A special day to show love

Bill King

Valentine’s Day is not a Christian holiday, but it is a good time to express our love to the one we love. My earliest memories of Valentine’s Day, takes me back to my school days at Plainview Elementary. I wasn’t married then. I might have had a girlfriend, but I’m not telling her name. Each year, my classmates and I exchanged Valentine cards. They weren’t the expensive cards like you might buy at a drug store. They were the cheap kind that we bought at the 5 & 10. Back then, we could buy an entire package of little valentines, complete with envelopes, for about the price of one big one now. Wow, that takes us back a few years! There are no 5 & 10 stores anymore. The 5 & 10 stores evolved into Dollar Stores. Even Dollar Tree, which boasted of everything costing one dollar, now charges $1.25. Ironically, they still call themselves Dollar Tree. Now we even have a store called, “5 Below.” BTW, the 5 is not a nickel! Eventually, we’ll probably have $100 & $200 stores. I’m sorry, excuse the rabbit chasing.

Anyway, back to elementary school, we each hung our own personalized, hand-made, Valentine bags on the classroom wall. We made them from brown-paper bags. I think one year we got fancy and even had white bags. We wrote our names on the bags with crayons and drew red hearts, or whatever else we wanted, on them. Mine were such masterpieces that the Smithsonian wanted them for the art museum. Well, not quite, but Mama always said they were beautiful. We stuffed them with cards before Valentine’s Day, then on the day itself we took them down and pulled out the cards and read them. Some classmates put other things, like candy conversation hearts, in our bags. One year, one of the girls put Creepy Crawlers in them. Mattel sold something called a “Thing-maker.” The Thing-maker included a metal mold on a hot plate and “Plastigoop” that you poured in it to cook up rubber bugs, worms and other such necessities. My “girlfriend” made a rubber bat and put it in my bag, along with her Valentine that said she loved me. Since Batman was my favorite show on television, I asked her to marry me. Honestly, I can’t remember if she said yes, but I’m fairly certain that Mama said no way! Since we were only 10, and Mama was not in favor, the wedding never happened. Besides, I later found out she gave those to everybody.

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