Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine’s Day: roses, cards, gifts, food and Al Capone!

Today is a day that seems to get a man in trouble, not for doing something he shouldn’t do but for not doing something he should, or at least for not doing something his wife or girlfriend expects him to do. It’s Valentine’s Day, supposedly a time for flowers, greeting cards that allude to love and sex, jewelry, dinners with lots of wine, and compliments galore. But it didn’t start out that way.

Valentine’s Day, according to that reliable source Wikipedia and many other research sites, is also known as Saint Valentine’s Day which “began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.”  The reference book Encarta says Valentine’s Day is “the Christian feast day of St. Valentine and the traditional day for sending a romantic card or gift, especially anonymously, to somebody you love.” So it can be one or the other or both, yet it’s usually the wife or girlfriend that decides.

So, just as Christmas, the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, has turned into a massive commercial time of year when Santa Claus removes religion and shows up for the kids with toys and such and when gifts are purchased only to be returned a few days later to the place of purchase, Valentine’s Day these days has little to do with religion, unless you’re the wife or girl friend who religiously looks forward to a day of wine and roses. In my many years of attending church services, there’s no recollection of a sermon about that Valentinus saint guy.

Those with any historical thought have some knowledge of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre when, in 1929 in Chicago, Al Capone’s  South Side Italian gang, posing as cops, murdered six members of Bugs Moran’s North Side Irish gang in an effort to control all of organized crime in Chicago. It may have been Italian Catholics going after Irish Catholics, so there’s some religious connection. Women must have been involved or it just wouldn’t have been Valentine’s Day.

Ted Danson, known for his role as the bartender in the “Cheers” television hit, probably said it best about Valentine’s Day when, as John Becker, the lead in the television series “Becker” that aired 1998-2004 on CBS, he said “the only person to ever celebrate Valentine’s Day right was Al Capone.” Peace and love to all on this Valentine’s Day.
-------------------- word of the day
pigsney (noun) [pigz-nee]: a darling

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