I had dreamed for many years and planned to become a schoolteacher, as my mother and grandfather had been. I wanted to join the profession, too. I had always loved school and wanted to teach children.
We were not blessed with much money - no one else, it seems, was either. The summer after I graduated from the country high school, where my brother and I both finished, I attended the summer session at Southwestern State Teachers' College (the name of the institution is now Southwestern State University).
I had never owned many clothes - only what I needed, so it was not much of a problem for me to move to the Coffey's to begin school. Mom and I did enjoy getting my wardrobe together as we had done for my college days. I did a lot of my own sewing and wore mostly skirts and blouses with maybe a sweater or two. I wore long cotton hose, or anklets sometimes for school, and low-heeled walking shoes (penny loafers or saddle oxfords). I bought some clothing, I did buy a blue all-weather coat to wear to school, for I walked and was in and out of all kinds of weather. We did have nylon hose to wear, only for good, but they were not like the nice ones we have now. They even had seams down the back, which were difficult to keep straight. No lady, at this time, ever wore slacks, pants or jeans. Teachers began wearing them in the '60s, and it was difficult for some of us to accept and wear them. There have been so many changes in modes of dress!
Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.