www.OldOrtega.com

 

 

 

 

This webpage is full of my own "old Ortega"memories randomly scattered by the winds of time...Try not to go blind reading this page; ya'll come back, now....

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now…"  
from Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages"

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My dog Bullet:climber of stuff
Iced tea in Cobalt Blue Glasses
 
Dr.Thomas M. Palmer
Waves splashing on docks
Lee Adam's Tumbler Pigeons
Joe Burton and Jamesl
 
Testor's model cement
N.A.S.--Cecil Field--Mayport
Water Skiing under the Roosevelt Bridge
 
Delivering Xmas Giftsl
Atlantic Beach Summers
Croker Sacks of Oysters to roast
Ed Lane's sweet deep voice
Naked Thunderstorms
Standing Dock Starts on Water Skis
Smell of Magnolia Blossoms
Catching Red Bass in the Autumn
Healed-over Hobie Cats
Braden's grilled cheese sandwichs
Mrs. Kenyon's Horses
Smell and Feel of MUCK
 
Ferry to Fort Georgel
Daily TV fix: Leave It To Beaver
Alligator Garfish Catching Air
Huckins's Getting Up to Speed
Yelling loudly KNOCKOFF!
Mrs. Barnett's Icey Cold Artesian Pool
Shrimper Named 'Squint'
Mayport Mullet Dip
CHATTER by Alice Withey
Norman's TV Repairl
"Parking"at Seminole Park
 
Schwinn 3 Speeds
Ortega Roaches Football team
Croker Sack Bagswings
World's Largest Cocktail Party
Verona Blvd. Duck Pond
Cedar Key Stone Crabs
Dr. Baldwin
Catching sailfin mollies & turtles
Beauty Baum's Swim Classes
Tim Tyler's Collie, Ladd
Fat Crayons on Heated Floors
School Boy Patrol Trip to D.C.
Constellations at Imeson Airport
Joseppi's Home Burns
High Dives by the St. John's
Fire Station #14
Labor Day at FYC/Timuquana
Three Honks for the Bridge

 

 

 

Daily Seaboard Coastline passenger train
Things forever; never again
Circling- Floored Restaurant Views
Dr. Roach & ancient elevatorsl
LBJ, Beatles and Hurricane Dora
Dr. Fish's Vet Hospital
Brick roads at Evergreen Cemetery
 
Sleeping porch Bettes Circle
Trashcans Full of Fresh Caught Shrimp
Mrs. Monroe
Floyd and Mrs. Green
Raw Sewage in to the St. John's
Buddy Campbel's Dance Class
Skateboards made of 2X4's
Sophie Mitchell
1260 Hart Street
 
Dr. Thad Moseley's stitches
Banner Food Store
Hotel Roosevelt Fire
Undeveloped Ortega Forest
 
Cafeteria Sauerkraut Smell
Skin So Soft for No See'ems
Mrs. Sisk's Kindergarten
Squirting Clams at Low Tide
Ortega Bus #3
Dick Lake's Uproarious Laugh
Mr. Ray Knight
 
Simplicity of "Slow Dancing"
The Ed Sullivan Show
Gus Kroner Breaks his Leg
The Pig Diner
Mr.Hal Trammel's Dredge
Clothes-pinned Cards on Spokes
 
Mr. Reddick, the Barber
Blue Angels & Hurricane Hunters
Sounds of Pile Drivers
 
Kite Flying in Venetia & Beach
 
Horace Mann's "Starlight"
Oceanfront Sunrises
Bill Skinner's Dairy Farm
Mrs. Murchison's Seashell Art
 
Water Moccasins, Copperheads, & Corals
Perry Mason; Scrabble at "Nana's"
Catching Diving Donacs
Allweather Tire Companyl
Driving Fast Turns on Woodmere
Dr. Dave Moomaw
The smell of ocean-misted sea oats


 

Find more about Weather in Jacksonville, FL

Find more about Weather in Jacksonville, FL

 

"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now…"  
from Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages"

Back to www.OldOrtega.com Main Page

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Dorothy & Jeff Hartzer; Beezie Margie Hardwick; Margaret Ann & Bill Howell; Mavis & Brooke Powell

An OldOrtega.com Reader Writes: Loving the idea of sharing memories of Old Ortega, of which I have many both fond and enduring.  My most palpable memories include working at Willie's (children's clothing store) every Sat. for several years between 14 and 16 yrs old and having all of my Ortega cronies (Margaret, Priscilla, Eleanor, Poppy, Sarah and Carolyn) meet me for lunch (always grilled cheeses and vanilla cokes) at Carter's Pharmacy so that I could ogle John Howard, the pharmacy delivery boy (huge crush is a vast understatement).   Skiing on the wide open St. John's River, sunning at the Yacht Club and shag dancing whenever music played are all sweet memories for me.  I also had this really awesome English teacher at Bolles who helped me, more than he will ever know, get through the ups and downs of high school.  

