My 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.
As 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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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
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.
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?