Bouldin Marley Basic Life Truths

From a daughter about her father

Bouldin Marley Basic Life Truths

Bouldin Marley with daughter Madge Marley

By Magical Madge

Here it is, a new year, and I find myself wanting to share something personal…about my father, Bouldin Marley.

These are basic life truths taught to me by my father since I was a young girl and throughout my life. They were not preached to me, but taught to me verbally and by example, over and over. He not only lived these truths in his own life, but helped apply them to various situations in my life. I continue to use them to this very day.

I find myself, often, when I visit with people and have real conversation, not just casual conversation, but when we really start to talk about things that are important like family, love, faith, or God, some or all of these basic truths ingrained in me eventually are disclosed. I pray they will become a blessing to others as they have been such an asset and blessing to me.

The first three: Life’s not fair, Be patient, and Seek the truth, were especially meaningful and pertinent when I was a young person.

For example…

When I was a young teenager trying to get approval to do something and my parents wouldn’t let me, I would get frustrated and say, “That’s not fair! They get to do it and I can’t. That’s not fair!” And my Dad would say, “Life’s not fair.

Or perhaps there was something that I really wanted to do and I wanted to do it right then, or soon; if it wasn’t happening as quickly as I wanted it to, my father would say, “Be patient.

And then there would be circumstances, all types of circumstances, where we were trying to figure something out. Perhaps we had different opinions or we were stuck at an impasse. He would say, “Seek the truth.

My father, who was a gentle, kind, loving man, was a man who lived in the present and by observing how he lived in the present, I learned to do that too. Not living in what happened yesterday or last year or ten years ago, and not worrying too much about what is going to happen in an hour or in a day or in a week or in a year or ten years from now, but truly relishing living right now, in the present. This is all we have got is what we have right now.

Two other basic life truths my daddy taught me are Biblical. When he would share them with me, and he did this all his life, and not in a preachy way, whatsoever, but in a very real way, and in a way where he lived it himself, he said, “The two greatest commandments given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ are really all you need to get through this life, Madge, if you really believe. It’s very simple. And that is to love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. And secondly, equally as important, is to love your neighbor as yourself, as you would want to be loved.

He told me those two great commandments–concerning loving God with all my heart and soul and mind and treating others the way I want to be treated–told me all I needed to know and practice in order to walk this earthly walk.

I will end with two more basic life truths taught to me by my father.

My dad told me to always question extremes. Anything, even something really good, taken to an extreme, I should question.

And lastly, he told me to keep an even keel in my life. We can often get off course, but we must always aim to return to an even keel.

I give thanks that I had such a wise father who taught me such basic life truths. It is my hope that you, too, can benefit from my sharing them.

Thank you for your support of me and Billy and The Delta Bohemian® and for loving the Mississippi Delta and caring about what happens here.



Life is not fair
Be patient
Seek the truth
Live in the present
Question extremes
Keep an even keel
Love others
Love God



Only one time did my father raise his voice in anger and shout at me. Only once in our 48 years together. I was 14 or 15 when it happened and was growing up (too) fast.

After disrespecting my mother and slamming a door in her face, I retreated to my bedroom where I forcefully slid my pocket door closed and engaged the lock. As a teenager, I did this a lot when I was angry and upset, typically when not getting my way.

Shortly thereafter, my mother left the house in her car. Less than 15 minutes had passed before my father sped into our gravel circular driveway and stopped suddenly in front of my bedroom window. 

He got out of his truck, entered the house through the front door, not his usual entrance, and headed to my room. He banged very loudly and repeatedly on my door. This was highly unusual behavior for my dad. Driving like a madman. Coming in through the front. Beating on my bedroom door. 

I timidly approached my door and ever so gently unlocked the jamb bolt. After doing so, my father slammed the pocket door open, stared directly at me and shouted, angrily, “Don’t you ever lock this door again!” I said, “Yessir.” 

He then took a deep breath, collected himself, sat on my bed and asked me to sit down next to him so we could talk about what just happened between me and my mother. We worked through it. Together.

I never locked my door again.


Bouldin Alcorn Marley
August 10, 1923 – July 2, 2003

Bouldin Marley Basic Life Truths

Daughter Madge Marley with her father, Bouldin Marley

Bouldin Marley Basic Life Truths

Bouldin Alcorn Marley

Bouldin Marley Basic Life Truths

Bouldin Alcorn Marley at The Parthenon in Rome, Italy

Bouldin Marley Basic Life Truths

WW2 Naval air pilot – Bouldin Alcorn Marley

Bouldin Marley Basic Life Truths

Florence Bouldin Marley with son Bouldin Alcorn Marley

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  1. Janet Bryant says:

    Thank you for sharing this wisdom that was passed down to you from your beloved father. I am one of the lucky ones that heard a verbal version during a meaningful conversation with you, but now i’m grateful for this version for easy reference and safe-keeping. Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year, Janet! Thank you for not only reading this but for commenting too. I have been intending to write this for quite awhile. I am glad to finally share it. I am thankful for our friendship and cherish our times spent together. I miss you and love you very much! Give my best to Chris. We have y’alls room ready and waiting for your return. 🙂

  2. Frances Ware says:

    Loved Cousin Bouldin and your memories. I think it is safe to say he was Frances Dyer Lott’s favorite cousin❤️

    • Thank you so much for commenting (and reading), Frances! No doubt Bouldin was a favorite for many! How do you know this about Frances Dyer Lott’s love for my father?! Tell me more!

      We have a wonderful family, don’t we, cuz?! 😊

  3. Love this writing Madge, so simple yet so wise and true! The story at the end, of the locked door, gave a wonderful snapshot look at your daddy and the relationship y’all had. The photos show the love and devotion you shared. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing!!
    Much love to you and Billy and yours!!

    • Oh Sandy, you are a real blessing to me and you give me so much! Thank you. Your love and support means so much to me.

      I have wanted to share these nuggets about my father for awhile and finally found the time to devote to writing it down and publishing it! I pray these life truths help others too.

      My father guided and taught me and did it so lovingly and patiently and selflessly. He was truly a servant of the Lord.

      Our love to you and Ed! We cherish our friendship with y’all and love you both very much. Thank you for reading our stuff and for commenting and being so supportive.

      Madge 🙏💛

  4. Allison says:

    I wish I had the words to tell you how this warmed my heart & soul. 💞

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