American Flag Flies at Smith Point after IkeWe just returned from Smith Point Texas where we witnessed feats of ordinary heroism that warrant recording here.  Lets start with Fred, president of the volunteer fire department, and his wife Jennifer, who the next day after the storm return to Ike’s bullseye to assess the damage, and took pictures of everyone’s home and posted it on the web so that all the neighborhood could see the condition of their home.  And Fred, heeding the calls of a desperate voice far off in a quagmire of mud dredge up from the bay and deposited all over Smith’s Point by Ike, found and rescued a man who floated on a tank 11 miles from Port Bolivar.  Fred and Jennifer are a force at the Fire station every day, handing out meals to those returning to dig out.  Did I mention, Fred and Jennifer’s home is a total loss?

And Louis, tirelessly helping neighbors rework broken pipes so that they can get water flowing again in their homes.  And Ben, fixing, hauling, and building everything in sight, for anyone, even though he doesn’t have a home there.  And the countless trucks of linesmen from Virginia, North Carolina, and Michigan, who had new lines up and power flowing after a week back to the remote community of Smith Point.  And the stories go on, and on, of neighbor helping neighbor to dig out of 8 inches of mud in their homes, hauling out water heaters, washer, dryers out of yards, cutting up fallen trees, hauling away dead cattle, and searching for lost memories among the flotsam.

The American Red Cross has won everyone’s heart in Smith Point.  Their providing of meals, MREs (boy have these improved since I was a child in the Air Force), and clean water.  I am a donor for life at  In our little neighborhood, probably 1/3 of the houses are simply gone without a trace, boats are everywhere, the woods are full of homes demolished in Crystal Beach or Port Bolivar, no one escaped unscathed.

More than anything, the story of Smith Point is a story of a community drawn closer by tragedy and adversity.  A story of human determination and the quiet, resolve of Texans picking up the pieces, helping their neighbors and starting over.  It makes you proud to be an American.