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Trivia Question

Which team won the 1957 World Series in seven games?

Leaving the Leaves Behind

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credit: shutterstock: HaiGala

The sights, sounds and scents of fall are in full force right now. As I write this note to all of you, I am seated on my back porch. I can hear the hum of cicadas, the harbingers of cooler weather. I can look past my dormant raised garden beds to the woods beyond and see the blazing yellows, reds and oranges. And I can detect the dusty smell of freshly harvested soybeans and field corn as my farmer neighbors finish up their harvests.

The one autumn-related aroma that seems to be missing in more recent years is the distinct smell of burning leaves. Cities, towns and even country townships have banned or discouraged leaf burning. But when I was a kid, it was one of the most anticipated times of the year. For once, when my dad commanded us to do a chore, we responded with enthusiasm! We grabbed our spindly metal rakes and got right to work, raking crunchy maple, elm and walnut tree leaves into huge piles on the front lawn near the road. Neighbor kids would gather, Mom would break out the marshmallows and hot dogs, and Dad would ceremoniously light the leaves with his ever-present cigarette lighter. Finding the perfect stick to spear the marshmallows and hot dogs was never a problem. A quick trip to the woods across the fence produced a plethora of options. We pulled up the aluminum lawn chairs and settled in for an evening of fire, fellowship and fun. Hours later, when we settled into our beds, the sooty scent of smoldering ashes drifted from our hair and clothes and lingered in the air. It was the end of another perfect fall day that filled our senses and stockpiled our memory banks.

Our fire pit is steps away from me. Maybe tonight, for old time's sake, I'll add some leaves to the logs. I'll let the drifting smoke take me back to my Good Old Days when the sights, sounds and scents of fall included the crackle, glow and smell of burning leaves.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Signature

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Did you enjoy raking and burning leaves in the fall of your Good Old Days? 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 are several email responses from the Aug. 19, 2020 update question: What was your favorite amusement park or ride in your Good Old Days?

Nancy Wood wrote in: "When I was a kid back in the mid 1960s, my favorite amusement parks were Queen Anne Kiddieland in Bloomington, Minn., and Excelsior Amusement Park, located near beautiful Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior, Minn. My uncle's employer had a company picnic every year at Excelsior. He would take me along with his kids for a whole day of thrills and fun. There was a giant old wooden roller coaster that terrified me. I would always avoid going on that ride even though my cousin Tim would taunt me year after year to join him.

"Finally, one year I gave in and went along. I remember feeling like I was trapped once the safety bar closed tightly around our laps. Tim made sure we had the front seat. As the coaster started to chug away from the platform my heart was pounding like never before. As we approached the very top of the first large hill I remember looking out over the landscape. It was amazing to be able to see for miles in all directions. Suddenly we were in a free fall. I remember screaming and throwing my arms around my poor cousin, squeezing him so tight. I closed my eyes and only opened them briefly to see if the ride would soon be over. I noticed that Tim was laughing and really enjoying the experience of soaring with the wind. I decided then that I shouldn't be afraid. I opened one eye at a time to enjoy the remainder of the ride. I was worried I spoiled the ride for Tim, but as we exited he laughed and said, 'Watching you was the best part of the ride!' Needless to say, I stumbled away from the terror, but Tim went back in line to wait for a more peaceful ride, alone this time around. I'm still afraid of roller coasters, and at my age now, I stick to the merry-go-rounds."

Kim Birdcreek shared, "I have always been a fan of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif. I love all the little shops and especially the little dollhouse shop. I used to spend so much time there, just looking and daydreaming of being small enough to fit inside a dollhouse and all the adventures I would have. Thoughts of playing games like ball and jacks, skipping rope outside on the sidewalk under the maple trees, a hopscotch pattern drawn on the driveway with chalk, and eating a piece of Great-grandma's cheesecake on the steps on the back patio. When I was at the park, I rode some of the rides, but those little shops and buying jars of the preserves was the best part for me!"

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

The Milwaukee Braves. Braves player Hank Aaron had an amazing series, managing to hit three home runs and seven RBIs in their series win against the New York Yankees. The Yankees and Braves would have a rematch in the 1958 World Series but the Yankees proved victorious in 1958.

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