Madison Flashbacks

these are a collection of private anecdotes from them of us who growed up in and around our little 37115 neighborhood, late fifties to early seventies. our own message board, RSM-alumni members only. further contributions encouraged!

this thread begun 17 Nov 2000.

Memories- There was an above-ground pool, complete with wooden deck, in front of the Madison Square Shopping Center near the big sign for most of one summer. It was a demo and they let people swim in it. It was early on, because my grandmother lived across the street where Goodyear and Krystal were later built. My aunt bought the pool and had it in her yard on Hall's Lane.

Norman's was on the end of the center close to Harvey's next to Chester's. My Aunt Flo worked there for years. Did anyone besides me have the nerve to ride through the front halls at Three Sisters? Papa John's was the pizza place across from Stratton. Here's one- Garrett's Suburbia next to SkateLane. What about Sidney's Roller Rink in the quonset hut on Old Hickory Blvd. They played El Paso by Marty Robbins every 30 minutes or so. Kay Furniture (Mom bought great quantities of furniture)? Woody's Restaurant. The Donald Duck. The High Hat. People's Service Station. Sinclair Service Station next to Donald Duck. Madison Garage. The Sportsman's Store. B.F. Myers, which was later Service Merchandise. Malone's Market. Hale's Drug Store (the biggest 10cent ice cream cones in the world served up by my Aunt Frankie! Doc Stammer was the pharmacist.) I remember Icees over Slurpees at 7/11. Mark lived on Peeler Trail. Marn, what was the market at the end of Lanier? Compton's next to Bryant's Texaco. Also Madison Square Barber Shop where Uncle Walter worked.

England's Salon up by Zayre's was the first unisex shop. The guitar shop up by Neely's Bend? Warner Mack's? Gene's Record Shop? Tula Faye's? WENO? W.E. Davis & Sons Dairy? Shall I continue? The health spa was the Cosmopolitan. Patterson's Restaurant near Mary Nell Shop (my mother Janelle's dress store in Primrose Center). Ed Dishman's Barber Shop? The Side Pocket ("Rack 'em Dago!"), Lillards Billards, and the 8 Ball? Sellers Florists? What was the name of the book store in the square- one-armed lady managed it? I saw Roy Rogers in person at Core Tire Service (Due West) at age 5. Met Duncan Renaldo (Cisco Kid) when the shopping center first opened. Shall I go on? Rollins Market? Alfie's? Franksville? The A&W Rootbeer place? The Frost Top!!?? LUM'S!!!!!!!!! Hot dogs steamed in beer!


R. Stevie:
Absolutely incredible. Man alive! Who opened the hatch? ME? These flashbacks are GUSHING out uncontrollably from everyone!

I'm keeping all these posts for a seperate webpage. This is TOO MUCH!

A & W !

Frank Davis Buick. Right, Roger, Icee's, NOT Slurpee's.

Remember Madison Clinic? Down behind Western Auto. Usedta dread getting shots there. Saw the dentist very early on.

Hopper, yup, I remember JFK vividly. Remember those newly added bldgs behind Stratton, needed more classroom space. 6th grade, Nov 22. Everybody was crying. I think the entire student body went outside to the playground, right? Whoa!

Stratton cafeteria & stage. School plays and concerts. HA! Mrs. Geist. Vaccinations.

Hanging with Terry & Richard Biggs.

Earlier best friends, Ricky Christian & Richard Willis. Whoa! Biking all the way from home to the Inglewood Theatre! That tall sign! Ben Allen Road. Right, Ferg? That big hospital over the tiny railroad bridge.

Morning View Ct. Ronnie Road. Barbara Mullen.

Three Sisters!!!! What was that bookstore Roger mentioned?

Hey, let's go to Shelby Park!

Dickerson Road area. The boonies!

Vic lived on Harrington for a time.

Do they still have Hillbilly Day? Sausage and biscuits!

Hop, did you play Little League?

Rose Cartwright?

Madison Community Center!

Houston Ragan! Wrestling accident.

Patricia Gilley.

Does Butch have email? Betcha he's got some memories.

Keep 'em coming!

the Hopper story!!

226 Neely's Bend Rd. is my first memory of Madison. Next door to the Cartwright's. Both of those kids went to Madison, but I don't remember their names! Did yesterday, don't today?? I moved from Old Hickory to Madison at the age of 8. It was like moving to a big city! The first thing that thrilled me about Madison was Hillbilly Day!! I can remember when it stretched from B & B to Western Auto. Somebody has to have pictures of Hillbilly Day festivities??

I attended Taylor Stratton school ... I don't remember much about that time, but there are a few things that stand out!! 4th grade ... George Johnson & Randy Scruggs singing the theme to Beverly Hillbillies to the class.

The principal Mrs. Ingrum announcing to the school over the intercom that President Kennedy had been killed.

I got in trouble in class once and Mrs. Jensen was going to to spank my hand with a ruler. When she did she cut my hand, so I punched her in the stomach and ran all the way home. They made her apologize to me and gave me a different teacher.

They had a record player set up for recess. You could play games or you could play your 45s. It was an easy choice for me since I had a huge collection of records and all the girls hung out around the record player!!

By the age of 10 or 11 I had moved to Madison Blvd. Madison Blvd. people ... Ted Patton, Lloyd Kirby, Tony Mortin, the Scott twins, Glenn Smiley, Steve Craig, and one street over Butch Davis.

My very first job was at the Putt Putt cleaning up. Remember, if you made a hole in one on the 18th you got a free game!! Everything was closed on Sunday in Madison Sq. which meant that it was our play ground! We had our own bike race track! Yes, Roger!! The display windows at Three Sisters was always fun to ride around! We use to screw roller-skate wheels on boards and ride down the hill in front of Harvey's. Yes, that's right, we invented skate boards!! My first motorcycle came at 12. From then on Butch and I terrorized the hood! He had one also!! Used to double Copas around a lot!! Poor James Fry did a lot of walking!!

Roger, here's one for ya??? The building that A & W was in later became what???
..............Preston Lincoln Mercury ... I won two tickets there for the Indy 500..

Way too many things to remember!!!
Shoney's Big Boy!! cruising!! WMAK, WKDA am .... and then FM!! WKDF!! Drag racing behind Madison Sq. on Sunday!! I shook Tarzan's hand at Shoney's!!

Krystals 10 cents each....

Easter egg hunts at WENO radio ...later they built a western town!! What was that called??

Madison Bowling Alley! Used to see Linda Moore there!! LUST!! Montague Drive-in...and market
on and on ..That's all I can brain just shorted out!!
Thank you god for these memories!! I mean Ira North!! WHERE WHERE MADISON SQUARE !!

I'm hungry ...I'm going to the Omni Hut and get some pepper steak!!

ARBY'S, AUG 1970

R. Steven:
Again, thanx for so many memories, dug out from beneath old floorboards! Man!

So many questions:
1) The Dog House!!! Wow! Where was that located? Don't think I ever went. Must have been 'beneath' me.

2) Mark, that street behind Stratton is Douglas! Big ole hill.

3) Where was BURGER BOY?!? On Gallatin Rd, down near Primrose Center? Wasn't there a Dairy Queen too? Dairy Dip?? Hey, remember Tradewinds???? The smell of minnows and bait. Hey, let's go to the lake! Saunder's Ferry Road. Boat docks. Water-skiing. Slalom (2 feet on one ski!). Hendersonville was TINY then! Bluegrass Country Club! The high-dive.

Najar's Market. Amqui. Madison Bowl. Billy, what was the club ('70s) nearby, Coming Attraction played there? (Not the Silver Swinger... Frontier??) Giant Foods. Muntz Cartridge City!!! 8-tracks AND 4-tracks! Zayre's. 7/11 Slurpees. Biking down Gibson Drive, FAST!

