There’s a very good chance that if you grew up in New Braunfels and know how to swim, Bucky Smith had something to do with it! Like her friend, fellow swimmer and Living Legend, Bud Dallmann, Bucky’s contributions to our community inside and outside of the pool are numerous and so extraordinary that the Braunfels Foundation Trust has named her a Living Legend of New Braunfels.
Carol “Bucky” Warwick Smith literally grew up in the spring-fed pool in Landa Park. Her mother, Margarthe, was an accomplished violinist and her father, Firman, an engineer and professional baseball player. The couple relocated to San Antonio when Mr. Warwick’s baseball career ended, and he went to work for the San Antonio Public Service Company. The company was completing construction on the LCRA Building in Landa Park, and Mr. Warwick became superintendent of the utility company’s operations there. The Warwicks moved to New Braunfels and most summer evenings would find them swimming in the spring-fed pool with baby Bucky tethered to a tube behind them.
Bucky graduated from New Braunfels High School in 1946. An accomplished violinist in her own right, she played in orchestras in elementary school, junior high, high school, and college. Her teen years were spent at the Landa Park Pool working as basket girl and lifeguard, teaching swimming lessons, and swimming competitively. She attended Trinity University in San Antonio where she not only swam but helped coach the swim team. Bucky transferred to North Texas College and after graduation in 1950 joined the aquatic team called the Corkettes that put on ballet shows at the famous Shamrock Hotel in Houston. She returned to her hometown to organize the first aquacade for the Miss Texas Pageant held in the Landa Park spring-fed pool. According to the August 8, 1950, Herald, “Although the talent of the contestants was good, the numbers staged by Bucky Warwick and her Aquacadets stole the show”.
Bucky’s graduated with a degree in Medicine Technology and would work in labs at Wharton Regional Hospital and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston to name a few. Then of course, there was Scouting.
Bucky became a Girl Scout at age seven and has been continuously active in Scouting for seventy nine years. She has held all administrative positions both locally and council-wide, was an assistant and leader for at least ten different troops. She was elected to represent Texas at the National Girl Scout Camp of the West with her daughter, Catherine, and as a delegate to the National Girl Scout Convention. In 2003, she was honored with the Girl Scout’s “Women of Distinction Award.”
A 1964 founding member of the New Braunfels Republican Women, Bucky has held most offices – including twice serving as its President. For the past forty nine years, Bucky has worked in and managed the Republican Women’s booth during Wurstfest.
Bucky has been a precinct chair and has volunteered as a clerk or a presiding judge in every election period since 1964. She’s been a county delegate to the State Republican Convention numerous times and was elected as an Alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2004.
The New Braunfels Independent School District’s awarded Bucky their highest volunteer honor, the Silver Unicorn Award. She has been Chairman of the Board of the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce as well as helping design and build six Heritage Displays seen in the Civic Center during Wurstfest.
Bucky has four daughters, twins Missy and Debbie, Carol, Catherine, thirteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
When Bucky was little, she was called “Little Becky” after her grandmother, Rebecca. Mr. Warwick called her, “Nubby.” Somehow the two nicknames morphed into “Bucky” and that has been her name until now.
Now Carol “Bucky” Warwick Smith is a Living Legend.