A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Convocation of Hearts and Candy

English: A photograph of a heap of candy heart...Image via Wikipedia
I always loved these candy hearts!  I still do.

         Valentine's Day during the elementary school days was always a big favorite with me.  For one thing there was always a pretty decent party with homemade cupcakes and fruity drinks.

          We'd spend the morning and perhaps part of the previous day decorating white paper bags with red construction paper hearts, white paper lace doilies. and Valentine Day themed stickers provided by the teacher. The night before the big day we students would prepare the cards that would be distributed to those paper bags.

         I always added a few carefully chosen candy conversation hearts to the card, which had also been carefully matched to the recipients.  The most intimate and mushiest were prepared for the girls I liked the best, while the ones that conveyed just nice friendly messages went to the boys, and to the girls who weren't my favorites.

          After the school day was over my sister Joy and I would examine our haul for the day as we sat in the middle of the living room floor.  Secretly I would see what messages I could decipher in my cards and candy.  Dreams of romance warmed my head as I happily consumed sweet chalky candy conversations.

           Eventually Joy and I would start playing with the cards.  Some of them would be carefully arranged as scenic background while others became characters in the stories we played.  When dinnertime came the cards were put away and eventually forgotten.

            I suppose the cards were thrown away fairly quickly.  I don't remember seeing them over the years.  I think some of my daughters' old valentine cards are still around, but I'm certain that none of mine survived.  It would be fun to find some of those old cards to see what the different girls had to say--what messages they had conveyed to me.  Girls like Phyllis, Barbara, Annette, Kandy, and Grace.  I wonder where they are now and what they did in their lives.  One thing I do know is that if they managed to make it this far in life then they're the same age as me.

           They were little girls the last time I saw them.  And I was just a boy of 9, 10, or 11.   A lot has happened since that time; a lot has changed.   Valentine isn't a favorite holiday anymore for me.  But I still like the candy.  I'm always a sucker for candy.  And I really shouldn't be.

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Misha Gericke said...

Two weeks ago I had to teach 7th grade boys at church, and one of them (although he didn't look like the boy I remember) just triggered this memory I had of one of my biggest school girl crushes.

I found myself wondering what became of that boy. If he was still so innately confident... that sort of stuff. :-D

Rossandra said...

It just struck me yesterday that I missed the flood of Valentine candies this year. I always buy at least a little packet of them and with my teeth crack little chips off until I can't resist and chomp down. I don't have any kid memories, I never heard of Valentine candies until I came to the States from Zambia! Just stopping by to say hello from the campaign and got lost in sweets!

Rossandra said...

Me again, to "tag" you. It's fun. Follow this link to find out how you can do it.


Rossandra said...

Okay, you're really tiring me out with all your industriousness. Yow! So now you've got me doing the A to Z thing. I do hope there's a way I can stay on track with that. Cheers!

Heather said...

So you're the one. I always wondered who it was in the world that liked to eat conversation hearts! :)

Carole Anne Carr said...

As a chn's author I found your post fascinating.

Dee Ready said...

Dear Arlee,
Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories. They brought back my own--of valentine boxes and buying cards and selecting which ones suited which friends. So many good memories.

I'm in touch with only one of my classmates from that time--back in the forties. She was just in town for a visit. I hadn't seen her since 1957--so fifty-five years had passed. And yet, because our foundation is so firm, we could meet and talk as if we'd met only yesterday for lunch. Life is good.


Old Kitty said...

Belated Happy Valentine's! I hope you had all the heart shaped candy in the world - and why not?!? Me I had chocolate, a whole box and I don't care! LOL!!

I love how you celebrated the day when at school - so innocent and so sweet - everyone had cards, that's really nice!

Take care

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

"Dreams of romance warmed my head as I happily consumed sweet chalky candy conversations." I love it!!!

I truly like this new blog you have, Lee. I love those sweet stories.

By the way, there's an award for you on my blog :-)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee .. ours were made by Trebor - and were round with hearts on them and a word or two inside the heart - true love, kiss me now .. or sort of .. I loved the lemony sherberty taste - Valentine cards and me never seemed to go together! Oh well ..

loved reading your story .. cheers Hilary

SherryE said...

I didn't have any candy hearts this year. Gosh. I'm feeling a little deprived now!

Leslie Rose said...

Valentine's were a-flyin' in my 5th grade class this year. Lot's of Justin Bieber and Star Wars imagery.

Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

Arlee Bird said...

I thank you all for your comments on this post. I got some Valentine's candy on sale at Walgreen's--bad boy.