One year, on the Friday afternoon before Christmas, we had our little Christmas party and gift exchange, and the teacher dismissed us early. It had been raining for several days and it was very cold. My parents came to pick us up, but, because we had been dismissed early, they missed us. The creeks were up. We managed to get across the first two small ones, but when we got to the last one, the “big” one, it was knee-deep and rolling swiftly with big chunks of ice and other debris. We could not find a good place to cross, so decided we may as well try to cross in our usual place. My big sister and the biggest neighbor girl waded across, taking one of us smaller ones by the hand, until they got us all safely through. Our clothes were frozen by the time we got to the house. My parents were frantic, and very relieved that we were safe. We could have easily been swept away and drowned. Fortunately, we did not even get sick from the exposure.
After that, my father cut down a huge tree that reached from one bank to the other, chiseled off the top side to make it flat, put a hand rail on it, and built steps on one end, so that we had a foot bridge. He did not want that to happen again.
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.