By Sherlock Breaux
For the Record 

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest


Last updated 8/22/2023 at 7:41pm



Sixty years ago prior to Aug. 28, 1963, a bus load of Golden Triangle citizens loaded up and headed to Washington for Dr. Martin Luther King’s “March on Washington.” Busloads and trainloads of pilgrims spilled into Washington from throughout the states. On that bus from Orange, Texas were three citizens, civil leader Velma Jeter, James Zay Roberts, who had marched with King, and Essie Bellfield, a young lady and mother of two young daughters. The trio didn’t know what to expect. President Kennedy had quietly deployed 4,000 riot troops, with 15,000 paratroopers on alert. All liquor sales were banned in D.C. for the first time since Prohibition. Hospitals were put on alert. Major League baseball was postponed, not one but two games. The March for jobs and freedom achieved worldwide acclaim with four simple words from Dr. King, “I HAVE A DREAM.” Dr. King had not planned to say those four words but strayed from his prepared text when someone shouted “give ‘um the dream speech.” He had opened his address by quoting Lincoln, then said, “I still have a dream, it is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” The rest is history. The three Orange residents returned home and quietly followed Dr. King’s non-violent lead. Essie went on to become the first Black and first woman mayor of Orange. She was the last surviving member of that trio. Essie died Jan. 23, 2022. On a personal note, I had known Essie all of those 60 years. What I loved about Essie, my dear friend all those years, is that she was not radical, plus she was a walking, talking chamber of commerce. She didn’t hesitate to boost her city. She really believed she lived in the best place on earth. She was quick to blame her own people when the need arose. She said, “Too often young Black men stray away from what Dr. King intended for our people.” Essie didn’t have a racist bone in her body. Often we visited about our childhood and the times before LBJ’s Civil Rights Act. She was a true ambassador, not only for her people but for the good of all people. If she could, she would have made all hate go away. She loved everyone and was a symbol of that march 60 years ago.


We were sorry to learn that our longtime friend and member of our newspaper family over the last 45 years, Joe Kazmar, had passed away August 17. Service was held this past Monday. In the mid-1970s, Joe started writing his “Kaz’s Korner” column in our Opportunity Valley Newspaper, and then joined us at The Record Newspapers, The County Record and The Penny Record. Kaz had a large following. No sports writer did a better job of covering Major League baseball. A special annual feature was Joe’s Christmas list that he updated every year. It featured hundreds of people he knew. Over the years, as friends passed away, he deleted them from the list and added the new people he’d met. Joe’s list was 50-years-old and had covered thousands of lives. If you knew Joe, chances are your name was on his list. We will miss him. Our condolences to Susan and the family. Joe Kazmar was a class guy. Please read Margaret’s story and his obituary in this issue.



10 Years Ago-2013

Last week we lost two friends, two good men. Ruben Stringer, 79, died Aug. 12. Over the years Ruben had visited us often. He always was a booster of The Record Newspapers. The longtime Ag teacher was a strong conservationist and member of the Soil and Water Conservation District Region 9. Ruben always clipped out the stories we ran on preserving nature and our world. He nominated us for a state award that we were chosen for. We’re proud of that and proud to have known this good and decent man.*****Charles Anthony Cessac was only 48 years old when he passed away Aug. 15. Service was held at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Bridge City on Aug. 19. We have known his beautiful mother Phyllis Green many years so we had known Charles most of his life. I feel for this nice lady, losing her only child is a terrible burden to bear. Charles was fortunate to have two great ladies in his life. His wife of 26 years, Gina, is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. She and Charles have three boys, Anthony, Collin and Andrew. No one could have loved anyone anymore than Gina loved Charles. He was also special to his stepfather Danny Green and step-brothers Troy and Slade Green.*****Everyone’s friend, banker Billy Burrow, will end 41 years in banking Aug. 29.***** Our editor Robert Hankin died unexpectedly on Aug. 21, 2010.***On Aug. 23, Keble Free celebrates. The hairstylist and former boxer is getting awfully close to becoming a senior citizen.*** Aug. 24 is a very special day for a special lady, Marlene Merritt, the longtime bride of Sheriff Keith Merritt.***Celebrating their wedding anniversary on this day is city council person Teresa and coach Frank Beauchamp. Frank also celebrates his birthday a few days later, on Aug. 27.*** On this day also David Montagne, son of the late Democratic Chairman Bob Montagne celebrates.***Track star Bree Fontenot celebrates also as does Pinehurst councilman Ron Cowling and Milton Briggs Jr.***On Aug. 26, a great gal, Parks Director Donna Dorman Scales celebrates.

