Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Believe it or not, one of my favorite times of year is almost here. Yes, I know I said the same thing when Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas came around- but I mean it. Easter and Spring have not only a spiritual meaning for me, but a resonating deep in my bones happiness born in my childhood. Before you accuse Loophole of going sappy on you - let me explain. I won't get into the religious side of things- it is very significant for those of us to whom Easter is a religious holiday. To some it isn't. Some of our friends celebrate Passover instead, some celebrate a secular Easter (which sounds strange) - some don't celebrate at all. Springtime and Easter have sort of become co-dependent in a strange sort of way. The imagery and symbolism of rebirth, life, and the escape from the tomb of winter has it's obvious meanings. To let you know right away- I love Easter time and the spiritual and religious holiday that it is. But that is my affair- I won't get into that. Instead, I wish to convey to you some of the things that spring and Easter have brought in my childhood and why it gets me kinda sappy (just kinda) this time of year.
Easter eggs- I love 'em. Sure I could make hard boiled eggs anytime, but growing up as a kid my granddad and I would bring our Easter eggs to the table and have Egg Wars! We would each take a brightly colored egg and then hit them together to crack them. The egg that doesn't crack was the toughest and the winner. Fortunately the loser gets to eat the defeated egg. We stuffed our selves more than once over the years and to this day I can't watch Cool Hand Luke with out feeling a bit of nausea. But it passes. The dyeing of the eggs were always special fun growing up- trying to make the most different shades and patterns was a particular past-time. And of course, egg salad sandwiches were on the lunch menu from days to come.
Easter candy- To me, Easter candy beats out Halloween and Christmas, and puts Valentine's Day to shame. I believe St. Patrick's Day gave in when faced with the consequence of being stuck between Valentines Day and Easter. Jellybeans, Cadbury Eggs, Reese's Eggs, Chocolate Rabbits, Robin's Eggs, Chicks and Rabbits- the list goes on. And of course, the champ in my book- Peeps. The yellow chick Peeps are and endangered species around my house.
Classic Movies- Sure - there aren't as many as Christmas, but when I think of when I was a kid I remember the great "sword and sandal" movies and religious movies that were on TV almost weekly during Passover and Easter. The Ten Commandments, Samson and Delilah, The Robe, Ben-Hur, The Greatest Story Ever Told- etc. This was an early introduction to classic "epic" films for me. And one of my favorite films to watch isn't even on that list- Easter Parade with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland. And usually there were other musicals on the tube to go with it. Great stuff
Animated Specials- If you are a Shelfer then you know of our ongoing series of looks at the history and production of animated prime-time specials. Easter has some great specials. In fact, the great Rankin-Bass has more than one: Here comes Peter Cottontail, The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town, and The First Easter Rabbit. The Peanuts gang appear in It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown - where Marcie comes up with more ways to screw up making Easter eggs than any kid has a right to know. Be on the lookout for another Shelf article on Easter specials coming soon.
Spring- You gotta give props to the season itself. I actually love Fall best- but Spring is a close second. The only downer is the pollen and subsequent sinus and allergy problems that follow me everywhere. Nonetheless- where I live the Spring days are just lovely- flowers, cool breezes, trees blooming, etc. Just the season coming alive is great.
Family- Well- most of my Easter memories have to do with the traditions and time spent with my family. I guess that's one reason why I love holidays so well and I don't apologize for it. Easter day was always a time for a big meal and the kids had lots of fun with Easter egg hunts, improvised Wiffle Ball games, and drawing with colored chalk on the drive way. Now that I am older I get to watch the kids now- but I do find some fun in hiding the eggs this time around. Besides one of children was born on the day before Easter one year. Easter always will have connections to and memories of family.
Needless to say, you can look forward to some Easter-flavored Shelf posts in the coming weeks. In the meantime we encourage you to participate in the comments section as much as possible when we post about these things. Let us know what your favorite Easter Candy is, or what animated special brings out the kid in you, and as always just let us know what you think. We'd like to know.
Some Shelf news for today as well:
Two new links have been added to "Shelf Links"
The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass. Rankin/Bass historian and expert Rick Goldschmidt and Mark Sykora are the authors and, in a way, curators of this great site dedicated to all things Rankin/Bass. I am a die-hard RB fanboy and I readily admit it. I actually have been a regular visitor to this site for a couple years and just recently realized we hadn't added them to our links list. We apologize to Shelfers for the error- and encourage you to visit them. Check out the News section for fairly recent updates.
Reel Classics. Elizabeth over at Reel Classics has done a great job at putting together a classic film devotee's favorite. Reel Classics has reviews, articles, news, and images. I recently spent part of an enjoyable evening reading her work on Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Very nice and classy. Worthy of your time.
In the Balcony has some news on the titles included in the WB Film Noir Collection Vol.3, Clark Gable Signature Collection, The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Collection Vol.1 Box Sets, as well as the John Ford/John Wayne and John Ford box sets. Also check out their reviews of the recent Busby Berkeley Collection release.
Coming soon to The Shelf:
Another episode of It Came From the Bargain Bin!, The Shelf Essential Westerns, more DVD retro reviews, a new semi-regular feature: You S'news You Lose, articles on Easter Animated specials and candy and more stuff on classic films, pop culture, politics, commentary, history, and satire and cynicism than you can shake a stick at. Stay Tuned.
Easter Rabbit: But you can't quit now. You'll give the Easter Rabbit a bad name.
Bugs Bunny: I already have a bad name for the Easter Rabbit.