Leap Year started more than 2,000 years ago when Julius Caesar added the day to the Roman calendar. And it's estimated that 200,000 people in the United States celebrate their birthday on this day. Tylerite Ginny Gewin is one of them--a teenager in a grandmother's body.
"I knew he was thinking that's the oldest 18 year old I've ever seen in my life," Ginny says as she's talking to her hair stylist, Kathy, at "Cuts By Kathy" in Tyler.
She's talking about herself. Believe or not, the proud grandmother turns just 18-years-old Friday.
"The grandkids really have fun with it because they're older than their grandmother," Ginny laughs.
Getting her hair done on this special day, Ginny Gewin has reason to celebrate, after all, she only sees the day once every four years.
"It's fun, I hear from people that I don't hear from any other year, and it starts about a week before, everybody wants to be first to say Happy Birthday," she says.
Born on Leap Year day, 1936, Ginny says she didn't always like having such a unique birthday.
"All I saw as a kid is don't get a birthday party till every four years," Ginny says.
But now she says she's learned to embrace it, from feature articles in the newspaper to joking around with her husband's friends.
"He told them, I got engaged last night, and he said oh I tell ya I met the girl of my dreams, I'm not going to let her away from me, and they said well how old is this girl, well, she's six and half. They said 'you dirty rat,' but nobody thinks of leap year," Ginny recounts.
Although her body says she's 72, Ginny says being born on a leap year keeps her young at heart. After all, she's now officially an adult.
"The Big 1-8, joining the real world now," she laughs.
And she won't ever have to face the Big 4-0.
Another Leap Year tradition--women proposing to men. It's believed this started in fifth century Ireland when Saint Bridget complained to Saint Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. That's when St. Patrick said women could propose on this one day in February during the leap year.