The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

By Sherlock Breaux
For the Record 

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest

 

Last updated 1/4/2022 at 8:07pm

THE LEGACY OF K.O.G.T. RADIO

It was somewhat sad to see the radio station shut down. It is a legend in these-here parts. I go back to 1949 with K.O.G.T., when the studio was in the Molley building on Green Ave., across from the depot. I believe it is a vacant lot now. Then Ed Lovelace talked some Jewish folks into buying it so he could manage it. The station then was moved to a two story building on Fifth St. and Main Ave. Ed had worked with Baxter and Richard Corder in Port Arthur and he later hired Richard. When Baxter and Les Ledet lost the lawsuit with Dr. Sam Monroe's parents to buy K.O.L.E., Baxter was out of a job. He came to K.O.G.T. and did his morning show from the show room at Holly Moter Company on MacArthur Circle. Ted Wilkerson was CEO, Roy Dunn sales manager along with salesmen Joe Runnels, Mr. Reed, Cooper and Henry Prejean. Bax didn't do well. K.O.G.T. couldn't reach his audience in Jefferson County. His sponsors couldn't hear the station. Lovelace was a first class promoter. He once brought nine N.F.L. football players to Orange. The station had a orange van that almost everyday did a remote broadcast somewhere. Times were good. That was before F.M. radio came along. Ed sold the station that he built on Meeks Drive to Gov. Allan Shivers' group that owned several stations in Texas Ed had also built his brother a house next door to the station. A guy by the name of Ford ran the station. Ed had a bad divorce from his second wife so he moved away and owned two stations in Beeville when Bob Simmons joined him. An employee of one of his stations was in an accident in Kingsville which killed a woman while driving a company, uninsured van, Lovelace was sued for $6 million. He lost everything but about $200,000 he had in his wife Joan's name. Joan moved to Baton Rouge with the money. Once wealthy Ed was broke and lived in his mother's attic until her death. His sister sold the house leaving him homeless. His son, Ed Jr., brought him to Houston and cared for him until his death. Ed Jr. later found out Ed wasn't his biological dad at all, just caught in his trap. That's another long story that I believe Ed Jr. wrote a book about. Now for the rest of the story. In 1992 we bought the Penny Record and developed the County Record. Times were still pretty good in the newspaper business. We had pioneered newspapers before, bailed out in 1980, only to return to publishing 12 years later. A young man, Gary Stelly, bought K.O.G.T. the same year. It took guts. It had come on a bad time to own a small market A.M. radio station. Most A.M.'s in the country, to survive, turned to conservative talk show broadcasts. Along with developing his station, Gary wrote a column in our paper. He did everything he could just to get promotion for the station. No one ever worked harder and smarter to make their business successful. Gary burnt the candle at both ends, not a lazy bone in his body. He would go for weeks with little sleep. He amazed me how he got home from a sport's broadcast at 1 or 2 a.m. and open the station at 5 a.m. He hired some good people along the way but until the last day Gary was 'The Radio Station.' It could not have made it without him. He had developed a method to reach the most demographics with traditional Country music, local news, high school sports and fishing news and reports. Several years ago he took over the morning show with a cast of supporters. A.M. radio time is hard to sell outside of its market. No National or state advertising support. Gary built a strong base of support locally. He was very good at what he did. You didn't realize how good he was at sports announcing until you heard others try to do it. I believe he could go to work anywhere broadcasting baseball. When Gary went off the air after the morning show, 70 percent of his listeners left with him. Gary couldn't keep up the pace forever. He lasted longer than I thought and built a far better radio station then I ever imagined. No one else could have done it. He devoted his life to it. Believe me, it wasn't the money that drove him. He was just fortunate enough to have deep enough pockets that allowed him to do a community service. He was helped by his website, which put K.O.G.T. on the map with Hurricane Rita. If anyone else wants to try what Gary successfully did they also will have to have very deep pockets because they can't find another Gary Stelly. He never did it for the money. Where life takes him and Angie, we wish them the best. He will always have a format here if he wants one. K.O.G.T. left with them. Gary did himself a favor.

JOHN MARVIN HEARD

A GOOD MAN HAS LEFT US

I was deeply saddened by the death of John Heard, age 84, who passed away December 30. Funeral service was held Sunday, December 2, at McDonald Memorial Baptist Church, in West Orange. John was a longtime proud member of the Church. John was a true friend. Over the years he kept my family and I supplied with citrus from his grove that he lost in last February's ice storm. I often visited with John before I went into lockdown but still spoke to him often by phone. I had made a note to call him after the new year to get his help in picking some citrus trees I was planning to plant. It was a shock when I learned of his death. I have never known a better person, a real Christian who lived his life like everyday might be his last. We often visited about his late daughter Shannah and the sacrifices he and Linda went through to give her the best life possible. He always thanked God for giving him the pleasure to still be around to take care of her until her passing. I will miss him. My prayers and condolence to Linda and her family. We have lost a great guy. May he rest in peace. Please see obituary.

