By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
When a person has lived all across the world, it might seem hard to believe that they would find their way to Madison. However, that is exactly the case with Tracy Bowen. Prior to living in Madison, Tracy was living in Guam. She and her family came to Madison in 1972 after her father inherited the family farm. Madison is also where he retired from the Air Force.
During that time, there was plenty for kids to do in Madison. Some of Tracy’s fondest memories include Randall Buchanan taking she and other kids to the Pinetta Community Center to play tennis. The community center was closed for many years, but was recently opened again. “The community center always gave us something to do,” said Tracy.
Some other activities that she did for fun were meeting her dad for lunch at Pep’s or going to the Hillcrest Dairy Bar for a plate of French fries with her friends after school. Hillcrest Dairy Bar was located where O’neals is currently at. She also recalls her mom taking the family to drive-in theater. “She would make homemade popcorn and put it in bread bags so we could take it with us,” she explained.
Tracy also enjoyed going to Pick-n-Save while her mom was next door at Pantry Pride and picking out new records to buy. Comers Drug Store was another place that she frequented. Comers had an old fashioned soda fountain, “You could add the syrup and make your soda. They also had really good floats.” Tracy actually worked at Comers for a while after school and during the summer when she was younger.
During summer there was plenty to do in Madison County. One of Tracy and her friend’s favorite activities was going to Wade’s Beach at Cherry Lake. She also went camping at Blue Springs with her family two or three times a month during the summer. “It wasn’t camping with a camper. We did it the old fashioned way. Whatever we caught was what we ate for supper. It was a lot of fun, we really enjoyed it.” She also spent a lot of her time at the community swimming pool in Madison, which was located right beside the Farmers Co-Op.
“Now-a-days kids think they have to go to the mall or have to be sitting in front of the TV playing video games. We never ran out of stuff to do. We also had to work. My dad believed in kids working. I would help raise the hogs, work tobacco or watermelons. We always stayed busy,” said Tracy. She also added, “I love living in this community. The people here are so good to everyone.”
Tracy is the wife of Ben Bowen and the mother of Heather Bowen.
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.