Welcome to CrystalLakeTexas.com

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.

14 thoughts on “Welcome to CrystalLakeTexas.com

  1. Doug Childress

    Thanks for having a place to share memories of a special place in the lives of so many who grew up in a different, peaceful time. My early years in Joaquin, Texas, with much time spent at Crystal Lake, are precious times I will cherish my whole life.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Doug – I enjoyed meeting everyone in Joaquin on my last visit. We’ll be visiting again soon – and I’ll let you and your sister know when we are heading down, maybe we can stop by and visit again. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Lena and Richard Dickerson

    I remember moving to Joaquin in 1979. I was an 8th grader and new from Houston. This was one of the first that I was taken to. Living in those days were the most memorable for me. It was a great place to go and I believe that the reopening would bring such joy to the community. It would also be a place for class and family reunions and reconnecting with old memories. I understand that tims have changed since then. But, I believe that there would be an outcry for support and preservation. To the people of Joaquin, and the other communities, it can again be a place for history to be observed and respected. God made that a place of fun and fellowship. If it is ever reopened, God will provide the necessary support and continue to bless it. My husband is Richard Dickerson, and we live in Georgia, but we’d love to see this be a stop when we come to aee, when we make it home. Love and respect to you and your contribution to the lives of all who came to enjoy such a wonderful lake.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Isn’t it amazing how special a place can be? I feel the same way, I would love to see it reopen someday, so I can share my amazing memories with my family and for generations to come – and see a renewal of community there. Thank you for your wonderful testimonial – I will make sure the family gets to see your kind words – Kari

      Reply
  3. Sherron Woolf

    My heart is warmed to see this memorial. I grew up in Joaquin, born and raised here. I loved Crystal Lake, even though I couldn’t swim! Lol. But most of all, I love Susan Whiddon. She took in her friend, my aunt, during a rough period. I met Susan and she always did everything she could to help me in my troubled life. I worked for her as a teenager, helping her with cleaning up the lake and her cows. I learned so much about community, responsibility, and fun, love, and laughter at her house. My entire life, Susan Whiddon has been a solid and trusted friend and confidant.
    Three months ago, I was truly blessed by having the opportunity to buy the house behind Susan on the lake. Every morning, I do my devotion while gazing over the beauty of the lake. And I have the confidence of bring next door to someone who has always cared about me. God couldn’t have found a better place for me and my family to start a forever home.
    Yes, to have my family here, in Joaquin, and to share with my children the love of family, community, and God that I learned while growing up here is such a warm feeling in my soul.
    I’m grateful for the blessed upbringing that has brought me through so many rough times, bad experiences, and troubled years. Susan Whiddon had a big hand in giving me the nuggets of love and wisdom that carried me. And now has changed an entire family’s life for the better.
    God bless Joaquin, and Susan Whiddon. And thanks to the Whiddon family for sharing the beauty of the lake with so many people.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      How nice to be able to look over Crystal Lake. I knew that as soon as we put this site up and gave it a little time, folks would be stumbling across it, and enjoying the stories. Thank you for sharing Sherron! <3

      Reply
  4. Barbara Mitchell Burrow

    I am by nature very cautious but I threw caution to the wind once in the 60’s and risked my life to go down the trolley at Chrystal Lake just to keep another girls from going down it with my “crush” who I have now been married to for almost 49 yrs. Lots of wonderful memories of times spent at the lake. I have a memory of teaching my Uncle how to bop out on a pier there that I could swear had a jukebox on it back in the late 50’s. Can anybody verify that?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I bet it did! Rodney will have to ask Susan!! I can’t verify, since I wasn’t around but it sounds FUN!

      Reply
    2. admin Post author

      Hi Barbara, we’ll have to ask Ms. Whiddon to verify this – I will show her your comments next time I get to talk with her, or maybe her nephew will see this and ask too… I bet you are glad you took a chance on that trolley, and that crush. Congrats on nearly 50 years of marriage! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Janie (Wood) Jones

    I remember my grandmother saying they used to go roller skating at Crystal Lake. Growing up in Joaquin, I went swimming there many a days with my orange life jacket and pinned on ribbon. In the 80s I would ride my bike to the lake and visit with the life guards who just happen to be some of my good friends u till customers showed up to swim. I have to drive by this lake every time I go home and I always look and remember all the good times that were had there,

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Janie, yes, I believe Susan did mention they did have a roller skating rink there – and other things still, before that! It’s a very exciting history for a little lake in East Texas. So many people have amazing stories about this place, the Whiddon family and the lake touched many lives. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your fond memories.

      Reply
  6. GLYNDA Doiron-Wilson

    My memories of Crystal Lake began in the 60’s as a very young girl 4, 5, and 6 years old. Who needed our future (at that time) video and electronic devices when God gave us this beautiful Natural beauty to create our own games of play. My uncle Joe Geter, and his football buds from Woodlawn n HAS in Shreveport and probably layer from LA. Tech and Northwestern, along with dates would take me with them to Crystal Lake. As I look back, it probably was because he wanted to use my parent’s car, so he’d take his “baby Sissi” but truthfully his niece with tjem. I loved going down the trolley. Thinking back, I doubt if anyone thought of SAFETY issues being a factor as I never rode a bike with a helmet, lead was in both pencils and paint, because it was ALL ABOUT FUN, FUN, FUN………. Yes, Beach Boys was a musical staple then too. So sad that our “sue happy” society has made such things such a high cost liability risk that too often, it’s not feasible or worth the headache. But Oh the smiles and happy memories it has created for many of us…….PRICELESS!!!!!

    I’m now 58 and recall those fun days as if they were yesterday. Some years later when I was at C. E. Byrd HS, a friend and I went there and while it was fun then, my FONDEST MEMORIES are and will always be those earlier days in the 69s with my Uncle Joe Geter. Perhaps a time will come when our society can find a happy balance between all of technological devices that once again, the ourdfors will be a viable NATURAL CHILDHOOD GAME in and of itself.

    So HAPPY 72nd BIRTHDAY, UNCLE JOE!!!!!!!!! And THANK YOU CRYSTAL LAKE and it’s founders. To quote the late, great Bob Hope “Thanks for the memories!”

    Reply
    1. Robert Swilley

      I played football with Joe Geter when we were playing for the Shreveport Trojans. I also spent a lot of time at Crystal Lake being from Waskom we had several class picnics down there. It will always have a special place in my heart and mind.

      Reply
    2. K D Schwartz Sword

      I grew up in Shreveport and lived next door to a family on kings highway with a son named Jackson jeter: is this a relative of yours? I graduated Byrd in 72 but have 3 older siblings that also graduated from Byrd. We loved going to crystal lake in the 60’s!

      Reply

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