During Holy Week last week, I found myself reminiscing about my childhood Easter times. My family attended the First Christian Church in Beaver, PA. My uncle Leonard was a deacon in the church, and when he passed, my dad was selected to take his place. On Holy Thursday, our church had the most wonderful service, complete with a tableau of Christ's Last Supper. I have tried to find a photo of the tableau, but so far have only located a newspaper article about the service. My dad, Lawrence Peters, portrayed Judas. The costuming was amazing, and I remember the smell of the spirit gum they used to apply their facial hair. I knew most of these men personally, but when the curtains parted, could barely recognize them. They sat amazingly still, not blinking and then the curtains closed again. We always had quite a laugh about Daddy being Judas. I remember he carried a blue satin bag tied with a gold cord, but it was not filled with gold coins but rather jelly beans. At the end of the evening, Nancy and I were allowed to eat those jelly beans. And believe me, I loved (and still love) jelly beans.
Good Friday was a very somber day in our house. Grandma lived with us, and didn't allow us to play during the hours from Noon to three when Christ suffered on the cross. We were allowed to sit and read a book, but no play. My dad worked for the Post Office, and you may find this hard to believe, but he came home between noon and 3, and did not carry mail at that time. The government at that time recognized that this was truly a Holy time. We never at meat on Friday during Lent. One of my favorite meals as a kid was when we made Creamed Dried Beef with Mashed Potatoes. My grandma added a little Worcestershire sauce and cut-up hard boiled eggs to the creamed beef. During Lent, she would make just the creamed eggs (no dried beef). I loved this Lenten meal. Aunt Ethel and Uncle Virg would come down on Saturday, and I loved spending time with my cousins, Larry and Trudy. They would stay over and all of us kids slept on the living room floor. My Aunt Betty lived next door, and the adults played Pinochle til midnight. Easter morning, the ladies went to sunrise service, and then we had a big breakfast when they came home. How I long for those times, but the memories are sweet.