Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest


The late Bob Montagne Remembered

The Montagne Center, Lamar’s basketball arena, has been named for the late A.H. “Bob” Montagne since it opened in 1984. He was a 22-year member and president of the Lamar Board of Regents. Montagne, along with Senator Carl Parker was the key figure in getting the $12 million basketball complex built. It seats over 10,000 and is often used for functions other than basketball. “Bob” did a lot of background and behind the scenes work to put the arena deal together. Senator Parker is more qualified to speak to what it took for Bob to put that deal together. Bob Montagne died in 1984. I had known him for many years. He was active in the Democratic Party in Texas and served as Orange County Democratic Party chairman. He knew the art of grass roots politics better than anyone I have ever known. He was a political king maker. In a very modest way. I often met with him at his boiler room-make shift office at Orange Hospital, where he was a longtime employee as head of maintenance. Sometime we supported the same candidates but often opposed each other in county politics. I always had the highest respect for him and admired his political talent. He also was the head of a great family. The reason I bring this all up is because it is very likely that the Montagne Center name will change. The Neches Federal Credit Union donated $3.5 million to the Cardinal basketball arena. The Texas State University System Board of Regents gave Lamar president the authority to announce the gift and also the acceptance of the gift would give Neches Federal Credit Union the new name of the arena. It’s possible they could also maintain the Montagne name associated with the center in some way. I believe that would be the right thing to do. The Credit Union is to be complimented for the large gift. They promise to make improvement to the arena in the next few years of a ten-year contract. Bob Montagne earned the right to have the center named for his efforts and longtime service to Lamar University and the Orange and Port Arthur campuses that followed.


GOP senators on Monday criticized Donald Trump’s statement over the weekend claiming the Constitution can be terminated to reinstate him as president. In a post to his Truth Social platform, Trump suggested terminating the Constitution to put him back in power, referring to false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020. Senate Republicans weighed in on Trump’s remarks. Asked about Trump’s remark, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, an adviser to Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, said, “I don’t know why anybody would say something like that, certainly not an ex-president. I think that’s irresponsible.” Reactions to Trump’s post on Capitol Hill were reminiscent of his four years in office, when many GOP lawmakers often walked a fine line of trying to distance themselves from his remarks without becoming a target of Trump and his base of supporters. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who was among the few Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial in 2020, tweeted Monday that his remark was an “affront” to the nation. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that House Republicans would be putting the Constitution front and center under their majority, starting on the first day of the new Congress. “On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House, something that hasn’t been done in years,” he tweeted on Nov. 25. In a statement Sunday, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said that attacking the Constitution was “anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned.” Meanwhile, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow aired footage compiled by the Right Wing Watch project that shows Nick Fuentes calling for a dictatorship to “force the people to believe what we believe.” “The white people got to make the right decision, and then Trump’s got to get in there and never leave,” Fuentes said, “It’s time to shut up, elect Trump one more time and then stop having elections.” Trump’s meeting last week with Nick Fuentes blindsided his 2024 campaign staff and rattled GOP leaders.


10 Years Ago-2012

The State of Texas has 2,917 people who are over 100 years old. The United States has more centenarian than any other nation, 80 percent are white and female, and few are obese. Men are lean with no history of smoking and handle stress better than the average. Texas is the 40th healthiest state and Louisiana and Mississippi are tied for 49th. The life expectancy in the United States is 78.5 years. *****Con. Jack Brooks, 89, died last week. He had served 42 years in congress when he was defeated by Steve Stockman, who supposedly lived under a bridge at the time. It was the Republican revolution. During his service, Brooks took care of his district and brought many government projects to the area, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the Federal Prison Complex, employing many local people. Brooks was praised for his service by many. Something people may have forgotten is how Brooks punished Orange County. He was our representative when Dr. John Greco ran against him as a Republican. The Bridge City resident carried Orange County. Jack got so mad he had us cut out of his district, and then when the MLK Bridge was built in Port Arthur, it wasn’t high enough for ships built in Orange to get under it. The work had to be completed at Gulf Port Shipbuilding in Port Arthur. It was said that was Brooks’ payback for losing Orange County.***** Congrats also to John Gothia on receiving the Greater Orange Chamber’s “Citizen of the Year” award. He well deserved it. Also to Mary Behnke on receiving the “Athena Award,” and to Shirley Zimmerman, named “Ambassador of the Year.”