50 YEARS AGO-1972

Happy New Year and congratulations to Jennifer Lynn Jerdee, the first baby born in Orange County in 1972.*****Incumbent Gordon Dunn is expected to announce that he will run for commissioner, Precinct 2, the position he was appointed to when Allen Peveto resigned. Claude Broussard of West Orange and Precinct 2 constable Morris Callier are expected to also run.*****County Court at Law Judge Charles Holcomb won't seek reelection. He will resign in time to allow other candidates to announce for the office. Two possible candidates are H.D. Pate of Bridge City and David Dunn of Orange. The race for county commissioner Precinct 1 is getting crowded. Commissioner Wallace Hilliard, Lynn Wallace and Travis Hudson have announced.*****Roy Dunn, publisher of The Opportunity Valley News, has announced that the O.V.N. will be on hand Sunday, Jan. 16, in New Orleans, to cover the Super Bowl between Dallas and Miami. Dunn said his paper will be guest of the N.F.L. and cover the game from the press box and locker room. Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach, the former Heisman Trophy winner, has replaced Craig Morton. Other new faces are Lance Alworth, who came to Dallas with Bob Hayes. The Cowboys now have two of the most feared wide receivers in the N.F.L. Duane Thomas and Calvin Hill are the most awesome ground gaining machines in the history of the N.F.L. The Cowboys are coached by Tom Landry. Dunn said a full report of the game and interviews by Editor Lee Grimsley and Sports Editor Pete Runnels, also attending the game, will be carried in the January 17th O.V.N. issue. (Editor's note: Folks are still wondering how Dunn pulled that off.)*****Twelve new grand jurors are sworn in by Judge James Neff. The Grand Jury Commission consisted of William S. Joiner, Stafford O. Peveto, Jerry Meeks, Fred Hetzel and James Winfrey. Neff named J.E. Patillo bailiff, Delmer Portie was named Grand Jury foreman. Others selected are William E. Thomas, Mervin Bingham, Q.O. Stephenson, Don Nolen, Daniel Jackson, W.D. Bland, Jack Pepper and Benny Johnson, Alan D. Cary, Earl Landry and Edward A. Hetzel.

60 Years Ago-1952

B. J. Fields is named president of Bridge City Chamber of Commerce. Other officers are John R. Saint, Dr. Joe Majors, M. S. Wozencraft and J.K. Little.

75 Years Ago-1947

Attorney Bill Sexton builds a new brick office at 211 Division.***** Joe Runnels is sworn in as county clerk by Judge Sid Caillavet.*****At the movies: Gary Cooper, stars in 'The Plainsman,' at the Bengal.*** Humphrey Bogart in 'The Big Sleep' showing at the Royal.***Fred MacMurray in 'Smoky' at the Gem.*** Hedy Lamar in 'The Strange Woman,' at the Strand.

100 Years Ago-Jan. 5, 1922

The schooner, Whitmore, out of New York, took on a load of lumber from the Lutcher Moore Lumber Company.***Landrum Grocery, Ninth and Park, ran a $2.50 special consisting of a 4-lb. bucket of Bob White lard, 4-lbs. of salt bacon and 4-lbs. of fancy green Peabody coffee. Pay cash and 30 cents will be knocked off, you pay only $2.20.

A FEW HAPPENINGS

Welcome News. Groundbreaking will start on Gisela Houseman Memorial Campus, at Interstate 10 and Texas Hwy. 62. (Note: it isn't being called a hospital.) It's expected to open in spring 2023. Now is a good time to push for the big Baptist Hospital to be converted into an East Texas veteran's hospital. There is no better time to add pressure than at election time. It's time for the leadership to step up. There is no better use for this building than to have a VA facility available out of Houston. Think about how great that would be. What else can be done with that large facility.*****I received a nice email from Patti Hanks who moved to Vegas about 20 years ago. Before that she was our Girl Friday at the Record Newspapers. She could fill in at any job that we had. Fun times. She let me know that the first lady of Starks, Lucy, wife of mayor Rene Hanks, was now a great-great-grandmother. That made granddaughter Erin a grandmother. Pattie failed to mention it but that made sexy Pattie a great grandmother. Hard to believe. Erin's son, Tai Foster and K'Linda (Big Eagle) are the parents of son, Tai Azia Big Eagle Foster. We were also glad to hear that Pattie's daughter Jami is back in Orange but wondering how pretty Bree and the boys are doing.***** A few folks we know celebrating in the next few days. Jan. 5: Happy Birthday to Catherine Young, Deborah Schlicher, Malinda Vail and Patsy Dowden. *****Jan. 6: Happy Birthday to our longtime friend Skipper Free. We haven't heard from her in a while and hope she's doing alright. Best Wishes to Lori Perry, Sherry Morgan, Louise Dubose, Marvin Ziller and Clint Reves, all celebrating birthdays.*****Jan. 7: Happy Birthday to Mike Collins, Libby Campbell, Teresa Collins, Betty Jagen and Micah McFarlane.*****Jan. 8: Happy Birthday to Lanston Fall, who we have known since he was in short pants. A nice lady we have known since she was a teenager, pretty Heather Montagne Mankoff celebrates today. Also Happy Birthday to Terri Gauthier, Sean Brinson, Joey Halliburton and Phillip Hunt.*****Jan. 9: Celebrating today are Melissa Butler, Ken Steppe, Chad Meadows, Susan Kelly and Ralph Buker.*****Jan. 10: A very Happy Birthday to one of our favorite guys, Collin Slade 'Billy Jack' Gros, the youngest of Karen's three sons. He and pretty Morgan Shaw have been spending a lot of time together and seem to enjoy it. Happy Birthday also to Hunter's mom, Sandy Uzzle, Frank Skeeler and Scott Gerrard.*****Jan. 11: Our special friends, Margie and Harry Stephens celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary. Those years sure have gone fast. I knew Harry 30 years before he robbed that cradle. Congratulants. Happy Birthday to David Thompson, Teresa Franklin, Madeline Evans and Ashley Rion.*****I hear that Margaret Toal, now out of a job at K.O.G.T., is retiring to write a novel titled 'Waiting on Chevron.' Like many of you, Monday morning at 6 a.m. I said "Alexia, play K.O.G.T." Her response came back, "K.O.G.T. is not available."***** *****While talking to my friends Keith Wallace, Danny Brack and others, who are having real problems finding employees, I had this idea. If we don't have enough workers for $10 to $12 an hour jobs, why not issue green cards to South Americans who want jobs in the U.S. As for the 80,000 truck drivers needed, what about all those Afghani men we rescued, many were truck drivers in Afghanistan. Just a few ideas that will probably go nowhere.*****What this country really needs is a National Voters Right Bill so all states are playing by the same election rules.*****After Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton filed seven lawsuits against the Biden Administration for their mandatory vaccine policy and other rules that Texas fought, Abbott is now begging for federal assistance to help with COVID-19 testing and treatment. Abbott is "urging the federal government to step up in this fight to help protect Texas against this virus." Can you believe it? He has been doing the Trump sell, now he has Texas citizens in a bad bind. COVID will get worse. Sixty-one percent of Orange County is not vaccinated. It won't get any better.

CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK

Joe "Crip" Arceneaux and his wife Telma moved back to Loosiana from California where he had been working for several years him. "Crip" had a wooden leg dat he got after being shot in Vietnam. To get insurance on his leg in Los Angeles it cost $1,200 a year. Wen dey got moved back to Kaplan, "Crip" and Telma drove to Abbeville to da Landry Insurance Agency to see wat it would cost to insure his wooden leg.

Da agent, Jimmie Dale Landry, look it up on da computer and he said, "Mr. Arceneaux, dat will be $39 a year.

"Crip" was shocked him, and axe, "Why is it so cheap to insure my leg in Loosiana, it cost me $1,200 in California hanh?"

Agent Landry turned his computer screen toward da couple and said, "Well, here it is rat here on da screen, it says any wooden structure wit a sprinkler system above it is $39. You jus got to know how to describe it."

OUR WEBSITE WITH YOU IN MIND

If you are reading this issue of our newspaper on our website at "therecordlive.com" let us know where you are reading us from. I'm always amazed where some of you are located. We are also interested in hearing from the folks right here at home. We will be making some changes and improvements to the site in the near future. Did you know we were the very first media in our trade area to have a website, even before the Enterprise. We have been guilty of neglecting the site because we were so focused on saving and improving our newspapers. Just stay tuned.

C'EST TOUT

TEXAS USE OF NATIONAL GUARD

AT BORDER

Sunday, Beto O'Rouke wrote an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle about why National Guard members should not be political pawns. The Army Times broke the news of four suicides since October. The day before Christmas Eve, as thousands of soldiers remained at the Border, away from their homes and families, sleeping in truck trailers converted into squared barrack bays, ongoing pay delays, benefit cuts and a mental health crisis within their units. This devastating string of suicides must serve as a wakeup call to the way that our guard members are being treated at the Border, O'Rouke wrote. The warning signs have been there from the beginning as Gov. Greg Abbott rushed to expand his border mission. In September, Texas deployed a total of 10,000 troops. Some were given less than a week's notice before deployment, complicating work and family commitments, and leaving soldiers scrambling to resolve issues at home. On top of that, some troops have gone months without pay. Public information requests confirmed the pay delays were widespread. Some say their pay checks have been sporadic, that they're paid much less money than promised. They slashed the tuition assistance benefits that Guard members were promised upon enlisting. To make matters worse, it appears that their role on the Border is more political theater than anything else. Press releases from the governor's office claim troops are helping to arrest migrants and confiscate illicit drugs. That was found to be false. Soldier morale has deteriorated because current leadership is focused on pleasing a governor vs. soldier safety, according to retired Sergeant Major Jason Featherston. Abbott is the Commander in Chief of the Texas National Guard, if he chooses to deploy them under his command, it's his duty to pay them, deliver the benefits he promised them and insure they receive proper mental health support. O'Rourke says if Abbott can't justify their deployment, he owes it to them and their families to send them home. To read the entire op-ed, go to the Houston Chronicle website. The Texas Border, as well as the new Border Wall, that the Chronicle says only consist of 17 miles of new wall, are being used as political ploys. Texas has 700 miles without walls.*****That's all for today. Thanks for you time. Take care and God bless.

 

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