From the time that my husband Wilton left, until he
arrived home, he was gone more than three years. We wrote lots of letters and
shed many a tear.
The second World War ended on my birthday, September
2, 1945. Wilton was stationed in Shanghai, China,
on board the repair ship the USS Oceanious.
We were hoping he would be home by
Christmas. His two brothers were already home, one from Europe
and the other from the Pacific. On December 15, 1945, he arrived in California.
The servicemen hoped upon hope to
be home. No such luck. He called to say that it would be after Christmas. The
civilians had priority on travel over the servicemen and women because the
government would not pay as much for the fare. We felt it wasn’t fair for the
veterans who had fought for our country to wait because of civilians
traveling home for Christmas.
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.