Depression Era Family Reunion

Missouri woman recalls family reunions during the depression era.

| Good Old Days

My mother was one of a family of twelve, and the family reunion was always held at our farm home. It was held the second week in August each year. We could see company coming for quite awhile before they arrived. We had over fifty guests at one time. If they were lucky they found a bed to sleep in, if not they slept on the floor. One time my husband, Ed, and I retreated to the bottom of a hay stack, only to have a child make a crash landing, in the middle of his stomach.

Once everyone arrived chaos! Everyone was either talking, laughing, eating or singing, all at the same time. The children ran in and out of the house, letting a swarm of flies in with each slamming of the screen door. When the flies became so thick we could no longer open our mouths without inhaling one, we would each grab a dishtowel to fan out a swarm of flies, while someone held the doop open for them to go out. It was necessary for us to have the "house fly round up" quite often and we would all join in as we waved the streaming banners of all-white muslin tea towels. I'm sure the flies were laughing as they went out the door, for they knew, with the help of the restless children, that they would soon be back to make a smooth landing on the meringue of a cream pie or for a swim in a pond of gravy.

Marie Rea
Russellville, Missouri

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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