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by Abigail Van Buren

The 'Good Old Days' Are Those We're Living Today

DEAR ABBY: I wrote the enclosed essay for our newsletter here at the Lutheran Apartments and thought you might like to share it with your readers. Although I'm retired, I am still listed in "Marquis Who's Who in Entertainment." I haven't the slightest idea of why I'm in that series -- since at 79 I am too old to sing or dance, and my jokes are ancient. -- MYRON J. QUIMBY, ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.

DEAR MYRON: No one is too old to sing or kick up his heels if he feels like it. Clever humor never goes out of style. I'm delighted to share your essay with my readers:

REMEMBER THE "GOOD OLD DAYS"?

I frequently hear people talk about the "good old days."

As I recall, those were the days when you could buy a loaf of bread or a quart of milk for a dime, a hot dog or even a tamale for a nickel. But they were also the days when millions of people didn't HAVE a dime or even a nickel. Fathers were anxious to work and so were 12 million others, but there were no jobs to be had.

Those were the days when you could skate or ride your bicycle on the streets without fear of being hit by a car. But they were also the days when parents couldn't afford to buy skates, a bicycle, and certainly not a car. Ah, the "good old days"!

It was a time when you could go to sleep with all your windows open (no air conditioning), or leave your home and not even lock the door. There was little fear of being robbed. But it was also a time when you really didn't have anything worth stealing, anyhow.

Lest we forget, it was a time of hunger, fear of tuberculosis, polio, and a host of childhood diseases. Our parents were old at 40, and if they lived to be 60 they were ANCIENT!

Today, we cure tuberculosis and prevent polio, mumps, measles and even chickenpox. So the next time you hear somebody talk about the "good old days," remind them of the "good days TODAY" -- and go smilingly on your way.

DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I plan to be married next spring. It has been decided that his mother is no longer welcome at the ceremony. We haven't come up with a polite way to tell her.

To avoid potential problems, we are considering going on a "vacation," during which we will be married with only a few friends in attendance.

Have you any other ideas? -- WE HAVE OUR REASONS

DEAR WE HAVE OUR REASONS: There is no polite way to tell your future mother-in-law she is no longer welcome to attend your wedding. An elopement would achieve your goal without humiliating her.

TO ALL MY JEWISH READERS, A HAPPY HANUKKAH!

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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