Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I wrote this for my Texas high school's 60's website. Folks were writing in, reminiscing about yesteryear as we are prone to do from time to time the older we get. Carolyn's name came up & I was asked to write about her since she had mentored me thru hard times. I graduated in 1965.

Carolyn Deuback was in the class of '61 at RHS. Always the most beautiful girl next to anyone - anywhere she went, she was also the nicest, sweetest, kindest soul. Her brother Johnny was in our class, but I don't remember him graduating with us & I don't think he was in our Sr. year book, tho' he was in our Jr. pics, or if not in then definitely in our soph pics in '63. I would love to know what happened to him, I googled Deuback Skating Rink & saw there was a listing in Bowie Texas. (Where is that, I can't remember?) Their father's name was John Ed,& their mother's name was Peaches. They were always there, Mrs Deuback taking tickets & money behind the window at the front door & also serving candy & sodas from behind the counter. The partyroom was behind that with big, long tables & benches. Mr Deuback ran the rink calling the shots in the little electronic side booth (couples only. reverse directions. Threesomes. Girl's choice. etc) & he always skated around with a stern face keeping watch over us all with his whistle around his neck. It was hard to get a smile from him, he ran a tight ship.

At the old rink, the party room was in the back with wooden booths & I believe there was more of a menu to choose from to eat. They lived over a two car garage directly next to the rink. When there was a fire, Mr Deuback got badly burned trying to get the family out & his face was scared a bit from it, but was still handsome. As we all know, they rebuilt a new rink with a new, beautiful brick house directly next door & everybody was excited when they re-opened & we could go skate fri nights & sat afternoons & nights! It was always busy.

I started taking skating lessons from Carolyn in the 6th grade & talked my BFF Tina into joining me. We went every sat morning, staying thru the afternoon sessions & it was the most wonderful escape from my mundane, crazy emotional 11yr old life back then. For me, just holding Carolyn's hand skating in circles, taking her instructions, getting better, pleasing her & trying to be her 'best pupil,' & making her laugh gave me the best high. It got me thru the boring school weeks for years & I just could never get enough of her, I had such a humongous girl-crush. And she was very tolerant of my silliness & nervous giggling. She knew I idolized her, but then the truth is everybody did because she was such an amazing young beauty. She was always most popular in high school, head cheerleader, Miss RHS her Sr year, & went on to become Miss Richardson & placed in the top 10 in that yr's Miss Texas Pageant! The girl was GORGEOUS! And naturally so.

Of all the wonderful memories I have of Carolyn, these stand out;
Tina & I went to a RHS football game (it was so long ago it was at Greenville ave stadium, we were in the 7th grade) & Carolyn was cheering away with her big megaphone. We climbed to the top of the bleachers because there was no room anywhere else. Carolyn saw us, waved & motioned to come down to talk, I ran down (Tina was too shy) & we talked thru the chainlink fence for a minute till it was time for another cheer & I floated back up to my seat on cloud nine! I couldn't believe I had been acknowledged by her in front of all those older kids.

By the time I was 14, I got braces, took modeling lessons & started doing little modeling jobs, had been dancing at Buster Cooper's for a couple of years & was becoming a bit less gawky. Carolyn invited Tina & I to go along with her & her best friends Hellie & Shari to see the 'Miss Richardson' Pageant, drove by & picked us up in her old Ford & along we went with the big girls for a fabulous, exciting night, my GOD we were thrilled.

As we got older, Carolyn & I became more like friends. We would write when she went to NTSU & she always encouraged me in any endeavor I would do. I asked if she thought I should try out for Miss Richardson & she replied I always hoped you would. She gave me advice when I called & I was even once invited into the inner sanctum of her room when she showed me a dress she was going to wear for a big function & asked me what I thought. She surprised me the night of the Miss R pageant when she came behind the curtains to my dressing room to loan me a sweet golden necklace of hers to wear during the competitions for good luck! (Which meant more than I could ever say because my parents & brother weren't even there, were on vacation in Fla - never thought I could win) And when I did get the crown, she was the first one up on the stage throwing her arms around me saying I told you you could do it!

Carolyn got married to J.L. Lamb & when I visited her one afternoon that summer in their 1st little apartment she mentioned how they had such a great night listening to Ray Charles' new album. Shortly thereafter she became stricken with Guillain Barre Syndrome. I came home during my freshman year a SFA to see her once again in her bedroom next to the skating rink. This time she was in a hospital bed, her beautiful legs were but broomstick size & she had an oxygen tank. I told her I finally had a handsome boyfriend & she weakly replied I told you you would. I said I missed her & she said I miss you too. She couldn't breathe well & I left shortly thereafter because I didn't want to tax her, & I really didn't know how to handle it.

A cold winter day Tina's mother called her early in the morning while we were still sleeping in our dorm to say Carolyn had passed away. Tina woke me up & gently broke the news to me. It was sad & shocking that someone & beautiful & vibrant had been stricken down so young when she had so much to live for. It's been said 'only the good die young' & Carolyn was surely the higest of GOOD. For months I walked around in a haze & often would wonder into goves of trees & just talk to her in heaven. Friends thought I was going crazy, but they left me alone to grieve & work it out.

In looking back, Carolyn Deuback was one of the biggest influences of my young life. I truly loved her with all my heart & soul, just adored her totally. I treasure the memories. Hope this didn't bore you guys, I tried to cut it down so the stories wouldn't get tedious.


Val said...

Very sweet...

yankeegirl said...

Beautiful memories of a beautiful person :)

SassyFemme said...

What a beautiful, sweet tribute.

JulieB said...

what wonderful memories of a sweet soul...you've been blessed for sure

Connie said...

Carolyn (Doo-Doo)Deuback was in our graduating class. She truely was a wonderful person.

We are having our 50th in April, 2011. May I reprint your article?

Wanda said...

Loved this touching letter and so true of Carolyn and what she was all about , I miss her to this very day ! Loved the Deubacks and the great influence they were on me! Wanda