Janis Fontaine





I was born on

April 23, 1956, in

St. Clare Hospital in

Niskayuna, N.Y.

My date of birth 

that has always

intrigued me. I read

somewhere that we

actually choose our own birthdays. It's not random.

I discovered that William Shakespeare was born on April 23 (he also had red hair) which made it impossible for me to ever be the best writer ever born on April 23.

I also share my birthday with the late Shirley Temple, whom I loved as a kid.
My mother would let me eat dinner in front of the television on Sundays because the local television station played Shirley Temple films at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

But the most interesting thing about my birthday is in the numerology. If we used the European way of writing dates, my birthday is 23-4-56.

There are only two other days each century where that happens: 1-23-45 or 12-3-45.

I never knew what time I was born until I wrote away for my birth certificate. I was born at 10:29 p.m. and my mother told me I was almost born on the stretcher outside in the hallway. I was the fourth born in my family (three older brothers) and I was a small baby, only 5 pounds 14 ounces. I was sick, though, with Rh factor. These days that's not even an issue.