Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest
Last updated 12/14/2021 at 7:44pm
QUAD STATE TORNADO
My first recollection about hurricanes was before they had names. The year was 1939 and the storm was the most water producing hurricane until Ike washed out Bridge City. I can't recall all the storms in my lifetime but it has been way too many. I have been around a few tornados and I've seen their damage but in all this long life I've never before seen the likes of the multitude of tornados that ripped through Kentucky, Tennessee and several other states, a straight line of destruction for 240 miles. To see the pictures of the destruction, buildings flattened out to the extent you can't recognize if they were churches or restaurants. What is always most amazing about that is how few people are killed in comparison with the destruction. It's always a miracle. The numbers for this group of tornados had more deaths than usual but will be some where short of 100. Bowling Green, Kentucky was destroyed with only 11 people killed, the same for Mayfield, Kentucky and other communities. It will take years to rebuild some of the towns. When we are hit by our Gulf Coast hurricanes it doesn't totally destroy everything. There is usually enough house left to start repairing, a new roof, sheetrock, etc. A tornado, in most cases, leaves nothing. Building a town where the drugstores, supermarkets, churches, everything all gone is like building a whole new town from electricity, plumbing, sewer lines to water lines.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
10 Years Ago-2011
The first day of winter, Dec. 21, is now upon us, Christmas follows in a few days. The bright leaves are falling now and covering the ground with a multitude of colors. In the next couple of months we may have to throw an extra log on the fire but the weather folks say, in comparison, this should be a mild and dry winter. Nowadays, with blood thinner running through my veins, I find anything under 40 degrees cold. I recall when that was shirtsleeve weather. *****I start off on a sad day having learned that Pastor Leo Anderson has passed away on December 18. For the past 15 years he has run a block ad with scripture on our church page so he came in on most Tuesdays and visited with our staff. They were shocked to learn of his death. Our sincere condolences to his lovely wife Ivalyn, three sons, Anthony, Leo Daniel, Jr., Jarrod and their families.*****Last week, at the Greater Orange Area Chamber banquet, several of our finest citizens were honored. The event took place after our newspaper deadline. Lynn Cardner, director of the United Way, was named "Citizen of the Year." The prestigious "Athena Award" was presented to Nancy Vincent, vice-president of Orange Savings Bank. Southeast Texas Hospice was presented the "Non-profit Community Service Award". Granger Chevrolet was awarded the "Business Community Service Award." The "Chairperson Award" went to Victor Enmon, of Entergy. "Lifetime Ambassador" was presented to Jennifer Burtsfield and Stump Weatherford. Brandy Slaughter, with David Self Ford, was recognized with the "Ambassador of the Year Award." Maureen McAllister, with Sabine Savings, was presented the "Ambassador Chairman Award." All honorees were congratulated for their dedicated work and promoting the greater Orange area. We know those good folks and congratulate them on the well-deserved awards.***** North Korea's Kim Jong II, iron fisted dictator, is dead at age 69. He inherited power from his father 17 years ago. Now it passes on to his son, Kim Jong UN, 29. North Korea is the world's most isolated state, which for six decades has been ruled by the Kim family. North Korea has built the world's fifth largest military and has sought to build up the country's nuclear arms arsenal. The world will be on alert and watching the new leaders actions and direction. ***** A few special folks celebrating birthdays this week. Mary and Don Stanton's little boy, Donnie Stanton, reaches 44 on Dec. 15. ***Maac Hughes, a talented guy, is a year older on Dec. 15.***The first lady of Bridge City, Shirley Roccaforte, notches another year Dec. 15.***Our buddy James Brabham celebrates Dec. 16. ***The lovable Betty Lou Womack has her special day Dec. 17. ***Mayor Brown Claybar climbs another rung up the ladder of life on Dec. 17. I knew the boy before he was a teenager, now he's fixing to retire. ***A great guy and loyal friend, Kenneth Pigg, celebrates Dec. 20. ***Everyone's favorite checkout clerk, Annie Hargrave, celebrates her special day Dec. 20.*****Happy 55th anniversary Dec. 15th to Betty and Corky Harmon. Corky bought her a new garage door, including remote door opener. ***On Dec. 22nd Becky and Dr. Mark Messer will celebrate their anniversary. From time to time Neighbor Cox asks about a little six-year-old, blond headed kid that used to hang out at the Creaux's Nest, in Mr. Cox's neighborhood. Jimmy, Pattie Hanks' youngest, turns 18 on December 21 and is a senior in Las Vegas. Happy birthday Jimmy Skadowski, best to you in the years ahead. *****It seems Judge Buddie Hahn, (yes his real name is Buddie), his mom, Eloise, gave he and brother "Nicky" nicknames for real names. That's what she wanted them called. Anyway, Buddie grew up in Sanderson, a little railroad town about 60 miles from Judge Roy Bean's "Jersey Lilly" a U.T. business and law graduate, he practiced law in Beeville before coming to Vidor in 1971. I met him shortly afterwards through Harold Beeson. In 1984, Gov. Mark White appointed him Dist. Judge. Buddie celebrates his birthday on Dec. 21 and he and his lovely wife Carol will celebrate their 45th anniversary on Dec. 23. Happy birthday and Happy Anniversary. Proud to call y'all friends. (Editor's note: Today they will celebrate their 55th anniversary.) *****CREAUX'S TIP OF THE WEEK: When boiling corn on the cob add a pinch of sugar to bring out the corn's natural sweetness.*****CAJUN WORD DEFINITION: Jambalaya (jam-be-lie-yah). Toss just about anything into the pot. A Cajun rice dish with any combination of beef, pork, fowl, smoked sausage, ham or seafood, as well as celery, green peppers and often tomatoes. "Sweep up the kitchen and toss it in the pot."
