Pair celebrate birthday, Easter convergence once again
They waited 62 years for this day and it finally arrived.
Shirley O'Reilly McGuire and Bob McLauchlin are celebrating the convergence of their birthdays with Easter Sunday.
The two were born on Easter Sunday, April 21, 1946.
The pair last commemorated the same confluence in 1957.
At that time, they posed for a picture that was featured on the front page of The Daily Oklahoman/Oklahoma City Times which noted that their birthdays coincided with the Christian holiday that year, which happened to fall on April 21.
The two Rosary Catholic School students and their parents were told it would be more than 60 years before the two special days would come together once more. Easter is what the Christian Church calls a "movable feast," so the date changes from year to year.
McLauchlin said he thought about it over the years and vowed that he would commemorate the convergence in some way if he was still around six decades later.
Knowing that his 73rd birthday was fast approaching, the Oklahoma City resident brought the 1957 newspaper clipping to The Oklahoman to call attention to his coming Easter birthday.
He proudly displayed the photo showing him wearing a dapper suit and holding a giant, stuffed bunny rabbit, while his friend — then known as Shirley O'Reilly — wore an Easter dress and held an Easter basket. He noted that it appeared the picture may have been among the first to be featured in the newspaper in color.
McLauchlin said he and McGuire knew each other at school where they were in sixth grade.
He wasn't sure how the newspaper found out about them, but one of McGuire's relatives recently told the pair that McGuire's father Gabriel, a manager at The Oklahoma Club in downtown Oklahoma City, shared information about the birthday/Easter convergence, leading to The Oklahoman's interest.
As the story goes, Gabriel O'Reilly told a prominent socialite about it and the families think she mentioned it to the newspaper.
McLauchlin said he reached out to McGuire to see if she was interested in having some birthday fun by re-creating the picture that they and their families have treasured for such a long time.
"We haven't really seen each other a lot over the years, but she's never left my mind as the person who I had this thing in common," McLauchlin said.
McGuire, who lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband Joe, said she didn't want to miss the second photo shoot.
She said she vividly remembered getting the 1957 photo taken.
"I always remembered it because it was a memorable event to be on the front page of The Daily Oklahoman," she said.
McLaughlin joked a bit.
"To be close to a beautiful girl when you were a skinny thing like me, I remembered it all right," he said, laughing.
At their recent photo shoot, McLaughlin brought a stuffed bunny rabbit while The Oklahoman supplied some of the other Easter props.
Joe McGuire said he thought it was interesting that the birthday-Easter convergence didn't occur again for 62 years, and he supported his wife's decision to visit Oklahoma City to mark the occasion and celebrate her 73rd birthday with a new birthday photo.
After all, he noted, the convergence won't happen again for a while — in 2030.