Happy Valentine’s Day

Well, today is Valentine’s Day.  Husband is on the Rez and will return tonight. We have never really celebrated this day much, as I will get flowers and chocolates for myself anytime I want them, and I don’t expect my stressed and overworked spouse to get them for me. He says he always feels spoiled and catered to by me, so he has no expectations for me today, either.

When I think of this day, I think of Al Capone, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and a guy named A. Claire Dispenet  (Ace),  the  Francophone owner of the original Magnolia Bar and Steak House in Magnolia, MN.  Magnolia is about 6 miles east of Luverne.  My dad grew up there.  Claire had a rather shady history as a bootlegger in the 1920’s.  My dad worked for Claire as a bartender in the 1950’s before he built his gas station and coffee shop. During Prohibition, Claire drove a beer truck on Minnesota’s North Shore for the Capone organization. His beer truck was stolen, and Claire had to phone Chicago to relate the news. He was told to not worry about it, and that they knew who the guys were who stole the truck, and that “We will take care of them”.  Claire knew what that meant, and decided then and there and seek employment elsewhere. He didn’t want to be involved in a murder.  He ended up serving time in Ft. Leavenworth Prison for bootlegging sometime after that, though.  My dad really liked him. Ace, as he was affectionately called, was a character. His wife was a very devout Catholic and made sure he was buried as close as possible to the grave of the former priest in the Luverne Catholic  Cemetery. Dad said she hoped Ace could grab onto the Priest’s robes and sneak into heaven behind him.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day now. What are your memories of this day from elementary school?

40 thoughts on “Happy Valentine’s Day”

  1. When I was in kindergarten my classroom had an elaborate set of large building blocks. The boys used them to build a little post office and there were shoe boxes that served as post office boxes for all the kids. In those days there were packs of valentines you could get at the Ben Franklin, one for everyone in your class. No one was left out.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Oh yes, the shoe boxes as mail boxes. We had to decorate them and cut a hole in the top for the cards to be delivered. Everyone got a Valentine card. I remember agonizing over who got what card.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Yes, that’s what we all had to do as well. But I remember designing some pretty awesome boxes! (With mom’s help). Another nugget in my career path as a stage designer perhaps?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. With mixed emotions, I remember those chalky heart-shaped candies that carry a romantic message. “KISS ME” was a big one. The common name for them is Sweethearts. They were invented in the 1860s but went off the market last year. They apparently are back, with reduced numbers, with a new manufacturer. The messages have been updated. “TEXT ME” wasn’t a big seller in the 19th century.

    I never liked them, but they sure were identified with Valentine’s Day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. how can you not like them. they are the perfect combination of sweet but not too sweet, sugar buzz but not over the top and crunchy without getting obnoxious
      i think semi x rated or off color versions would be a riot today. i think the same thing about fortune cookies

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If I can swing it, we’ll eat out somewhere either today or tomorrow. And I will wear my heart earrings, and something red or pinkish. : )

    Interesting that you don’t see those little packs of 28 Valentines anymore – I wonder what they do now…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Belgian chocolates are my favorite. I rarely eat candy these days, but I may get some of those Guylian chocolates in the shape of sea shells when I am done with work today.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m not aware of any technical reason Belgian chocolate differs from chocolate made in France or anywhere else. The Belgians just take great care in producing excellent chocolate treats. For a relatively small country, Belgium has a remarkable number of chocolate makers. The tradition of making superb chocolate dates to the 1600s and represents one of Belgium’s most important industries. It is smart to be kind to Belgians traveling in the US. They often travel with boxes of exquisite chocolate they can use to say “thank you.”


  6. valentines this year is old guy valentine’s day i’m getting minor surgery with good drugs. i’m 30 minutes because there was a mix up on my drug request.
    my sister invited me to a concert and i accepted before i realized it was valentine’s day
    my guitar group founder is moving to boston and one of the group set up a bar stop at 7 and i reminded him it was valentine’s day he was conflicting with and so i wouldn’t be participating
    i’ll ask my wife if there is a special meal i can do but i’m guessing a bottle of wine a chocolate ditty and a plate full of gnocchi with pesto will be the deal

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Haven’t celebrated V-day in decades. My wife is probably the least romantic woman I know and she slowly weaned me away from being a romantic too. Which is fine wrt this holiday. If you tell someone almost daily that you love them, there’s really no need for one special day that obligates you to tell them you love them.

    I remember grade school V-day for the paper lunch sacks we had stuck onto the edges of our desks like little mail pouches that were used to collect our valentines. Everybody got one regardless of whether you wanted to give them one or not, so it was more or less a socialist/communist indoctrination holiday as far as I could tell (with the aid of adult hindsight, of course). And the valentines were cheap and generally cheesy. The only challenge was deciding which girl would get the best one. Unfortunately, no 4th-grade girl ever rushed over, threw her arms around me and gave me a big kiss after saying “Yes, yes, darling, I’ll be your valentine forever!”, so I guess that confirmed the cheesiness of the cards.

    I did like the heart-shaped candies though.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Valentine’s Day was not “a thing” in Denmark when I was growing up. Now, of course, it is, just as another consumer driven holiday, Halloween, has become part of the Danish “tradition.” I’ve never cared for these holidays, and I still don’t. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are in that mix as far as I’m concerned, and god help us, Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s Day are now a thing as well. I hate to be a cynic about this, but I see these days as capitalizing on people’s guilt.

    I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day today by getting a 90 minute massage by my friend, Vicky. Tonight’s dinner, cooked by me, will be pasta with Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese sauce, and nice bottle of red wine. Sounds like a perfect day to me. As a special treat, one of my phalaenopsis orchids started blooming yesterday; the other one has large buds and will bloom in another couple of days. My jade tree has been blooming for over a week, and will continue to do so for at least another three weeks, as it has done each year for the last seven years. Such a boost to the spirit on frigid days.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. As I’m sure you can imagine, I still over engineer most of the holidays. So today I have on red and white socks and a red shirt with a white turtleneck and I made cookies for my teammates. Snickerdoodle cookies with heart chocolates pressed to the top, like peanut blossoms. And of course I stamped little hearts that say Happy Valentine’s Day to go with them. My boss just gave us a pizza lunch so I’m doing it up big today. The pizzas were all baked in the shape of hearts.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. After my first marriage tankEd, I was feeling a little raw that first Valentine’s Day. So I got a big box from the corner store and painted hearts all over it (my dog at the time, Scarlet, loved sitting inside big boxes. And then I bought some fancy mylar valentine balloons and tied them to a chair and then I ran out to the bakery and got valentine iced donuts, two for me, two for Scarlet. We had a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have friends for whom this is one of the biggest holidays of the year. They would both take the day off whenever possible, do something special that day.

    It occurs to me that if the commercial version about “universal love for mankind” instead of romantic love, I might be able to get behind it. Maybe you could have a day of “truce” from all our competitions and dogmas, some kind of universal brother/sisterhood celebrations…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Our special meal this weekend will be a north German seafood stew with paprika broth. I need to find some Maggi seasoning sauce for it tomorrow at Walmart, where I will also pick up some Guylian Belgian chocolates . Cashwise won’t have mussels until Sunday morning, so the Fischgulasch will be for Sunday evening.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just Googled Fischgulasch and found two recipes. What kind of fish do you use, and does your recipe include potatoes, or do you serve it with Spätzle? Sound wonderful either way.

      Liked by 1 person

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