The autumn came (1928) when I had to start school at the one-room country schoolhouse, something completely strange and scary. I hadn’t played with other children much and felt terribly shy and unhappy about the whole thing. The first couple of days Dad took me with the horse and buggy. But when Dad wanted to leave me at school, that was different.
He dried my tears with his big red handkerchief and tried to console me.
But the second day was no better; in fact, Dad had a hard time getting me to stay. I thought of all the wonderful happy things going on at the farm and didn’t want to be sitting at a school desk. Dad said, “I have to go back, the threshing rig will be coming today, and there’s a lot I have to ‘tend to before the crew comes to thresh the oats and wheat.”
That was just the trouble; I wanted to be there when the threshing machine made its way up our long driveway.
After this long day of school, I ran in my eagerness to get home. I was breathless when I opened the door.
“Can I go out to the granary?”
“Change your clothes first,” Mother said. It was still exciting to ride in the grain wagon this year.
The next morning there was the old business of school again; and since the threshers would be starting as early as possible, Dad couldn’t take me.
Uncle Bill had arrived to help with the threshing. He said,
“Say, Lucy, would you let me drive you to school this morning?”
I looked at him through misty eyes and wondered, I thought
Uncle Bill loved me and now he’s going to take me to school!
It sure was a good thing that Uncle Bill had a big hanky along, ’cause it was needed to wipe my tears several times before he could get away.
When the second week of school came, I went willingly. Later I went happily. When I was able to read, library books became my favorite stories. The history books contained fascinating information and I could go anywhere in the world via my geography book.
How glad I am that I had the chance to go to school and learn about places all over the world. I’m happy now that I was “forced” to leave the farm when I was six to get some “school-housin’.”
Circle Pines, Minnesota
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.