I was born in 1938 in a small Bavarian village in Germany before the Second World War. It was a cold winter with lots of snow. I was too small to remember, but the winds of war were in the making. My father and brother were called to serve their country. It was a very unhappy time in my homeland. Many countries were at war, and people's lives and countries were destroyed. Peace came in the spring of 1945. Seven years went by before my father and brother came home again. We all went to church and sang God's praises again and again.
In 1949, my oldest brother left for the United States, the land of opportunity. He was born there in 1925, for my mom and dad had lived in the States from 1923 to 1929 before returning to Bavaria to find work. In 1954, my family of eight went back to the United States. It was a very happy day when my brother picked us up from the boat after a long trip on the stormy seas. I was seasick for 11 days and lost 10 pounds. So glad we were to put our feet on land again. New Jersey was our first address, and we still live there today. We all found work; I was a nanny for two small children at the shore. We all went to school at night and worked during the day.
At 21 I got married. We have a son and a daughter. They are the first in our family to graduate from a university, and they hold top positions in Manhattan, New York. America, the beautiful Land of Opportunity.
Theresa M. Herzig
Towaco, New Jersey
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.