QUANTUM LEAP BIRTHDAYS HAPPEN EVERY FOUR YEARS.
Joaquin Collin Johnson celebrated his first birthday Sunday even though he is really 4 years old.
``I'm excited because I got a cake,'' said the boy who was born at 12:03 a.m. at Glendale Adventist Medical Center on the first leap year to fall on the millennium.
``We always teased each other that he was finally going to get his birthday party after four years. It's very special,'' said his father, Steven Johnson, 50, a funeral director for Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale.
For the big anniversary day, Joaquin Collin chose Glenoaks Park near his home in Glendale - the roomiest place he could think of to celebrate and frolic with twenty-odd preschoolers.
``The excitement was building up at home for weeks,'' said his mother, Cynthia Johnson, 40. ``He says, 'I am going to be 4, but it's my first birthday.'''
Television writer Adam Armus, who was born on leap year 40 years ago, said people frequently ask him when he celebrates his birthday.
``As far as I'm concerned it's any day someone is going to throw me a party,'' said the West Los Angeles writer who has worked on such shows as ``The Practice'' and ``Ally McBeal.''
``I actually have more birthday parties, because people just pick various days at the end of February or the beginning of March,'' said Armus, who was celebrating his 10th birthday Sunday because he was born in leap year on Feb. 29, 1964.
``When it is Feb. 29 I always have the one big party. It's very special, a very unusual birthday. I've always thought it's a great thing.''
John Shallman, a consultant from Sherman Oaks who represents a number of political figures in California, was also born on Feb. 29, 1964.
``My daughter turned 10 just a few days ago, so in a way we celebrated our 10th birthday together,'' said Shallman. ``She had a lot of fun telling her friends that I was 10 years old. And for me it's a lot better than telling people that I'm 40.''
Tradition also has it that women propose marriage to men on leap year day, which comes once every four years.
``I have read that there was a time when they actually had laws in some places that women could propose to men and the men were required to accept,'' said Mary Ann Brown, who has helped establish her town of Anthony, Texas, as the Leap Year Capital of the World.
Brown was born on Feb. 29, 1932, and moved in 1944 from New Mexico to Burbank, where her father and brother operated a riding stable for five years next to Griffith Park.
``In 1948 I had my birthday in Burbank. It was a Sunday, and my Bible class had a party for me,'' she recalled over the weekend, where she was attending a festival in Anthony that she helped create in the late 1980s after she moved to Texas.
The Worldwide Leap Year Festival drew people from across the nation this year from Thursday to Sunday.
``We had people from Washington, D.C., to Washington state,'' said Brown.
The festival's Web site, leapyearcapital.com, also has information about the Worldwide Leap Year Birthday Club and all the festival activities.
Some famous people born on Feb. 29 include Pope Paul III in 1468, composer Gioacchino Rossini in 1792, composer and bandleader Jimmy Dorsey in 1904, singer Dinah Shore in 1916, and serial killer Aileen Carol Wuornos (subject of the film ``Monster'') in 1956.
Rachel Uranga, (818) 713-3741
Leap-year kid Joaquin Collin Johnson, 4, center of picture, parties with, from left, Jeffrey Colburn, Kurt Johnson and Hayen Campos, right.
Gene Blevins/Special to the Daily News
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2004|
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