Daily News Columnist Wendy Victora discovers that she's old enough to actually be in 'vintage' photos

When I first started in this business 25 years ago, historical photos were either sepia-toned portraits from the years around World War II or small black and white square photos with fat white borders.

Color photos weren't old enough to be considered historical.

And I was still secure in my youth and brilliance.

Oh, how a few decades changes all of that.

You go from being relatively smug about your appearance to discovering that you resemble your elderly relatives in old family photos.

You find that all of your children's baby photos do, in fact, look alike. You resort to trying to identify them by their clothing or a favored toy in the background.

And photos from your childhood and early adult years become vintage. This came to my attention last week when Tina Harbuck, who writes for the Destin Log and the Daily News, started writing stories about "old" Destin Fishing Rodeo pictures.

We all gathered around to look at them and marvel at how much everything had changed. The people wore such funny clothes. The docks were empty. The boats were smaller. The fish were bigger. A lot bigger.

The first photo was from the 1990s. The next was from the 1970s.

Old, but not old. Because if those photos are old, I'm teetering on the edge of my grave. And if I am, in fact, teetering, I'm in trouble. Aging gracefully isn't easy.

You literally become less graceful.  I fell down last year and nothing makes you feel your age like falling down and getting hurt.

Other side effects of getting old is that your childhood stuff also gets old, old enough to be museum-worthy, which is not good for the ego. In fact, I have already donated some of my toys to a historical society in my hometown.

You also look in the mirror and find your mother or your grandmother looking back at you. It's not as comforting as you might imagine. It's frightening.

However, not to overstate the obvious, but as hard as growing old is, NOT growing old is worse.

I'm still here, still fighting, still trying, still smiling. And if you are reading this column, you are too.

So let's toast to old photos, old memories and just plain being old.

Stay strong, stay standing as long as possible and smile for the camera.

Daily News Managing Editor Wendy Victora can be reached at 315-4478 or wvictora@nwfdailynews.com