Madison students celebrate 13th birthdays on 3-13-13
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
Maybe it's knowing that their birthdays don't fall on a Friday this year, providing relief from a bad luck overload; still two Madison youngsters are taking a rather casual attitude at having their 13th birthdays fall on March 13, 2013.
Oakley Denne and Ally Balogh celebrate their 13th birthdays on March 13, 2013, but they aren't concerned about experiencing any tidal waves of bad luck.
Ally Balogh and Oakley Denne, both students at Madison Middle School, are more interested in making a trip this weekend to the State A Boys' Basketball Tournament in Rapid City than worrying about any bad luck from the number 13. The youngsters are sort of looking past today's birthdate and looking forward to visiting the Black Hills.
Neither Denne nor Balogh can recall anything bad happening to them on their birthdays. Balogh said that she's "not too worried about the number 13."
She also said that her friends have never expressed any concerns related to triskaidekaphobia, or "fear of the number 13."
"They just say it's pretty cool," Balogh said.
Balogh indicated that she was more focused this week on enjoying Spirit Days at school before the students are given an early release on Thursday and a spring break holiday on Friday.
The two newly-inducted teenagers were expecting cash as birthday presents -- and perhaps money is a practical gift since Denne and Balogh will have the opportunity to hang out with their friends while they're at the high school basketball tournament.
The two are sometimes teased about having the same birthday. Balogh and Denne have several other things in common, including being delivered at Madison Community Hospital by the same physician, Dr. Mary Beecher. Denne was born during the morning hours and Balogh arrived later in the evening.
Their mothers are both teachers at Madison Elementary School; Shelly Balogh teaches second-grade students and Tina Denne teaches first-graders.
Despite getting some grief about having birthdays on the same day of the year, they and their friends have enjoyed birthday parties that had amusing themes. The Dennes hosted a "Survivor"-themed celebration for about 18 youngsters that had three teams competing in games such as an obstacle course. At Balogh's birthday party last year, the party-goers participated in "Fear Factor" contests that included bobbing for gummy worms hidden in a pan of whipped cream and finding out how many corn curls could stick to faces covered with shaving cream.
Balogh said that she has lobbied for a different type of party for her 13th birthday -- a visit to the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Sioux Falls. The facility offers a gym having a large floor covered with interconnected trampolines and trampolines lining the wall surfaces. Sky Zone's operators offer activities that include 3-D dodgeball and SkyRobics.
Coincidentally, some American history is related to the "unlucky 13" superstition and party gatherings. In New York City during the 19th Century, William Fowler, a Civil War veteran, and his friends organized a dinner cabaret club called the Thirteen Club.
The club held its first meeting in January 1881 on Friday the 13th at 8:13 p.m. with 13 guests gathered in Room 13 at the Knickerbocker Cottage, a Manhattan tavern. The dinner guests walked under a ladder to enter the dining room and sat among piles of spilled salt near broken mirrors during the party.