The Easter holiday had me looking at a couple of old photographs of me as a very small boy.
One was of me, smiling like I knew some secret, sitting on the lap of the Easter Bunny. Or at least some skinny dude in a skeevy Easter Bunny suit, topped off by a cardboard or, given the year, more likely papier mache rabbit head with eye holes big enough to see the guy inside.
Most people of my era have similar photographs — for many years back then, the Easter Bunny was absolutely creepy and perhaps even frightening.
The other Easter-time photo I have is me wearing a trenchcoat, sharply creased trousers, shined shoes and an incredibly spiffy fedora. No, not some childish imitation of a fedora, a real fedora. (I can’t tell what’s under the trenchcoat, but there’s a good chance it was a two-toned sport coat, which was a fashion rage for men of all ages back in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s.)
I think the photo was taken on my way to Sunday School, where I was a player in the Easter Pageant. I remember like it was yesterday — I portrayed a daffodil. The way you could tell was that I wore a thick yellow ribbon sash across my chest with the word “DAFFODIL” on it.
I don’t remember if I had to DO anything special during the play. I think I just had to stand there. In my sharply creased trousers and shined shoes.
Easter being over was fun, too. We not only had cool Easter candy to eat for a week or so, but we got to finally wear our special Easter outfits as regular Sunday clothes. And eventually cycle them into just plain dressed
I hated shopping for clothes when I was a kid. As I grew bigger than the photo of me in the trenchcoat and fedora, well, I grew bigger.
My folks used to take me to a place in South Philadelphia called Goldberg’s or Goldstein’s, I frankly cannot remember. They specialized in husky sizes. There was never any trauma associated with being a husky in a skinny boys’ world. At this store, if you were there, you were a husky.
I believe the adult version of husky was portly. Unfortunately, most men’s clothiers these days don’t have portly sizes any more. They have “Big and Tall” or nothing at all.
As I have lost weight, I am happy to say I now have to purchase my jeans from the regular men’s clothing department. Sure, I still wear XXL shirts and jackets, but that may be only a matter of time.
I should recreate that old photo one of these days. I have a trenchcoat that fits and a fedora that would do the trick