Open Session November/December 2010

1 / 2
Partridge Bantam Cochin Hen
2 / 2
Buff Bantam Cochin Rooster

Dog’s Efforts Paid Off

I read in the July/August issue about a collie dog that was constantly having to herd a cow back into its pasture (“Wandering Bovine,” Open Session), and I wanted to tell you about a Collie my family had.

My father built two double-decker chicken houses in 1926. He raised Leghorn layers and roosters. He had his own hatchery, and he also mixed his own feed for the birds.

When it came time to teach each new batch of pullets to hop up on the roosts, it was quite a chore because the houses were 80 feet long. That may not seem like much of a chicken house by today’s standards, but back then it was. Anyway, the pullets had to be taught to roost, and it was challenging.

We would walk back and forth driving the chickens toward the roosts, but there were always a few stubborn ones that decided not to move. When that happened, Dad would nudge our Collie and say, “OK, Pal.”

Pal would then walk slowly up to the pullet and nudge it with his nose, and, of course, the bird would move and hop up to the roosts. Then Pal really took over. He would walk back and forth nudging here and there until all the chickens were roosting – and stayed there.

We shipped 10 cases of eggs to the local co-op every week, and each case contained 36 dozen eggs. Pal sure saved us a lot of steps and helped out with our chicken operation.

H.R. McGalliard – Texarkana, Texas

Agrees With Chicken Article

I received my May/June issue of Capper’s, and I must say it has improved since I stopped subscribing many years ago. It is now more interesting and colorful, while still a wholesome and good publication.

The article on chickens and eggs (“How Do Your Eggs Stack Up?”) was quite interesting to me. For many years, I’ve had a few Bantam Cochin chickens, and I find what the author reported in the article to be correct.

My chickens roam freely in my fenced-in double lot, they catch insect pests in the garden, and they serve as my pets, in place of the usual dogs and cats – and the quality of the eggs they provide is nothing less than superb.

I was raised on a farm, and I have many pleasant memories of growing up in a rural setting. Nowadays, I reminisce about those days gone by, and turn my memories into poetry.

Charles Boyer – Benton, Illinois

Pen Pals Are Great

I was a subscriber to Capper’s many years ago, but due to some lean years had to cancel my subscription. I recently subscribed again, and the first issue I received (May/June) had a request in Heart of the Home for pen pal stories. Unfortunately, my magazine didn’t arrive
in time to meet the deadline for submissions, but I’m sending my story anyway.

I was raised in Carthage, Missouri, and my oldest sister and her husband lived in Kansas City, so we kept in touch with letters. I also wrote to the men from our town when they went into the service.

At age 10, I began writing to a girl in California. We became close friends and were even in each other’s weddings. We shared everything until she died.

In the early 1950s, I helped form a pen pal club for women born in 1931. I took over the newsletter in 1980 and am still doing it today. In 1972, I started The Missouri Pen Pal PICNIC and a monthly newsletter called Rosamary’s Chatterbox, and both are still going strong. In fact, we now have more than 800 members total.

Each year, we hold a picnic in June. Last year we had pals from 15 states join us, as well as two couples from Canada.

Through our newsletters, we keep everyone updated on our hobbies, collections, recipes and household hints, and we also offer encouragement and friendship. We simply provide each other with enjoyment and pleasure.

I wouldn’t give up my pen pals for anything in the world. I have even found a pen pal who shares my birthday, and even though we come from different states, it is surprising how much we are alike.

Yes, postage is going up again – but what isn’t? And what else can bring so much pleasure on a mere 40-some cents? Why not find a pen pal for yourself? What have you got to lose?

Rosamary Lindsey – Orrick, Missouri

No doubt writing so many pen pals keeps you active, Rosamary. – Editors

Received Many Responses

Thank you for publishing my letter about my old freezer in the November/December 2009 issue (“An Old Friend,” Open Session). In the letter, I said my freezer was purchased in 1966 and added that I would love to hear from anyone who has used a freezer longer than that.

I was amazed at how many letters I received – and at how interesting the stories were. Dozens of people wrote that they have older freezers/refrigerators than mine that are still working.

My children were surprised to learn that there are other people, besides me, who don’t believe in throwing something away that still works just because it’s old. While the modern idea is for people to buy new things instead of fixing old things, it is not my idea.

From the letters I received, this is what I found out: Linda from Bunker Hill, Illinois, has a 1940 refrigerator; Joyce from Bremerton, Washington, has a 1946 fridge; Thelma from Blana, Colorado, has a 1948 freezer; Henrietta from Oskaloosa, Iowa, has a 1948 refrigerator; and Betty from Guttenberg, Iowa, has a 1949 freezer.

Helen Franzen – West Union, Iowa

We’re delighted, Helen, that you received so many responses from other Capper’s readers. And it’s nice to know there are still some of us who believe that old things are just as good as new things as long as they still work . – Editors

Enjoyed Sharing Heritage

Thank you for printing my article (“Town of St. Patrick, Missouri, is Proud of its Heritage”) in the Heart of the Home section of the July/August Capper’s.

I am very proud of St. Patrick’s heritage, and I was happy to share the history of my wonderful hometown with other Capper’s readers.

I have taken your magazine for many years. While I do miss a few of the old features, your new format is very nice.

Ellen Krueger – Canton, Missouri

Recipes Are Wonderful

I made the Orange Slice Candy Cake, Gumdrop Cookies and No-Bake Chocolate Cookies that appeared in the magazine (Recipe Box, May/June). All three recipes turned out great.

There was also a recipe for Cushaw Pie. What is a cushaw? Are they grown in gardens? Can they be purchased at a farmers’ market?

Beverly Keller – Aurora, Colorado

Thank you, Beverly, for dropping us a line to let us know the recipes were a success. A cushaw (or kershaw) squash has a crooked, long neck with green and white stripes. It can be grown in backyard gardens, though it might not be so easy to find at farmers’ markets. However, if you can’t find cushaw squash, other types of squash should work fine. – Editors