By Forest Riggs
Now that the chill of winter has passed and the “big” holidays and celebrations are behind us, it is time for Spring to arrive and bring with it sunshine, blossoms, new beginnings and fun times — both in and out of doors. All over Galveston, gardens are being re-dressed, damaged foliage from the freeze is being removed and the songbirds have returned to brighten the Island days. With the onset of warmer weather, spring breaks and cabin fever, folks are flocking to the Seawall, the sandy beaches and the Historic Pleasure Pier. It is a good feeling to see old Galveston come alive after a biting winter. And nothing says springtime more than Easter!
“ Easter is not a time for groping through dust, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove eternal life. It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dread past into the vast and inviting unknown. ”
—Author unknown, as quoted in the Lewiston Tribune
Easter is indeed a magical time and holds special meanings and memories for just about everyone, from childhood parties in school and family gatherings for egg hunts and festive celebrations, to new “Easter clothes” being proudly worn to church or gatherings. For some, it is the one time of the year they demonstrate their “faith” by making an appearance at their place of worship and perhaps a monetary donation. It is fun to think of Easter as being baby chicks, flowers, baskets, bunnies, candy in the shape of eggs and rabbits, jelly beans of every color and foil-wrapped delicacies that rest in baskets of green, plastic “straw.”
The gay bars on the island offer fun times as well, Easter Parades, Easter Hat contests and fabulous shows and drink specials. Even as adults, Easter has never stopped being fun!
Everyone has favorite memories of Easters passed. For some it is adult memories of gatherings with friends, celebrating with a lovingly prepared meal (usually brisket), and a gentle and fun afternoon of drinks and funny stories. (In pre-Hurricane Ike days, George Maida hosted the most fantastic Easter parties at his home filled with friends, superb food, egg-coloring contests, drinks and all sorts of related activities.) To this day, the egg coloring remains a big event for many Easter lovers, religious or not. There is something about coloring eggs that brings out the innocent child in each of us. There are memories the smell of the vinegar as it is poured into the food coloring filled cups, and the little color pills from the Paas Easter Egg kit. Brothers and sisters, and friends and relatives gather around the smelly cups — spoon or write dipper in hand — to create the perfect egg. Some use markers, wax crayons, string and all sorts of new-fangled egg dying kits. There are swirl kits, tie-dye kits and even beads and sequin kits — just about any and everything one can imagine to adorn a simple white egg. (The egg industry loves Easter and rightfully so!)
“ Easter is an arts and crafts moment where your whole family and friends can get involved. ”
—Food Network host Alex Guarnaschelli
Being a little “artsy” myself, I have always enjoyed Easter and dying eggs. I love to mix colors and decorate the eggs with various glue-on items; queens love and can work wonders with a hot glue gun! A few years ago, I heard of Silk Tie Easter Eggs, a new and interesting way to “color” eggs and it has won me over for a while now. Thanks to sweet Aunt Martha Steward, silk tie eggs gained recognition and popularity after a segment on her show, Martha Stewart Live. Making the bright, colorful patterned eggs is pretty easy and requires little time and effort. The end results, depending on what tie patterns used, range from paisley designs to intricate patterns of color that resemble the majestic Fabergé imperial Easter eggs from Russian (well, sort of).
How to make Silk Tie Easter Eggs
You will need several 100 percent silk ties of various colorful patterns (check your local thrift shops for bargains). You will also need eggs, twist-ties or string, 3 tablespoons of white vinegar, a white sheet or pillowcase, an enamel or glass pot and vegetable or olive oil.
Voila! With little effort, you have created edible works of art! The next thing to do is show them off to your friends and family. Easy, cheap and fun! Happy Easter Egg-making!
Forest Riggs, a resident of Galveston is no stranger to the adventures of life. A former educator and business owner, he enjoys Island life and all that comes with it. He says he is a “raconteur with a Quixotic, gypsy spirit.” He has written for several newspapers and magazines as well as other writing pursuits, including a novel and collection of short stories.