My older brother and I were still attending school in the one-room schoolhouse where we earned our first eight years of education when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. I can remember turning on the radio and hearing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt saying that, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," and declaring the U.S. entry into the Second World War.
I can still see the sad face of our high school superintendent when his young son was killed in an air mission. The entire school was in mourning.
Before our high school years were finished the Second World War ended, but our family knew the loneliness of having a loved family member missing when my brother was encouraged to join the Navy. At that time, a young man could complete the last semester of high school in the service. During those two years quite a few tears were shed by all of the family, including my brother, who was so homesick when he came home on leave he cried like a baby. He was so glad to be home.
When I was called to receive my diploma the night of graduation, the principal handed me my diploma and my brother's as I walked past. My brother was still in Key West, Florida, finishing up his training.
De Soto, 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.