A highlight memory for me of the Second World War happened during my vacation time in 1943. My friend Clara and I scheduled our vacation time together from our different office jobs. Clara was to visit her boyfriend who was in the Navy and stationed in New York City. His sister, Mary, was living in the city and had an apartment where we stayed during our visit.
The start of our vacation trip was a train from Kansas City's Union Station to Chicago. It pulled out about 10 p.m. that Friday evening. We got in Chicago early Saturday morning and had a little time to sightsee before our next train. On Sunday morning, we saw the Hudson River, had a glimpse of West Point, then on into the New York City station.
One day we went out for breakfast and then on our walking tour. Coming out from a shop, we saw a lot of confetti on the streets. Asking about it, we heard the grand and welcome news of Italy's surrender. From the windows of the upper floors of the buildings, the workers were throwing down confetti, toilet paper, scraps of new material, etc. onto the sidewalk below. It collected in great heaps and was being kicked and scattered about on the streets. There were so much beautiful material that I just had to pick up as much of the prettier scraps of new velvet, printed jersey and crepe as I could stuff in the paper bags I had.
The crowd was very large; it seemed all the people from all the stores poured out on the streets. Surely it couldn't have been better on New Year's Eve.
After the trip was over, I went to spend the rest of my vacation with my parents down on the farm. I took the scrap material with me, and my mother was as thrilled as I had been when picking it up. Later on, Mom made two kimonos by stitching many of the beautiful pieces together in crazy-quilt fashion, adding varied fancy embroidery stitches around each different scrap. Each kimono was lovely and a special memento of Italy's surrender.
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.