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The Grass Is Greener

Trivia Question

Who starred in the 1949 film Samson and Delilah?

The Grass is Greener

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credit: cottonstudio/

As I sit at my laptop composing this note to you wonderful readers of Good Old Days, I can hear the hum of my husband's lawn mower. We've had a tremendous amount of rain this year, which translates to a tremendous amount of lawn mowing. But not for me. We have lived on this plot of five acres in the country for more than 20 years, but believe it or not, I have never mowed the lawn here. Never. Even though it looks enjoyable to me, I learned early on that the mowing was my husband's domain, so I gladly let him tackle it while I work on the landscaping and gardens.

When I was a kid, however, I mowed our town property with a push mower almost every week, especially after my brothers got summer jobs. In hindsight, it wasn't much to mow. But back then, it seemed like it took an eternity to tidy up the yard using my less-than-brute strength. My dad always struggled to grow grass in the backyard, where the walnut and oak trees towered over the south edge, the two-story garage shaded the west side, and a constant riot of neighbor kids played Kick the Can in the center. The patchy turf didn't faze me one bit -- less grass meant less push-mowing!

What I really wanted to mow was "the bottom" -- the area behind the garage and down the hill where we had room to play football and baseball, to fly kites, and to shoot clay pigeons. When it wasn't under water from the river bordering its far side, it needed mowing with my dad's orange 1940s Allis-Chalmers tractor. My clever father made it sound like so much fun to mow the bottom that I begged to mow it. When I was finally old enough to take over the wheel, I just knew I was the luckiest kid on the block. My dad sat back and smiled, knowing he had successfully transferred an onerous chore to another one of his children.

Hmmm ... I wonder if my clever husband is plotting a similar transfer. I'd better be careful -- it does look like fun.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Did you help with the outdoor chores in 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 responses from the May 15, 2019, update question: What was your high school graduation celebration like in your Good Old Days?

Carol Shoepf remembered her graduation: "In 1957, we were allowed four invitations; usually for the parents and two grandparents. Our class was over 800, and graduation was held in our school auditorium, so space was very limited. Our caps and gowns were rented, but most of us bought our tassels for keepsakes. My parents had a long wait to see me walk across that stage -- I was next to last. After the ceremony, we went out to dinner with my boyfriend and his parents at my father's club. I had to be at work early the next morning, so that was the end of our celebration."

Yvonne Kristoff shared memories of her kids' graduations: "My high school graduation was similar to yours on a smaller scale, but I would like to describe my children's graduations. They went through high school with what was called a Teacher Guardian Group. They stayed in this group for four years with the same teacher. Every time there was a special event going on at school, they were already in groups to participate. It made sense, then, that they would graduate as a TGG. There were no escorts involved for graduation. If some had boyfriends or girlfriends they were involved to a much lesser degree. This took a tremendous amount of pressure off the students who were not dating and didn't have someone to partner with to receive their diplomas. It also created strong school spirit. We still invited people to our home, but it was very low-key and more of an ending to a great day. When you live in a small town, graduation is like a farewell because kids have to move away to further their educations."

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

Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature. The film was directed by Cecil B. DeMille and proved to be a tremendous box office success.

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