How well I remember the first school where I taught. It was a rural one-room schoolhouse, and the year was 1925.
The first day of school all the children came early to see the new teacher. One child rode a pony, three boys had a horse and cart, the other children had to walk - some quite a distance. At school the chalk boards were not slate. They were wooden boards painted with a black slate coating.
The first day of school I decided to play the school organ and we'd sing "America." When I moved the organ stool the legs fell flat. I found it was set up for a joke and I missed a good fall.
A little first grader became very nervous her first day in school and threw up her lunch all over herself and her desk. I asked myself, "Is this teaching school?"
A mother informed me her son wore a red yarn string around his neck to keep him from having a nose bleed and I was to watch he didn't remove it.
The County Superintendent visited one day. At noon he visited with the pupils. He admired the child's pony and asked, "What do you call your pony?"
The child replied, "Mom said to call it Sleepy because it's slow and lazy like you." The man blushed.
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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