"I was born in Savannah, Georgia, November 12, 1902. I was raised by Catholic nuns. My mother died when I was six years old. My father used to work on the Clyde Lines from Savannah to New York. When I was six my father had to keep working, so he brought me to New York and let me stay with the Order of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. They were beautiful to me. I stayed there until I started to work at sixteen. My education was very good with them. I even learned French. And then at sixteen I went to work for families -- taking care of their children. The children used to listen to me. If I told them to do something, they would do it. The parents would always say, "Go ask Mrs. Clara." I worked for many years for John Forsythe, the famous actor. His children are like my own. They still come and see me -- my three babies.
"You know all those young people who can't find any work ? They do what they can to survive. They are all my sons and they protect me no matter what the time.
"My [own] son's nickname was 'Shine'. We used to have a good time playing checkers together. He was a composer and a musician. He was an arranger for many different musicians. And then he died.
Now, I have adopted a young man from Africa who came to this country with a Fulbright scholarship. I am glad because I am never alone at night and he takes such good care of me. His name is Chris Asseet. I am glad because he keeps studying and doesn't mess around. He lives by his heart. When I die, he has promised to take my ashes back to Africa."