"I was born in South Carolina in 1896. I used to sleep on the floor on a pallet made of quilts with cotton padding in it. People would come over and help patch it all together."
We were sitting together in her kitchen one day, when Marcy told me:
"My father was very poor. The country life was so hard. People had to work all the time to survive. I used to say ‘Lord if you just let me live, I’ll love everybody-- especially a motherless child.’ I often went barefoot as a child. My father used to buy shoes on sale. We didn’t try them on. He just said, ‘Wear them’. He was a country educated man. My stepmother used to send me to work for white people. I had to go through the back door of the white folks’ house; only could go through the front door when I was cleaning their filth. I promised I wouldn’t clean for anybody but myself.
One day I ran away from all of the family. I got on a train and had nickels enough to pay my way. I slept in with the white people. I hoped to go to school at night. When I got off the train, I went to the church and I found work. God moves in mysterious ways. He plants his foot, steps on the sea and he rises up on the storm. God is right in there everywhere.
If I could write a book, I'd call it "The Life of Marcy: This is a Woman Who had a Hard Life" But I survived. The book would help children to grow. If I still had my legs, I would have a house full of unwanted children.
You talk about love. When I had my man, he used to take me in his arms. I could waltz. That music was so sweet I could've melted in his arms when he pulled me around, and that horn was blowing and you could hear that trombone. At that time they had big bands. We used to go to the Cotton Club. I didn’t want to come home. I could dance all night with that man. He loved me to death.
You know everybody has five senses. But the most important is common sense. It makes you think before you act, think before you speak. Before you approach any situation, common sense stops you and makes it turn several different ways, and you see which is the best way. You have to know how to handle common sense.”