In my junior year of college I was home for Easter vacation, and my grandfather brought two strange gentlemen to our house. After introductions and some small talk, including a few personal questions, they told me that they needed a schoolteacher for their one-room country school near Sheldon, Missouri, starting next September. Imagine my surprise when they offered me the job! A contract was produced and I was hired then and there for nine months at the gigantic salary of $25.00 a month.
My most memorable day at this school involved a couple of darling six-year-old twins, just starting school. I always demanded quiet in my schoolroom so the students and I could concentrate. One of the twins was quite a "talker" and she had a pronounced lisp even when she whispered. One day I was writing a lesson on the blackboard with my back to the students. Soon I heard this little lisping whisperer telling her twin sister something. Without even turning I said, "Georgie, you must be quiet. Remember the rules!" There was utter silence for a bit, then the question, "Miss Dene, how did you know it wasss me?" I replied, "Because I have eyes in the back of my head." And that took care of things.
The next morning a very irate parent was waiting for me at the door of the schoolhouse, demanding to know why I was telling my students baloney like I had eyes in the back of my head!
I probably learned a lot more during those two delightful years of teaching a country school than the children did!
San Diego, California
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.