Lowcountry history brings Valentine’s Day memories

Jim and I used to celebrate each St. Valentine’s Day by remembering how we first met – which was on a train travelling from Illinois to Georgia for Christmas break. This was in December 1953 – some 67 years ago.

A gaggle of college kids from Notre Dame and St. Mary’s college spent all of that journey in the club car getting acquainted and singing carols. I spent all that time sharing a red leather booth with this really neat guy.

When we reached Atlanta I got off and he went on to Augusta.

We shook hands and he said those three little words this college freshman wanted so much to hear:

“I’ll call you and we’ll set up a date.”

He did and we did. If he was still with us, on Friday we would have celebrated 63 Valentine’s together. Well, almost together. We’ve observed this special day along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts a well as in the Midwest and Northeast.

We’ve exchanged heart-inspired cards in the South and in the North as well as all over Europe, and even when we were separated – such as when the Air Force sent him to Iceland and Viet Nam, or he was sitting alert or away on TDY (Temporary Duty).

That first date was in January. By February 14th we were a steady couple and by summer, were engaged. We savored these memories every year at this time.

I still do.

Try reminiscing on Friday with or about that special someone and how ya’ll first met.

Trust me. It really gives Cupid’s arrow an even better target.

Barbara Hill is a local historian and former reporter for the Summerville Journal Scene.