4) Where was Norman's? Pete, what about getting fired for fishin'? You don't mean KORNMAN'S, do ya? Gene's Record Shop!!!!!! Buying Beatles 45s for 77ยข on their day of release. Saving up to afford ALBUMS! I still have some of those same discs.

5) Hey, remember the little pizza place, across from Stratton? And the hobby shop? Model airplanes, little square bottles of Testors paint, airplane glue... how 'bout the little drug store right next to Stratton?

6) Roger, what was that hardware store again? Drakes?

7) Forrest Park. And Old Hickory Blvd. Ted Bryant's Texaco, right?? What was that drum shop? Winkler's?? Cotten Music! Was there a Hewgley's branch in the Square?

8) Deanna lived on Elm? Pete on Barbara Drive? (first ever potato smoked?) Down the street from Anne Bailey?? HA! Billy, the Miss America Pageant!! Mark, forgive me but I cannot recall your house/street??

9) Did anybody end up actually going steady with Debbie Randall? I always wanted to marry Charlotte Collier SO BAD.

10) Tom Thumb Green House! Wow, I haven't thought of that in so long. And, go-karts! Paper drives!! And school fund-raising spaghetti suppers!!

11) How about the Montague Drive-in?! With the huge M! I saw "Circus Of Horrors" there with the family! Hopper mentioned swings at the Colonial!! Good lord, eons ago! That was a HUGE screen, I can see the stately front of it now!

12) Apartments! What a new concept! Cliffie, I remember visiting your's & Cindy's little apartment near Dupont St (?) later on with Vic.

13) HARVEY'S!!!! Madison's only escalators. Vaguely remember the health club though.

14) Remember: in the beginning there were 2 grocery stores in the Square! Kroger's at one end, and a different one 'round the back on the other end by the barber shop. Baskin-Robbins ice cream.

Woolworths's and Walgreens. J.C. Penneys. Thom McAn shoes.

Commerce Union Bank, stand-alone 'island' down by the street, I got my first loan there (1972), to buy Frank Spero's Kharmann Ghia!! S & H Green Stamps!! Yes, Billy!!

Butch on Emmitt! Billy Graves on Chadwell? Castleman on Port Drive!!!! Fred Ray & Audie Stewart at the end of Diane Ct.!! AAAUUGGHH!

Where's Copas?

Can't ya just picture TAXMEN at St. Joseph? Packed. Wowing them with "Whiter Shade Of Pale"!

Shoot, didn't anybody have cameras back then? Where's the goddam photo archive for all of this??? Non-existent?

Let's keep this thread going, men! Flashback City! WHEW!!
Chosen Few
hey you kids, pipe down!!!!

pete here...
"i remember billy butler's apartment (behind burger boy) playing bongos to mamas and papas I DIG ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC." pete says he was the loner. rednecks ruled and he was stoned. pete and underwood (ronnie) got arrested behind madison square for drinkin' beer.

billy interjects.. I GOT ARRESTED FOR DOIN' DONUTS ON THE ICE BEHIND MADISON SQUARE. (the donuts didn't care).

pete has fond memories of hillbilly day. mostly the girls in sadie hawkins shorts. billy has fond memories of clean up day the day after, when real men/boys with cars would meet and talk about cleaning the trash and dating debbie randall.

i'm semi-proud to say i worked at the lazy susan. i still have a fascination with fried chicken. pete worked at NORMANS. he got fired for fishin' (ask him).

pete worked at tom thumb green house behind madison square. he also worked at sgt. peppers behind the square. pete is squarely behind the square. he played with FLAT CREEK and MADISON SYMPHONY F*CKERS behind madison square.

work, work, work, and die....

the spero party

What about Harvey's dept. store in the square...bought shcool clothes there when center shopping became more important and convenient than going downtown.

Then there was the health club next door, about the same time Lazy Suzan's showed up. Had a membership one summer before my ninth grade year. Quite monumental, eighth grade...glasses, braces, flat top haircut...ninth grade, contacts, no braces, longer hair, grew about four inches and worked out all summer, nobody knew who I was, it was great.....

