Just the mention of country school and the one-room schoolhouse brings to mind a bevy of memories ranging from happy to the ridiculous.
Our new teacher was fresh out of high school normal training, not much older than the older kids and trying very hard to be dignified. She was very shy and prone to blushing crimson at the least provocation. As she boarded across the road from the school, her landlady brought lunch over on a tray each noon.
The first weeks of school were very warm and we took our lunch time outside. Teacher's lunch was fried chicken and all the trimmings.
The chickens from across the road made a habit of regularly patrolling the school yard, picking up discarded tidbits. A young rooster edged nearer and nearer to the porch, seemingly nonchalant as he paced back and forth cocking a curious stare at what we were eating. Suddenly he made a dive, a purposeful leap and zeroed in on teacher's tray. He snatched a chicken leg from the plate and tore for the road with all the other moochers in hot pursuit.
Needless to say she was stricken with embarrassment. The kids hooted and yelled their amusement while she turned all shades of scarlet. The others laughed but I did feel sorry for her!
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.