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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday — February 27, 2004


Leap Year babes
find much to laugh

Express Staff Writer

Born in 1936, Arlee Hupser of Fairfield is turning 17 on Sunday. That’s right, having been birthed on Feb. 29, she’s one of those creatures known as Leap Year Babies. She said her mother always celebrated her birthday on either Feb. 28 or March 1. Most leap year babies, of which there are approximately 4 million in the world, consider themselves Februarians and won’t celebrate in March at all.

"I was teased because I didn’t have a birthday," Hupser said, and then laughed. "But on my last birthday four years ago, when I turned 16, my granddaughter had her 16th birthday, too. That was pretty neat."

Andrea Heath celebrated her "10th birthday" with her parents in Ketchum this week. Courtesy photo

Another Leap Year Baby, Andrea Heath of Portland was visiting this week to celebrate her birthday with her parents, who live in Warm Springs. She said she’s always celebrated her birthday the day before. "My grandparents believe I was born on Feb. 28."

She was born 40 years ago in the Philippines and time zone-wise, it’s a day ahead, so that when her parents called home to announce her birth it was Feb. 28 stateside.

"Actually it’s a family joke. It’s more fun when your older—I’m turning 10—it can’t get much stranger. My four kids give me a hard time."

But when she was younger it was no picnic. "Your name doesn’t get put up on the calendar, so sometimes they forget and there was no celebration at school."

Get this: There is approximately a one in 1,506 chance of being a Leap Year Baby. In Norway, one family should be buying lottery tickets this Sunday. Mrs. Henriksen gave birth to her three grown children, Olav, Heidi and Leif-Martin, on consecutive Leap Years.

While many of us hate turning a dreaded year older, Leap Year babes are joyous because this year it’s all about them.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.