Classmates - Local News


This booklet came out as an addition to the PA News, a tribute to Sam Monroe who has retired as President of Lamar PA.  Among the tributes was this photo of him with GW.


This was written about the photo:  "...GW Bailey ... during one of his several visits to the campus.  Bailey's participation over the years has helped build the Museum as well as private scholarship funds for the college"




Chaplain Mike Eaves, for the Orange County Jail, meets the inmates “spiritual needs” and offers words of encouragement. 


Chaplain Mike Eaves offers faith to jail inmates

October 8, 2013   Orange County News  

Words of encouragement is something everybody likes to hear, but in times of need and hopelessness while serving time in jail, it can mean a lot to an inmate to help get through the tough times ahead.

The chaplain of the Orange County Jail, Mike Eaves, likes to consider himself  “the encourager.”

“Despair is all around and they need to be encouraged,” Eaves said of the inmates.

Eaves has been the chaplain for the jail for about 30 years. He offers spiritual counseling to the inmates. His job is also to coordinate the 23 ministers who come from area churches to conduct church services for the inmates. The services are open to all faiths. Eaves has a waiting list of other churches and ministers wanting to share the Word of God with the inmates.

During the course of a month, about 250 inmates attend the church services which are held three times per week. Services are separate for men and women.

The ministers do not get into the inmates cases, but work solely on their “spiritual” needs. Once the inmates are released from jail, they  are welcome to attend any of the churches. If an inmate chooses to take it a step further and wants to be baptized while in jail, it is done at the jail. Baptisms are done once a month.

Eaves and the ministers do all they can for the inmates, but have to keep in mind it is in fact still a jail.

“The main thing is security comes first,” Eaves said.

But, Eaves job as the chaplain does not end with being at the jail. He is on call as well. There are times when he may accompany an officer to a residence for notification of next of kin following an incident where a death may have occurred. Eaves may be needed as support to the family.

Eaves was also called out to the scene of an accident. A truck driver was in need of someone to talk to following an incident where a man walked in front of his truck on the Interstate. The man was killed instantly which left the truck driver with issues and heartache to deal with in the aftermath. Eaves was able to provide some guidance and prayer in his time of need.

A call to service the Lord came later in Eaves’ life. He actually worked in the construction field before he changed to his current profession. But, he says after he became a Christian, “God opened doors” and working in the jail is something “the Lord laid” on his heart.

“When I met Jesus Christ, he directed me to service in the jail,” Eaves said.

That was in 1977 and he never looked back. Since then, he and his wife, Laverne, have raised four children.

He is endorsed by the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches. The organization is a Full Gospel, Spirit-filled ministry of helps based in Dallas, Texas. Since 1984, they have been endorsing Military and Civilian Chaplains for service to the nation and is state and federally recognized.

Eaves has been blessed with some momentous occasions outside the jail such as he was able to baptize his father, Louis, when he was 70 years old. His father has since passed away after sharing this occasion.

To keep the tradition going, he also baptized his wife and children. In addition, he conducted the marriage ceremony for his oldest son, Aaron.

Through it all, there is a favorite Bible verse of Eaves which is Philippians 1:6.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,” it reads.





Here are a few noteworthy photos I took recently at the Class of 68 Reunion.  The names should be familiar to many of us who followed TJ over the years. It may possibly be the last photo taken of Coach Smitty Hill.




From "The Cardinal Cadence" - June 2013

The Lamar University magazine for Alumni


Anita Nugent, '66, B.A. English, has expanded her teaching career to include Physics, becoming a national board-certified physics teacher in 2012.  She is a mentor for the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysics Institute pilot program investigating other worlds in space and an instructor of an engineering design class for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. 


She lives in Santa Fe, N.M. and teaches physics, advanced placement physics, and forensic science at the high school along with being an adjunct professor of forensic science at Santa Fe Community College and an adjunct professor for the New Mexico State Police Academy.







Coach Pense was a fine TJ coach for several years, in two eras.  He left us a few years ago. 

