Happy St. Valentine's Day to all my faithful followers! Today's edition of Sepia Saturday concerns itself with this holiday, and so from my personal archives I dredge out these vintage cards which I have managed to hang onto for oh, over fifty years, knowing that someday I would find a use for them. Yes, these are actually leftovers from a batch I sent to my classmates around 1961, when I was in second grade, I think.

And here is the class itself! I suspect that this was one of my earliest attempts at photography, by my absence from the shot, and the tilt and altitude of the camera. I believe that the pensive girl at the center might be Wanda; at her feet is Lane, Preston (whose hair was always well Brilliantined) to his left in the stripes.

Here is another of my askew photos, of our beloved teacher, Mrs. Perry -- Gerry Perry -- Geraldine, that is. She taught me in third grade as well, before retiring. She was funny, kind, and occasionally fierce. I have never had a teacher I was more fond of.  And there is a self-portrait, myself drawing myself. Fidel Castro appears to be watching me, strangely. 

Anyway, on to the valentines... they came in a large booklet, and you carefully tore along the perforations... some, like this one, were their own envelopes.

This one is rather apt for me, isn't it?

Ooh, frilly underwear!
I love the combination of puns and stereotypes. Has anyone every really chewed on a piece of grass like that?

A bit stalker-ish...
I remember practicing telephone etiquette in class with one of these bulky things. We'd bought our house from a telephone company employee, who left Bell swag behind for my sister and me.
The "good old days" when no one worried about racism.
Or sexism.
When in doubt, go for a kitten!
Or a puppy!
Or...a pair of... sea lions. Whatever.


  1. I am very impressed! There can't be a more ephemeral collectible than 2nd grade valentines. And you saved enough for everyone!
    Any antique candy kisses left?

  2. What a great collection! That old telephone looks just like one we had in our kitchen, and we only had the one - and on a party line no less! It's a wonder we survived.

  3. We used to make big envelopes out of construction paper and the teacher taped them around the room. On Valentine's Day (or close to), all the kids brought cards like the ones you saved to put in the envelopes. Sometimes we signed in code -- just so clever to write our names in numbers corresponding to the letters in the alphabet. Thanks for taking me back to those sweet times of elementary school.

  4. I wish I still had some of my old Valentines. I remember making and decorating a box to take to school to put the Valentines received in. I think it was kind of like a mailbox.

  5. You and Fidel -- absolutely the BEST!

  6. I remember those valentine books, but from a mother's point of view. The evenings spent around the table with the valentines and envelopes AND the teacher's list of all the children in the classroom. But when it was all over, and the kids brought home their treasure trove of cards it seemed all worth while.--Then there was the angst figuring out if that special 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th --- grader picked out a Special Card or signed more than their name. It was great fun.

  7. Your patience has been rewarded! These are very typical designs of the era but what a nice way to remember your teacher.

  8. 29 cents. Imagine, just 29 cents. I recently found a package of wrapping paper in the closet that was two sheets for 50 cents. You used to be able to actually buy something decent for a buck or less.