Birth and Early Memories


I was born October 29, 1941 to Ted Lane Satterfield and Alma Lou Strickland Satterfield. My older sisters were Alma Elaine Satterfield and Joyce Angeline Satterfield. My younger sister, born in 1944, was Karen Elizabeth Satterfield. (More about them later). The hospital where I was born, St. Luke's on the Northside of Jacksonville,  Florida, was later torn down to make way for UF Shands.

Mama said I was born early- I only weighed about 5 lbs. From what Mama said- I think she had labor induced- (something about a weight pulling on her and that I started coming in the hallway). Mama had problems with hypertension later in life and I think she may have been pre-eclamptic..

The family-Daddy (33), Mama (35), Elaine (12 on Oct 16) and Joyce (10 on Oct 13) had just moved to Jacksonville in August. Daddy had gotten a job with the Navy. At first, late in 1940 or early 1941, he had accepted a navy position in Charleston, SC, but Mama said they couldn’t find a place to live there and only stayed 2 weeks. (Military buildup for the war perhaps?)

There were 2 other stations available-Jacksonville and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Mama always said she wanted to go to Hawaii, but it was too far from family. Thank goodness!! The attack on Pearl Harbor happened about 6 weeks after I was born. Daddy might have been at work when the attack came!

In 1989, Joe and I visited Hawaii. While there, we went to Pearl Harbor. A Navy launch took visitors out to the site of the USS Arizona Memorial. It was a somber experience to stand on the memorial and look down to the Arizona-the final resting place of over a thousand men killed in the surprise attack. What a terrifying day that must have been! On the launch ride back, I looked over at the shipyards along the shore and said a silent prayer of thanks that my father was not there that day. 

I don’t know exactly how they chose my name-Janice-I vaguely remember something about it being the name of a child of a friend of Daddy’s. My middle name-Lillian-was from my grandmother Lillian Casselberry Satterfield, who died when Daddy was only 4.


First Memories

When I was born in 1941, my parents and older sisters, Elaine and Joyce, lived in an apartment on West 18th  Street in north Jacksonville. Daddy must have had an awfully long commute to his civilian machinist job at Jacksonville Naval Air Station on the far side of town. They had no car, so he would have to take several buses, transferring downtown to get there. Perhaps the apartment was the only affordable place they could find.

I have a vague memory of a long dark hallway. I think this was the interior of the building, with apartments opening on either side. But my first real memory was seeing a train. Probably only two or three, I was standing on a sidewalk at the corner, looking down the side street and watching a train go past at the crossing several blocks away.  Many, many years later, in 2000, my sister Karen and I drove past the building, still standing on the corner, and, sure enough, there was a railroad crossing two blocks down.

Another memory was also of trains. Sometime before Karen was born in December 1944 my family moved to a rental house on Oakwood Street-also in North Jacksonville. There was an open field across the street with a train track on the far side. I remember looking out the front window, watching the trains go by. According to Mama, I would say, all excited: “Look, a frait frain on the frain frack.”

My coffee addiction started early. Daddy worked night shift at the base. When he got home in the morning, Mama would fix him breakfast and I would sit at the table with him having “coffee” with Daddy. Of course, mine was milk and sugar with a few drops of coffee.  But then, probably so was Daddy’s cup. He always took his coffee with milk and many spoonfuls of sugar.

Speaking of milk- I remember milk being delivered to our house in the morning by a milkman- quart bottles with a layer of cream floating on the top. This was before milk was routinely homogenized. You would shake the bottles to disperse the cream. Mama always got her milk from Dinsmore Dairy, because they had Guernsey cows that gave “richer”,   i.e. more cream, milk.  However, Mama told me that at one time she got goat’s milk for me because of my asthma. I don’t remember that.

Other vague memories:

The house on Oakwood was only a few blocks from the Trout River. The Jacksonville Zoo is on the other size of the river and I remember hearing the lion’s roar at night.

One year Mama was sewing a new dress for me. She pulled it over my head to try on and there was a wasp (a dirt-dauber Mama called it) that stung me badly.

We moved from Oakwood to a house on Silver Street when I was about 5. One day I went into the dining room and saw several “Giant Spiders!!!” crawling up the wall. I don’t remember anything else about them except they looked as big as dinner plates to me.

We were only at Silver Street a month or so as Mama and Daddy had bought their first house-a small shingled 2 bedroom house on the other side of town (225 Shortreed Street). The price was $5000. The day we moved in, the grass was taller than I was! Daddy got an old-fashioned scythe to cut it.

Mini Reunion - Class of 1959 - Catching Up


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