Marcy S., age 19, Tennessee


Another hot, dry day. Got to office at 8:30 to find note that Mr. H. had gone to Wartburg and wouldn’t be back till noon or 4 p.m.! So I set to work and straightened out his files and some drawers. Then wrote in my diary. At 10 of 12 Pop ’phoned to say the car was outside and so help me I thought it was only 10:30!! I don’t know where the morning went!! Left about 12 and went down to the car. Pop came in a few minutes and K. was passing so drove her home. Good dinner. Mr. Pridemore came this morn to start the painting – at long last!! Back at 1 and Mr. H. appeared in a few minutes. He was feeling quite under the weather – I think he’d been drinking – his big weakness! I read Helen’s Babies again. He sent me to the P.O. once. Old Mr. Davis came in to see him and I had to just about shout my head off before he got it straight that Mr. H. was in and could see him. The ’phone rang a couple times but Mr. H. didn’t answer – I thought he might be asleep. Oh yes – this morn a woman called and was all up in the air because some other woman was picking her beans (or something about picking beans) and it had made her so nervous she had to go to a doctor and wanted to get out a peace warrant – I think a war warrant would have been more like it! Another woman called and wanted to know if I knew anything about the divorce laws in Tennessee. I had to admit I didn’t! Mr. H. let me go at 4:30. I went to Gooch’s jewelry and had Mr. Gooch cut off the friendship ring Helen gave me. My finger had swollen and I couldn’t get it off. He asked if I wanted to have the ring or my finger cut off and I said I preferred to lose the ring. One of the Gooch girls was there – she was so friendly. He didn’t charge anything and it only took a minute. Home about 4:45. Ironed some slips and then took a bath. Pop came. Mr. Pridemore left about 6. I practiced. Then we had supper. I tried to get Mary 3 or 4 times. Called her mother’s once and had quite a visit with Mrs. Farmer. Finally I got Horace at the apt. and he said Mary had left word that she had to go over to her mother’s and couldn’t go tonight but she’d go some other night. I didn’t want to alone and thought I’d wait till Wednesday when K. was going. But I’d told the Rockwells I’d be there so decided to go. Pop went over to the school to a ball game and about 7:30 I left for Red Cross. Mrs. Walker and Alice Ann were out in the front yard so I stopped a minute to talk to them. Mrs. H. kept raving about how well I look. Alice Ann was bashful at first but when I was leaving she gave me a big smile and said, “Hi-ya!” I offered to stay with A.A. any night when the Walkers go out. Alice Ann is just precious. Oh yes – while Mum and I were out on the porch Saturday night Mr. Walker and A.A. came by and we went across the street to talk to them. She was jabbering away but became suddenly shy when she saw us. She calls Mum “Mrs. Nanny” and can say “Marcy Jane” quite plain. I sat down and she tried to sit down and I picked a blade of grass and she did the same. When I put my hands on my hips she tried to do it, too, but had hers way up in her arm-pits. It was so cute! … I got to the Red Cross rooms just before Bea and Katherine Rockwell puffed up the stairs. There were dark clouds in the sunset – maybe it’ll rain. We had just gotten started when in walked Mrs. McCluen and Mrs. Milburn. And on their heels came June Smalley, Nance Wallace, Wilda McGriffin, and two new girls – Jean and Mary. The Rockwells were thrilled to death – the largest number they’ve ever had. We all went to work with a vim. I sat at the table with the ladies while the new comers sat at another table. The band was blaring away upstairs and the skating rink music was sending the air across the street. So we lifted up our voices and drowned them both out! It was fun. About 8:30 the girls – all but Mary – had to leave but they promised to come back next Monday and bring others. Mary moved over to our table. She has 3 brothers in the service. She’s lived here about a year and a half but I’ve never seen her. We all talked – about school and George McClure and Mr. Harris, etc. Mrs. McClean and Mrs. Milburn raved about how much my voice quality had changed – how much lower it was. I was certainly trying hard enough to keep it down. Mrs. McCluen said it used to be so high pitched. Then she told one on me. Seems I asked her in school if there were 2 Sundays in a week. My logic was that there was one Sunday at the beginning of a week and another at the end!! Kath. told about the time she went in to see Mr. Harris and he was looking for his notary republic stamp amongst a litter of papers, etc. on his desk. He looked up and said, “You know, Miss Katherine, I couldn’t see an open umbrella on this desk.” And she said “Brother, I believe it!” He’s a card! About 9:15 we finished and the Rockwells tied them up. I made 130 or 135 and they all thought that was wonderful! I had a good card again! Mrs. Milburn said if I didn’t come next Monday they’d send the law up after me! We closed up shop about 9:30 and Mary asked me if I’d like to go to the bowling alley for something to drink. She’s so friendly. She said she’d read so much in the paper about me and had wanted to meet me – just as if I were a celebrity or something! She went to T.P.I. at Cookeville for 2 years but has been working at the project about a year. We went down to the bowling alley and had drinks. She insisted on setting me up. Some boys looked at us as if they’d never seen girls before. We saw Sarah Jones and some other girls and hailed them. Mary knows quite a few people. She told me about the Y.W.C.A. that’s being organized and invited me to go. It meets tomorrow night but she has a date and I might have to stay with Alice Ann. We’re going to go to a show sometime and I told her to call me. She lives in the Claiborne house. I walked on home feeling wonderful and not like myself at all. I still have a long way to go but I am improving. Home about 10 – Pop followed a few minutes later. Mum had just gotten the latest war news. Cherbourg has fallen, the Americans are advancing rapidly in Italy and the Russians have made great gains. The Republicans Convention is going full blast – when I passed the Marshes’ some man was ranting around about “We’re all Americans – and we all have a part!!” Willkie spoke out against the foreign policy of the party but the leaders wouldn’t listen. He’s greatly to be admired, I think, for not being afraid to speak. To bed about 11, feeling wonderful!