When I was ready for the third grade in 1948, we moved to a more metropolitan area. I had always gone to a country school so I knew nothing about cliques or being a new kid in strange surroundings. But I soon found the meaning of those things could make me and a couple of other new kids really feel like outsiders.
One particular little girl seemed to be head princess of the elite group. She was always dressed just so and was good at letting everyone know she was super special. One day she wore red patent shoes to school. Gosh, were they ever pretty! We had one pair of school shoes, usually black or brown so polish could cover the scuffs and make for longer wear. But here was this kid wearing red shoes to match her very pretty dress. And did she ever enjoy calling attention to that fact. When a bunch of us were at the outhouse - I think it was a three seater, very modest, the little girl went into her act again. She thought some of us had not drooled enough so she began to dance and kick her feet. You could have heard a pin drop as we watched one shiny red shoe sail through the air - drop through one hole and land kerplunk many feet below! She cried and cried because the shiny red shoe was lost forever. We had the good manners and consideration not to laugh - at least not aloud. But gosh was it funny.
Unfortunately, her attitude toward other people did not undergo a miraculous change, but a lot of us had much more respect for that old outhouse from then on.
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.