All the views stacking up daily on my post about being born in 1957 and turning 57 this year got me to searching again today.
And this morning I came up with a new and exciting hit. The site greetingcarduniverse.com is offering cards for this year, complete with a name.
It’s the year of the “Beddian Birthday.”
The greeting card site explains that the year-matches-age phenomena is “named after NYC firefighter Bobby Beddia who noted this cooincidence.”
Of course I had to search Bobby Beddia.
What I story I found.
A Nov. 12, 2007, piece in the New Yorker by Lizzie Whiddicombe chronicled a visit to a New York City firehouse in which mathematician Rhonda Roland Shearer met a firefighter who said he was quite lucky because, at age 53 and born in 1953, he was quite lucky to be living in his birth year.
Whiddicombe caught Shearer’s enthusiasm at seeing “a mathematician’s look of wonder” on the firefighter’s face, and noted how she immediately made plans to work on his theorem.
Tragically, unbelievably, sadly, Beddia was killed fighting a fire later that day.
But Shearer kept working on his notion, and finally the idea got to math writer Barry Cipra, of Minnesota. He found that nobody had ever officially noted the age-birth year match, so he wrote a paper on the only-in-odd-year occurrence and called it the Beddian Birthday.
So now we know. And we no longer have to come up with a name for the once-in-a-lifetime year.
Happy Beddian Birthday, fellow birth year of 1957 members, and may Bobby Beddia’s spirit of curiosity live on forever.
Here’s my initial piece about noting the special significance of this year for those of us born in 1957.
Here’s the second piece I wrote about 57 for ’57.
Here’s the source for the photo of fallen hero Bobby Beddia.