Tag Archives: romance

Valintinus, Hallmark and a Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Valintinus, Hallmark and a Crazy Little Thing Called Love

It’s a funny thing: I haven’t received a valentine in years. It used to be that every time Feb 14 rolled around I’d get at least one or two valentines, but for some time now they’ve stopped. I wonder why? In any case the approach of Feb 14 besides setting me to wondering where my valentines went also set me to pondering the origin of Valentine’s Day. We all know that it’s really St Valentine’s Day and so presumably it’s named after a saint named Valentine but who was Valentine and how did he get his name connected with flaming romance?

I’m indebted to Hallmark Cards for supplying me with the answers and the movies I cry through each week.The first valentine it seems was sent many many years age away back in the third century as a matter of fact. The sender was a young Roman named Valentinus.The story doean’t say that Valentinus was a Christian, but it does say that he made friends of Christians and aided them in those days that was a mighty dangerous thing to do.

And so first thing yon know poor Valentinus ran afoul of the Emperor Claudius II and ended np behind bars. While he was in prison Valentinus met and made friends with the blind daughter of his jailer. Their friendship blossomed and — so the story goes — Valentinus restored the girl’s sight. Even this miracle wasn’t enough to turn the heart of the emperor however and Valentinus was sentenced to die for his assistance to the persecuted Christians. On Feb 14 he was put to death and his body was buried in what today is the Church of Praxedes in Rome.

However on the night before he died Valentinus wrote a farewell message to the jailer’s daughter which he signed: “From your Valentine.” And so it all began and flowered until today the name of Valentinus has come to be synonymous with affection among friends and love among aweethearts. Well it could be that love and affection are the dominant feature of Valentine’s Day.

Yes, that was a Hallmark card!

But do you remember the days of the “funny” valentines? When I was in school the humorous valentine was all the rage. And truth to tell some of them weren’t really funny at all SOME WERE CRUEL. I can still remember the outrage that some cards aroused in their recipients Even worse were the ones which didn’t outrage but deeply hurt the person who got them.

“Roses are red violets are blue all skunks stink and so do you” was a particularly obnoxious valentine verse which I recall. Then there were the ones featuring a grotesque character wearing a dunce’s hat or a big fat lady trying to squeeze sideways through a door. The main thing about these “funny” valentines was trying to guess who had sent them to you, And then — if they weren’t too big — beating the living ‘be jabbers out of them. They tell me that “funny” valentines are pretty well passe now,and I am glad to hear it. Today it seems that sentiment is back in style although not to the extent of earlier days when some of the verses were enough to turn your stomach.

Whether valentines are sentimental funny ridiculous, or even cruel, they all have one purpose in mind and that is to deliver a message And, the message practically always gets through in spite of all difficulties There is the story of a painfully shy soldier who wrote a valentine letter to a French girl. The letter was in English and the girl spoke nothing but French, but it hardly seemed to matter since the boy was too shy to write anything but comments on the weather. Imagine his surprise when on their next meeting the girl rushed into his arms and smothered him with kisses They got along fine after that and in due course were married. After they’d been married awhile the soldier got up enough courage one day to ask his beloved what it was in his letter that had aroused her.

“Why it was the kisses you put on the envelope” she replied happily producing the envelope for him to see. Sure enough there were the kisses — a whole row of x’s made by the post office cancelling machine.

Unforgettable — Waterside Retirement Community –Valentine’s Day

Only Got My Love to Send On Valentine’s Day—Readers Comments

Let Them Be Little— Then and Now

What I Learned From Rhoda Morgenstern

And They Called it Puppy Love

Would You Duel Anything For Love?

Alternate Ending to The Last Duel?

The Tale of the Valentine Love Spud

Love at Flora Lake in Hull — Disappearing Lakes- Simpson Book Collection

Love at Flora Lake in Hull — Disappearing Lakes- Simpson Book Collection
Unknown Hull Couple from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975

Where Flora Park was in Hull there was once in the 1880s a good sized lake, lined on all sides by a thick growth of weeds and cattails. In connection with this lake of by-gone days, Mr. Fabien Raymond of 127 Besserer street, relates a rather amusing story.

