Dad 1981
Stories For the Infinite Future

...When I'm 64

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Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

When The Beatles released that tune on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, I was 26 years old and age 64 was so far off in the future to me that I couldn’t imagine what it would be like.

Ronni age 64 Today, 38 years later, I am 64 and I am still working on imagining what it’s like to be that old.

From one point of view, the time has gone by in flash. When I close my eyes, I can be that young woman in my mind. I see myself in our living room in Houston, Texas, where my then-husband and I played the Sgt. Pepper album, when it was new, again and again with friends, mixing it up with Alice’s Restaurant which was released about the same time. The year was 1967, and the world was a different place:

Teens and 20-somethings were converging on San Francisco where Flower Power and the Summer of Love were in vogue. Tim Leary was exhorting us to “Tune in, turn on and drop out,” and anything British was all the rage in the U.S.

People were reading Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby, Our Crowd by Stephen Birmingham and William Styron’s The Confessions of Nat Turner. At the movies, we were watching Bonnie and Clyde, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night.

Mickey Mantle hit his 500th career home run. Peggy Fleming won the world figure skating championship in Vienna. Billy Jean King won just about every tennis competition in the world open to women. And Twiggy was the model for every young girl to emulate.

Lyndon Johnson was president. His wife, Lady Bird, was busy beautifying highways. Israel captured the city of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War. Che Guevara was killed. Muhammad Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army. The anti-Vietnam war movement was coming to a head and we didn't yet know the awful events we would witness the following year.

I can remember it like yesterday and yet, so much has happened in between - too much to synopsize. My timeline will have to suffice.

It was about a year ago that I began this blog in earnest, searching then and still for what it’s really like to get older. I have a somewhat better idea of that now (though not nearly enough) through these daily postings which have become the narrative thread of my days – and through the conversations that have resulted with those of you who have so kindly accompanied me on this continuing quest.

There is nothing I look forward to more right now than to blow out the 64 candles today and keep up the pursuit.

“It’s frighteningly important for a writer to be his age, not to be younger or older than he is.”
- W.H. Auden in a Paris Review interview, 1972 (at age 64)

I believe that's "frighteningly important" for all of us.

Comments

Oh I adore that Auden quote.

Happy Birthday Ronni! Let me be the first to "blog" that to you.

As I "accompany" you through these conversations on becoming older, I become more aware of this extraordinary stage of my emotional, physical, social and cognitive development. Your blog is helping me understand and identify confusions and fear, and permits me joy about age.

Let us all today celebrate The Age of Ronni!

Happy birthday, Ronni, and many happy returns. I'm back from Budapest, a beautiful city where I thought of you several times.
I'll drink some Tokay wine to your health and to thank you for your great blog and often inspiring thoughts.

And from me too, Ronni. Happy Birthday. I often think of the Beatles' song - it can sometimes just pop into my head.

The Auden quote is clever - but not necessarily accurate. For some people 64 is young and for others 64 is very old. I really don't know what it means to be my age. I do know, though, that I am very content to be 57 neither wanting to slow down nor speed up the process. I feel as though I have entered the most rewarding of phases.

Sixty-four was never better than when resting on your capable shoulders, Ronni. I doff my hat to one who knows how to live, rather than exist. Happy birthday, Ronni.

I am sitting here listening to my heart beat trying to act my age and I feel like skipping and singing as I listen to that song you are singing. In my mind I imagine that you are singing to me and that makes my heart flutter.

So what is 64. It is a composite of all the ages up til 64. So there will always be a bit of 23 or 6 or 39 in you.

Happy Birthday lovely Lady.
Michael

Happy Birthday. I'm so happy to know you a little through your blog. You give me a lot to think (and feel) about.

Happy Birthday, Ronni, and many more to come. We celebrate life with you.

Your writing contimues to delight. Whether you intended it to be this way or not, it is like a daily peek into a time capsule full of unexpected treasures.

Thank you for reminding me of many happy times from the past.

Blessings Roni.....

Happy Birthday, Ronni!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Best wishes for many more years of good health and great happiness!

Happy birthday, Ronni. Although I've never left a comment before, your blog has become a daily part of my life, and this seems like a good opportunity to thank you for it.

Happy Birthday! I am going to be 50 next month, and have been thinking a lot about ageing. Your blog has been a springboard for many thoughts on this topic!

Many happy returns of the day.

Dorothy L. Sayers:
"Except ye become as little children, except you can wake on your fiftieth birthday with the same forward-looking excitement and interest in life that you enjoyed when you were five, "ye cannot enter the kingdom of God." One must not only die daily, but every day we must be born again."

A very happy day to both five year old Ronni and sixty-four year old Ronni. I hope you dance.

Wishing you a very happy birthday, Ronni, and a wonderful year of being 64!

Thank you for this lovely post, which took me back to many memories of my childhood in Houston during that period. And thank you for sharing your journey here.

Love your Blog and look forward to reading you every day.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Ronni!

Hope I'm not too late for the party! Have a fabulous birthday, and thanks for welcoming us in on your journey.