18 Years Ago-2003
Judge Janice Menard, who took office this year, said the weekend was filled with tragedies. A man backed out of his driveway, into a ditch, while looking underneath it. The car gears shifted and ran over him. A woman traveling through Orange from Florida to McAllen, was sick at a restaurant and later died at the hospital. The Judge said that's how the holiday weekend started.*****A former constable, Donald Gunn, 76, died Sunday, Dec. 21 at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Service was held Dec. 24 at Claybar Funeral Home. Gunn was a retired plumber and the youngest Texan ever to receive a Master Plumber's license. He was a U.S. Navy WWII veteran. He was also an avid sportsman. Gunn was known for his work ethic, integrity, loyalty and commitment to his family. He is survived by wife of 55 years, Mary Lou Pachar Gunn, son Tommy and daughters, Donna and Diane and their families. Pallbearers were Michael Mitchell, Todd Mitchell, Daniel Dotson, Walter Halton, Yank Peveto and Al Granger. (Editor's note: We knew this good man, a friend it's hard to believe 18 years have gone by. Mary Lou has since passed.)*****Inez Hearn, our longtime buddy, a few days ago turned 85 years old. (Editor's note: Today, 2021, Nez would be 102.) *****Judge Pat Clark files for another term to 128th District Court.*****Amber Dunn, a Bridge City native, graduates from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Natural Sciences. (Editor's note: Amber went on to get her medical degree at Texas Tech School of Medicine and is now an Anesthesiologist in Vero Beach, Florida. She and husband Dr. Clay Greeson are the parents of three boys.)*****Betty Harmon announced that Ida Schossow will be the new chairperson of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce. She is branch manager of Bank One in Orange. She has lived in Bridge City 17 years and is a 1973 grad of Stark High School.
48 YEARS AGO-1973
Paul Hale is mayor of Orange. *****James "Stick" Stringer is county judge. *****Henry Stanfield, Orange fire chief, has announced his retirement. *****County attorney is Jim Sharon Bearden. *****Prescient 4 county commissioner is Raymond Goud, of Vidor. *****Fred Trimble is district judge of 160th district court.*****Dr. Joe Majors is Bridge City's only dentist.*****Wayne Peveto is state representative and represents all of Orange and Newton counties.*****Preston Woods is mayor of Bridge City.*****Louvenia Hryhochuk is tax-assessor-collector.*****Some of the old boys around is 55-year-old "Boob" Taylor, who coached football and other sports at Hackberry, LA.*****Wayman Martin, 62, is Little Cypress school superintendent*****Buck Sims, 60, is a former crop duster turned businessman.*****Fred "Cooder" Avant, 51, claims to work at Dupont*****Murphy King, who turned 71 on Dec. 15, is known as the Pawnshop King.*****Lloyd Merlin Broussard, 49, works at Allied Chemical and coached at Carr Junior High.*****Charlie Webb, 44, works at Dupont.*****Wynne Hunt, 46, is a Dupont hand, as is Harry Fulton, 45 and Harold Force, 53.*****J.D. Stanfield, 56, is a partner in Case and McGee Furniture and is also city councilman.*****Cecil Willey, 52, works at Gulf States.*****Others are Percy Bordelon, 53, who has put in his time at Dupont and Firestone.*****Monty Moran, 51, works at Dupont.***Danny Barker, a 44-year-old youngster, when not running the roads, telling wild stories, spends time at Dupont.*****Spotted having coffee at Kroger's were Joe Runnels, Steve Williamson, Eddie Morris, John Taylor, Cecil Griffin, Charles Picking and former county judge Charlie Grooms. Also spotted was the "coin machine operator," Dag Andress, John Magness, Harold Emmert, Tony Garritonia and Joe Burke.*****You can always hear when Junior Clark is around.*****Gene Hidalgo, a Duponter, thinks he's the last of the sex symbols.*****Ann Segura returns to East Texas from time to time to keep the accent intact.*****Jim Dunaway flies around on his motorcycle.*****Lucy Sciarilco has lost 18 pounds and is looking great.*****Joe Blanda is an Italian chiseler, a barber.*****Laverne Ridley is shooting up B-12 with a touch of hormone, good for 24 hours.*****Lew Malcolm keeps the Chamber and his mouth going.*****Everyone is preparing for Christmas. (Editor's note: I remember all of these great folks. In the year 2021, most of them are gone.)