About the year 1881 a young man who resided in Hull and who was one of the few letter carriers of that period, decided to enter into the holy bonds of matrimony. His means, however, would not permit of an extended honeymoon, so he decided to take his bride on a row-boat picnic on Flora Lake.

They started out early in the morning with a well-filled lunch basket, and all went well until near the noon hour when one of the boys in that vicinity spotted them and rounded up a gang of fifteen young chaps who quickly collected all the noise producing instruments they could lay their hands on.There were dishpans, tin palls, tin cans, etc., and they started a grand parade around the lake, setting up an awful noise on their improvised musical instruments.

The young groom had provided himself with an accordion, but all his attempts to fill the air with its inspiring notes were of no avail, The tin-pan band drowned out every note. The gang stayed on the job until dusk and then took their departure, leaving the lovers to themselves at long last.



Barbara Ann Scott performed an exhibition skate here in 1948

Before the lake was drained it was a dangerous place. In the winter children frequently fell through the ice and had to be rescued.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada01 Dec 1897, Wed  •  Page 3

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Mar 1898, Sat  •  Page 3
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
06 Aug 1898, Sat  •  Page 4

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
09 Apr 1908, Thu  •  Page 1
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Apr 1908, Tue  •  Page 1

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 May 1925, Tue  •  Page 3
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Jan 1928, Fri  •  Page 1

The playground created out of Lake Flora was later renamed for J-E Lafontaine, the Mayor of Hull and subsequently Liberal M.P. for the area. Read More Here- CLICK

Before and After- Archives Canada-Le Droit

Before and After-Le parc Fontaine aujourd’hui

1900 Hull map from from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975 Lac Flora is there
1925 Hull map- Lake Flora is not there.. it is called Ile de Hull Parc — from the Simpson Book Collection.. Hull 1800-1975

What happened?

With the City Council, the Mayor, and prominent citizens in attendance the Federal District Commission Chairman Thomas Ahearn opened Lake Flora park on September 19, 1929. Read More Here- CLICK

Bears at Lansdowne Park- From a Bear Feeding Ground to Terrible Ted

Money, Dance Marathons, and Living in Lion Cages—The Ups and Downs of Luna Park

“Hey You Guys!” A Goonie Adventure on Brewery Creek

The Disappearance of Lake Tamo

Simpson Book Collection

Ed and Shirley’s Simpson –Historic Books — the List

Simpson Book Collection – History of Westboro– 1927 reprint – 1927 Advertisements –Where was PALM BEACH?

Remember Lover’s Lane? Lover’s Walk? Les Chats Sauvage? Simpson Books

You Have to Open Up a Business Here!!! 1912 Ottawa Marketing — Simpson Books

Down on Main Street– 1911-Photos- For the Discriminating and the Particular — Simpson Books

The General Hospital 1867-1929 Photos — Simpson Books

Renfrew Fair 1953-1953-Ed and Shirley (Catherine) Simpson

Did You Know? Union School #9 and Goulburn #16

When One Boat Filled the Rideau Lock–Rideau King

Women’s Institute Burritts Rapids 1902-1988

Looking for Photos of ‘The Castle’ in Ashton

A Romantic Story of the Founding Of Burritt’s Rapids

The First Half Century of Ottawa Pictorial McLeod Stewart – Simpson Book Collection


Ottawa, The Capital of the Dominion of Canada 1923 Simpson Book Collection

Views Of Ottawa (Aylmer) Basil Reid 1890-1900 Simpson Book Collection – Photos Photos Photos

The Ottawa City Directory 1897-98 —Simpson Book Collection

“Ottawa Flashbacks” Photo Collection- Simpson Book Collection

Norman Levine– Selected Photos– Lower Town- Simpson Book Collection

Sussex Street— Photo Collection — National Capital Commission – Simpson Book Collection

Because You Loved Me — A Vintage Lanark Romance




The Central Canadian told a condensed story in one of their issues about two children who grew up farm by farm on 7th line of Drummond. Each was well favoured physically and mentally, and the mutual friendship of infancy and youth grew into a warmer feeling with added years.The young man, Peter Archibald McLaren, went west to earn a position that should match Sadie Cullen, which was one of ease and opulence. Now let us quote:“It was Jacob’s tedious footsteps he was treading”.

