Ken and Janice Tate

Dear Friends of the Good Old Days,

"He didn't say 'chair back!'" I would yell, leaping to my feet and practically diving toward the now-empty chair in our "TV room," which had been added on to our home specifically as a dedicated space for watching television. One of my hapless siblings had left the room for a bathroom break or to get a snack and had forgotten to say the magic words that would have reserved his spot when he returned. It happened at least once during every program, this careless abandonment, and I was usually the one to capitalize on the incident. No more sitting on the hard floor for me!

In addition to the green couch (which my dad commandeered, no questions asked), there were just two chairs in the room for all six of us. My mom would usually secure one. The rest of us battled for the remaining soft spot. If you didn't say "chair back" (and later, we added the rule that you had to be touching the chair when you said it), you were out of luck and banished to the floor.

Our family watched television with tireless gusto back in those days, especially on Saturday and Sunday evenings, so the floor time could add up if you weren't vigilant. I was vigilant.

The practice was so ingrained in us that decades later, my brother absentmindedly got up from his seat in a board meeting, placed his hand on his leather chair and announced, "Chair back!" to his confused peers. I have been known to spout the same statement whenever I leave my seat during a movie at a theater!

The dawning of the age of television was thrilling in the Good Old Days, for me and for all of the readers whose stories appear in this issue. How well we remember that first set, those first shows and the gatherings to watch whatever was on! Enjoy the tales of TV excitement along with accounts of other adventures in this issue. I hope they spark some memories for you as well!

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger signature
Mary Beth Weisenburger, Editor

PS. Did you know that Good Old Days magazine also has a Good Old Days email newsletter? It's free and chock-full of stories, trivia, history and more Antiques Q&A. Sign up today by going to

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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Good Old Days magazine is the magazine that remembers the best of times. Feature stories and photos of the good old days of 1930 through 1960 are all contributed by readers. This easy-to-read collection of memories will fascinate the young and the old alike.
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