Ken and Janice Tate

Dear Friends of the Good Old Days,

My two grandmothers were nothing alike.

My paternal grandmother lived in town in a newer house with a pink bathroom (pink sink and bathtub included!), a formal dining room and a basement where we gathered as an extended family and played pinochle while the adults drank whiskey on the rocks and cold beer.

Grandma Norma wore pretty dresses and matching clip-on earrings. She read to me, let me play at her walnut secretary desk, and taught me how to draw rabbits and cats. She kept lemon drop candy in a crystal dish for her grandkids and bought us Coke, Neapolitan ice-cream cups, ring bologna and Ritz crackers for snacks.

My maternal grandmother lived and worked on a farm most of her life and only moved into a small house in town (one block from my other grandma) when she could no longer manage the farm as a widow with crippling arthritis. Despite her disability, she laughed a lot, made the best homemade Dutch apple pies, and kept a tidy, simple home.

She loved to tell stories and play hearts and rummy with family at a card table set up in the living room; we drank lemonade all year round when we gathered at her house.

Grandma Eleanora listened to every Cincinnati Reds baseball game on the radio and was fond of Lawrence Welk. She kept Chiclets gum in her plain brown "pocketbook" for her 33 grandchildren, and she let us bang away on her prized upright piano in the front room whenever we visited.

While their situations were different, my grandmothers did have some things in common. They raised their combined 15 children to be honest, hardworking, active members of the community. They prayed a lot. And they fiercely loved and were button-popping proud of their grandkids. I learned valuable lessons from both of them.

In this issue, we honor those life lessons we learned from our wise grandparents. Read a story or two, and then return to your Good Old Days: What lessons did you learn from your own grandparents? Drop us a line and let us know what precious memories were stirred!

'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
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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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