Bio: Bertz, Gregg and Garth (Identical Twins - 1967)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Bertz, Decorah, Thompson,

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 1/19/1967

Bertz, Gregg and Garth (Identical Twins - 1967)

There’s a superstition that has been widespread over the years that 13 is an unlucky number, and you can double that in spades if it’s Friday the 13th.

Gregg and Garth Bertz, identical twin sons of Sheriff and Mrs. David R. Bertz of Clark County are living p[roof that it’s just a superstition, without basis in facts.

They celebrated their birthday last Friday, the 13th. Everything that happened to them was good; a long week of school ended in the afternoon, for instance, and they had two whole days of freedom. In the evening their mother made arrangements with Kelly Decorah, a trustee at the county jail, to feed the inmates there and the twins were taken out for a surprise birthday dinner; plus the usual birthday presents.

Curiously, the Bertz twins are not the only ones in their lineage born on the 13th of the month - nor are they the only twins in the lineage born on the 13th. Their great-grandfather, the late Gilbert J. Thomson of Neillsville, was a twin, and was born on January 13 - like Gary and Gregg. His twin was the late Albert J. Thompson, who lived in Milwaukee.

And if that were not enough, their grandfather, Forest Thompson of Neillsville, observes his birthday on February 13 - and, like his grandsons, observed his 13th birthday on Friday the 13th.

The twins, as they often are referred to, are the middle half of the Bertz brothers. In a family of four boys, they have an older brother, Dennis, 14, and a younger brother, Joe, who is 11. “They get along real well together,” commented their father, the sheriff.

But the photographer had a heck-of a time getting them to sit closer than a foot apart for their picture. It took coaxing, and they refused to put their arms around one-another’s shoulders. “Act like you’re wrestling,” suggested their father.

The suggestion fell like a lead balloon. And that’s like brothers who are fond of one another. They wouldn’t be caught dead showing affection for one another for public view.

Right now Gregg and Gary are in the seventh grade at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Neillsville. They’re large for boys of 13 and in a couple years will be good candidates for a high school football team - even if they suddenly quit growing, and the prospect of that doesn’t seem likely.

Garth is the taller at 5 feet 10 inches; but Gregg is close behind at 5 feet nine. Both probably will shad their dad, who goes a little more than six feet. Neither of the twins professed to know what their weights are; but an inexperienced guess would place them at 160 pounds or more.

Garth and Gregg were born January 13, 1954, in Memorial Hospital at Neillsville. So, while the 13th holds no terror for them, last Friday’s was the first time to their knowledge that they had had a birthday on Friday the 13th.

As far as they are concerned that’s as good a time to have a birthday as any.



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