From the April 1950 editions of the Vineyard Gazette:

Although most Vineyard children have had ample opportunity to observe both rabbits and hens and their respective activities, and have concluded correctly that hens lay eggs and rabbits have little rabbits, there seems to be some confusion about the Easter rabbit. And with cause.

This peculiar beast not only is one of the biggest egg-producers on record, but the wild abandon with which he turns out eggs of every shape, size, color and material imaginable, is enough to make anyone dizzy. Those white sugar jobs, for instance, with candy flowers and leaves on the outside and a hole in the end, through which you can look at elaborate pastoral scenes on the inside, must mean that the Easter rabbit’s interior is complicated to say the least.

Another odd aspect of the situation is that the Easter rabbit is always referred to as “he”. While city children might swallow all this without question, the local young know better. A male rabbit that lays eggs is just a little too much. Some children think he doesn’t lay the eggs, he just brings them from some unexplained source, but a larger proportion either believe that the Easter rabbit is a lot of baloney, or else are rapidly becoming neurotic trying to figure the thing out. If the Easter rabbit were a recent invention, it might be possible to explain him as a product of the atomic age. Radioactivity has been known to have strange effects upon reproductive apparatus. But this freak has been thundering down the ages for nobody knows how long. There are so many other things arranged to confuse the young without this. Was it Albert who burned the cakes or Robert the Bruce? If so, than it must have been Alfred who was shut up in a cave with a spider. And wasn’t one of the three turned into a woodpecker on account of some cakes or eggs or something?

With all this to straighten out as well as the multiplication tables, it’s no wonder that the strain of modern life is hard on youngsters. Somebody ought to reorganize the Easter rabbit a little before the children discard him altogether.

The annual Easter egg hunt was held on Easter Sunday afternoon at Waban Park, sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars. More than 1,300 eggs were hidden in the grass of Waban Park and hundreds of youngsters scanned the field for the eggs. The largest number found by any one child, thirty-four, was found by Richard Coutinho of Oak Bluffs. Two children, Betsy and Wilma Gibbons, were dressed like rabbits and their father, William E. Gibbons, portrayed the part of the Big Bunnie. David J. Heatley of Oak Bluffs was master of ceremonies.

Prizes were awarded as follows: a $10 check to Sandra Fisher for finding the golden egg. In the 1 to 4 age group, first prize for finding the largest number of eggs went to James Swartz of Oak Bluffs, second to Harry McConnell of Edgartown and Marie Barrett of Vineyard Haven, and third to David Heatley Jr. of Oak Bluffs. In the 5 to 7 years of age group: Betsy Sullivan of Vineyard Haven was first; second, Linda Fisher and Joanne Fontaine; and third, Alan Coutinho of Oak Bluffs.

In the 8 to 10 years of age group, the first prize was won by Richard Coutinho of Oak Bluffs; second by Sandra Ferreira of Oak Bluffs and third, Nancy Lee Arruda of Oak Bluffs.

Additional prizes were awarded for the boy with the most freckles, Bennie Duarte, and for the red-haired boy, Brenden Flynn; twins, Susan and Karen Johnson, Bobby and Betsy Healey, both of Oak Bluffs, and Irene and Rose Arbo of Vineyard Haven; youngest boy, Timothy Michael Tilton, one-year-old of Vineyard Haven and Bobby Maseda of Vineyard Haven; girl with the most freckles, Judy Snowden, Jane Berube.

A birthday party in the form of an Easter egg hunt, was given for little June and Judy Manning by their parents, Mr. and Mrs. James W. Manning, of Gay Head. The eager children arrived at 3:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday and proceeded to scramble and fall over the lawn searching for eggs. There were seventeen children, from four months to seven years of age and the older children shared their large findings with the younger.

After the hunt the children were served refreshments, Mrs. Gordon Perry, Mrs. Carol Francis and Mrs. Kestenbaum assisting. Upon departing each child was given a little Easter basket gaily decorated with little chicks and jelly beans. Those present were as follows: Daniel Belain, Mr. and Mrs. Walter W. Manning, Mrs. Gordon Perry and her daughter Marcia, Mrs. Carol Francis and her daughter Elinor, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Liamond and their children, Sharon and Delmond, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Vanderhoop and their sons, Kenneth and Elmer, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kestenbaum and their children, Kristina and William, Mrs. Nelson Francis and her children, Eugene and Natale, Mrs. Ralph Devine and her children, Shelley and Ralph Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Luther Madison and their children, Kathleen and Jeffrey, and Beverly Guanco.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox