February 15, 1966
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Do you like candy hearts? I do. They always say something even if it’s mostly silly stuff. Be Mine or Yes or Love U or Let’s Go. But you have to read them before you can eat them.
I like Valentine’s Day too. I have ever since I started school and we got to have Valentine’s parties with cupcakes and red icing and those candy hearts. I’ve still got a shoe box that I decorated with construction paper hearts when I was in the third grade. It’s stuffed full of all the Valentine cards I got at school that year and after that year too. The teachers always made sure we knew we were supposed to fix a Valentine for everybody and not worry about that boy/girl stuff. That’s what made it fun.
I guess I’m old enough to think about having a real boyfriend, but I don’t want all that bother. From what I see at school , boys are nothing but trouble. Some of my friends are all twitterpated. Not sure if that’s a real word but it means you lose your good sense because you think you’re in love. But once that happens somebody’s always getting bent out of shape about something and boy, can girls get upset with their boyfriends at Valentine’s time. Their boyfriends don’t give them the right kind of flowers or candy. Or they wanted a teddy bear or… Well, I feel sorry for the boys. Some girls are too hard to please. Way too hard. They want Romeos ready to drink poison for them or something. If I ever have a boyfriend, let me tell you I’m going to be happy even if all he gives me is one of those pink hearts that says U R Sweet.
I guess Valentines is supposed to be for romance and couples. But I think it should celebrate all kinds of love. In his sermon Sunday, Dad told us some history of Valentine’s Day. It seems that long, long ago, around 268 A.D. in the Roman Empire, the emperor prohibited young men in the Roman army from marrying. But a priest named Valentine refused to obey the decree and performed secret ceremonies to marry the soldiers and their girlfriends. Eventually the Caesar heard about this and had him imprisoned. Then legend has it that Valentine wrote his faithful congregation a letter from prison before he was executed expressing his love for them and signed it “Your Valentine.”
There’s another version that says St. Valentine had a gift of healing and when the jailer found this out he got him to heal his daughter of blindness. That legend had the daughter falling in love with St. Valentine and being very distressed when the Emperor ordered the priest’s execution. The story goes that St. Valentine wrote her a note and signed it “Your Valentine.”
Dad says not everybody agrees with either of these Valentine stories. You can read up about Valentine’s Day history and make up your own mind, but I like the first story about him writing to his congregation. After all, aren’t Christians supposed to love one another and be a mirror of God’s love for us? God is love. That’s the first Bible verse from 1 John 4 I learned in Sunday school. Then there’s that verse that tells us to love our neighbor like ourselves. Dad says Valentine’s Day is a good time to remember all that.
So Happy Love Day. We need to keep that going all year long in church.