When I was growing up on a Kansas farm about 50
years ago, outhouses were the going thing. Ours was a regular one seater with a
Sears catalogue, but some were two seaters, with an actual roll of tissue and
fancy cut-outs in the door.
Like us, our friend Vern had a
small one out back. He also had a bunch of pigs that ran loose so they could
forage for some of their food. The dog delighted in chasing those pigs all over
the farm whenever Vern wasn't in sight. One day Vern was perched comfortably in
his outhouse, bib overalls around his feet, when he heard that dog barking
wildly and little pigs squealing with fear. He bolted out of there screaming
some not-so-nice things. At the dog as he tried to run with those overalls
acting like hobbles.
Too late, he discovered the barking
of the dogs and the squealing of the pigs was caused by guests who were
standing by watching the whole scene with amazement.
Poor Vern had an even harder time
trying to back into the outhouse. He never lived that down, but embarrassment
must not damage a person's health, as Vern is in his 80s now.
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
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.