Bunnies & BBQ-&E!

Easter has different meanings; from the traditional religious view, to bunnies handing out colored Easter Eggs. However, it’s safe to say that Easter is associated with Spring celebrations, feasts and gatherings. With that in mind let me give you a short Easter tale that has all the above!

Bunnies

I know a fellow in Northern California who for the past 20 years has thrown an Easter celebration on his farm for the local children and townsfolk. He and his wife provide food, refreshments and entertainment at their expense. It’s a tradition there and eagerly anticipated by all. He’s always invited me and last year he asked if I knew anyone who would like to come and help with the music, food, and the small animals which the children love to see and pet. So at our weekly meeting at our favorite gathering spot I told my buddies Jungle George and Jersey Jerry about it.

Since we’d all been in occupations that dealt with entertainment and food; Jungle was in the circus, Jersey was a master chef at several five star resorts, and I’d been music, we decided we should take a quick road trip down and volunteer our services to help with the Easter celebration! It had been a long, wet, winter and a road trip south sounded great so the next day we hit the road.

All the way down we told stories of our earlier adventures and with each mile the stories got better so by the time we found our destination we were ready for anything. And that was a good thing! The farm was out in the middle of nowhere and as we followed the colored balloons up the dirt driveway we could see a bunch of people, a stage, and a cooking area! In all there were several hundred people there with cars and trucks parked in the surrounding mowed field. We found the host and hostess and after exchanging pleasantries we went to our assigned tasks.

Jungle, despite not showing elephants or the big cats in the center ring of the circus, was masterful as the petting zoo director! With a gentle touch he guided the children from one small farm animal to another. From the lambs to the baby goats to the rabbits. The squeals and shrieks of pleasure rivaled the applause he’d received under the big top. I found Jersey in command of the oversize BBQ grill deftly showing his eager assistants the art of making a supreme barbecued burger or hotdog and the proper way to display it on a paper plate along with baked beans and coleslaw. “Presentation is everything you know.” It was a happy bunch of diners despite being occasionally enveloped by thick clouds of hickory smoke from the grill.

The look on their faces said it all; they may have been in a farm field but they were getting five star service! I was the last to put my volunteer services to work. I was given the honor of introducing the guests of honor from the stage. Looking out at the crowd I saw eager faces crowding towards the stage. All afternoon there had been live bands so the stage was full of equipment, lights and soon to be full of excitement! I stepped to the mike and a hush fell over the crowd.

I spoke, “for our first special guest let me introduce you to the Easter Bunny!” With that out bounded a tall human in a gigantic bunny suit cotton tail and all. The bunny had a basket and candy and within moments the scene turned into party with kids screaming and reaching for candy! That went on for a few minutes then music began softly to play over the PA system. That was my cue to introduce the star of the show.

In my best announcers voice I began; “ladies and gentlemen, welcome please to center stage the one and only E@#%!”! As soon as I mouthed the letter E a giant bug flew into my mouth and down my throat! I couldn’t spit it out and as I fell to my knees choking I heard the roar from the crowd and looked up and there he was in his shinny suit and cool shades “Thank you, thank you, very much. I’m so glad to be here, and now it’s time to rock and roll!”

To reach Rick Schultze by email: yarick@pioneer.net


Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!