Putt-Putt I remember, no pool and so strange when they took all the stuff out of the back and built the road cutting through to Old Hickory blvd. in the rear of the center. How about the Colonial Drive-In...? any memories of pop corn and poontang????? Well, ok, how about the Dog House, quarts of PBR and Rum River Crooks to smoke...?

How is it that Arby's still has the same tasting roast beef and stuff that they did when you worked there...? Almost up to par with the consistency of Krystal's......well almost, nothing beats a sackful of the little gutbombs, with cheese if you please.

Remember when apartments started popping up everywhere? What a strange concept in living at the time. Bill Butler was the first person I ever knew that lived in an apartment. Anybody ever hear anything about him?

Hey Madisonians! Great little tour, R.
Doochins is kaput. The Spanish place was Howell & Son Realty & Auction (Hugh). The Presbyterian church (home of the Crux Dementia) is a Jack-in-the-Box! The pay-per-bounce trampoline place went out of business and my dad bought us one. Remember the go-carts behind Madison Square? Remember the swimming pool in front of Madison Square? Remember 1971? If so, you weren't there! I also worked at the Lazy Susan for one night. The cook killed a cat with a hammer. That was Draper's Hardware, since moved closer to Due West. Come on home, R. We have internet AND fried chicken!


The Winstons' House

Terry Blankenship:
WENO radio's annual Easter Egg hunt ... Wilson Quick pharmacy ... Sears, evidence that the boom had finally come to Madison ... Krogers by Shoneys in Mad Square ... City Road Methodist church ... the Krystal next to it where many of us sneaked to during sunday school ... Duck's pool hall in the basement where the pool tables floated when it rained ... Madison Park and tennis ... Madison Park and Little League ... Madison Recreation Center and basketball ... the band room at MHS ... Mrs Eldridge's speech class ... Paul Blume ... Nat's house with flower the pet skunk ... nat's pet rocky raccoon ... nat's museum with the mummy in it ... richard willis and his new brown cool shoes in 7th grade ... susan saltonstall and r stevie (what an item) ... nancy smedley in 6th grade ... mike santi and perfection on earth: charlotte collier ... mrs ingram, the principal of stratton school ... mrs depriest 1st grade stratton ... mrs charpentier 2nd grade stratton ... mrs allen 3rd grade stratton ... mrs adair 4th grade stratton ... mrs geist 5th grade stratton ... mrs dudney 6th grade stratton ... mrs freeman's kindergarten on hall's lane ... harry sadler's huge house on hall's lane ... cherie sadler ... mike mcdonald ... denny mcdonald ... madison bowling alley ... woolworth's in madison sqaure and the food bar there ... walgreen's in madison square and the food bar there ... harvey's in madison square (that's where our senior pics were made, guys) ... the herd of nervous goats behind nat winston's house ... nat mounting the horse from behind from a running start then sliding under the horse to the ground (stop it)... earl scruggs' house ... pam chance ... floyd cramer's house by ricky christian's house ... david howard's house ... david howard's death ... lorrie morgan's house shown to us all by the one the only lane palmer ... freda malone ... ! the Hobby Shop in Madison ... jim benson's house on hall's lane ... playing baseball in houston's back yard ... kathy boone ... regina coley ... mike dennison ... mrs najar (whew) ... mr depriest ... mr hertenstein ... mrs zuccarrello (never heard that name since) ... mrs saverio spanish teacher ... mrs miller spanish teacher "like a tarantula, small but deadly" ... bobby holt ... the latimer twins ... the year we shared mhs with dupont ... calvin hunley's car death ... he was joel mayo's cousin ... donald lampley ... his voice changed in a weird way ... this is what i've come up with in my first 10 seconds of focused remembering

... terry

Sister Llynda:

the roller skating rink next to mcdonald's across from st. joseph's church that i went to every friday night where i skated the circle of the rink at least 300 times, hand in hand with my friends donna randall and jann waltenbaugh to music like "it's my party" by lesley gore and "easier said than done" by the essex. the week at school i campaigned my buns off to get every kid i knew to go skating the following friday night and scream their guts out for the Taxmen at the battle of the bands contest.

