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!




I have been meeting some of the most charming and interesting women lately. Last night, it was Helen Basinger.

I was sitting at the Tavern ‘n Town bar having dinner when she and her husband Joel sat next to me. Joel was busy with a guest that had accompanied them. Ergo, I had Helen all to myself.

There was an instantaneous match! Helen wrote a book! It was published last month. Quit Smoking Now and Forever – Conquering the Nicotine Demon. The title speaks for itself. The book is available on amazon.com.

Helen was born and raised in England. She has a distinctive British accent. Lived in France a while. Then Turkey for a number of years. Came to the USA in 2008. She and Joel have been residents of Key West for two years.

Helen operates a business. Freedom Healing. Its purpose to help people break free from negative habits and emotions. I suspect I am ready made for her professional talents.

Her Turkey time lead to the waters between Turkey and Greece and the ferry boats. We agreed ferry boats are buses.

I enjoyed our exchange tremendously. I would like to meet with her again.

It was Bobby Nesbitt time at Tavern ‘n Town. Bobby is a premier entertainer. Tonight and tomorrow night he is appearing at Tennessee Williams doing a one man Fred Astaire show.

I never appreciated Fred Astaire till recently. I caught 24 hours of his movies on the Turner Classics Channel. A talent! A joy to watch!

Tavern ‘n Town was not crowded crowded. About three quarters full. A noisy bunch. I suspect that most were New Year tourists who will be leaving Key West today.

Lynda and Bob Frechette were on the other side of the bar. We raised our glasses to each other in a New Year toast.

Earlier in the day, I watched the Syracuse/Virginia Tech game. Syracuse was winning by 19 points at half. The team looked good. Very good. I started thinking maybe. Syracuse won by two points. No more maybe. I am back to disappointment and I do not know.

Villanova has a terrific team this year. Ranked in the top ten. Beat yesterday by Seton Hall. I still think Villanova will be a Final Four team.

I forgot to share with you yesterday that I wrote this coming week’s KONK Life column. Rank Insubordination. I pressed the button and it was off to the publisher. The column obviously concerns what is going on with New York City’s Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD.

Patrick is from upstate New York. He is a snowbird. He is also a constant commentator to this blog. Almost daily. Tough to handle most times. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum philosophically regarding many things. I consider him the indispensable opposition and even though I rarely agree, I am happy to have his comments.

Patrick can be helpful.

Yesterday’s comment was brief. It contained the name Warren Wilhelm. Who is Warren Wilhelm? I did not know. I Googled the name. The result interesting. Different.

Warren Wilhelm is New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio. His trip to de Blasio unusual.

The Mayor was born Wilfred Wilhelm. He legally changed his name in 1983 to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm. He legally changed his name again in 2002 to Bill de Blasio.

I do not know what to make of this. However, I thank Patrick for piquing my curiosity.

Enjoy your Sunday!