I was trying to think of something that I missed this week, then I remembered that this past Sunday was Easter, and I really gave little or no thought to it. In fact, Lent this year kind of slipped past me, and I don’t think I gave it a second thought.
Easter was a big deal in our family, particularly with my mother, who was known as “Bunny” because she was born on Holy Saturday. Oddly enough, she died on Good Friday 68 years later. (Coincidentally, Mary was also born on Holy Saturday, in another year, of course.) Easter dinner was as big a deal as Christmas dinner, except instead of turkey, we had either ham or leg o’ lamb, but we had all the fixin’s besides (sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, a couple of different vegetables, mint jelly with leg o’ lamb, for whatever reason). And, after dinner, we had a lamb cake for dessert, at least when I was younger. That was a yellow cake covered with white frosting and coconut, made in the shape of a lamb. Years later, an old guy who was a friend of mine from the Holy Name Society told me he used to make the lamb cakes. I guess he had lamb-shaped baking pans and he’d bake both sides, then stick them together with frosting. I don’t know if people make the lamb cakes anymore.
We didn’t get presents at Easter, of course, but we got something almost as good: candy. My favorites were always the Marshmallow Peeps, which I would eat “on the fly”: my brothers would toss them and I would catch them and stuff them in my mouth, all in one motion. (Yes, I know I’ve told you that before…) Mom had a sweet tooth as well, and loved “jelly bird eggs,” which were basically jelly beans, but were a little tastier than the run-of-the-mill ones. Not exactly Jelly Belly, but tasty nonetheless. And chocolate everything: bunnies, eggs (both solid and marshmallow-filled), chicks, you name it. When we got older we used to set up each other’s Easter baskets and hide them. It was a fun tradition.
So to go from where Easter was a major big deal to where it almost passes without a second thought is strange. I realize that this year has been more than a little different, since churches around here were closed for Easter (the one day a year where they should be open) to avoid the spread of Covid-19, restaurants were shut down, there were no sports on TV because all the sports are stopped until further notice, there were no Easter TV specials, not even It’s The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown or some Hallmark movie like Love In An Easter Basket, and I doubt we would have watched any of that, anyway.
Well, I’m not going to just let it pass by. From UPA, who produced cartoons like Mr. Magoo and Dick Tracy’s Crimestopperrs! as well as the swingin’ version of Frosty The Snowman, here’s Peter Cottontail.