24 Years Ago-1998

Moon Mullican’s piano, located in Vidor, is handed down through the family. Moon, who was a poor kid was born in Polk County. He was a rare white boy in a laboring all black community. A young black, Joe Jones, taught Moon how to play the piano. Leaving home at age 16, he became “The King of Hillbilly Piano Players.” He and Hank Williams wrote “Jambalaya” together on that old piano. He made it to the top of the billboards in 1951 and joined the Grand Ole Opry. A few of his hits were, “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone,” “Mona Lisa,” “Goodnight Irene,” “You Don’t Have to be a Baby to Cry,” “Southern Hospitality,” and a big hit, “Cherokee Boogie” to name a few. (Editor’s note: I wonder if that famous piano is still around Vidor. It has been handed down through the Morgan family. Coy Morgan, of Bridge City, is a member of that family.)*****Longtime Bridge City teacher Helen Phillips passed away over the weekend. She and Max had been married many years. (Editor’s note: Max also died a few years ago.)*****State senator elect David Bernsen is preparing to take his seat in January. (Editor’s note: He was the last state senator to serve from our neck of the woods.)*****The Montagne’s move their Economy Insulation office into a new building at Roundbunch and Stewart Street in Bridge City. (Editor’s note: Hard to believe that was 24 years ago.)*****Pattie Hank’s young son, Jimmy Skadowski, is home from Texas Children’s Hospital learning to live with diabetes. (Editor’s note: Four year old Jimmy is 28 now and graduating from a Las Vegas school.*****Margaret Mosier was born Nov. 29, 1920, in Vinton and raised in East Orangefield. She married Lionel Louviere and they had two children Mike and Sue. Lionel worked at DuPont until he dropped dead at age 46. Margaret became a widow at age 44. Vickie Parfait wrote her life’s story, “Seventy-eight Years of Memories” which appeared in The Record, Dec. 9, 1998. Her son Mike is a historian, a great writer and great guy. *****All Orange County Football Team is named. Coach of the Year is Randy Theriot of Orangefield. Player of the Year, Beaux Deville, Orangefield. Defensive MVP, Gayron Allen, West Orange-Stark. Offensive Special Teams MVP, Derrick Thibodeaux. Defensive Special Teams MVP Charles Higgingbotham. Newcomer of the Year, Paul Thomas, West Orange Stark. Heart Award, Jason Menard, Bridge City. Punter, Raun Bryant, Bridge City. Kicker Tyler Thibodeaux, West Orange-Stark. Quarterback, Jermaine Feathers, West Orange Stark. (Editor’s note: Just to mention a few.)

