Railroad Stories: Lived Next to Old Railroad Tracks
When I was growing up, we lived in a little house by the old railroad tracks on the Arkansas River. Boxcars filled with chickens, pigs and cattle would park on the tracks and stay there for the night. In the summer, we would sit in our yard and listen to the animals.
Sometimes we would walk to the tracks and try to catch a glimpse of the animals through the rails of the cars. Often we would see hobos hopping into the cars as the train was pulling out. I guess these memories are why I still love trains. I don’t even mind waiting at the crossings while a train rolls by. And I still wave at the conductor.
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.