By Sherlock Breaux
For the Record 

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest


Last updated 8/31/2021 at 9:01pm


As the years go by, celebrating the efforts of the working men and women, who through their crafts built so much of this country, has diminished. Proud union members went to school, worked years as apprentices and in time moved up to journeymen, totally skilled in their craft. Even today, the best skilled labor still comes from union craftsmen. What happened? Where did so many union jobs go? I'll tell you, but first let me remind you about what life was like for working people before unions were formed to protect textile workers and other crafts. People were worked long hours for little pay and no benefits, fired at will for being ill and missing work and many other abuses went on, up and down the ladder, for all crafts. Organizing was tough and took many years but little by little unions made life better for American families and produced work second to none, the world's best craftsmen. Yet today crafts are not getting the work they should be getting. Maybe they are responsible for some of that but for the most part many jobs have gone to cheap labor overseas where workers are treated like American workers once were. I recall when they started destroying labor in the Reagan years; the common cry was "No one is worth $22 an hour for just working with their hands." Of course the backside of that implied they were just uneducated people who could only work with their hands. They were wrong. They were smart enough to leave this generation the pleasures we enjoy today.  I also recall some great Labor Day picnics, sponsored by Sen. Carl Parker, with laborers, music by the Austin gang of musicians, great food. Those were great days. It may never be that way again. I'm one who recognizes labor and what unions gave us. We may not always agree with them but they earned our respect. Senator Parker is running a column in this issue highlighting labor. I had forgotten that Parker had represented the four union guys who were charged with the attempted bombing of a main line on Chemicals Row. Through the Senator's column I learned how law enforcement was able to break the case. The real tragedy of that Firestone strike was that longtime sheriff Chester Holts, who for 20 years had the support of both labor and management, ended up losing both sides. Sheriff Holts had called on all area law enforcement for their assistance at the gate. Constable Buck Patillo was the only one who stayed away. Management blamed Holts for not doing enough to squash the violence; labor blamed him for the arrest of those involved in the bombing incident. Labor supported Buck Patillo, whose campaign was led by Bob Montange, Tick Granger, Jack Pepper, H.D. Pate and others to beat Holts. Patillo was well liked but wasn't a knowledgeable sheriff. He lasted only one term. I have said it many times Senator Carl Parker was one of the smartest people I've ever known and the best state senator in my lifetime. He was elected when Sen. D. Roy Harrington stepped down in a runoff with Chester Slay. W.T. Oliver was the other candidate who ran a close third. His team of supporters joined the Parker campaign. Parker had the support from labor and the business community after being elected. He was gerrymandered by a Republican administration when they changed the district to include the Woodlands and Montgomery County and took Port Arthur out of his district. I could write a book on those times. In fact, Carl is writing one.


Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana exactly 16 years after Hurricane Katrina. Both storms hit Louisiana on Aug. 29 as major hurricanes. Both sparked evacuations and caused significant damage. Both left New Orleans without power. Rescuers in boats, helicopters and high-water trucks brought hundreds of people, trapped by Hurricane Ida's floodwaters, to safety Monday, while utility repair crews rushed in, after the furious storm swamped the Louisiana coast and ravaged the electrical grid in the stifling, late-summer heat. Residents living amid the maze of rivers and bayous along the state's Gulf Coast retreated desperately to their attics or roofs. Many people will be without homes. Those who have left are asked not to return because without electricity there is no way to make repairs. FEMA will probably have to assist people to leave and give them hotel vouchers and cash to survive. Recovery could take months, many will remain homeless.


