My Childhood Home

Easter was always a special time for us in my home town of New Orleans.  My older sister Kaye and I couldn’t wait to get up early and find our Easter baskets filled with candy and that big old chocolate bunny sitting right in the middle.  Heavenly Hash and Gold Brick eggs,  jelly beans and maybe a stuffed lavender Easter Bunny propped up next to it.  Mine was always the basket with the lavender bow, my sister’s was the one with the pink bow.  For some reason my Mother chose these colors for us.  She would buy me the lavender dress and my sister the pink one.  For whatever reason, as a kid, I secretly wanted the pink one, but I figured it was just my bad luck because Kaye was the oldest so she got the best color. In a nanosecond this thought would pass and we would gobble up as much candy as possible until my Mom yelled at us that it was time to get ready for 11 o’clock Mass. 

After Mass we would return home and hurriedly put on our casual Easter outfits.  Again I had the lavender flowered shorts and top, Kaye had the pink one identical to mine.  The tradition was to meet our cousins, aunts and uncles at City Park to have a picnic under the Pavillion.  Someone in the family always got there early to save us one closest to Storyland.  Storyland was a children’s attraction where kids could walk through “The 3 Little Pigs” houses,  see “Humpty Dumpty’s” wall and climb up “Jack and Jill’s’  big old hill.  In front of the gate to Storyland was a kiddy pool but we weren’t allowed to get our Easter outfits wet so we would climb the big oak trees instead while our parents barbecued burgers and hot dogs.   Later we would have the family Easter egg hunt. Whoever found the special egg would get a dollar.  This whole ordeal could take an hour and our parents would take this time to talk about the kids, tell jokes and other grown-up stuff.  This was in 1961.  I would think there wouldn’t be much to complain about but whatever it was, the grown-ups were always loud.  Our family is loud, especially when they get together.  It’s all fun and laughter.  Easter Day was always a good time for all of  us. 

This is a vivid memory of what City Park was like before Katrina nearly destroyed it.  The old Storyland is gone but there’s a much better one now thanks to the City Park planning commission it’s back.

The great oak trees have never left are still there for the climbing.  Our old house is still there too, just not in our family but in our hearts. 

Happy Easter Everybody!