Working Vacation: Traveling During the Depression Era

Kansan talks about taking a working vacation during the depression era in order to pay for fuel and food on her way to her brother's wedding.

| Good Old Days

My mother never failed to bake a birthday cake for whoever was having a birthday. Never a gift, but always a cake - except once. During the depression era, we had taken a trip to Arkansas. My brother Everett had a pen pal there and they were going to get married. We were taking a working vacation to pay our way thru to pay for gas and food. We had a tent and a little stove to cook on. Going through Kansas we shocked wheat and oats for the farmers. We had a friend and family there, too, that we wanted to visit.

When the job was finished we went to Arkansas and picked grapes for awhile to earn some money. Then we drove on to Lost Corner, Arkansas, northeast of Russellville, where my brother's pen pal lived. We spent a week there and Everett and Iva got married.

Once more we were out of money so Everett sold his car and had money enough to get to Oklahoma where we stopped to pick cotton. None of us had ever even seen any. We had to buy each a sack to pick in, which just about put us out of money again!

Hazel Caruthers
Burlington, 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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