Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Sherlock Breaux in the Creaux's Nest


This week on Sept. 13, we mark the 15th anniversary since Ike, the hurricane, blew into Orange County and left the worse devastation on our community, since the storm of 1865, the year the Civil War ended, wiped out the city of Orange. The storm left only four homes standing. Today’s recovery, especially to the community of Bridge City, seemed a far away dream of 15 years ago. Much has changed in Bridge City since that horrible storm. In so many cases the improvements have been for the better. The entire infrastructure is far better today. Blight areas are no more. Streets, sewer and water improvements have all been advanced. The vast improvements by the school district have given the students state-of-the-art school buildings second to none. Today many new buildings stand out across the county, all paid for, debt free. What changed the most in Bridge City is the makeup of its people. Many of my old friends have left, leery of facing more storms. Now young couples have come, like we all did many years ago. It’s a new day for an old community. Better days are yet to come as a good community continues to grow with a new generation of citizens.


Beth Rach, always a lady, her kindness, compassion and caring was her trademark. You wonder why someone so good, with so much love to give, would have to fight cancer so hard everyday, just to buy another day. She got her wish to see her grandchildren all doing well and shared quality time with her great-grandkids. Beth passed away September 10, 2023 at age 80. Memorial services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Visitation will be held Friday 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Claybar. I was fortunate to have known Beth since she was a teenager. She was raised in a political family, her mother Pat, a registered nurse, was very involved in state politics as president of the Texas State Jaycees and other organizations. Her dad, G.L. “Red” Garrett, a longtime Orange City councilman, was also involved in state politics and was Orange County chairman for different statewide candidates. Beth herself was very active in several civic organizations. It was only natural that she would spend many years as district director for two state representatives, Ron Lewis, who she joined when he was still a Democrat from Newton. She stayed on when Mike Hamilton, a Republican, replaced Lewis. Until then, Beth had been a life long democrat. Beth was special, she fought the fight. Today she joins the loved ones who went before her. May this wonderful lady rest in peace. Condolences to her family. Please see obituary.


10 Years Ago-2013

We were sorry to learn of the death of Grady Leverne Smith, 58, who died Monday, Sept. 9. Services were held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. He was the brother of Kenneth and John Smith and son of the late Snuffy and Rachel Smith of Bridge City.***** A roast of everyone’s friend, Ross Smith, is being held by the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce this Thursday, at 6 p.m. at the Community Center. Ross has done so much for our communities.*****The Orange Chamber held a ribbon cutting at Peggy’s Off the Bayou Tuesday.*****Coastal mosquitoes from the salt marsh have invaded Orange County. The “Skeeters” hatched on a recent wave of high tides along the Gulf Coast and moved inland. *****A few folks we know celebrating their special day this week. Celebrating On Sept. 13, Mark Dunn’s youngest daughter, Jenna Ballau, mother of his two grandchildren, Nate and Delilah, celebrates. (She has added two more since then, Willow and Chase.)***Also longtime friend Fadra Thibeaux, Abbeville native, mother of nine marks another year.***It is also the day Hurricane Ike visited the coast in 2008. ***Sept. 14 is a special day for a special lady. Amber and Jenna’s mom, Kerrie Dunn, is one year older. (Sadly Kerrie passed away last year.)***Also celebrating is Cathy Garretson, who never met a stranger. Quite a gal. ***On Sept. 15, Jon Berry, Ginger Ellis and Shonna Hunt celebrate. ***Sept. 16 is the big day for Phyllis Dunn, “Ms. Phyl,” the family monarch.***Sept. 17, Darlene, who keeps the Montagne ship upright, celebrates on this day. What a great lady.***Also marking a birthday is Bridge City native, school board member Mark Anderson. Happy birthday to all. *****Our longtime friend Gary Lusignan died Aug. 29 on his 62nd birthday. A celebration of Gary’s life was be held at Larry’s French Market in Groves Thursday, Sept. 12. His mother Gert, dad Lucky, brother Butch all proceeded him in death. *****Something to think about: Whatever became of water fountains, telephone booths and glass milk jugs?***** Jivin’ Gene is to have knee replacement surgery Sept. 16 at St. Mary Hospital.

