Good Old Days Updates

In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
In the Good Old Days

Trivia Question

What famous fashion doll debuted in 1959?

A House Call to Water Street

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James Steidl/

The "doctor bag" featured in this issue's Antiques Corner spurred a memory in me. It was the early 1970s in our little Midwestern town. At our home on Water Street, I was recovering from a mild case of the mumps, while my brother was in the middle of a much more intense case. Fearing he was on the losing end, my parents moved him to their first-floor bedroom instead of upstairs in his room, so they could keep a watchful eye on him. Then they placed a call to the town doctor, who showed up with his black bag and disappeared into the bedroom for what seemed like hours. The rest of us kids waited in the living room and spoke in hushed tones. Nobody played, nobody made any trouble, and nobody asked Mom and Dad any questions.

We knew this was serious business -- the doctor had never been to our home before! Heck, it was even rare that we saw the doctor in his office. If we were really sick with something that couldn't be cured with home remedies or over-the-counter options, we would walk to the doctor's small office, located in a home uptown, sign our names on the sign-in sheet that was on the fireplace mantel, and then settle into wooden chairs in the living room/waiting room until our names were called. Then we ventured back into the exam room, a former kitchen that had the distinct heavy aroma of rubbing alcohol. The doctor, a loving, kind man, who took an avid interest in his patients, had a career that spanned decades. He worked his magic and then gave out hugs and suckers as we departed, feeling better already.

My brother eventually recovered, and we never had to call the doctor to our house again. That remarkable physician recently passed away and was justifiably honored by hundreds of grateful patients. And whenever I see a little black bag, I think of him and that extra-quiet day on Water Street, when nobody played and nobody asked any questions.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Did a doctor make a house call to your home back in the Good Old Days? We want to hear about it! Send a brief response to me at and it could appear in a future update or in Good Old Days magazine!

Mary Beth Weisenburger has been with Annie's since April 2011. She has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and publishing fields. In addition to her job as editor of Good Old Days, she has been writing a family humor column for over a decade. She and her husband, two college-age kids, two dogs and various other critters live on five acres in the country, where she enjoys reading on the back porch, refinishing furniture, feeding the birds and digging in the dirt of her perennial gardens.

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Trivia Answer

Barbie. The Barbie doll was introduced by Mattel Inc. and initially sold for $3. The Barbie doll was a redesigned version of a German doll and was named after the daughter of Ruth Handler, one of Mattel's founders. More than 300,000 Barbie dolls were sold during that first year.

Find out more about the fashion, events and popular culture of America in the Live It Again book series at, featuring the best of The Saturday Evening Post!

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