Jazmin Ellis came all the way from Acworth, on the far side of Atlanta, with pink pants, pink ties on her hair, and an eye for the fluttering pink cherry blossoms in Macons Central City Park.
The 4-year-old also came clutching a pink basket shed made in her pre-kindergarten class, ready to compete against hundreds of kids in an annual Easter egg hunt. Jazmin was emblazoned on the side.
Others youths carried pastel-striped wicker baskets, or white wicker baskets, or pink Cherry Blossom Festival bags. Still others clutched beach sand buckets, old ice cream containers, black and brown grocery sacks. For one child, a green fabric bag decorated with footballs became a hat.
Its said a poor craftsman blames his tools. The children in the 29th annual Mighty Rock Citywide Easter Egg Hunt didnt worry about their tools. They were ready to go.
Bryson Guster, who turns 3 in about a week, clutched a pastel-striped Easter basket and the hand of grandmother Irma Guster.
Im going to have fun, he vowed.
Not far away, Jonathan McLean, 7, of Macon held a basket shaped like Lightning McQueen from the Cars movies. He had a strategy -- as simple and as pure as it gets.
Im going to try to run faster, said McLean, who was surrounded by older and larger children.
The Mighty Rock Citywide Easter Egg Hunt is of course named for former WIBB disc jockey Robert Mighty Rock Roberts, who died in June. His family has been helping put on the egg hunt for years, but this was the first without Roberts himself. All seven of Roberts children help out with the egg hunt.
As an estimated 10,000 eggs lay scattered across Central City Park, overseen by members of the Flaming Knights motorcycle club, which organizes it and gets sponsors. Some specially colored eggs included prizes.
Eric Quick, vice president of the Macon chapter of the club, said it was different having an egg hunt without his father there.
I know hes looking down, smiling. Hes a big community person, and he did all he could for the community, Quick said.
Not far away, one of Roberts twin daughters, Aisha Sweet, looked at the waiting children and pondered.
This is good, she said. He would have liked this. Not far away, her nephew and son were doing their own looking.
Now our kids are doing what we did as kids, Sweet said. We definitely want to keep going and never want it to end.
Children waited for it to start. The whole event was supposed to have run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the egg hunt itself started around 11:40 p.m. Motorcycle club members lined up the children along a sidewalk on the east side of Central City Park, and then they were released.
Most came running, as powerfully relentless as a tsunami and as thorough as locusts. They paused for the briefest possible moments to snatch the brightly colored eggs from the ground. Where the children passed, no eggs remained.
Jalisa Glover counted out her eggs carefully, reaching into the big pink bunny head that served as her Easter basket. Out came a blue, a pair of yellows, another blue egg, a pink one. Grandmother Rosetta Glover carefully handed them back. Jalisa held her hand out for more. Thats it, baby, Rosetta Glover said.
A few moments later, more relatives returned from the hunt. Amarikyn Caines, clad in a bright yellow shirt, claimed 15 eggs from the ground. She echoed a familiar strategy.
Run fast, she said.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.