17 Years Ago-2006

Construction will begin soon on the new Orange County Fire District ESD2 Substation in Orangefield. Fire Chief Scott Barnes said the metal structure will be located on Hwy. 105.*****Tony Foreman was named Orange County Airport manager.*****Stump Weatherford has trimmed off 75 pounds, shaved his head, is wearing a Jeff Bagwell goatee, form fitting shirts and is now a devoted Catholic. I wonder if Dayle had anything to do with the big change. *****Living legend Percy Sledge performs at the Texas Longhorn. In 1966 Sledge cut his first record, “When a Man Loves a Woman.” The deep southern soul song has been used in movies and became a favorite song for weddings. Tina and Ray Cotton are owners of the Longhorn where Texas and Louisiana meet.*****Joyce Poche’ Bernard publishes a story on “The Old House at Poche’ Bridge.”*****Charles “Pud” Gunter, 62, died Aug. 18.***Charles “Chuck” Regel, 60, died Aug. 15. ***Joseph Edward “Ed” White, 86, died Aug. 16. ***John Robert Lawrence, 41, died Aug. 18.***Emma Jane Colburn, 83, died Friday, Aug. 18, she was a longtime teacher. ***Robin Lea Middlebrooks, 24, died Sunday, Aug. 13. She was a lifelong Bridge City resident. *****Football season has come around in Orange County. At West Orange-Stark, Coach Dan Hooks is taking it easy after being tackled during practice right after two-a-days began. He is scheduled for surgery later this week. He is attending practice and was at the Mustang/Barbers Hill scrimmage on the sideline in his cart. The Stangs won 33-7. DePauldrick Garrett scored three touchdowns. *****Second year coach at Little Cypress- Mauriceville is Todd Moody. The Bears have 18 starters and 22 lettermen returning. They will run a “Wing-T” multiple formation.*****The Bridge City Cardinals will feature Johnny Dishon at quarterback.*****AD and head football coach at Orangefield is Blake Morrison. The coach has brought in some new coaches, Josh Smalley came from Bridge City and will coach quarterbacks and is offensive coordinator; Coach Darin Fletcher came from LC-M; Jeff Bennett, who comes from Nederland, will coach Junior High and will be head baseball coach.*****Grant Encalade caught a bull red that weighed 23 pounds and was 40 inches long while fishing in Sabine Lake.


