Easter in the Historic City of St Augustine

400-ST-JOHNS-FARMER-SUPPLYI’ve enjoyed my 60-year visit to St Augustine. Depending on who you ask, their point of view, and their length of time in the historic city; some will say it has “matured”, others will say it has “become too commercial”. A former city manager I was fond of, who, like me, was fortunate to have been born here, would say the city has “gone to the bohemians”.

In any event, we survived another brutal winter with temperatures dipping into the 40’s and mid 30’s; while our daughters are living in Colorado and Ohio where they say cold means “minus something”. How do you have minus degrees? Where do they go?

And now, spring has sprung, the grass has riz’, I wonder where the flowers iz’?

Next week is Easter; how we ever connected “eggs” with an “Easter bunny”, seeing that rabbits don’t lay eggs, I have no idea. Aside from the obvious religious significance for Christians, commemorating Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, hunts for dyed eggs and bunnies are a recent tradition unrelated to the holiday’s origin.

We had another Easter tradition in St Augustine when I was a boy. Besides the Easter Day Parade, complete with carriages pulled by horses sporting hats from the ladies of the city’s high society; we got to make a trip to St Johns Farm and Garden Supply on Granada Street to see all the Easter chicks.

North Beach resident Lisa Parrish Lloyd, whose parents owned the store, tells Historic City News managing editor, Michael Gold, she used to be fascinated by the chicks. “I loved watching them when I was little,” Lloyd said. “Cute when small, got a little gawky and intimidating as they got older – I presumed that was their awkward teenager period.”

I seem to remember that at Easter, the store also had baby chicks that were dyed pastel colors. There were naturally yellow chicks; but also pastel pink chicks. Out on display in a pin, they reminded me of an Easter basket. Lisa says she doesn’t remember the dyed chicks, and I could be thinking of something else.

So, I’m hoping Historic City News readers can be my memory. If you remember St Johns Farm and Garden Supply, maybe you can report whether or not you remember the dyed Easter chicks. Just leave your comment below this article.

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