January 25, 2021

Bill, Joe and Jerry Rowden with Sally

Not all holidays were created equal in our family—and we don’t have photos from any of them except Easter.  This really is about the only holiday picture I recall seeing.  Easter Sunday was a special time up on the hill—for dressing up in new church clothes, a festive meal of ham, deviled eggs and asparagus with lemon meringue pie for dessert, and the afternoon Easter egg hunts in the front yard.

For five years or more, Tootsie and her three sons lived in a garage apartment Arley built for them.  It was just across the driveway from our back door and we four were always in and out of each other’s house or playing together somewhere on the property. The boys often went to Sunday School and church with my mother and me at the Ohio Avenue Church of Christ.  And on Easter Sunday, Mother and I wore corsages with our new outfits.  In this photo, I’m wearing a navy blue gabardine suit (homemade by Mother) with a white blouse, white anklets and red patent flats, and a red carnation corsage.  I was maybe 10 years old, Jerry 8, Joe 7 and Bill 4.  We got new Easter baskets each year but not much candy—maybe jelly beans and a chocolate bunny.  We dyed hard boiled eggs the day before for an afternoon egg hunt—and even occasionally ate some of them afterward.  Things were a bit more exciting a few years later when we moved to our new house and we got four Chinese geese from Mother’s cousin Sarah Lee in Olean, New York.  The prize find for Easter egg hunts then was a large goose egg dyed yellow—truly a Golden Egg!

So who is the dog photobombing this picture?  Our answer to Lassie, this collie (I think he was named Chester) wasn’t a longtime beloved pet but he enjoyed playing with the boys especially.  I’m sure he was helpful locating Easter eggs for their baskets!

Holidays then weren’t as commercialized.  Today Americans spend the most money on Christmas, followed in order by Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween.  These were all simpler occasions for our family. Yet even if not well documented by photos, an Eaves Easter up on the hill was a happy day for my three nephews and me!

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