20 Years Ago-2003

Two years have gone by since 9-11. Jim Turner, of Crocket, is our congressman.***** Gertrude Dotson, 93, still drives and enjoys life. At a recent Pinehurst Labor Day picnic, she said, “Honey, I get more hugs and kisses at these picnics than you can imagine. Pete Runnels gave me a big hug. He’s the sweetest man. I also got a big hug from Parker Thompson, he’s a mess.”*****Wayne Peveto, attorney and former state representative, holds the annual dove hunt at his farm. Wayne was ill so son Rex hosted the outing. Lots of folks, lots of food, prepared by James Claybar and served with Wayne’s famous beer biscuits.*****Pretty Ms. Sharon Fults Gearheart celebrated her 50th birthday Sept. 9. She doesn’t look a day over 30.*****Bridge City’s Matt Bryant kicked three field goals for the New York Giants. He scored 11 points in all. The Giants beat St. Louis by 10 points, 23-13. Jason Mathews, of Bridge City, is a lineman for the Tennessee Titans.*****On Sept. 8, 1900, the great hurricane hit Galveston killing 6,000 people.*****1974 Bridge City grad, Tracie, is a medical graduate. Doctor Updike’s practice is in Port Arthur. (Editor’s note: Over the years, B.C. High School has produced many grads who went on to become doctors.)*****The Record’s “Players of the Week” are Kerry Franks, WO-S; Shon Landry, LC-M; Michael Gauthier, BC; and Thomas Hamrick, OF. (Editor’s note: Gauthier is the fastest athlete to ever attend Bridge City. He won state championships in track and starred for Lamar.)*****A new 2003 Silverado EXT Cab pickup at Harmon Chevrolet will set you back $20,749, that’s with $4,000 rebate.

50 Years Ago-1973

Thrift and Gift Shop opening held Sept. 1 at 207 Fifth St. in Orange. Gift items, made by senior citizens, will be on sale. Part of the store will be a thrift shop where people can buy clothing and items donated by Orange Countians. This store is a new idea and could become a very special place in our community. *****The LC-M twirlers this year are Vicky Moore, Leesa Smith, Candie Brock, Sue Melton, Neva Lindley, Madelon Minton, Donnarie Campbell, Lauri Melton and Glenda Becker.*****The West Orange Chief’s cheerleaders are Chris Doyle, Sherry Sullivan, Debbie Chapman, Christi Hall, Terri Mouton, Jan Robinson and Candi Campbell.*****Football season kicks off this week. Some of the star players to watch are senior David Guidry, #20, a track star who goes both ways for the Cardinals; Also teammate senior quarterback Terry Bridgers; Little Cypress-Mauriceville features #11, quarterback Don McClain, who is scheduled to start against Kelly Friday night.. At West Orange, besides the Duhon brothers, senior tackle, 215 pound Rex Andrews is the pulling guard that coaches say is the most improved player. At Bridge City, Randy Fults, #73, 210 pounds, will be the only sophomore starting for the Cards. He replaces injured Dave Smith at defensive tackle. Steve Culp, #50, 190-pound senior, is the Cards starting center; next to him is pulling guard, #63, Craig Turner, 215-pounds, 6’2” senior. Big Red takes on Sulphur, in Louisiana, Friday night. B.C. Coach Chief Wilson held a seven-hour practice workout on Labor Day. Hurricane Delia was expected to bring winds and rain Tuesday, and it did, running the players indoors. Coach Wilson had guessed right by doubling Monday’s practice time.*****Marie LeBlanc becomes Mrs. Mayo Brasseaux on Sept. 1.*****Inez Runnels is wearing a cast on both arms. Her accident has something to do with walking into a moving truck.*****Dr. Joe Majors claims he hasn’t smoked in 14 months. He hadn’t bought any cigarettes in five years. He only smoked what he could bum.*****Glen Earl, newsman on Channel 4, does a feature story on the grave markers found under the Orange Library. Louis Dugas wrote the story for the OVN.