47 Years Ago-1976

The Bridge City B&PW names Angelina Garza as member of the month.*****Darla Gisclair, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jackie Gisclair, received a degree in education from Sam Houston and is now teaching in Southeast Texas, 50 miles from San Antonio.*****Bridge City band booster officers are Mrs. Darwin Rothering, president; Mrs. Grover Browning, Mrs. John Haynes and Mrs. L.E. Huckabay vice-presidents. (Editor’s note: Notice that 47 years ago a woman’s first name was seldom used, she was referred to as Mrs. So-and-so. That’s not the norm today. Most often it’s Ms. Shirley or whomever.)*****The Bridge City High football coaching staff is Braton, Stuebing, Hollier, head coach Griffin, Gillis, Miller and Litton. The training staff is Thad Angelle, Bobbie Moore and Ted Townes.*****West Orange cheerleaders are Diane Collins, Sandy Allen, Janet Brown, Leisa Landry, head cheerleader Beverly Mitchell, Susan Sullivan, Amy Sandlin, Sharon Jones and Cindy Carr. The LC-M drill team leaders are Connie Gunn, Karen Francis, Melony Smith, Hollis Parker and Sabrina Frey. *****Bridge City cheerleaders are Nancey Gauthier, Donna Jeansonne, Kim Young, June Nezat, Kim Daniels, Tish Bratton, Melissa Harmon and Terri Medley.*****Fain Holbrooks and Coy Charrier open Orange Appliance and Automotive at 402 Green Ave. Chamber members Pete Sterling, Jim Trotter and Mayor Paul Hale did the honors at the opening ceremonies. Mrs. Coy “Leona” Charrier cut the ribbon. *****The Bridge City Optimist Club 10 and 11-year-old all-stars play in a major league baseball tournament in Port Arthur. Team members are Darrin Hearn, Paul Simmons, Jimmy Smith, Jeff Faults, Terry Lyons, Kevin Laughlin, Wendell Isom, Bryan Whitson, Frank Angelle, John Edgerly, Kerry Hearn, Jason Richard and Kevin Malagarie. Managers/coaches are Owen Richard and Harold Hearn.*****A new 1976 Chevy half-ton, V-8 pickup, full loaded at Harmon Chevrolet, Third and Green in Orange, will set you back $3,873, a Malibu, 4dr. Sedan, loaded, only $4,673. *****Tim Leiby will celebrate his birthday August 27.*****J.K. Conn has a mangy, old hound that hangs around his store that he named Roy Dunn and says the dumb dog is too dumb to be insulted. Dem were the days.


The heat is still on, but the parties go on forever. The Orange Mardi Gras krewes held their annual summer casual dance on Saturday night at the VFW Hall. Of course the regulars were there like Paul and Raul Burch, Randy and Paula Ragsdale, Jana Bruce, Cindy and Ambrose Claybar, along with Randy and Paula Ragsdale. Skipper and Gina Yeaman partied while celebrating their second wedding anniversary. Gal pal Lori Ardoin was also there. Sherry Hommel won a colorful Mardi Gras quilt.  And of course no Mardi Gras event would be complete without Stump and Dayle Weatherford, a former king and queen.*****This upcoming Saturday will be one of the grandest of the summer. Team Dallas is having their second annual gala with the theme Wranglers and Rhinestones. Team Dallas was formed in honor of hometown raised civic leader Tony Dallas, who has ALS. The fundraiser gives to the national effort to find a cure for ALS. Expect Tony to be there with wife, Nancy. Hoping daughter Leigh Anne Harrell makes it to the event. She and husband, Broderick, are expecting their first born, a daughter, to come soon.*****Heritage House Museum drew some old-timers, and young-timers, to the opening of a new exhibit, Team Spirit. The exhibit features old photographs, equipment, memorabilia, and information about high school sports here. Former NY Yankee shortstop Andre Robertson, who was a West Orange High and University of Texas baseball standout, loaned some of his memorabilia to the show and gave a talk at the opening. Robertson has five signed Yankee photos of him that he donated to the museum to raise money through a silent auction. The bidding will go on through the exhibit's run. It ends September 15.  Former Stark High quarterback Joel Robins inspired the exhibit. He has spent his retirement years researching Orange and Stark High sports back to 1909. He wrote up the history and printed photographs he found in his searches into a binder book called 'Tiger Tales.' He also spoke and talked about interesting stories and trivia he found in his research. People attending the opening also enjoyed visiting. They included David Bruce, Peggy Claybar, Wade Gillet, Preston Fuller, Mickey and Jackie Gisclair, Ronan Watters, Billy and Pat Fisette. Museum Director Charlotte Alford helped oversee the open with help from Board President Adam Conrad and others. Next big event will be the Annual Historic Ghost walk in October.*****Travelers continue to like the beaches in the summer. Those without school-age kids are free to go. Pat and Michelle Belcher along with grown daughter Rachel were in Florida visiting places like Key West and Ft. Lauderdale.*****Carly Thibodeaux headed out to the Mississippi beaches around Waveland to meet up with family and celebrate the birthday of her mom, Tammy Davis. We miss seeing Tammy in this part of the country.*****Jack and Juliet Smith took to the sea, not the beach. They made a traditional transatlantic ship trip from London to New York, stopping in each of the cities to see the sights.*****Debbie Hughes joined daughter Dr. Kayla Cheek in traveling to Luckenbach Texas for the 50th anniversary of the classic Jerry Jeff Walker's 'Viva Terlingua' album.*****For birthdays, Darleen Thompson has turned 90. Though she and husband, Fred, now live in the Hill Country near family, they are always in the hearts of people here.***Meri Elen Jacobs, who is spending time sitting with grandbabies now that she is retired, had another trip around the sun.*****Dana Mann and husband, Tommy, who covers the local music scene for The Record, traveled to the Dallas area for her birthday to see Metallica.*****Dax Fregia turned 21, while little Lincoln Poluk became 3.***Christine Bonneaux got to celebrate with a cake that grandchild Mia helped decorate.***Others with birthdays included Terri Goss, Lynae Sanford, Crystal Wells, Sarah Byers Sanchez, Lisa Allan, Jackie Dugas, Jack Tully, Loretta Warnell, Glee Lobb, and Ana Goleman.*****Congratulations to Wayne and Sid Lofton on their 52nd wedding anniversary. However, they didn't have the longest marriage this week. John and Betty Davis marked a milestone 65 years.                                                                                          


