Even the children during the second world war were aware of being patriotic and helping with the war effort.
I was in the fourth grade in a rural school at the time. The teacher asked us to bring newspapers and crushed tin cans. She would take them to the salvage center in town. She urged us to save our pennies and nickels to buy saving stamps instead of candy. When we had enough stamps saved we could buy a War Bond. How patriotic we felt!
But the oddest things we gathered were ripe, dried milkweed pods with the seeds and the silk in them. The teacher told us that the soft down in the pods was to be used as a filler in clothing and bedding for the solders to make it warm, yet not heavy.
The theater manager sometimes offered tickets to a movie if we would bring two or three pounds of scrap iron to him. Of course, we wanted to see the show, so we hunted for scrap iron on the farm and took it to the manager in exchange for a ticket to see the show. As children, we worked hard, to be patriotic.
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.