It only took 90 years for twin brothers Edwin and Edward Brown to have a joint birthday party. On Saturday at Fifth Quarter Steakhouse in Charleston their family threw a surprise 90th birthday party for them.
The identical twins known as Big Brownie and Little Brownie, have lived through 16 presidents, served their country in the Navy and called Charleston home all their life.
Edward's son, Johnny, hadn't seen his father in more than two years. He drove 600 miles with his wife Jackie for the party.
"It's fantastic to see everyone," Johnny said laughing with a smile on his face. "My uncle said, 'you look a lot like me' and everyone says I look like my dad. Sometimes I can't tell them apart."
Edwin, known as Big Brownie said it's even gotten him into a bit of trouble.
"They tell on me and say that they've seen me with another woman," Edwin explained. "And it was (Edward) all the time with his wife!"
They both agreed they've had some fun with being twins over the years. Once they even contemplated switching places for a test.
"I blame everything on him, so it has to be confusing," Edward said. "You could get by with a lot of things. We could do anything."
At Watts Elementary School on Charleston's West Side, Edward blamed a fight with the crossing guard on his brother.
The brothers used to walk about three miles to Lincoln Junior High School from Pine Street Hill where they grew up.
The two received their nicknames early when they were born as premature babies, Edward's daughter Denise explained. The two were born at home.
"My grandparents made kind of like an incubator out of a dresser draw," Denise said. "They would put my uncle, Big Brownie in the top drawer and hot bricks in the second, and then my dad in the third draw and hot bricks in the fourth to keep them warm."
Edward was in the 13th wave that stormed the beach at Normandy and the fifth wave during the invasion of southern France. Edward served more than 20 years in the Navy.