The teacher subsequently thumbtacked these artistic wonders to the chalk tray traversing the bottom of the chalkboard in the front of the room.
The idea back then was to address a valentine to each fellow student and place them in the proper brown mailbags. Even with these good intentions, some children — especially one girl — received more effusive valentines, as well as forbidden small heart-shaped boxes of candy and other valentine trinkets, from the guys.
Several years ago, when dining with a group of friends that included classmates from elementary school, I asked the men if they remembered the special girl who was the recipient of their valentine largesse.
All remembered her by name.
When asked if they recalled what they found so attractive in this female, their answer was surprising. It had to do with her athletic prowess and the fact that she always won relay races, even against the guys.
If only the rest of us girls had known, we might have exerted more effort in recess relays.
Each year at this time, I remind guys that most women on Valentine’s Day expect, appreciate and are pleasantly surprised if the day is acknowledged in some way.
Mementoes in honor of the day can range from a simple card, a heart-shaped box of candy, flowers, lingerie, dinner, a bottle of celebratory wine or perhaps all of the above, if one can still run the 100-yard dash in record time.
When selecting wine as a valentine gift, think bubbles — think pink bubbles — think known favorites or labels that convey romance. Consider these:
Besitos Moscato. Delicate, ethereal Spanish moscato. Slightly fizzy, fruity, light in sugar and alcohol. The label looks like a valentine adorned with a heart covered in flowers. $10.75 at Tyson Fine Wines and Things in Golden Springs.
Moscato Primo Amore. Though the label is plain, the message is perfect. “Primo amore” translates to English as “first love.” $10.99 at the Wine Cellar on Quintard in Anniston.
Santom Prosecco. From Italy, one of the few proseccos made with estate fruit. There are more than 500 producers of prosecco in the Veneto region of Italy, but fewer than 5 percent own sufficient vineyards to use only estate fruit. This one is in that 5 percent. Not as dry as some prosecco, with a hint of sweetness and lots of bubbles. Delicious for the price. $12.75 at Tyson.
Naughty Rose. A pink sparkling second-label wine from Reynolds Family Winery. The back label reads, “Here’s to misbehaving and getting away with it.” $41.75 at Tyson.
Moet & Chandon Rose Nectar Imperial. True French Champagne from a blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. Pale, orangey-pink color. Sprightly bubbles. Aromas of spring berry fruit, flowers and fresh-baked bread. Delicious and romantic. $60 range at both the Wine Cellar and Tyson.
Moncontour Cremant de Loire Rose. Pink sparkling wine made from 98 percent cabernet franc and 2 percent chenin blanc. Produced at a centuries-old chateau in the Loire Valley of France. Beautifully bottled, with a silver label decorated in pink flowers and flourishes. A great, delicious sparkling wine. $16 at Tyson.
Caminada Malbec 2009. From Argentina, a country known for beef, wine and the tango (the dance of love). The label features a couple embraced in the tango. The “caminada” is the walk, a seemingly simple but key dance step in the tango. This is a guy wine. Dark ruby color with flavors of dark cherries and plums. Slight sweetness on the approach leads to a big masculine red wine that cries out for a steak. $15.99 at Winn Dixie.