Father Jim Sichko outdid himself with putting on the glitz for the St. Mary Catholic School fundraiser Saturday night and it was worth the effort. The event, with lots of top-notch auction items from Father Jim's worldwide donors helped raise $149,000 for the local school, which will be marking its 100th anniversary next year. Father Jim grew up in Orange and is now a papal missionary of mercy based in Louisville, Kentucky. He brought the Kentucky flair for the event at the Orange County Expo Center with a Kentucky Derby "Run for the Roses" theme. He even brought in the derby's official bugler to start the gala. What hat hats, pastel colors, stripes, plaids and flowers were worn by the enthralled guests. And those were the men. Stump Weatherford had pink suspenders, pink bowtie and a straw fedora to go with wife, Dayle's, pink flowered dress and elaborate flowered hat. The men wore seersucker suits and straw hats, including a few with classic boaters. Gary Stelly and Skipper Yeaman wore different Hawaiian-style shirts featuring horses. Wives Angie and Gina were decked out in their flowered hats. Peggy Claybar looked smashing in fall colors and may have had the biggest hat. Son and daughter-in-law, Constable Lannie and Melanie Claybar were also looking glamorous. Others in the crowd included Thereze Sichko, sister of Father Jim; Lucy and D.D. Terry, Gisela Houseman, Jesse and Tina Romero, Cindy and Ambrose Claybar, Trey and Amie Smith, Kim Jaynes, Jake and Lacey LeMoine, Tina Green, and Brittany Yu. Chef David Claybar was also there, but wearing his Old Orange Cafe shirt because his restaurant was catering the event. Stephanie Do is principal at the school and her gala committee included Patricia Herman Broussard, Cathy Buker, Amberly Craft, Daphne Lee, Melissa McCorvy,Melissa Pousson, and Hong T Nguyen. The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Bridge City-Orangefield have sponsored the banners featuring the United States flag that you are seeing along Texas Avenue. It's a nice community touch.*****Free State Winery hosted their quarterly Smugglers Club party for special patrons who join to get the latest in their new wines plus enjoy a celebration. Chef David Claybar was busy on Sunday afternoon with his crew preparing a giant pan of Spanish paella for the party. He was busy this weekend.*****Gail and Steve Maddox have left on another cross-Atlantic tour back Europe.*****brothers Andre and Roderick Robertson went on a weekend trip to Atlanta, Georgia, to get some golf in at the Otis Nixon Foundation tournament...Local singer-musician Britt Godwin will be featured this Saturday afternoon for the city of Orange's free Beats and Bites concert. It's going to be from 4 to 6 p.m. at Memorial Field off Memorial Drive. An ice cream truck will be set up for people to buy cold treats. Coolers and lawn chairs are encouraged, but like all city events, no dogs and no pets.*****Joel and Lori Ardoin took off for Louisiana to see new grandson Levi Ardoin. Unfortunately, they got called home early because of the big Sunday wildfire. Joel is the county's emergency management director.*****Jack and Juliet Smith traveled to Alabama to see the Longhorns win and visit longtime friends.

One fun fact says September has the most birthdays in the U.S. and with all our locals celebrating, it appears to be true. Cindy Claybar got more partying for her special day after the Run for the Roses gala. Orangefield ISD Trustee Chris Kovatch is firmly ensconced in middle age. Are his six kids aging him or making him younger? Retired law officers with birthdays included Keith Merritt, former OC sheriff, and Frank "Shot" Coffin Jr. Coffin was the Beaumont police chief but grew up in Orange and lived here many years. Others making another orbit around the sun were Norma Harper, Justin Bufford, Craig Couvillion, Marcus Jefferson, Hollie Goss, Cheri Burch, Donna King, April Crim Goodman, Jason Toal, Harry Vine, Doug Rogers, Cookie Gunn, Ron McAnelly, Collins Ruth Brittain, Janet Leleux, Shaun Mayfield, Terri Childs, Becky Nation, Beverly Hanes, and little redhead Mac Gravett.*****Writer Ginger Broomes and her husband, Coy Broomes, marked their sixth anniversary. They wed a few days after Hurricane Harvey flooded the county. Phillip and Katie Caillavet also celebrated a wedding anniversary.*****This week, Sept. 10, in 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the University of Mississippi to admit James Meredith, a black student. The following year, in 1963, 20 black students entered Alabama public schools following a stand-0ff between Federal authorities and Gov. George Wallace. I remember both incidents quite well.


