MOST DECORATED PLAYER IN LEAGUE HISTORY
Tom Brady is retiring from the NFL after 22 seasons. The seven-time Super Bowl champion officially announced his retirement on Tuesday via social media. “I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition, if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady wrote. “There is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life. This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes. I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention. Brady’s career has been nothing short of legendary. He spent 20 years with the Patriots before departing the franchise in free agency in the spring of 2020. At that point, he elected to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and even as he entered his mid-40’s, showed that he was still capable of winning at a high level. In his first season in Tampa, the Buccaneers went on to win Super Bowl LV over the Kansas City Chiefs for the seventh title of Brady’s career. When taking a macro view of Brady’s career, it’s as decorated as anyone in league history. His seven Super Bowls are the most all-time, as are his five Super Bowl MVP awards. Brady has thrown more completions, passing yards, and touchdowns than any other quarterback that has come before, and he is also the winningest player in NFL history with 276 total wins. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in what consists of a mountain of accomplishments for Brady. While it may have seemed like Brady was destined to play forever, he is finally closing the book on his playing career, as the greatest player the NFL has ever seen, he is now hanging up his cleats. When he started in 2000, as the 199th pick overall for New England, youngsters who will graduate from high school were not born yet. Brady was a star throughout their entire childhood.
LSCO ONE OF OUR GREAT ASSETS
Lamar Orange has been a major player since Senator Carl Parker was able to pass a bill making the Orange County college part of the Texas State system. The school has been a blessing with continuing yearly growth. Since the schools first president Joe Ben Welch, followed by Dr. Mike Shahan, we have watched as the school made one good step after another. We then were really blessed when someone had the foresight to hire Dr. Tom Johnson, the right leader at just the right time. Everyday President Johnson brings enthusiasm to his job and a bag full of ideas on how to grow the college to fill the educational needs of our community. Besides being a real optimist, Dr. Johnson rejoices in his daily chores and accomplishments. The future of Lamar State College Orange under Johnson’s leadership has set goals that will meet the needs of the area in what will soon be a booming economy. Dr. Johnson wants to lead the way by developing educated workers for all crafts to healthcare. As of late, Lamar has purchased a new bus because school administration told him of a bus driver shortage. Also there is a need for dump truck drivers that will grow as industry expands, so Dr. Johnson acquired a dump truck and is training and graduating drivers. Please don’t anyone tell him we have a shortage of helicopter pilots or before long, we might see a chopper taking off and landing as Dr. Tom stands by and smiles at the sense of another accomplishment. I agree with Sen. Parker’s Editorial in this issue, that times are just right for the county to bust at the seams. I don’t believe we fully realize the future growth that is coming or the pressing need for housing that will materialize. We are blessed to have county government with the leadership of Judge John Gothia and dedicated experienced commissioners, who bring their particular experiences, to make a well rounded court. Fortunately we have great schools, industries, cities, port, drainage district, etc.
We were sorry to learn of the passing of Jim Hughes. James Matthew Peter Hughes, 54, left us on January 21. Services were held January 24, at St. Mary Catholic Church, his lifelong church. We had known him since he was a toddler. His mom and dad, Martha and Bill Hughes, were family friends going back 50 years. A group of about 12 couples, all of us with children, took one evening each month to dine together and fellowship in someone’s home. I’ve never known two finer parents than the Hughes. They raised a houseful of Catholic children. Bill died many years ago. Martha remarried only to lose that husband also. Sadly, five months ago, Martha lost another of her sons, William Robert Hughes, Jr. and now she endures the loss of a second son. Our hearts go out to this wonderful woman and her family. God bless and may Jim rest in peace. Please see obit.
FACTS OUT OF THE PAST
Fact #1: He was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., but was abandoned, along with his mom, by his father. Gerald Rudolph Ford, Sr. gave him his name the rest is history. After a football career at Michigan that produced two national championships, in 1932 and 1933, the All American center, Gerald Ford Jr’s number 48 was retired. It was the last number retired at Michigan. He was elected to the United States Congress, served 25 years and this common man just happened to become president of the United States. He never was elected by the people to serve as vice-president or the 38th president of the U.S. He died Dec. 26, 2006, at age 93.*****Fact #2: Sen. John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination 47 years ago on Jan. 2, 1960. ***** Five years later to the day, in 1965, the New York Jets signed Alabama quarterback Joe Namath for $400,000. I wonder what he would have brought on the market today. Less quality players make more than that per game.
