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

Trivia Question

Trivia Question: What four songs sung by Elvis Presley became No. 1 on the charts in 1956?

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We had our first campfire of the summer this week. Why did I wait so long? I thought to myself. Just a whiff of that wispy smoke takes me back to campfires of long ago, when my family would borrow a pop-up camper from our neighbors, hitch it to our old pickup truck, and head to a primitive campground. We never stayed in hotels -- they were too expensive. When we wanted to take a summer vacation, it always meant camping our way to our final destination.

I loved the scent of the pine trees around us, the anticipation of meeting new friends at nearby campsites, and swimming in the pool (if the campground was "modern" enough to have one). But my favorite part was settling down with my family around the campfire after supper, roasting marshmallows or attempting to make "pudgy pies." I didn't appreciate the taste of either of those treats, but, because of the fun involved in making them, I was all in. I also cherished the conversation around the fire. Something about the mesmerizing flames would compel us to talk about ideas and events and thoughts that we had never previously considered. Campfire evenings were the perfect evenings. By the time we went to bed, the smoke from the fire was woven into our clothing and our hair, and we fell asleep inhaling that distinct, long-lasting fragrance.

Today my love for the scent of campfire smoke remains. We have a fire ring on our patio and, despite the fact that the smoky smell infiltrates my house and hangs there for days, I am usually the one to light the fires. Nothing represents childhood freedom and adventure and family fun to me as much as that pungent smoke. Campfire evenings are still the perfect evenings.

If it's been years since you've sat around a campfire with friends and family, I encourage you to go find one this weekend! And then you will probably ask yourself the same question I did, Why did I wait so long?

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. What is a nostalgic scent from your childhood? Campfire smoke? Baking bread? A pine Christmas tree? 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 is one response from the June 21, 2017, update question: Did you regularly have kittens or puppies or other baby animals at home when you were a kid?

Ruthane shared, "One of my fondest memories centers on Blackie, our totally black mommy kitty. One year Blackie decided to have her kittens in an old tire that we had left along the side of the house. She crawled in, made herself at home, and proceeded to present us with 12 of the most adorable calico, long-haired, kittens. The thing that surprised us was that they were long-haired. Blackie had very short black hair, and so did the daddy kitty, Old Tommy, from across the back alley. They were mated for life!

"When the kittens were about 2 days old, Tommy decided he really liked the only male kitten in the litter. He liked him so much, he picked him up and took him home to his basket in the kitchen of the house across the alley. We were very concerned, so we kept a close watch. We had heard that male cats would kill the baby male kittens. The kitten started crying for food, and, bless his heart, Tommy got in the basket and tried to nurse him. After about an hour of nonstop crying, Tommy again picked up the kitten and returned him to his mother.

"He came over daily to check on HIS kitten, and when he was weaned and could function without Momma's help, Tommy again took the little one home with him. Mary, Tommy's human mom, asked what we wanted to do. We told her that Tommy had a mind of his own and had proven his love for the little one. The kitten was HOME, and that is where he stayed. They continued to visit Blackie and the rest of his family every day, even after most of the little ones had moved on to their forever homes. God works in mysterious ways!"

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.

Fill out the easy feedback form and let me know your thoughts, questions and ideas.

Trivia Answer

Heartbreak Hotel, Don't Be Cruel, Hound Dog and Love Me Tender all reached No. 1 on the charts in 1956.

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