Calendars correct, but birthdays rare
South Shore photographer J.T. Ravize played soccer at Berkeley at age 5 and started bar hopping that same year. He was flying planes at 7 and happily married by the time he was 9.
How is this possible?
Well, he was a leap year baby, of course, born Feb. 29, 1960.
“I’m 10 now, and determined to act my age,” Ravize said.
Statistically, one of every 1,461 people is born in a leap year. There are an estimated 200,000 in the United States and 4.1 million worldwide.
But this leap year is even more unique. It is the first leap year to begin a century since 1600.
The leap year system was adopted by Julius Caesar to keep the calendar from getting out of whack. It was adjusted in 1582 by Pope Gregory XII. An extra day is added every four years, except for years ending in 00, unless the year is divisible by 400. So 2000 is a leap year, but 1900, 1800 and 1700 were not.
“I’m turning 10 on the first leap of the century in 400 years and I’m pretty glad to make it into double digits,” said Ravize, who celebrated his childhood birthdays on one of his brother’s birthdays.
“When I was younger I was grouped with my brothers,” he said. “Three of the four brothers were born Feb. 29, March 2 and March 4, so I just had a party when my brothers had one, except every four years and then it was my special day.”
South Shore’s first “leaper” of 2000 was born Tuesday, just before 3 a.m. at Barton Memorial Hospital.
Delores Valladolid gave birth to Luis Jr., the first son in her family of three daughters.
“We’re very happy because this is our first boy,” Luis Valladolid said.
And this boy won’t be sharing parties with his sisters.
“We think we’ll celebrate (his birthday) on the 28th, except for the years when there is a Feb. 29.”
Delores said her baby is special because leap babies only come every four years.
Ravize had some advice to offer to young Luis and other leap year babies.
“Enjoy it,” he said. “When you’re young, it’s a hassle, but when you get older it’s a really great thing to be a quarter of your age.”
– AP contributed to this story.
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