brings something interesting, some new knowledge or new friends. Everyone is invited to attend. The Bunch gathers each Wednesday, 12 Noon at Robert’s Restaurant. Ya’ll come.*****Thanks for your time, mine is up. Till next time, take care, stay safe and God bless.