Dennis Klenda will celebrate the date of his birth for the 19th time Saturday, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his birth certificate.
“I tell people I’m 19 and they look at me like I’m kind of crazy,” he said.
Klenda, now 76 by official standards, was born in a leap year and still celebrates with family every four years.
“It’s different, there’s no doubt about it,” Klenda said.
Being born Feb. 29 requires a sense of humor because there’s a bit of extra grief that comes with the birthday, 24-year-old Griffin Case said.
“When I was a little kid they used to joke around a lot,” he said. “I think any more, people just don’t believe me if it ever comes up.”
Case now views it like any other day, but enjoys celebrating the actually day of his birth.
“Doing stuff for my birthday is always fun,” he said. “It is a little more fun every four years when we do the real one.”
While not a party person himself, Klenda said it’s an opportunity for the family to get together and see each other.
“We’d come to somebody’s house and everybody was there,” he said. “They did that a few times and I told them I didn’t want to celebrate anymore. My kids are coming home Saturday, so I guess we’re going to celebrate yet.”
It made a positive difference Case, however, when he reached the legal drinking age a few years ago. Since Feb. 29 didn’t fall that year Case was able to celebrate a day early.
“The only time it really mattered lately was when I turned 21,” he said. “We went out for my 21st birthday, but I think legally they let it count on the 28th.”