Depression Era: Eating Turnips Raw

Kansan recalls getting turnips for Christmas and eating them raw, among other things.

| Good Old Days

One Christmas, during the depression era, a man from World War I and his family lived close. They had no money for toys, so we hunted around and got some toys. Mom made some clothes and Santa came to their house. An Aunt in Kansas City sent us a 100-pound sack of turnips one year. We peeled and ate them raw. They were delicious. She would send us a box of goodies.

We went to an occasional movie and a circus once or twice. We had a Victrola that we listened to and once in awhile could afford a new record. A popular one was "I Found A Million Dollar Baby In A Ten Cent Store." We went to school functions, band concerts in the park, tent shows, and fishing. My date would come out Sunday afternoons, and we would play dominoes and checkers. We always had a little extra at Christmas. Dad always said, "Christmas comes but once a year, so let's meet it with jolly good cheer."

Cattle were starving by the thousands, so the government bought them. In Gove County, they burned the spines off the cactus so the cattle could eat them and put up green Russian thistles for hay in the winter. We sold our young stock to the government. They slaughtered them and canned them and gave them to the people. For Christmas that year, we made gifts and exchanged them with a neighbor family. I received a box of dominoes made from a cedar post.

Daisy Massie Scott
Hugoton, Kansas

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. 


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