Luckily some TJ classmates visited him, one of them our own Mike Eaves.  An article on the coach and some photos are on our website.





Brandon Janes/ The News (Port Arthur News, April 29, 2012


Television star and Thomas Jefferson High School Class of 1962 graduate G.W. Bailey sits with his friend and former classmate Dianne Devoll at their 50 year class reunion this weekend in Port Arthur.


Bailey and friends from the Thomas Jefferson High School Class of 1962 gathered this weekend for their 50th Class reunion, though many had known each other for more than 60 years. Friends of Bailey, like Spook Laird, told the News some of their boyish schemes to escape to the downtown Keyhole Club to play pool. “We’d tell our parents, ‘I’m going to the library,’ and they’d say, ‘ Oh that’s good. Don’t forget your chalk,” said Laird. 


Bailey, who is famous for portraying brusque police or military characters on TV, did not grow up in a military household, although, years after the Police Academy movies, his brother Tim Bailey, who lives in Nederland, attended the local police academy and became a sheriff’s deputy in Jefferson County. “I was the first pretend cop in the family. He was the first real one,” Bailey told the News on Saturday.

Although he often plays them on TV, nobody ever made the mistake of thinking he was real police. “I don’t think anybody would watch the Police Academy movies and mistake me for a cop,” said Bailey. 


Bailey has been playing a cop for the past seven years as Lt. Provenza on the hit cable TV show “The Closer,” but he said his role is more authentic than Captain Harris. He now stars in “Major Crimes,” a spin off of “The Closer.” 


‘Happy Days’


The actor described the Port Arthur of his youth as a bustling city with a rich downtown full of shops, movie theaters and department stores. “Everybody had a job. Either you worked for Texaco or you worked for Gulf,” said Bailey. “I was raised never ever to doubt that Texaco was the greatest institution in the world because they gave my grandfather a job during the depression.” 


Although he described it as a time of mirth, he said the city had problems that he was not aware of because he grew up on the east side of the tracks. “We did live life behind a rose colored glass,” said Bailey, referring to the railroad tracks along Houston Street that divided the city between black and white. 


Although the city has changed a lot over the past 50 years, nothing can change the history he has with his classmates, he said, even though their high school doesn’t exist anymore. 


“You don’t keep those kinds of relationships if it’s not to celebrate you past and your friendships,” said Bailey. “All of us here, we had a great youth.”




GW On the Cover and Featured in a Local Magazine

(Scans left large for easier reading)




June 17, 2010

At home in Nederland, Mexico: Harper hits retirement

NEDERLAND — NEDERLAND — The Gulf Coast is where her roots are, but her new husband’s house near Puerto Villarta is a nice place to visit. Cheryl Carson Harper plans to call them both home.

The bride and retiree enjoyed her Wednesday cup of coffee amid doves and foliage in her back yard, relaxed in the schedule that would not have her headed to the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce. She retired as the office administrator.

“After five years of faithful service Cheryl Carson Harper will be missed. We would like to thank her for her service to the Chamber members,” Mary Ann Reid, chamber president, said.

Those members are what she said she’ll miss most about promoting the city.

“That’s the lifeblood of the city,” she said.

Chamber staffers presented Harper with a bird feeder because they know she enjoys her back yard oasis. She and VJ Harper have known each other for years and tied the knot in January. They’re adding a gazebo to their Nederland home, and planning jaunts to Mexico. Though Harper is technically retired, he has been serving as an insurance adjuster in Louisiana after the April oil spill brought claims, she said.

The First United Methodist Temple  member is active with Port Arthur For Positive Action. Working with grant money, the group is helping build a community center in Sabine Pass.

Through her Chamber dealings, Harper said knows the refinery expansions is boosting the economy now, but city officials should always consider what’s ahead.

“That’s going away in a few years. We need to face what is to come in the future,” Harper said, adding that the community must pool ideas.

“That can happen,” she said, especially with the city’s leadership. She praised Port Arthur Mayor Deloris “Bobbie” Prince.

