Shortly before his 19th birthday, my brother, serving in the Second World War, was killed In Guadalcanal by a sniper.
I remember the day my parents received the telegram informing them of Jim's death. My mother looked at the back of the envelope and there was the dreaded gold star. More than 50 years have passed, but I can still close my eyes and hear my mothers cries.
My father was 45 at the time and vowed to avenge the death of his eldest son. Because of his age he was turned down by every branch of the service. He managed to enlist in the Seabees just before enlistments were closed, and was sent to the South Pacific. There he helped to pave the road back to the Philippines for Gen. MacArthur.
He was wounded atop a bulldozer and sent to a base hospital. While recuperating he had the privilege of visiting Jim's grave at Henderson Field in Guadalcanal.
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.