By Sherlock Breaux
For the Record 

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest


Last updated 2/2/2023 at 2:41pm


For the second time the Lunch Bunch will try to kick off their regular weekly gathering at Robert’s Restaurant. Last week tornadoes postponed the Lunch Bunch reconvening after a two year COVID lay off. Everyone is welcome. Bring a friend and enjoy great fellowship. The Bunch meets every Wednesday noon. Y’all come.*****I’ve got to move on. Come along, I promise it won’t do you no harm.


The weather service had predicted bad weather for last Tuesday afternoon and also possible tornadoes. I feared because of the high winds we might lose power. The lights had blinked a couple of times around 3:00 p.m. I rushed to finish my column before the lights went off. I turned it in around 4:15 p.m. Margaret Toal wasn’t as lucky. When the tornadoes hit about 4:30 p.m., Margaret lost all of her copy, a week’s work down the drain, plus she was in the dark without power. Her only option was to drive in the scary rain to work out of our Bridge City office which thankfully never lost power. She managed to get a weather story out and a couple of other things. Her main stories would have to be rewritten for this week. We got lucky Wednesday, it turned out to be a nice day to deliver but some of our employees were without power until Friday night. The National Weather Service Lake Charles has now determined there were two tornadoes in Orange County on Tuesday and one in Jefferson County. The largest to hit Orange County had a 13.37 mile width and was rated as an EF2, with top speed of 120 mph. The tornado started at 4:28 p.m. 4 miles northwest of Bridge City and ended at 4:42 p.m., 6 miles northeast of Orange in Calcasieu Parish. An EF2 tornado touched down along Orangefield Road and tracked into areas northwest of Orangefield High School. There were framed and mobile homes that were heavily damaged in this area, indicative of 120 mph winds. The tornado continued along the northern fringes of West Orange and Orange before it impacted neighborhoods in Little Cypress. The tornado then tracked across the Sabine River near the end of West Bluff Road. The other Orange County tornado, known as the Bessie Heights tornado, started at 4:23 p.m. and ended at 4:29 p.m. and was rated an EF1, due to its estimated top wind speed of 100 mph. The path was 2.28 miles long with a width of 75 yards. It started 3 miles west of Bridge City and ended 3 miles northwest of BC. Orange County folks know a lot about hurricanes but tornadoes are rare in this area. However, just a few years ago, a tornado had traveled almost the same route coming out of Bessie Heights marsh. A long time ago old timers always said that tornados travel about two feet above the ground. I’m not sure if that’s so or not however on national news I saw a report of an Orange couple and their dog got in a three foot deep ditch that contained some water while the tornado went over them. What is always a big surprise to me is that with all the damage and destruction a tornado does there are very few lives lost or serious injuries. Another chapter in the history of Orange County Texas.


We were sorry to learn of the death of Jerry Priddy, age 89, on January 24. Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 31. Just before we went into lockdown because of COVID, I had a nice visit with Jerry. We had been friends since we were around 22 years old. At that young age Jerry owned a service station on MacArthur Circle near where Al Granger has his RV lot. We were both newly married in 1954 and both managed to stay married a lifetime. Holly Motor Company, the Chrysler-Dodge dealer, was across the highway and a used car lot was next to Jerry’s station. The guy’s were bad about going to Jerry’s station to shoot craps, bouncing the dice against the wall. When Jerry’s wife Jean was spotted coming around the circle, everyone scattered like a covey of quail. Joe Runnels, who had the longest arms and biggest hands, was always the first to grab the pot and leave with the money. Jerry later had a station across from Walmart going into Roselawn. He also owned Priddy Oil Company, bulk dealer for Phillips 66 Oil Company. What must have been some of the fun times for Jerry was working at the Claybar Funeral Home. He told many stories about those days, the boys he worked with and Lannie Claybar. Jerry once told me that Lannie and Don Campbell could play the Honky Tonk piano as good as Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry was a cheerleader at Stark High and remained a cheerleader all of his life. You could hear him laugh two blocks away. He was just a great guy who enjoyed family, friends and life. I’m proud to have known him all those many years. My sincere condolences to Jean and her large family. You can read Jerry’s obituary on our website May this good man rest in peace.


