As I have mentioned before, my dad grew up on a farm in southeast Ohio and my mom grew up in a coal mining village along the Ohio River further south.
She probably never got a new dress for any occasion. but one that had been handed down from a family in the village. My dad determined to make something of his life, moved to Akron, Ohio, attended night school and earned his steam engineering license.
Needless to say, Easter came and went in their early lives. They made sure their two children, besides attending church, were given all the attention Easter trimmings brought about.
After marrying in 1922 they rented an apartment on the top floor of a house, saved their money and in 1932 had the $3,000 necessary to build a house. Back then, you had to pay in full for a house. Today $3,000 would not even be a down payment for one.
I was born in 1932 and was brought to this brand new house, located on Iona Avenue in the Kenmore section of Akron. My sister was born three years later but since I’m the oldest one, therefore I am the wisest one, plus I remember the most.
For Easter my mother was proud to see each of her daughters get a new dress, one that she bought in a store. The bus stop to downtown Akron was a short distance from our house and it would take her to either O’Neil’s or Polsky’s department stores.
When we were in our early teens, dad would buy us and mother a corsage to wear for Easter Sunday.
Mother would hard boil a dozen eggs each year and my sister and I had a fun time coloring them in an artificial die that you bought in the store. The package contained pills that you put in a cup of very hot water. You put in your eggs and kept rolling them over and over with a spoon until the egg would turn the coloring of the dye.
It also contained various designs that you could cut out and paste on the eggs. These would be placed on a plate of green grass-like strips and sat in the middle of the dining room table. Our Methodist church was fairly close by and if dad had to work, we walked there in our Easter finery and heard the inspiring Easter story one more time, always listening to the preacher as though we hadn’t heard it before.
I wonder if they still make these Easter dyes.
When I worked in Cleveland at a bank, I had a part time job at the flower shop across the street. For Mother’s Day and Easter I would be there until quite late in the day, making corsages. On Saturdays, I would handle weddings.
One Easter, about midnight, I cut a corsage wire too closely, and cut a “v” shaped slice into a finger. It was so deep I had to cross the street to the hospital, which was beside the bank mentioned, and have it sewn up. After 60 years, that scar has finally disappeared.
There are my remembrances of Easter but the ones provided by loving, hard working parents are the most precious.