These are some of the memories that make Jacksonville the place I will always call home...sent in by "G.D"

 

 

Ortega School Plays...especially the one where I was directed to pass across the stage with a placard naming the play acts...When complete at plays end, on the way back to my offstage seat, I merrily tumbled headlong down the stairs at stage center in front of the whole school...Bad enough, but a shocked Mrs. McMurray, Principal, running up and hugging me was the worst part. Another play had me wearing 'clam diggers' and cotton on my head as a wig, with aluminum foil buckled black shoes dresserd as a Pilgrim. Another random access memory: singing La Cuckaracha and Climb Every Mountain over and oveI loved 'the stage'...and today my wife, Debra Landau and I actually own a theater called the AirDance ArtSpace .Debra's aerial dance company, Airdance New Mexico, often performs there. Viva the Arts! Sad that arts programs are the first to go with cuts in Education budgets. I am indebted to the arts classes taken religiously by me at the Jacksonville Childrens' Museum; andespecially to Ortega School as I knew it.

 

 

Bicycles and water craft were a big joyous part of my growing up in Old Ortega. I must have driven various bicyles up and down Baltic,McGirts,Arapahoe, Longfellow, and countless side streets a million miles..When Mrs. Baker crunched my bike with her car and I got a new (used) 3 Speed Schwinn, it was tragedy to heaven.My first boat a dinghy,first sailboat (even had a jib),a row boat with a 10 horsepower Johnson motor that went down many creeks until it one day was inviolved in a tragic accident causing much chaos for my father,Bill Walton and Billy Howell's dads's, and the folks at Grahm's boatyard where my driverless skiff crashed into not one but two Chris Crafts...Then came a pumpkin seed hydroplane that I won a trophy with at Cedar Creek...And my favorite boat purchased from the Morey family a lapstraked hull with a 50 horspower Mercury...I still have the key chain with a round ball of floatable for that boat.

 

 

, Mrs. Claire Lashley, a neighbor of ours on McGirts Blvd., was a Latin teacher for many years at The Bartram School. She knew my grandmother Mrs. Marguerite Corcoran and through marriage had a long history with the chimpanze-raising Yerkes Laboratory. My first day at the Bolles School under the tutelage of Mr. Al Bachleda, I imopressed my Latin class wehen asked by the teacher, what is that poster on the wall that reads, "Pater Noster..." Our father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be They name"...I recited immediately.That was my best day in Latin class ever-downnhill from day two oI never shared that stroy with Mrs. Lashley fior my role with her over a decade had zippo to do with Latin. I was her first mate and general rigger cleaner of her double concrete-keeled old schooner called the SkidblodnerThere was hard work of scraping barnacles and so on but THE fun part came on Sundays when she often took her Bartram students (gorgoues girls!) and their families for an afternoon sail. Ah, life was good on those St. John's River sailing adventures.

 

 

Presdient Lyndon Baines Johnson,The Beatles and Hurricane Dora were all in Jacksonville on the same day on September 11th,1964. Old Ortega, surrounded by water, was impacted by Hurricane Dora. I recall watching AirForce One that day and regretting that I could not attend the historic (and not sold out) Beatles Concert in the Gator Bowl. That day my dad and I drove downtown to pick up some dry ice which was as close to The Beatles as I got except raptly watching their three conseutive Ed Sullivan appearances and seeing Ringo Starr perform on a windy night in Albuquerque. After 14 days of no electricity, heating coffee and cooking over charcoal in a wheelbarrow, my dad vowed to never 'cook out' again. With no hot water, any cuts scrapes or mosquito bites you may have had tended toward infection I loved walking on the water like Our Savior with his fisherman apostles,as you could walk on docks flowed over with St.John's river water.At more than one paoint I was told to move away from Water Moccasins that had been flooded out and were swimming about with great abandon as I pretended to perform miracles. Jacksonville frequently has Northeasters with rain and wind but because of North Fliorida's concave coastline and the Gulf Stream usually flowing far offshore, Hurricanes are known to 'skip' Jacksonville. Hurricane Dora was an historic exception.

