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

Trivia Question

Which TV show starred James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon?

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Go back, if you will, to the first time you stepped into your elementary school's library. What did you notice? Were there big windows? Rugs on the floors for "circle time" reading? Tables and reading nooks? Tall shelves filled with hundreds of books labeled with a mysterious number code? Do you recall the card catalog with the funny little drawers? The giant desk of the librarian? And what about the smell of all those new books? Ah, such a sweet scent.

The little library at the end of the "8th-grade hall" in our elementary school had all of the above characteristics and more. The library was added on to the school building shortly before I entered first grade, so the flooring of that room was different from the rest of the school. It didn't have drab brown tiles -- it was speckled with many colors. It was a bright, cheery place, with a bright, cheery librarian at the helm. I loved making the trek from our end of the school to this magical location. So many books! On top of that, I now had a new opportunity to order my own books through the Scholastic Book Club. My previous exposure to libraries was limited to a lumbering old red bookmobile that came to our little town once a month, so having all these books at my fingertips was heaven for me as a child.

In the September/October issue of Good Old Days, writer Jennifer Wood takes us back to her first experience with book clubs as a young student. Similar to me, she was intoxicated by the smell of the books in her local library and could hardly wait for her book club order to arrive. Also similar to my situation, she knew there were times when her parents had to scrape together funds to support her love of reading and books and the written word. She credits her parents for her lifetime love affair with books. As I sit here, 45 years later writing an editorial for a newsletter, surrounded by magazines and books, I realize (not for the first time) that I owe my parents a debt of gratitude as well. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for buying all those books!

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Did you love books and libraries when you were a child? What was your favorite book? 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 a response from the July 20, 2016 update question: Did you learn how to drive a tractor when you were a kid? What was your first experience like?

Shirley Broers shared: "I first drove a tractor when I was 8. My dad and older brother were putting up hay. It was still the square bales -- no round ones yet. I really was just there to steer the tractor down the row. I couldn't even reach the brake pedal! My Dad would hop up at the end of the row to make the turn for the next row. I just remember sitting up straight and tall, and being very proud that I could help!"

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

Gunsmoke. The television Western was set in Dodge City, Kan., in the 1870s and was the No. 1 rated show from 1957 to 1961. The television series ran from 1955 to 1975. 

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