Lillian (Lillie) Ethel "Langley" Pearsen 1934-1942

Swimming in the Nottaway River, riding the train to get my tonsils out with Mr. Marshall & Ms. Gage. Working in the kitchen (basement of Walnut Grove) and fixing lunches for school. Several girls would get in a line and make the sandwiches like an assembly line. Christmases were some of the best; the girls would put the present in chairs for everyone.

 

Barbara Lea "Wright" Schultz 1939-mid 1940's 

When we attended the home my sister Ella Wardell Wright was a baby. She was about a year old. They had to buy a baby bed for her and she stayed with Miss Gage. We were both born in Danville, Virginia after we left the home Ella and I would spend two weeks vacation at the home.  

 

Frances "Pam Phelps" Darden 1940's-1950's

Adopted sister, lived down the lane from Jackson-Feild and spent a lot of time with all the girls.

Each year on the first Sunday in Advent, all the girls went into the woods to gather greens to decorate the nativity village set up in the dining room on the west wall of Walnut Grove. The wise men were set a far distance from the village. Each week, the wise men moved closer and on Christmas Eve the Holy family was placed in the nativity shed. On January 6th, the Wise men finally made it for Epiphany.

At each station, there were bibles readings and prayers and to me that made Christmas very real.

 

Peggy "McKinney" Powell 1942-1955

My best memory is having a good loving home and wonderful sisters I love so much. And having homecoming once a year.

 

Betty Jane "McKinney" Oakley 1943-1956

My memories are all wonderful happy ones and I am so grateful for having been raised there. Every girl before me and after me I consider to be my sisters. I love them all very much.

I remember playing dodge, hiding and picking apples! We would put the old Victrola out on the lawn at night and dance and do acrobatics. I really don't have any bad memories.

The time we had picked chickens and I took apart and painted the toenails and put it on Bernice Fackler's pillow so when she turned her bedspread back she saw it and screamed.

 

 Bettie Lou "Manuel" Harmon 1945-1955

It was quite different in those days. There were about 30 of us from all walks of life. We were taught proper manners, how to cook, religion, and how to make it in the outside world. When I was there, I hated it. I remember calling it a jailhouse. Little did I know at that time that everything I learned would teach me to grow up to be an independent, self supporting person. My point is don't think your life is over because you are there. There is a bright future for you ahead.

 

Virginia Arlene "Manuel" Thacker 1945-1955

My sister and I remember how the girls would climb up the fire escape and create spooky sounds and would scare the girls. They would all scream and run down the steps terrified. How my sister would sneak off past the fairy glen through the woods to a little store (this was where she spent her $2.00 month allowance). She was scared, as she had to run across a bridge where several men always fished and they knew she was afraid and they would laugh at her. A very special memory comes to mind of Miss Abby baking a cake and for some reason most of the day all I could think about was that cake! It finally became too much for me so after she left I went down and took the coconut-iced cake to the back steps. I grabbed one handful after another and it was the best cake I had ever eaten. As I continued thinking how great that I had this cake all to myself, I heard a slight noise and looked up...there stood Miss Abby watching me! I think my punishment was to wash dishes for a month!

 

Frances "Steinburg" Loftis 1945-1955

I remember falling out of a tree and knocking myself out. Watching others put some cats in a burlap bag and taking them down to the river and throwing them in. The next morning they were back at the house.

I almost drowned in the Nottaway River. Playing "step mom" with Sara McKinney and falling backwards and getting a nail stuck in my head from bursting open a panel in the wall.

I ran away from the home one night and got tired. Shirley Willett and I had let many cars go by - then decided to hitchhike. The car we stopped was a police car and he brought us back.

I still love it and also all the girls!

 

Dorothy Lee "Ragland" King 1946-1950 

My roomate was 'Katie Lynch' and I left to get married at the tender age of 16. A funny memory..."When I got married, the first time I made biscuits I made enough for 30 people, because that's how I was taught to cook. I ended up sharing them with my neighbors".

 

Barbara "Cumbie" Williams 1950-1956 

Thanksgiving, Miss Abbey always made wonderful dressing & Gravy to go with the turkey! 


Elizabeth "Jane Stowell" Hendrix 1957-1967

I remember following Mr. Talley around while he did his chores. He taught me to drive the tractor by putting blocks on the pedals so I could reach them. I was nine at the time and he was my hero.

