Good Old Days Newsletter
|In the Good Old Days||'Til Next Time|
"I thoroughly enjoy receiving your newsletter -- it's very interesting. You always seem to be able to answer people's trivia question, but I might stump you with this one. I remember years ago my dad used to sing a song all the time, and I only know a few of the words. I can't find anyone who knows the song; maybe you can help. It goes 'Daddy dear, Daddy dear, is the world really round?'" -- Barbara H.
Staying Up With the Big Kids
New Year's Day is fast approaching, a time of both endings and beginnings. So it is with my wife, Janice, and me. This will be my final Good Old Days newsletter as the December 2012 issue will be our last as editors. We will be taking on new responsibilities in our new fiction mystery market -- that's the "beginning" part -- and trying to take a little extra time for gardening and grandchildren.
Beginning with the first newsletter of 2013 (coincidentally, the January/February 2013 issue is the first issue of Good Old Days magazine's 50th year) the new editor, Mary Beth Weisenburger, will assume the helm. Janice and I look forward to working closely with Mary Beth during this golden anniversary year, writing special features that will relate some highlights of our 50 years of "Remembering the Best."
This ends an 11-year run for me as the author of this newsletter. As with everything I have done with Good Old Days, it has been a joy.
So, with New Year's Eve now only days away, I thought I would keep it short and sweet and reprise a "Looking Back" from Good Old Days magazine from a few years ago. I have always signed off my little missives to you, both here and in the magazines, by saying, "Til Next Time."
This time I will add, "May God bless you and keep you 'til we meet again."
Back when I was growing up, I yearned to "stay up like the big kids do." That meant I wanted to push my bedtime to as late as I possibly could. I have no idea who those big kids were I always referred to when arguing my case to Mama and Daddy; my big brother, Dennis, five years my elder, had the same bedtime as me.
Today I'm sure my early bedtime would seem tame. From my earliest memories it seems it was around 8 p.m. in the winter; in the summer, it was as soon after sundown as Mama could get us in from play or chores, cleaned up and bedded down. In my teenage years, I succeeded in pushing it to 9 p.m. with the argument I needed the extra hour for completing high school homework assignments.
But Daddy was a firm believer in the Ben Franklinism: "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." Daddy was always in bed no later than 9 p.m.; he saw no reason why his progeny should be up later. Still, I yearned to "stay up like the big kids do."
I got my chance one New Year's Eve. My folks were going out to a party somewhere, a rare occasion for them in those days. Grandma was staying with us three kids. I don't know what possessed Daddy to say it, but when Grandma asked what time we should be in bed, he replied, "I guess they can stay up until we get home."
I knew I had arrived! Mama and Daddy wouldnít be home until they had "Auld Lang Syne-d" in the New Year and that would be midnight. Finally I would get to "stay up like the big kids do."
Of course, there was no television to watch, and it seemed there was nothing very exciting on the Philco radio -- what with the holiday and everything. Donna was the first to succumb, a little after 9 p.m. Dennis was next, about an hour later. I was left alone in my bleary-eyed effort to "stay up like the big kids do."
I don't remember much else. Grandma either was touched by my valiant battle against sleep or was just too weary to put me in bed herself. At any rate, the next thing I knew there were muffled, dreamy voices, and I was hoisted in Daddy's powerful arms and carried off to the bedroom. As he tucked me in, I'm sure I probably protested, "But I want to stay up like the big kids do!"
Many years have gone by since, but Daddy's way stuck with me. Now, I'm most content today when Iím "early to bed and early to rise." Janice and I raised our own three children with a 9 p.m. bedtime -- a bit old-fashioned, I'm sure, for the television generation. I heard many youthful complaints that were the equivalent of "I want to stay up like the big kids do," but they were to no avail. I just smiled inwardly, remembering my own futile attempt on that New Year's Eve back in the Good Old Days.
Here are the words to the old song Barbara requested. There is an alternate "Mommy dear" version, which replaces the "Daddy dear" version below.