walking to my job at the dairy queen on saturdays and sundays by taking the back way from graycroft to ronnie road and then through the fields to the railroad tracks just before crossing over gallatin road to the DQ. had to walk cuz daddy wouldn't let mama take me.

standing in line to get our 'shots' (ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!) at that church on gallatin road while we smelled that funky smell of rubbing alcohol and heard other kids crying. feeling sick at our stomachs knowing we were next. i think it was a church. anybody remember which one?

HILLBILLY DAY!!!! overalls, straw hats, painted on freckles, pink and white gingham long dresses and bonnets parading down gallatin road to the smell of hot dogs and the sound of rides... waiting for the hillbilly day parade.

sweet and sassy bakery after cheerleading practice. 'goin to the shoppin center' on saturdays and shoneys after the games on friday nights, madison church of christ with the tomlinson twins on sunday...

not a gallatin road thing...but me and donna and jann and susan rosso having parties in the randalls' basement on saturday nights so we could dance with boys and turn the lights out and make out. decorating with red crepe paper and balloons all day saturday, bringing hoards of potato chips and stacks of hit singles...(make out favs were "hold me thrill me kiss me" and "groovy kind of love".) the saturday afternoons in the basement when we took turns pulling our pants down in front of jerry koch and john mclaughlin...'we showed 'em ours if they showed us theirs'.

much love to you my madison buddies...
llynda (the artist formerly known as linda faye moore)

Re: madisonmadisonmadison, ok? hey!

Go Hop!

So many of the, er, lower-class locations, I barely knew. The Moore's were rich and smart. (smart-ASS!) I was studying algebra, while you guys were drinking hot sauce and doin' billiards. HA!!! Ain't it funny how Billy A was such a HOT CAR freak?! Before anybody else! That Mustang Mach-1? Vrooooom!

I remember very very little of Old Hickory. Or DuPont. Isn't it amazing, in the history, how that bridge virtually launched Madison's prosperity? A link, if you will.

I remember slot cars!!!!

Dennis Mangrum died?

Terry, tell me more about 'Carvin Hunley death.' whoa!!

Remember Houston Ragan's wrestling accident?? Paralyzed? Remember the wheelchair ramp, built at his house? Sad.

Blowing up mail boxes! LOL!

Swimming Pools!!!

Cascade Plunge
Pleasant Green

507 Graycroft had the COOLEST POOL! Right in my own backyard! With underwater windows on the side!!

Neely's Bend??? You mean OAK VALLEY!?


Here's some more:
mhs Library Lassies! Miss Wiley.

Mark Ethridge.

Stan Goad!!!!

Camping out with Rick Christian & Johnny Watson (!) at that field behind Ronnie Road (Gray's Farm? Gray's Field? Gray's?)...

Which reminds me the woods behind our 507 Graycroft house. Man, I navigated that forest like mad for years! Early! Short cut to visit South Summerfield, Richard Willis, The Randall's....and later, Roger!

Llynda, remember the bizarre church over the hill? Church of God of Prophecy? They were chanting in tongues! Weird, spooky memories....

Dean Teasley / Charlie High / David 'Dawg' High, regulars at the Winstons. Roger, what was the Winstons' dog's name?? HA! One night, Nat Winston hit me, and I huffed outta the house and climbed a tree!?! Then, I think I fell out, on my head!! Terry came out and I had amnesia!!

Hop, did you ever go to the Winstons?

Pickin & grinnin.

Mike Schmidt. Debra McDaniel.

Phil Maxwell (big Spero friend). Chadwell. Tommy Brown. David Brown. Linda! The Meffords!! The Lassiters!!

Anybody know details about David Howard's suicide?

Castleman, where you been? Bet you got some AMAZING memories!

Mike Padgett. Pam & Pat Pitt. Donna Reeves! Judy Fillmore!!

