HOWARD HISTORY

The Baltimore Sun

As reported March 2, 1988, in The Howard Sun:

Marian Sleeper has a special birthday party every four years. None of her friends ever forgets it.

She's one of those chosen few who just happened to be born Feb. 29 - a leap year birthday baby.

The 36-year-old mother of three and part owner of an outdoors supply store, Patapsco Outfitters on U.S. 40, officially celebrated her ninth birthday Monday.

Actually, 25 people celebrated her birthday with a party Saturday at her Sykesville home.

"You try to do something out of the ordinary each time," Mrs. Sleeper said.

This year, her husband, Bob, surprised her and her female guests by ordering up a male stripper called "Bedtime Bill" for laughs and entertainment.

"I was so embarrassed. I sat there with my eyes covered," said Mrs. Sleeper. "I didn't enjoy it, but he was cute and certainly put some life into the party. But I was surprised because my husband is the jealous type."

On other leap year birthdays, the couple has taken getaway vacation trips, once as far as the Caribbean.

Mrs. Sleeper, who grew up in Towson, said she's used to being teased about her unusual birthday.

Still, she enjoys it. "It's one way to be special," she said. "It gives you something special to look forward to every four years. And sometimes you get your name in the newspaper."

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