When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

— John Lennon and Paul McCartney

I remember 1967 like it was yesterday even though I turned just 13 that year.

It was the first time in my life that I tried to imagine myself reaching the age of 64.

My imagination was sparked by the release that year of an album by the Beatles including the Paul McCartney vocal, “When I’m 64.”

I recall even doing the arithmetic and figuring out that I would be 64 in 2018. It seemed like a long way off in 1967 – and it has been. Lots of water under the bridge – lots of course changes, lots of surprises.

I wondered if I would even remember that Beatles song after 51 years had gone by. Little did I know that I would hear the song at least twice a week on the Sirius-XM Beatles channel – and that every time I heard it, I would think back to being 13 years old and hearing it for the first time.

You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you
I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

I also wondered if I would be mending fuses, which I knew how to do at 13. It didn’t occur to me there would be no more fuses. I wondered who I might be going with on Sunday rides. It certainly wasn’t with anyone I knew at 13. And, as for gardening and weeding, I never did develop any fondness for either – not even at 64.

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck and Dave
Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

I never did get to rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight – even though it did sound dear. Grandchildren I have, but not a Vera, Chuck or Dave among them.

One thing I didn’t imagine, oddly enough, was listening to the Beatles at 64 almost as much as I did at 13 – and enjoying them more, if that would even be possible.

So, forgive me for this round-about, self-indulgent way of calling attention to my 64th birthday today.

It’s not so bad, especially when you have someone dear to share it with – even if neither of us is doing the gardening and digging the weeds.

I love all my children, all of whom are older than I was in 1967 – some of them by a long shot, obviously, with kids of their own.

One thing I was sure about at 13 was that I would be writing most of my life – whether it was professionally or just for fun. It’s all I’ve ever enjoyed doing, besides playing baseball, which I have not been able to do for many years. So I watch it instead.

What will I be doing today? I’ll be working hard – like I have my whole life, with no retirement in sight.

Lyrics copyright John Lennon / Paul McCartney, 1967

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