We lost a friend last week who was way too young at age 56 to leave us. I was saddened by the death of Earl Duhon, a friend over the last 30 years. That's how long he had worked at Dupuis before buying the station from Kenny Dupuis. Earl died from suffering a major stroke; he had previously beaten cancer, a battle lasting several years. Earl never let anything hold him down. I was always amazed at how quickly he returned to work after having major surgery. The guy didn't have a lazy bone in his body. Help was hard to come by so he mostly did the manual work at the station himself. He would never ask an employee to do anything he wouldn't do himself. A full service station job is hard work. His daughter worked along side of him hoping some day to pay the debt off. Earl had a great personality and often made comical jokes about himself, like why his wife Shirley forbid him from riding his tractor anymore. He never met a stranger. If you ever met him you had to like him. He was as honest as the day is long. Earl passed away August 25, service will be held Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m. Our sincere condolences to his wife Shirley; daughters Casey and Courtney; parents Earl and Betty; and their entire family. Please see obituary. What a guy. May he rest in peace.


Robert "Bobby" Dupuis, 77, of Bridge City, passed away August 25. Funeral services will be held 10:00 a.m., Friday September 3, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.*****Daniel David Fells, Jr., of Bridge City passed away August 25, at age 71. A celebration of life will be held at Orange Boat Club, Friday, September 3, at 6:00 p.m.*****Kristi Cole Ellis, 60, of Bridge City passed away August 25. Graveside service will be held in Effie, Louisiana, September 1. Visitation was held Sunday, August 29, at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. She is survived by her parents Butch and Sandra Cole, children Brittany, Tara and Mason, and their families.


10 Years Ago-2011

Freeman Delane, age 76, died Aug. 8, 2011. At Freeman's request there will be no funeral service. Friends and family are invited to join in celebrating Freeman's life at the home of cousin Corky and Betty Harmon's, 2205 Sunset, on Saturday, Sept. 3. *****We were sorry to hear of the death of Vincent Bottley, 72, who passed away Aug. 26. "Vince" had just buried his brother Russell a few days before.*****We were saddened to hear about the death of 20-year-old Amanda Kay Sharp, who passed away at home Aug. 28. Friends say she battled cancer. Amanda was a 2010 Bridge City graduate and was attending Lamar in Orange.***** Karen Jo and hubby Robert Vance, off on a short vacation, visited the King Ranch. They say they had a great time. *****Of course by now we all know Pat and Rosalie Clark and Mary Ann and John Scofield always celebrate on Aug. 31.*****Another longtime married couple is Betty and Corky Harmon. Betty recently went to Denver for a 10-day visit to daughter Deb. Being the thoughtful wife she is, Betty left him a note to have a good time, just don't take on more than you can handle. I remember when young wives wouldn't dare leave a note like that.***** Remembering folks who passed away several years ago this week. Lannie Claybar died in the early morning of Sept. 6, 1969 in a Houston hospital. That was 42 years ago.***On Aug. 28, 1998, Beth Dugas passed away. It's hard to believe it's already been 13 years since then that her husband Louis died.***Parker P.T. Thompson died Sept. 2, 2007.***Roy's mom also died Sept. 2, 2004.*****Memory fades for Glen Campbell. Glen was diagnosed earlier this year with Alzheimer's Disease. His final album, "Ghost on the Canvas" goes on sale this week. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Tour will take him around the world one last time. Four of his eight children are in his band. About a concert he preformed at in Biloxi Mississippi, July 15, he said, "It was wonderful, the acoustics were just right. I was grinning like a dog passing peach seeds." Think about that last quote for a minute. I had never heard that expression but Glenn Oliver says his mom used it a lot.*****Our longtime friend, Mayor Essie Bellfield, stopped by. Essie came by to tell Roy she had sent his Life's Highway column to some of her Louisiana family, also former cotton pickers. Essie and Roy are longtime friends. He used to watch her girls for her when she had the Confectionary on 2nd. St. in Orange next to Roy's liquor store.*****Country singer Chely Wright, 40, married her partner, Lauren Blitzer, 30. Both brides wore wedding gowns but skipped the veils. Since Wright is Christian and Blitzer is Jewish, a Reverend and a Rabbi officiated. The Lesbians have known each other since 2010. *****Country superstar Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson are among the inductees to the Nashville's Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

