"You say it’s your birthday?” the Beatles sang in 1969. “It’s my birthday too, yeah!”
Those lyrics could apply to 33-year-old Wiley Wood of Brownwood and his wife, Carolyn, also 33.
They were born the same year. Same month. Same day. Same hospital.
What are the odds?
Is this a TV movie of the week?
The two have been married for 13 years and live with their three sons — Noah, 11, Benjamin, 9 and Henry, 4 — in a home in south Brownwood. Since 2008, Wiley Wood has owned and operated a computer repair business called After Hours IT, a business he runs out of a shop behind the family’s home.
Wood, a longtime musician who grew up in a home near Zephyr in a family of musicians, is also the worship leader at First United Methodist Church’s Common Ground service, where he sings and plays acoustic guitar.
A newspaper birth announcement shows that Wiley Glen Wood and Carolyn Joyce Myers were born Aug. 14, 1985 in Brownwood Regional Hospital. The announcement, along with photos of the two as newborns, is mounted in a wall frame in their home.
The two never met or heard of each other until Carolyn was attending Brownwood High School and went to the Schlotzsky’s deli, where Wiley worked. Wiley had been home schooled and had already completed his schooling.
“She was a gorgeous, brown-haired, green-eyed beauty,” Wood recalled via email. “Nothing has changed there. She was friends with my best friends and bandmates at the time. They would come in when it was still an option to leave campus for lunch. At some point I got the nerve to ask her out on a date.”
It was the summer before Carolyn’s senior year when the two went on their first date. Driving around town in Wiley’s 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse, they asked questions about each other.
“Somehow we got around to our birthdays,” Wood said. “I remember being shocked we had the same birthday, but then digging weeper, we were born on the same day in the same hospital. Pretty crazy, right?
“Carolyn is my favorite person in the whole world and she has been the best thing for me. I’m sure me quitting my job and starting a business sounded a bit crazy, but she believed in me and does. When God created me, he knew I couldn’t live without her so a few minutes later Carolyn was born. Being born on the same day in the same hospital as your spouse is a pretty rare deal, but it’s a story I love to tell. Just one more special ting I get to share with my wife.”
Carolyn has a shorter version of events, also saying via email, “In high school, as Wiley and I became friends, we wanted to get to know each other better, In one conversation, while driving through town in his car, we began to talk about birthdays. He said his birthday was in August, and of course I said ‘mine, too! What day in August?’
“All the information bloomed from there and we found out we were born on the exact same day in the same hospital, just hours apart. For 15 years, it has been so special to us to celebrate our birthdays together. We even named our second son Benjamin August after our special birthday.”
Step through the door of Wood’s shop behind his home, and his passions are immediately visible. The shop — which boasts a large, comfortable finished interior with furniture and shelves — is home to his computer equipment and to musical instruments including an acoustic and electric guitars.
And almost immediately, the eye is drawn to a section of the room where a large Harley Davidson motorcycle is parked, leaning on its kickstand.
Growing up in his home near Zephyr, Wood was first exposed to computers and music as a boy. “I’d been messing with computers since I was probably 12,” he said. That was also about the same age at which he started learning the guitar.
Wood started working for BCI in 2004 and took computer classes at Texas State Technical College, but quit after two semesters. “I just decided I was learning more doing it than I was learning going to school,” Wood said.
From BCI, Wood went to work at West Texas Printing, and that’s when he started his After Hours IT business. “I was passionate about computers,” Wood said. “I knew what I wanted to do.”
A local dentist hired Wood to take care of his computers in his office on a contract basis. “It kind of took off from there,” Wood said.
“I said I could probably do this for other people, and he encouraged me to do it. I just kind of went from there. I love what I do – 100 percent. You know the saying ‘if you have a job you like, you never work a day in your life.’ For me, that’s 100 percent the case. I love what I do. I love the customers I work for. Obviously through this, I’ve made a ton of friends. It’s been a really rewarding job.”
Wood said he’d rate music as an equal passion. “My whole family’s musical,” Wood said. “We grew up singing and doing different things. I grew up in children’s choir in the church. I kind of learned to sing there. We had a band in high school, playing Christian metal – did that for six years. That was a blast. And then after that I just kind of got back to playing in the church.”
Wood said working with computers actually brings less pressure than playing music. “That’s just because it’s so familiar to me,” Wood said. “I think music is actually more challenging to me. One of the things in my life that I know I’m called to is some sort of ministry, and to me, my business is just as much a part of that as being a worship leader in my church.
“People always ask me how I know how to do what I do, and honestly, I don’t know. Half the time I go in somewhere, and I don’t really know how to fix the problem, but I figure it out. I credit that to the Lord.”
As for the motorcycle, Wood said he’d never ridden until after he and Carolyn were married. “One of the things she told me when we got married was that she didn’t ever want me to have a motorcycle, and that didn’t last very long,” Wood said.
He spent some time buying motorcycles, making improvements to them and selling them for a profit. “She got a little more comfortable with me riding them,” Wood said. “You get on it and it’s just — fun. It’s stress relief. It feels good. It’s relaxing and it’s fun.
“My dad is my riding partner. We love to ride. It’s a good time.”