PUBLISHED: 5:02 PM on Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Celebrating the year 1959
1959 Club celebrates birth year, statehood
JUNEAU - The state of Alaska is not the only one turning fifty in 2009. When five coworkers discovered they were all the same age as the state, they formed the "1959 Club,"

"We just talked one day and realized we were all born in 1959," said Cindy Chapman, who works in the Tax Division of the State of Alaska Department of Revenue.

Her 1959-born coworkers are Bill Thompson, Michael Kazmac, Dan Coon and Tim Cottongim. Chapman is the only member of the group who was born in Alaska.

Katie Spielberger photo
  Cindy Chapman stands next to her car, which sports a 1959 license plate in commemoration of her birth year and Alaska's statehood.
How does it feel to be the same age as the state?

"For people we're getting old, but for a state we're pretty young," Thompson said.

Chapman isn't so sure about that.

"I feel young," she said. "I don't know about the state!"

The State of Alaska is issuing 50th Anniversary of Statehood license plates until the end of 2009. A few months ago Chapman looked into getting a 50th Anniversary plate with "1959" on it and was surprised to find out she was the first to ask for it. She looks forward to driving the car to Statehood celebrations.

The 1959 club is still unsure what they'll do to celebrate their upcoming birthdays, but it will probably involve food.

"(The club) was really an excuse for a potluck," Thompson said. "Breaking bread together is always fun."

In the Chinese Zodiac calendar, both 1959 and 2007 mark the year of the pig. Last year the group put on their finest pig noses and celebrated with a pork barbeque.

They suspect there could be other potential members in their 40-person office who don't want to reveal their age.

"It (was) a baby boomer year, and there (are) a lot of baby boomers in Alaska," Thompson said.