10 Years Ago-2013

Last Sunday night possibly the last Pro-Bowl game to be played in Hawaii. The NFC beat the AFC, 62-35. Orange native Earl Thomas intercepted a pass for the NFL but even better than that is that Earl is always an ambassador for his hometown. When players are recognized, most say the name of the college they attended, Earl always says Orange, Texas, giving us national recognition.***** Kree Harrison auditioned for American Idol at the Oklahoma auditions. I’m not sure when that show will air; it could be Jan. 30th or later. Kree has a lot of relatives in Orange County. Her mother, Kathy Roberts, who was killed in an auto accident when Kree was 16 years old, was Wilson Robert’s daughter. Kree’s father, a Bridge City native, was killed in a plane crash when she was 12 years old. She has been singing since she was 8 years old and appeared on the Rosie O’Donnell show and other talk shows. Most of Kree’s younger years were spent in Woodville as well as Bridge City and she entertained in the area. Kree has a good, strong voice and could make it through to Hollywood. She now makes her home in Nashville.***** We are sad to report our friend Orange native Charles Pratt is in a coma as of this writing. *****Memorial services were held Jan. 26, for Stewart Olive, 89. He was a good man who contributed much to our community. *****On a happier note, everyone’s buddy, Moe Litton, is taking a bride. I don’t know yet who the lucky lady is however, she has no idea what she’s getting into. A hint should be picking Ground Hog’s Day, March 2, as the wedding day. Moe argues it’s also Texas Independence Day.*****Congrats to coaches inducted into the South East Texas Coaches Ring of Honor. Inductees were Chuck Young, Ronnie Anderson, Mark Foreman, Joe Evans and the late Bill Tennison.****Congrats also to Bridge City baseball coach Chad Landry, who was one of the “Coach of the Year” recipients.****Kris Kristofferson, 76, presented Willie Nelson, 79, with the first Kristofferson award. Nashville Songwriters Association International‘s new Lifetime Achievement Award. The gathering is known as the songwriter’s showcase. ****** Feb. 2, finds the old Aggie, the boy who survived Bear Bryant’s trip to Junction, Don Kachtik, is celebrating his big day.***On Feb. 3, Stephanie Carpenter and Rosalie Jones celebrate.***Feb. 4 would have been our friend Don Mosier’s birthday. He passed away a few weeks ago.***On Feb. 4, former world-class pole vaulter, Eric Eshbach, who got his start at Orangefield and set high school state records will celebrate. Eric was the pride and joy of his grandmother, the late Dot Eshbach.*****Stanley Frank “Stan” Musial was born Nov. 21, 1920. “Stan the Man” died Jan. 19, 2013. He was 92 years of age. I had been familiar with him since I was a young boy. Radio regularly carried the St. Louis Cardinal games. I was a devoted fan and Stan didn’t disappoint. He played in three World Series championships. He had 3630 hits, 1951 RBI’s, 24 All Star games and was Most Valuable Major League Player three times. He was a World War II hero. The Hall of Famer was a hero to young boys in the 1940’s and 50’s and some in the 60’s.

24 Years Ago-1999

The country prepares for Super Bowl XXXIII between Atlanta and Denver. This will be John Elway’s fifth Super Bowl appearance. He’s the oldest quarterback to ever star a Super Bowl. Falcon coach Dan Reeves will be playing against his former team, the Broncos. However, on the Falcons is ex- Bronco Shane Dronett, from Bridge City. Shane was born Jan. 12, 1971, at Orange Memorial Hospital. His mother Candace Breeden said she had wanted a girl but the nurse brought in a big, baby boy. He weighed 9 pounds and 14 ounces and was 23.5 inches long, just short of two feet. Candace had never seen such a big baby. Shane played junior high football at West Orange-Stark but moved to Bridge City with his mother and step-dad, James Breeden, so he could play football at Bridge City. His parents had divorced when he was an infant. Since being in Atlanta, Shane and high school friend, Ty Gipson, opened a sports art gallery. Now they have three galleries in the country. The Super Bowl was played in Miami. (Editor’s note: Shane’s #75 Jersey is retired at Bridge City High School. Shane, who was a fearless football player, both at Texas and in the pros, took a lot of blows to his head. Like so many other professional football players, Shane took his own life a few years ago.)*****Former Bridge City coach and trainer Moe Litton is inducted in the Southeast Texas Hall of Honor. Litton lined up with Joe Washington, Bum Phillips, Alex Durley, Pappy Drennan and Darrel Shaver as 1999 inductees.*****Insurance agent Bill Nickum was honored with the Sam Walton Business Leader award. Nickum was among 650 business people nationwide selected by Wal-Mart.*****Pinehurst mayor Pete Runnels, attending Orange County Day in Austin, brought a batch of Robert’s famous boudain. Skipper Free said she found the Orange group at the Marriot Hotel by following the smell of the boudain. That was a big hit. A few in attendance were Orange Mayor Essie Bellfield, West Orange Mayor Roy McDonald, Sheriff Mike White, Bridge City Mayor John Dubose, County Judge Carl Thibodaux, Commissioner Sue Bearden, Judge Don Burgess, Judge Buddie Hahn, Orange Chamber and Lamar President Michael Shahan, Bridge City Chamber President Marialeice Saucier and Beth Rach. A Cajun band played at the Fais-Do-Do and gumbo was served at the VIP party. C.J. and Bessie Huckaby burned up the dance floor. Cecil Marie (Moses) Broom was the cheerleader.