Donnie Gillespie (early best friend of rsm for about 2 weeks!). Bob Baxter! They lived in the house right on the MHS driveway corner! Dad Baxter was head custodian?


Somebody forward the whole thread to Sherry Keith!

Roger, whatever happened with that Lori Burroughs promised 1970 yearbook? Need scans!!!

Have a great night, all my palz...

Questions ???

Bill Butler...lives here in Donelson . Has his own business ..Butler Tree Service ...still red!!

Dog House ...was in Old Hickory where the community center is Burger Boy .... was next to Earl Dunn Pontiac..

Don't forget the pool hall ...8 had to have a note to be in there. Remember the little hunch back man that ran the place SHORTY "rackem Shorty"

"you can't rackem without the balls" I saw Audie Stewart win a bet there once. He bet every one in there that he could drink a gallon of water in 3 min. For 5 bucks he would drink a bottle of hot sauce! There was another pool hall across the street down some steps but I don't remember the name??

Did any body own a slot car and race it at the track in Madison Sq. Butch and I was there racing one day and his father came in to take him to get a hair cut. When he came back he was crying cause Hall the barber had cut it too short.

Dennis Mangrum got hit by a car on Gallatin Rd. Mike Copas saw it happen.

Kornmans for tux rental.

Tippie & Tommy Hawkins

Copas and others got busted for blowing up mail boxes. Made the Nashville Banner.

BEST SMOKE??? John Leverett

Prettiest Girl? hands down Linda Fay Moore !!!!!!!!!! still very pretty!!

Best clothes?? J. C. Penneys... husky dept.

What the hell was the name of the swimming pool down on the Bend??

All this old stuff makes me feel young again!

Yep I was the guy smoking behind the bleachers at football games, hanging in pool halls. Just generally doing all the wrong things. I was young and dumb and full of... hot sauce... Ha! That was the only excuse I had back then. (so hop what's your excuse these days?) shut up! who said that??? Steve if I did know better I'd think you insulted me... Ha!

Football games !!
A sporting event??? I don't think so! Madison football games meant that a rumble was gonna happen!

Mayor of Madison.... Mike Murphy..... He threw a hubcap in the air and took a picture of it. Nashville Banner ran it as a UFO sighting.... What was his sister's name?? Sandra??

Did anybody ever hang at Old Hickory beach close to the dam??

Wasn't there a Pitt besides Pam & Pat?? John??

Wayne Sladen?? Roger wasn't that your friend??

Come On Lets Twist Again!!

charlotte was nat's dog's name ... charlotte is buried with betty ... no joke

... remember Madison Drugs which was right beside Doochin's? mr depriest's daughter was married to the pharmacist there ...

remember at stratton school that there were 3 different bells at the end of the day for releasing certain groups of people to go home? the 1st bell was for the bus riders ... the 2nd bell was for car riders ... the 3rd bell was for walkers and bike riders ... mrs ingram would stand by the front door ...
(this would mean nothing to the neely's bend guys)

does anyone remember the goodyear store? it had the coolest bikes right by the washing machines ...

remember kornman's? remember kenneth kornman? coach graves? baby graves?

rick mosier? mrs care's algebra class ... mrs saverio's death ... mike santi's mom's auto accident death ...

a pic is attached of me and my friend riding a harley 4 weeks ago ...

RE: Sidneys. Cheapest roller rink in the world. My mother worked next door at Sellers Florist during the holiday seasons. Went to Sidneys every day while she worked. Sometimes the only person in there. Fell once and hurt my head badly,,, don't think I've ever recovered.....
Hardiman Appliance, Cammuse's Grocery (for you Bend folks.) and Peeler's grocery (where I bought my pipe tobacco and filters), B&B Cafe (an icon)
Witzum's psychiatric clinic at the corner of Neelys Bend and Gallatin road, right next door to the Ford-Musgrove drug store.. had a telephone booth with a rubber bladed fan to keep you cool while you talked. you could stop the rotation with your finger.. made strange sounds....turned me on to drum sounds.
Henshaw furniture (site of the old Madison theater)
What was the name of the barber shop that Mr. Armour worked at?
Harpers laundry.
The Dog House was the old building on Hadley in Old Hickory.. Billy, do you remember jumping out the back window with me during a fight there??
What was the name of the Buick dealer in town?
The first McDonalds I ever saw with the famous golden arches.
Najars market....what a nice girl Freddy's sister was!! She taught Physics at MHS.

