On that eastern Colorado homestead, we lived on the prairie surrounded by grass, sagebrush and soapweeds. Our home was a one-room shack covered with tar paper, and we had a barn, and a chicken house made of wire and straw. We also had a windmill which my dad climbed to turn the blades so we could have fresh water when the wind didn’t blow.
When we went anywhere it was by wagon or on horseback. To visit my grandparents, who lived a couple of miles away, my mother rode a horse with me and my brother behind her and my baby sister in front.
One day in winter we were helping my dad gather cow chips when our neighbor came by and stopped to help us. It was cloudy and stormy. He told us to put all our bedding, food and anything that would freeze in the wagon and come to his house because a bad storm was coming. His house was a dugout built in a bank¬ and warm.
It snowed so much the men had to tunnel thru it to the barn to care for the animals and milk the cows. We were eating beans, mostly, for days before the men could get to town for supplies-a trip which took them a couple of days.
Had we stayed in our tar-paper shack we would have frozen!
Mrs. Luretta Fay Cline
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.