Rip’s mother Agnes Polka was born on a cotton farm mid way between Bremond and Marlin Texas. She was baptized in this beautiful church of St. Mary’s in Bremond on February 8, 1891. Photo property of James Kloss.
Rip Smock died on October 24, 2004 at the age of 81. His funeral Mass was held at St. Jerome Catholic Church in the Spring Branch area of Houston, Texas on October 28, 2004 and he is buried at Forest Park Lawndale.
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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
I saw a post on Facebook about hand grenades and that got me to thinking of my Dad and a story he told me. When Dad got out of the Navy after World War II, he took a few souvenirs home like most everybody else who could get away with it. He had no trouble getting home with a few guns and Japanese knives but the Navy nixed his idea of taking home a half dozen hand grenades.
Watched a breaking newscast yesterday, big news, some guy spotted a couple of rattlesnakes on the West end of Galveston. Nothing new, there’s been rattlesnakes down there as long as I can remember. Heck, cross over the pass toward Surfside if you’re looking for rattlesnakes, those cedar brakes along Christmas Bay used to be full of them and I suspect they still are. In the old days, these guys did everything they could to thin out the rattlesnake populations on the Texas gulf coast. That’s my rattlesnake hunting daddy Rip Smock in the center.
A quote from someone on the 2CoolFishing forum commenting on my dad’s old fishing and hunting photos that he stumbled on while surfing the web;
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.
It’s amazing what you can find on the internet now days. A few weeks ago, I posted some photos of the home village of Rip’s Ancestors, the Polka and Kloc families, the small farming village of Gawrzyłowa, Poland. I found this 1849 map of Gawrzyłowa today from the Landowner Records in the Polish State Archives at Przemyśl. It is composed of nine high resolution map scans which I stitched together the best I could. The map pieces do not match perfectly in some areas but this is still a fascinating bit of history. Now I just need to do some more research and figure out what all of the symbols and numbers on the map mean.
Wow!! I was looking for a pan to put the turkey in and came across a piece of tree root. I scratched it with my pocket knife and the whole room filled with a sweet root beer aroma. Turned out to be a piece of sassafras root left over from a big batch my Dad gave me about 25 years ago.
He was supervising the burial of phone cable going to Fairfield subdivision which was being built on the old 9-bar ranch on 290 between Cypress and Hockley. One of the backhoe operators hit the roots and my Dad, who hated to waste anything, loaded as much as he could find in his truck and brought it home.