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

Trivia Question

Which city had the second largest population in the United States in 1941?

The Sing

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My husband called my cellphone and said, "Grab a jacket and meet me in the driveway. I'm taking you out for supper, and I'm not telling you where." I complied without asking any questions, as I am always up for an adventure.

I soon found myself at a diner in a small "don't blink or you'll miss it" town five miles down the road from our house. I had passed by the diner many times but had never ventured in. My mother-in-law speaks of it fondly, as she is a regular patron. Although the food is delightful and the atmosphere nostalgic, that's not why she goes there. And that's not really why we were there either.

Just beyond the chrome swivel chairs at the bar, past the antique cash register, there's a back room. Before I stepped foot inside, I could hear a harmonica, a guitar and a piano filling the air with gospel tunes. And there were voices to accompany those instruments -- many joyful voices. We walked in and took a seat next to my mother-in-law, and someone handed us a song book and a pen to sign our names in the guest book. We were now officially participants in the weekly, Tuesday-night sing-along, known simply as "The Sing."

What a treat it was to sit back and enjoy the wonderful music and join in without any reservations or expectations. People hollered out a request and the band members -- very talented band members -- launched into that song without hesitation. (I found out afterward that the young woman on the keyboard doesn't read music. She plays every song by ear). There are no dues, no fees and no requirements, aside from signing the guest book and pausing for the prayer requests they take somewhere in the middle of the evening.

"It's like being transported to Mayberry R.F.D.," my husband commented as we left.

It was a worthwhile adventure.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Do you have a favorite local diner that reminds you of the Good Old Days? Or do you still participate in an old-fashioned sing-along? 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

Chicago, Ill. The Windy City's population had swelled to 3.4 million by 1941. Construction was underway for the city's first subway as part of their public transport system that already included elevated trains. Over 8 miles of stiff clay was pushed out of the way in preparation for the subway's grand opening in 1943. Chicagoans spent their free time swimming and sunbathing on the shore of Lake Michigan, strolling along The Magnificent Mile, and attending blues and jazz shows in the South Side's entertainment district.

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