Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest
Last updated 12/21/2021 at 7:51pm
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM CREAUX AND I
Here's hoping you have a blessed Christmas and Holiday Season. When I was a boy we would have been disappointed with the Christmastime weather. Our favorite Christmas meal was fried, wild rabbit. No one could season and fry rabbit like my Grandma., NOBODY. We didn't have rabbit until after the first heavy frost killed the parasites rabbits carry. For a big gathering, Grandma made rabbit stew in a large cast iron pot served on a bed of rice. We never ate turkey. I don't believe I ever saw a live turkey back then. There were times we might have had duck or goose gumbo but mostly we had rooster gumbo. The oldest, toughest my Grandma could find. I don't believe cranberry was invented yet. If it was it didn't make it to our shack. Here's hoping you have a great meal. We usually have wild duck furnished by Capt. Chuck Uzzel on Christmas or New Year but it must have been a bad year for duck hunting. We didn't get any ducks. First time in eight years.*****I have to move on. Come along, I promise it won't do you no harm.
TODD DODGE FEATURED IN
One of the best high school sports stories I've ever read is in this months Texas Monthly magazine. It's a long feature about the life of Coach Todd Dodge starting at age 5-years-old to present. The introduction to the feature story starts, "Good luck finding a Texan who has lived a more complete football life than Westlake High School coach Todd Dodge." Now in his final season before retirement, the six time state champion is looking to add one more trophy to his mantel. That state championship game would be coming up this past Saturday against Denton-Guyer. Back in high school at Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson, Dodge was coached by Ronnie Thompson, who was the Godfather of the passing game in high school football. He took Dodge under his wing and the results in 1980 was T.J. Yellow Jackets played Odessa for the state championship. Dodge had thrown for 3,137 yards in his senior year. Soon afterwards he was flown to New York to receive the Hertz #1 award given to the top high school athlete. O.J. Simpson presented Dodge the trophy, then it was off to the University of Texas Austin. Another great story is on his life's work. The Texas Monthly feature is loaded with so many wonderful stories. I wish everyone could read it. He and Jimmy Johnson are the two most successful coaches to come out of Thomas Jefferson. How did Dodge do in his final game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021?
Here's how the A.P. wrote it up.
Todd Dodge capped a storied career by leading Austin Westlake to its third consecutive state championship with a 40-21 victory over Denton Guyer on Saturday night. Dodge announced his retirement before his 23rd season as a head coach after he was a trailblazing passing quarterback at Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson before becoming a starter with the Texas Longhorns. "I have three beautiful grandchildren. I want to be a paw-paw for those guys," Dodge said after the game. "My mother is 83 years old and still knows who I am, and I want to spend as much time as I can with her." The seven coaching championships came in bunches for Dodge. Before the 58-year-old's career ending run with Westlake, Dodge led Southlake Carroll to four titles and a 79-1 record in a five-season span from 2002-06. Only three head coaches in Texas have won more titles than Dodge, who leaves with Westlake on a similar run to his Carroll tenure with a 45-1 record covering three consecutive titles. The record of his teams in his seven championship seasons was 124-2. Dodge won his sixth title and second at Westlake last season by beating his son Riley Dodge, the coach at Carroll and his former quarterback at the Dallas-area school. All of Dodge's championships came in the state's highest classification, including the Class 6A Division II title this season. As a senior at Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson in 1980, Dodge set the record for most passing yards in a season and became the first quarterback in Texas high school football history to pass for more than 3,000 yards in a season (3,135 yards). That same season, he led Thomas Jefferson to the 1980 Class 5A state championship game against Odessa-Premian. (Side Bar: Bridge City A.D. head football coach, Cody McGuire, was an assistant under Dodge at West Lake. The way they played wide open football takes an excellent quarterback. Todd had five all-state quarterbacks. According to Dave Rogers, longtime sports writer, Todd was also a resident of Orange before junior high.)
