The Curse

Dad, being the old school man’s man type that so many of us grew up with had a policy of NEVER using curse words in front of women, especially not HIS daughters. Well, one day after we were all grown, my father used a curse word in front of my sister Jeanne. Jeanne went absolutely white in shock and queried my dad about cursing in front of her. Dad just looked at her and in his smart aleck way remarked “Well, Hell, I learned it from Julie”.

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Schwartz Park 1965

Just in case anyone is wondering how it all turned out, in 1965 when I was 12 years old, I decided that I didn’t want to be a boy. I wanted to be a girl.

At Schwartz Park, which was fortunately, right across the street from our house, we had the opportunity to watch a little league game any night of the week. More important than watching the game was the fact that if you kept score you would get free snow-cones and bubble gum or that if you were faster than all the other kids and you were the one to recover a foul ball that had gone over the fence, you got freebees from the snack bar.

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Fishing On The Third Sand Bar

If you drive down the fairly uninhabited stretch of beach between San Luis Pass and Surfside, especially in the early fall, you will usually see a few people fishing from the shore with big stiff surf rods. The last time I drove that stretch of beach, I stopped and watched a couple of guys cutting the waves in a small kayak looking boat. I didn’t stay and watch too long, but the best I could figure was that they were anchoring their rods on the beach and then hand carrying the hook and bait out past the third sandbar. Since not even the strongest guy can cast that far, it seemed to me like a pretty good idea if you know how to maneuver the kayak.

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Who Shot The Hole In the Roof?

This is a short story that Dad told me many times over the years.

During the late 20’s and early 30’s, Dad used to stay at one of his cousins farm in Kenefick Bottoms, just north of Dayton, Texas. The farm was in the Trinity River bottom, deep in the East Texas woods. Dad always said that this place was in the middle of some of the wildest country he had ever been in, and that’s saying a lot, coming from Dad. The place was full of wild critters, which Dad and his cousins, both the Maduzia and Polka boys, loved to hunt. As I remember the story, Joe Maduzia and his wife Mary owned the farm. Joe’s son, Robert Lee, was fairly close to Dad’s age. Dad’s cousin, Joe D Polka, who was the younger brother of Joe Maduzia’s wife Mary was living there with them at the time. Joe D was a few years older than Dad and Robert Lee.

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Rita…..And A Flood Of Memories

Whenever the news media starts their unending hurricane coverage, my thoughts always turn to memories of my Dad. I automatically think of my dad whenever I hear of a bad hurricane hitting the gulf coast. After all, how many people do you know who weathered the dirty side of one of the largest gulf coast hurricanes while staying right on the Galveston seawall.

It was early September in 1961, just before my 9th birthday when Dad and a convoy of other Southwestern Bell employees headed for Galveston. Since heavy flooding from the storm was likely, the telephone repair crews were moved into Galveston before the storm so they could begin work immediately after the storm went through. Carla was a slow moving storm and the phone crew was in the hotel for at least two days before they could begin work.

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Papa Jacob’s Farm

I know, it’s getting kind of old, me writing all these stories. But, I think, they need to be told. Hopefully, someone will find them enlightening.

I think it is noteworthy how much my Dad liked his father-in-law, George Jacob, Sr.,
Jacob, as his wife, our maternal grandmother called him, was a man’s man, like Dad.
Papa Jacob had a farm in Waller, Tx, which for me and the older children of Rip Smock and our cousins on mother’s side, was a wonderful respite from living in Houston, Tx.

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One More Story About My Dad

The story I have to tell about my Dad, Rip Smock, I think tells it all about how much he liked his children.

We were at Camp Flatrock, our yearly respite from the heat and busy ness of living in Houston, Texas.

As usual Dad took anyone who was interested, and some who were not, fishing.

We were fishing from the bank, somewhere halfway between the camp and the pecan bottom, which was about a mile down river.

I don’t remember doing anything special. We all had cane poles.

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