By Kristin Finney
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Whether it was sliding down “the bowl” or skating around the courthouse, Tim Sanders’ memories of Madison are extensive. Being born and raised in this lovely county, Sanders’ roots here are deep.
Sanders attended Madison Elementary School through the sixth grade, and Madison High School from seventh through twelfth. In high school he played for the football, baseball and basketball teams. Back in those days, the high school teams weren’t the Cowboys. They were the Red Devils. “Everyone knows how successful the football team is now. Well, back in those days we weren’t so successful. In my three years on varsity we might have won three games, and tied a few. Almost all of our away games were homecoming games. Back then we were an easy win, and made for a happy homecoming for the other team,” recalled Sanders.
Growing up, Sanders had a very large extended family. He stated, “I was very blessed with my family. I had a lot of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, everything. It’s heartbreaking to see the conditions that children are raised in now. Working in the juvenile court I seeing the way that some children are brought up compared to the way I was brought up, is heartbreaking.”
When he was a child, Sanders spent a lot of time at school or working. He worked for his Uncle Dick Baker at his Standard Oil Station. The station was located where the New York Life building is now. During the school year, he would work on Saturdays and half the day on Sunday. During the summer, he would work more often. “I really enjoyed it. I was able to interact with the older people in Madison and that was really special. I am still friends with some of those people today. They always made me feel special.”
He also recalls working for Mickler’s Laundry and Dry Cleaning on Saturdays, which was located across the street from where the post office currently sits. He and his cousin would run the laundry route. They would go to Greenville, Aucilla, Capps, Jasper and many other places to pick up and drop off laundry. “We got 10 percent of what was made that day. Some days, we would only get $5. When I was 16 years old I had just bought a Browning Sweet 16 shotgun from Mr. James at Western Auto. I had to pay him at least $5 a week to pay off my shotgun. Back then, there weren’t Visa cards or anything, just a handshake and my word. But often times I would get paid from Mickler’s and go straight across the road and give the money to Mr. James,” remembered Sanders.
For fun, Sanders and his friends would go up town and skate around the courthouse. “There would be 20 or 30 of us skating sometimes. I would leave home after breakfast, maybe go back for lunch and then get home sometime after dark. We were always outside playing. We would also go to ‘the bowl’ with boxes and rub candle wax on the outside of our boxes. We would sit on the boxes and ride down the bowl. The wax made us go even faster.”
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.