TURNING BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
15 Years Ago-2007
SADDAM MEETS HIS MAKER
The United States military turned Saddam Hussein over to the Iraqis. A militant group of Shiites hung him. They taunted him first. He was tried and convicted for ordering the death of 148 Shiites after an attempt to kill him in 1982. At that time, Saddam was at war with the U.S. enemy in the Mid-East, Iran. George G.W. Bush was vice-president in an administration that helped Saddam. Saddam’s mistake came with the invasion of Kuwait. Bush launched ‘Desert Storm’ in 1991. For nine years, United Nations inspectors searched for weapons of mass destruction. Saddam insisted he didn’t possess any. President George W. Bush, now in office, just said Saddam wouldn’t come clean. The U.S. is now involved in one of our country’s biggest mistakes.*****We were saddened by the death of our longtime friend Bob Lumpkin, 76, who passed away Dec. 27. Services were held Dec. 30. Bob was a super guy and you could always go to the bank on his word. He did to ride the range with.*****We also send our sympathies to Richard Broussard and children Reb and Melissa on the death of his wife and their mother. Betty Broussard, 65, died Dec. 28. Services were held at Stringer’s Funeral Home in Buna on Sat. Dec. 29. Betty was Vivian Dorman, Margaret Conway, A.J. Broussard and the late Louis Dugas’ sister-in-law.***** *****Another Orange County Star: In 1892 Janette Sebring Lowrey was born in Orange and attended Orange school. Margaret Toal had been researching her life for 15 years. She was one of the best selling writers of children’s books, including ‘Pokey Little Puppy’ and the 12 original ‘Little Golden Book’ series. Margaret published the story 15 years ago in the County Record.
45 Years Ago-1977
Cecil Wingate passed away January 1. He was a bookkeeper, honest and decent, a family man who fathered 18 children. Services held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Orange.*****In the past year, among the concerts Mark Dunn attended and covered for the Opportunity Valley News were Paul McCartney, Neil Young, James Taylor, Leon and Mary Russell, Peter Frampton, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and many more. His old man was threatening to cut the concert budget at the newspaper. *****Barbara Mandrell will entertain at the VFW on January 11. Advance tickets are $5.***** Sam Naifeh, president of Orange County Parks board, announced that Bubba Hubbard would be added to the board. He will start when his term on the city council expires in April.
50 YEARS AGO-1972
Bill Sexton, a noted criminal attorney, will not be a candidate for 128th District Court. He is expected to undergo surgery in February to correct passage in a heart valve. Announced candidates are former district judge Frank ‘Dub’ Hustmyre and attorney Graham Bruce. Hustmyre was the very first judge of the 128th District Court when it was created.*****J.L. ‘Pete’ Runnels filed for the office of county democratic chairman. Runnels, 28 years old, is a graduate of Stark High School and Sam Houston State. He and wife Carol have two sons. He’s the sports editor of The Opporunity Valley News. He will challenge county chairman, former district attorney James ‘Jim’ Morris. (Editor’s note: In a real upset Pete won the election.)*****Sheriff Buck Patillo is seeking a second term. Prior to defeating Sheriff Chester Holts in 1968, Patillo served 25 years as constable for Pct. 3.*****C.F. Tinsley is a candidate for constable in Pct. 3. He served nine years as deputy constable under Patillo.*****James McNicholas, former Beaumont mayor, will oppose incumbent D. Roy Harrington for state senator. McNicholas lost to Harrington 10 years ago by a narrow margin.*****Marriage License Issued: Richard Belk, 35 and Sharon Rowe, 22.***David Carpenter, 19 and Iris Stephens, 18.***Jeffery Gary, 18 and Jana Kovatch, 16.***Ricky McCelland, 17 and Tomi Hall, 16.*****Attorney Paul Owens is in St. Luke’s hospital and is expected to undergo surgery soon.*****Tommy Hale is the manager of Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.*****Oscar Payne passed away last week.*****Cpl. M.W. Cormier, stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, is home on a 10-day leave to visit parents Mr. and Mrs. Milton Cormier.***** Odes and Judy Gordon are proud parents of a baby girl. They named her Tammy Lynn.
