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

Trivia Question

What was First Lady Mamie Eisenhower's favorite color?

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credit: Shutterstock:Ermolaev Alexander

My niece recently sent a photo to me that showed her two daughters rolling around in their front lawn, squealing with laughter and covered in kittens. A lot of kittens. Seventeen of them, to be exact. They live on a farm, and it just so happened that their three female cats were very fruitful this spring. My niece was looking for adoptive homes for the little fur balls. I was tempted. But the three stray cats we adopted over the last few years would have objected, I'm sure. My husband probably would have too.

It's hard to resist the lure of a cute kitten. When I was young, we had several cats -- beautiful, long-haired ones. There was Momma Hairy (who started out as Harry until we discovered she was a she) and Momma Fuzz, one of Momma Hairy's daughters. Even though we always set out a nice sturdy box with warm blankets in the garage, every spring and fall they would have their kittens in the crawl space under the house. And they didn't use a spot just right around the corner from the foundation opening -- of course not. They had their kittens clear to the back of the house, under the living room. When we heard tiny meows coming from the living room heat register, we knew it was time to spring into action. My neighbor Nadine and I donned long pants, hats and gloves, and grabbed flashlights. Then we army-crawled under the house, through cobwebs and dirt and who knows what else, suppressing our natural fear of spiders in order to bring the new batch of kittens into the light of day and better accommodations. It was always a triumphant scene as I emerged from the opening, one hand holding a flashlight and the other hoisting a squinting kitten. The waiting onlookers would exclaim, "Oh look, another gray one!" or "That one looks just like Momma Hairy!" as they placed the kittens in boxes, their fretting mothers pacing nearby.

Fetching the kittens was an exciting biannual affair that we looked forward to back in the Good Old Days. It's now a warm memory that makes me smile. And it makes me want to adopt another kitten. Just don't tell my husband.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Did you regularly have kittens or puppies or other baby animals at home when you were a kid? 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! Here are several email responses from the May 10, 2017, update question: What do you recall about the Memorial Day or Fourth of July ceremonies in your hometown? Do you have a favorite, meaningful memory?

Mary P.M. Weidner shared: "Our town promoted Poppy Day on the Saturday before Memorial Day sponsored by the local American Legion. It was held in memory of those who were buried in foreign cemeteries where our United States soldiers lay having served in World War I. Children volunteered to sell little paper poppies in memory of those who served our country, and the funds were given to the veterans in need. I was one of those children and took my job seriously, walking up and down our small town's business district and asking all passersby to 'buy a poppy.' I didn't stop there, but also went door to door. One year I sold the most poppies and, at 11 years old, received whatever accolades came my way. I only remember how thrilled I was to have helped the veterans whom I did not know nor exactly understood what they had done. Five years later I knew. World War II was declared, and brothers and friends were called to serve our country in foreign battlefields, some not coming back."

Gladys Touchey recalled, "When I was a child growing up in Delaware County, Pa., the church I attended had a picnic. We would remember those who had died, and those who had served and were serving our country. We would make up goodie boxes to send to the servicemen from our area.

"On a side note, my uncle was killed in France during World War I. He was first buried in France, but my grandmother had his body returned to the United States. He is now buried in the church cemetery in Ringgold, Pa., where he was born and raised."

Rob Withers remembered, "Growing up in my small hometown in the 1960s and '70s, the annual Memorial Day parade was a big deal. Kids (and their parents) decorated their bikes with American flags and miles of crepe paper to enter in the parade. The school band and the veterans led the parade, followed by the bike riders. As the parade passed, the people along the street would fall in behind, with all heading to the cemetery. At the cemetery, there were speeches and recitations of the poem In Flanders Field, along with the Gettysburg Address. Taps was always the conclusion of the ceremony.

"I remember that we would then visit family gravesites to admire the flowers that had been placed earlier that week and tell stories about the family history. The veterans' graves were always adorned with flags and markers of their war. Memorial Day is also the day of our family reunion, and later, we would all gather for a large picnic and games. The day has always been a day of remembrance for us."

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

Pink. Mamie even wore a pink gown to President Eisenhower's first inaugural ball. President Eisenhower sent his wife pink flowers every morning. She also redecorated the White House private quarters using the color pink.

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