Who needs Charles and Camilla when Orange has King Johnny and Queen Becky from the House of Trahan. Sequins, glitter, and feathers were all around last Saturday when the Orange Mardi Gras krewes held their annual ball at the VFW Hall. This year, Orange County Precinct 1 Commissioner Johnny Trahan and his wife, Becky, were crowned king and queen as they were coroneted with a lot of fanfare from dancers and other krewe royalty. The Trahans were dressed in the traditional king and queen white with outfits trimmed in gold sequins and braids plus lots of fluffy white feathers. The queen's long embroidered train included angel wings, a special significance.*****The Trahans from the Krewe des Amis will preside over Mardi Gras festivities in downtown Orange on February 9, 10, and 11. The grand parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, February 11, and end at the Orange Boat Ramp off Simmons Drive. The Record Newspapers will have more details in next week's editions.*****Lots of people wearing colorful ball gowns and tuxedoes with sparkly vests or glittery jackets crowded into the decorated hall for the annual event. Royalty this year included Adam Conrad and Jody Chesson from the Krew du Bayou, wearing matching Viking warrior costumes with black capes trimmed in faux fur mink. They wore silver lame boots with their black pants plus elaborate silver armored hats with horns. Allan and Tricia Villery were the royalty from Krewe de Onyx and wore coordinating outfits of black trimmed with silver and red, with lots of sparkly sequins. He wore a crown and her tall collar of black with silver stars served as a headpiece.*****Orange Mayor Larry Spears and wife Trisha served as royalty from the Krewe Meilleurs Amis. Their customed coordinating outfits featured colorful works of art including Van Gogh plus the mayor's trademark saying "Boom Pow." Instead of crowns, they wore French berets, like the artists. Skipper and Gina Yeaman had the most colorful of the royal outfits as they were the royals from Krewe C'est Bon. They had a tropical vibe with colors of bright pink, turquoise, and yellow set off with sequins and lots of feathers. Their feathered headpieces included all the colors and sparkles.*****A couple of hundred others from around the area danced and visited in their colorful finery. Captain Cornmeal, aka Eric Ellison, worn an emerald green opalescent vest with his tux. Gary Bonneaux later was searching for his tux jacket that he left on the back of his chair. His wife, Allisha, didn't report any missing garments. Al Granger had another colorful jacket with designs of red and pink antique roses, along with a black cowboy hat. It was a formal event. Also seen with Al were Staci Eatman, Mackenzie  Decker, Bobby Wilkins, and Scott Hasty, who opted for a traditional tux.***** Some of the others in the crowd included Terri and Brad Childs (recovering from the tornado that passed over their property four days earlier), along with Paul and Theresa Fukuda, Mallory and Ale Edgerly, Terri and David Gauthier, Robert and Mindy Currie, Clint and Kimberly Ray, and Eric Andrus. Sabrina Claybar had a black lace gown with plunging neckline while husband David C. Claybar wore a traditional tux. Russell Bottley wore a tuxedo jacket of black with a pattern of turquoise and glittering silver along with a bow tie to match the jacket. More partiers were Lanier and Andre Robertson, Janice and John Simien, Diane Hebert, Krystal and Michael Sanchez, Becky and Tom Henry. Jaelyn Luna, Rylie George, and Meara Patterson performed an athletic, balletic dance for the crowd choreographed by Jillian Yeaman. Lauren Leigh Stanley and Kyndall were costumed "captain" dancers for the king and queen.*****Birthdays this past week included Jane Bonnin Jeanise, who turned 90 and celebrated with a giant family party. She's still on the go.  Ronnie Turner marked his 70th birthday. Others with birthdays included Tony Dallas, Bill Dixon, Barbara Winfree, Judge David Dunn, FeLica Conway, and Sandra Dickey.*****On January 20, 1936, the first inductees of Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York included Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.***The first charter members of the Pro-Football Hall of Fame were not named until January 29, 1963 in Canton Ohio. The Hall opened September 1963.


