Saturday, April 03, 2021

Easter Memories

Got a rare chance to sleep in on a work day, since I didn't go in until later. Watched It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown while having breakfast. This is basically the same idea as Charlie Brown's All-Stars. Chuck found a sponsor who'll give them uniforms...but there's a catch. This time, they actually have to win a game. That seems impossible, until Freida's little brother Leland joins the team, and they start to put forth real effort.

Switched to The Easter Promise while making Portuguese Easter Bread from my 70's bread cookbook. Addie Mills (Lisa Lucas) is thrilled when she learns that Broadway star Constance Payne (Jean Simmons) has returned to her native Clear River, Nebraska. She brags that her dad (Jason Robards) knew her and invites her to dinner and to judge her school's style show. The dinner with her dad and grandmother (Mildred Natwick) becomes awkward quickly when Mr. Mills says he can't understand why Constance wanted to pursue a big dream like acting rather than settle down. Constance keeps asking for wine...and shows up the next day at the style show so drunk, she can't give out the prizes.

Addy's disappointed, but she still manages to convince the despondent Constance to give her and her best friends acting lessons. Everything seems to be going well...until Constance goes on another bender. The girls show up and discover she's gone again and not up to lessons or anything else. Addie's so upset, she's ready to give up on her, but it's Grandma who reminds her that Easter is the time of rebirth and of giving life - and friends - a second chance.

Other than being filmed on a soundstage, rather than the authentic locations of House Without a Christmas Tree, I think I liked this one even more than that movie. Watching Addie and her buddies at the slumber party and decorating eggs reminds me so much of Easter when my sisters and I were 12. We used to giggle in each other's rooms and decorate eggs together, too, usually with Mom supervising. (Only we didn't use blown eggs. We always hard-boiled them.) The style show was an absolute riot before Constance's drunken arrival. Loved Addie in her cute blue and red rickrack dress (especially the hat), and the girl in the cool tulip applique outfit. My favorite was Addie's best friend Cora Sue's (Franny Michael) peach "Hollywood" dress with the feather and ruffle trim. I've always been a sucker for ruffles.

Simmons did very well as Constance, especially in the second half where she warms up to the girls. I also appreciate the message of second chances and Easter being a time for rebirth. Honestly, if you love stories of strong young ladies, the Addie movies, or are looking for a good family movie for Easter (especially for older girls), all of the Addie holiday films are worth checking out.

Worked on writing while the dough rose. Richard blows the gold dust out of the bandit's hand...then blows the gun out of his hand when he tries to shoot Gene. Gene, Gary, and Bill are able to arrest the injured bandit, but the others get away.

Made a Chocolate-Banana-Peanut Butter Smoothie for lunch, then let them rise for a bit again. After the second rise, I rolled the bread into twisted circular shapes. You're supposed to put a dyed egg in the center, but I don't dye eggs anymore. I brushed them with egg wash and sprinkled them with pastel colored sugar instead.

Watched Here Comes Peter Cottontail as I worked. I go further into this Rankin-Bass springtime tale from 1971 at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

Dashed out the second the bread came out of the oven. I got really lucky during the first half of my short shift. They only had one bagger who had to gather carts strewn all over the parking lot by himself. I spent three hours of my four-hour shift helping him round them all up again. I did spend the last hour in a register when an early afternoon cashier went home. At least it was a gorgeous day to be outside, sunny, breezy, and warmer than yesterday, probably in the 50's.

Put on Daffy Duck's Easter Egg-citement when I arrived home as I got organized and had a snack. Daffy's the host and star of the second Looney Tunes springtime show, but he'd be happier about it if the animator didn't keep giving him a hard time. He and Sylvester spend the first short chasing a gold egg. In the second short, Daffy's the security guard at a chocolate Easter bunny factory trying to keep Speedy Gonzoles from stealing their product for the kids of his village. The final short has Daffy solo as he tries to figure out how to get north without flying.

Took a shower, then went to Amazon Prime for the Doris Day musical My Dream Is Yours. I go further into this tale of a singer and the agent who believes she has what it takes to be a star at my Musical Dreams blog.

Finished the night on YouTube. The Lawrence Welk Show did annual Easter programs every year, always kicking off with some version of "Easter Parade" and everyone in pastel Edwardian spring outfits. "A Tisket, A Tasket" turned up a few times (including a really swinging version on piano by JoAnn Castle in '68 and Arthur Duncan tap-dancing to it in '82). My favorite "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" had Anacani as a little girl in a fluffy ruffled dress, singing and looking for the elusive Peter while Ken Delo as Peter in a goofy bunny suit hid eggs behind her. All three shows ended with a medley of religious hymns; the 80's shows put this in a church set with everyone as an actual choir. There were also two adorable versions of "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" in 1980 and 1982, with dance teams clopping in wooden shoes. 

And here's even more vintage Easter shows to enjoy while you await the arrival of the Easter Bunny!

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