Not too long after I woke up this morning, it hit me. One month from today, I will reach another milestone, as far as birthdays are concerned.
Since I was in junior high I have often found myself humming -- even singing out loud at times -- the words to the Beatles' "When I'm Sixty-Four." My favorite lines have always been:
"Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?"
The age of 64 always seemed so distant, even when the years began slipping by faster and faster, even when the youngest of four children had reached her early 30s. I still could never imagine being that old, but now that 64 is just around the bend, it has actually caused to me look back instead of ahead.
I became curious about what was actually going on the year I was born, way back in 1953. Had the world changed that much? I'll let you judge for yourself.
º The first things I noticed were that the New York Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series and that the Minneapolis Lakers won the NBA title. Well, the Dodgers are obviously no longer in Brooklyn, and for those who feel the Los Angeles Lakers are defined by the career of Kobe Bryant, you might be surprised to know the team actually started out playing about seven hours north of Quincy.
º Dwight Eisenhower oversaw my birth as president. I have also been alive for the presidencies of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Some quick math says I've been around for 12 of our country's 45 presidents.
º There was not an extraordinary number of famous people born in 1953, except -- for some reason -- musicians. There's some definite irony there because I am tone-deaf and the only instrument I ever really played was the accordion. Among the musicians who arrived in 1953 were Cyndi Lauper, Pat Benatar, Michael Bolton, Chaka Khan, Geddy Lee of Rush, Malcolm Young of AC/DC, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick and Tito Jackson.
º Elvis Presley recorded his first songs in 1953 at tiny Sun Studio in Memphis, Tenn., a place my wife and I were able to see a couple of years ago.
º Swanson introduced TV dinners in 1953. I ate a lot of those things growing up when Mom and Dad were working. The turkey was always my favorite, even though I was never quite sure what ingredients went into the "gravy."
º The first color TV sets were in introduced in 1953, with a price tag of $1,150.
º Winning the 1953 Academy Award for best picture was "From Here to Eternity," a film featuring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine. Not every film that year, however, was a classic. "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars" and "Trot Whistle Plunk and Boom" were also major releases.
I have a month to come to grips with being 64. I'm not sure whether I want a party. I think I will probably be quite content simply sitting in my recliner and listening to some music, specifically Beatles music.
Even more specifically, one particular Beatles song.