22 Years Ago-1999

This week the  National Center of Small Communities recognized Bridge City Mayor John Dubose for outstanding leadership with the "American Hometown Leadership" award. Wal-Mart co-sponsored the award. A $5,000 grant was presented to Bridge City in Dubose's honor. *****High school football has two new coaches in Orange County. James Conway, Bridge City and Jeff Mathews, Vidor. *****Pinehurst Mayor Pete Runnels invites all seniors to come enjoy the Labor Day picnic. *****Steve Curl, Bridge City running back was one of district 20-4A's leading rusher from the T-Formation. New Coach Conway has installed the I-Formation. Blocking up front is 6 ft. 3in., 320 pound Curt Lucia. Last season Bridge City averaged 312.7 yards per game rushing behind Lucia. ***** Ready to shine at LCM is the mighty Mike's, Michael White and Michael Rowe. Head Coach David Williams calls the Mike's the nucleus of the Bear defense. *****Leading the Bobcat offensive line is senior Charles Chester, 5 ft. 10 in., 220 pounds. *****Jamal Warnell, bigger, faster, stronger for WO-S, is viewed as one of the elite running backs in 20-4A, a district that boasts such names as Bo Wortham, PN-G, Shawnderrick Charles, Lincoln, Steven Curl, B.C. and Larnell Seinegal of T.J.****Gayron Allen, WO-S all state linebacker, 5 ft., 10 inches, 195 pounder, known around the state for his hard hitting, will anchor the Mustang defense.


42 Years Ago-1979

Mary Sue Roy suffered an aneurysm while she and her husband camped at Sam Rayburn. She died Monday. She was 42 years old and was assistant to County Judge Pete Runnels. *****Others who have passed away recently are Fred Bean, Paul Weidman and Mark Darby. *****Neil Bond recently underwent gallbladder surgery. *****Debbie's, "Little David" Fusilier is two weeks old. *****T.J. Gunn is in a Beaumont hospital awaiting heart surgery. Three bypasses are to be preformed.


47 Years Ago-1974

The Orange Chamber is paying $50 for a new slogan to replace, "Orange, East Gateway to Texas." Judges are Bob Axelson, J.H. David and J.D. Stanfield. (Editor's note: I wonder what slogan was chosen? I remember one that said, "Where the West Begins." My favorite is still "Where the sun rises on Texas, and the stars shine first.")*****The Harmon Chevy boys have purchased the Gem Jewelry, Beauty College and Thrift Shop property. *****The West Orange Chiefs will be quartbacked by Ronnie Green. The coach's son learned his quarterbacking skills playing behind quarterback Ray Pousson. ***** The Bridge City Cardinals are blessed with two quarterback's, Richard Slaton and Mike Van Breeman. This is the first year at B.C. for Coach Andy Griffin, who replaced Coach H.W. "Chief" Wilson. *****The field general at Little Cypress is the very capable Clint Plant.


72 Years Ago-1949

The Stark players have had difficulty finding a punter. The punting duties will probably go to halfback Don Harmon. Three quarterbacks, Allen Burkart, Sherrel Harris and Chalmers Jones, plus end, Leon Parrish, have all tried kicking but none were very dangerous with their foot.


On Sept. 2, 2007, Constable Parker P.T. Thompson passed away. Family, friends and fellow peace officers held a final service honoring him with full military rites. Participating in the service, held at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel, were Rev. Leo Anderson, Rev. David Miller, Parker's sister, Dot Hudson, and friends Van Choate and Roy Dunn, who gave the eulogy. Arrangements were made by Major Mike Broussard of Orange Police Department. They done "P.T." proud. Hard to believe 14 years have gone by.*****Also passing away Sept. 2, three years earlier in 2004, was Roy's mother Marie. She was buried in Abbeville near her mother and family. Besides the Dunn's who attended the Louisiana service from Texas were Harry and Margie Stephens.


