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Entry date: 4-17-2022 - He rose? - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter, I suppose. Such a strange holiday that, as I get older, I feel less and less connection to or interest, really. But I know it is an important day for many and I respect it. It has been a pivotal day, too, for me so I shall reflect and offer a few stories.

As a child, I can remember getting dressed up for Easter. I have a picture, somewhere, that I should share today. I remember being so excited hunting for eggs. My parents would use the giant eggs that Leggs panty hose came in to fill with candy or change or a small toy. They were huge. All of us 70s kids got to experience that, I’m sure, unless you weren’t of the Easter believing persuasion.

So yes, dressing up and looking for giant eggs. It was a family day, of course, with visits to the grandparents’ homes to eat some ham and play with my cousins. I’d like to say I gracefully aged out of the egg hunts and joined the hiding team, which I remember doing at the Reardon gatherings, but I’m sure somewhere inside I was bitter about it.

Actually, I don’t think I was bitter at all as I think a bit more. There is a right of passage to joining the hiding team and trying to torment the younger cousins with some spectacular treat placement. We didn’t do that golden egg shit in our family and there was always enough for everyone, including a basket to find. Personally, I would eat the rabbit heads first when the chocolate bunny got unwrapped.

Like many of you, I was a big fan of Flea’s line in the movie, Suburbia. “Happy Easter, Asshole!” is cinematic genius. As I got older and into the psychedelics, the idea of decorating Easter eggs always seemed like a good time. I’m not sure we ever got it together enough to do this, though, in those days.

I did enjoy decorating eggs with the kids a lot, though. That was probably my favorite part of Easter as an adult. Decorating eggs, hiding them, and then watching them discover their treasures. Of course, I would delight in watching them search for that last egg I had cleverly hidden in plain sight. Eventually Liam and Teresa started to remember there was always one that was more than just obvious. It was taunting them.

Now, as I look back, I can see how Easter was a pivotal time for me on a couple of occasions that I mentioned in previous stories. In 1988, I had gotten a job as a room service waiter at the Pointe Tapatio Cliffs. I started on the Monday before Easter weekend and was offered a chance to go to Mexico for the weekend with some friends. I asked to have the weekend off, but they just sort of laughed at me, the new guy, asking for a busy weekend off. I was staying with my mom at the time in her little one-bedroom place on 25th Street and Campbell near St. Thomas Church.

As you may already know from previous reading, I went to Mexico that weekend and got fired from the Pointe. I knew quickly that I had probably made a mistake, but the bigger change it kicked into gear was my mom kicking me out when I got back. I packed up my stuff and moved into the Polka Dot pad with Jeff, Andy, and Matt. This, as I have alluded to, is probably a few blogs in and of itself. I blame Easter.

I chronicled the Easter of the following year, 1989, when Brian and I went to Mexico, so I won’t go into detail again here. I will just say that I didn’t go to Mexico again for 25 years.

I feel like I’m forgetting other important Easter experiences, but maybe I am not. Nothing really jumps out when I think of the holiday. Lately, we haven’t done a whole lot except get together with family. I’ll call some family, Granny for sure, and Rhondi is making a ham. Pandemic Easter has been nice.

When I was going to ASU, I took a lot of religious studies courses. One of these was the early history of Christianity and it talked a lot about where some of the beliefs and holidays came from. I remember a lively discussion one day about Easter.

In those courses, there was usually a contingent of people who were affirming their faith, a group that was looking to study religion academically, and a group that was looking to poke holes in the faith of someone they loved. I was firmly in the middle group with a nod to wanting to understand the faith of my grandparents better.

Anyway, we were talking about Easter and the resurrection story and how it was probably another example of Christianity borrowing ideas from religious/pagan practices that predated the time of Jesus. An argument started about whether Jesus was a zombie or not. Seriously. People got very heated, and this was well before the whole Walking Dead thing came along. The student, a male who looked like he knew his way around a comic book shop, had posed the question in jest, I think, but it got things going.

I just sat back and listened and laughed. There was nothing that I could really add without outing myself as the cynic I am and, in those days, I didn’t chime in a lot at ASU. I thought most of my fellow students were pretty shallow and the last thing I wanted was to engage them if I didn’t have to do so. The thing was, and this is what made it so entertaining, is that the people who wouldn’t let it go were the people who were trying to prove that he was not a zombie. They took the bait and then everything that said just played into comic book guy’s hands.

He kept saying, “so wait…he rose from the dead? Sounds like a zombie to me.” I also remember him saying, at one point, “Prove that he didn’t eat brains.”

Happy Easter.

See you tomorrow.

PS. Go SUNS!!!!

Ben and I in the 70s. Probably mid-70s. Photo is probably by my dad.

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