Max Cash Retires as Mayor and Public Servant
by Marie S. Dillenbeck
Originally Published in The Groundhog
Volume 18, Number 9, September 2000
Max Cash was the ninth individual to be mayor of Mentone. On August 8, 1989, Max Cash finished the remaining term of Rob Hammond who resigned due to the growing concerns of Camp Laney. Max said Rob didn't want to run again, but he told Rob he would fill out his term if the council saw fit--they did. Max has also been on the town council since 1960.
Nov. 24, 1924, to parents Albert Cash and Cassie Cash, he attended Moon
Lake School, and graduated from Valley Head High School. He attended,
for a short time, the University of Chattanooga.
worked with his father who was a well-known carpenter and rock mason
responsible for many lasting structures in and around Mentone. After he
and Roberta married, he worked with a construction firm which employed
her father as superintendent.
and Roberta, who have been married 52 years, have six children: Anita
Banks, Larry Cash, Susan Hooks, Bruce Wayne Cash, Phillip Cash, Neil
Cash (deceased), and Ann Harrell. Their spouses and grandchildren,
respectively, are Ben and Seth Banks, Marion, Ind.; Barbara, Allison and
Jordan Cash, Anchorage, Alaska; Larry, Kyle and Cassie Hooks,
served in the 11th Air Force as a radio operator and was stationed in
Alaska. In 1948, a group of World War II veterans in Mentone organized
American Legion Post 215 for their community. Their first commander was
Sammy Cash. Charter members were: Leonard Shigley, Max Cash, Luther King
Jr., Sammy Cash, and Leland Cox. Today, American Legion Post 215
continues to be an active community organization in Mentone. Mr. Cash
said, "In WWII, seven men from the Mentone area were killed, the
most for a town of its size in Alabama."
to being mayor, Max was a rural mail carrier for 36 years. E. T. York,
U.S. Postal mail carrier for many years, inspired Max to apply for the
position as rural mail carrier. "I would see Mr. York riding by and
putting mail in the boxes and saw the good part of a mail carrier's job,
and it was a job I wanted to do." In February 1952, U.S.
Representative Albert Rains appointed Max, who was 27 years old. Max
retired on Feb. 3, 1988, after having served continuously as a rural
mail carrier for 36 years.
Cash had been such an important part of the life of Mentone's rural
community with his friendly greeting. Those on the route remember his
dedication and kindness during those years. That same dedication and
kindness has continued. It's just part of Max, and he wanted to give
something back to his community.
the time he was a rural mail carrier, Max was also on the town council,
serving one time as Mayor. He resigned when it interfered with his
and friends surprised Max on Friday, November 26.
The children and grandchildren of Max and Roberta Cash planned
the 75th birthday celebration in his honor. It was held at Riverview
Camp for Girls in the dining hall.
were invited to "come join us for 'Low Country Shrimp Boil' with
lots of music and lots of food and fun."
of the present council and other employees of the town had the following
comments. Linda Brown said, "I want to personally thank Mayor Max
Cash for his many years of service to the town of Mentone. I have worked
with Max and the town on several projects, and he is always a joy to
work with. He is one of the most considerate and cooperative people I
have ever known. While serving on the town council during part of his
term as mayor, I have found that, if he is faced with a question that he
doesn't know the answer to, he will say that he doesn't know; but he
will research the issue and find the answer--and he always does. I think
that this may be one of the best attributes a person can have.
is always courteous and makes sure that everyone gets a chance to
present their view. Besides being such a nice person, Max has the
ability to see what needs to be done and then take the appropriate steps
to accomplish the job. Max Cash is a true gentleman, in every sense of
Johnson, who served at various times under former mayors, C. E. Harvey,
Sam Barrett, Robert L. Daniel, and Rob Hammond, said, "It was very
much a pleasure to serve with Max. He gave his time for the good of the
town. Because of his experience in different types of work, he was able
to do things for the town that they would otherwise have had to hire
help. Max was devoted to his job and the town!"
John Corey, "I remember one day having a customer in the store. He
said, 'I would like to be mayor of the little town of Mentone--just sit
back, kick my feet up, and relax.' I told him to look out the window.
That's the mayor out there digging up water lines with Jimmy Worthey to
find a water leak. There may be a little more to being mayor than that.
McGehee' said. "I first appreciated Max Cash's leadership when he
was a member of the board of the Heritage Foundation when it was trying
to get the Mentone Springs Hotel for a community center / welcome center
/ museum. He was a wonderful board member. Since then, I have admired
his almost daily presence in the town hall and for his many years of
dedication to the town of Mentone as mayor."
Worthey of the Mentone Water Department said, "It has been fine
working with him. I have enjoyed every bit of it, even digging ditches
with him. He is a real good man to work for. I liked working with Max.
He has been a good boss."
Bailey, who was Town Clerk for 20 years, from 1976 to 1996, said
"It was good working with him. He left me alone to do my job. He
was good to work with."
Keefer: "I was appointed and had never been in politics. I was new
and didn't know what to expect. Max was a calming influence at all
council meetings and kept everything under control."
and Parks Superintendent, H. P. Goss, said he had worked with Max for
eight years, and before that he worked with Rob Hammond. He worked for
the water department under Sam Barrett. "Max and I got along just
fine as long as he has been mayor. I promised him that I would stay with
him the last time he ran."
Chief Johnny Ferguson: "I have the highest respect for Mayor Max
Cash. I have worked under him for 10-1/2 years and I think he is the
most honorable mayor I have ever seen. I have seen him get down in mud
with a pick and shovel in 20 degree weather fixing water breaks and stay
up all night long, and the next day still working on them. That really
impressed me that a mayor would do that. I have seen him take verbal
abuse from people that didn't know what they were talking about, yet he
stayed calm and took it. He has always been firm, but fair with the
police department. I don't think he would ask us to do anything that he
wouldn't do himself. 'Mayor Cash, I salute you for a job well
Jones, former principal and teacher at Moon Lake school, has made the
statement many times, "In all my 34 years of work at Moon Lake
School, I have never had a patron who was more supportive in every way
than Max Cash. He never failed to do anything I asked, and many times he
saw the need without my asking. He is a fine man and has reared a
Susan Hooks had this to say. "One thing I remember is that when
anyone asked me what we (all his children) attribute to our family
successes, I told them, 'My father prayed for us every day of our lives.
He still prays for each of us by name, including all of the
grandchildren. I have heard him, and I thank God he is my father."
said he has enjoyed working with council members, clerks, and all other
employees of the town over the years. Now, he is looking forward to
retirement for the second time.
the time of the writing of this article, Max and Roberta, daughter, Ann
Harrell, and other members of the family, have gone to Hilton Head for a
week. Max will be back just in time for the September council meeting on
said he loves people and takes great pleasure in talking to them. He
always has time for those who come to him about town matters or about
Copyright © 2008 Skye Enterprises. All rights reserved.