Miss Webb influenced my life more than anyone. She was the most amazing and patient person and told the best stores.

 

Linda Sue "Hall" Payne 1961-1972 Age 6 1/2 to 18

Some of my favorite memories at Jackson-Feild were all of us going to "the river" and swimming as long as we wanted, helping each other get ready for dates, never too many sisters around for that! I also enjoyed the horseback and bicycle rides to Purdy and 4-H meetings at Weezie and George's house, and the penny candy that we usually didn't have to have a penny. Going to camp. Too many wonderful memories!

 

 

Valerie Ann "Hall" Payne 1962-1973 Age 5 1/2 to 16 1/2

Some of my favorite memories are of the sunrise services at Fairy Glen, riding horses to the river and spending time visiting the church affiliated families in their homes and their environment with family, also the wonderful trips to the beach cottage in Sandbridge, VA. Although while being there, we thought times were hard, looking back they were only preparing us for the future. And of my time there, it was a growing experience. Another wonderful and nice thing was having that many sisters to grow up with.

This Alumnae Reflection is also listed at http://jacksonfeild.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2009-Annual-Report.pdf

 

Deborah Colleen "Hall" Loudermilk 1962-1973 age 4 1/2 to 15 1/2

Coming to the home so young it was great having a "Play Mom", playing in the "play" houses, opening X-Mas gifts & watching "Dark Shadows" in the basement with all the girls. Taking ballet & tap lessons on the sun porch of Walnut Grove and dancing in "Twinkle Toes" at Greensville County Elementary School. Rachel (Mr. Smiths' daughter) and I playing together with our Barbie dolls in her room. Being trusted to ride our bikes and the horses to Purdy. Enjoying our trips to the Nottoway river, Skippers pond, our yearly week long trip to NC and the beach house on Sandfiddler Rd at Sandbridge, VA. Being able to borrow those "stylish" clothes from my sisters! And let's not forget those double dates on Friday & Saturday nights...

 

Anita "Thea" West - Twisdale - 1962-1968

I think of all the girls who became my family. Cathy, Judy, Peggy, Sharon and all the others. I miss them all.

My special memory was being apart of such a loving family of girls and skinny dipping at the Nottaway River. Thanks for the love!

  

Charlotte Ann "Hodges" Jibben 1960's

Liked the home and the girls but did not like George Smith, he was not a great man, believe me. People just did not know him. I will never forget what he did and they way he done me. Loved Ms. Wiseman, she was on my side.


Gladys Dove "Hodges" Lacks 1960's

I remember going to Sandbridge and Nags Head during the summer. Swimming down at the river. Riding horses. My worst memory was when were playing hide-n-seek. I hid in the cornfield and Mr. Talley's dog bit me in the behind!!


Paula Mae "Maltman" Gittman 1964-1969s

One of my favorite memories would be the Summers we had to shuck corn and she'll the peas and eating the watermelons lol!!


The Reverand George Joel "Smith" - Director 1966-1975

The following memories were written by Mrs. Laurel K "Clark" Smith who was also a house mother at Jackson-Feild in the 1970's.

George always said he brought the home into the latter half of the 20th century. When he got there the maids were paid 25 cents an hour, well below minimum wage even for then, and got holy hell from the community when he started paying them minimum wage because then all the maids wanted the same. He also put in a single party phone line, again because the neighbors were in the habit of listening into everything. He oversaw the construction of Darden Cottage as well as Robinson Hall, the recreation building. When he got there the girls were still almost all living in Walnut Grove, some on the sleeping porch that was later dismantled.

During those years the children in need of such living arrangements changed in character from dysfunctional families to girls with more serious psychological problems. Orphans were simply no longer the kind of child needing a home. I think we had only two, one of which was there only a very short time before she was adopted.

George struggled with making that change. He sought support throughout the diocese, gave talks about the home in many places on top of his daily office duties of managing the staff, keeping up with the inevitable paperwork, and being available for the girls. And then chasing the cows when they escaped. George oversaw the raising of the cows, determined their feed for proper fattening, but said to let Mr.Talley deal with the pigs.

