By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Lucile Whitty Cherry has called Madison County her home for most of her life. Growing up two miles east of Lee, Lucile was raised on a family farm. The farm was first purchased by Lucile’s great grandmother. Then her grandfather became the owner. Her grandfather cared for the farm along with her grandma, until her grandma became sick. Lucile’s dad, being the only one of three siblings unwed, then came back to the farm to help his dad.
On the farm, the Whitty’s grew cotton, tobacco, corn, hay, peanuts and many other crops. Lucile’s mother always had a garden as well. Lucile was the oldest of six children. Her younger siblings were: Muriel Whitty Turlington, Frances Whitty Mercer, Gertrude Whitty Gamble, Robert B. Whitty and E. Benjamin Whitty. All of the children had to help around the farm. They would pick, hoe and poison cotton, work the tobacco, and help care for the other crops.
Lucile attended Lee School when she was growing up until the 10th grade. She then went to Madison High School until graduation. Following graduation, she went to the Florida State College for Women. In order to pay her father back for her tuition, Lucile worked as an assistant for the National Youth Administration her freshman year, then her sophomore through senior year she worked in the dining hall. Also her senior year, she worked in the English department.
After graduating college, Lucile began working as a teacher. She worked at many schools in Florida. She finally returned to Madison in 1947 after meeting and marrying her husband Marcus (Mark) Cherry. In Madison, Lucile worked at Lee School for eight years, and at the high school from 1960-1082. At the high school she was taught history, English, P.E., coached girls basketball and eventually became the guidance counselor.
Mark and Lucile have two sons, Allen and Douglas (Doug). After retiring from teaching, Lucile was offered a part time position at the college as a woman’s guidance councelor. She remained in that position for eight years. During that time, in 1990, Mark opened the first Old Bookstore. The Old Bookstore has since changed locations two times.
In 1999 Mark passed away, leaving Lucile and her children to decide whether to continue running the store. The three made the choice to continue trying to make the store work. With the help of her granddaughter, the Old Bookstore survived and remains successful.
In those years, Lucile has seen many changes happen in Madison. Some of the main changes she has seen happened right on the street where The Old Bookstore is currently located. In the exact spot that her store is located now, was Paramore Grocery. Across the street, where Creature Feature is now was a poolroom. Mr. Hadden’s store was located beside it. There was also a drug store where Madison Florist currently sits.
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.