Josie Pett turned 14 years old on Wednesday.
Now, why is this a big deal, you ask? Well, it’s because 14 years ago Josie was the first baby born, as far as we can tell, in the new millennium – the Y2Kid.
Let’s back up a tad to a few months before. That’s when my friend and Dayton Daily News columnist Dale Huffman (now retired) and I (recently “retired” from WDTN Channel 2) teamed up to document the life of the first baby born in the year 2000. He wrote about it in the paper and I spread the word on television, and we sat back and waited.
Then the call came from Miami Valley Hospital a little girl was born to Ahndrea and Jack Pett of Miami Township at 12:01 a.m., Jan. 1, 2000. From that point on, we began what has become an awesome journey in print and on TV documenting young Josie’s life.
It’s funny to think now that we worried the technical world might fall apart as we welcomed in the new millennium in the year 2000. Not only did we survive, but our inventive spirit has flourished with every day bringing new mind boggling adventures and technology of every kind. However, with all the change, this is a simply story of young girl and the little things in life.
We were there for her christening, first haircut and we even woke her up at 5 a.m. on live television when I was a reporter for WDTN’s morning news program.
And now we come to 2014.
Dale no longer writes for the paper and I’m no longer employed by Channel 2. So, thanks to the fine folks here at Dayton City Paper, the story lives on.
Mom Ahndrea picks up the story from here: “Shortly after Josie was born, we had no idea there was a big hoopla regarding the first baby,” Ahndrea said. “We were a bit shocked and overwhelmed when everyone bombarded us. Josie was actually three weeks early. Dale came in the room to hold Josie and get a picture with her – funny he felt the need to wear medical gloves – and we met you, Buch, shortly thereafter.”
I was in California visiting my brother, but met Josie a few days later.
Ahndrea’s reference to “hoopla” was much more than a story in the newspaper and on TV.
“We received all sorts of things,” Ahndrea recalled. “A stroller, toy box, savings bonds, beautiful cherry grandfather clock, which was donated by Bruning’s clock shop, which is our favorite. She got a silver plaque with her footprint and a plaque that was hung in Miami Valley Hospital. The hospital donated six months worth of diapers. The list went on and on.”
For Josie, though, all the attention is sort of cool, but she’s just a regular, normal kid, now in her second year as a teenager.
“Yes, I do love to tell people I was the first born in the state and maybe the country,” Josie said.
At this young age, she already knows what she wants to be when she grows up.
“I want to be an entymologist,” Josie said.
What is that, you ask? Hold on a minute, I’ll Google it. An entymologist is basically a “bug scientist.”
“I like bugs, all kinds of bugs,” Josie said.
But Ahndrea said her real love right now is swimming.
“I’m on a swim team (Key), which takes up most of my time,” Josie said. “I swim six days a week and would love write in my spare time.” (Maybe a future DCP columnist?)
“I love music, all kinds like Uncle Kracker, Michael Jackson, Maroon 5 (because Adam Levine is good looking),” Josied explained. “I love the TV shows ‘The Voice’ and ‘Sponge Bob’ and playing video games and I love going to North Carolina to the lake house my Uncle Brett and Aunt Nicole have. I fish there off the dock and eat what I catch.”
By the way, the Pett family is also made up of dad Jack, older sister Alexis, younger sister Luica, BoBo the dog who shares Josies’s birthday, a puppy named Piper and Thoseus the snake.
“We call him Theo for short,” Ahndrea said.
Normally, on New Year’s Day at 12:01 a.m. the whole family goes outside and sounds air horns, shoots each other with Silly String and sings “Happy Birthday” at the top of their lungs for Josie.
This year mom says it was pretty quiet, but …
“During the day on Jan. 1, we had 20 kids over and could have really used your help Uncle Jim, along with Uncle Dale, corralling the kids.” Ahndrea added.
Sorry about that. I can’t speak for Dale, but I was out of the country. OK, would you believe out of the county?
At any rate, our Pett Project continues.
“Hey, in 10 years I hope you’re still writing about Josie,” Ahndrea said.
“Yes, I hope to be in college or graduated by then, and still swimming,” Josie added.
“And with a nice looking boyfriend with a nice personality and great abs,” Ahndrea added.
Let’s just hope he likes bugs.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
For more than 25 years, “Buch” has been a local television icon. Known and loved by thousands in the Miami Valley, his followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and a role model. When it comes to promoting your business, Buch has the ability to grab your customer’s attention.