 

 

Cocktail Hours brought daily relief and southern hospitality to the business men who had so recently returned from World War. THE JUG Drive through Liquor Store across from Dr. Fish's Vet Hospitalwas a frequent drive for my dad and I. He would buy : Dad buys Bourbon (Early Times or Old Crow) and I always fgot a lollipop or two. This bar was made famous by the Jacksonville band, Lynnyrd Skynnyrd in their song, Gimme Three Steps. The drive through tradition was heartily carried on later by "Jax Liquors" and other bars. 5 o'clock cocktails, ice cold beer on the beach/on your boat in the morning, noon and night seemed like a 'lifestyle' back in the dayAnd driving wehile drinking was often more the way it wentthan the stigmatized set iof today (And ditto /cigars/Tiparillos). Our next door neighbor on McGirts was Dr. Ashbel Williams who was to become the National President of the American Cancer SocietyA greta memoryu of Dr.Williams is his whistling late at night after duties at St. Vincent's Hospital wer over abnd he was happy tiinkering with hisa landscaped gardensAnd that time he handed me a 15 ball lit Roman Candle whihc shot once twice and exploded in my hand.He took me afterhours to his office and straightened things out with my 'blackened' hand.Tempus Fugit/Times Change.
 
Nightly Summer Kickball Under the Lights at Ortega Playground
Red Flags on Dark Bamboo Poles for School Boy Patrol
Jeff Hartzer Falling down the Stairs at Ortega School Play
Singing Over and Over, Climb Every Mountain
Watching Walt Disney & Bonanza in Coloon Neighbor's TV
HUGE Pool at N.A.S. and 25 cent Movies, too
Trying Unsuccessfully to Sell Xmas Cards in July to win a Prize
Learning that Kathy Roddenberry had a Very Famous Relative
Creating The Hart-Will Island Newspaper and selling shares
The band 'The Second Coming' plays Bolles' prom and later becomes The AllmanBrothers Band
 
 
Coming to appreciate even more after leaving Jacksonville the following folk: Stephen Crane, Marjorie K. Rawlings, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Lynnyrd Skynnyrd, Molly Hatchett, 38 Special, Gram Parsons, Guy Farmer, The Second Coming ( aka The Allman Brothers) even more after moving away from Jacksonville... In 1968, while on a Bolles College Tour with Harry de Montmollin, I was able to meet Gram Parsons and The Byrds backstage. We 'got in' because Gram Parsons was a graduate of Bolles. Singer, Guy Farmer, and the drummer for Molly Hatchett, Bruce Crump are also Bolles graduates...Listening to On The Hunt by the original Lynnyrd Skynnr, I am still amused by their line,"..and those high falluting society people, I don't care if they don't understand..." While they were students at Robert E. Lee High School with a PE teacher named, Leonard Skinner, I guess I was one of those high fallutin' society people' growing up in gorgeous Old Ortega.
 
 
 
 
 

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Walking Under Tunnels for Trains at Union Terminal
 
Tanks on Trains by Roosevelt Blvd. During Cuban Missile Crisis
Meeting Fess Parker (aka Davy Crockett) at Hemming Park
Braden's Pharmacy Becomes Carter's Pharmacy
Cooking Out for 14 Days in a Row: Hurricane Dora
 
Rigging then Sailing with Mrs. Lashley on the Skidblodner
Marguerite Corcoran speaks German to POW's at Naval Air Station
Hearing about the Mini Sub landing at Ponte Vedra Beach
Riding my Motorcycle over Long-Spanned Bridges
'Train': the kindest and coolest of all Country Club waiters
THE JUG Drivethrough: Dad buys Bourbon; I get lollipops
 
Arthur Corocoran Discusses Stadium;then orchestrates Gator Bowl
Nightly Summer Kickball Under the Lights at Ortega Playground
Marguerite Corcoran Hitting Columns at the Innlet in her Valiant
Red Flags on Dark Bamboo Poles for School Boy Patrol
Green Lights on Poolside Palm Trees at the FYC
Mrs. Edward Lane's White Jaguar and her Snappy Driving Skills
 
50 Cent Greyhound Races in Orange Park
Singing Over and Over, Climb Every Mountain
 
N.A.S. Planes Flying Low and Constantly
Watching Walt Disney & Bonanza in Coloon Neighbor's TV
Learning to Drive with a 3 Speed Manual Shift on the Column
The HUGE Pool at N.A.S. and 25 cent Movies, too
 
Pansy Gretton McMillan's The Last Resort in Avondale
Trying Unsuccessfully to Sell Xmas Cards in July to win a Prize
 
Roosevelt Mall Opening!
Learning that Kathy Roddenberry had a Very Famous Relative
Being ON TV: Popeye's Pals
Creating The Hart-Will Island Newspaper and selling shares
Plastic Revell Model Plane kits for Birthday Party Winners
The smell of ocean misted sea oats
Shooting mouthfulls of Navy beans through bamboo pea shooters
Riding my Motorcycle over Long-Spanned Bridges

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