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Guitar Strings and Heartstrings

Trivia Question

Which Western premiered on television in 1957 and starred James Garner?

Guitar Strings and Heartstrings

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In the November/December 2018 issue of Good Old Days, Robert B. Williams tells a story about his hardworking, tough-as-nails dad who regularly played a guitar on Saturday nights in their living room. Young Bobby watched and wished he could play too, but nobody was allowed to touch his dad's guitar. One Sunday morning Bobby couldn't resist the temptation. He picked up the off-limits guitar and tested it out. When he tried to replace it gently, it shattered the silence as it fell to the hard floor. Bobby braced for the worst, but was instead treated to a guitar lesson by his dad, the first of many that brought them closer together.

This story, as many stories in the magazine often do, played on my heartstrings. My hardworking dad would also relax and play his guitar in our living room on Saturday nights, singing old Elvis, Hank Williams and Jim Reeves songs, always ending with the Porter Wagoner favorite, Green, Green Grass of Home. I would sit at his feet and listen to the melancholy tunes, sometimes chiming in with a little harmony. And every once in a while he would put the too-big-for-me guitar in my arms and try to teach me a few chords. I always thought the strings hurt my fingers too much. "How do people ever play this thing?" I asked my dad. But he persevered with me and I persevered with the guitar, and eventually, I got my own. It went to college with me, moved to Washington, D.C., with me and now resides in a place of honor in a corner of my bedroom.

But every once in a while, I take it out and play a few chords of Green, Green Grass of Home.

And those guitar strings still play on my heartstrings.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Did you get music lessons in your Good Old Days? Who taught you? 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! Below are several email responses from the Oct. 17, 2018, update question: What animated show did you enjoy most in your Good Old Days?

Nancy shared, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was also one of our family favorites. Six kids all laid out on the floor watching poor Charlie humiliated -- it made me sad too. Charlie and Linus persevere and look forward to next Halloween. Another holiday favorite was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. No one could sing like Burl Ives. We all remember singing about 'silver and gold.' As I grew up I was so happy to see that both of these programs could be purchased on VHS and DVD. The grandkids all grew up watching and loving them just as much as my generation. I enjoy reading Good Old Days magazine because it reminds me of what good years we experienced as children."

Linda Whitt said, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer wins hands down as our most favorite animated show to watch each Christmastime when I was a child. We couldn't wait until it came on each year, and we were never disappointed. I remember feeling so sorry for the little elf who just wanted to be a dentist and for the toys on the island of misfit toys. Of course, I felt fear and disgust for the abominable snow monster! As I grew older, I still loved watching the show. I'm 65 years old now and enjoy watching it with my grandchildren, Hope, Jordan and Liberty!"

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

Maverick. In the Western, James Garner played card shark Bret Maverick. The show also included several Maverick brothers, and even a cousin. Jack Kelly joined the cast in the first season playing Bret's brother Bart. When Garner left the show at the end of the third season, Roger Moore joined the cast as Cousin Beau. A third Maverick brother named Brent (played by Robert Colbert) appeared during the show's fourth season.

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