Good Old Days Newsletter

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

Trivia Question

Which horse became the sixth Triple Crown winner in 1943?

Raindrops Keep Fallin'

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It was April, and Mrs. DePalma had her work cut out for her. There she was, a new teacher, facing 24 innocent, fresh-faced first-graders seated on child-size maple chairs in classroom 1A. Her task: to shape these eager little pupils into actors and actresses in time for the spring play three weeks away. She tucked a stray strand of hair back into the bun on her head, adjusted her cat-eye glasses and got to work. She selected a seasonally appropriate song for her proteges: Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head. It was a No.1 hit the year before, although none of her students were aware of that fact. All we knew was we had to quickly learn the music and make some oversize signs for this show that was sure to bring down the house.

Raindrops are fallin' on my head,
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed --
Nothin' seems to fit. ...

We lined up in three rows; the tallest boys in the back were in charge of holding up the various cardboard props -- large yellow suns, big bare feet and colorful flowers -- on cue. The girls in the front were the lucky ones; we were the proud new owners of lace parasols. Growing up in a house full of boys, I had never seen such fragile things. But I learned to twirl and swing that frilly pastel-color umbrella to the snappy tune:

So I just did me some talkin' to the sun,
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done --
He's sleepin' on the job.
Those raindrops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin' ...

Soon enough, it was performance time. We filed down into the church basement across the street and stood behind the brown screens that kept our jitters temporarily out of the audience's view. I peeked underneath one of the screens -- I could see a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes that I knew belonged to my mom. She was in the front row! I was even more excited.

Raindrops keep falling on my head,
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red,
Crying's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free ...
Nothing's worrying me.

The song was written in 1969 by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Over the years, it has been performed by B.J. Thomas, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como and The Four Tops. The tune has also been featured in many movies. But nowhere did that song get such a rousing reception as it did that April afternoon long ago when it was performed by first-graders at St. Michael's Elementary School.

And the best part? We got to keep the parasols.

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. What was the first class play you recall performing in? Send a brief response to me at and it could appear in a future newsletter or in Good Old Days magazine! Keep your replies coming!

Here are several email responses from the Feb. 19, 2014 newsletter question: What was it like when your family gathered to watch shows on your first TV?

Lowell T. told us: "My parents never got a TV until I went to college (in 1956). We lived in the small town of Coleta, Ill., which had about 200 people. I would go around town to friends who did have TVs and watch it with them. Back then there were only about half a dozen TVs in town. Sometime on Sunday evening we would go to our grandparents' house and watch TV there. When Mother had supper at 6:30 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I was never late. I didn't want to miss listening to the radio, as that was when The Lone Ranger was on. Back then there were no repeats except at Christmastime (the Ranger never arrested anyone at Christmastime!)"

Abbi T. replied: "When I was growing up we had a household of 10! Mom and Dad generally operated the TV, so in the mornings it was news first, cartoons next and then the old Westerns. Mother liked The Jetsons and The Flintstones so the siblings watched what was playing on the one TV, or we played outside. There were no computers, no video games, and certainly no fighting!"

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

Count Fleet was the Triple Crown winner in 1943. The horse retired after having won 16 of 21 races. His offspring include 38 stakes winners, including Kentucky Derby winners Count Turf and Lucky Debonair, Belmont Stakes winners Counterpoint and One Count, several Horse of the Year champions, and an American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, a horse-racing honor.

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