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Old Pictures

Updated on June 22, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

The old ones were always the best; shrouded in mystery and age

We gazed upon those we wondered about there upon the page

Times gone past; memories of yesterday, frozen in black and white

Permanently saved for historical times, convenient to our sight

Some are creased, wrinkled and faded, scored by the ravages of age

Some caught moments never again to be seen except here upon the page

Memories trapped in photographic dimensions saved to eternity

Still shots of relatives long past; some of you and me

Images on paper all slick and shiny collected from camera’s trap

Stuffed into old shoe boxes and forgotten to wait a long nap

Languishing in the attic for years without discovery

Then suddenly thrust into the light all about us to share and see

There’s grandma with flour on her nose and grandpa in his suit

Old cousin Fred on his Harley and Uncle Jack playing flute

Aunt Sally Johnson wear'in pretty dress on her wedding day

And the bride and groom danced about as a banjo did play

Memories lost in time hidden in an attic’s dark keep

Set upon the glossy paper for all of time to sleep

Discovered by surprise one day; memories gone for many a year

These imaged memories of long ago that we now hold so dear

Mama changing Dorothy’s diaper; Daddy smoking that old pipe

The car parked in the barn and the garden vegetables so ripe

The times we went to the fair; the day the circus came to town

Images trapped on paper from which memories abound

Brother John coming home from the war; a happy family time

That old porch swing hung on chains where we spend time sublime

High schools dances, first romances, and even a kiss or two

All held there in a shoebox just waiting for me and you

Those times are gone as are the people never to return

All we have are the memories and the images on paper burned

They deserve a better place than the attic in an old shoebox

They should be hallowed, save, honored, and kept under lock

Whoever took the time to snap the shot and freeze things in history

Those who were considerate enough to save them for us to see

The ones faded and creased cast in black and white

The ones that keep our loving memories forever in our sight.

© Copyright Wbrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Truckstop Sally...Thank you. My mom had old shoe boxes of pictures and so did her mom...mostly black and whites but oh so interesting to look at. I was drawn to them as a child and still am as an adult. It is funny how much more interesting a black and white photo can be than a color...maybe it was because it left so much much to the imagination. I do watch the Texas Country Reporter. Bob Phillips does what I would like to be able to do better...put a tear in your eye and find some deep emotion in the heart. He is truly a visual writer of the nth degree. What a great nitch! WB

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      8 years ago

      Love this hub! I do this silly thing of leaving memories of Mom (pictures, cards, ribbons, etc) in random places -- so I am often surprised and reminded of her at the same time.

      Do you ever watch Bob Phillips' Texas Country Reporter on TV? This week they spotlighted a woman (Georgia Williams from Dallas) that started a business (Kinfolk Cards) turning old copies of her family's photographs into greeting cards. Clever!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @michael ely...Thanks Michael. The song really inspired me with its lyrics so true. It's funny how everyone seems to use shoeboxes for the same there some kind of rule. Thanks for those good words! WB

    • michael ely profile image

      michael ely 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      H i Wayne. Great poem. I can really relate to this and i'm sure a lot of people can of looking through boxes of old photographs-some of which have your own memories and some are of people you know nothing about but are still fascinated by.

      Great stuff. Really well told.


    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Randy Behavior...At least she prepared you for it, huh? And prepare you well I might add! WB

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 

      8 years ago from Near the Ocean

      I was only mildly shocked actually. Though raised by victorian aunts, Grandmother Roman Rode horses and Broncos in the rodeo, owned a racing sailboat, traveled around the world with two of her young sons, was a locally famous artist which included nudes and ended her days living off the grid and cooking on a wood stove. Yep, only mildly shocked.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @Randy Behavior...Now that does give you a different angle on grandma, doesn't it! LOL! Those old pictures still tell a lot of stories...sometimes when you don't even know the people! WB

