Remembering Our Friend

She was a force of nature.

Always smiling, always so full of life, always happy to see her tribe.
She was beautiful. She was kind. She was funny. And now she’s gone.
We lost Karyn Premock in an ATV accident last week in Tennessee and hearts in Delray are broken.
If you knew Karyn, and so many around these parts did, you loved her. You couldn’t help it. And she loved you back.
Karyn was a stylist at Rex’s Hair Salon in Delray for decades and during that time she touched the lives of hundreds of people who flocked to her booth for a good haircut at a reasonable price and a conversation that never seemed to end. There were laughs galore, some gossip and a whole lot of opinions on issues large and small. I love the place and I really love Karyn. We became friends outside the booth and she and my wife were close.
When she retired, her friends and clients (one and the same) packed 5th Avenue Grill in a tribute nobody will ever forget.
We shared stories and laughs and testified to how much we adored this woman who brightened our lives every time we sat in her chair.
Karyn was so locally famous that newspaper stories were written about her book of business: she cut the hair of city commissioners, business leaders, State Representatives and all kinds of local legends.
The Sun Sentinel quoted State House Majority Leader Adam Hasner as saying that if you wanted to win a local election you
had to have Karyn as your hair stylist. Sure, you’d look good but more importantly she could guarantee you hundreds of votes because that’s how robust the shop was and how much Karyn interacted with a wide swath of this town.
I came to Karyn out of self defense. My wife Diane was already a client and had recommended that I go there, but for some reason I was reluctant. But as an elected official, I soon realized that if I didn’t go to Rex’s I would never have my finger on the pulse of the community. Every haircut was a learning experience. Karyn was a focus group with scissors and a blow dryer. The amount of information would sometimes be so dizzying that you would leave the shop needing a nap. I loved every minute of it.
When the hurricanes came roaring through Delray in 2005 and 2006 and I found myself shaggy haired and working around the clock, Karyn was kind enough to come to my kitchen and cut my hair and Rep. Hasner’s as well so we could look presentable and be comfortable as we helped the community recover.
When I was hospitalized with Covid in the summer of 2020 she called Diane every day to check on my condition.
That’s who she was…caring, loving and always willing to help.
She retired to Tennessee to live a dream life with her husband Dan complete with horses on a great piece of land. She was happy.
We missed her. Delray missed her too, but she found bliss in her bucolic surroundings.
I could go on and on about our friend Karyn. But right now I’m just heartsick. She was a bright light and I am reminded of what I already know—we are fragile beings and our lights can go out just like that.
When we write the stories of communities, we often tell the tales of the mayors and managers, the business titans and the other movers and shakers who make things happen.
But we often give short shrift to the special people who make a place a home. People like Karyn who quietly touch lives, make us smile, tell us jokes and make us feel at home every time we are in their presence.
We live in a fast-paced, complicated and ever changing world. We are surrounded by tragedy and heart ache. We are consumed by deadlines, work, bills and a whole lot of b.s.
 But if we are lucky, if we slow down just enough, we may just catch some magic.
Hundreds of people found warmth, love, humor and magic in Karyn Premock’s booth at Rex’s salon over the years. We were enriched by the experience. She made this place feel like home. She loved her customers. And we loved her back. We genuinely did and we always will.

We’ll always remember Karyn’s smile.

 

Comments

  1. Frances Bourque says

    Thank you for the heartfelt eulogy we all feel about Karyn! She never put her life on hold. She shared it with everyone she met or styled! God , thank you for the gift of Karyn in our own Camelot, Jacquelines!

  2. Lainie Lewis says

    Oh no! I loved Karyn! We had so much fun together in Lake Ida! RIP Karyn! You left us the same way you came into our lives…at full speed!

  3. Richard Hasner says

    Such a beautiful eulogy, Jeff! What a shock! Karen will be surely missed by all who knew her! We send our deepest condolences to her family and all her friends!

  4. Fred Bonardi. says

    Jeff, you are spot on! So beautifully written. I remember about 20 years ago I told Karyn that I might shave my head since I’m receding anyway. Karyn told me not to because I wouldn’t have to see her anymore. I never shaved my head. ! I loved Karyn and will always remember being in her booth, in her presence, her smile, her energy, walking the dogs in the park across the street , she laughed at my jokes even if they weren’t funny. Love you Dan and Karyn very much!

    • Jeff Perlman says

      What a great story Fred. She spoke so highly of you and your family. Karyn touched so many people. I still can’t quite believe it. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Her heart was big and she could light up a room with her beautiful smile. She is missed by all who had the Blessing of knowing her. May we pray for her and her family. Heaven has a sweet special person who we all will remember, adore and miss so very much.

  6. Rex. Thayer says

    I will never be able the thank you enough Jeff, for writing “Remembering Our Friend,” what a beautiful tribute, you are such a talented writer! I was fortunate enough in my life to know Karyn and work with her for 40 plus years, why I was that blessed, I will never understand! One of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known is gone, which breaks my heart, and so many others. I hope all of us gets to see you again, on the other side, someday, because I know “The Other Side” is a more beautiful place since you got there! RIP my friend

    • Jeff Perlman says

      Rex, I’m so sorry for your loss. Karyn adored you. You two were magic together. I believe you will see her again.

  7. Billie Christ says

    I work @ Rex’s need I say more!!!❣ She Lite up the Shop every single day. Rex loved that we would have a disagreement an two hours later we would be on the Avenue tossing 🍻 As everyone else I still can’t believe it😪love you Danny RIP my precious friend ❤till we met again 💜

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