“Mayor Prince is the most perfect mayor that a city could have,” Harper said.

The Chamber reports Harper, whose family owned the legendary Murphy’s Cakes on Gulfway Drive, began working at the Chamber in September 2005, after working in the hotel and catering industries. She continued through Hurricane Rita, a change in accounting systems and again after Hurricane Ike. Veronica Garza is the interim administrator.

Harper has two children, Cara and Chip; two grandchildren, Grace Caroline and Brooke; and a lasopoo named Bitty.

From her serene garden, Harper said she’s excited about her new “back and forth” life between Nederland and Mexico.

“Right now, everything is kind of open,” she said.

She said she’s living in the moment, because one never knows what tomorrow may bring.




Our Miss Jayne Smith in the PA News  9-6-09

Didn't scan the entire article, she talked about 

her travels and sights she has seen.

I had her for English, she was hard but stern.

Doing the calculating, she was about 29 or 30 when we had her.






Lucille informs us that this article and picture appeared in 

the recent East Texas Catholic newspaper.








Veteran actor and Port Arthur native G.W. Bailey has found himself in a position he said he never expected at his seasoned age — co-starring opposite Kyra Sedgwick as Det. Lt. Provenza in the highly acclaimed, award-winning TNT series, “The Closer.” 



Port Arthur native Bailey’s star continues to shine

The Port Arthur News

HOUSTON July 08, 2008 08:25 pm

Imagine yourself walking down the halls of Port Arthur’s Thomas Jefferson High School in 1960. Amid the hustle and bustle of the transition period, you could find yourself rubbing shoulders with a young, long-haired and smiling, yet shy senior named Janis Joplin.


Walk a little further and you might find yourself lost in the shadow of junior football star Jimmy Johnson.
And before you turn the corner down yet another hallway, another young man destined for the spotlight might come into view, though neither you nor him, would know it for another few years.


At that time, sophomore G.W. Bailey had aspirations of becoming a lawyer, and changing the world through his arguments in the courtroom. However, the acting bug bit during his junior high years when the T.J. Drama Club brought a performance of “Private Life of the Master Race.”


“It was actually a series of dramatizations of life under the Nazi regime,” Bailey recalls. “It was a story of a young man who turned in his parents. It was a really tough piece, but I was so blown away by it that I said to myself, ‘someday I’d love to be able to do that.’”

A few years later, the youthful Bailey of 2736 14th Street would begin participating in productions for The Port Arthur Little Theatre, and high school as well.

“I loved doing it, but I never thought about doing it professionally.”

After graduation in 1962, Bailey’s began to pursue his law degree at Texas Tech University. It was there he befriended several theatre students who talked him into auditioning for plays.

“And it’s really all I’ve done since,” Bailey said with a smile.


From a young, movie-loving Port Arthur teenager who frequented such establishments as The Sabine, The Strand, The Village, The Port, and the Don Drive-In, Bailey began his professional career working for local theatre companies and ultimately landed himself at the Actor's Theatre of Louisville, with such future acting stars as Michael Gross.


After making the move to California, Bailey began appearing in such popular T.V. series as Charlie’s Angels, CHiPs, and Starsky & Hutch. He also began landing parts in sitcoms and feature films before making recurring roles throughout the run of M*A*S*H and St. Elsewhere.


But, it was after Bailey received the role of Lt. Thaddeus Harris in the blockbuster comedy, Police Academy, that he became involved with what he calls the ‘third’ part of his life.

“I have three parts of my life; I have my family life, which consists of my wife, my kids and my grandkids. I have my professional life, which is right now, “The Closer.” And then I have a huge, important part of my life which is the Sunshine Kids Foundation.”

The Sunshine Kids Foundation is a foundation that is dedicated to providing positive group activities and emotional support for young children with cancer throughout North America.
“Twenty-three years ago, my 12-year-old goddaughter was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. She came into contact with this organization, and it totally changed her outlook with how she dealt with her disease. Through her, I met the founder and I’ve been involved with it ever since,” Bailey said.


