It always amazes me how one thing leads to another. One memory leads to another and another. How you can now do a Google search and wind up going on 100 tangents then wonder what the hell were you originally looking for? Something like that happened again in the last few days.
It started over a week ago when somebody posted a picture of the old Imeson Airport on a Jacksonville Florida Facebook page. That got me thinking. Then a few days later a nostalgic Jacksonville website, Vintage Jacksonville, posted a different picture of the Imeson terminal/adminiit'setion building. That got me thinking some more.
|Imeson Airport Terminal|
I took my first two ever flights from Imeson Airport in Jacksonville. I remember my first two flights but I don't remember which one was first and which was second. They happened about the same time but were completely different experiences. For the purposes of the story flow I'll report my initial scheduled commercial flight first although it may have been second. This flight was from Jacksonville to Newark, New Jersey one summer when I was around 12 years old. I was flying to New Jersey to spend an extended stay with my Northern relatives in NJ and Pennsylvania. Somehow my parents were going to wind up in NJ later in the summer and we would all drive back to Florida. My dad typically had to run conferences and travel several times a year so I suspect he had to be somewhere close to NJ that summer and he and Mom drove together to his conference location then she continued on to where I was. Dad would then fly in or hitch a ride with someone to NJ when the conference was over. There were a ton of people who transferred from New Jersey to Jacksonville with the Prudential. People were always combining business and family travel/vacations with other families. One other summer my Mom and I drove to NJ with another Prudential mom and her two kids. The two dads met us after their business conference. I digress, but it was a cooperative effort in the days when travel was more difficult and flying was expensive. As it turned out, someone from the Prudential was flying to Newark the same day as I was. My dad was the manager of the Conference and Travel department for the Prudential's Jacksonville office. They were essentially the in-house travel bureau for the company. They booked all the plane (and train), car rental and hotel reservations for the employees so of course dad knew who was travelling when I was. So, although I was technically flying as an unaccompanied minor I had an adult chaperon. Dad made sure we were sitting together. I don't remember having any fear of flying or trepidation about flying alone. I suspect my Mom was way more nervous than I was. I was actually excited and probably thinking I was kind of a big shot. Flying wasn't that common in the 1950's and a minor flying alone was really rare. I'm pretty sure dad got a deal on the ticket.
|Eastern Prop Plane|
|Eastern Airlines L-188|
|US Navy P-3|
|US Navy P-8|
I never realized the L-188 and P-3 was basically the same plane until I began digging into my first, or maybe second, flight from the old Imeson Airport in Jacksonville. What will trigger the next search and revelation?