The first thing this Iowan knew of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entering the Second World War was her children running home to tell her the news.
I was sitting at the kitchen table on December 7, 1941, eating lunch with my 2- and 4-year-old sons when I learned of the U.S. entry into the Second World War. My brother-in-law brought home my 6-year-old daughter from the church Christmas program practice, and when he walked into the kitchen he exclaimed, "Do you know that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?" I didn't have the radio on, so it was an awful surprise.
All my growing-up years, fear of the Japanese had been instilled in me. I don't recall why, but evidently they were a threat, making news in the daily paper that my parents often discussed.
Probably the most selfish thought that flashed through my mind was, "The money for buying Mother and Dad Boeckmann's farm won't be available now!" We were working with the government's Farm Home Administration to buy a farm from my husband's parents. But we were assured that the money was already allotted.
Over the next years, neighbors' sons were called into military service, and the boys in my high school class were also called to duty in both war theaters. I shed tears - and prayed.
Of course on the farm, food was plentiful, flour available. In the Midwest we were somewhat safe, and certainly blessed.
The Second World War ended on our 11th wedding anniversary, May 8, 1945.
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.
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