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 

      8 years ago from Near the Ocean

      I've been scanning old documents and photos for my family's archives. The Victorian hats and old crusty cowboys are a joy to uncover. Ran across a batch of photos of my Grandmother posing nude on a horse, oh my.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @MartieCoetser...Years back, I got caught up in genealogy in both sides of my became a passion for me...too much of one. I looked at old black and whites and realized that many of those people had been there in my presence as a child. How I wish I had intelligence to question them..find out what they knew about might have unlocked some mysteries. Since then, black and whites have a different effect on my. Thanks much! WB

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      I’ve decoupaged my dinner-table and some coffee tables with old black-and-white pictures, and it really looks good and arty.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @saddlerider1...Good to see ya, Ken. The song moved me to this one. I have heard the song for a while now and listening to it the other day, the poem just kind of took shape. Glad it made a good impression. WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      8 years ago

      It brings a tear to the eye when one uncovers old photos found in the attic or drawers or cedar chests. We flick through them and lives and personalities unfold before our very eyes bringing back memories of long ago.

      Gentler times when life was a lot calmer and peaceful. I often will open up my old photo albums when I am in a nostalgic mood and it seems the older we get the more nostalgia sets in. Thanks for the share, this is a beautiful poem you captured the essence of days gone by in old photos.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @samiaali...Thank you! I thought it was a great subject and I was really affected by the song so it all came together nicely. Thank you for some great comments! WB

    • samiaali profile image


      8 years ago

      This is beautiful WB. I really loved it. I have those wonderful black and white pictures and I love them the most! Thank you. :)

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @A.A. Zavala...My mom has shoeboxes of old pictures that I have seen since childhood. In recent years, they have become much more important as I associated them with people long gone now. There is some remorse there for me in that I wish I had felt the need to hear their stories first-hand when they were here. At the time I was too blinded by my own self-centeredness and immaturity...I guess we all suffer that in our lives. Thanks for the great comments! WB

      @breakfastpop...You are so right, for so many families that is all the memories they have except the stories they learned about a given person. I wish I had learned more while they were here. Thanks for the good words! WB

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      My photos and my memories are all I have left of my Mom, Dad, and Sister. I cherish them and yes, I finally organized them. Your poetry always moves me. Voted up and beautiful.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I have many pictures, some that have cherished memories, some that take me back to times that were dark and tumultuous. Thank you for sharing.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @chspublish...Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks much for the read and comment! WB

    • chspublish profile image


      8 years ago from Ireland

      Loving the capture of old memories here.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      @JudiCastro...Thank you. I was listening to Jamie Johnson singing the song "In Color" and this poem began coming to I decided to share it! WB

      @suziecat7...I agree there is a mystic with old pictures that immediately gives me some inspiration whether I know the people or not. Sometimes its better if I don't know them then my imagination can take off! Thanks for the good words! WB

      @Amy Becherer...They do mark a place in time for each soul. You know the Native Americans were quite suspicious of having their picture made for fear that it would make their soul incapable of passing to the Great Spirit at their death. Thanks for the great comment! WB

      @Pamela99...Thanks Pamela, glad you enjoyed it and great to see you coming by! WB

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love the old pictures that captured times of the past and wonderful memories. Wonderful hub.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      It is so hard to admit that with the passing of time, the memory of loved ones dims. That's when I realize the treasures we hold in old shoeboxes filled with old memories. Those old photos give credence to the fact that the lives of those now gone were important to them, they were young once, with dreams and plans of there own, they were here and they mattered, just as our lives matter to each of us...and without them we would not be who we are. Loved this poem, Wayne. It is beautiful and so recognizable.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      8 years ago from Asheville, NC

      I love old photos even of folks I don't even know. It is history, you're right. You can't help but wonder what thoughts were there. And the memories, of course. Great Hub.

    • Judicastro profile image


      8 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

      Love this Wayne. It's so true. I open my desk drawer and strewn about are pictures of several generations of family. I always have the thought, "one day I'll get them organized". That day hasn't come yet! Have a great New Year!


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