Singing Accompanied Thunder and Lightning
A few minutes before “take-up” time one morning, I noticed a startling change in sky and air. It meant a storm was about to strike. I called the children inside and got them settled before the thunder bellowed and the lightning zig-zagged. The wind whipped leaves, tumbleweeds and limbs against our sturdy old frame building. It became dark as rain poured as if from fire-hoses against the windows. The children were scared and cried as they clung to me. I consoled them as best I knew. I passed out our ragged songbooks and suggested we sing. The organ wheezed and squeaked as I accompanied. We sang “America,” “Yankee Doodle,” “Old MacDonald Had A Farm,” and others. Still the storm thundered and poured. Marlin, a long-legged sixth grader, requested page sixty-three. It was “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” He was scared. We sang his choice and more. Suddenly the storm subsided as Kansas thunderstorms sometimes do. The day became bright and we began our Readin’, ‘Ritin’ and , Rithmetic.
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.