Fifty years ago I taught in a one-room country schoolhouse called Diamond. With twenty-four pupils and all eight grades, a teacher needed to be in control. One particular day two of my older boys, Luther and Kermit, tried my patience to the limit. I am not even sure now what the incident was, but I judged I needed respect as well as obedience.
The boys were instructed to stoop down, put hands on ankles and lean forward. I proceeded to paddle them and when I was through, I sat down and cried with them.
Several years later Kermit enlisted in the Army and wrote me a letter thanking me for my influence on his life. Later he was killed and I felt sad of his death but glad he served his country and I'd been a part of his life.
The other student is now retired, and at one time we were backyard neighbors. There had been no mention of the paddling until one day I heard him tell his two grandsons, "You'd better be good because that lady was my teacher and she can paddle."
Recently I met "one of my boys" and gave him a big hug. He, too, knew that discipline was and is necessary. Memories like these make teachers proud.
Euna Vaye Ukena Brant
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.