Monday, January 27, 2014

Part Two: The Move To Jacksonville

As I stated in last Monday's post, once weekly I plan to feature a guest writer, my husband. He has been painstakingly writing down the stories of his childhood to share them with his 9 year old niece. I wanted her to know what kind of childhood her beloved Uncle was able to enjoy. While enjoying them myself I thought these are so much fun to read, why not share them? So here are the short missives of his memories of growing up in wilds of Florida during the 1950's and 1960's. They're packed with misadventures, romance, and all the confusing things that can happen in our youth. Even though his hometown of Jacksonville is a big city with over a million residents now, during his childhood it was several small communities surrounded by countryside. 
This is his story.

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The Move To Jacksonville
by Steven R. Hudson

When I was about four we moved to Jacksonville, FL. We settled into a small rental cottage on Lake Lucina in the Arlington area of Duval County. The cottage was owned by the Dickson family and I believe the road down to the lake is still called Dickson Road. There was a large pear tree in the yard and only a short walk to the lake which was surrounded by Cattails and alive with the trill calls of Red-wing Blackbirds that nested in the reeds. Sometimes Mom would fish at the lake for Bream which were really tasty when fried crisp in corn meal batter.

About this time Dad got a small black and white television. The screen was so small that we had to get very close to watch, but the cabinet it was mounted in was huge and the whole thing looked quite silly compared to the sleek flat screen TV's of today. It was a great deal for us however, as TV was the "new" thing and we were now on the cutting edge of the latest technology. There was only one channel available, WJXT Channel 4. It was our sole source of programming but that was fine with me. I remember lying on the floor in the afternoons, close to the tiny flickering screen watching the "Lone Ranger" battle it out with bad guys, Tonto at his side and his horse Silver carrying him into the western sunset after another victory for law and order. Next was "The Cisco Kid" and justice meted out with a Spanish accent. After supper, the local news with Bill Grove and then the National News on CBS with Douglas Edwards.

My first trip to the emergency room occurred when we lived here. Mom had caught some Bream in the lake and fried them up that evening for supper. Mom would always pull my fish apart before I ate to check for small bones but this time she missed one and the bone was stuck solidly in my throat. I began to cough and cry and I can still remember how uncomfortable and scared I was. Dad put me in the car and rushed me to the emergency room where the bone suddenly passed about the time we arrived. Crisis over. 

We lived in that cottage only a short time. Dad bought us our first house in a brand new subdivision called Center Park. We were now only seven miles from Jacksonville Beach, on the newly four-laned Beach Blvd and bordered on every side by thousands of acres of beautiful woodlands. There was a large creek that flowed north to south on one side of the area and crossed under Beach Blvd., disappearing into moss laden oaks that lined it's banks. There were many vacant lots that had not been built on and a huge stand of Cypress trees and Oaks, like a great wooded park, that stood square in the middle of the subdivision. I and the many new friends I would make here named this park, "Sherwood Forest". Moving here was the beginning of a great adventure and the golden years of my childhood.
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Anonymous said...

I, too, remember what a big deal tv was. My older brother was a huge Lone Ranger fan!

Scary about the fish bone incident.

I am enjoying this series and look forward to next week.

linda eller said...

Memories are the best and am enjoying reading about yours.

Simply Linda said...

I can't wait to read next weeks installment. Thank you..{waving to Steve} Blessings

White Lace and Promises said...

Love the black and white photo! My brother always had a gun and holster.