Valentine Day—oh, that brings back school day memories. Mother was a procrastinator, so we’d spend the afternoon of the thirteenth dashing from H&Y Drugstore ownered by those cute Hansard twins' daddy, to Goeslin’s (later TG&Y) on a frantic search for Valentines. Then, after supper, we’d sit around the breakfast table and address them. I was a scrawly writer, so she helped. One for each kid in the class. That was the rule. Miss Copeland had sent home the list two weeks ago, and the rule, “one for everyone or none at all.”
This followed the first grade disaster. It was Miss Harper’s (name disguised to protect the guilty) first year to teach. She later swore they didn’t teach her this at Texas Women’s. We spent a couple of days of our art period (ahh, we did have art every day in those good old days) building and decorating our “Valentine Post Office.” Then the big day came. One at a time, we went and played postman filling the boxes. Then in reverse order we took the sack we’d brought our Valentines in and collected our mail.
Disaster. Jerry, who couldn’t learn to read and nobody liked didn’t get but two and the one Miss Harper gave him. Thank goodness for my sweet mother, mine was one of the two. Several other kids only got a few. And Julia W. and Betty A. got one from everyone and two from some of the boys. I did okay. But I can still remember some of the kids I didn’t get one from. Never again.
One for all and all for one!
That’s not my biggest February 14th memory though. That one has nothing to do with Valentines other than the date. We lived in
, in the middle of the wind-swept Panhandle of Texas. Often we got the gift (?) of ‘blue northers’ from the icy Amarillo Rocky Mountains, swept across the plains by a ferocious North wind, the blizzards could be blinding. Mother hated them. February was usually the worst month. Dorothy, the eternal optimist, declared that because spring was around the corner, on February 14 it was appropriate to wear a new spring cotton dress. She spent much of January and early February making dress for my sister and me. (Sewing was not her long suite, but she hung in and did it.) No more heavy jumpers and sweaters.
One year we were mid-snow storm. I despaired about my new dress. I certainly couldn’t wear it in the snow. Not a problem. After I put it on, Mother pulled my Sunday wool jumper over my head, declaring that the green in the jumper matched the green in the leaves of the daisies she’d embroidered around the neck. Off I went to
through the snow with my bag of Valentines feeling smart, stylish and very springish. Wolflin School