A few folks celebrating birthdays in the next few days. Sept. 13: Very special birthday wishes to Fadra Thibeaux and Jenna Ballou. Also celebrating on this day are Kade Hanks, Margaret Jeffcote, Nina Dilbert and Connie Swope. Happy Anniversary to Barbara and Tommy Harmon.*****Sept. 14: Gene Elkins, Justin Granger, Kim Norris, Nikki Wingate, Pamela Vaught, Pat Tilley, Randy Jones, Greg Choate, and Janis Leyendecker.*****Sept. 15: Happy Birthday to a special lady Ethel Dunn. Celebrating also are Brenda’s better half Bubba Lund, Jon Berry, Shonna Hunt and our longtime friend Kathy Garrison.*****Sept. 16: Celebrating today are Phyllis Dunn, Stephanie Morris, Todd Estes, Mark Conner, O’Shanique Foster and Landin New. Mel and Joey Campbell are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary.*****Sept. 17: Happy Birthday to Mark Anderson, Lynda Stout and Chase Burch.*****Sept. 18: Today Fadra’s little boy Gaylan Thibeaux turns 67, also Ben Ludwig. Debra Gauthier, Joey Tutt and Joy Evans are a year older.*****Sept. 19: Kara Killman, Mark Milligan, Mike Zenos, Sue Plagens, George Navarro and Leslie Sarks are a year older today. (To publish birthdays or anniversaries free of charge call 409-886-7183 or email therecordlive.com)


Two womens were sitting next to each utta at da bar at Tee-Boy’s Bar and Grill. After a while one look at da utta one and say, “I can’t help but tink from listening to you dat you are a Cajun you.”

Da utta woman responds, “I sure am me.”

Da first woman say, “Me too.”

Da utta woman say, “I’m from Breaux Bridge me.”

Da first woman say, “So am I, wat street did you live on?”

Da utta woman answer. “On Canal Street, next to the levy.”

Da first woman say, “Wat a small world, me too. Wat school did you go to hanh?”

Da utta woman say, “St. Mary’s, I graduated in 1982.”

Excited, da first woman say, “Da good Lord must be smiling down on us, I graduated from St. Mary too in 1982.”

About dat time Sostan walk in and sit down at da bar and order a beer.

Tee-Boy brings it, shaking his head he tells Sostan, “It’s going to be a long night.”

“Why you say dat?” axe Sostan.

“Well,” says Tee-Boy, “Da Badeaux twins from Breaux Bridge are drunk again.”


22 Years Later-The Aftermath of 9-11

We’ve come on two dozen years since the 911 terror attacks. A month later, in Oct. 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan. Nine out of ten Americans supported the invasion and war. The longest war in U.S. history is now the most unpopular American war ever. Through the 22 years of 9-11 we are reminded, for better or worse, why we fight. If you’re one of the Americans who waver, all you have to do is watch the video of men and women jumping from the 100th floor of the World Trade Center. Think about the choice they had to make, stay and burn or fall 1,000 feet to their death. Since then President Obama ordered the killing of Bin Laden and was successful. Do you recall where you were on that dreadful day, 9-11? ***** Hearts can’t wait. I’ve been a longtime patient of Dr. Morbia, at Gulf Coast Cardiology. A few years ago he told me he gave his cell phone number to all his patients. I said, “That must be a gimmick.” Boy did he get mad but we’ve made up. Last week, on two occasions, I made night calls to his cell. Like he said, he always answers on the first ring and he did. The next morning at 5:30 a.m. he was at his office to perform surgery at 6:00 a.m. I waited until I figured he was finished and called him. He answered on the first ring. He’s the only doctor I know you can reach at anytime. He says heart patients should be able to reach their cardiologist day or night. The Cardiology Group has four doctors, all specialist; all from four different regions. Read their ad in this paper. Many folks from Orange County use one of these doctors. When you go you will see someone you know.*****Thanks for your time. Take care and God bless.


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