Gypsies Burn Down the Outhouse

A group of gypsies drop cigarettes in the outhouse and burn it down.

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Gypsies had gone by that day and finding no one home made use of the outhouse, dropping their cigarettes in the day-old catalog paper. We had inside plumbing so we didn't need it any more. It was a good thing as a large hole was burned in the back and never seemed to be private anymore, so it was torn down.

Was my face red when fellow students would ask, "What burned?"

Irma Adams Smith
Vancouver, Washington


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.