Carolina History Project
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Old Valentine Cards


When February is upon us, one can see the Valentine decorations, of various reddish hues, at the local drugstores.  Ah yes, good old Valentine's Day.  For most of us, it was a late afternoon party held in our local elementary school classrooms.  Perhaps your teacher had you make a Valentine's "pouch" out of construction paper, in which to insert store-bought Valentine's in....or maybe you had the shoebox model, covered with red tissue paper, with a slit cut out in the top in which to receive your paper holiday trifles.  And there was always the red liquid punch and the Valentine cookies that parents would bring.  And who can't forget those tiny blood-red candy hearts...that had such a slight, tangy, burning taste to them.  And there were always those rather tasteless, powdery, heart-shaped candies, known as "Sweethearts," that had those rather staid sayings on them such as "Romeo" and "Be mine."  The bell would ring, school was over for the day, and it would soon be time to go home.  How many of you hoarded your Valentines and Valentine-related items, such as those tiny red paper plates and napkins...so as to hold on to those pleasant classroom hours you had that day...just a little longer.  Perhaps your Valentines of that era have long since been done away with...or perhaps they are still buried in your parent's scrapbook up in the attic...waiting for the day to be dug out once again and fondly remembered...or to show to a new generation....and perhaps even be lovingly scrapbooked.  Well let me tell you this, if there is any one group of people who will lovingly save their Valentines for years on end...it's elementary school teachers!  Yes, after spending their days cajoling kids to learn...even having to punish some of them, Valentine's Day, a little more than half-way into the school year, would seem like a day of truce.  So, for teachers to get Valentines from their students, which they helped raise through the years....these sentimental pieces of paper have an especial meaning.  Such was the case of one Mrs. Roxie Dixon, an elementary school teacher who taught school somewhere in and around Blackstock, South Carolina, from about the 1920's until about perhaps the late 1950's or early 1960's. 

About ten years ago, a flea market dealer sold me a hefty box of her life's memorabilia....for ten dollars...and in it was the history of central and upstate South Carolina from the early to mid-20th century.  And yes, she taught school.  And yes, she saved decades worth of Valentines given to her by her students.  Let's enjoy some of them shall we?  Most of these haven't seen the light of day in ages.

Looking like one of the Andrews Sisters, here is a young lass belting out a song on a heart-shaped stand-up microphone, saying, "'SING'" OUT WITH IT KID--BE MY VALENTINE!"  This Valentine is probably from around the 1940's.

















   
And here's a Valentine that brings back the halcyon days of the 1950's, showing a young boy, with baseball catcher's mitt thrown over his special TV chair, baseball on top of the television and faithful little puppy at his side, enjoying the early days of kid's-show TV....in ancient analog no doubt!  Yes, it looks like he just rushed in from outside play in order to tune in his favorite, clown-hosted children's show, of which there were so many TV hosts thereof back then, Bozo the Clown being the most famous.  (Back in the 1960's, WBTV-Channel-3 of Charlotte, North Carolina used to host the local afternoon kid's show, Joey the Clown!)  And like so many kid's Valentines of yesteryear, and today, the greeting card writers had to find some kind of play on a word (or words), or a play on a popular phrase or idiom of the day in order to "word" their cards with.  In this case with the then new medium of television it states, "YOU'RE MY VALENTINE...ON ANY CHANNEL!"  (Not that many cities or rural areas had that many channels to choose from back in those days, but the point is made.)

  
Oh how can you resist this one???  It's two plush kittens, the paragons of innocence, gently pleading:  "PURR-LEEZE BE MINE...VALENTINE."  (This one goes out to all of you cat-lovers out there in internet land.)

 

 

 

 

 

 


And well, here's an old familiar saying that's usually applied to young girls:  "YOU'RE SUGAR AND SPICE 'N EVERYTHING NICE.  SAY THAT YOU'LL BE...MY VALENTINE."  Note the old-style sugar bowl...filled with "happy little sugar cubes"...and the old restaurant-style salt shakers.









And again, from what appear to be from the 1950's are two Valentines with "movable parts" on them.  The airplane depicted on the left actually has a propeller that can be turned around.  And making the usual play on words, the pilot states:  "I'll be FLYING HIGH if you'll be my VALENTINE."  The globe on the right, subtly reflecting the newly-hatched "space age" of satellites and rockets, has a "shooting star" that let's the recipient, along with the man-in-the-moon, know that "You're OUT OF THIS WORLD Valentine"(!)  Well folks, hope you enjoyed the little trip down nostalgia lane here.  Do peruse my other webpages as I can slowly, but surely, develop them.  And again, to anybody out in the USA or the world
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!



Here is the old Western Union Telegram envelope, postmarked "Blackstock, S. C. 1943," in which I found these old Valentines enclosed in.  As you can see on the envelope, it was addressed to:

Miss Roxie Dixon
And Family
RFD Blackstock SC


A Valentine that would have made Lawrence Whelk proud:  "Accordin' to My Notes...YOU'RE MY VALENTINE!"  As the late great maestro would have said..."Wunnerful!  Wunnerful!"  Hope you enjoyed rummaging through an old teacher's Valentines.  Thank you so very much for stopping by!


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