Easter Memories – South Pasadena Edition

South Pasadenans share their favorite Easter moments and one epic Easter Bunny story

PHOTO: Anne Bagasao | SouthPasadenan.com | Painted Easter Eggs
PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com | South Pasadena Fire Chief Paul Riddle and wife, Lynn, pictured at the PCDA Harvest Moon Gala

My favorite thing about Easter is Family and Reflection. Easter for us starts with a Sunrise Service at the beach and ends with family and friends sharing a meal.                                – Fire Chief Paul Riddle

I always enjoy the Easter season, and, whether you were rich or poor, the fun of boiling and coloring the eggs; Easter egg hunts, chocolate eggs and bunnies. I also enjoy the religious/spiritual traditions of the Passover and Easter seasons as a time set aside to reflect on our deeper purpose in life and rededicate ourselves to treating all God’s creatures with compassion, dignity and respect. – City Councilmember Michael Cacciotti

PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com | Event Designer Anne Bagasao with her daugher, Grace.

Observing the evolution of my daughter’s egg coloring aesthetic is definitely what I look forward to most – Anne Bagasao

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Coloring eggs as a kid with my mom…then as a mom with my kids. That vinegar smell and stained fingers (& kitchen table!) always feel like the real beginning of spring to me.            – Julie Guilioni

PHOTO: Anne Bagasao | SouthPasadenan.com | Easter egg display

Easter morning always conjures up hazy polaroid memories of the early 70’s in the backyard at 714 Swarthmorewood Lane, my grandparent’s house. Specifically it spurs memories of my cousin Bob. I first met him at those family  gatherings,and in Springtime we could run around outside unlike bitter cold Christmas Days spent huddled inside.Big backyard smiles. Fast forward a few years and we’re teenagers learning to play guitar together in his basement.Big Rock and Roll Smiles. Fast forward a few decades and we’re working toward being wise old men. The smiles are fewer and far between, but even bigger when we think of those old memories. – Ed Donnelly

Enjoying chocolate eggs! – Beverly Biber

Dyeing hard boiled eggs with Mom on the night before Easter – Rick Thomas

I do an Inspiring Easter Egg hunt for my Sunday School elementary kids in the Church garden. I paint Bible phrases on rocks and put inspirational Bible quotes inside plastic eggs for them to collect. There is a contest for them to collect all the commandments or all the beatitudes! – Lissa Reynolds

PHOTO: Dan Watson | SouthPasadenan.com | Dan Watson’s granddaughter, Addison, in her bliss at the petting zoo on Easter

I have fond memories of my four grandchildren, currently age 3 to 20. This photo is of my granddaughter, Addison, when she was three. My wife and I took her to an Easter party. It included a performance by the Bob Baker Mrionettes, which my wife saw as a child and swears it was the same performance and the same puppets. There was also a nice lunch and an Easter egg hunt. But the only thing Addie was interested in was the petting zoo. She didn’t want to see the puppet show, eat lunch, and rushed through the Easter egg hunt to get back into the petting zoo. The photo is one of my favorites of her. Total love and innocence. – Dan Watson

And now, an encounter with the Easter Bunny by Monika Petrillo

My favorite Easter memory is from when I was about 4 years old. My family was visiting my aunt and uncle’s house, and my sister and I were staying in the guest room together. As I later found out, my aunt and uncle were in charge of watching the neighbor’s pet bunny over the weekend, and someone had the great idea to take advantage of this situation and play a game with us kids.

PHOTO: courtesy Monika Petrillo | SouthPasadenan.com | The author with her sister, Ulrike, on Easter morning 1974

So Sunday morning came, and I awoke to my sister excitedly shaking me while loudly whispering “Monika, Monika, wake up. It’s the Easter bunny!” I opened my eyes, and lo and behold, there he was, the Easter bunny himself, a tiny black bunny, sitting in the middle of our bed!  We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to glimpse his presence. Excitedly, we jumped out of bed to alert the adults.

“Come, come quickly! The Easter bunny is in our bed,” we yelled as we entered the kitchen. The grown ups’ faces curled in disbelief “Aw… that’s cute…But you know, the Easter bunny doesn’t really exist.” Outrageous. What did they know? My sister and I just saw the Easter bunny ourselves, with our own eyes! — “No, really! You have to come see. He’s in our bed,” we insisted.

PHOTO: courtesy Monika Petrillo | SouthPasadenan.com | The author enjoys Easter eggs in 1974

It took us a while to convince them, but eventually they got up from their chairs and followed us to our room… – Boy, was I proud to show them….- We rounded the corner to the guest room, but there was no bunny in the bed. Not under the bed either. In fact not anywhere in the room….!  We couldn’t believe it. -“He was just here…promise!” we tried to explain. But our parents just smiled sympathetically and patted us on the shoulder. “It’s okay,” they said, “We understand. You guys have a vivid imagination….”

Admittedly, I couldn’t explain what had happened. But I knew what I had seen.  What we had not seen of course (and wasn’t told until decades later) was that my uncle had snuck out for a minute while we were in the kitchen, safely scooping up the bunny and returning it to the neighbor’s apartment. And so this experience had me absolutely convinced for years that, even though I was young,  I knew something that even my parents didn’t know… that no matter what anyone says, the Easter bunny actually really does exist!

PHOTO: courtesy Monika Petrillo | SouthPasadenan.com | Photographic proof of the Easter Bunny, a photo Petrillo did not see until 25 years after the incident