EASTER SUNDAY

Matthew 20:19…..On the third day he will be raised to life.

Luke 24…..He is not here, he is risen.

Such Easter Sunday’s religious joyous connotation. There also is another joyous one. In a popular sense. Best exemplified by Irving Berlin’s 1933 Easter Parade: In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.

I used to believe death was the only constant. Life has taught me otherwise. Change is a constant, also. Nothing remains the same. Nothing is as it was.

Easter Sunday attire is reflective of change. Big time. Mike Ragland is a retired police officer living in the Rome, Georgia area. He recently wrote a change type article for the Rome News Tribune titled “In Your Easter Bonnet.”

I have combined some of my thoughts with his for today’s blog.

The tale of Easter Sunday attire begins with Constantine I. Emperor of Rome in the early fourth century. He ordered his subjects to dress in their finest clothes and parade in honor of Christ’s Resurrection.

His decree developed with time.

In Tudor days, superstition originated which claimed that unless a person had new homespun cloth available at Easter, moths and crickets would eat his old clothes.

The Irish added a vestige that stated, “For Christmas, food and drink; for Easter, new clothes.”

A 15th century proverb from Poor Richard’s Almanac stated that if on Easter Sunday some part of the outfit was not new, one would not enjoy good luck during the year.

German settlers in Pennsylvania as early as 1782 paraded on Easter Monday. Easter Monday was widely celebrated as a holiday. The parading continued for over a century.

Then came the big one!

In 1870, ladies of congregations along New York’s Fifth Avenue began decorating churches with fresh flowers to commemorate Easter Sunday. A New York newspaper noted over half the female congregation members were decked out in their best finery while so doing.

A few years later, ladies and their escorts began walking to other churches to view floral arrangements and to be seen. The strolling area extended from 49th Street to 57th Street on Fifth Avenue.

By 1900, Easter Sunday  was rivaling Christmas as a merchant’s dream and was spreading to other cities.

Irving Berlin’s 1933 Easter Parade glorified the day as it had become. Fifteen years later, Judy Garland and Fred Astaire made the movie Easter Parade. One of the most profitable movies made to that time.

I am 82. In my youth, the whole family dressed on Easter Sunday. Where affordable, of course. I first noticed the everyone dressing up thing during World War II when I was 5-10 years old.

We dressed for church. Walked to and back from church as a family. Everyone smiling and exchanging hellos with neighbors and friends.

Followed by Easter Sunday dinner. Exceeded only by Christmas dinner.

The ladies wore hats. New ones, big ones, little ones, frilly and flowered.

I recall Easter Sundays in the 1960’s. Married with four little ones. We all dressed, went to church, and then to a huge family dinner.

The historical Easter Sunday and the one I knew is no more. A thought to be constant having disappeared. No one dresses as they did. Hats, what hats? Few families go to church together. Few go to church. The big meal, rare.

I am glad I was fortunate to have lived through those times. The memories real and warm.

My friends, whatever way you celebrate Easter Sunday, whatever you wear, whatever you eat, enjoy the day. This is what it is. Not bad, not as good, just the way it is.

Happy Easter!

 

 

CHANGE

Time changes everything. Nothing remains the same. Change constant.

So too with Key West and visitors.

I have been doing Key West for 26 years. Except for the first year, for extended periods each year. The last 11, full time.

Until 5 years ago, Key West was predictable as regards the leaving of tourists and snowbirds.

The monday after Easter Sunday, half left. Their sudden absence obvious.

One week later, the rest left.

From that time forward for several months, locals used to say you could throw a bowling ball down Duval and hit no one.

Did you ever wonder why locals get a discount at restaurants? Simple. Locals used to be the sole source of business after Easter and into the Fall.

No more.

Five years or so ago brought a dramatic change. Tourists and snowbirds still come and go. Yet Key West is always crowded. A bit less after Easter, but not that much so.

The reason why our streets are crowded with cars, bicycles and mopeds. And, of course, pedestrians.

The change the result of excellent advertising of Key West by  State and local groups.

Another change is occurring. The flavor of Key West. The funky disappearing. We are becoming as other Florida vacation spots. Men even wearing sport jackets.

My Easter was different. I did the Easter egg hunt and breakfast with Lisa and family. Invited to four dinners/parties in the afternoon. Thought I would hit one or two.

Never made it. Got lazy. Laid around reading, watching TV and snoozing.

Micky Mantle one of baseball’s all time greats. On this day in 1951, Mantle made his major league debut with the New York Yankees.

TV was still in its infancy. Not all baseball games being televised. TV screen 6 inches by 4 inches.

You went to the ball park if you wanted to see the Micky Mantles play. I was privileged to watch Mantle play at Yankee Stadium several times.

Enjoy your day!

 

365 DAYS TILL EASTER

Another holiday behind us.

Holidays are good for the soul, bad for the body. Too much eating. I blew my diet, of course. I had planned on it. Amazing how good everything tasted!

I arrived at Lisa’s at the prescribed time. Nine. The egg hunt was over. Robert and Ally could not wait. They were into it at 7:30.

Lisa hides Easter goodies in the yard. Jake participated in the search. He found three items. Fortunately, none a hard boiled egg.

I decided Robert and Ally were on in their years and Easter baskets were no longer for them. I bought them each a book instead. They were thrilled. Robert volunteered they were too old for candy. How fast they mature!

Lisa had prepared a huge Easter breakfast. Everything good.

 

She scored big time with the cassata. Oh, my diet!

Cassata is Italian cheese cake. First time Lisa made it. I have not had a piece in at least 10 years. A winner! Just like my grandmother and mother used to make.

On the way home, I stopped at the Marriott Beachside. Needed a walk. The walk took me around the Marriott’s grounds and garages.

My day was spent at home doing this week’s KONK Life column. Money Corrupts. Concerns politicians. A cause and effect treatise. Starts with the Federalist Society. Then to the Citizens United decision. Finally ending with Senator Robert Menendez. An interesting analysis.

When I started visiting Key West more than 25 years ago, the season was over Easter Sunday. Half the visitors left Easter Sunday. The remaining half the next Sunday.

No more. The season now runs through the end of August.

Before people started visiting Key West during the several months following Easter Sunday, Key Westers would tell how quiet Duval became. The morning after Easter Sunday, there were few people left in Key West. You could throw a bowling ball down Duval and hit no one.

Big basketball tonight! Duke/Wisconsin. The final game of the Final Four. The teams are considered equal. There is no point spread. Either team can win.

I have a problem. I could not get the Friday games on CBS. There were two other streaming channels. One for Kentucky and the other for Wisconsin. I watched both, skipping back and forth.

Streaming a poor way to watch. The broadcasters on each school’s channel consistently commented in support of the school they were at. Many negative comments re the opposing team. I needed Dick Vitale!

I have Comcast. If anyone can tell me how to find CBS for the game, e mail me. It has to be somewhere, CBS something. I subscribe to most channels.

Enjoy your day!