Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Memories

Olin Sr, and Agnes King Warner
(click on images to enlarge)

For the past month I have not felt very inspired to blog or to do genealogy. With all that is going on in our world, genealogy just didn’t seem as important. Today, while video conferencing with family I was reminded of the many family Easter celebrations of my childhood. As genealogist we'll hear presenters telling us not to forget to tell the stories of our own lives. I felt a strong pull today to recount some of my favorite Easter memories. Right now we can’t physically be with those we love but we can still video conference or call and …we still have our memories.

Growing up Easter always meant a time of family get togethers and celebration. My paternal Grandmother Agnes King Warner insisted on our family getting together and going out for Easter so no one needed to cook. My cousins, my brothers and I would get new Spring outfits. This meant new patent leather shoes, a fancy new Easter dress (sometimes with Crinoline), a new Spring coat, a fancy hat and a small purse for the girls and sometimes even white gloves. My brothers had special new Easter clothes as well which meant new pants, shirt, a jacket or vest and usually a new bow tie or later a tie as well. Sometimes even a hat.

My brothers and I and my cousins would start the day with Easter surprises and breakfast at our homes before attending Easter Celebrations at our churches. For my family it was Grace Episcopal Church in Riverhead, New York and for my cousins it was All Saints Episcopal Church in Great Neck, New York. After church we would stop and buy a plant for my Grandmother and drop it off at her house.

Then we would all meet at a restaurant my Grandparent's chose. I remember frequently going to one called The Wagon Wheel. My Grandmother had a rule that was enforced when we got to the restaurant. That rule was that all the kids were to sit at one end of the table and the adults were to sit at the other end. Grandma told the adults not to care what the kids ate or didn’t eat because this was a celebration for them as well as for the adults. We sure felt grown up in our new clothes and out at a restaurant.  Frequently, we finished all the rolls and bread sticks in the little packages with loads of butter before dinner even came. I also remember a Shirley Temple or two as well. Grandma also strongly believed that if children weren’t taken to restaurants then they wouldn’t learn how to behave and we all needed to learn the proper way to behave in restaurants.

                     (even our dog Duke needed to be in the photo with my brother David)
After dinner there was always a time for pictures. There must be family photos to mark the occasion. Oh, thank goodness for the photos of those special times while we were growing up! What great memories these are to have.

So, at this very strange, unique time in our lives when we can’t celebrate the Holidays like we used to…what new tradition did you create today? Mine was a time of connecting using video conference. While we couldn’t be together in person, we could see each other and talk and that was our way of celebrating Easter 2020. What was yours?

And, of course, I forgot to take a screen shot of all of us today on the video conference call uniting NY, Nevada, Colorado, Florida and California.  Guess we'll just have to remember this one.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. Love all the photos. Great memories. Love the story of your grandma and the restaurant.

    1. Thank-you Diane! Yes, she was definitely the matriarch of the family.

  2. Debbie,
    This is such a beautiful story. I did know of your conference call, as I had talked to the family yesterday afternoon.
    Have a great day.

    1. Thank-you Harriet. So wish I had taken a picture. Definitely a new experience but so good to 'see' everyone.

  3. Thank you for sharing your Easter pictures with us. We had a white collie named Duke when we lived in Hicksville, N.Y. in the 50s. I miss seeing the little children dressed up in new Easter outfits. I never considered jeans dress clothes, so matter how pretty the accessories were. You have given me the idea to dig out my old pictures and share them with my cousins from when we were little, and visiting our grandparents in Pa. for Easter.

    1. Thank-you! Definitely share those pictures and record those memories.