For some reason, I love when Easter and Passover occur in the same week. It goes back to my best experience of these two holidays, when I was a teen-ager who had just moved to Los Angeles by myself, and so many kind people took me under their wings.

So now I’ll get to have one of my very few Easters in New York. I’ve had just a couple here in grown-up years; one was great, (Mr. X and I hosted a Friday night “friend” party, an Easter family and mom’s friends brunch, and then Easter dinner with the Rampinos–how could that week-end have been any better???,) and the other not so much. My mother and I drove around Brooklyn, looking for a fun Easter brunch, landing at a far from fabulous place.

Karen and the boys making Easter e-words on one of her favorite Easters. (Clockwise from left) Ronnie Hazel, Jr., Jake Lauro, Terrance Jones, Karen Salkin, and Alex Hazel.

Karen and the boys making Easter e-words on one of her favorite Easters. (Clockwise from left) Ronnie Hazel, Jr., Jake Lauro, Terrance Jones, Karen Salkin, and Alex Hazel.

My best Easters have, of course, have been with the Hazel fam in Providence, Rhode Island. It’s hard to be so close to them, proximity-wise, this year, and not have the time to make it out there.

But, since this Spring seems to find me harking back to holidays of yore, here are my two favorite ones from when I was growing up in Brooklyn, where I find myself again this week.

My all-time favorite was performing my very first starring role, in my elementary school. I was in third grade, which was the first time a class was allowed to put on a school play. We were assigned to, of all things, the Easter play! (Mind you, 99.9% of the school population was Jewish!) They may have actually labeled it the “Spring Play,” just to be safe, but it ended with me in a giant flowered hat, and the entire assemblage singing In Your Easter Bonnet!!! When I was cast as the female lead, I remember being so relieved to find-out that the male one was cast as my brother, and not my boyfriend! (I liked only older men at the time. And besides, this guy spoke too Brooklyn-esque for me.)

happy-easterWe played siblings Jan and Betta who were looking for signs of Spring, or something like that. (Maybe that’s what began my life-long desire to do detective work!) It was pretty lame, but I loved being in the spotlight the whole time.

The assistant principal took the stage after to congratulate our stellar work, and it was the first time I was singled-out, and lauded, as a “wonderful little actress.” I want to say I was thrilled then, but the truth is, I’m still beaming from those kudos! The acting bug has been with me ever since.

The other fun childhood Easter was when I threw my brother an Easter party! Again, everyone was Jewish, but I knew it would be fun for him. His birthday is in the summer, so he had never had a party with his school chums, and I knew I could pull it off.

I made a big “Pin the Tail on the Bunny” myself, and used cotton balls attached to thumb tacks for the tails. (So clever, right? Feel free to use it.)

All my food was Easter-and-Spring-themed, and of course, I had a chocolate Easter egg hunt! The funny thing is that his best friend then was this little ladies man, (at the age of eight!,) who’s now a Rabbi! So, he’s a fun symbol of both these Spring holidays this week! (And he’ll probably be dropping by any day now to say hi, because he still lives right around the block from me when I’m at my mother’s house.)

Okay, thanks for letting me share these reminiscences. I hope you have some good ones, too.

And, no matter how you celebrate it, if it’s your holiday, I wish you all a very Hoppy Easter!


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