Easter Memories of New
Hampshire


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From left to right: the author at age 7, her  Dad,  Mom with  baby brother John and  sister Brenda.
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The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Here Comes Peter Cottontail!
By Susan Nye

When we were little we always looked forward to Easter. Without fail we
could count on family reunions and parties, a festive new dress and the Easter
Bunny.

Much to the delight and giggles of his two little girls, my Dad once dressed up
as the Easter Bunny. He was covered from head to foot with fake fur, sported a
pink nose, whiskers and a fluffy white tail. But I’ll get back to his
transformation in a minute.

First things first. All women love party dresses and little girls are no
exception. When my sister and I were small my Dad’s cousin Virginia ensured
that we were the best dressed little girls in New England, if not the world.
Or rather it was Ginny’s friend Frances who was a buyer at G. Fox & Company.

Frances scoured the samples and latest children’s clothes and found perfect
outfits for my sister and me. My parents were just starting out with a mortgage
and car payments and appreciated the help. My Mom always said that she and
my Dad shopped the sales rack but her girls were dressed in top-of-the-line
style.

For Sunday school, birthdays and holiday parties we were decked out in
beautiful dresses with lace collars and embroidery or chic little suits. In the
spring we wore straw Easter bonnets with ribbons and flowers. We were
picture perfect and ready for any party or Easter parade.

The Maugus Club was a few miles from our house. It was a big brick building
with bowling lanes on the ground floor and a big room upstairs. On rainy
Wednesday afternoons we went to the Maugus Club to bowl. Every Easter, the
Club threw open its doors for a children’s party. Decked out in our new spring
finery, my sister and I joined the horde of kids in the great room. Bedlam
reigned throughout the afternoon with games, music and a visit from the
Easter Bunny.

Every year some poor dad was cajoled into dressing up in an Easter Bunny
costume. The costume’s oversized rabbit head had enough blind spots to
leave the wearer virtually helpless and the fake fur suit was warm enough to
keep him toasty on even the coldest winter day. The hapless volunteer
hopped into the party to a rousing chorus of “Here Comes Peter Cottontail”,
passed out a few chocolate eggs and then hopped out again. A melee of kids
high on excitement, good cheer and bright yellow Peeps were left in his wake.

Peter’s departure signaled the end of the party. We were herded into station
wagons and carpooled home to recover from our sugar rush. Not to be
outdone, more often than not our parents would soon head out for their own
celebration. We never heard all the facts, in truth we’ve never heard any facts,
but I’m pretty sure that a good time was had by all. One particular year stands
out.

The details have always been a bit sketchy; we were only told that my Dad lost
a bet. As the loser, he was obliged to walk all the dogs in neighborhood
dressed in the rabbit costume. On Easter Sunday afternoon he donned the
heavy white suit and, barely able to see, he paraded down the street in all his
splendor, tripping over a tangle of dogs and leashes.

Most of the neighborhood kids joined in the fun, waving carrots, shouting and
laughing. I was all of five or six and thought that it was incredibly funny and
cool that MY Dad was dressed up as the Easter Bunny. It was a glorious
afternoon, warm and sunny more like summer than spring. My Dad almost
melted in the heavy suit, but as far as I was concerned it was the best Easter
ever!

I wish you all a wonderful day with family and friends and maybe even a
giant rabbit.  Happy Easter!  

Click here for Susan's Easter recipe,
Linguini with Lemon Braised Artichokes

About the author
Susan Nye lives in New London, New Hampshire. A self-confessed “foodie”,
she likes nothing better than a crowd of family and friends around her table.
To learn more about her cooking classes, catering services and find more
Easter recipes visit her web site at
www.susannye.com or email her at
susannye@tds.net.  © Susan W. Nye, Susan Nye – Around the Table, 2008
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
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