6O Years Ago-1962
Joe VanBreman resigned as head football coach at Bridge City. Lewis Nobles, of Ole’ Miss was the guest speaker at the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce banquet. (Editor’s note: I wonder if any players on the Bridge City football team are still around.
75 Years Ago-1947
District Judge F.P. Adams, appointed Jim Houlihan as the very first, fulltime auditor in Orange County. (Editor’s note: There have been several since auditors are appointed by district judges. None that I can remember would win a popularity contest.)*****County Clerk Joe Runnels wore coveralls so he and his staff could clean up their office. Joe said, “This office hasn’t been cleaned for nine years.”*****Movie goers were watching Walter Brennon in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer at the Royal.*****Alan Ladd in ‘O.S.S.’ at the Gem and Jeanne Crain in ‘Margie’ at the Strand.
K.C. CHIEFS vs LCM
Kansas City Chiefs vs LCM Coaching Staff happened 49 years ago, Feb. 3, 1973. The basketball game was played at LCM. The basketball players from the Chiefs were Mike Livingston, Emmit Thomas, Jim Kearney, Dave Hill, Bobby Bell, Buck Buchanan, Otis Taylor, Wilbur Young and Morris Strout, who stood 6′ 10.” LCM Coaching Staff consisted of Melvin Allison, Johnny Taylor, Ellis Boyd, Don Truitt, Jim Leo, Ernie Procella, Hubert Hancock, Bill Tillman, Larry Warner, Bert Reaves, Sandy Engleberg, Jerry McDonald, Bill Parker and Gary Clark. Jim Crossland, athletic director and head football coach, did not play in the game. I don’t know who won the game. Thanks to Donnie Harmon for a copy of the program. I don’t know how many 60-year-olds-plus, remember this game but I bet Mayor Randy Branch does. The game had 89 local sponsors and was a good money maker for the Boosters Club.
ELIJAH MITCHELL PRIDE OF ERATH
Pronounced ‘Erat’ by the Cajuns who have a hard time pronouncing th’s at the end of a word. Elijah is a running back for the 49ers. Despite all his NFL success he hasn’t forgotten his roots. Erath is a town of 1,982 residents in Vermillion Parish, six miles from Abbeville. The high school has an enrollment of 572 students. A large billboard outside of Champagne’s Supermarket, Erath’s only grocery store, proclaims Mitchell as a hometown hero. Signs with his likeness are in front yards. Most residents remember him as the polite, friendly teenager who became an All State running back. He turned down major college recruiters to stay close to home choosing to play for the LSU’s Ragin Cajuns in Lafayette. In his final high school season he rushed for 2,900 yards with 41 touchdowns. After college Elijah moved away from Cajun country for the first time. In 2021, he was drafted 194th pick by the 49ers. With 963 rushing yards in 11 games he shattered the rookie franchise record. The entire community looked forward to producing a Super Bowl champion. Their hopes were shattered last weekend when the 49ers lost to the LA Rams, however, Mitchell, the shy kid from Erath, is just getting started. He got to just one game away in his first season in the pros. Many in the area have never seen a homegrown youngster with so much speed and power. His childhood story is an amazing one. Until now the most famous athlete from Erath was jockey Randy Romero, Kentucky Derby winner. A sign outside of town with his name welcomes visitors to town. Also I might mention, it’s the hometown of 96-year-old Marilyn Landry Roccaforte, Cotton Picking champion in 1940.
