1) I was introduced to the world as “Augustus Leon.” Cooler heads prevailed and they named me Jeff after realizing the coincidence that the delivery doctor Jeffery Rhodes and their dog shared the same name.
2) When my mom went into labor, it was a little past 4 in the morning and my dad tried to convince her to go back to sleep. It’s a good thing she didn’t, because I was born less than 30 minutes later.
3) I was born in Hurst, Texas, in a hospital on Airport Freeway that is now a retirement center.
4) The day I was born was the only day I’ve ever been the admitted patient in any hospital.
5) I was born almost nine months to the day after my parents were married. She was 17 and he was 18.
6) My dad listed “Makes Ice Cream” as his occupation on my birth certificate, just to be funny. (Thirty years later, on my daughter’s birth certificate, I continued the tradition and wrote “Makes Tasty Salsa.”)
7) I was brought home from the hospital in a yellow laundry basket. I was 8 lbs, 3 oz and had a huge head – which remained bald as a beet for 3 years.
8) I share a birthday with the current U.S. President, Jeff Gordon, and Billy Bob Thornton.
9) Most of my pets over the years have been shelter rescues or just ended up at my place one way or another. Because of this, as a tradition I celebrate their birthdays on mine.
10) I’m not a big fan of desserts. Whenever someone asks what kind of cake I want for my birthday, my standard answer is “nachos.”