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When a Valentine’s Day doesn’t go as expected…

By James A. Marples

The month of February is generally known as the Month for Lovers. Just imagine when things go haywire. In the March 1935 issue of the national Scottish Rite magazine, Mac Henry Hill, a bank clerk from Smith Center, Kansas, announced that he had his ring stolen in a bank holdup at the First National Bank of that town on February 1, 1935. He described the ring as being of the double-headed eagle type, size 6 and 1/2, containing a diamond weighing 1.62 carats.

I have a Scottish Rite ring, but it is not that size, nor does it have a diamond. Nevertheless, I can certainly envision the heartbreak that Mr. Hill must have experienced nearly 90 years ago.  Mr. Hill was also a Past Presiding officer (1930) of Lebanon Chapter #67 of Royal Arch Masons, also located in Smith Center.

I remember when I was in school. All of the teachers had all of the kids in my class exchange Valentines. Those simple cards (some of which were hand-drawn) were meant to show friendship and love. Older adults continued the tradition. Married couples often go out for romantic evenings or even give gifts of jewelry, such as necklaces or rings. Such symbolic gifts are symbolic of a bond or connection.

Valentine’s Day is more appropriately known as “St. Valentine’s Day”. February 14th is the feast day of that 3rd-century saint. Saint Valentine is often described as the patron saint of affianced couples, happy marriages, guardian of mentally-ill people, those with the plague or epilepsy.

The name Valentine is derived from “Valens” (meaning “worthy”). Let us all strive to make February a month worthy of our attention.  And, hopefully a month free from heartbreak or loss.

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