He came back three times to Drummond, but in each case her father, turned him down and out, and he went back to his Dakota lands with a sorrowful heart. Months later he returned, but the old gentleman was still obdurate, harder than flint this time, and warned him to begone forever.

But hearts will speak to each other in spite of locks or laws, and these two met at a schoolhouse one night. It was said there was a large meeting of good size at the Drummond schoolhouse. Sadie, heavily weighted from the wardrobe, with her father and sister, was there. Peter gave the Masonic tap on the window, and the bird arose and flew while the father’s mind was enrapt with a piece of elocution at that moment on the boards. The two retired to a friend’s house within half-a-mile: as this was as safe as a cave in the mountains.

Meantime the parental sentinel, baffled on the very parapet of duty, took on a noble rage at the close of the festival, and divining that their flight was in the direction of Carleton Place, secured a friend, and was there early in the morning. He telephoned to outlying posts in the hope of intercepting the marriage, and did all an earnest father could devise to save his daughter from Nature’s foreordination.

Now let us return to the lovers. Next morning they drove to Perth and were married without much ceremony, and the same evening returned to the beauteous haven in the country of the night before. On Wednesday they came to Carleton Place, and that night took the midnight train for the west, she sad yet in the sweet ecstasy of her lover’s embrace; he in the very acme and pitch of epic joy.

The father was courteously counselled to withdraw the dreadful sting of his anger, and dispatch a note of forgiveness and blessing. No doubt he did. In conclusion, why should we suppress names in such a perfectly delightful romance; one, moreover, that will end, we are sure, in a sweet reunion ?

The groom’s name was Peter McLaren; the bride’s Sadie Cullens; the haven of refuge was at Mr. Flintoff’s. No doubt that the 13 year age difference was a huge factor in the father’s wrath. In researching I only found the following information. I would hope they had eternal happiness.

Read in The Almonte Gazette– Read the Almonte Gazette here


Lanark 1897

8315-97 Peter Archibald McLAREN, 34, farmer, Drummond, same, s/o Jane (sic) & Christena, married Sadie CULLEN, 21, Drummond, same, d/o Arthur CULLEN & Mary MOORHOUSE, witness T. KENNEDY & Janet ROCK, both of Perth, 30 March 1897 at Perth


Name Peter Archibald Mclaren
Event Type Marriage
Event Date 30 Mar 1897
Event Place Perth, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Gender Male
Age 34
Birth Year (Estimated) 1863
Father’s Name Jane
Mother’s Name Christina
Spouse’s Name Sadie Cullen
Spouse’s Gender Female
Spouse’s Age 21
Spouse’s Birth Year (Estimated) 1876
Spouse’s Father’s Name Arthur Cullen
Spouse’s Mother’s Name Mary Moorhouse

Sarah Ellen Cullen

Ontario Births and Baptisms
Name Sarah Ellen Cullen
Gender Female
Birth Date 25 Mar 1876
Birthplace Drummond Township, Lanark, Ontario
Father’s Name Arthur Cullen
Mother’s Name Mary Moorhouse

Related Reading

Would You Duel Anything For Love?


Groovy Hints on How to Catch and Keep a Boy – 60’s style




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Yesterday I found an old yellowed book that was hidden away, and by its dog-eared condition I had used it well. Not being the most attractive girl in school my “crushes” were legendary and they carried on for years. One of my “prey” was a local French Canadian boy whose name was Alain Jacques. I stalked him for almost two years in High School and now I look back on it and feel terrible that this poor guy was put in such an awkward position.