I spoke with Tammy Davis Monday. She and Shaun live in Natchez, MS. They faired well, some wind, rain but didn't lose power. She said daughter, Abby, husband and twins had it worse in Baton Rouge.*****Newest Tick-Tock and YouTube superstar, 18-year-old JoJo Siwa, a member of the LGBTQ community, will be on Dancing With The Stars September, 20. She will compete with a female professional partner. The same-sex pairing will be the first for Dancing With The Stars, which marks its 30th season this fall. Siwa's dance pro has not been revealed. All my life I've watched Cajun women dance together. They just loved dancing. I have a few questions: Who will lead? How do they dress? Will one dress super feminine? What shoes will they wear? Maybe they will take turns leading. The same-sex pairing will draw a big audience for ABC.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Sept. 1: Debbie's dad Bill McCorkle, celebrates, also Sandy Shugart, Julie Anderson and Haley Aldridge.*****Sept. 2: Happy Birthday to Cody Knight, Peyton Choate and Tanya Sterling.*****Sept. 3: Mayor T.W. Permenter celebrates today as does Tammy Stevens, Ryan Fisette, Rachel Briggs and Connie Choate.*****Sept. 4: Happy Birthday to Candi Cannon, Ginger Williams and Shirley Coate.*****Sept. 5: Celebrating today are Jason Toal, Brandon Bailey, Cindy Myers and Carolyn Henry.*****Sept. 6: Former sheriff Keith Merritt celebrates today, so does our friend Gerald LeLeux also Quida Simonton, Brenda Lawson and Randy Godsy.*****Sept. 7: Happy Birthday to Karen Morse, Terry Childs and Eric Cox.


Otis Bilbeaux was stopped by big Chester Comeaux, da game warden, in the Afchafalaya Basin. Otis was leaving a lake well known for it's bass. Otis, him, had two buckets of dem fish. Big Chester, da game warden, axe, "Do you got a license to catch dem fish?"

Otis replied, "Mai, no, you see dese are my pet fish."

Big Chester say, "Pet fish? Wat's dat you talking about hanh?"

Otis say, "Every night I take dem down to da lake, let dem swin, wen I whistle dey jump back in da bucket and I take dem home."

Big Chester say, "Dats a bunch of hooey, fish can't do dat."

Otis looked at dat game warden wit sad eyes and great hurt. "Well den, I'll jus show you it really does work."

Big Chester say, "Me, I got to see dat."

So Otis him, he poured da fish in da lake and stood waiting. After a while, da game warden turn to Otis and sad, "Well?"

"Well wat?" axe Otis.

"Wen you gonna call dem back hanh?" axe Chester.

"Call who back? Axe Otis.

"Da fish!" said Chester.

Otis calmly said, "Wat fish?"



Longest War in U.S. History Ends

The longest war in Afghanistan, fought under four presidents, came to an end Monday, August 30. The 20-year-war ended just a dozen days short of the anniversary of 9-11. Twenty years after President George W. Bush ordered the first B-52 to bomb al-Qaida's stronghold, President Joe Biden delivered on his promise to end the United States deployment in Afghanistan. More than 123,000 Americans and Afghanistan allies were evacuated. Between 100 and 200 Americans are still in the country. The CIA is working to locate them and get them out. There will be plenty of payoffs but my guess is that a truckload of $100 bills will get the Americans out in time. The Afghan forces put up no resistance when the Talaban walked through the country like a hot knife in butter. President Ashraf Ghani grabbed the money and fled in the dark of night, leaving his people to fend on their own. The only thing worse would have been if he would have joined the mob and turned on his own government. Time will prove that Biden, under the circumstances, did what he promised, to end the 20-year war. He will be criticized by Hannity, Tucker and the Far Right. Hannity said, "It's the most embarrassing thing ever for the United States." He must have forgotten about January 6 and the invasion of the U.S. Capital and who provoked it. In time Biden will get good marks for doing what Trump had promised. Forget the garbage, better days are ahead. You may disagree with some of his policies but Joe Biden is a good, honest and decent man. Forty-six years in government service has proven that. This time will pass, even though there are those who want to keep it on the front burner.*****Have a safe holiday weekend. Take care and God bless.


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