If you look carefully at the Census records I found last week, you will note that Audie's birthday on one of them was listed as 1923! Supposedly, the census worker wrote down what he was told by Emmett and Josie when they answered his question - and Christie thought of a scenario which would explain the error.
Imagine a rather unwelcome person knocking on the door of a shabby rundown home, kids running around all over the place, and Josie and/or Emmett uncomfortably answering the questions as they are asked. Answers were probably given quickly and accuracy wasn't necessarily of paramount concern. When it came to the kids, the parents probably rounded ages up to the closest year for one or more kids - especially if they were within a month or so of a birthday. It's logical.
But the fact is, it is yet another mistake on the recorded age of Audie and it only muddies up the issue even more.
As much as I hate to admit it (and I believe Audie was born in 1925), this mystery will never ever be solved conclusively. You can't discount Nadine's and Gene's view and you can't discount the nearness of Richard's age ... even though you can explain how an error could be made and it is possible for Audie to be born in very close proximity to Richard.
At the same time, there are too many references to Audie admitting he falsified the records and these can't be discounted either. You can't ignore the the driver's license either.
There are only two people that I can think of (not including Josie and Emmett) who could actually solve the mystery - Corrine and Audie and both are gone. Neither will ever be able to confirm or admit that the county birth records were falsified.
Unless something absolutely concrete, like a family bible penned in Josie's own hand, is found ... I am afraid the mystery will never be solved. Mike West feels the same way.
In a way, it could be a good thing not knowing for sure ... I would HATE to be the fellow to have to tell every organization that carved a monument to Audie that they got the birth year wrong. I mean, can you imagine how hard it would be to get all the markers and monuments recast and recarved?
Sometimes I wonder if Audie intentionally messed with the reporters by planting a story about falsifying his age ... it would be like him to try and have a joke on some of these reporters. If he did, maybe Audie is having a good laugh over it all right now. Hope so.