Horse Racing, Easter Eggs, and Cemeteries.

8 Apr

Easter brings about different traditions in my family. As I mentioned before, when my uncle was alive Easter was filled with brunches, mimosas, Loteria, egg painting, pool parties, egg hunts, and ham dinners.

He was the glue that stuck everyone together. But since his passing there’d been a rift in the family dynamic — a family feud. But my Dad kept it together and tempers simmered as the family continued gathering.

Easter eggs // Ostereier

Easter eggs // Ostereier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since we didn’t own a pool or have a back yard big enough for egg hunts and master art projects for the entire family, my Dad and I created a new tradition upon my uncle’s passing.

The year after Uncle Erick died, his daughter really wanted to go egg hunting. We had no idea that a majority of the egg hunts took place on Saturday and not on Easter. We had no kids in the family back then. She was it. So in an effort to keep the Easter Spirit going, we thought we’d take her to the Arboretum for the big Easter Egg Hunt and brunch. We had it all planned out with everyone coming.

We get there … it’s closed. Egg hunt was Saturday.

She looked at me and my dad with those what-the-hell-just-happened eyes. I felt like a jackass. I looked around. The race track was about a mile from there. Seabiscuit? Why not.

Horse-racing at Del Mar?? Camera: Canon D60, L...

Horse-racing Photo credit: Wikipedia

You want to see some horses?

We piled back in the car, bought some plastic eggs at a nearby Ralphs Supermarket, and made our way to the race track. She saw horses, ate funnel cake, found some eggs, and won four dollars. She had a great time and a good Easter — Guat Style. My Dad had a blast. He loved the excitement of betting on the race, got a laugh from the unique names like Limerock Revenge and Warrens Venedalucy, and smiled as the horses powered through. He liked the movie Seabiscuit, too. So we went back every year for more races, more funnel cake, and more good times.We went to the cemetery to visit my uncle. We told him about the day and how much we missed him. Then headed all the way back to my parents’ place for a nice ham dinner.

This tradition continued until my Dad’s passing. The family divide got bigger. Hatfields vs. McCoys Guat style.

So today it was  just party of four at the race track. My cousins are all grown up. My uncle’s daughter is a young adult deciding between University of Southern California and Boston College. We’re a Trojan Family so as you probably guessed we’re leaning toward one particular school. My mom and aunts just wanted to stay home, away from the heat, but they drank coffee — not iced coffee, hot coffee — and ate champurradas. Go figure.

So, it was party of four racing for plastic eggs, (no crazy parents this time), sliding down the ginormous inflatable Lighting McQueen jumper-slide-thing, painting eggs, playing carnival games, and betting on horses like Ralphy Girl, La Chilena, and Shezabigbroad. We lost twenty dollars and drove back for family dinner.

But before heading back, I made a stop to visit the man who started the  new tradition with me six years ago — my dad. I headed to the cemetery ready to talk to him about our adventure at the track. I took him some lilies, Easter eggs, and the racing program.

Now I know the race track and cemetery aren’t the first thoughts that come to mind when you think Easter. It’s probably more like Jesus and Easter eggs. But when it comes to The Guat, nothing is conventional. Horse racing, Easter eggs and cemeteries — this is the Guat  Easter Celebration.


One Response to “Horse Racing, Easter Eggs, and Cemeteries.”


  1. Weekly Image of Life: Easter Time | The Wish Factor - April 11, 2013

    […] Horse Racing, Easter Eggs, and Cemeteries […]

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