The second World War was the incident that put my family-to-be together. It was January 1, 1944, when a young Oklahoma soldier stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi, wrote his first letter to a young Kansas girl, asking if she would correspond with him. His married brother, who was an acquaintance of this girl, was the instigator of his action. His letter was answered, which marked the beginning of a long-distance courtship.
The young soldier soon left for overseas duty, where he served in England and Holland with the 57th Fighter Control Squadron of the U.S. Air Force. Through the discouraging, encouraging, lonely and sweet letters that followed, they fell in love with each other, sight unseen.
After one year and nine months of letters flying over the Atlantic Ocean, and the surrender of Germany, the Liberty Ship carrying this young soldier made a sudden route change. Instead of going to Hawaii, where it was headed, the ship turned and headed home to the good 01' United States. The moment was about to arrive when the young soldier would meet his dream girl for the first time. Would either of them be disappointed? Was all this correspondence in vain?
In September of 1945 the young soldier walked into the U.S. Post Office where the girl of his dreams worked. Her little sister was standing in front of the post office, peeking from behind a light pole to see what would transpire. Each recognized the other from exchanged photos, and both acted as though they weren't strangers at all. The other postal employees never knew this to be their first meeting.
Six months later they were married. Now, 47 years down the road, they have six children and eight grandchildren, with another on the way. Thanks to World War II, I had this young soldier and his dream girl for my mom and dad.
Grand Junction, Colorado
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.