The last time I had seen cousin Silas was when he was five years old, and I was seven. He had a runny nose, and I washed his face and cuddled him. Then relatives all left the old homestead. Several years later came the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Then the years of the Second World War. Whatever happened to Silas, I never knew.
In the summer of 1982, I learned the whereabouts of Silas and his family. I was at his door posthaste.
While having coffee, Silas told of his years in the Second World War. He had parachuted down on Nagasaki, Japan, after the devastating atomic bomb had been dropped. He told of his poor health and his honorable discharge from the service.
It was my intent to return another time and get more detailed information on my cousin's war record. Before that time came, cousin Silas succumbed to the many complications due to the aftermath of the atomic residue.
My request of the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records at St. Louis, Missouri, was answered with the notice that the records were destroyed in a 1973 fire.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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.