Story Weekend: The Magazines in Your Life

My work-in-progress is set in 1960, so I went on ebay and bought a whole slew of magazines from that year. Despite the mildew (wow, do old magazines reek!), I’ve enjoyed checking out the news of the day (Kennedy vs Nixon),  the fashion (girdles, garters and shirtwaist dresses), and especially the advertisements (Ipana toothpaste, S & H green stamps, and Philip Morris cigarettes). Needless to say, magazines are on my mind and I wondered what stories you have about the magazines in your life, either from your younger years or from today.

If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. As always, there are a few “rules”:

▪   The story must be true

▪   Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.

▪   Avoid offensive language.

Have a good weekend, everyone!


  1. Diane Chamberlain on March 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Paul McCartney’s favorite flavor was chocolate. His favorite color was green. He liked to read science fiction. He was agnostic (and I learned a new word). That’s what I told my parents when they said I was wasting my time reading Sixteen magazine. To this day, when I hear the word agnostic, I think of Paul and wonder if he ever changed his mind.

  2. Martha O'Quinn on March 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

    My first magazine memory stems from the 40s when magazines about film stars were popular and edited to contain only the beautiful (unlike the ones today even though I’m sure there was plenty to write about the idols from my late childhood and early teens). I had scrapbooks full of handsome men and glamorous women from which my cousin and I dreamed of emulating, not so much an individual star, but their portrayed lifestyles. We were going to become teachers, live together in a trailer in Hollywood and wait to be discovered. Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson, Van Johnson, Ava Gardner, June Allyson, Esther Williams….

  3. Amy Feld on March 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    At eight, I started reading Newsweek. I could count on its delivery every week. Then Good Housekeeping started coming, which was great since its articles were more interesting. The first subscription in my name was for Seventeen, when I was eleven. Five years later, my first letter to the editor was printed (after sending many), so I considered myself a published writer with important opinions :). Now, I only read digital magazines, but I miss running to the mailbox, hoping the next edition of my favorite magazine.

  4. Kim Knezevich on March 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I was in the pediatrician’s office with my child when he was younger & got to talking with another mom about how the doctor’s offices of today are so different than our childhood. “Back in the day” (as my son calls it!), the waiting rooms had a few beaten up & germy toys (dolls with missing heads, backwards legs, knotted hair) & a couple of Tonka trucks with listing wheels. Now they are equipped with mini-movie theaters, Lego Land, & climbing toys! What happened to the Highlights magazines?! They were always my favorite & I always crossed my fingers that I was the first to read it so I could do the puzzles & word searches & find it pictures! Sadly, my son doesn’t even know what a Highlights magazine is & told me that I “must have been reeeaaaallllyyy bored” when I had to go to the doctor as a kid!

  5. Debbie Hearne on March 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Sixteen Magazine….oh I loved it. I would read each page and stare at the photos! The Beatles were my favorites and Paul was the cutest! I wanted to be Jane Asher! A few years later I discovered True Love Magazines and I had to sneak to read those because I wasn’t allowed to buy them!

  6. Cindy on March 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Magazines…I can remember reading those ‘True Love Magazines” that my aunt had…I also had to hide them…lol. One day about 10 years ago, I was in an old abandoned house and found a stack of old magazines from the 40’s. I don’t know what I did with them, but I was surprised at some of the content. For me the most shocking thing was the advertisement for Lysol. I cannot believe the gest of it. Ladies, if your husband has been working late or being stand offish, you should know, that you might have some feminine hygiene problems. Lysol used as a douche, will make your husband love you again… I could not believe that was in the magazine. Especially talking about feminine hygiene.

  7. Margo on March 18, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Have always been a magazine girl. PEOPLE became a new one and the thought of saving every single copy since its start became a great idea to me. First issue had Mia Farrow on the cover for ‘The Great Gatsby’. Mother wondered what on earth I was doing collecting these weekly and storing them in the basement. Years went by and the piles grew. I started asking myself, what on earth am I doing…many years later I discarded them. Teenage foolishness.

  8. Lorraine on March 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I’ve always loved magazines, from Cosmo to Country Woman…and oddly I usually read them backwards. Today however the one I buy most often is the same one that has graced my mothers shelf for as long as I can rememeber….Woman’s World. Always informative, current, helpful and interesting….and above all…minimal advertising.

  9. Christina Wible on March 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Whenever I get “enthusiastic” about something the first thing I do is subscribe to a journal or a magazine about that topic. This can lead to an unwanted clog in my mailbox. Six years ago I got what I considered a “dream job” only to be completely sick of it within three months. I quit but I had to endure another 9 months of journals about the topic and the attendant slew of ads that appeared in the mail when the journals “shared” my address. Just last week I had a recruiter call me recruiting me for my old job!

  10. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on March 19, 2012 at 1:14 am

    My teen mag was Ingenue; loved the articles & fashions! I’ll never forget an article featuring Tab Hunter that offered he had driven a friend somewhere and when she exited the car he told her to hold her stomach in while she was walking down the street, to strengthen her abdominal muscles.

    Although I did not have a stomach that needed holding in, due to the power of suggestion I practiced the excerise constanty. In all fairness, it’s probably the reason my abdominal muscles recovered so quickly after birth. Thanks Tab!

    Later it was Natural History, for I am intrigued by the the night sky; Venus & Jupter are currently providing entertainment after sunset!

  11. krystal on March 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I have never had a magazine subscription in my name but always wanted to have one. My grade 4 class use to get a bunch of highlights as a classroom subscription. Each student got a copy I think to bring home and show there parents that was alot of fun. I remember the first magazine that i ever picked up was the J-14 mags. I loved buying those about once a month or every other month when saved enough money. As I got older I pick up random magazines when the headlines catch my interest. I even buy magazines as gifts(first i secretly hid them, then when i finish i wrap it up and give it as a present) I love reading the soap magazines. and when there was a store by my house that use to sell Crotian magazines we would buy those for my grandma.

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