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!

 

 

PLAYFUL KEY WEST RETIREES RETURN TO COLLEGE

A haircut first yesterday. With the lovely and interesting Lori. She has been cutting my hair for 15 years in Key West. We have become good friends.

Just about everyone was wearing green tee shirts. St. Patrick’s Day. I decided to go down Duval to Sloppy Joe’s and Irish Kevin’s to observe the festivities. It was after noon so beer was being consumed by many walking along.

I stopped at Irish Kevin’s. Never made it to Sloppy Joe’s which was just a few doors further.

Love Irish Kevin’s! Get there once a year. Not more often. A young crowd and I don’t fit. I can see, however. The young ladies baring their breasts draws me to Irish Kevin’s that one time a year.

About five years ago, another local couple and I enjoyed dinner together St. Patrick’s evening at La Te Da. My friends were in the mid 70s as I at the time. We decided to go down to Irish Kevin’s to see what was going on.

It was Spring Break. As yesterday. Irish Kevin’s was packed with college kids.

We were near the bar and had been able to get drinks. One of the students asked what we were doing there. My mind operates swiftly. I said we were on Spring Break. He looked at me strangely. I explained we were three retirees who had returned to college. We attended Syracuse University. We had decided age should not be a barrier to enjoying Spring Break.

We never bought another drink. Word spread quickly. The students loved us. A good time was had by all!

I have corned beef and cabbage once a year. St. Patrick’s Day. The Sloppy Joe area is for drinkers, not eaters. I decided to drive over to Shanna Key on Flagler. Assumed there would not be too many at the bar. It is out of the way. Shanna Key serves corn beefed and cabbage every day. Part of its regular menu.

I was wrong re the number of people. Shanna Key was crowded. They were on the sidewalks. I could not get into the parking lot. Decided to go home.

Spent the afternoon and evening relaxing. My body was telling me to rest. Watched NCAA basketball all afternoon and evening.

Syracuse/Dayton today. 12:15 on CBS. Dayton a 1 1/2 point favorite. Not sure whether I will be watching the game at Don’s Place or Jack Flats.

Received an e-mail from my friend Anna yesterday. She is in Courmayeur skiing on Mont Blanc. The highest peak in the Alps. Courmayeur is in the far north region of Italy.

I envy her. I do not ski. However loved Coumayeur during my European travels. A quaint lovely village. The best was sitting in the village square at an outside cafe and enjoying a drink or two.

Anna said she will be leaving for Chamonix today. Chamonix is just over the border in France. Beautiful.

Remember the tune Alexander’s Ragtime Band? Catchy. A song for the ages.

Irving Berlin copyrighted the tune this day in 1911. No records or CDs back then. Sheet music. People bought sheet music and played tunes on their home pianos.

Alexander’s Ragtime Band initially was copyrighted in lyric form. The words came later.

Alexander’s was the biggest sheet music seller up to that time. 1.5 million copies in 18 months.

Times have changed!

Enjoy your day!