On (Internet) duty

Madison website is
retired trooper’s personal hobby

Regatta a big part of Cline’s
‘Madison Came Running’ site

By Michella Marino
Contributing Writer

(June 2006) – Bob Cline can be described as nothing less than an extraordinary giver to society. He has contributed many worthwhile accomplishments, along with participating in various events throughout the years, from his stint in the military to his longtime service as an Indiana state trooper.

Bob Cline

Photo by Michella Marino

Bob Cline, a.k.a. Roger Bean,
poses at home with his
“Madison Came Running” computer.

The Madison, Ind., resident happens to be only one of two men ever to serve each rank from trooper to full colonel in the Indiana State Police. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II at the young age of 17 and attended Radio Operators School. He completed degrees from Indiana University and also the prestigious FBI Academy.
Cline met and shook hands with President Richard Nixon and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. He was once in charge of the traffic control for the Indianapolis 500 and managed to clean up the rowdy “Snake Pit” there. Cline even saved the life of the former University of Louisville basketball coach John Dromo, who was involved in a serious car accident.
This is simply a glimpse into the contributions Cline has made and opportunities he’s received, but he is not yet done giving back to the community, despite suffering a recent heart attack this past spring. He had a stint inserted in his heart, and after a few days of recovery he was right back up and busy again.
Cline and his wife, Rita, of 58 years are originally from Osgood, Ind., and New Marion, Ind., respectively, but were married in 1948 at a Methodist Church in Madison. After Cline joined the ISP, the couple moved to different parts of the state due to his police work, eventually settling in Richmond. The couple had always intended to retire in Madison, which they did in 1990. But just because Cline has retired from the ISP doesn’t mean he’s slowing down.
“I wanted to do something else other than shuffleboard, like some old folks do,” said Cline, 80.
Cline’s stuck to his word, and five years ago he created the popular local website www.MadisonCameRunning.com. It is his personal contribution to downtown Madison, he said.
Cline returned to school yet again during his retirement but this time to study computers at Ivy Tech Community College. He took a semester-long class on how to write web pages and properly use “html language.” Although Cline received proper education in html and web pages, he said, “Trial and error is about as good as any.”
However, Cline’s daughter, Amanda Ferris, believes that the fact her father never stops learning and is an eternal student makes him exceptional. “He has a desire to learn and to share that learning with people.”

Bob Cline

Photo provided

A younger Bob Cline is pictured in 1948 as a
young Indiana
State Police trooper.

The Madison Came Running website is named after the famous movie, “Some Came Running,” which was was filmed in Madison in 1958 and starred actors Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine. Cline loves the movie and decided it would make a neat name for his new web page, thus, “Madison Came Running” was born.
According to Cline’s website, “Madison Came Running is the Internet pictorial of downtown Madison, Indiana.” His page “features the downtown and the riverfront, plus people, places and things connected to this ‘City Beneath The Hills’ on the Ohio River in Southern Indiana.”
Cline gives good press to what he considers the four most important landmarks in downtown Madison: Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, Broadway Fountain, Hanging Rock Hill, and the Ohio River Bridge connecting Madison with Milton, Ky. Of course, he also promotes the other historic sites downtown, especially many of the old homes.
“A house I really like to photograph,” he says, “is the home on Third and Elm. It changes character with the seasons.”
Cline also provides many pictures of the riverboats, such as the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen, along with their schedules.
He does not leave out the people of his favorite town, either. Cline often includes features on Madisonians who have or who are doing exceptional things within or for the local community. One feature he’s currently concentrating on is that of Cody Mahoney, a young local stock car racer. He also provides links to people’s personal Madison web pages, such as that of Vicki Fewell, who features photographs of Madison, the Regatta Unlimited hydroplanes and information on the movie “Madison.”
The Madison Regatta and the Miss Madison Unlimited boat also hold a special spot on Madison Came Running. Cline witnessed that fateful Regatta when the Miss Madison hydroplane won in 1971, and since then he’s had “a soft spot in my heart for ole’ Miss Madison.”
So Cline often features photos of the Miss Madison boat, the Regatta and its people. Joe Johnson, chairman of the Regatta’s vintage boats program, has known Cline for more than five years. Johnson said he appreciates all the coverage Cline provides for the Regatta and believes him to be “one of the best guys who does this type of thing.”
Johnson continued, “He gives nothing but the truth and is always factual. He helps this community out. I respect anything he does. Bob Cline’s sincere in what he does and he does it well.”
Since Cline “really thinks a lot of Madison” especially the downtown area, he promotes it every chance he gets. He doesn’t cover anything on the hilltop. His website includes links to downtown restaurants, an event calendar and Main Street businesses, to name a few. He’s also constantly updating his site with the goal of changing at least one thing daily.
The masts on the sides of the webpage are more or less permanent, but Cline’s always adding new pictures and stories to the main page. Madison Came Running is also a non-profit website, so all the advertisements are free.
Rita Cline also helps her husband with the website. Neither of them leaves the house without a camera, and, Cline said, “She picks out nice shots.”
Ferris said she offers tips and hints now and again, but that it’s been her father’s baby since the beginning: “I’m really proud of him. He’s captured the essence of downtown.”

• Visit Bob Cline’s photo-based Internet website at: www.MadisonCameRunning.com.

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