GIVE YOURSELF A GIFT
(Be Sensible Get A Shot)
Christmas for most folks will be better than last year because of vaccinations. The pandemic is not as bad, however, we are in for a really dangerous road ahead. Come late January and early February, the Omicron virus will arrive in full force. It will soon be spreading at staggering speed. The highly transmissible variant is likely to take hold in the coming weeks. It is a real fear for the citizens of Orange County because less than 39 percent of citizens are vaccinated. We are one of the worse counties in Texas. This virus is an emergency. You can get to the enemy before it gets you with a shot. Prevent illness and lifetime side effects from having had even a mild case. Talk to anyone who has had the virus, ask Coach Cornell Thompson about before and after the virus. A shot is free. See ad in this paper, do the right thing, call the number to make an appointment.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
10 Years Ago-2011
Curtis Lee, a friend of 50 years, died the day after Christmas, Dec. 26. Services were held Thursday, Dec. 29, handled by Grammier-Oberle funeral Home in Port Arthur. Curtis was one of the hardest working guys I've ever known. He was a pioneer in Bridge City having opened the Dip-O Drive Inn Restaurant back in the early 70s and was longtime owner of Curtis Lee Texaco station and other businesses. W.T. Oliver always called Curtis, because of his Indian heritage, 'Kemosabe' which means faithful friend.*****Homeboy, free safety Earl Thomas, with the Seattle Seahawks, was named to start in the Pro Bowl. Thomas, a West Orange-Stark grad and University of Texas star, is the only Seahawk named. He is completing only his second year in the pros. This Orange County star is always quick to praise and give recognition to his hometown, Orange, Texas, the place that raised him.*****Matt Bryant, another Orange Countian and Bridge City native, is headed to the playoffs with the Atlanta Falcons. The place kicker has one of the best field goal averages in the pros. I'm surprised he wasn't invited to the Pro Bowl. Both of these young men make us proud.*****Up and running is West Orange mayor Roy McDonald after having gall bladder surgery last Friday. He's not exactly running but he's home, healing well and will be running soon. You can book it. He's a nice guy and serves his town well. *****Attendance was down last week at the Wednesday Lunch Bunch. The holidays found a lot of folks gone. Those in attendance at Novrozsky's were Judge Janice Menard, Judge David Peck, Constable Chris Humble, city administrator at Pinehurst Judge Joe Parkhurst, Sheriff Keith Merritt and Marlene, King Dunn, postmaster retired, Roy Dunn, no kin, Judge Claude Wimberly and Chief Jerry Wimberly and also breaking bread with the Bunch was Mandy Rogers, assistant district attorney. Judge Derry Dunn, King's son, was in Georgia visiting his daughter. This week the Bunch will dine at Robert's and attendance should pick up. Everyone is welcome.***** Elly May Clampett, actress Donna Douglas, has settled a lawsuit with Mattel Toy makers and CBS over a Barbie doll that uses the characters name and likeness. You might remember Elly May back in the 1960's and 70's. She was a shapely tomboy who loved critters. The Clampetts moved to Beverly Hills after striking oil in Arkansas. It was a favorite weekly show of mine. The writer had a great imagination.
20 Years Ago-2001
Boy hasn't the last 20 years flown by. The lid has shut on a year that will be remembered throughout the ages. Kids old enough will remember where they were on 9-11, 2001. Terrorist, led by Bin Laden, commandeered four commercial airplanes and brought havoc on our country. They also awakened the pride, patriotism and strength of America. (Editor's note: Bin Laden was killed in 2011 on orders giver by President Barack Obama. Most of the leaders of the terrorist group have since been killed.)*****Kim and Jason Mathews have a new baby girl, Baylee Noel, born Dec. 15. She shares a birthday with her beautiful grandmother Debbie Judice Roy. Jason is with the Tennessee Titans football team. (Editor's note: Baylee is 20 years old today. Jason has retired and I'm not sure where he and Kim are living and what he's doing.)*****Brian "Red" LaSalle, 44, was found dead at his home Dec. 24 by his brother, Burl. Services were held Dec. 26 in Woodville. *****Roy and Ms. Phyl will celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary Dec. 31. *****Sue Bearden, C.J. Huckaby and Owen Burton are running for County Commissioner, Pct. 2. *****The Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 race is crowded with Roy Derry Dunn, Ralph D. Cooper and Ed Barton. Cimmeron Campbell is a Republican incumbent J.P.*****Judge Carl Thibodeaux is challenged by former judge Pete Runnels. *****Former Dallas Cowboy Harvey Martin died at age 51. *****Coach Bud Tomlin, 89, coach at Thomas Jefferson and Bishop Byrne, also died. *****Celebrities who died in 2001 were Jack Lemmon, Carroll O'Conner, Anthony Quinn, John Lee Hooker, Foster Brooks, Troy Donahue, Imogene Coca, Dale Evans, George Harrison, Chet Atkins, Les Brown, Perry Como, Johnny Russell, Morton Downey, Jr. and Cajun, Justin Wilson, just to mention a few. *****Orange County Commissioner John Dubose proposes courthouse security solutions that will cut cost from $350,000 to $100,000. He developed the plan after meeting with the district judges, Sheriff White and County Judge Thibodeaux. *****Attorney Alan Sanders is appointed chairman of "POST" Partnership of Southeast Texas. *****Orange city council seeks new city manager. Manager Chuck Pinto leaves Jan. 16, Police Chief Sam Kittrell will serve as interim manager over the next few months.
