Saturday, February 14, 2015
Hearts and Racing
The person of St. Valentine has long been forgotten to be replaced by the many symbols of romance and love. We all enjoy the bright red color, the hearts, arrows, figures of Cupid, flowers, and chocolates that grace the giving to a special person on this day in mid-winter.
The custom of sending a valentine salute crossed the Atlantic with the early settlers. It is hard to imagine the starched and staid Puritans indulging in frittering their time away with romantic sentiments. Yet, John Winthrop, who later became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, ended a letter to his wife with, "Thou must be my valentine for none has challenged me." It was written before he sailed to America in 1629.
In 1848 Esther Howland began a cottage industry of making valentines of lace and frills, which may have begun what we now know as assembly line production many years before Henry Ford used it in the automotive industry. Esther designed the cards and workers put them together, each person doing one thing to create the finished product. Esther and her ladies developed their business until it was grossing over $25,000/year from one company alone. This is the equivalent of one million dollars in today's economy. Her cards were treasured by their recipients and passed down through the generations. Today they are a rare collector's item and can be identified by a small red letter "H" on the back of the card.
Do you have an exceptional card buried in a drawer or hidden in a book that evokes remembrance of times past? Or maybe a memory that remains in your heart? Our frequently recalled event was when we stole daffodils from a neighbor's yard for our dinner table on Valentine's Day.
By the spin of the wheel 2015 has found Nash with a dilemma between his loves. Should he devote his time to watching Race Week of the Daytona 500 or take his life's companion out to dinner on Valentine's Day.
Types of valentines are identified by names: Rebus valentines had verses in which tiny pictures took the place of words.
Enjoy Nash Black's rebus card for all the fans who love auto racing and have waited all winter for the new season to begin.
Art work by Barbara Appleby and cut & paste by me.