Cameron “Cameo” Dennis turns 48 Wednesday, but it’s only the 12th time he’s celebrated his real birthday.
That’s because Dennis was born on Feb. 29, 1964, and as a “leap year baby,” it means his special day only arrives once every four years. His special situation can make things complicated at times, but when it comes to his birthday, Dennis said he enjoys every bit of it.
“I usually celebrate my birthday on the 28th. But if they’re still buying [the next day], I’m drinking on March 1,” Dennis said with a smile, referencing his situation on non leap-year birthdays.
Dennis is a graduate of Southern High and lifelong resident of Shady Side with a few stops in between. The 48-year old said friends try to throw him surprise parties whenever Feb. 29 rolls around regardless of whether he knows they’re coming. Even at a young age, Dennis embraced his unusual birthday date.
“It’s totally different. I’m different than everybody else,” Dennis said. “I’m a special child to be born on the 29th. Man, I love it.”
Having a birthday on Feb. 29 may get him extra drinks, but Dennis said it often makes life a little difficult. For instance, Dennis’ drivers license isn’t accurate—it reads Feb. 28.
“When they switched all the MVA stuff to computers back in the 1970s, the told me I had to change my birthday because computers didn’t recognize the 29th,” he said. “With credit cards, sometimes I don’t know what to say.”
To avoid similar complications, he often referred to his “alternative” birthday of Feb. 28 when he started a new job. Dennis said he chose to celebrate his birthday on the 28th on non-leap years because he considers himself a “February baby,” not a “March baby.”
“February is black history month too, so it makes it extra special,” Dennis said.
Dennis has one daughter and two grandchildren, but it seems age isn’t slowing down the local south county man.
“I tell you what, you wouldn’t even think I was 48,” Dennis said.
“Maybe it’s because I only age every four years.”
Do you know “Cameo” Dennis? Wish him a happy birthday in the comments.