45 Years Ago-1977
Cecil Wingate, member of a large pioneer family and father of 18 children, died Saturday, Dec. 30. *****Richard Corder celebrates a birthday Jan. 4. *****Barbara Gillis returns to her old job as court reporter in the county court at law. The past four years she has been a court reporter in Jefferson County. (Editor's note: About 30 years ago, Barbara went to Las Vegas and never came back.)*****Phyllis and Roy Dunn celebrated their 22nd anniversary with a big New Year's Eve party at their home. Ann Lieby, who attended with Tim, said the guest attending was a list of "Who's Who" in Orange County. Also attending was Sen. Carl Parker and friends from Jefferson County. *****Barbara Mandrell and the Do-Rites will play for a dance at the VFW Hall on Jan. 11. (Editor's note: That was before she was a star. She later came back to the Lutcher Theater as a star.)
50 Years Ago-1971
On Dec. 22, 1971, Joseph 'Pete' Runnels announced he would be a candidate for Orange County Democratic Chairman in the May 6, 1972 primary. He will be facing incumbent James 'Jim' Morris. Runnels, age 28, is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. He and wife Carol have two sons. He is a member of the Orange Jaycees and Sports Editor of the Opportunity Valley News. In a statement Runnels said, "I have no quarrel with the present Democratic Chairman. I offer myself so that the young voters will feel they have a voice in the democratic process." (Editor's note: Pete beat Morris, former district attorney, and that started Pete's long political career.*****Sak-N-Pak Convenience Store has four locations, 37th St. and McArthur Circle, in Orange and 1510 Texas Ave. and 335 Roundbunch, in Bridge City. Old Milwaukee beer sells for 6 pk., 99 cents; Borden milk, 79 cents gal; panty hose, 79 cents; Union 76 self-serve gasoline, 25 cents to 29 cents gallon.*****Burger Chef, 3009 McArthur, Orange, cheese burger and french fries, 39 cents.*****The Whang Doodle, 3020 McArthur, sandwiches, super Whang-Doodle with fries, 69 cents; Chili Dog Platter, with fries and malt, 75 cents; Hot Dog, with homemade chili, 29 cents, 5 for $1.*****Brown Hearing Aid Center has two locations, 709 Mariposa, Beaumont and 805 Main, Orange. Lee Brown is owner and audiologist. Free hearing aid consultations.*****Roy Dunn's three liquor stores, The Midway, Texas Ave., Bridge City, operated by Phyllis Dunn; Suds, run by Mr. Ed Ichler, Hwy. 87, Little Cypress; Warehouse, 817, 2nd. Street, Orange, operated by Roy. The Dunn's also published The Opportunity News. (Editor's note: They later sold the stores and went full time into newspaper publishing. They published the Consumer Beacon, in Beaumont, The Community Post, in Port Arthur and Mid-County and owned Triangle Press, in Beaumont, which printed other publications and sale papers. Interesting note: Dunn bought Suds from Robert Sims, who built it and sold it to Ed Bacon, two colorful guys.)