Folks celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Feb. 1: Mason Adams, Theresa VanMeter, Brittany Leonard, Garrett Kerger and Lisa Monceaux all celebrate.*****Feb. 2: Happy Birthday to Daric Rogers, Kelly McBride, Vance Thomas and Don Kachtik.*****Feb. 3: A year older today are Nolan Leblanc, Michael Hilliard, Stephanie Broussard, Stephanie Carpenter.*****Feb. 4: Eric Eshbach, Shirline Broussard, Lisa Ludwig, Lydia Wilson, Brad Freeman, Lindsey Hollingsworth, and Mel Moreau.*****Feb. 5: Enjoying a birthday today is Madi Johansson.*****Feb. 6: Sharing birthdays today are Karen Duplician, Haley Arnold, Grant Jones, David Greyder, Peggy Jones and Cindy Lessard.*****Feb. 7: Birthday wishes to Darlene Brown, Charles Smith, Jamie Beaulieu, Jeanna Campbell, Luke Lyons and Jeremy Sleeman.


Clotelle and Sostan Thibodeaux’s chillums got together and bought dere mama and papa a two weeks vacation trip to Australia for dere 50th wedding anniversary. Dey flew out from New Orleans. Bout ten hours in da flight, da public address system come on, “Dis is da captain speaking, I’m afraid me, I got some very bad news. Our engines dem, have ceased functioning. I will attempt an emergency landing. Luckily I see an uncharted island below wit a beach. However, we may never be rescued and will have to live on dat island all our lives.” Thanks to the skill of Capt. Trahan, the plane land safely on dat island.

A little later Sostan, him, axe Clotelle, “Babe, did you pay our Visa and Master Card bill yet?” Clotelle answer, “Mai no Sha.” Sostan still shook up from da crash axe, “Did you pay American Express?” “I’m sorry, I forgot,” Clotelle answer. Sostan say, “One las ting, did you remember to send the installment payment to da IRS dis month?” “Oh, forgive me Sostan,” begged Clotelle, “I didn’t sent

dat either.”

Sostan grab Clotelle and give her a big kiss like on dere honeymoon. Clotelle pull away and axe, “Wat was that for, hanh?” Sostan answer, “Dey gonna find us dem.”



When Judge James Neff resigned two candidates announced for the post. Neff had resigned with just a few months left in his term. I’m not sure if that was by design or not. I suspect it was because the governor appointed Frank Hustmyre to fill the unexpired term. He then ran as the incumbent against his cousin Graham Bruce. The gimmick backfired, voters could see through it. Bruce was elected. That created a big rift in their family. Judge Hustmyre took his own life. Graham went on to serve as judge then when he resigned it was left to a Republican governor to appoint a new judge. William “Bill” Clements, Jr. announced his intention to seek the governorship of Texas as a Republican in 1977. No Republican had held that office since Edmund J. Davis during reconstruction in 1874. A split in the Democratic Party aided Clements bid for governor. Att. General John Hill had defeated Gov. Dolph Briscoe, Jr., in the democratic primary. Briscoe’s children and friends endorsed Clements, who won by a narrow margin. In 1982, he lost to democrat Mike White and in 1986 he defeated White and became governor for the second time. Elisha Pease and Marian “Ma” Ferguson are the only other governors to serve non-consecutive terms. In Clements first term the 128th District Court seat became vacant. It seemed likely Orange County would have its first Republican District Judge appointed by a Republican governor. Instead a liberal democratic judge was appointed. Pat Clark was serving as County Court at Law judge but was in Dallas handling a deposition for attorney Wayne Peveto. He got a call to get to Austin as soon as he could. He changed his flight plans from Beaumont to Austin. Pat met with Clements’ appointment secretary and was told the governor was going to appoint him judge of the 128th district court. Judge Clark became the only democratic to be appointed by a Republican governor. He served from 1978 to 2012. He then served again as County Court at Law judge for awhile. He retired rather than switch parties. He is a lifelong democrat. Republicans in Orange County had billed Pat as a conservative democratic to save face for the governor’s appointment of Clark. When Judge Clark had to leave the 128th District Court due to age restriction, history was again made when Courtney Burch Arkeen became the first woman district court judge in Orange County. She was appointed to fill Clark’s seat by Gov. Rick Perry and was re-elected to the post. She is still serving as one of the prettiest judges in Texas. (Editor’s note: I’m sure there is another story behind Pat’s appointment. I’d like to know from State Rep. Wayne Peveto and Sen Carl Parker how that deal was put together. Pat was the last democratic judge to serve.) *****My time is up, thanks for yours. Please read us cover to cover and shop our family of advertisers. Have a nice week, take care and God bless.


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