44 Years Ago-1978

Rosemary and B.D. Slaton are proud parents of a girl born on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7. *****Mike and Patricia Barry have a new baby girl, Lea, born Dec. 6, the first girl born to a Barry in several generations. *****Debbie Fusilier is expecting some time this summer.*****Lucy Sciarillo and Susan Kazmar have birthdays this week. *****Ten-year-old Stacey Savoy captures the Little Miss Texas title at the Houston pageant. She is the daughter of Judy and Gary Savoy.*****Nina Scales is on the principal’s honor roll at Bridge City; she’s one of 10. Karen Dunn is one of 20 seniors on the regular honor roll.*****The Loading Dock Lounge and Oyster Bar at the Ramada Inn is serving fresh Matagorda Bay oysters on the half shell daily.*****Israel’s prime minister from 1969 to 1974, Golda Meir, died Dec. 8, 1978. She was 80 years old. Born in the Ukraine, she was raised in the U.S. and taught school in Milwaukee.*****Murray Spector was awarded the coveted Silver Spur Award at the 1978 Orange County 4-H awards banquet. *****Spotted at Cotton’s Cay Saturday night were a few natives. Willie Gregg’s band played while Joan Chumley kept trying to convince Leonard to dance. Andy and Ann Guidry, Hal and Laverne Ridley, Betty and Don Guillory and Shorty and Faye Taylor were among the revelers. Ron Smith took his turn at the mike and serenaded everyone. *****Dennis Duhon, the great Louisiana Tech quarterback, is Louis Dugas’ nephew. Lou said three years ago Dennis would be a good one.*****Hughes Food Mart is a Market Basket store, located at 2015 Texas Ave. in Bridge City. Sale items are sugar, 49 cents, 5 lbs.; Maxwell House Coffee, 69 cents, lb.; Jax Beer, 6-pack, 12 oz. cans, 99 cents; whole fryers, 39 cents, lb.; Borden Mellorine, 1/2 gal., 39 cents.*****The Southeast Texas Historical Association has changed its name, according to James W. Broussard, president. It’s now the Orange County Historical Society. Roy Dunn was appointed to the board of directors at the last meeting.*****Angie Tinsley is the new stylist at Ron’s. Other pretty girls there are Pam, Juanita, Dot, Donna, Debbie and Jean.


Holiday parties, fundraisers, and other social events are in full swing, however it looks like men are outdoing women these days with festive dress. Car mogul Al Granger once again hosted his annual drive to raise cash and food for the Orange County Salvation Army and Orange Christian Services. Gary Stelly is co-sponsor. Al stole the attention with his green sports jacket adorned with colorful candy canes and white snowflakes. The red bowtie set it off perfectly.***** On Monday night when the city of West Orange had their annual Christmas Tree Lighting, retired County Judge Carl Thibodeaux, who now serves as West Orange city judge, showed off a Christmas patterned vest with his three-piece suit worn with a Victorian red shirt. Wonder what LSCO President Dr. Tom Johnson has been sporting. He's known for his colorful bowties. West Orange had a big turn-out for the annual event with kids of all ages helping with the countdown to send the tree aglow. Afterward, Santa met with kids to hear their Christmas wishes. City Councilor Meritta Kennedy even got a chance to sit on Santa's lap. City Council members wore red polo shirts. Councilor Lanie Brown was there and talking about her new grandson, Greyson Parker. Mayor Randy Branch oversaw the festivities. He's getting his wrist in shape to ring the Salvation Army bell at Walmart in West Orange. He's competing with Orange Mayor Larry Spears to see who can get the most money in their red kettles. The Orange County Salvation Army reminds people that all the paper and change you drop into a kettle here stays here to help local people.*****Reigning Citizen of the Year Charlotte Alford marked a birthday on Friday. She's also the director of Heritage House Museum and has been working to get the museum complex ready for the public for the first time in five years after hurricane repairs. Other birthdays this past week included Steve Johnson, Mica Craft, David Bonneaux, Christopher Thibodeaux, Linda Melton, Hammond Willey, and Gerald Burleigh. Gerald may have been too busy catching feral pigs on his property to celebrate. Cynda and Keith Perry reached their 50th wedding anniversary.*****James Scales had a good time going back to high school. He participated in Bridge City High School's art classes for adults taught by high school art teacher Debbie Gregg. Scales will be busy this Wednesday and Thursday at Heritage House. He accepted the job as Santa left vacant by the late Larry David. Wonder if his niece Indy Jaymes will recognize him. Her older sister, Stella, kinda caught on last year. Heritage House Board President Adam Conrad will be there Wednesday afternoon for the Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting to open the museum again. He won't have time to stay for Santa because he plays Buddy the Elf in the musical version of the Christmas classic "Elf" for Beaumont Community Players. The Watters family, Sam, Laura, and Ronan, were among those from Orange seeing the production this past week.*****Speaking of productions, the Lutcher Theater has been drawing the crowds with two big musicals in a week. The Million Dollar Quartet Christmas audience included Carly Thibodeaux and Kathleen Hayes, Gina and Skipper Yeaman, Ronnie and Margaret Peveto, Burke and Leslie Gautreaux, Glenda and Johnny Lucia, Pat and Cyrena Hight, and Melissa Anne and Elvis Rushing. Don't know if Elvis Rushing was invited to the stage by the Elvis in the musical. "My Fair Lady" played the Lutcher on Monday night and lots of friends of LC-M grad Sophie Braud showed up. This is the second time for the professional singer and dancer to tour at the theater.  Longtime pals Sandra Gross and Frances Lewis attended and posed for a photo wearing pink feather boas. Another group of friends going together were Lisa Edwards, Pauline Hargrove, Sue Craft, Karen Colburn, and Tanya Gauthier.*****The Old Timers gathering in Mauriceville, held on the first Saturday in December, was another good outing. Judge Derry Dunn says there are not many of the old, old timers left, however, many young old timers are now showing up, like he, Owen and Tom Burton and the mid-70’s crowd. I believe Judge Chad Jenkins, a youngster, was part of the entertainment. That’s not new; anywhere Chad, the auctioneer, goes he brings entertainment with him.*****I also spoke to Judge Rodney Price, truly one of the great guys. Rodney lost his wife Sandra three months ago and is having a hard time moving forward. They had been married 55 years. He’s not alone though, he has two daughters in Vidor and a grandson who is an attorney and handles the law firm.*****John Dubose is on the road to recovery after having stint surgery on his leg. He borrowed a treadmill from Roy that he’s been working out on.


