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
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
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
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.
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.