A few folks we know celebrating their special day in the next few days. Feb. 2: Happy Birthday to the old Aggie Don Kachtick, who survived coach Bear Bryant’s ‘Do or Die’ camp in Junction. Also celebrating are Daric Rogers, Kelly McBride, Vance Thomas and Fred Dobmann.*****Feb. 3: Celebrating today is attorney Nolan LeBlanc. He doesn’t need an excuse to celebrate he does that every weekend anyway. Also having a birthdays are Jesse Byrd, Stephanie Carpenter and Michael Hillard.*****Feb. 4: Happy Birthday to Eric Eshbach. He was just a pup when we first recognized his birthday. Also celebrating are Shirline Broussard, who turns 76, Bella Peveto, Mike Boyd, Lisa Ludwig, Brad Freeman and Mel Moreau.*****Feb. 5: Happy Birthday to Madi Johansson and Madison Johansson.*****Feb. 6: A special lady, the daughter of our late friend Neighbor Cox, Karen Duplecian, celebrates today. We miss Cox a lot and miss seeing Karen, who lives in Lufkin. Also celebrating birthdays are Malissa Monteaux, Cindy Lessard, Harold Collins and Grant Jones.*****Feb. 7: Happy Birthday to Ryan Holland, Michael Johnson, Jeanna Campbell, Jeremy Sleeman and Darlene Brown.*****Feb. 8: A lovely young lady, Delilah Ballou turns 14-years-old today. She is Mark Dunn’s oldest granddaughter. Also celebrating are Barbara Fix and Kaitlynn Elzell.
Feb 2: Reality Star Duane Chapman, 70; Model Christie Brinkley, 69; Actors David Jason, 83; Emily Rose, 42.*****Feb. 3: Actors Morgan Fairchild, 72; Nathan Lane, 66; Isla Fisher, 46.*****Feb. 4: Rock
Singer Alice Copper, 74; Boxer Oscar de la Hoya, 49; Pop Singer Gavin DeGraw, 45.*****Feb. 5: R&B Singer Bobby Brown, 53; Country Singer Sara Evans, 51; Actor Michael Sheen, 52.*****Feb. 6: Voice Actress Kathy Najimy, 66; Rock Singer Axel Rose, 61; Pop Singer Rick Astley, 57.*****Feb. 7: Comedian Chris Rock, 57; Actors Ashton Kutcher, 44 and James Spader, 62; Country Singer Garth Brooks, 60; Basketball Player Steve Nash, 47; Feb 8: Actors Seth Green, 48; Cecily Strong 38; Metal Singer Vince Neil, 61; Composer John Williams, 90.
CAJUN STORY OF THE WEEK
Tee Nonc Boudreaux him, got to Tee Boy’s Bar and Grill early on a Saturday morning and start drinking. Tee Nonc sit dere on dat stool all day him. He drunk one of dem drinks after anutta. Bout four o’clock, he stagger out of Tee Boy’s. Down da street he stumble into St. Mary’s Church and sat himself down in da confessional and he don’t say nutten him.
Father Guidry, wat is listening to confessions, cough to attract Tee Nonc’s attention but Nonc still don’t say nutten. Father Guidry him, knock on da wall t’ree times to get Nonc to say something. Nonc him, is so drunk he nearly is asleep, say to Father Guidry, “Say you, dere’s no use knocking, dere’s no paper in dis one neither.”
THREAT TO DEMOCRACY ON DISPLAY
Trump was in Texas over the weekend raising cash for a race he may not run.. “Milking the Cash Cow,” and talking his trash. His latest pledge is if he is ever president again, he will pardon all those who took part in the Jan. 6 Insurrection of the U.S. Capital that he promoted. My bet that the day will come when it will be difficult to find someone who will admit they ever voted for Trump. I doubt that prison is in his future, (it should be,) but an indictment is just as well. Bet the farm he will never again be in a position to overthrow our government and do away with our democracy. In the meantime, he’s pressing civil disobedience, a form of civil war. He’s a very sick person with a sick ego, who longs to be a dictator. He is endorsing candidates who support his ideas, like seizing voting machines and any other way to steal elections and set Trump up to take over the Pentagon and set up his dictatorship. Don’t believe that is not possible. It’s time for the American people to wake up, take off the blinders. Sunday in Conroe, Donald called his cult supporters to arms. What other proof do you need? It’s time to stop this guy.*****Well, that about does it for me. Thanks for your time and until next time; take care and God bless.