Close Window

Old Friends and Meaningful Mentors

Trivia Question

Which future Hall of Fame baseball player hit his 500th career home run on July 14, 1968?

Old Friends and Meaningful Mentors

Click here for larger image.
credit: wk1003mike/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

My friend Pat turned 75 years old the day I wrote this note to all of you. She is the most "chronologically mature" of our traveling troupe of six women who worked together at the same bank decades ago and formed an inseparable bond. From a bustling New York City tour to a relaxing Caribbean cruise, and from the redwoods of the West Coast to the pizza joints in Chicago, Pat has always been the firecracker of our "band of bankers." She smiles the most, laughs the hardest and lives life to the fullest. She handles the difficulties life brings with grace and humor and wisdom. In addition to being a fun friend, she has been a mentor and a role model to me for almost 20 years.

My grandma Eleanora was another strong influence in my life. Like Pat, Grandma handled challenges with faith, laughter and good old-fashioned gumption. When she became a widow with nine kids, she carried on successfully; even crippling arthritis didn't slow her down much. She was smart and sassy, she loved gardening, and she made the best Dutch apple pies. My mom was the last of the nine children Grandma had, so when I was young, Grandma seemed very old already. But that didn't stop me from enjoying our time together. A visit to her house always included a stint at the player piano, a story about her Good Old Days, and a piece of Chiclet gum from her pocketbook before I left. Grandma was born Aug. 1, 1889; in her honor, our family reunions are always held close to her birthday.

I am so grateful for these women in my life who have shown me a faithful, fruitful path to follow. Maybe someday my granddaughter will write wistfully about me-- the things I taught her, the fun we had together and the life lessons she learned from watching me.

I can only hope.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Signature

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Who was your mentor or role model 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 email responses from the June 3, 2020, update question: What treat did your grandparents fix for you in the Good Old Days?

Gary Meredith shared the following about his grandma's treats: "My grandma Stevens, and her sister Georgia Stevens (these former Williams sisters married two Stevens brothers) were born into a family of 13 children near the end of the 19th century. Growing up in a log cabin in east Texas, their mother taught them well the special art of cooking on an old wood-burning cast-iron stove. Both ladies, who lived on adjoining farms, loved to cook little individual chocolate pies for their kiddos during the 1950s and '60s. Using lard from the hogs they raised, and butter they churned themselves, they combined the chocolate, sugar and butter and heaped it onto rolled-out pie dough. Then they folded and crimped the edges before popping it into the oven. The results were heavenly and are still the stuff of legends in our family. Some things in life can't be duplicated, and none of us have ever matched these little treasures!"

Kim Engel remembered both her grandparents sharing treats: "My grandmother made the best homemade dinner rolls in the world, and they were a treat, but Grandpa liked to finish a meal with ice cream because, according to him, there was always room for ice cream as it slid around everything else! I think one of his favorite things to do was to take us to the local ice cream shop for the largest ice cream cones. Grandma took us to the local dairy to get milk, and she usually gave us those malts in a cup with a wooden spoon to eat it with. Grandpa wasn't the only one who liked ice cream!"

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.

Fill out the easy feedback form and let me know your thoughts, questions and ideas.

Trivia Answer

Hank Aaron. At the beginning of the 1974 baseball season, Aaron was able to surpass Babe Ruth's home-run record of 714. "Hammerin' Hank" continued to hit home runs, finishing his career with 755 home runs.

Back to top