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Couples married on Leap Day celebrate special anniversaries

February 29, 2008|By CHERYL M. KEYSER, Lifestyle Correspondent

Leap year has always been associated with a mixture of curiosity and fun. That extra day calls for special recognition, and, for two couples, it comes with a peculiar coincidence.

Cheryl and Tim Cordell were married on Feb. 29, 1992. Yolanda and Dwight Fulton exchanged their vows on Feb. 29, 1980. And Dwight Fulton was born on Feb. 29.

But this is more than a tale of two weddings, there is an added twist: Cheryl and Yolanda work together at Broadmore Assisted Living At Hagerstown. They will make the day special for Broadmore residents. The two women will join in a special luncheon with the residents. "We try to make them feel involved in everything," said Cheryl.

Both couples have taken their share of teasing. "People joke that we haven't really been married 28 years," said Dwight Fulton.

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"Women seem to find the date strange," Cheryl Cordell said, "while men figure you only have to buy a gift every four years."

The Fultons specifically chose the 29th to get married because Dwight Fulton was born on that day.

"I figured that if I have an odd birthdate, I might as well have an odd wedding date," he added. "Plus, some people say that you never grow old if you're born on Leap Day, so I figured my marriage would not, either."

In the case of the Cordells, selecting the 29th to marry was accidental. "Everybody was getting married on the 15th. So we looked for the next available Saturday, which was the 29th," explained Cheryl Cordell. Both were divorced and thought that the 29th might bring them luck.

Cheryl Cordell jokes that off-leap year anniversaries are celebrated "whenever I want some special gift." But they usually do something on the weekend closest to the 29th. The Fultons hold their celebration on either Feb. 28 or March 1, whichever is most convenient.

This year, the Cordells are planning to spend some quality time together today and repeat their first date.

"Tim's sister-in-law arranged a blind date for us," explained Cheryl. "We had dinner at Oliver's and then went to 'The Silence of the Lambs'."

"I didn't have any idea what the movie was about," said Tim Cordell. "It was pretty rough, but she got through it."

Cheryl remembers that at one of the more difficult moments in the film, Tim leaned over, kissed her lightly on the cheek, and said he was sorry. "That was when I fell in love with him," she said.

They now own a copy of the movie.

The Fultons plan to spend their wedding anniversary with as many of their five children and seven grandchildren (there are two more on the way) as can join them.

"We are a close-knit family," said Dwight Fulton. "For us, family is second in importance after God."

If there is some magic about the 29th, it might just lie in the durability of relationships. As Dwight Fulton expressed it: "God has blessed our marriage with longevity."

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