Appalachia Holidays in Appalachia

Blind Pig Readers Talk about Easter

Pap and Granny's grandkids Easter 2002

Pap and Granny’s grandkids at Easter

Ed Ammons: Does anybody remember Easter baskets made from round oatmeal boxes? The boxes were cut in half except for two strips left on each side that when stapled together at the top served as a handle. The whole thing was then covered with crepe paper, ribbons and bows. The girls took the time to make really pretty ones. The boys only wanted something to hold the eggs they found.

Zelma: I remember so well the patent shoes, frilly dresses and hats, and the light jacket required for chilly Easter mornings. My mother always made a 3 layer coconut cake. She went all out–chose a coconut from the store after shaking it, broke it open with a hammer, and grated her own fresh coconut, and the coconut water went in the cake batter. She also fashioned spring flowers from gumdrops which she meticulously rolled out and cut and shaped, and then placed on top of the coconut cake as decorations. I wish I had a picture of one of those cakes, because they truly were masterpieces. She could be so artistic, but never thought she had any talent. My memories remind me in so many ways that she had very special talents.

B.Ruth: My Mother would always receive a orchid for Easter from my Dad. It was usually in a white box with a clear window to view the flower…It had a small ribbon bow attached to the tube where the orchid stem met the top opening. Also enclosed was a long pin with a pearl bead-like top. Stuck through the fake green wrapping that held it altogether and was used to attach it to your dress. The color of the flower was a pale orchid or pinkish white. She put it immediately in the refrigerator until Suday morning. Mom more than likely would wear a suit with skirt and jacket that matched and a blouse underneath…the orchid pinned on the left collar…When I got in junior and high school I would get the florist flower too. Not always a orchid usually carnations…because the orchid was expensive and reserved for Mom…I didn’t care for most of the girls wore carnations.

When I was a very young girl, Mom would usually fashion me a little flower from one of her hat flowers with a ribbon. Sometimes, if there was a new bloom of a daffodil or narcissus in the yard, she would tie those together with ribbon and use one of her many bead-head pins to attach it. I always managed to get stuck at that age…too tom boyish and rambunctious I guess…

The orchid and carnations were always taken off as soon as we got back home and put back in the refrigerator. After Sunday was over Mother would take out the flower and put them in one of those single stem vases (milk glass 40/50’s) and display it on the dining room table until it faded away!

This is one of many memories I have left from Easter Sunday in the 40’s and 50’s growing up years!
Once in a long while if Dad had lots of work (self-employed) and had a little extra money he would also gift Mom with a pot of White Easter Lilies…this was a sacrifice for him for the strong fragrance from them being in the house would make him sick.

Jim Casada: I wonder how many of your readers remember “fighting” eggs at Easter time? This was done by striking the more pointed ends of boiled eggs against one another. It was grand fun to have a “champeen” egg which reduced a bunch of others to the makings of egg salad. Of course there was always some sneaky country boy who had access to guinea eggs and snuck one of them in amongst his dyed chicken eggs. A guinea egg is as hard as the fowl which produce them are loud. I haven’t heard (or thought) of fighting eggs for years until a few days ago. It was commonplace when I was a boy.

Ken Roper: I’ve watched youngin’s as they searched for Easter Eggs. That is a nice tradition, and to see the look of surprise when they find one is rewarding. For years my daddy was the Sunday School Superintendent at our Church, but he was a prankster too. He made me an Ester Egg to fight with, and out of Talc. That thing was slick as a button, he scraped it with his knife then sanded it smooth. Then he warned me to do like the bigger boys did, let only the pointed end stick out to fight with. There was some sad faces after I broke their prize eggs, then I’d go off and snigger. That was fun!

Shirl: My earliest memory of Easter was going to church and getting an Easter basket filled with candy we had never seen before. The few pieces we got at Christmas was nothing compared to what we found in our basket. They usually had one of those chocolate covered eggs with fruit and nuts inside.

We all took eggs to school and had a big hunt at recess. No telling how long some of those eggs had been unrefrigerated! Most people used food coloring to dye their eggs.

Paul Certo: Mrs. Wanda recalls when she was very young she lost one of her new Easter shoes in the mud walking back from the Church House. Seems her foot sunk so deep she couldn’t find her shoe! They never did find that shoe, so somewhere in the old road towards Millers Fork Church, is an old, very muddy, girls shoe, entombed until they decide to pave the road, and a grader unearths it. Not sure they ever will pave that road, though.



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  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Tipper,I’m rembering an Easter when our baskets were made from colored paper.Everyone but me had found their basket before it was time to go to Church.I found it after church in a tree, but the ants found it first! A Blessed Easter to all.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    I just loved that video by Papaw in the comment section. …Ken

