Easter Memories

I have many outstanding Easter memories. Of course, pictures my mother took help to remind me of this very special day. When I was four, we lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We have a picture of my sister and me dressed in our Easter dresses, complete with straw hats and white gloves. Of course, the gloves weren’t very white by the time we got back from church. The picture my mother has of us that year had to have been taken before we left for church that morning, because we are both still clean. We were good on the way to church, but coming home, we always cut through Longfellow Park. It was a favorite haunt of ours. My sister and I used to pick every dandelion we could find and take bouquets of them home. The gooey juice from them stained our gloves, forever discoloring them. The next year, I notice in the picture, my mother didn’t buy gloves for either of us.

Probably my most cherished memory was immortalized on film. When we were living in Lubbock, Texas, we spent Easter one year with my mother’s friend.  She had a huge, extended family. Lots of brothers and sisters, one of whom had eleven girls and one boy. Six of the girls were theirs, the rest were foster children.

Anyway, her brother-in-law had just bought an 8mm camera and was determined to film every moment of Easter Sunday. Featured in the events was an Easter egg hunt with plastic eggs full of candy. I was the youngest one there, so several of his daughters helped me find eggs. I had an enormous basket full of every color you can imagine. I ran around all over the place with that basket, miraculously not dropping any eggs until I got inside.

Somewhere in the house, probably through the back door, there was a recessed area of floor. I’m not sure why the house was built like this, but I think it was a mud room that had a drain in the concrete floor. In any case, I found this area fascinating. Every time I visited, I jumped across the recessed part. It was just far enough to be exciting and not so far that I fell.

I remember running in the house to show them all my eggs, when I got to that spot. Leaping as usual, I flew across the section of concrete with a huge arc of eggs cascading from my basket. A shining, shimmering rainbow of plastic eggs followed me across. It must have been an amazing sight!

Little did I know that the man of the house had captured me on film! At the next visit to their home, he had the film in the projector to show us. He had carefully cut and spliced it himself, showing us a panoramic view of the day, complete with his commentary – delivered much like Howard Cossell.

As the finale, you guessed it! My famous acrobatic event! He ran it first in regular time. Then he ran the film backwards. We all laughed as the eggs one by one leaped back into my basket. Next, he ran the movie in slow motion and we watched as each plastic projectile launched itself from the wicker confines, scattering on the floor. Then he ran it in fast motion. Between each showing, he backed it up, and we laughed hysterically as the eggs picked themselves up, leaping back into my basket.

I wonder what became of that film. I like to hope that the family kept it, laughing at it for years to come. It was over forty years ago, but I still remember like it was yesterday.


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