My earliest memories, when I was really quite young, are of an old farmhouse in Iowa. It is the first house I remember living in. It had a big yard and lots of trees, and a little old shack out back.
Lots of memories include cousins, and one incident includes a particular cousin a few years younger than myself.
It was a warm summer day, very warm, maybe a holiday like the Fourth of July. My city cousin was visiting with her parents. We had done all the things people do when company comes. In the natural course of events in the middle of that long hot afternoon, after several glasses of Kool-aid, my cousin and I reluctantly decided to stroll down the 01' boardwalk to the little 01' shack out back – also known as the outhouse.
Now, neither of us was too enthusiastic about taking that walk, especially not my city cousin who was used to a little more modern way. However, when you have to, you have to.
Well, we got there and went in. We immediately decided not to stay any longer than necessary because it was even warmer in there than outside.
Besides, there were spiders in there, which neither one of us were too crazy about, and well, the smell wasn't anything to write home about. Anyway, my cousin was scared, and since I was the oldest, I had to be brave.
We were just about to leave when there was a terrible thundering noise and the ground started shaking. Suddenly, a raging stampede of sows came around the corner. I stopped being brave right then.
Without discussion, a unanimous decision was made to stay and suffer the heat, smell and spiders rather than face those monster pigs. The decision to scream and cry was almost as instantaneous as the one to shut the door.
It seemed like hours before our parents came to our rescue, although I suppose it wasn't very long. It must have been a very traumatic experience, though, since my cousin still remembers and she's younger than I am and I was very young at the time.
Barnes City, Iowa
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.