  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Easter memories:
    -making baskets out of strawberry baskets found in the stores in the 50s and 60s. We’d weave ribbon, cloth, wrapping paper, even strips cut from colorful pictures in magazines to decorate them. Grandma usually bought a package a stickers with birds or flowers on them to add to our baskets. (We used those baskets to make May baskets as well.)
    -dyeing eggs: with my kids we sometimes used natural dyes – they liked coming up with things to try – turmeric made a very strong yellowish orangeish color. We also made “batik” eggs by drawing on them with white crayons.
    – hunting eggs – we really had to hunt for the eggs both at home and at church. I think kids today really miss out on having to “work” to find their eggs at the church hunt. May be a sign of the times because so much of the plantings around the church we now attend were removed to reduce break ins and because there is no one to maintain the extensive plantings that used to be there and the cost to water them in this dry region. Also – eating the eggs – at home, we made our Easter eggs on Saturday. They were on the table when we went to bed – after the hunt, our baskets went on the table until after church. If the weather was cool overnight, we peeled the eggs and added them to the waiting potato salad for dinner, some were made into deviled eggs and some were set aside to make tuna salad and chicken salad.
    – catching the Easter Bunny: for years, Dad made a bunny trap Saturday evening. He did that for the grandkids when they were little too. We chose a plump carrot as bait and had to check the trap Sunday morning before we hunted for eggs. One Easter we actually caught a bunny! My sister cried because she thought there wouldn’t be any eggs to find but Dad assured us this was only a helper bunny; the Easter bunny was too smart to get caught. Of course, we let the captured bunny go after giving him or her another carrot. He/she must have liked it because it hung around most of the time we were hunting eggs.
    – new Easter clothes were always a treat. Clothing was usually hand-me-downs, rummage sale, or homemade. In the early years the Easter dresses were usually homemade but the hats and shoes were store bought and one year we even got frilly socks, gloves, and a little purse! I must admit, I didn’t think much about the resurrection story while wearing my new clothes.
    – sunrise service. That was special – and then, I did think about the Resurrection Story and also about family. As a child there sometimes was a special service on a small “lake” about 30 minutes away. My great-grandmother went with us several times and families sat together on blankets (newspapers were spread on the damp grass before the blankets; Dad spread an irrigation tarp under ours). There was a little slope and we looked to the east for the sunrise, the preachers were down next to the lake, as the sun peeked over the horizon the group gathered sang “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”. I thought it was beautiful!

  • Reply
    Allison Britt
    March 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Oh yes, i remember the new dresses, sometimes bonnets, and black patent shoes and pictures, the singing at church, the baskets and bunnies and egg dying, and sunshine and blue skies with big fluffy white clouds, and flowers. I do remember the hiding eggs and ‘egg fighting’ with cousins. Funny how some eggs would just keep winning the were so strong 🙂 Easter and Christmas were the holidays that my grandma loved most…and i feel the same.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    March 30, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I remember the oatmeal box baskets. We would make them in Sunday school the week before Easter and get they would be waiting for us in our classroom Easter Sunday.

    My favorite memory was the Living Cross. It was a big cross made out of 2x4s and chicken wire. Everybody would bring fresh cut flowers to put in the cross. We always managed to find tulips growing around the house to pick.

    There are a lot of pictures of me and my brothers standing next to the cross outside Walnut Street UMC in Chilicothe.

    Thanks, y’all for sharing these memories.

  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    March 30, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Easter is my favorite holiday. I still love it; new life all around us.
    Being young , going to church, then to Grannys all dressed up to hunts eggs with cousins was heavenly. We always sang HE AROSE at church and other Resurrection music.
    The weather was usually warm. At home, Mother always had the Easter edition of IDEAL Magazine with photos of flowers and country churches etc. Still have all the photos … and of my own children later as well.
    What a lovely time with warm cozy memories. I so miss my family.

  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 8:40 am
    You gotta watch this. It’s a daddy hunting Easter eggs with his kids.

    • Reply
      Lee Mears
      March 30, 2018 at 8:57 am

      Love it!! That’s the easy way!!!
      That little boy will always think of that tree as the ‘egg tree’.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 30, 2018 at 8:06 am

    My Easter memory is of covering the kitchen table in newspaper, getting out the food coloring and coloring eggs. Depending on how many times we spooned color over them the color would get darker. Then we would get tired of just a simple one color and start mixing colors. We came up with some wild looking ones, like the gray-green-purple one time.

    We used to hide eggs in the yard (never at church). I remember finding the big chocolate prize egg one year. It was in the forks of a dogwood about 4-5 feet off the ground. Then as I got older I switched to hiding eggs but I made it too hard and had to let others do it.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 30, 2018 at 7:22 am

    I remember Easter egg hunts at my mothers sister’s house with all the cousins there. The cousins consisted of thirteen kids. Some of the eggs had money amounts written on them, like .10 or .25, so you got that in addition to the eggs. It was fun, and it seemed like lots of money back in the 40’s and early 50’s!

  • Reply
    Sheryl A. Paul
    March 30, 2018 at 6:24 am

    What lovely memories, that coconut back sounds both delicious and beautiful! I remember the new dresses and shoes each year. At some point when we were teens they stopped. I wonder why?

  • Reply
    March 30, 2018 at 5:50 am

    As a kid I couldn’t stand Easter, Mama would make us dress up more than usual for Church and then we couldn’t play afterwards, until we got home and changed our clothes, but before that happen, it was picture taking time, you’d have to stand and pretend and smile like you were happy to have on a suit and tie on. But the whole eggs and baskets and bunny thing to me is a lot like Christmas it shadows over the true meaning, it’s a day of Celebration a Victory for Man kind. A Celebration of the Resurrection of our Savior.

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