By 2005, Bailey’s professional work spanned just over 30 years, when he landed the role of Detective Lt. Provenza in a new, prime-time cable T.V. series called The Closer, which was to star Kyra Sedgwick. Bailey chuckles as he begins to speak of his character, whom he describes as ruggedly handsome, slightly-over-middle-aged, charming, loving and caring man.
“Now, others don’t see him that way,” Bailey laughed, “but that’s how I see him, and probably how he sees himself.”
Provenza’s relationship with Sedgwick’s Brenda was one of extreme distaste and disdain in the beginning, describes Bailey.
“She was an outsider, he didn’t like working for a woman, and he particularly didn’t like working for a Southern woman and he didn’t like working for a really pushy woman and she was all of those things,” Bailey said. “But by the end of the first season, when Brenda was in great jeopardy of losing her job, it was Provenza who came up with the plan to help save her job.”

As the show progressed, so too has the relationship of Provenza and Brenda, which according to Bailey now mirrors that of an old uncle and a niece who find that they work better together than apart.

“But it’s real confusing who’s taken who under who’s wing,” Bailey says.


The Closer is the first time the two actors have worked with each other.
“And she’s one of the most favorite actors I’ve ever worked with,” Bailey confessed. “Both professionally and as a person, we’ve become very fond of each other and I think it shows on screen as well. She, and actually the entire cast, have been enormous contributors of spirit, time, and care to the Sunshine Kids.”

After three seasons of unprecedented success, The Closer has emerged as one of the highest rated cable T.V. series of all-time, setting records for viewers with 10-million tuning in for last season’s finale.


The series, dubbed “groundbreaking” by industry professionals, is set to return for its fourth season at 8 p.m. Monday, July 14 on TNT.


Of the show, Bailey says fans will see more of their characters’ real lives as extended family, friends and crisis’ are introduced, and the on-the-job troubles for Provenza are far from over.

“Oh, the fifth episode of the upcoming season is like the story of Job for Provenza,” Bailey laughs. “Every time he turns around he’s got new problems.”

Bailey, who will be 64 in August, credits the cast for their appeal to the large viewing audience they’ve attained, and says though success was envisioned for the show, he never expected it to be as broad as it has become.
“In a million years did I think at this point in my life I would be on a show that would be the biggest hit in the history of basic cable, no,” he said. “We were hoping for success, always, we thought it had good possibilities, but to get the numbers we’re getting, which by the way are numbers that some network shows only hope to get, is phenomenal.”

The cast as a whole has twice been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for ensemble cast, which Bailey states is a credit to the actors work on the show as a whole. Of his experience with them, Bailey uses a sports analogy to describe working on the show.

“It’s more fun to play tennis with a good tennis player, it’s more fun to play golf with a good golfer. I’m a terrible golfer, I wouldn’t play with me, but it’s more fun to play with someone that can really push me to be better.
“It’s a lot more fun to work with a good cast than with a bad one. You really got to be on your toes with these guys. They’re all pretty good. It’s challenging, but it’s fun.”





Lucille saw this, from 2004, I get the Cardinal Cadence too but I missed it.

When they don't mention the high school, it gets by me.  Left the size of the 

scan kinda large to be able to read the pages.

She looks a bit different than those 1959 pictures we have of her.

Still, she has accomplished much in her time.

Joan Leavell.  Enjoy.






On page 5A of the Beaumont Enterprise (April 11, 2007) is this
picture of our Beatrice Y'Barbo Scarborough receiving the CASA

(Court Appointed Special Advocates) Outstanding Volunteer 

of the Year Award last night.  

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Southeast Texas, Inc. is a 

non-profit organization that recruits, trains and supervises a diverse 

group of community volunteers, appointed by the courts to advocate for 

abused and neglected children in the pursuit of safe, permanent homes.





Mike Eaves Ministry
Fine article on our own Mike Eaves
(click for larger view)