Friday, February 10, 2012

THE LOST ART OF THROWING VALENTINES...


Ever heard of “Throwing Valentines”?  If you lived on Claire Drive in Atlanta, Georgia back in the 1950‘s you would have and had fun participating in it.  

When I was a young girl, I could not wait for night time to go door to door "secretly surprising" my friends. Not many talk about it these days, it's truly a Lost Art. 

Preparation for that night began as soon as stores had Valentines for sale on their shelves.  The bigger the package the better.  I had lots of friends to give to at school and then on that special night.

Before that special day arrived, I would sit down with pencil in hand taking great pains to collect just the right card for my friend.  

I would write my words saying what I wanted them to read.  When I finished, I would divide them. One pile was for school and the other was for “throwing to my neighbor friends” that night.

On the day of Valentines, we were ask by our teacher to bring our cards in a bag and a decorated box for the cards we would receive at our Valentine’s party. I was so excited!

After a day of study, the teacher would ask us to put away our books and get out all the things we brought for this special time.  

The room mothers would have arrived and put out the decorationed table clothes, cup cakes and drinks all in red and white.  We got so excited the teacher had to call us down and to stay in our seats.  I think she actually let us get to a certain level of “out of control” to let us express our emotions over this special time.  We would immediately act at her command, knowing the sooner the better. 

The cards were all distributed by this time that had been written by our friends.  If I got one from "that special boy" my heart would flutter!  The food would be “downed", the room cleaned and on our way to our homes we would go to get ready for the night.


When the night time came, I would set out with my bag of Valentine cards to give to my neighbor friends.  It had to be a well thought out act to sneak up near their porch and throw their Valentine.  You would run up quietly on their porch, place the card near the door, throw a small rock, then hollow "Valentine" and run as fast as you could so you would not be seen.  It was fun looking back and watching them come out and get what you had carefully written from your heart. 



I couldn’t wait to get home to find several cards with rocks beside them.....


Here's a picture of my house, 9 miles south of downtown Atlanta. There were lots of steps for one to climb to slip a card down, throw a rock and run. 


My family knew they better not touch one until I got home. They sat with me as I looked through all the cards received that day and night.  Some were so funny we would laugh till our sides hurt.

Those were fun times that have been lost in our day.  Things and times change but you can still find the cards at the store.  Fancy ones now with a bigger price, too!

Why don’t you go and get that well thought out card for the one you love. It will still be fun and the one who reads what comes from your heart will feel your love. Better not practice this "Lost Art" today, if you throw a rock you might get in trouble, sad to say.  Be safe and hand it or mail it...

Hope this memory back in time takes you back to the “good ole days” of the Lost Art of Throwing Valentines.  Back then things were safer times and living was easier.....


While searching the web I found a blog from a person who had practiced the same fun times, take a look through their eyes...

   "When February rolled around, Cone Mill Villagers developed their own Valentines Day traditions throughout the community......"Somethin’ we used to do that people that we’ve talked to, other people not from the mill villages haven’t heard about. We used to throw valentines. Valentine evening after it got dark, we’d have these valentines and we’d go knock on somebody’s door and holler valentine and run and hide. And then, you know of course they’d come to the door and get the valentine, throw it on the porch. And some of them for fun, and my brother I think was one of them, tie strings on the valentine. And the porch bein’ up off of the ground they could get down there under, kinda, the porch and start pulling it when somebody was trying to get the valentine. But that’s something that we have really heard when we talk about it people don’t know what were talking about. [Laughing] But I think all the mill villages did that."
Excerpted From: http://conemillvillages.weebly.com/february.html

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So here's hoping you have a Great Valentine's Day with the one you love. Here is mine to you that stopped by....













9 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I also grew up in Atlanta and as a child thew Valentines. I was telling my children about it and they thought it sounded like a crazy thing to do. But life was much simpler and gentle back then. Thanks for bring back a memory.

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  2. Thank you so much for taking me back to a precious time. I too share many of the same memories and my childhood home looked much like yours, but I lived in Macon, Ga. I was shocked as an adult to find out that this was not a national tradition. I grew up thinking it was just like Halloween, but reversed. Thanks again,
    s

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  3. So glad to hear somebody else threw Valentine's. We did it in East Athens, GA and never knew of anyone else who did...

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  4. I lived in west end ( South West Atlanta ) and we did the same thing except we rang the doorbell or knocked on the door then ran and hid in the bushes! Such fun memories. I wonder how this custom got started?! Thanks for writing this. I had forgotten!

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  5. Mary, this really brought back precious memories, I grew in Atlanta,Ga. Grant park area..Thank you Patricia Anne (Davis) Vick

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  6. Sandra Glover CampbellFebruary 16, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Mary, I love your blog. You are gifted with words that speak from the heart.

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  7. We also did this in Phenix City, Alabama. So good to hear that others remember this custom. Wonder where it started. I was born in 1949.

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  8. I was born in 1949 in Phenix City, Alabama. We did this also! I was so happy to hear it was done other towns. Thanks for this story.

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  9. Sweet memories. We did the Valentines at school like you did but not the "throwing Valentines". In fact, I had never heard of that till now.

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