Boomer Grandpa: It's fact of life that aging in just in the cards

The information was very clear. It said, "Check your new card carefully. If there are any errors or omissions, or if you have questions regarding your new card, please contact us at…"

There is no question there has been a mistake because the person, the face, the look on that brand spanking new driver license card could not be me. This person looks very timeworn and over 60 years old.

I recently drove to the Rochester City Hall to apply for the license and get my picture taken. They had to take a second one. Good gravy, I would have hated to see the first photo, because the second one is the worst picture of myself I have ever seen.

I still have my last eight Minnesota driver's licenses. What a difference. The oldest one I still have expired in 1986. This means I applied for it in 1982. It looks like I have a light jacket on, a shirt and nicely groomed very black hair and black mustache.

My daughter was 3 and my son was born in January 1982. We were living in Finlayson, Minn., and we were driving a beat-up 1970 white Dodge Polara and a blue 1977 Ford Ranger XLT pickup. Gas was 91 cents a gallon and Reagan was president. My life as a father was just getting underway.


My wife DeeDee was a registered nurse and we made the decision that she would stay home with the kids when they were little. She worked every other weekend and an occasional Wednesday evening. With that schedule, we needed literally no day care as I would look after them during the time she worked.

'I am cool'

The next license expired in 1990, so I had gotten my picture taken in 1986. I have some big hair here, as it was brushed straight back and a little puffed out. I must have gotten this picture taken after work, because it looks like I might have a tie on. I still look really young in this one and I have a little bit of an "I am cool" look on my face.

My children were 8 and 4. We still lived in Finlayson, Minn. Gas was still under a buck a gallon. In the summer of 1988, we moved to Rochester when I transferred to work at the Federal Medical Center. DeeDee stayed home full-time now and volunteered at Gage Elementary School to help the kids get adjusted. Things were a little tight, but that was our choice.

The next license I still possess expired in 1998. Again, a photo after work as I am sporting a tie and sport coat. However I look like someone just woke me up from a nap. Still bouffant hair and a bigger, bushier mustache. It looks like the first small spattering of grey in the hair. I now had one kid in college and the other in high school. Gas was $1.15 per gallon. DeeDee was now working full-time for that kid-in-college expense and another one would be there soon.

The next license expired in 2002. A nice conservative haircut with the mustache toned down a little. That year my daughter would get married and my son was attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Gas was up to $1.61 per gallon and it seemed like life was accelerating. With the kids gone, we weren't sure where the time had gone, but I have to admit DeeDee and I liked it.

'Gray, baby, gray'

The next license expired in 2008. Short hair and I hadn't shaved for a few weeks. Beard was pretty grey but still some dark color in the hair. I was semi-retired so that was part of the reason for the unkempt look. No more ties. Somehow we now had two grandkids.


The next was the license that expired in 2010. This one was the big change in appearance. I had a small smile but the hair and mustache were a different color — gray, baby, gray. The next one that expired this year in 2014 was even grayer. I had a smile on my face. It was apparent I wasn't thinking about how I looked in that picture. This was the first license I wore my glasses for the photo. Gas prices change so much you're not sure what it will be. I think I paid $3.29 a gallon the other day.

So there you go. I have eight old driver licenses in a drawer tucked away in my nightstand next to the bed. I'm not sure why I don't just shred them. Sometimes it's hard to let go of those images of who you were years ago. I know I won't look at that current license in my wallet unless I absolutely have too. It's not pretty.

I know we should embrace this aging thing. I know we have this wonderful wisdom and experience and for the most part boomers are happy with many aspects of where they are in their life.

However, I do pine for the man I was. The guy with jet black hair. The guy who could run from first to third on a base hit. The guy who could hit the long ball.

Forgive me: I am kicking and screaming, as I move through my 60s. Who do I contact about this?

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