Finding qualified staff was always a problem. Most of us were not pros like Miss Webb had been. We had bachelor's degrees in social work and teaching, not specific training or years of experience.

George always went at everything with imagination and absolutely no fear. He was a builder and a teacher.

 

Martha Ann "Finch" Clary 1968-1972 Age 8 1/2 to 13

After my Daddy brought me to see Jackson-Feild, I saw that it was beautiful and I didn't want to leave. I remember a lot of good times and never had bad times while I was there. I remember the bicycle rides to the store and around the block and going to the river...just a lot of good times.

This Alumnae Reflection is also listed at http://jacksonfeild.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2009-Annual-Report.pdf

 

Amanda (Mandy) "Dickinson" Pearson 1968-1972 Ages 14 to 18

One of my favorite memories at Jackson-Feild was having my horse there with me. Most, of my memories came about after I left and learned to appreciate the blessings JFEH really afforded us. Having my horse "Irish Coffee" with me.

 

Patricia (Patsy) "Ray" Gatling 1968-1973 

I remember that I always did all my chores perfectly, made good grades, kept my room very clean but I always stayed grounded because I was always getting caught smoking cigarettes, I still smoke too! I loved our annual trips to Sandbridge too!! Those were wonderful times! I loved the time I lived at the home but I didn't realize how much I loved it until after I left.

 

Betty (Frizzy) Hammel" Langley_1970-1973?

My best memory was the girls getting in the snack bar at the stereo singing and line dancing mostly to "the Leader of the Pack" song. I also remember and loved all my friends and sisters at the home. I loved the girl's home and it will always be my home.

 

Suzanne "Crumpton" O'Connell_1970-1973?

 My memories of being at the home are making sure my room and bath was very clean and I always ironed all of my clothes. Not letting girls wear my clothes! At my age now, so sorry I didn't let anyone wear my clothes. Sandbridge, VA trip, years ago with the girls was a blast!!! 

 

 Wanda Jean "Clarke" 1970-1975 Ages 9 to 14 

I just want to say that the years I had up there were all good years and I learned a lot and it made my life better, and all the girls were family and I will never forget them. Going to Sandbridge, VA. Having parties at Walnut Grove during the holiday. Skating in the hall ways and horse back riding.
 

 Kathy Jo "Lynn" Ferrell ?1970-1974 ?Ages 13-17 

This was my home a while, loved it. I sure do miss some things, that was the best thing that happened to me. God Bless everyone!

 

Michele (Mickie) "Advensky" Parkinson 1971-1973

My favorite memory is going to Sandbridge Beach in the summertime and sleeping on the screen porch. I could hear the waves breaking at night and hear the seagulls in the morning Loved that! My best memory is the friendships that I developed that would not have had otherwise. I am so grateful that I came to homecoming 2 years ago as that was the last time Molli Hick came before she passed away. I loved Molli man!!!

Sue D Clauson-Wicker "Ms Sue" - housemother 1972-1973 and Summer of 1975 & 1977 

Sometimes memories of the Home pop up at the strangest times. I can’t see a box turtle crossing the road but what I don’t still hear Wanda Clarke or Darlene Slattery yelling “I call first turtle,” as they always did when we hopped into that old tan station wagon for a trip to town. I remember seeing black snakes climbing that alder tree outside of Tucker Cottage. Black snakes are good to have around to keep down mice and bugs, but we didn’t think so. I was terrified and went running for Mr. Wayne Osborne to “do something,” which usually meant killing the poor snake.

I came to work at the Home summers in the early ‘70s, a time of rebellion and change for college students like me. I know that it must have been hard for the girls to grow up separated from their moms, but most girls had an independence, a sense of knowing their own minds that family kids didn’t usually have. I liked that. My girls in Tucker didn’t say or do things just to please adults; they were more oriented toward each other. When we’d go to town to shop, the girls would just swarm out of the car into Bloom’s or Rose’s or wherever, touching things, picking things up, commenting honestly on everything (like “these gloves smell nasty”) in a way that I loved, but must have driven the salesladies crazy. Girls really participated in those trips and made a lot of choices early, rather than being told what they would do and wear.

