Thursday, April 6, 2017


I could give you the dictionary definition of Easter, but I won’t. As I have not spent Easter out on the road traveling as of yet I will instead tell you what Easter was like for me as a child.

My Grandmother was a professional seamstress and my Mother grew up learning how to sew as well, so every Easter I had a new outfit to hunt Easter eggs in. It didn’t matter if we didn’t go to church, until many years later, It was important that I look nice for that very special day as we always had company and photos taken. 

The week before, Mom and I would head out to the fabric store to look a patterns and material. Even at an early age I was always included in the decision making of what I was going to wear. I could be a stubborn child and once the outfit was made if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t wear it. So Grandma and Mom learned quickly to include me. Did I like this color, that fabric, did it feel good, what about that pattern? 

Typical Easter Dress
of the 50's
Once I gave my approval the various purchases were made and off we would go to the house to busy ourselves in getting my Easter outfit made. Even at the tender age of five, I was given the task of ironing the pattern. What!? Put an iron in a kids hands?  Yup, I learned to iron my daddy’s hankies by the time I was 4 with a cold iron, Grandma would slowly increase the heat over time and explain to me about getting burned. I did a few times. It only took once or twice of me getting burned for me to stop touching the face plate. Ice helps plus a sucker!

Mom would clear the kitchen table and we would lay out the material and place the pattern on top, measuring, pinning then cutting.  After getting it all cut out and carefully folded, mom would start sewing the pieces together and slowly a beautiful to me dress would appear! I would stand on a chair and mom or grandma would pin in the hem of the dress making sure that it hit at my knee or just below. Of course I had to have my crinolines on to make the skirt flair so the hem would be correct. Pin it without the crinolines and it could be a disaster! Once done the dress was press and hung with care until Easter morn. In some respects I feel my Brother felt left out as Mom bought his outfit. It wasn’t until I was about 13 before I started getting a store bought outfit for Easter.

On Friday Mom and I would head to the store to grocery shop and then to the liquor store.  She would always get a Manischewitz Red Cream Sherry.  We kids would always get a very small glass of it. Boy was it good!

The day before Easter, Mom and Grandma would hard boil 4 dozen eggs. Frank, my brother, and I had a most wonderful time coloring 3 dozen eggs. We would make two toned eggs, write on them, mix

colors and we got to where we were making our own colors and not buying the store bought dyes. We always had a blast. We also learned not to put the eggs once dyed in the refrigerator as they would sweat when we brought them back out, all the color would come off, not good!

Frank and I were so excited to get a visit from the Easter Bunny on Easter morn.  When we got up we would get dressed up in our new outfits and go into the living room and there would be our Easter baskets filled with peeps and a big chocolate bunny and lots of candy and of course our dyed Easter eggs.  How did the Easter Bunny know where to find our Easter eggs!?

After having breakfast and devouring some of the candy in our baskets, unbeknownst to us one of our parents had slipped out and hidden our eggs outside

and returned the baskets to their spots empty and waiting for us to partake in the hunt. Mom or Dad would come in and proclaim the Easter Bunny had made off with our eggs and we had better go find them.  Out the door we would rush with our baskets and 
begin the frantic hunt while mom would film it on the old Bell & Howell 8mm movie camera.

Oh such fun, Frank and I would hide eggs on and off all day long. Our cousins would come in from Texas and join us and we would hunt together. Some Easters were so blistering cold we would have to hunt in the house and occasionally  we would loose an egg and weeks later suffer the consequences of the rotten egg smell until we would find it in the couch. YUCK!

One year I got a baby duck for Easter, I named him Quack. He eventually went to my Grandma's house to live with her chickens.

Mother and grandma would spend the afternoon in the kitchen preparing Easter dinner, Dad would fix


the ham.  As I got older I was in charge of the deviled eggs, hence the extra dozen eggs as we didn’t use the hunting eggs for the deviled eggs. The table was set with ham, green bean casserole, corn, scalloped potatoes, deviled eggs  yeast rolls fresh butter, Manischewitz wine and grandma’s famous chocolate cake. My mother’s cousin, who was a local baker always brought over a lemon chess pie, boy was it good!

After dinner we all would pitch in and get the kitchen cleaned up as the TV Network was going to show the “Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston. Back then there were only 3 stations unlike today where there are a plethora of choices.

Inside Trinity Episcopal 
Church, Tulsa, OK

At the age of 14 my mother and I joined the Episcopal church and Easter took on a whole new meaning.  Easter for me is a time for reflection, renewal and hope.

Whatever Easter means to you, I hope you fill your day with love.

Happy Easter!

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  1. Baby ducks and chicks could be purchased at just about any 5c 10c store. One year I bought two baby ducks (Quikie and Quakie) to everyone's surprise they lived to adulthood. My father and I dug a large hole in the back yard and put a large wash tub in it and fenced it in. They had just enough room to swim. As winter came I decided they needed a new home. Dad fund someone to take them. That was my summer of '52.

  2. Your post brings back so many memories of Easter in the 1950's, growing up in New England. Well done!

    E: Ecuador & Epcot
    DB McNicol, author & traveler
    Theme: Oh, the places we will go!


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