Father Won a Console Radio During the Depression Era

Iowan remembers her father winning a drawing for one of the first radios in the area during the depression era.

| Good Old Days

Around 1925 or 1926, during the depression era, my father was lucky when he won a console radio in a drawing at Centerville, Iowa, "the only thing he ever drew but his breath," he said. This was the first and only radio in the area, so every evening neighbors came and filled our home, listening to those early radio shows. I still remember many songs popular in that era. My mother complained that our wallpaper had grease spots where young men with their oiled hair leaned back on the wall listening.

I don't believe later generations can grasp what it was like in America during the depression that shaped all our lives for the future. However, there were many happy times and I don't think we knew how poor we were, as we struggled to survive that bleak era. What a wonderful thing the CCC camps were. As well as training young men, they provided a small income to help their families at home. As a result, many projects of this era remained as a monument to American ingenuity.            .

Margaret Barkley Johnson
Bloomfield, Iowa

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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