Place item was collected
Salt Lake City, Utah
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Lisa Thornton is my mother. She was born in Orem, Utah in 1963. She was one of 9 children. She attended schools in Orem and then played volleyball for Snow College. Later, she transferred to BYU to study English. She then studied law at BYU and moved to Arizona to work in a law firm. She met my father there and they moved back to Utah and she began working for a law firm in Salt Lake City. She had five children and raised them all in Salt Lake. When her youngest child was born with a serious disability, she chose to leave the law firm. She worked tirelessly to advocate for better care of children with disabilities in Utah and especially children with her daughter’s specific syndrome. She has led multiple organizations, campaigns, and fundraisers in support of this cause. Now, she works mostly pro bono helping parents retain guardianship of their children with special needs. My mother is courageous, assertive, and very competitive. She enjoys reading, tennis, and warm weather.
During one of our regular calls, my mother told me about this prank. When she begins to tell a story, she can talk for hours. I did not explicitly ask where my mom was during our phone call, but in this case, I could tell she was sitting at her computer in her office because it has an extremely loud keyboard. Her typing sounds as if an automatic weapon is firing off emails at a rapid speed. This specific call was at night, so the house was quiet on her end. I have heard this story told many times by many different people, all in the family. We often tease the brothers who were fooled by the prank, especially the older ones. I have told a few people outside the family, but they do not know Lance, so the story was not received as well.
So, Lance was probably 10. I mean, pretty young, not old at all. And for several week he started collecting all the candy he could get. I don’t know if he was earning some of it or if he was just getting it however he could, but he was just collecting a lot of candy. Um, his mom would go running every morning early at like six. And so he decided early on that he was going to pull off the prank of all pranks and so Lana got up and went running and he hurried and grabbed all the Easter baskets and set the out on the table like his mom did and he hid candy all over the place and he went and woke up all the kids, which some of them were older than her is [laughter] and this wasn’t on a Sunday so it was not on Easter and he is like, “the Easter bunny came” [said in an imitation voice of a young child] and their all up grabbing their baskets, they are all running around the house picking up candy when Lana walks in [laughter] She’s like, “what the heck” [laughter]. I mean to be that young and to trick his older- the older kids, I mean it’s just hilarious that they all bought into it and thought it was Easter. And it was cute on his part that he planned so long, it wasn’t like a five minute, “oh this might be fun.” So, he certainly goes down in history as the best prank that has ever been pulled in the family, and people talk about it all the time. Pay homage to him.
My mother used a lighthearted tone when telling me this story. We were both laughing, but in past telling (face-to-face), she was more boisterous. It was difficult to assess her attitude because of the lack of body language cues, but it was obvious that she was enjoying the memories. She made this prank seem important to our family. She definitely was proud of Lance and had no sympathy for his poor brothers.
Semester and year
G6: Competition Games
Thornton, Emma, "Easter Prank" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 403.