Land of Opportunity: Banana Peel Made Boy Sick

Immigrants to land of opportunity included a small boy who tried to eat the banana peel on the unfamiliar treat.

| Good Old Days

My German-born uncle came to the land of opportunity during the wave of European immigrants in the late 1800s. Though just a small boy, he clearly remembered an incident that happened en route. Someone offered him a banana as a treat. It was the first he'd ever seen, and no one suggested that he peel it first. He tried eating it, banana peel and all, but it was more than his taste buds could handle. He was a sick boy. Uncle Alfred grew up, became owner of a successful bakery and married my Aunt Emma. He told her that he never wanted to see a banana – ever again.

Myrna Kautz
Merrill, Wisconsin

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. 

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