Friday, April 2, 2010


 North Tonawanda Botanical Gardens, Spring, circa 1976

Easter is a big deal in western New York.  A large part of that is the influence of the tens of thousands of Polish and Irish and Italian Catholics who live there, their sacred celebrations filled with color and light and groaning boards of breads and meats and all manner of deliciousness:

 Easter Sunday Dinner, Houston, 2007.  Ah, ham and asparagus -- why do you fill us with such bliss?

It's more than than.  Winter is over, and that is a relief, no matter how much you profess love for the snow and cold.  It is a long, hard slog, winter in Buffalo, moody and grey and mercurial, rainy one day, bitter cold and snowing the next, with the odd sleet storm thrown in like a hard punch to the kidneys.  When March arrives, muddy and wet, and those first crocuses and daffodils sprout from under the sooty remainders of the last snows, it feels like a resurrection.

I don't know that people who live in a place where it is perpetually warm and sunny appreciate the Biblical account of that first Easter the way that northern people do.  When you see those first green shoots, a thrill runs through you, lightens you, energizes you: what was once dead is now alive again.  We feel, in some small way, what Mary felt at the garden tomb, when she heard Him call her name.  Our hearts pound like Peter's, when he understood that his Friend, his Brother, was not dead, but risen.  Easter in Buffalo is a wonderful thing.

Anyway, less talk, more rock!  On to the photos:

Easter, Houston, 2005.  Eggs on the Boil, taken with my first digital camera.  I thought I was Man-Ray, or something.

More of the same.  I should probably be writing about how I used a Sakitome filter and had the f stop on full or something, but basically, I hit the ball first time, and there it was in the back of the net.  I'm opening a boutique (an obscure Monty Python reference for you).  Easter, Houston, 2005.

 Two of my favorite photos.  Above, on the Red Line, just south of the 18th St Station, Manhattan.  Below, Penn Station, Manhattan.  Easter Week, 2008.

 Easter Morning, Niagara Falls, 2008  - still plenty of snow on the ground...

Enzo, Noah, and Liam, Easter Sunday, 2008.
At the white house on Sweeney...

Mary and Judy Siedlecki, Easter, circa 1952

 Peter and Judy Siedlecki, circa 1953

Mary and Judy Siedlecki, Easter, circa 1956

Judy and Peter Siedlecki, Easter, circa 1956. Look at those glasses, that dour expression, the manly physique: Is it any wonder that I spent the first 18 years of my life explaining to old Polish women that I wasn't Peter's kid?

Mary Beth.  I cannot remember the white house on Sweeney ever being the green and white house on Sweeney, but there it is.  It's a nice shade of green, too.  Given the faint traces of snow and the absence of buds on the shrubs, coupled with what appears to be a new hat and jacket, I am guessing that this was taken at Easter.  This is a great photo, partly because it shows the ol' homestead in an interesting, bygone setting, partly because MB's chapeau looks a lot like a riding hat, and it's fun to imagine that just off camera, she's holding the reins to a noble steed, but mostly because this is the way I always think of my sister: she Gets Things Done.  I don't know where this lovely little girl was heading, but rest assured, she Took Care Of Business when she got there.

Finally, I give you the unofficial mascot of our family Easter holiday festivities, circa 1977:

Yes, it's Nathan, prowling for colored eggs...

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