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Granna retires from her Easter egg hunt

Betty Robinson, in Easter apron, poses with family members and neighbors who turned out for her big Easter egg hunt. Betty Robinson, in Easter apron, poses with family members and neighbors who turned out for her big Easter egg hunt.

MOUNTAIN HOME — Before she officially kicked off her annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning, Betty Robinson hollered for Joshua Robinson to come forward. The 15-year-old Joshua (no relation) walked up and dutifully stood beside her. Everyone in the large extended family of Smiths and Robinsons and Corns knows that when Betty calls, you come.


It was little Joshua’s question one Palm Sunday at Naples Baptist Church that provoked the big Easter party that was now getting under way for what everyone guesses was the 12th year.
“He was in my Sunday school class one year and he said, ‘Miss Betty, are we going to do anything for Easter?’” Betty recalled.
She had been thinking for several years about hosting an Easter egg hunt at her house “but you know you never get around to it.”
“And I thought, ‘That is a sign I need to do something.’ So I just got up that Sunday morning (during the service) and announced, ‘We’re going to have an Easter egg hunt at my house next Saturday. The children bring a basket and the adults bring the children.’ There wasn’t that many. Everybody enjoyed it, and so they said, ‘Are you going to have it again next year?’ We said, ‘Yeah.’”
And so the event kept growing. Miss Betty didn’t need to send out invitations or announce it at church. Everyone just knew. She added more games and events and “hid” thousands of plastic eggs in a giant grassy field that’s part of the mountain family’s property on Mountain Road in Mountain Home. The family got a sound system and some of the kids played deejay and no one could wait for pound cake.
On Saturday morning, 85 people gathered — more adults than children — for a tradition that has evolved from a Sunday school kids’ party to a family reunion, neighborhood get-together and celebration of the good things about Easter — including Betty’s renowned pound cake, egg salad sandwiches and peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
“She uses 20 loaves of bread,” a grandson-in-law said.
She cuts off the crust and serves the egg salad sandwiches in triangles. She makes her famous peanut butter and honey finger sandwiches — two bites and they’re gone. The pound cake? The main thing to be said about Granna's poundcake is that when grandkids come over and get a slice of one fresh from the oven, they announce their good fortune by sending a cellphone picture to family members.
“She can run circles around all of us,” said Lisa Ward, the youngest of Betty’s six children. Even so, mom decided that “it’s time” to give it up.
“This is the grand finale for Granna,” Betty announces to the crowd.

She’s called Granna because when the first grandbaby came along, Betty told the children, “I’m too young to be a granny.” “Granna” she blessed and so it stuck.


‘Six children in eight years’

The daughter of Dorothy and Guy Corn, Betty married Robert Smith. A truck driver who suffered from diabetes, Smith died at age 44. His brother, Corum Smith, came out Saturday, as he always does.
“Betty and my brother had six children and they’re all married and have children,” he said. “They had six kids in eight years."

A longtime secretary at West Henderson High School, Betty “has always been involved with kids,” Ward said.
She looks out and describes the next game. Everyone gets in a big circle and passes a bunny from person to person while the music plays.
“Kind of like hot potato with a bunny,” Ward said. “If you get caught with a bunny you get a bunny tail on your face.”
Betty’s sister, Susie Sizemore, looked out at the event and smiled.
“She’s just a very giving person,” she said. “She loves to give.” So every Easter weekend, “rain or shine” Betty held the event. “It could be so cold, or snow, she’ll have it.”
In a rare break from the action, Betty, admits to a visitor that, yes, the Easter party is a lot of work and that it was time to give it up. Even in the telling of that her generosity shines bright like the red buds and yellow bells in the distance.
“It takes a whole to get everything put together and get everything organized,” she says. “I’ve got a bunch of sandwiches made in there now. We will eat in a minute and we’d love for you to stay and eat with us.”