From: Mike Copas - Fri, April 1 2005

doochins [art supplies].... the new carwash across from dewey armours barber shop.... the amqui train depot [i have photos of it with shots of the man working inside]; the fallout shelters for sale at the corner of neelys bend and gallatin road..... the colonial drive-in.... colonel sanders opening.... climbing the tower contraption beside the railroad tracks somewhere between madison square and o.h. blvd.... the student smoking area at the back corner of mhs.... nat winston blowing a hole in wall of his bedroom with a cannon..... losing the lbs of change in your pockets riding THE BULLET in front of stratton on hillbilly day.... playing music with the Alleycats and jimmy church booking our gigs..... e.o. jenkins the man of science jumping up on his desk flat-footed..... the cherry-bomb going off in the restroom across from art class while ennis steele was inside combing his hair.... the drag races behind madison square..... the amazing stunts of charlie barnette.... don and oliver pass with their home-made ufo's.... and music in the morning, music in the evening, music at supper-time, everybody was playing music and playing it all the time..... m.copas


Q. How did Montague Beach mix pleasure and danger during '40s, '50s

------from The Tennessean, August 2002

My husband's parents both spoke of ''Montague.'' They met there. Was this an old movie theater? Any history known on it? — Pam Thomason, Springfield.

The answer to your puzzle might have remained elusive without a lucky message from Nashvillian Herb Summar. A former East High School student, he fondly recalled youthful trips to ''Montague Beach'' and wondered if that topic might interest others who knew of it.

The rocky spot on the Cumberland River in the Madison area was popular with East and Litton High students seeking sun and a swim in the 1940s and 1950s. ''There was a lot of courting going on,'' Summer said.

It was also a fishing spot for some. Summar, who learned to swim there, can't forget once becoming tangled in the hooks of a trotline strung across the river.

The mighty Cumberland, despite its hidden currents and other river hazards, once attracted more swimmers and pleasure boaters throughout its Nashville run than many can imagine today. Not all of them had happy and carefree experiences.

Phillips-Robinson Funeral Home was frequently called to launch its boat with dragging equipment to search for some of the unfortunates.

In September 1950, Herbert G. Jones, a retired railroader who lived on Indian Trail, ''toppled from his fishing boat … below Lock 2 at Montague.'' A ferry operator spotted some of his fishing equipment, initiating the recovery effort for his body.

Three years later, Montague-Madison police — a private police force — searched the Cumberland for the body of a woman pulled ''almost to the surface'' when caught on a fisherman's line before pulling free. ''Several strands'' of long, black hair remained on his hook, a newspaper article reported.

But Montague was a pleasant place for most visitors, and a lucky one for those who got to know future spouses there.

The community started in 1919 with Montague Subdivision, which became something of a fashionable resort for the city dwellers who kept riverside cottages there for summer use. ''You couldn't even visit Montague unless you had scads of money,'' Lillian Barrett Taylor confided in Guy Alan Bockmon's recent book, Madison Station.

One of the area's two boat landings ''for the weekend skippers'' was at the south end of Fernbank Drive, Bockmon wrote.

The subdivision was named for Montague S. ''Monty'' Ross (1880-1972), an attorney who was one of its developers. Its early boundaries were Gallatin Pike on the west, Gibson's Creek on the north, the river on the east, and East Due West Avenue (formerly Belle Camp Highway) on the south. It lies across the river from Pennington Bend, part of which is now home of the Opry complex.

