Open Session: What Readers Think


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Walking the sow - I always like the stories people send in to CAPPER'S, as they bring back many memories. The stories on ways people earned money years ago (Heart of the Home, July) reminded me of a job no one else mentioned.

My oldest brother, John, had a pregnant prize sow he was taking to the fair for 4-H. He was working for other farmers to earn money for college, and he had no time to exercise his sow, so he hired my brother, Reg, 9, and me, 7, to walk it out to the pasture on nice days.

It had been trained to show at the fair. We each had a long stick, and walking on either side of the sow, we guided it with the sticks. We'd let it stop and eat grass as it wished, then, guiding it with the sticks, we'd turn the sow around and bring it back to its pen.

For this, we each got 5 cents. This memory is very special, because John was killed on Okinawa in 1945, during World War II.

Helen Franzen
West Union, Iowa


Favorite issue - Kudos to you for the most interesting edition of CAPPER'S ever! The June issue had many unique articles, particularly the Heart of the Home stories about songs that are true classics - the kind that will live forever. The article about the 'Don't complain' bracelets ('Pastor urges folks to quit complaining') was a long-needed reminder for all of us.Please keep up the excellent work on your better-than-ever publication.

Marilyn Brandt
Waupaca, Wis.


Keeping letters flying - You recently published an article about two women who have been corresponding since 1946 ('Pen pals share name, birthday - and friendships,' July). So, I thought I'd send you a news item about the long-running round robin letter tradition among the surviving 'girls' from the Kinsley (Kan.) High School class of 1936.

Leah C. Norton
Liberal, Kan.

Editor's note: Norton enclosed a newspaper clipping that explained that about 12 of the graduates started sending the first letters of their round robin during World War II.

Here's how the round robin works nowadays: Norton, 88, sends a letter to her cousin Dorothy Spitze in Denver. Spitze adds her news to the letter package and sends it along to the next person, who further updates the package and sends it on. Eventually, it reaches Bernice Draut Testa in Raleigh, N.C., who sends it back to Norton. The package completes its circuit within about a month.


Fort springs from scraps - As I was taking this photo of my grandson, Austin, building a fort, he said, 'When I grow up, I want to be a farmer or a carpenter, or a baseball player.' I told him to be a baseball player. I think they make the most money.

The fort is still standing, and Austin's dad, Roger, just smiled when he saw his lumber put to use.

Gladys Ferrie
Cresco, Iowa