Longtime San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan retired last week. The 40-year-old forward was one of the oldest players on the court; he had spent his entire 19-year NBA career on the Spurs. “It wasn’t any fun any more,” he said.
You can be washed up as a basketball player at 30 or as a race car driver by 50 but the Stones and Chicago and show you can still be a rock star at 70.
Robert Lamm who may be the youngest of the old rockers is the old man of Chicago; he was born in 1944. There’s a long list. Mick Jagger was born in 1943. Paul McCartney, Al Jardine and Brian Wilson (born 1942). Eric Burdon, Paul Simon and Artie Garfunkel (born 1941). Ringo (born 1940). Dion (born 1939). And Leonard Cohen, forced by finances to go back on tour in 2008, was born in 1934.
Chuck Berry (born 1926) will perform his 207th show at Blueberry Hill in his native St. Louis on August 13.
“So do you think you should’ve been a rock star?” SWMBO asked. “With the drugs, sex, fame, fortune and all that annoying crap? Because you want to be on the road at 70?”
Jeez. Sex, fame, fortune. When you put it that way…
The full Social Security benefit age — the unofficial official retirement age in the U.S. — is 66 for people born in 1943-1954; it gradually rises to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
Huh. I turn 67 this week so I did the “fun” test, too. First I had to list what I actually do. Alphabetically, of course.
- Goof off
- Invent stuff
- Keep an Arts Council going
- Photograph stuff
- Renovate houses
- Repair houses
- Run a small business with engineering and IT clients
- Stage concerts
- Write other stuff
I like to be on stage but I never wanted to be a rock star. My hands aren’t big enough to hold a basketball but I never wanted to play ball. I was a race car driver and would still do it if someone would pay me but it’s tough to win as we get older.
Dangerous, too. Ove Andersson was a Swedish rally driver and the first head of Toyota’s F1 program who died at 70 in a vintage rally crash in South Africa. Bob Akin, journalist, television commentator, and champion sports car driver, was killed at 66 in a crash while testing a Nissan GTP for the Walter Mitty Challenge. J. D. McDuffie, 52, died in a crash at the Glen. Dale Earnhardt was almost 50 when he died in a crash at Daytona. Neil Bonnett died at 47 when he returned to racing after retiring.
Still, Morgan Shepherd took the wheel of the Number 52 Toyota at age 71 and became the oldest driver ever to start a race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series and became the second-oldest NASCAR Cup winner (after Harry Gant) when he won in Atlanta at the age of 51. He had made his Cup debut in 1970 but, even with no chance to grab a competitive ride, he still has no plans of slowing down.
OK, no slowing down, just changing direction.
- I’ve already spent entirely too much time doing Windows 10 upgrades this month and didn’t have any fun. Some of my IT clients have already retired and I have now passed all but one of the rest to a really great shop in St Albans. Cool. IT Department will close this year.
- I like goofing off. Keep.
- Ditto inventing stuff, photographing stuff, renovating stuff, traveling, and writing other stuff. I should do more of that and improve the workflow so I have time to do #2.
- I’m ready. If I never have to fix anything in an old house again, I’d have time to do #2 and #3.
- I like the arts and enjoy the people but I’m not in North Puffin enough any more to do it justice.
Volunteer Chief Cook and Bottle Washer Needed
Longtime local arts service organization chair is stepping down. The search starts now. Inquire within.
“When I start hitting the wall or something, then maybe it’s time to get out,” Mr. Shepherd told Sports Illustrated in 2013.
Morgan Shepherd gives us all hope innit. Maybe we could race a little again, too?
Let me see if I can put this into perspective: Mick Jagger will be a father at 73 (don’t think you want that), renovate/repair houses (really?) I would really love it if you or I would never have a “do over” to an old house again. Remember, I am getting older also (and ahead of you), drive race car again (don’t know, do they still do vintage racing anymore?). Love you, dear.