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Memphis Commercial Appeal - Printer-friendly story

Feb. 29 babies cherish quadrennial birthday as special, auspicious occasion

By Lindsay Melvin


Birthdays are a big deal. But when they roll around only once every four years, they’re monumental.

This year, Leap Year babies, or those born on Feb. 29, will get the rare opportunity to celebrate their birthday on the actual date they were born.

Yet some are sticklers for pulling out the party hats only on their real birthday.

Since Martin Goodkin’s first birthday at age 4, the Florida retiree has never celebrated the in-between years.

Instead, he orchestrates mammoth events when Feb. 29 makes its appearance on the calendar.

Born in 1936, the former Memphian is getting ready to celebrate his 19th birthday, he said.

His best bash ever, he recalled, was in 1976 when he invited 360 people to a party of wedding proportions at the Hilton Hotel near the airport.

Food, booze and big-band music flowed day and night, he said.

“How often do you get to do that?” he chuckled, adding, “You don’t turn 10 every day.”

Goodkin has already arranged the details for this year’s birthday, in which he will shuttle 20 friends to dinner and a Broadway show.

This will be the first time his Memphis friends won’t be attending, he said.

“The economy has really hit them bad,” he said.

Goodkin says that in all his years, he’s never longed for an annual birthday.

“I saw other kids’ birthdays. They had a cupcake and that’s all they did,” he said.

“I feel sorry for all the other people doing the same thing every year.”

— Lindsay Melvin: 529-2445



My presents are coming in–hurray–a new “A Chorus Line” poster, 4 boxes of cookies, a mysterious gift from California (I don’t open my presents until THE day!) white orchids, 9,345 (well almost) cards from a crazy lady in North Carolina LOL,  a new a/c from Gateway and more–2 days to go!! Tomorrow it is “A Week With Marilyn” and dinner at Texas De Brazil and then Wednesday The Cheesecake Factory and the opening of “Billly Elliot–The Musical”!


February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!

Just 1 days to our next birthday!

Posted February 28, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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