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

Trivia Question

Fred Allen had a running "feud" with which violin-playing comedian and fellow radio star in the 1940s?

An Old New Strategy

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credit: Maximillian cabinet/

Welcome, March! Finally, the snow is melting, the sun's rays are noticeably stronger, and my winter mood is lifting too. For me, when March rolls around, it's usually time to think about planting flower seeds. But last fall, I tried something different. I planted hardy annual seeds in September and broadcast wildflower seeds after the first hard freezes in November. As a lifelong Ohioan, I had never heard of doing such a thing in our neck of the woods. But I had accidently stumbled upon a method of early planting of certain seeds and decided to take a risk.

At first, I thought this technique was something new and, to make a bit of a pun, groundbreaking. But when I discussed my plans with my mom, she shook her head and laughed. Apparently, her mom -- my grandma Eleanora -- knew all about cool-season flower gardening and regularly produced showy stems in the early spring because of her clever fall plantings. I wonder if Grandma donned a jacket and boots in March, like I did today, and traipsed out to her flower beds to check on the success rate of her secret seedlings. And then I imagine the smile on her face, like I had today, when she peered at the spikes of green under the protection of the cold, wet leaves and straw.

Spring has sprung in my modern garden thanks to an old-fashioned trick!

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Signature

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. When did you start your seeds or garden in the Good Old Days? What old-fashioned gardening tricks did you employ? 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!

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

Jack Benny. The "feud" between the two comedians began when Allen made a joke in 1936 that 10-year-old violin star Stuart Canin (who later became a conductor) already played the violin better than Benny. Over the years, the two comedians often appeared on each other's shows. In real life, the two men were close friends.

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