A few folks celebrating their big day this week. Aug. 23: Happy Birthday to Marlene Merritt, Kebbel Free, Pat Gunter, John-David Walles and Ryan Moreau.*****Aug. 24: Ben Ezell, Carol Cupe, Debbie Adaway celebrate today, also Frank and Teresa Beauchamp celebrate an anniversary and Frank will celebrate his birthday on Aug.. 27.*****Aug. 25: Coach Dan Hooks is a year older today as is Dot Hudson, Milton Briggs, Jr., Scott Deppe, Trevor Schaffer and Bree Fontenot.*****Aug. 26: Celebrating today are Jerry Mercer, Molly Abshire, Sheryl Guillory, and our dear friend Donna Scales.*****Aug. 27: Happy Birthday to pretty Stepannie Roberts, David Green, Jaycie Dardeau and Nina Birdwell.*****Aug. 28: J.S. Bearden is a year older today. Best wishes also to Randy Elkins, Debbie Stark, Theresa Wilson and our friend Barbi Childress.*****Aug. 29: Happy Birthday to ur friend Janice Overman and a great guy, Danny Cole, who will do to ride the range with. Also to longtime friend Glenda Dyer who now suffers with dementia. This day on Aug. 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina came ashore. (Note: to announce birthdays or anniversaries free of charge call 409-886-7183 or email


Sostan Breaux and Kirby Joe Comeaux were having a couple of beers at Tee-Boy’s Bar & Grill after dey got off of work dem. Da conversation turned to what dey would be doing over da weekend.

Sostan says, “Me, I’m going to Baton Rouge to pick up da kids from my ex-wife, den I will try to see my girlfriend. She tinks I’m a stalker; Well, she’s not exactly my girlfriend yet.” Comeaux, him, says, “Well, me I’m going to Lafayette to see my girlfriend. I’ve been getting it on wit her and her twin.”

Sostan axed, “Mai Comeaux, how can you tell dem apart hanh?”

Comeaux answer, “Well, her brother’s got a mustache him.”



Perhaps the biggest news in Orange County this week is that the state highway department gave in and re-made the turning lanes on Highway 87 to the West Orange Wal-Mart. It's a wonder we didn't have 42 head-on crashes in the month or so TXDot, in all their wisdom, removed the turning lanes on that section of 87, also known as Edgar Brown Drive. You just can't do that in a small town. We will go on turning into Wal-Mart the traditional way and never change. Around here, it makes you wonder if somebody in a big pickup truck, and it could be female, kidnapped a TXDot engineer at gunpoint until they emailed the orders to change the lane lines back. Penny LeLeux, another movie?*****Well, I’ve come to the end. Thanks for coming along. Look us over, shop our family of advertisers and read us cover to cover. Have a nice week and maybe do a rain dance, we are one foot below normal rain fall. Take care and God bless.



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