“Sew yourself a big fun bold print dress- and make a necktie to match for him.”

I designed and made most of my own clothes from the age of 12 on, and they were styles you might not even wear on Halloween. One day I remember walking into the local hangout in a baby blue floor length Granny Dress (6 months before they were popular), white go- go boots and a buck tooth smile. In my narrow little fashionista mind I was sure Alain would swoon over me immediately. But once he took a good look at me I could tell there was no way I was ever going to be asked to make him a matching tie.

“Does this boy play the guitar? Ask him to drill a small hole in one of his guitar picks and wear it around your neck.”

I honestly tried to let him know how interested I was in music by changing the location of my weekly piano lessons. I dropped my old teacher like a hot potato when I found out there was an instructor right next door to where he lived. I would sit outside after my lessons and gaze at his bedroom window for an hour or so. One day he caught a glimpse of me and quickly pulled the curtains closed. If I would have had a ladder it would have put up against his house and I would have climbed in. There was no way I would have settled for guitar picks either.

“Want to meet him? Start a petition and ask him to sign.”


In my own artistic way I wrote a song about him to the tune of The Beatles’ “Nowhere Man.” I believe it went like this:

“He’s a real Nowhere Man,

Sitting on his garbage can,
Making all his nowhere plans
for him and me,

Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,
Isn’t he a lot like me?

Nowhere Man please listen,
You don’t know what you’re missing,
Nowhere Man, my world is at your command!”

Signed: Mrs. Alain Jacques

We used to literally hang out of the High School windows at lunch time staring at all the cute French guys that used stand across the street. You could not miss Alain as he was tall with a blonde Beatle haircut and always sat on a garbage can. I had hand written many copies of my love poem and gave this “masterpiece” out to a few friends. One of them immediately thought he should know of my brilliance and gave him a copy. He looked up at me after he read it and I waved frantically having no idea I was about to be mortified for the rest of my life. When I found out what happened I slithered out of the window to my desk never to be seen again- for at least 48 hours.

“Always, repeat always, leave a party, dance or anything else with the same boy who brought you. If you meet a groovy boy during the evening there is always next time.”


Because I was overweight, had large teeth and smelled sometimes there was no way any guy was going to ask me out. I was the girl that wrote stories that were seized by the teacher, had bad marks and talked a lot. I had no family life so I lived in a fantasy world with an imaginary beloved and I ran with those thoughts daily. Eventually I hoped that Alain would join me in my world in a small home with Sears furniture and ready made kids.

To learn if he likes you, gather two acorns. Scratch his initials on one, yours on the other. Toss them into a pond, river or lake. If they float close together-yes he loves you; if they float apart-sorry ‘bout that.

I had a friend whose mother was into some mumbo jumbo stuff and she told me if I wrote his name 500 times a day he would finally succumb to me. So for 7 days I wrote: “Mrs. Alain Jacques” over and over in my notebook instead of doing homework. Alain never did come running and my friend suggested that perhaps I should have dropped the “Mrs.” for it to work.


“If you follow only one rule, let it be this one. Be yourself. The really strong boy-girl relationships are based on what people really are, not on what they pretend to be.”


The problem was that I was a freak and I scared him off by being a stalker. If I am 64 then Alain must be 67 and I wonder if he ever thinks of me and laughs. Maybe he has lost most of his hair, is not as cool anymore and been married a couple of times. I swear I will never forget him and I can bet my last bottom dollar he has never forgotten the crazy stalker whose name was Linda Knight.

Dedicated to Roger and Alain Jacques where ever you are.


The Breakup — I was Always Yours, You Were Never Mine – Zoomers



The Breakup — I was Always Yours, You Were Never Mine – Zoomers.



“She inserted ‘The Wizard of Oz’ once again into the DVD player while she waited for the phone to ring. Tears were streaming down her face remembering the months that her heart had been full of joy. Love had always been hard for her to receive and she could never understand why.” 


from Smile Even Though It’s Killing You