What were the odds that so many Lodi-area residents will celebrate their birthdays on the most quirky of days — 11/11/11? The News-Sentinel knows of 18 such people.
But what may be the most amazing coincidence today is that three young girls actually turned 11 today — on 11/11/11.
“Ever since she was little, we knew she would have this special birthday,” Michelle Souza said of her daughter, Emily, a Lockeford Elementary School student who’s celebrating birthday No. 11 today.
Emily, who received a birthday card with 11 lottery tickets earlier this week, is going to the movies, having a sleepover and celebrating with friends and family for her birthday.
Sandy and James Musgrave, whose daughter Annie is 11 today, say she was actually born at 1:11 p.m. The only problem is that the clock at Lodi Memorial Hospital in 2000 read 1:10. The Musgraves argued with hospital personnel at the time, insisting that their watches read 1:11, but to no avail.
Annie’s birth certificate reads 1310, which is 1:10 p.m. in military time. But as far as the Musgraves are concerned, their child is a 1:11 p.m. baby.
“My wife and I are both accountants,” James Musgrave explained.
Another mom, Maggie Sterni of Lodi, is excited because 7 and 11 are lucky numbers. Her daughter, Ashlin, turns 2 today.
“When I was pregnant, I told everyone I had to take her to a casino,” Sterni said. “Obviously I couldn’t do that.”
Sterni said she thought about buying a Lotto ticket and having little Ashlin pick up what scratcher she liked.
We have some other superstitious people in our midst. Carol Marvel, who turns 89 today, said she doesn’t play the lottery often, but today, she’ll buy 11 lottery tickets. And Jan Brooks of Lockeford will give her twin daughters, Kristi Brooks Grover and Kelly Brooks Machen, 33, 11 lottery tickets each.
“They wanted to go to Reno, but I said, ‘No, Mom doesn’t have the extra money for you,’” Brooks said.
While 11/11/11 may be a quirky day, some celebrating their birthday are also proud that it falls on Veterans Day.
“My boyfriend, Joseph Sanchez, was born 11/11/84, and he is also a Navy veteran, so we celebrate his birthday as well as Veterans Day,” Lodi resident Cindy Villa said in an email.
Veterans Day has a special meaning for Lenora Nies, 60, because she lost her boyfriend Jimmy in 1967 during the Vietnam War.
However, Nies said life couldn’t be better. She retired in June from the California State Automobile Association after 27 years, which allows her to spend more time with her family.
“My husband, Larry, and I have a place at Dillon Beach that we can spend more time at in between the vacation renters,” she said.
Marvel will spend her birthday playing the flute during a Veterans Day ceremony at Lodi’s American Legion Hall.
“When I was born (in 1922), it was still called Armistice Day,” Marvel said. “My father was anxious because I was his first child. He was a veteran of World War I and very proud of Armistice Day.”
Marvel said her dad, David Christian, went to a pub shortly after baby Carol was born, and someone suggested, “You should name her ‘Armisticia.’”
Christian went back to the hospital in San Francisco, and wife Norma said, “Over my dead body.”
“Thank goodness for my mother,” Marvel said.
Randy Knutson, of Lodi, born in 1957, said he didn’t have much of a birthday celebration when he grew up.
“When I was a kid growing up, we always had 11/11 off, but they had parent-teacher conferences that day — not very conducive to having a birthday party on that day,” Knutson wrote in an email. “It was always cold up in northern Idaho, maybe even snow by then. That puts a damper on the outdoor b-day party, too.”
Nies has a message to her fellow 11/11/11 celebrants.
“I hope my fellow 11/11 birthday people have an equally great time, and please always remember the veterans who have fought for our country so we can do the things we get to do,” Nies said. “God bless them all.”
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.