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Oklahoma woman, 84, reminisces on her 21st Leap Day birthday

Relatives held a party in Edmond this week for Rosemary Jane Magee, a Carmen woman with 84 years worth of memories. She was born 84 years ago on Feb. 29, a day that comes around once every four years, making it technically her 21st actual birthday.
BY STEVEN MAUPIN Published: March 3, 2012
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— On her 21st birthday, Rosemary Jane Magee took a moment to look at a card made by her great-grandson.

A great-grandson at 21? Try nine great-grandchildren and five grandchildren.

Magee was born 84 years ago on Feb. 29, a day that comes around once every four years, making it her 21st actual birthday. Her family threw a party in Edmond to celebrate.

She was born in Carmen in 1928, the youngest of six children born to Elza and Byrd Neese in the house her grandfather built on land he claimed in the land run of 1893.

Growing up during the Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II meant not having much and working hard for what you did get, Magee said.

She worked two jobs before she was married, in an icehouse for 50 cents a day and as a movie theater projectionist for $1.50 a night. She liked the theater job best, except that she had to wear nylon stockings.

“With the war going on, those were so expensive — they were a dollar a pair, and I had to have two pair!”

A local boy, Jack Magee, who was serving in the Army Air Corps during World War 11, sent letters and French perfume to Rosemary's girlfriend. Rosemary read all the letters and wore the perfume.

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