I was teaching in a one room school back in the dirty thirties. I remember one day when the dust in the air was so thick that it was almost as dark as night. It was so dark in the schoolhouse that we could not have classes or do any studying. I tried to spend the time reading to the pupils. The school was built of limestone rock so the window sills were wide enough for a seat. I tried to sit in a window and read, but that was impossible. It was too dark, so I decided to dismiss school. I was driving my father's Model A Ford to school so I decided to take the children all home because I was afraid some of them would get lost.
After taking several children home, I went to the last home where two little girls lived. They asked me to come in. The women of the neighborhood were having an all-day quilting bee at this home. They were quilting in spite of the darkness. They slid a large table under the quilt which was in a quilting frame. Then they placed a kerosene lamp on the middle of the quilt and continued quilting. The table made a firm foundation for the lamp.
We had more dark days, but that was the worst I remember.
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.