Happy Birthday, Ronni, from one whose 64th preceded yours (by 6 mos). I still have my Beatles albums and I remember thinking when I heard that song that I could not even conceive of what I might be like at 64. I do believe that I am just the same inside as I was back then. Too bad the outside doesn't match!

Ronni, I just looked at another blog and she has a comment about the way music affects our cells. Seems they start acting like young cells if we listen to music from earlier eras. Check it out:

zeneece.blogspot.com

Happy birthday Ronni. I'll be 41 on Monday, and I feel both older and wiser (and tireder) AND no different than I did at 20.

Strange, huh?

I don't know about Auden. I'm 74, think like 30, act like 90. Am I in violation of anti-aging laws?

Hi Ronnie

Wishing you a very happy birthday. From where I sit you are very young and have many good times ahead of you.


A toast to you!!

Millie

Ronni,
Here's to you with a"Happy Birth-Day" wish and a deeply sincere thank you for your "birth" of this blog! You so elegantly produce each day's subject.......and I can't wait to see what will be the current pleasure as I click my mouse to visit you.

Hope your day was great!

Happy Birthday, a bit late.

Ronni___

by all means have a gleeful
64

as an elder of yours
by some months
and a certified crone
I am overjoyed to observe
there is a difference between
ageing and growing old

from your photos I suspect
you already know this.

It has come as one of the greatest
(and pleasantest) surprises
of my life
that I should feel
and be
and do
as I feel
be
and do
at this time of life

whodda thunk it!

Happy Birthday! "Time Goes By" is a must read for me. Thanks for checking in at the Maldenite. Your support and comments are greatly appreciated!

Oh Happy 64th Birthday Ronni!

Thankyou for bringing 1967 back to life and reminding me again of how innocent and naive I was back then. I was 17 and like you remember playing the Beatles' Sgt Peppers's album over and over with my fellow "Beatlemaniac" best friend Sue - and upon hearing "When I'm 64" thinking it was a way far off age reserved for the elderly. Now Paul McCartney himself is 64 and if I recall correctly, he sang "When I'm 64" at the Super Bowl and it was a terrific reminder that one can surely "still rock" at that young age.

And there are many wonderful wisdom-filled years ahead!

When I turn 64 in 2014, I think my still dear friend Sue and I will get out the old Sgt. Peppers album (we still have all of our Beatles albums) and play "When I'm 64" again (and again).

Have a wonderful 65th year!

Best Regards,
Melinda

Belated Birthday Greetings! Thanks for all you are, do and blog! :-)

Happy birthday, Ronni. Belated by two days but absolutely, truly, straight from the heart. How I wish I had read your blog on April 7. But by the time you posted it, it would have been April 8 here in Singapore. I loved the snatch from the Beatles, the quote from Auden, the movies you mentioned. Those were the days -- but the best is yet to come. Shine on, Ronni, write on.

A belated Happy Birthday to you, Ronni. What you wrote about 1967 brought back many memories for me. I was fifteen/sixteen that year and all those movies you mentioned were ones that I saw at least six times. That was the year I dropped out of school and I spent many afternoons hiding out in movie theaters.

We both have the same cultural memories but at 16 I would have see you as part of my mother's generation since you and she were both adults. Heck, I thought eighteen-year-old college students were adults at that time.

Your post made me wonder what "my" or "our" generation means. What defines a generation? I thought is was made up of people who share the same cultural memories.

Belated happy 64th, Ronni! Thank you so much for your wonderful blog and friendship.

Ronni, while it is a happy belated birthday, I hope each day is special in a birthday like way!

Enjoy!

Ronni: happy, oh happy 64. Six plus four equals 10. Remind you of anything? This will be a good year. As for "will you still need me, will you still feed me?" Well Ronni, as long as there's Marinella, we'll still feed each other. I'm looking forward to our joint b-day celebration, somewhere in the West Village. I send you e-hugs.

See what happens when you get behind in your blog reading, you miss the party!

Happy birthday, and many more O Pioneer into the Territory Ahead

A belated Happy Birthday, Ronni - I am sorry I missed the actual date. It appears the feed that I use onto LiveJournal isn't updating any more, so I'm trying to remember to stop by - but I'm bad at that, I fear!

Belated happy birthday!! I'm so sorry it's late, but I have managed to get woefully behind with my blog reading... Hope you had a great day though and that the year ahead will be successful and fulfilling.

[And btw, in your birthday picture, you look sooo much like your Aunt Edith!]

Ronnie,
We will be going to New york on May 14th to celebrate our friend's 64th birthday.
The Beatles song ,When I'm 64 was one that he loved to sing on his 40th and every birthday since. How about a big Happy Birthday from one who knows. Thanks , Pat

What's funny about the 64th birthday, Pat, is that without the Beatles' song, it wouldn't mean anything. It's not one of those round zero or even a 5-ending celebration. But the Beatles' tune has made it an event.

I strongly suggest all 64 candles on your friends' cake. It soooo festive.

And big happy birthday to your friend.

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