5 neighbors in New Jersey celebrate same birthday
WAYNE, N.J. (AP) — There was some degree of hesitancy on the part of Andrew Gerard when his mother asked for his blessing in 2012.
Angelie Gerard was about to have another baby — her third boy — and because her doctor was not available to deliver little Gabriel on his actual due date, she wanted to know if Andrew would terribly mind if his brother was born on his birthday.
So, for five years, the Gerard boys celebrated together, on Dec. 13.
But, then, something really weird happened when the family moved in August to Brook Terrace, a street in the Pines Lake section of the township.
Why were all of Andrew’s neighbors born on Dec. 13?
“Never a dull moment,” said Angelie, whose sons were born via C-section. Her other child, Daniel, is 16.
The Gerard boys are among five neighbors who celebrate birthdays on Dec. 13.
The block has 15 homes, and the peculiar situation involves just one cluster of them; the neighbors who share birthdays live directly next to, or across from, one another.
Janice Bailey, who turned 54, marveled at the coincidence on Thursday. And that morning, she tied foil balloons to mailboxes in front of homes where birthdays were celebrated. Two were strung to the Gerard family’s mailbox.
Bailey, who has lived on the block for more than two decades, found out by accident, five years ago, that she shared her birthday with a neighbor.
“That was weird enough,” Bailey said.
Two years later, Bailey said, she discovered by talking to another neighbor that he, too, was born on Dec. 13.
Flash forward to this fall, when Angelie and Gabriel visited Bailey’s house to introduce themselves. The boy, being so excited about his upcoming birthday, blurted out that it was in December.
“What day in December?” Bailey asked the boy.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Bailey said on Thursday. “I told his mom, ‘OK — that’s my birthday. That’s the next-door neighbor’s birthday, and Bill, across the street.’ And, she said, ‘Well, my oldest son has the same birthday, as well.’ ”
“Bill, across the street,” also known as William Weston, said the fluky circumstances bring the neighborhood, in which he has lived since he was a toddler, closer together.
“In my entire life, up until this street situation, I never met anyone who shared my birthday,” said Weston, who turned 66. “It’s absolutely amazing.”
Peter Chen, chairman of the math department at William Paterson University, also chimed in, noting that the chances of such an odd occurrence, given the size of the neighborhood, appear to be “astronomical,” even “virtually impossible.”
The professor had crunched the numbers to back that up.
Thomas Leach, who turned 61 on Thursday, said the coincidence of five birthdays being celebrated within a stone’s throw was extraordinary.
“I guess, in the scheme of things, if you’re doing statistics, it’s a hell of an interesting story,” said Leach, who moved with his family to Brook Terrace in 2000. “What are the odds? Well, the odds are 100 percent in our neighborhood.”
Andrew, on the other hand, met the occasion with nonchalance when reached on his cellphone on his 18th birthday.
After all, sharing his birthday is nothing new for him.
“I thought it was a coincidence — more, like, rather odd,” he said. “I thought me and my little brother were the only two people that shared that birthday, but it turns out there’s other people that have the same birthday as us, too. I think it’s a good thing.”
Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com