Things That Used to Shine

loveletter collage

On December 19, 1926 my grandmother Alice  wrote to her betrothed, “I don’t know of any boy that I would rather have had than you.  I really don’t believe we could have been any better satisfied if we had searched and waited for years. I know you and I will be happy”. The letter was simply addressed to my grandfather Mr. J Paul Sauder, New Holland, Penna. and was signed, ‘your Virginia lassie’.

As I listened to the Wild Ponies’ song, Things That Used to Shine I thought of these love letters, my dad’s pocket watch, the legacy of Hazel Dickens and my scuffed up cowboy boots.  I suppose I too like things that used to shine.  Below are the lyrics of the song from the 2013 album by the same name; followed by a video of Wild Ponies a couple months ago.

I like things that used to shine, polished smooth by the grains of time. Old and used and past their prime, I like things that used to shine.

Love letters in the drawer of a flea market find, laid away ring with two months behind. A grandfather clock with a mournful chime. I like things that used to shine

A scratchy old record that still goes round, on an old turntable makes a beautiful sound. A proud father’s eyes when he starts to cry. I like things that used to shine

The way that Hazel Dickens sings, too long unchanged guitar strings, a candle holder from a bottle of wine. like things that used to shine

A roughed up penny from the year I was born, old leather boots all scuffed and worn, an old pocket watch that still keeps time
And I like things that used to shine

The way you smiled when you were mine
That sparkle in your eyes when you were mine
Can’t turn back the hands of time
I like things that used to shine

Seats are still available to see the Wild Ponies at Chestnut House Concerts on Friday, January 17, 2014. Potluck at 6:00 pm, Show at 7:00 pm. Suggested donation of $15-20 at the door. Call/text 717-940-9311 or email Tim at for more information.

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