I remember taking those tough little girls on bicycle trips in the hot, hot summer afternoons, and how we’d stop at every crossroads store to get something cold to drink. We must have been the most energetic, sugar-hyped girls in the county. Once we rode all the way to Dinwiddie and back. It was nothing for us to go to Purdy store or even Jarratt. Wish I had that kind of energy now.

Biking to Dinwiddie with Diane Skelton, Ruby Hall, and others stopping at the Purdy Country Store. Swimming at the rock, digging sweet potatoes with Mr. Talley.

 

 Molli "Hicks" 1972-1974 age 11-13

My favorite memory of Jackson-Feild Home is of the girls that became my sisters. We shared laughs, and fears and hopes and dreams. We helped each other to make Jackson-Feild a home, not just a place to stay. I have many happy memories of trips to Skipper's Lake and Roanoke Rapids singing all the way in our bus. Also our treasured week we got to spend in Sandbridge is remembered fondly.

This Alumnae Reflection is also listed at http://jacksonfeild.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2009-Annual-Report.pdf

Added 9-10-12 / A fond memory for me was while taking Home Ec class in Jr. High, my homework assignment was to make a complete dinner, well poor Patsy Ray was my guinea pig and was so kind and sweet and pretended to enjoy the uncooked chicken and rice. I am not a great cook, the home making part, not so much :). Again, my best memory is of the love we shared and still do.

 

Ruby Ann "Grantham" Hall 1973-1978

I remember having fun in the summertime. Miss everybody and hope everybody is doing well.

 

Mary Ann "Wilson" Renner 1975-1977

Having the boys come over on Sunday afternoons playing softball and playing music and dancing!


Jancy Jo Adkins 19??-19??

Unfortunately, when I tried to locate her through her fathers address, I found that she had sadly passed away. However, her father told me that she had only favorable things to say about her time there and it gave them time to have a real father/daughter relationship. He would love to hear from anyone that knew her.

 

Michelle (Mickey) June "McLeod" 1983-1984 Age 16-18

At 16 years old, it was my refuge, a place where I could be independent and learn survival skills that have helped considerably. At that age, I was not looking for parents, but a "family" nonetheless. I found it at Jackson-Feild. Of course I probably didn't feel that strongly then, but I have come to appreciate the house parents, the friendships I made then, and the empathy I gained from being with other girls that also faced unfortunate circumstances as well. Michael Jackson shared his moonwalk with the world in 1983, and all of us girls gathered around the TV in Darden Cottage, screaming with delight! I never heard so many girls scream like that in my life! :)

 

Melody Criger - 1986-1988 Age 15-17 (approx 1 1/2 years)

They use to have a field day in August each year since 1987, I think, and I wanted to participate and bring my 16-year-old daughter with me as well. I got married in the All Saints Chapel in April 1990. I left in June or August of 1988. I had just completed my Junior year of high school at Greensville County High School out in town. I remember us going camping a lot; we even went camping in the woods behind the home. I remember how peaceful it was to walk all the way down the trail to the water and sit on the rocks, and we use to sneak down there to smoke cigarettes. lol

 

 Lynn (Shelley) Michelle "Savenko"-Zappe 1988 (approx 4 years)

I lived at Jackson-Feild all my teenage life in Marshall cottage. Pam Hall was my cottage Leader. I helped start the petting zoo (which is no longer there), went fishing at the pond behind the home, went bowling, movies, nursing home (community service), our director at that time was Hugh Kocab and the on campus Doctor was Dr. Joan Pennington.  Marshall cottage and the girls I lived with will always be my true family.

 Donna "Dunn" Coleman  - 1993ish (approx 2 years)

I remember the wonderful staff and friends that I made...it was definately "home" for the years that I was there. It would be amazing to see everyone again...

 

 Sara "Duke" - there for approximately 1 1/2 years - before 2009

She credits Jackson-Feild Homes for formulating and instilling the values she holds dear - personal responsibility, respect for yourself, respect for others, compassion, and empathy. She has fond memories of simple yous, which were a part of daily life. She laughs when she recalls trying to ride a ram, which bucked her off right into a pile of manure.

 

Janelle "Lopez" - sometime before 2009

When I first came to Jackson-Feild Homes; I experienced culture shock arriving to the rural and rustic campus. I had just come from the Washington, DC metropolitan area. So I initially resented this placement but came to realize they were working with my best interests in mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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