Uh oh. Here come some people I know. I’m going to hide.” Marcy Rogers ducks her head. Across the room at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, three elegant, coiffured women can be seen descending a circular staircase. They scan the mirrored room, but if they recognize the waifish woman with the dark head bowed over a bowl of vegetable chowder, they don’t show it. In the city where she had clawed her way to social acceptance, Marcy Rogers was a pariah.
In the mid-eighties, when she and her then-husband used to eat there several times a week, Marcy knew everybody in the room, and everybody knew her. But Dallas has changed, and so had she. Now she was broke. Her North Dallas home had been foreclosed on. A consumer counseling service had taken over her debts. Her furniture was on consignment, her gowns at a resale shop. She had even borrowed $3,000 from her maid. Only one of her sixteen credit cards was any good, and that was the one she was planning to use in a few days to start a new life in—where else?—Southern California.
Marcy Rogers was a nobody when she arrived in Dallas in 1976—not much money, no class, no contacts. But she had a radiating charm that could transform strangers into instant allies and, more important, converts to her cause—raising money to help children with genetically deformed faces. Parlaying her personal skills into social connections, she rose through the strata of Dallas society until the charity that she had founded, the National Craniofacial Foundation, had