A FEW HAPPENINGS
Thanks to Texas State Senator Robert Nichols and wife Donna for the nice gift of the State of Texas Christmas Tree Ornament and card.*****I heard from County Judge John Gothia. It's always good to hear from him. Our Commissioners Court is doing a great job. They show some concern that not enough of our citizens are vaccinated. They worry we could face some real problems very soon. Omicron spreads very fast. Overnight we could fill hospitals. Get your booster shot.*****A few folks we know who will be celebrating in the next few days. Dec. 22: Our longtime friends Dr. Mark Messer and wife Becky celebrate their wedding anniversary today. Congrats and best wishes for many more. Celebrating birthdays are Donny Robbins, Rodney Harmon, Yvonne Veillon, Debi Foster and Charlie Lemons.*****Dec. 23: Happy 55th anniversary to Judge Buddie Hahn and Carrol. May you be blessed with many more healthy years. Celebrating birthdays are Dayle and Buzzie's little boy, Chris Gunn, who is a year older today. Also celebrating are Sue Cowling and Jane Holton.*****Dec. 24: Happy Birthday to Helen DeRoche. Despite being in her 90's, she and Al keep on keeping on. Other birthdays on Christmas Eve are Sydni Bouhler, Amie LeBeouf, Billy Moore, Terri Estes, Trey Clark.*****Dec. 25: Merry Christmas. Happy Birthday to Judge Flo Edgerly, Janelle Deutseh, Ronnie Hutchison and Randy Wuske.*****Dec. 26: On this day in 1922, Harry Choate, the Godfather of Cajun Music, was born. Also born on this day were Ashley Burris, Jennifer Ferguson and Kent Broussard.*****Dec. 27: Our longtime friend, pretty Irene Stevens turns 94. We wish this good lady continued good health. A bunch of great folks celebrate today. My buddy Sharon Bearden turns 83. We were so young all those years ago. Where have the last 50 years gone. Commissioner Kirk Roccaforte celebrates today also. Kirk just doesn't seem to age. Better not if he's going to keep up with Christy. Bobby Fillyaw celebrates today along with Coach Russell Bottley.*****Dec. 28: My good buddy, everyone's friend, Karen Jo Vance, celebrates today. Also celebrating is Earl's mom, Debbie Thomas and Harriet Dubose, Stacy Roberts, Lynda Montagne and Linn Cardner.*****Dec. 29: Longtime friend Kenny 'KeeKee' Dupuis was just a teenager at his dad's service station when I first met him. The years have flown by. We wish him a very happy birthday. Also celebrating are Jacklyn Bradberry, Sherrie Reid, and Pam White. Happy Birthday to all.***** Commissioner Robert Viator is Grandpa twice as of last week. A new granddaughter made her appearance on Thursday. Mom and baby doing well.*****Speaking of babies, Judge Joy Dubose-Simonton is waiting for her new grand baby to arrive. Son Christian and wife Jess are expecting a baby girl before the New Year.*****Congrats to Hannah Wiegreffe, Bridge City native, who just got word she was accepted into Physical Therapy school. She graduates from McNeese in the Spring and then will attend the program at Texas Women's in the fall.*****Word on the street is Robert's Steakhouse is in a rebuild stage and hopes to reopen by Easter.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
When Agness Comeaux, a blond Cajun girl, boarded a small two-seater Cessna airoplane at da Esterwood grass airstrip. After taking off and approaching Lafayette, da pilot him, dies. Agness her, not knowing how to fly a plane grab da radio and say, "Mayday, Mayday, dis is Agness from Rayne, my pilot Sostan Thibodeaux done died him, help, help."
Da air controllet answers back, "Don't worry madam, me, I'll talk you down. Jus do as I say."
Angess answer, "Okay."
Da controller say, "First I need for you to give me your height and position."
Very nervous, Agness answer, "Me, I'm five foot two and I'm sitting in da right front seat."
Ground control came back and say, "Lordy, Ms. Agness, repeat after me, Our Father which art in Heaven--"
PAXTON'S $2.2 MILLION FRAUD CON GAME
Three cases filed
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been one of former President Donald Trump's most reliable allies in spreading the myth of widespread voter fraud, particularly in the 2020 election, and frequently boasts that few states are as vigilant. His office's election integrity unit added two lawyers to the team in the last year, bringing it up to six staffers total, and worked more than 20,000 hours between October 2020 and September 2021. Its budget, meanwhile, ratcheted up from $1.9 million to $2.2 million during that time. Yet records from the office show that the unit closed just three cases this year, down from 17 last year, and opened seven new ones. That includes the newly created unit focused on the 2021 local elections, which has yet to file a single case. "This is an exorbitant amount of money that has resulted in no benefit for the average Texan." The bottom line, you can't stop frauds when there isn't any. Fraud is a bi-word to create new voting regulations to limit minority voting. We need a National Voting Rights Bill.*****Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Please shop our family of advertisers and read us cover to cover. Take care and God bless.