She really was the coolest woman I’d ever met…and she still holds that title even though she has been gone from this earth for about four years now. Forget for a minute she was my Dad’s sister, my Aunt. She was more than that. Way more.
She was born in Lyon County, Kentucky on March 27, 1937 and was named Marchmon Hart. Marchi for short. To this day I don’t know where the name Marchmon comes from or what it means. But the nickname, Marchi sounded right. She did march…to her own drum. Fabulously.
She was so beautiful, she only stood about 5’3″, but she filled up a room. She had thick, black hair down past her shoulders and olive skin as if she were Mediterranean. She looked like a female version of Elvis.
The way she spoke, walked and everything was just so plain freaking cool. Her wild, crazy sense of humor was infectious. I don’t think I could tell you any of her sayings or antics in mixed company, so I won’t. Let’s just suffice to say I am sort of like her…but she was far better at it.
I can tell you the silly stuff. She would make up lyrics to the tunes of existing songs. Something I do now. I remember riding around with her, her grippig the wheel in that way, Helen Reddy singing “Delta Dawn” on the radio. She would start singing over Helen, “Delta Dawn what’s them drawers you got on? Could they be a faded pair from off my line? ‘an did I hear you say, you just bought ’em yesterday….”
(For our non-Southerners: drawers = underwear … , and line = clothesline). Silly, I know but I would crack up. One, because she could make anything funny. And two, because I hated the song “Delta Dawn”, having to hear it every time I would introduce myself to someone. “Hi, I’m Dawne”. “Oh, you’re Deeeltaaa Daaawnn”. Oh, aren’t you just so clever?
I’ve been known to pick up on some unusual subtleties. I’ve never seen anyone grasp things like she did. I don’t mean “grasp” as in “understands”. I mean grasps objects…like the steering wheel of her car or a cigarette or a microphone. Her hands were graceful in a way sort of like she was “blessing” something in a “Jesus-like” tenderly-holding-two fingers-up gesture.
She married Uncle Jim when she was 20. Not long after that they moved to Dallas, Texas as Jim had taken a position with Hewlett Packard. She had never meant to be a housewife. Housekeeping and the like held no fascination for her. She was creative, bursting with love of life and longed for an outlet. But what?
She met people in their apartment building which of course led to new friends and then more friends and then the groovy musician type crowd and on and on. And so….
She became a nightclub singer in the Dallas/Forth Worth area. She had never sang in public that I know of. It was something she just fell into, like some fabulous people just do. Just letting nature take its course. It was meant to be.
Someone said she had a nice voice….meant it….had her sing and hum while they played their guitar and boom. Nightclub singer.
I couldn’t possibly write well enough to convey to you just how cool Marchi was, you’ll just have to trust me on this.
Lovingly tendered ~~ D
Some of the real lyrics to “Delta Dawn”
Delta Dawn, what’s that flower you have on
Could it be a faded rose from days gone by
And did I hear you say he was a-meetin’ you here today
To take you to his mansion in the sky