I’m dyeing for Easters of my boyhood days

Published 5:53 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Back in my days as a towheaded young’un, I would look forward to Easter for two reasons other than Easter eggs and candy: a new suit and a pair of new dress shoes.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved to hunt Easter eggs and munch on Easter candy. When it came to Easter candy, my hope was that the Easter Bunny had left me a chocolate bunny that was solid and not hollow. Getting hollow, chocolate bunny was akin to getting clothes at Christmas.

I remember dyeing Easter eggs. Usually, the family would head to a five-and-dime store to purchase a Paas Easter-egg kit, complete with the wire holder with which to lower hard-boiled eggs into the colorful dyes. I seem to recall having to mix vinegar with the dyes. One used white, distilled vinegar for the best results.

Oh, the joy of dying half of an egg one color and the other half of the egg another color. My favorite color combinations were blue-yellow, green-yellow and orange-green. If I could have figured out how to dye eggs so they came out plaid, I would have been extremely pleased.

The only downside to dyeing Easter eggs was that I could not do it alone. My two sisters (younger than me) would horn in on what should have been a solo job. My sisters were more interested in the application of “pretty” decals on the eggs than dyeing them. And they also worried about getting dye on their hands. For me, half the fun of dyeing eggs was the assurance that I would get dye on my hands … arms and face.

I also recall getting up on Easter mornings and going outside to see if the Easter Bunny had left pawprints in the dirt outside my bedroom window. For several years, I was convinced the Easter Bunny looked in my bedroom window to make sure I was sleeping so I would not accost him in our living room as he delivered our Easter baskets. I thought that if I could catch the Easter Bunny that it would be akin to catching a leprechaun and forcing it to take me to his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I was going to force the Easter Bunny to take me to his stash of Easter candy hidden in the large rabbit hole in which he lived.

I never caught the Easter Bunny, but I still have hopes for catching a leprechaun.

As for this Easter, the only thing I want is that hour of sleep I lost when we set the clocks ahead earlier this month.

Mike Voss is the senior editor-reporter at the Washington Daily News.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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