Photo Stories

Rip and Five Cousins

Six young Polish kids in the early days of Houston, descendants of the Polka, Maduzia, Kloc and Steshaczynak families from Bremond, Texas. These families immigrated from the Debica and Pilzno areas of SE Poland.

Left to right, Clara Mae Stash, Mary Ann Stash, Dorothy Riess, Lucile Riess, Walter ‘Sonny’ Smock, Fred William Stash
Houston, Texas
circa 1927

Maria Jacob letter to Rip Smock

Pancho, Maria and Rip

January 1949 photo of Pancho Polka with my parents Maria Jacob and Rip Smock before they were married. The photo was taken at 1102 Omar Ave in front of the house that Mom grew up in the Heights.

Pancho Polka, Maria Jacob and Rip Smock

Maria’s Letter To Rip

The Post Office used to be a little more lenient on how you could address a letter. My mother sent this letter to my father in 1947 when he was working in El Campo and he got it just fine. Here’s the translation;
Mr. Walter A. Smock “Rip” (Rip was his nickname)
c/o Bell Telephone Company
El Campo, Texas

Maria Jacob letter to Rip Smock

Christmas Midnight Mass On A Naval Base

In 1944, my Dad, Rip Smock, started his Christmas celebration by attending a traditional Midnight Mass at a US Naval Base on a remote island in the South Pacific.

Christmas Midnight Mass Program
World War II US Naval Base
December 1944 — at Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands

Christmas Midnight Mass On A Naval Base

Duck Pond At The Spring Branch Farm

Duck pond at the Spring Branch farm
2132 Pech Rd.
Shwartz Park and Landrum Jr. High in the background
Dad raised mallards at our Spring Branch farm the whole time I was growing up. We ate pretty good for poor folks and us kids were pretty good at plucking ducks.

Duck Pond At The Spring Branch farm
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