Marcy S., age 19, Tennessee


Pan’s 17th birthday. To work at 8:30. Another very hot day. Mr. Harris had left a note saying he was at Wartburg again. The telephone rang about every 10 minutes – long distance from Memphis once and two other long distance. I took note of all the calls and the few people who came in. One was a Fred (?) Johnson, a very nice man who had backed Pop for a legion post although he didn’t know him. We had quite a conversation. About 10 Mr. H. returned and I thought at first he was sober again. I gave him the list but he didn’t call anyone. He went out again and while he was gone a lady came with some papers and a tale of a check that hadn’t been endorsed. When Mr. H. returned I gave them to him and explained the case. He was to call her. He didn’t know what was going on so I didn’t try to explain further. He said he had a bad cold and was trying to keep away from people – I don’t know who he was trying to fool. Me, I suppose, but I’m not that dumb. Just before noon another lady came in and Mr. H. was asleep at his desk so I took the papers and the message. Then he woke up and a young man who has been in before, came and they talked a few minutes. He saw the condition Mr. H. was in, though, and so came out to talk to me. Mr. H. promptly went back to sleep. The man was having divorce troubles. He asked me how long I thought Mr. H. would be that way and I couldn’t tell him. I felt like crying – it’s tragic. He was very nice. Wanted to know if there was another lawyer in town and I told him about Mr. Pearmans. We walked down stairs together and he told me his legal troubles and commented on Mr. H.’s condition. I felt at the bottom of the well as I walked home. Mum cheered me up with a humorous account of what happened this morn. Seems she found one of our little black friends (a roach, to be crude) in the kitchen silver drawer. She thought, “Aha, I’ll show him!” So she took the drawer over to the stone and tipped the bug-end toward the fire, holding the silver back. Well, the bug wasn’t going to be a sucker – before Mum knew what was happening, it jumped to the other end of the drawer and so startled Mum that she let go of the silver and lost 8 pieces in the fire!! With some difficulty she retrieved them and all ended happily. I nearly choked laughing! Back at 1. Mr. Harris was in the same position I’d left him, sound asleep. The telephone rang a few times but he didn’t answer it. I read Sergeant York by Sam Cowan and got so tired of sitting! He finally roused and went into the back room. A lady from the mayor’s office came to get an important paper and she had to find it for herself. I told her Mr. H. wasn’t quite on the beam today and she said she knew ’cause she’d been up twice. About 3 he left without a word and didn’t return. I stuck it out till 5 and then left. Went by Norris Creamery for some cream and on home. Mr. Pridemore was still painting away. I took a bath and then practiced a bit. Kay called and asked me to go to the Y.W.C.A. meeting with her tonight – Jimmie and Pan had just gotten home. Then I ironed a skirt and Mum and I had supper. It was so hot. Pop went out this morn on fires and we don’t know when he’ll be back – Oakdale is practically burning up. Then Mary Arnold called and asked me to go to the Y. meeting, too. Seems her date had been cancelled! We made arrangements. After supper I did the dishes and dressed. Mum went out on the porch and the next thing I knew she was over at George’s (Mrs. Clure left at noon today for a church conference at Maryville). He had made some gunpowder and was trying to make it go off. I walked over half dressed to see the fire works but he only succeeded in getting a bright glare, no noise. Mum invited him over for a picnic supper Thursday night – my birthday. I went home and finished dressing. Set out about 7:40 and stopped by George’s. Arthur Burton was there – for a minute – George put some sulfur on the porch and A.B. ran for dear life up to Winston’s. Then George lit a match to it and I ran! Just then a young man came out of George’s and commented on the gunpowder formula. I was talking to A.B. Just as I was starting on the man caught up with me and we walked along together. He asked if I were going to the show and I told him about the Y. He introduced himself – can’t remember his name! – and I did the same. Passed Mother Lane watering her yard and I spoke. There were clouds around the sunset but I didn’t dare hope. By Tarwater’s we met Alice Ann and nurse Lucille out walking – A.A. was on the verge of tears – her mother had gone away and left her. We followed them down the hill and at the alley I crossed over. Looked around and found I’d left my companion tying his shoe in front of the Warriners’ garage apt. He apparently knows Mrs. W. ’cause they exchanged a few words of greeting. He caught up again and we walked on. He ventured to ask if I was the one whom he heard singing and I replied, “You flatter me.” He said when I half-tried I did pretty well but he was of the opinion that I didn’t always try! He works at the Employment Office downtown – in connection with the project. He was going downtown for supper. [In upper margin: “Ever so often I could feel him giving me the once-over.”] We passed the Masseys’ and found out that K. Was down at the Youngs’. We parted there and he said, “I’m glad I met you, Marcy, and I’ll see you again.” I thanked him and greeted Mr. Young on the porch. Pan and K. were in the living room – and little John Rainwater, too. I welcomed Pan home and told K. about Mary. I went back up to the Claiborne house and Mary was ready. We walked back down to the Youngs and Kimmie ran out. We nearly knocked each other down. She was too tired to go to the meeting tonight. I wished Kimmie a belated happy birthday and Pan a “contemporary” one. K. joined us and we 3 walked by and picked up Marguerite Miller. On down to the City Hall and up to the 3rd floor. K. was trying to make “Elmo” a bird by folding a sheet of paper – she was having an awful time of it! Miss Walker, the leader, was there and also Nancy Wallace, June Smalley and Ella. The room was hot. June, Nancy and Mary left to go after another girl – they never came back for some reason. We talked awhile and then we 4 girls played shuffle board. Ella and I won!! Miss W. thought we’d better have the meeting then so we sat down and discussed the furniture problem, the curtain and lamp problem, and plans for an opening party in 2 weeks. We looked out once to find it was raining! I nearly gave 3 cheers! We left about 9:30. Bobby Melvin was waiting for Ella. It was just barely sprinkling but the streets were wet – and hot! There was a nice breeze. We parted from Ella and walked up to Marguerite’s corner. She and K. are going to play tennis tomorrow ’cause they have the afternoon off. K. said they’d play some Saturday, too, when I could play. K. and I walked up to Marsh’s corner and talked about Stephens – she’s going there next year. On home about 10. Found Mum listening to radio. Pop not home. It’s so hot in Chicago that most of the convention will have gone home by tomorrow night! One delegate died of the heat! To bed about 10:30. About 11 George went on on the porch and had another session with the gunpowder. He and the man were yelling back and forth. I felt wonderful again! [In upper margin: “Just before supper George was out in the driveway chopping wood with a vigor. I asked him what had driven him to such ends – disappointed in love? and he said no. He was trying hard to conceal his laughter. It was funny!…There was a light in Mr. H.’s office tonight. I felt like crying.”]