50 Years Ago-1971
A few people and happings about town. Jack Huffman, raised in Brooner Addition of West Orange, is Orange City Manager. (Editor's note: Jack went on to become a city manager in Colorado and Irving, Texas, where he brought the Dallas Cowboys to his city.*****Joe Dupuy runs the Jack Tar Travel Agency. He said a customer came in and said, "I'll take two chances on your next flight to Miami." *****Cecil Scales, has the used car lot and makes jail bonds from his office across from the jail. (Editor's note: Roy Dunn started the bonding business in Orange County and passed it onto Cecil when Patillo was elected sheriff.)*****The Evening Optimist held their first meeting in the Tilly School building. It was decorated by Diana Hill and Andrea Moore.*****A story going around is that Sharon Bearden's new son, Steve Tyler, is just like old dad. They weighed him, gave him 2oz. of milk and weighed him again. He had gained 3ozs.*****Charles Reed is Orange Bank president.*****Louis Gay says he worked hard to keep the wolf away from his door then his daughter brought one home.*****Word is going around that pretty Louvenia Hryhorchuk will be a candidate for tax assessor if Ida Fay Arnold, the boss, doesn't run. It's speculated that at least three ladies from that office will run.*****Don Gilbert always has to be different. He filled his water bed with beer so he will have a foam mattress.*****Word around town is that Judge Jim Graves will leave his judgeship to join Morris, Smith and Peveto Lawfirm.*****Sign we saw in a reducing salon. "Let us help you win the losing game."*****Area deer hunters Carrol Holts, Clem Leake, A.W. Conway, Preston Conway, Bill Waldruff and Monty Waldroff killed 11 bucks on a weekend deer hunt. The six hunters bagged the bucks in Llano County.
A FEW HAPPENINGS
The United States surpasses over 800,000 COVID-19 deaths. I hear from relatives in Massachusetts that Warsaw and other communities have hit a surge that is overrunning hospitals. I still can't get over the stupidity of some people refusing to get vaccinated in order to protect others.***** Sen. Ted Cruz displayed his non-caring attitude at the funeral of Sen. Bob Dole. Ted was sitting next to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who has been battling cancer, without a mask on. Ted was one of the few, and whenever the camera swung towards him he sat up straight so the Trumpers at home could see he wasn't wearing a mask.*****A few folks we know celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Dec. 15: Celebrating today are Ken Pittman, Maac Hughes, Belinda Broom, Brent Burns and Katie Hunt.*****Dec. 16: Happy Birthday to Shayla Staukus, Liz Brown, Elizabeth Uzzle and Michelle Gephart.*****Dec. 17: Happy Birthday to a great guy, former mayor Brown Claybar, also Daniel McLemore, Jeremie Delano and Chris Chambless. *****Dec. 18: Celebrating today are Mandy Hoffman, Dyann Schiler and Julia Alleman.*****Dec. 19: Happy Birthday Jill Sanders Mahan, Kristen Broussard, Gina Cessac, Andrew Havens, Bill Cardner and Mitch Hidalgo.*****Dec. 20: Celebrating today is a great friend Kenny Pigg. Also celebrating are Maddison Bouget, Donna Boyd and Matt Reeves.*****Dec. 21: Special Happy Birthday to our friend Judge Buddie Hahn. He will do to ride the range with. Also celebrating are Coach Rick Deutsch, Bill Bailey, Glenda Granger and Paula Hall. Happy Birthday to all.*****The U.S. today has the lowest unemployment since 1969, over six million jobs have been added in the last 11 months.*****We hear that 80,000 truck drivers are needed to move products. Why not train all the Afghanistan men that we brought here to serve as translators and drivers. Our military says they are loyal. In two months we could have a lot of trucks on the road.*****I understand our buddy, former commissioner Owen Burton was due to get a pacemaker but for some reason the doctors in Houston put it off for now.*****Last week Penny wrote a story about the unique gift shop "Sweet Creations." I discovered it a couple of years ago. If you are looking for a special gift, or something for someone who has everything, this is the place to start. Don't forget the Alaskan Coffee tasting Monday, Dec. 22, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3515 Mockingbird at Strickland, in Pinehurst.