Open Session: September/October 2009

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FRENCH WAR BRIDE: This year will mark 63 years since my friend Blanche Higley (then Pinguet) came to the United States from her native France. She arrived to marry and start a life with Ernest Higley, an American soldier, after World War II. (Ernest and my husband are cousins.) I wanted to share her story and this photograph with other readers.
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STILL STANDING: A rare sight today, an old 1929 outhouse can be found near Rhineland, Missouri, and this old log shed, which may have been used as a corn crib, can be spotted near Americus, Missouri. Marie Lauer - Rhineland, Missouri

Depression Day Memories

My father passed away when I was 4 years old, and my mother worked night and day to support my siblings and me. She baked and decorated cakes for special occasions, sewed, raised a garden, and sold chicken fryers and eggs.

Back during the Great Depression, my mother was feeding the chickens one morning when a car pulled up in the yard. The man got out, walked over to my mom and said he was selling Capper’s. Mom said she’d like to subscribe but she didn’t have any money, so the man offered her a one-year subscription for a fryer chicken. What a deal!

Rowena Chase – Minden, Nebraska

Skeptic Likes New Format

I was dubious when I pulled my new Capper’s from my mailbox. Immediately I missed the familiar newspaper it had once been. I almost put it aside, untouched, but instead decided to give it a chance.

I paged through it and wound up reading it cover to cover. I was very happy to discover that all the old flavor is still there. The new Capper’s is a keeper.

Faye Cool – Broken Bow, Nebraska

Thank you for giving the new format a chance, Faye. Our hope was to keep the Capper’s spirit, while at the same time adding new flavor. We’re glad you think we’ve succeeded. – Editors

Misses Short Story

I enjoyed the new issue of Capper’s, but the fiction story was missing.

I hope each future issue will contain a short fiction story, as I always turned to the story first. Some of the stories were very good, although some were quite long. The stories would now need to be short enough to run in one issue, because two months between issues would be too long to wait for the continuation.

Myna Lee Barr – Liberty, Nebraska

We’re glad you enjoyed the new format. We’re also glad you enjoyed the fiction stories over the years. Unfortunately, it was becoming harder and harder to find short stories that were appropriate for Capper’s, so we had to discontinue them. – Editors

Patriotic Squirrel

I really enjoyed the May issue of Capper’s – especially the photograph inside (Page 36) of a squirrel with a
U.S. flag.

My small U.S. flags kept disappearing, and then one morning, my big flag was gone.

I found the pole under my big oak tree. Looking up, I saw three squirrels’ nests – with some unmistakable fabric hanging from the one in the middle.

The local animal control office said, “You really have some patriotic squirrels.”

Anna Pippenger – Cushing, Oklahoma

This brought a smile to our faces, Anna. If it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one who has found that squirrels have a propensity to make off with the Stars and Stripes to add some bunting to their nests. A few years ago, staff at Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, were frustrated by the frequent disappearance of miniature flags on their grounds. They suspected teenagers were probably behind the mystery, until one day the cemetery’s groundskeeper looked up and spotted a nest partially constructed with the flags. – Editors

Blue Jeans Quilt

I made a blue jeans quilt for my great-grandson’s fourth birthday. His mom and dad gave me their old jeans, and I created a 50-by-70-inch quilt.

It has four pockets that holds toy cars, and the backing and pillow case feature all kinds of cars, cranes, tractors and fire engines. It was a rewarding project.

Gloria Pace – Terra Bella, California

Gloria, that’s a great way to get some more use out of blue jeans that no longer fit! – Editors

Big Family

My late husband, George, and I lived on a farm north of Slater, Missouri, for 52 years. We had 11 children, and we took in five of our grandchildren when their parents passed away.

We were down by the chicken house one day when a man came by selling Capper’s Weekly. For payment, the man accepted an old battery.

My husband always read the paper from cover to cover. I didn’t then, as I was always too busy, but I do now.

I am 90 years old, and George and I were married more than 68 years.

Last year, I wrote a story about our life together. My daughter and her husband typed it up, and then added
family pictures and all our children’s and grandchildren’s names. We have a grand total of 141 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and stepgrandchildren. I am very proud of our family.

Thank you so much for a wonderful, refreshing magazine.

Anna Wise – Slater, Missouri

Enjoyed Story

I enjoyed “Starting Over,” the touching fictional story of a granddaughter and her grandfather that was published in Capper’s from March through May of this year.

I looked forward to reading each installment; it was the first story like that, and, in my opinion, it was also the best of all of them.

I also enjoyed the article about Mike Stephens, a Dresden, Missouri, teacher who makes porcelain angels to give to children and families who have gone through hardships (“Missouri Teacher Crafts Angels to Share with Families,” May). I hope to buy one of the dolls.

Dorothy Meyer – Ackley, Iowa

We’re glad you enjoyed both of these stories, Dorothy. Stephens’ dolls are available through the Evanport Trading Company, at the website www.Evanport.com/stephens.html, or by calling 1 (816) 841-2556. – Editors

Capper’s Weekly Marriage

It was through Capper’s Weekly that my father, Lawrence Albert Binning, met my mother, his third wife.

Born near Grand River, Iowa, on July 25, 1894, my father entered the military in 1917, where he served his country through the end of World War I. Afterward, he returned to Iowa.

Being a farmer with 260 acres, my father placed an advertisement in Capper’s Weekly for a wife.

After receiving a shoebox full of replies, my father made a date to meet Era Leola Burk, who, along with her mother, arrived by bus from Kremlin, Oklahoma.

All parties must have been satisfied because my mother made another trip by bus and married my father May 15, 1940. My sister, Velva, was born in 1941, and I came along in 1944.

We moved to a farm in Sycamore, Kansas, in 1951. One of my fondest memories is watching my father sit in his chair by the desk every night and write in his ledger. He kept those ledgers from the beginning of his life on the farm, and he wrote down everything!

My father became acquainted with the editor of a nearby newspaper, and he often wrote articles for the paper. Dad enjoyed seeing his name and photo in the paper.

Ruby Reynolds – Neodesha, Kansas