Ken and Janice Tate

Dear Friends of the Good Old Days,

I learned to ride a two-wheeled bike when I was right around the age of 5. It was a small, black, hand-me-down contraption that my three older brothers had duly damaged, but it still served its purpose. After a couple of wobbly treks around the block with my dad holding on to the seat, I was ready to fly solo.

I must have put 100,000 miles on that trusty, rusty little cycle. I didn't care what the bike looked like. It only mattered that it got me where I wanted to go.

On my 8th birthday, Mom and Dad splurged on a new ride for me. I was overjoyed when they wheeled out a brand-new, purple-and-white girl's bike with sissy bars and a banana seat! It even had sparkly streamers on the handles and a bell to ring as I cruised the neighborhood.

I rode that bicycle with such pride for the next five years. At that point, I had saved enough of my chore money to buy a "big" bike from the local hardware store. I used that bike until I went to college.

My mom smiles when I reminisce about my bicycles and the two-wheeled adventures I had. She shared her similar excitement when she and her older sister, Dorothy, received a bicycle in 1944 for the two of them to share (see picture at left). Our bikes were special to all of us in our Good Old Days. They got us where we wanted to go.

Beloved bike stories abound in this issue, along with tales of our favorite dolls and the mischief we got into at the summer fairs and festivals of yesteryear. We are also happy to introduce another new addition - Good Old Days Poetry! We will feature classic, timeless and sometimes long-forgotten poems that many learned in school way back when. See page 50 for our first installment.

Mary Beth Weisenburger signature
Mary Beth Weisenburger, Editor

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.