Church on Central Avenue. Church also was the place where friends
would reunite and old acquaintances would be made new again.
The entire church, including the steps outside, would be so
crowded that just getting inside would take as long as getting out --
and this usually meant squeezing through the crowds and greeting
people on the way in and out.
Church still is a place where people go to see old friends and
remember those who are no longer living.
I remember as a child the smiling faces of other children --
carrying baskets with eggs and eagerly waiting to join their friends
for the day's festivities. The traditional Armenian game of cracking
the eggs was often played on the church steps.
I also remember the children who would leave the church in tears
with empty baskets, after having lost the egg game.
One year on Easter Sunday, my father and I went to church, and one
of my good friends came along. I was about 10 or 11 at the time, and
I distinctly remember carrying a square purse that opened and closed
with a hook and latch.
When we arrived at church, we were swept inside with the crowd. I
clutched my purse while attempting to squeeze through the throng of
people. Then the unsuspecting hook unfastened itself and caught the
sweater of a young girl in front of me.
For some reason, I panicked, knowing I would be unable to free my
purse from the clutches of the girl's wool sweater. So I handed the
purse to my father, who was unaware of my dilemma. As I handed him
the purse, my friend and I made our way to the upper level of the
church, while my father stood in the crowd, holding the purse.
Moments later, I could hear my father's voice as he ran behind the
girl, calling her to stop and unleash herself from the purse's grip.
I'll never forget the surprised and almost frantic look on my
father's face as he ran after the young girl.
Another year, the eggs my brother and I colored leaked and made a
mess when we cracked and peeled them. I remember the time and effort
we put into coloring each of the eggs and polishing them after they
were dry. The few eggs that did survive were stored in the