I loved the June 15 Metro article on Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s official birth year, “Leggett’s age isn’t just a number: It’s two.”
I had similarly lackadaisical parents. They knew I was born on Jan. 25, but when the birth certificate came back dated the 24th, they didn’t think a thing about it. Throughout my childhood we celebrated on the correct day, and my driver’s license was dated the 25th. Only when I signed up for the Air Force did I have to prove my birthday.
At enlistment (where everyone is all smiles and pats on the back), I gave my correct birth date. But a few weeks later at induction (where suddenly you are the lowest scum on earth), we had to produce documentation. I showed the sergeant my birth certificate and explained that there was an error. He looked at the document, then at me, then back at the document.
“Airman, what does this paper say?”
“It says Jan. 24, sir, but my real . . .”
He cut me off, saying, “That’s right, airman, it says the 24th. Your DOB is therefore 24 January.” He thrust it back at me and shouted, “Next!”
Much later, when I went to renew my Maryland driver’s license, I was asked to show identification. I took out my Air Force identification. Of course, I had put the 25th on my application, the same date as on my expired license. The clerk pointed out the discrepancy and I started to explain, “But, you see, my parents. . . .” But I could see his eyes glazing over. He gave me a new license with the same number but a new birth date. I may have been the only Maryland driver ever to have had the same license with two different birthdays.
Philip K. Edwards, Warfordsburg, Pa.