By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Donald Johnson is no stranger to Madison County. In fact, he has been in this county for almost three quarters of a century, 71 years to be exact. He spent his childhood between Pinetta and Cherry Lake, on Rocky Ford Road. He remembers coming to town in the back of a ’36 Ford pick-up.
However, Johnson and his family did not spend much time in the City of Madison. He said that they came to town about once a week. When asked what he did for fun. Johnson’s response was, “For fun we picked cotton or gathered tobacco. And in the mornings before school we had to wake up early and milk the cows.”
Despite the fact that he did not spend a large portion of his childhood in town, Johnson has many memories of what used to be here. He recalls Setzer’s, and A&P, Lovett’s Grocery, a Suwannee Store and many others. He also remembers the two movie theatres, the drive in theatre and the bowling alley.
He remembers when Setzer’s opened up a grocery store, which was located where CVS is now. Johnson got a job, while he was still in school, working for Setzer’s grocery store. He worked there for 25 years.
Another memory that he has is when Highway 90 was only a two-lane road, and there were no interstates. He recalls, “Truckers used to drive through Hwy 90 to get through town. They didn’t have the interstate.”
Johnson was married to his first wife for 43 years and eight months. They had four children together: two boys and two girls. He also has four grandchildren: two boys and two girls. His wife was sick for 15 years of their marriage and he took care of her. He remarried his current wife, Jackie, three years ago.
Anyone interested in being interviewed for this article can call 973-4141 and make an appointment with Kristin Finney, or 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.