I met Marcia back in 1970.

She and her mom came and visit- ed East Rogersville Baptist Church. We became friends shortly after they came to church. We worked Children's Church, the Bus Ministry and Vacation Bible School together.

Marcia is the daughter of the late Elisha Delmas and Veta Mae Willis Price. She is married to Jim Manis and have been for 43 years.

They have three children, James Hugh Manis Jr., deceased,
Julie Manis Smith and Jimmy Manis. Julie is married to Shannon Smith, they have 4 children, Renee Turner, Garret Smith, Alan Smith, and Amelia Smith.

Jimmy is married to Sabrina Hudson Manis, with two children, Solomon Manis and Lydia Manis. Marcia and Jim have three more grandchildren who have always called them Nana and Papaw. They are semi adopted. Marcia baby-sat them from the time they were little. They are Noah, Annie and Abbie Eidson.

The Lord put enough love in Marcia and Jim's hearts to embrace all who have come into their lives.

She and her whole family rallied around me and my late husband when we lost Amanda.

Marcia has been in clown ministry for more than 40 years. From an hum- ble beginning to a professional clown over the years. When I say profession- al, I mean years of clown school, vari- ous workshops,etc.

Marcia has developed 12 characters and I have met almost everyone of them. She has two other ladies who clown with her.

Zula King and Mattie Gillenwater have joined the ranks. They Minister at six nursing homes, six hospitals and an assisted living home.

They travel to Bristol, Johnson City, Kingsport Rogersville, Greeneville, and Sneedville and spend more time with clown make-up on than regular makeup.

The grandchildren never know who they are going to see at Nana's house when they get there.

I love all of Marcia's Characters, however, I will have to say Gertrude Gossip is one of my all time favorites. She knows all, sees all and tells all. Gertrude has a few people in her life.

She is not particularly fond of Henrietta Hippocrite, Clara Complains A Lot. You know the crowd who likes to spoil it for the rest of us. I also found out that Gertrude's favorite song is "Pass It On" It is my opinion that someone that can come up with all these characters and develop them as Marcia does is pure genius!

I have watched her a lot over the years and have seen her in action when she is in her creative mode and it is mind blowing. I have figured out when people are multitalented and

even when a person isn't. The more you use your noggin you are better off. I predict Marcia will live to be at least 100 years old and will have all of her

faculties and wit about her because she has been like the every ready bunny she keeps going and going and going.

She is also like the Timex watch, takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Marcia is a Jack of all Trades. She is also a published author. She has written a book titled "Hat's Clowns and Miracles.” I read every word of the book and she has hit the nail on the head. It is down to earth and it's as though you are there, experiencing it all too.

And now the finale.

When Marcia and Jim got married. She couldn't boil water.She has come a long way. She has developed her cook- ing skills and has turned into a gour- met cook.

The first breakfast was scrambled eggs, toast and bacon. they were burnt, burnt, burnt. Jim felt sorry for her and ate it anyway. She overheard him tell their brother-in-law, Jerry. He felt sorry for her because she cried about the breakfast and he had eaten the food, for her sake.

Such is life.

Way to go, girl! Keep it up, and keep us all laughing!

"And that's the way I see it."

HOT MULLED PUNCH

1-1/2qt. bottle cranberry juice 2-1-qt.bottles apple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. salt

4 cinnamon sticks

1-1/2 T. whole cloves

In crock-pot simmer on high for 2 hours, until sugar is dissolved. Keep on low when it's done. Yields: 28- 4 oz.cups.

DOUBLE COCONUT CAKE

1-T. cake flour (for dusting pans)

2 1/4 cups sifted flour
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 - 14 oz. can light coconut milk
1 tbs. vanilla extract
Fluffy Coconut Frosting (recipe follows)

2/3 c. flaked sweetened coconut, divided to use

Coat two 9-inch-round cake pans with cooking spray, dust with 1 tbs. flour. Combine 2 1/4 c. flour, baking powder and salt, stirring with a whisk; set aside. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended, for about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. pour batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap the pans once on the countertop to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Place 1 cake later on a plate, spread with 1 cup Fluffy Coconut Frosting. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut. Top with remaining cake layer, spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle 1/3 cup coconut over top of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

*Coconut milk, found with Asian foods in the supermarket, makes this cake moist and rich.

FLUFFY COCONUT FROSTING

4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar 1 dash salt
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1/4 tsp. coconut extract

Place egg whites, Cream of Tartar, and salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 238 degrees F. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed. Stir in extracts.

Makes 1 (2-later, 9-inch) cake
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, Dec. 2001

E-mail Jan at jancakes750@yahoo.com. See previous "Singin' Chef" columns at www.therogersvillereview.com.