Easter Parade

“In your easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
You’ll be the grandest lady in the easter parade.
I’ll be all in clover and when they look you over,
I’ll be the proudest fellow in the easter parade.
On the avenue, fifth avenue, the photographers will snap us.

Oh, I could write a sonnet about your easter bonnet,
And of the girl I’m taking to the easter parade.”

Those lyrics were from the song written by Irving Berlin in 1933. It was most recognized from the film by the same name starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in 1948. (even before I was born!)
The fifth avenue referred to in  the song is, of course , that iconic avenue in New York, and when we were kids, Easter was a big deal in New York City. Easter was kind of the “perfect storm” for us: a very Holy day in the Catholic Church calendar, the beginning of springtime, an opportunity for new clothes or shoes and without question, an occasion for outstanding food.
In the Church , the entire week proceeding Easter was particularly meaningful, thus the designation of Holy Week. It started with Palm Sunday the Sunday prior to Easter Sunday and included Holy Thursday , Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
In Italian neighborhoods , the week was a frenzy of food preparation, shopping and planning. Good Friday was a time especially meaningful for me, as that was the day Mom chose to visit different Churches within walking distance of our home Church, St. Bernard’s . With me walking beside her and Robert in the reliable stroller we would visit St. Anthony’s, Pompei, and our Lady of Guadalupe. Mom would pray in front of each station of the cross, while I looked forward to lighting a candle over her last prayer. I’m not sure that Rob knew what was going on, but he sure appeared to be enjoying it.
The long walk home always involved at least three stops at various Italian specialty stores; bread, pasta, pastries bought in anticipation of the Easter Sunday meal.
Friday afternoon and into the wee small hours of the morning, Mom and Aunt Fil would be fully engaged in meal preparation. Ravioli was the traditional meal we shared on Easter and Moms ravioli was no frozen, ready to eat Ravioli. No, we are speaking of hand made here. Everything  from rolling her own pasta ( I’ll never forget Mom and Dads bed covered with paper and roll upon roll of fresh pasta, waiting for the Ricotta to be added ), sauce was made from scratch as were the meatballs. The bed was used as a make-shift table, as there simply was no place else to layout all the pasta in the small apartment. This went on from Friday night until late Saturday night when all preparation was finally done and all that remained was cooking everything after Church on Easter Sunday. (not that this was a small undertaking, but compared to the preparation it appeared to be.)
Easter morning was especially fun when Rob and I were very young, as this special morning brought with it a candy filled Easter Basket left by none other than the Easter Bunny. Yep, we absolutely knew that the Easter Bunny existed as much as we knew Santa existed . Hell, we even KNEW that the tooth fairly existed. Yes, I said it … the tooth fairy. Kudos to two very special parents who made childhood fantasies magical.
Back to the song I led with. Whenever I heard this song, and even today, whenever I hear that song, I think of dressing up for church on Easter morning and then taking that walk on Fifth avenue after Church was over. I know I have mentioned that we never had a lot of money, but that didn’t stop said special parents from making sure we had some new article of clothing to wear on Easter. Perhaps it was simply a shirt or something as exotic as a pair of new shoes, but whatever  is was , we felt as though we were royalty as we headed out for  servive that morning.
Ah, and the Avenue…. fifth avenue. It was filled with folks dressed to “the nines”. Easter bonnets ruled as women from every station in life displayed their new Easter dresses. Men and boys wore jackets and ties as they strutted along this beautiful New York avenue. It was Easter Sunday after all……it was New York…. and it was “The Avenue “.

One thought on “Easter Parade

  1. I’ve always loved Easter and miss all the times with the kids and new outfits and church and Easter baskets. The whole day!😍😍😍😍🐇🐇🐇

    Sent from my iPhone



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