This is me during Easter 1973. I’m wearing the Easter dress my mother made me. The photo was taken at the Walnut Church of the Nazarene in Walnut, California. Our pastor’s wife took the picture. I’m sitting in my Sunday School class in front of a lithograph of Jesus.
I’ve been meditating lately on the stories my father told me about Palm Sunday and Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Even though I knew how the story ended, it never got old. It was a lot for a little kid to take in, and I was always a little sad about how quickly things changed. One day it was palm branches and Hosanna to the King, and a few days later it was Christ arrested and crucified. In the midst of all this were yellow peeps, chocolate rabbits, and new shoes. They, along with the promise of everlasting life, were facilitated by the most famous execution in history: The death of Christ on the cross.
Growing up, we always got new clothes and shiny black shoes for Easter. My mom usually made my dress. This one was light green with white flowers with hot pink centers. I loved that hot pink grosgrain ribbon that tied in the front. And, get a load of my brooch. My mom was always pinning a grown-up brooch at my neck. As a kid, I hated it. Especially when the pin stuck me in the throat. I love it now, though, and I bet she still has that pin.
During the years I spent growing up in parsonages, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday were incredibly happy days. My fondest childhood memories are of these times when my father put on his black suit and my mother wore an Easter lily corsage. My father would buy it at the grocery store the night before, and it would stay in the refrigerator for weeks after Easter. It was always adorned with a purple ribbon. These are the traditions we hand down, one generation to another.
Easter 1973 will always be among my favorites because I loved that dress so, so much. I wish I could find that fabric somewhere. Vintage fabrics are so hard to come by.