Camping At Crystal Lake

From Mark Phillips…

cl12I lived and grew up in Deer Park, Texas, which is outside of Houston. I can remember my family and I going there every year in the early to mid 70’s.

We would bring a tent and all our camping equipment and spend 3 or 4 days there. I believe we camped on the east side of the lake. I remember waking up to the smell of bacon and scrambled eggs my dad was cooking on a Coleman stove. We would eat the hamburgers that y’all made…best i ever ate.

Also remember getting my first kiss from a girl in a white bikini….

And we would listen to Freddy Fender on the juke box…   Wasted days and wasted nights….   I hate that song now…lol…

Anyway, they were some of the best summers of my life.

Its a shame that places like that are no longer. We could teach our kids and grand kids the simple things in life if there were….


Piney Woods Paradise

cl3This post is an excerpt from an article on Carolyn Lackey’s blog – Finding the Funny. Please click here for the full article.

We spent many a summer Saturday at Crystal Lake – a small lake somewhere near enough to Carthage, TX to make for a good day trip but enough of a drive to keep a 6 year old lounging on the back dashboard watching the telephone poles whiz by asking “are we ALMOST there?!” about a thousand times.  Yes, indeed.  It was a very special place back in the day to kids who thought of visiting Disneyland as an unattainable pipe dream and a day at  Six Flags as the trip of a lifetime. Read more…

Welcome to

20130825_102921My Dad, Danny Plunkett, was a lifeguard in the 50’s at Crystal Lake, and a graduate of Joaquin High School.  He was involved in EVERYTHING a kid could be involved in when it comes to Shelby county… he played football, and basketball during those days, and then went off to college and the military like most other boys.

He had a wonderful sense of humor, as you can see from his High School yearbook entry (to himself.)  He was great friends with the Whiddon family, and cherished his days working at Crystal Lake.

008As a father (and a son) he often took me back to Joaquin (we lived in Dallas) to visit his folks, and visit those he loved growing up. Every time we would visit Joaquin, I’d get a slice of the country life: chickens and roosters waking you up REALLY early, fishing ponds, crawfishing, fresh eggs and cheese, the best biscuits in the WORLD (nobody drops biscuits like my grandmother, Dorothy Plunkett…)  and of course – Crystal Lake.

My father passed in 2013 and I went back to Joaquin. It had been over 20 years. When I drove by Crystal Lake, to enter Joaquin, and…

It took my breath away – forgotten memories of my childhood, my wonderful childhood – and the precious gift of country living and a simpler time my Dad had given me. At that moment, I knew I had to reach out to the Whiddon Family, specifically Susan Whiddon – who still lives on Crystal Lake – and make her a part of my life somehow. I had read articles online and felt like she should have a place where memories could be shared about Crystal Lake and her family’s contribution to Joaquin and surrounding communities.

I sent her a letter and initiated a friendship that I am VERY grateful for because her family and their presence on our lives.

This site is built with Ms. Whiddon’s permission. I will be visiting with her and showing her these updates and we hope you will share your memories of Crystal Lake with us. If you have a story to share, please email it to me and I will share it with her and we will post on the website.