12-12-12 Golden birthday shinier than most

Jacob Ballenger
Jacob Ballenger

by Jim Boyle


Not all birthdays are created equal. Especially golden birthdays.

Take for instance Jacob Ballenger, who turned 12 this past week on 12-12-12.

To celebrate, the Salk Middle School seventh-grade student will take in a St. Cloud State hockey game against Colorado College this weekend. On his birthday, he played in a Pee Wee hockey game of his own.

Caleb Johnson
Caleb Johnson

Over at Meadowvale Elementary School a third grade student celebrated a birthday on 12-12-12. That birthday boy was Caleb Johnson.

The idea for this story came last year, when Nathan Kemna turned 11 on 11-11-11 and was featured in the Star News.  Knowing that the buzz for 12-12-12 birthdays would be even more intense, the Star News put out some feelers.

In addition to Ballenger, several Elk River area residents celebrated on the rare occurrence.

So did Jerry V. Johnson, an Elk River man who was born Dec. 12, 1940. He planned to order a free steak at Time Out Restaurant on his birthday.

Jerry V. Johnson
Jerry V. Johnson

He came across three local ladies who were celebrating their birthdays on 12-12-12. They shared how they were going to be photographed by the Star News. He stopped in and had his picture taken, too.

Joanne McChesney, Nancy Price and Mary Schroeder realized recently they all shared the same birthday. But it was others who began pointing out the interesting nature of their birthdays on 12-12-12.

People began commenting months ago.

“It’s kind of cool,” Schroeder said. “I usually try to ignore my birthday.”

12-12-12 birthday girlsThis year all three women were getting calls and texts to help them celebrate their distinctive birthday.

“We’re all pretty lucky,” Price said.

The three women, who declined to give their ages, planned to have lunch together Friday at Stone Lounge in Rogers.

They’ll have plenty of birthday stories to share.