Railroad Stories: Shopping Spree Meant Riding the Rails

Riding the rails was part of the adventure of shopping trip

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Imagine our excitement - shopping on Saturday meant riding the rails! Of course, this was about 1939, and our train, the Doodlebug, had only one car, as I remember.

We lived way out in the country and had no transportation. It was a real treat when the whole family got dressed in our Sunday best and waited for the train to take us to town. The conductor was a personal friend of my aunt's, so he always greeted us cheerfully.

The ride to town was thrilling for us children. We'd spend the morning looking at all of the fascinating displays in the shop windows. We'd have lunch at the dime store and then catch the latest cowboy movie, complete with popcorn and candy. Then it was time to catch the train home before it got dark.

I don't remember the names of any of the stores or the name of the movie theater. All I remember is that riding the Doodlebug was a highlight of my younger years.

Clydia DeFreese
Ruston, Louisiana


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.