Sibling togetherness is a wonderful thing. And that makes the story of Evie and Jim something special.

Evelyn "Evie" Erickson is 83. Her brother Jim Johnson is 80.

Their birthdays are just one day apart. And they've always celebrated their birthdays together. That's right: every year for 80 years, starting when they were too young to remember it, without missing one.

They did it despite the fact that Evie lives in Fargo and Jim has lived in Florida for many years.

Jim and Evie were the only children in their family in Fertile, Minn.

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Both married. Jim's wife is Beverly and Evie's late husband was Harris. Evie has one child, Jim has three.

Jim ran a service station in Fertile before moving to Englewood, Fla., in the early 1980s.

Evie worked for the VA and for the FHA in Fargo.

But no matter what they did or where they lived, they always got together, either on Evie's birthday Aug. 26 or on Jim's birthday Aug. 27. Or both.

Sometimes Jim comes to Fargo for the get-together, and sometimes Evie goes to Florida.

Last year, they had a

"big wingding" at the golf club at Fertile, Evie says, with more a hundred people there, in honor of Jim hitting the 80 mark.

No big plans are set for this August. But you can be sure that when it rolls around, Jim and Evie will be together for their birthdays for the 81st time.

But they better have a fire extinguisher handy. Because there will be 165 candles on the cake.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, N.D. 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com