*****Legendary editor Dave Campbell, who founded the Texas Football Magazine, died Friday, Dec. 10, at age 96. Dave was a WWII veteran. He started Texas Football Magazine in 1960. I had met Campbell in 1959 while he was sport's editor at the Waco Tribune.*****Changes are coming: Coach Cornel Thompson, West Orange-Stark's successful football coach, has retired effective in February.***Bridge City's city manager, Jerry Jones, will retire in January.***Pinehurst mayor T.W. Permenter is also retiring after serving as mayor twice. All of those folks are leaving big shoes to fill.*****Bearden is in doghouse again. Sharon loves his dogs but they have given him problems at home, going back many years. This time, on Nov. 17, his two dogs, a 20 pounder and a 16 pounder, got in a fight. Ms. Liz tried to separate them and ended up losing part off a thumb. It's been trips back and forth to Houston fighting staph infections. They are headed back to Houston Friday. Bearden and his dogs are living on the edge. Dogs once got him run off.*****The straw that sent longtime FOX News anchor Chris Wallace packing was probably Tucker Carlton's praise of Vladimir Putin on his opinion show. Wallace, after 17 years at FOX is jumping over to CNN. A FOX newsman Bret Baier has already said, "I can't take it anymore." Last year, Shepard Smith, who had been with FOX News since it started, walked out saying, "There's no news on FOX." In primetime Tucker, Hannity and Laura have opinion and conspiracy theory shows. By the way, the best news hour on TV is at 6 p.m. weekdays on CNBC with Shepard Smith. No R&D, Red or Blue, just fast action news. Give Shep a try next week, you will agree. Meanwhile, California's governor Gavin Newson wants a Texas-like law to ban assault military-type weapons. This should be interesting to watch unfold. Gavin says Texas wants to protect the unborn, he wants to save human lives.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Joe Babineaux came from his home in Sout Louisiana to visit his aunt in Beaumont. Babineaux went into a Beaumont store and he tell da clerk, "I'd like some boudain please."
Da clerk look at him and he say, "Are you a Cajun?"
Babineaux him, he is really offended. He answer, "Well yea, I'm a Cajun me, but let me axe for Italian sausage, would you axe me if I was Italian, hanh?" "If I axe for German bratwurst, would you axe me if I was German?" "If I axe for a Kosher hot dog, would you axe me if I was Jewish?" "Wat if I axe for a taco, would you say are you Mexican you?" "Would you hanh? Would ya?"
Da clerk say, "Well no."
Wit deep self righteous indignation, Babineaux say, "Well damit, all right den, why you axe are you a Cajun just because I axe for boudain?"
Da clerk answer, "Well sir, it's because you're in Home Depot."
TORNADOS DODGE THE DYERS IN TENNESSEE
I had been unable to reach Glenda and Paul Dyer after the tornados hit. They live at Eagleville, Tennessee, near Nashville, on a 400 acre farm that has been in Paul's family nearly 200 years. I wondered if they had storm damage. When they didn't answer my call I got in touch with their daughter, Martha Howell, a teacher in Vidor. They fortunately did not have damage and were in Utah attending Martha's son's wedding at the time. Paul has sold his cattle and is leasing the pastures out to a cattleman. Glenda is scheduled to have hip surgery Dec. 30. She's ready to get rid of the pain. We wish her the best with that. Great folks, if you're ever in their part of Tennessee, they invite you to stop by. They live in a farm house built before the Civil War. Country singer Trace Atkins owns the farm that adjoins them. Paul is retired from Dupont, in Orange. Glenda was a newspaper reporter and once published a newspaper here. They left Orange several years ago but still miss their friends here.*****For a few days let's put all our troubles on the back burner and enjoy a great holiday season. Please read us cover to cover, patronize our family of advertisers when you can. Thanks for your loyalty. Take care and God bless.