Natives celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Dec. 7: Lisa Durso, Jim Keith, Buddy Sheppard, Randy Philpott all celebrate.*****Dec. 8: Happy Birthday to Leah Cummings, Channing Larkin, Samantha Peveto.*****Dec. 9: Barry McKenzie, Mark Braus, Sharon Johnson, Tracie Wood, David Jones celebrate.*****Dec. 10: Happy Birthday to Joshua T-Ray Sehon, John Ellis, Doris Peveto, Sean Ureta, Cindy Briggs, Karri Piccone.*****Dec. 11: Celebrating today are George Sehon, Richard Teague, Tom orozco, Lois Johnson, Brandy Rainwater, Kent Sarver, Cody Caples, Tara Fountain, Scott Derouen.*****Dec. 13: A year older today are Melissa Poydence, Melinda Swares, Kristy Kidwell, Dennis Lee, Hailey Tally, Jenny Duncan. Happy Birthday to all.


Banker Purvis Dartez saw his old friend Clovees Boudreaux, an 80 year old rice and sugar cane farmer. Clovees had lost his wife Agnes about a year ago. Da banker had heard a rumor dat Clovees was marrying a “mail order” bride. He axe him if dat was true. Clovees said, “I sure am, she’ll be 22 nex month.” Purvis, the wise old banker, could see dat da sexual appetite of such a young woman could not be satisfied by an 80 year old man. Wanting his old friends remaining years to be happy, Purvis tactfully suggested dat Clovees should consider getting a hired hand to help him at da farm, knowing nature would take it’s own course. Clovees taught dis was a good idea, he would get one. Four months pass and da banker run into his old friend Clovees. “How’s da new wife?” Purvis axe. Clovees proudly said, “She’s good her, she’s pregnant.” Da banker was happy dat his advice had worked out. Den he axe, “And how’s the hired hand?” Without hesitating, Clovis say, “Oh, she’s fine, she’s pregnant too.”


Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Roy wrote a Life’s Hwy. column recalling the day and the times 81 years ago.***** I’m about to go over my time so thanks for yours. Until we meet again happy trails to you. Take care and God bless.


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