I first discovered Madison Came Running back in 2005 while preparing to move to this area. Like any digital native, I was learning all I could about my future community over the Internet.
Fast forward seven years and I still enjoy Bob Cline’s window into downtown Madison. Just last week I decided to ask for a meeting and write something about this local hero.
His interesting life is documented on MCR, especially in the section called “A Moment In Time.” Colonel Robert Cline served with the Indiana State Police for 33 years. His distinguished career included more than its share of good stories. He guarded several US presidents, lived in the Governor’s Mansion for a time, rubbed shoulders with Paul Newman, and worked cleanup on some of Indiana’s worst disasters.
Then he came to Madison in 1992 to settle down and enjoy his so-called retirement in our river town. He was quickly tapped to head a new police force at Hanover College. This chapter has it’s share of interesting stories. One highlights was providing security wend Hanover alumnus Woody Harrelson came back for a speaking event on campus. Campus Police Chief Cline retired from that post on 12/31/1999. That assignment kept him busy for seven years.
At age 73, Bob was ready for a new challenge and soon began his new occupation as webmaster of Madison Came Running. He learned the ropes of HTML from Jeffery Burleson and even contributed to the news page on Old Madison for a time.
Bob wasn’t content to dabble, his next stop was Ivy Tech to take a course in website administration. He created a pictorial directory of downtown Madison and her people. With the help of his wife Rita, the site grew and began to get noticed. In 2006, the Round About newspaper wrote an article featuring Madison Came Running. In 2007, they received an award from Lt. Governor Skillman for promoting tourism in Madison. Even now, readers approach Bob to say thanks when he is out around town.
One of the most moving sections of his website is the tribute to Rita Cline, who passed away in 2010.
After about an hour of solid talk, Bob asked me if I had any questions. My most pressing question related to his nickname, “Roger Bean.” Why the alias? What’s the story?
“Roger Bean” it turns out was his father’s nickname in the town of Osgood. His dad was the manager of the A&P grocery store, which reminded locals of the 1920’s comic strip about a shopkeeper. That meant Bob was often called “Little Roger” in his childhood days. The name was brought out of retirement for his column on the Old Madison website.