Marcy S., age 19, Tennessee


Hot and sultry. Up about 6:30 and practiced. Got breakfast. About 7:30 Mr. Harris called and said he didn’t know what he was doing yesterday. He wanted to know if I were coming down this morn – guilty conscience! I said yes and he said he’d tell me about it when I got there. I felt so funny inside – couldn’t finish my breakfast. Mum got up just before I left. She had a stomach ache. Mr. Pridemore came. I dreaded going to the office more than I dreaded it the first day. But when I got there I found a note from Mr. H. saying he’d be at the farm today – getting sobered up, no doubt. I felt so restless. Found a book in the book case – Religion in Life Adjustments and read it most of the morn. Very good. Some ladies came to the Red Cross rooms about 10 – they were going to bring their lunch and make a day of it. Mum had planned to go but didn’t feel well enough. The 12 o’clock whistle blew before I knew it! Didn’t feel like much lunch. I walked back about 1 with George (Gunpowder McClure) who, with his Sousa horn, was going down to band practice in the same building where I work. Mr. H. was there when I walked in. Mr. Johnson was just leaving. I nearly disgraced myself by bursting into tears, for some silly reason. Mr. H. called me in almost immediately to take a letter. Mrs. Davis came in and brought us each a piece of cake. We weren’t hungry so put it aside. That was sweet of her! Then I made a divorce bill and a deed and some other papers for Felton Saunders. He popped in and out and I finished in record-breaking time, without having to do anything over and without getting flustered. Mr. H. was raving to Felton about how calm I was, etc. etc. Ever so often he’d come in (Mr. H.) and talk. Once he said that Mrs. Harris and I should get better acquainted because I was so different from her. He said she got all flustered and couldn’t adjust herself easily. It seems that I take everything very calmly, which in Mr. H.’s opinion is about the highest virtue a person can possess, and adjust myself with ease. Well, I nearly dropped my teeth! And said I wasn’t aware that I possessed the virtue. Another time he said I had the best disposition of anyone he knew. A man thinks more of his wife than anyone, quote Mr. H., but he wishes that she had the ability to adjust herself and take things calmly. Well, if I were in her shoes, I might not be so calm, either. But I certainly hope my husband doesn’t have an affection for the bottle. He winded up by telling me I was the best secretary he’d ever had. He sent me to the P.O. once and then I took another paper and about 3:40 he let me go ’cause it was really too hot to do anything. He donated the cake to me and I put it in my purse to smuggle home. I stopped by the Red Cross rooms and told Mrs. Davis the cake was delicious! Hope Mr. H. doesn’t tell another tale! I stopped by Pop’s office and Jean gave me the mail. Three letters for me! I struggled up the hill and surprised Mum by getting home so early. Had to go in back door (imperiling Mr. Pridemore, who was up on a ladder by the door) since the front had been painted. Sat in living room and read letter from Maggie Luft (ours crossed), Jane and Little Betty (at last!). Then I told Mum about the afternoon’s experiences. She broke the news that Earl was coming up at 5!! So I took a bath and got all prettied up. Then I sat out in the front yard and waited for the gentleman. It was getting cloudy and looked very much like rain. About 5:15 Earl showed up and we sat out in the yard and talked. He looked nice in his white uniform. The sun ventured out and Earl took some pictures of me with his movie camera. About 6 he left, to return at 7:15 and take me to the show. I didn’t want to go but felt it my duty! Went in and played the piano a little. Then it started to rain and blow. The sun was behind a great dark cloud that was all gold-rimmed and the clouds looked so bright. I ate a little supper and then the storm really came. We closed things up and I retreated to the bedroom. The lightning was very close. Mum kept discovering open windows and things she’d left outside and made me so nervous. We yelled back and forth at each other. Then there was a flash of sparks flew up from one of the light sockets by my dresser. I just about gave up the ghost and was too scared to scream. A few minutes later there was another flash and crack of thunder – I thought it had stuck the Waterhouses’ or some place nearby. George came to their side door and very calmly announced that it wasn’t the Stones’ house. Found out later it was a chimney at the high school. I sat there till the storm had passed around, though it was still raining. It was so lovely and cool out! And everything looked fresh and green again. It was after 7:15 and I wasn’t ready. The telephone kept ringing but I wouldn’t let Mum answer it. When it was safe she did and it was Earl saying he’d be up at 7:45. I dressed and he came on time. It was still sprinkling a little and lightning was flashing around. He had borrowed his cousin’s car so we drove down and parked by post office. He’s a very scatter-brained driver. We went to Princess and saw “Hey, Rookie.” Pretty good. The program was good, too. Earl put his arm across the back of my seat and got quite chummy. I didn’t encourage him, though. Out about 10. We met Charles Walker and Ickey Davis outside and talked to them awhile. The former is a soldier and the latter just got his wings – both home on furlough. The moon and stars were out and it was lovely and cool. Water had apparently gotten in the engine ’cause the car just wouldn’t start. Finally some men very kindly pushed us. We made it home okay and parked in front of the house. Sat and talked till about 10:30. Early has improved a lot but I could never be serious with him. He’s going to Chicago for the week-end and asked me to go to the show Monday night – he leaves Tuesday. Pop isn’t home yet. Mum and I went to bed about 11. I’ll be 20 tomorrow. Just can’t believe it!! Out of my teens! I feel that I will really live this year for the fist time!