Today Montague is a quiet residential area off the beaten track. A few old cabins remain, and some homes display names like ''River View'' and ''High Bluff.'' Its ''beach'' remains only in the memories of those who once frolicked there.

Of course, if your in-laws are or were a bit younger, they might also have met at the Montague Drive-In Theater. Once located at 1020 S. Gallatin Pike, it showed movies through the 1960s until its closing about 1976.

Write to Learn Nashville, 1100 Broadway, Nashville, Tenn. 37203. E-mail

Sources: newspaper archives; Madison Station, Guy Alan Bockmon, 1997. George Zepp writes about the people, places and things that make Nashville unique.

Mike Burroughs:

I remember Montague Beach as a VERY little boy. My parents (Litton High Class of '46 and '48, respectively) went there all the time, and I was born in '50. It was at the end of East Due West Ave. My grandfather, E.C. Chance lived in several houses on the River, but not at that time; he lived on West Due West Ave. in the house that is now owned by the guy who was the CEO of Nashville Memorial Hospital and an Elder at Madison Church of Christ (name escapes me at the moment). It was a stone house. My grandfather had a cabin cruiser that he built himself and launced at one of those boat ramps. Homer Chance had one just like it. Both had "Scott-at-Water" engines on the back and were "deadly" contraptions becasue the center of gravity was too high, so when the boats turned, they would yaw the opposite direction of the turn and with a bit more speed would have easily capsized.

The River in those days (before the Old Hickory Dam was built) bore no resemblance to the river of today. It had shallows on each bank and was very green. There were lots of big rocks that protruded from the shore. The bottom was of brown gravel about the sise of almonds and pecans-- very smooth on your feet, so it was easy to walk around on the "beach." I remember that a bit "off shore" there were huge mussels to be found quite easily by the men who would dive down to get them. Each was the size of a man's hand or larger. They would open them with hunting knives so the children could see the pretty colors on the inside of the shells. I can still smell the odor of the mussels themselves which were very hard to cut out and were discarded so that we could keep the shells for awhile. There was a simple dam and lock system very close by and a small channel that was dredged by the Corps of Engineers. I remember barge traffic, but the towboats that pushed them rarely had more than two barges in front of them, and only single file. I do not remember the channel being wide enough to accommodate anything wider than that. I remember a flood and that the water was high enough to go completely over the dam at that location. My grandfather, uncle and father (and cousin and I and who knows who else was in the boat) actually went over the dam in the boat without the prop hitting the dam. I remember to this day the sensation of the "wave" as we rode up and then down going over the dam (I do not remember the trip back).

I also remember going to the site of where the Old Hickory Dam is now, and watching the River change its shape and color as the new dam and lake took form. What transpired was the ugly, brown, fast flowing, transportation system now known as the Cumberland River. It looks nothing like what kids enjoyed at Montague Beach. It became even more treacherous with no redeeming qualities except that it was "water" and boats pass by if you have a house on it. I remember a friend of my father's (Claude Burrow) who owned a beautiful, wooden runabout. We took a long ride on the "new" lake as the water was rising to its eventual consistent level. He knew of an old indian mound that was at that point an island that in a week or two would be submerged. We went to it and the water had eroded the dirt all around it to form a verticle bank about two feet high. All around that island there were graves that were open. Each had a flat stone lining. Most had been washed open to the point where there was little in them but some bones and broken artifacts. We stayed only a half hour or so and brought back some bones-- about a shoebox full (I remember finger bones and lumbar bones). We kept them in the garage. My sister had nightmares about them and we had to eventually throw them away so she could sleep.

My parents have pictures not only of themselves as kids at the Montague beach, but of THEIR parents sunning themselves there. It truly was a popular spot. I'm glad that I had just a little bit of time to remember it. I was just a toddler, but I DO remember it.

Of course, the Montague that I remember most vividly, was a drive-in movie theater...but that's another story.


need to hear more from Myron, Billy A, Butch, Castleman and Gary!

MhsAa ^;^ Rsmemories ^;^ Rsmadison ^;^ Rsmhs