News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 29, 2012

Leapin’ birthdays

‘Leapers’ celebrate that once-in-4-years event today

TERRE HAUTE — As if having a Leap Year birthday isn’t unique enough, one Terre Haute teen has the type of birthday that comes around only once every 400 years.

Abigail Meehan was born at 4 a.m. on Feb. 29, 2000. That makes her a millennium baby. And the odds of that occurring are much rarer than the 1-in-1,461 chance that comes for a regular Feb. 29 birthday. Leap Years happen only in century years that are divisible by 400, such as 1600, 2000 and 2400.

Because Abby was the first baby born in Vigo County on Feb. 29, 2000, she was the first Leap Year baby born on a century year in Vigo County since at least 1600.

Abby has already celebrated today’s event with a big party last weekend. She invited 30 friends to a zebra-themed party, complete with a D.J., at the Holiday Inn.

“My dad tried to bribe me with $500 not to have a party, but I figured it out, and I chose to invite about 30 friends to celebrate with me,” she said.Unlike many people, she can remember the theme of every birthday she’s ever celebrated, because she’s had only three in her life, even though she celebrates being born every year.

When she was the conventional age 4, the theme was Strawberry Shortcake and she went roller skating. At age 8, she celebrated with her friends at the bowling alley.

She’s already planning for age 16 — she hopes to be the only “4-year-old” in town with a car!

While Abby usually finds having a Leap Year birthday to be fun and unique, it has caused a few road bumps for her. Most computer systems will not accept Feb. 29 as a valid date, causing her parents to use Feb. 28 for school and physician records.

Her mother, Amanda, said she knew that having a Leap Year baby might cause some problems for her child in the future, so she did her best to bring Abby into the world on Feb. 28, to no avail.

“I just remember pushing and pushing and pushing, trying not to have a Leap Year baby,” Amanda said this week.

But probably a more important setback, at least for Abby, is that the online social network Facebook will not accept a Leap Year birth.

“All of my friends put their birthday on Facebook, but for February, it won’t let you pick the 29th,” she said.

Abby said she doesn’t know anyone else who has her birthday. She and her classmates were assigned a report on their birthdays in fifth grade, and she was the only one who wrote about Feb. 29.

There have also been fun consequences for her birthday.

“I’ve played softball before, and they called me Leapy,” she said of her team nickname.

She also enjoys the numbers game that comes with it.

“It’s gonna be awesome when I’m 64, because I’ll only be 16!”

Abby’s youthful sentiment is shared by John Schlotterbeck, a history professor at DePauw University in Greencastle.

Schlotterbeck has been dealing with his “leaper” status for 16 birthdays. He actually turns 64 today, but is used to celebrating on Feb. 28, keeping his birthday in the same month.

“You tend to make a big deal of it every four years,” he said, but he has nothing extraordinary planned for this year.

He said he and two other infants got their photos in the newspaper in Lynn, Mass., as the Leap Year babies of 1948.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone else born on that day, however,” Schlotterbeck said.

Many Leapers don’t share their unique birthday stories, usually because the topics of birthdays don’t often come up in conversion.

Courtenay Hayes, a teacher at Ridpath Primary School in Greencastle, is not only a Leaper celebrating her 10th, or 40th, birthday today, but so is her husband — in an unofficial way.

In 1972, Courtenay and her husband Jeremy were both born in Putnam County Hospital on Feb. 29.

The family story, Courtenay said, is that Jeremy was born a few minutes past midnight on Feb. 29. His parents were asked if they wanted to have a “Leap Year baby,” she said, and they chose to go with Feb. 28 to avoid any future hassles.

Courtenay, however, was born later in the day.

Though the mothers of Jeremy and Courtenay knew each other at the time, the young couple didn’t get to know each other until they met for the first time in middle school. And the birthday issue didn’t crop up for a while.

“I don’t even remember how it came up,” Courtenay said. “It’s kind of a weird thing. It was never that big of a deal.”

She said she can remember being teased about it as a child when she turned 8. People would tell her she was really only 2. And later in college, she found out that one of her best friends was also a Leap Year baby.

Another Greencastle resident, Bill Ford, will be having his “10th” birthday today as well.

Bill was born at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis at 1:33 a.m. The newborn and his mother received celebrity treatment and publicity by the local media.

Bill’s wife, Bethany, is excited about his birthday this year, and has organized a youthful Transformers-themed birthday party for Bill at his brother Ryan’s house in Mooresville. As an actual 10-year-old, Transformers were Bill’s favorite toys, so it seemed appropriate for his 10th Leap Year birthday, as well, Bethany said.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • Elderly woman in fair condition after accident in Baesler’s lot

    An 80-year-old Terre Haute woman is listed in fair condition today at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • 2 women survive ordeal along Indiana rail bridge

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A video camera captured the terrifying plight of two women who became trapped on an 80-foot-high railroad bridge by a freight train that surprised them as they walked along the tracks.

    July 29, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 29, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on jail records.

    July 29, 2014

  • Illinois to ask voters about taxing millionaires

    BERWYN, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing voters to weigh in on whether Illinois millionaires should pay more income tax.

    July 29, 2014

  • Illinois woman dies retrieving phone from fire

    BARTONVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a central Illinois woman is dead after running back into her burning home to get her cell phone. A police officer who tried to save her was hospitalized.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ivy Tech names Jeff Fanter senior VP, Anne Valentine VP

    Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas J. Snyder announced the promotion of Jeff Fanter to the role of senior vice president for student experience, communications and marketing and Anne Valentine to the role of vice president for student experience and customer service.

    July 29, 2014

  • Change in traffic patterns at U.S. 41 intersection improvement project

    VIGO COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation reminds motorists the intersection improvement project on U.S. 41 from just south of Interstate 70 to just south of Johnson Drive has switched traffic phases. Traffic is prohibited from turning left off of U.S. 41 at both Johnson and Davis Drives.

    July 29, 2014

  • IU commemorating WWI centennial in 2014-15

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana University plans to spend the upcoming academic year exploring the lingering impact of World War I.

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time.

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign

    Indiana's higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

  • Old National acquires Michigan bank

    Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area

    Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.

    July 28, 2014

  • 65,000 chickens die in rural Indiana fire

    WARSAW, Ind. (AP) — Thousands of chickens have been killed in a fire on a northern Indiana farm.

    July 28, 2014

  • One person hospitalized after parking lot pile-up

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after an accident late this morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 28, 2014

  • Indiana teachers worry about revamped ISTEP test

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana teachers are heading back to classrooms starting this week and face the daunting task of preparing students for a standardized test that’s been retooled three times since 2009.

    July 28, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Today in History for July 29th Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity