By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
When it comes to memories of Madison County, Kirk Pittman has no issues recalling a few. Pittman is 65 years old and has been in Madison all of his life. He recalls several large portions of the town’s history, as well as a few things that many other people might not remember.
He remembers when Cokes went from being a nickel, to six cents. He also remembers going to Pep’s Café several mornings for breakfast. He remembers there being service stations on almost every corner of the city. He also remembers when US 90, the main highway in Madison, used to be the main road traveling east to west in the United States. “You probably could have gone from Jacksonville to San Diego,” he said.
Kirk Pittman remembers when the Hardee Motor Company was in the Burger King building. He also remembers one of their customers buying a car, and not being happy with it. So that customer decided to park it across the road from the car company with a new paint job. The new paint job was lemons painted all over the car, implying that the car was a “lemon.”
Pittman was a member of the Madison Fire Department for almost 30 years. He remembers when all they had was a 1951 Chevy Pumper, a Ford Tanker and an American de France. “I remember in 1974 they finally bought a regular Ford pumper,” he recalled.
His memories also include Pot Gandy. Gandy was a man who sold peanuts in town, out of a wagon. However, his wagon wasn’t being pulled by horses or mules like most wagons were. Instead two goats pulled it. Gandy had no legs due to a logging accident, so the goat cart was how he got around. Pittman also remembers that Gandy had a Jeep that was special made for him, and was driven using hand controls.
Pittman also played Trumpet for the band in high school. At the time the mascot was the Red Devils. One year he also got to play football. He also remembers that one block west of the Court House was the Pittman Hotel and the bus station.
Anyone interested in being interviewed for this article can call 973-4141 and make an appointment with Kristin Finney, or they may drop by Greene Publishing, Inc. any day before noon. Those interviewed must have lived in Madison for a large portion of their life, and be able to recall a few things that have changed since that time.