December 20, 2023
Carol’s fascination with movement started early. Growing up, she was deeply involved in gymnastics, swimming, and dance classes at the local YMCA in Pomona, California. Music courses through her veins and her feet can’t help but dance to its rhythm. Her passion for dance led her to participate in a pilot series called Blue Skies, filmed in Ferndale. Despite the series not making it to air, it remains a unique experience from her post-college years.
After completing her degree in Physical Education with an emphasis on recreation at Humboldt State University, she aimed to work with children to improve their gross motor skills. She believed that addressing these issues at a young age could transform a child’s life within two weeks. Unfortunately, these positions in Humboldt were all volunteer-based. Carol faced a choice: return to a major city for a paid position or embrace the more peaceful and quiet life that Humboldt had to offer. She chose the latter.
A surprising career shift led her into the hotel industry at the Eureka Inn, an endeavor that lasted until 1981. Later, she worked in Sales and Catering at the Red Lion for 26 years. Her love for catering, food, hospitality, and welcoming people brought her joy. Carol has been active in the American Business Women’s Association and Humboldt Redwood Cursillo for many years, demonstrating her commitment to professional development as well as her faith.
One intriguing aspect of Carol’s life is her ability to overcome social anxiety in large gatherings. While many would be anxious in a room full of strangers, she masterfully overcomes it by finding purpose in tasks like check-ins and greetings, allowing her to address the crowd confidently. With a specific role, she becomes confident and composed, even when addressing a room full of people at events like Chamber of Commerce mixers which she is an Ambassador in 5 different Chamber of Commerces.
The decision to remain in Humboldt County, surrounded by its unique natural beauty, was a life-changing one for Carol. She has a wealth of knowledge of local plants and animals and believes in the symbiotic relationship between taking care of the environment and taking care of people. Her love for nature and people is beautifully summed up in her philosophy: “Take care of Mother Earth, take care of people.”
She informed me the name Carol itself has a serene origin, emerging from the calm place behind a waterfall. Her family history stretches back to the 1600s in the U.S. and spans different backgrounds. Her dad’s family hails from Wales, while her mom’s side has German roots. Despite their contrasting upbringings, her parents found each other in a nightclub on the East Coast, setting the stage for the Clymo family.
Life had an intriguing plan for her, as her husband, Wayne, lived in the same neighborhood for many years. They witnessed each other’s relationships, marriages, and personal growth before eventually coming together. Their journey led them to the house they live in today, with Wayne constructing the home, and Carol shaping the landscape to perfection.
Carol’s love for nature extends to her vast knowledge of plants and animals, and she enjoys growing her garden with plants like lettuce and chives. Her backyard provides her with a tranquil spot to soak up the sun and enjoy her favorite classical or country music. Her retired life allows her to find that perfect hour of sunshine and relish it, even in Humboldt’s unpredictable weather.
As we explored her backyard, we encountered charming details that made Carol’s life story come alive. From a dog house that resembles a miniature version of her home to her thriving garden, every corner tells a story of a life well-lived.
While Carol’s father was a painter, she only discovered his artistic talent after his retirement when she stumbled upon framed art pieces without an artist’s name. Her father’s skillful painting was rooted in meticulous recreations of photographs. Although he didn’t consider himself an artist in the conventional sense, the precise work he created made a profound and enduring impression on her.
As a teen, her father’s involvement in the California Conservation Corps (CCC), a government program formed after the Great Depression, exposed him to incredible experiences, including handling dynamite for various projects. While working as a bookkeeper, he had a profound interest in computers and took night classes to learn more about them. He worked with early computers that filled entire rooms, learning the intricacies of languages like FORTRAN and punch cards. Later, he transitioned into teaching others how to program, sharing his passion for this emerging field.
One heartwarming aspect of Carol’s life is her ability to provide solace to her father during his last days. She moved him into her home, making him comfortable in her living room and cherishing the time they spent together.
Family is incredibly important to Carol. She has two daughters and a stepson, and between them, they have given her the gift of nine grandchildren. Her stories about her family, including a daughter who served in the Army and a grandson influenced by his stepdad to join the military, reflect her pride and love for each one of them.
These are just some of the chapters that make up the beautiful life of Carol Clymo, a woman whose experiences and passions have shaped her into a fascinating individual. Her love for Humboldt County’s natural beauty, her profound knowledge of plants and animals, and her dedication to her family have all contributed to the exceptional tapestry of her life.