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Polish Texans

Biographies of Well known Texans of Polish descent

Gary Kubiak Enters First Year Of The Job He Was Made To Do

Gary Kubiak Enters First Year Of The Job He Was Made To DoOn Aug. 2, 1976, Gary Kubiak walked off a plane and into the rest of his life. Just 14 years old, he absorbed the enormousness of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium, the exhilaration, the screaming fans, the red and yellow seats, the white scoreboard staring from above the top deck as if it were a robot raising its hand.

Kubiak caught his breath as he jogged onto the field for the preseason game. He knew how lucky he was to be a ballboy for the Houston Oilers, throwing training camp passes to Earl Campbell and Mike Barber at Sam Houston State. The players treated him like one of their own, knowing he was a rising high school football star. But this — well, this was different.

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Gary Kubiak And His Bremond Polish Texan Roots

Houston Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak And His Bremond Polish Texan RootsIt’s football season in Texas and the NFL Houston Texans are generating plenty of excitement as they begin the season with four straight wins. It’s a well known fact that Gary Kubiak, the Texans head coach and his family have deep ties to Houston but his family also has roots in Bremond, the Polish Capital of Texas. His great grandfather Michal was born in the late 1840’s in the Poznan area of Poland which was occupied by Prussia at the time. He and his family immigrated to America somewhere around 1885 and settled in the Bremond area where he had relatives. Seven of his thirteen children were born and raised in Bremond and the youngest son was Gary’s grandfather.

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Church Law Scholar, Father Musiol Proud Of Mission Work

Father Jozef Musiol At Thanksgiving Mass - St. Stanislaus Catholic Church In Chappell Hill TexasBy Bud Chambers/Correspondent
Published by Brenham Banner Press
Monday, May 23, 2011 1:01 PM CDT

CHAPPELL HILL — Father Jozef Musiol — born 64 years ago in Myslowice, Poland, 50 miles from Krakow — is certainly a very smart gentleman and a caring individual of multiple talents who dedicated his life early on to the missions of the Catholic Church, becoming a priest by age 25 and then gearing nearly every waking moment “to His service” for now 39-plus years.

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Out of the Cotton Patch – Dance Town USA

Florian StolarskiFrom Texas Dancehall.org “Texas is known throughout the world for its music, culture, and character. We owe much of this legacy to one singular aspect of our heritage – the heritage of the Texas dance hall. No other place on the planet has this heritage, produced as it was by the mix of diverse immigrant cultures on the southwestern frontier.”

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Faustyn Langowski on the Side

Great sidemen rarely get the attention they deserve. It’s long overdue that we pay tribute to Faustyn Langowski, whose career on clarinet and sax establishes him as one of the premier sidemen of Texas music.

Texas polka fans know Faustyn as the entertaining man on clarinet and sax with Harry Czarnek & the Texas Dutchmen since 1999. Or perhaps they remember him performing with Brian Marshall & the Texas Slavic Playboys, wearing a black hat and making wisecracks that kept the band in stitches. Friends may recall him as the heavy smoking “conversationalist,” who has many stories and the ability to tell them well.

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A Tribute To A Polish Texan Musical Icon

Sigmund JozwiakSigmund Jozwiak
August 25, 1925 – November 4, 2009

There is no doubt that Sigmund was an Icon in Texas Polish history! He was loved and will be missed, but it is up to us to remember the legacy that he has made for Polish Texans and celebrate the impact he has made on each of us. I personally know that he loved seeing all of us get together and celebrate our Polish culture and heritage. He knew that our music and customs, of which he help preserve, would be safe and passed down to another generation for others to enjoy. …

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John Louis Meleski

John Louis MeleskiJohn was born in Chappell Hill Texas, Washington County June 11, 1897. He moved to Houston, Texas in 1921 at the age of 24, with his young Chappell Hill bride, Nora Meleski. They eventually had two children Victoria and Florian, and settled on Aurora Street, in the then suburbs of Houston. John worked and retired from Humble Oil Company in downtown Houston.

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Steve Okonski

Steve Okonski and band in Chicago

Steve Okonski, born August 29, 1916 in Bremond, Texas was a lifelong resident of Bremond and was a farmer and musician. Steve was a fiddler for over 70 years and played in many towns for many weddings, family reunions, and community events throughout Texas (Houston, Dallas, Bremond, Brenham, Chapel Hill, New Waverly, Westphalia, and many others). His band usually included the instruments that were readily available in the small country town — violin, base, guitar, and accordion. They played the old time Polish favorite traditional fiddle based music. Many of the Polish family immigrants listened and enjoyed the music that connected them to their villages in Poland. Some of Steve’s favorites were: Steve’s Special, Steve’s Celia, Flat Lake Special, Village OBerek, Westphalia Waltz and others. Steve received a plaque for playing a fiddle for 70 years in Texas at the Ft Bend County Fair.

Steve supplemented his small farming income with many various jobs such as bus driver, painter, his band and others. He also served in the infantry with the US Army during World War II.

 -Bio from Okonski Family Website

Listen to Music By Steve Okonski

Stop The Fighting Boys Polka (Nie Bijcie Się Chłopcy) and The Bremond Polish Wedding Waltz by Steve Okonski Band

Texas Polish Polka and Sweet Potato Polka by Steve Okonski Band

Steve’s Special and Płynie Wisła by Steve Okonski Band

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