Valentine’s Day, which is one of my favorite of the holidays took on a sour note this year with Necco’s announcement the original boxed Sweetheart Conversation Hearts would not be found on the shelves. I made a mad dash to nearby stores to validate the fact only to find other companies like Brach’s and Nestle’s stepping up the pace to fill the void. But, nothing is comparable to having received that first little box filled with hearts and the joy of pouring over the sayings of each one inside. That little box brought back a flood of memories and hours at the kitchen table trying to make the prettiest Valentine sack or box to display at school. And, oh, the day when instead of a card I received a box of conversation hearts in my sack! It must have been that box of sweets that etched the love I have in my heart for the day. That and the fact that is one day out of the year, people try their hardest to be sweet to each other.
“MY MOTHER’S birthday was on Valentine’s Day,” said Karlene Gunn. “Every year, when asked what my father got her for her birthday, she would say, ‘What else, always a box of chocolates.’
“She would say it like he would never surprise her with anything different, but that box of chocolates she could count on,” laughed Karlene. Her mother was the late Mrs. Karl Edmonds.
KILGORE’S ARBOR GRACE personnel point fingers at Everett and Nona “Fay” Davis as being sweethearts as they have been living in the facility for well over six months.
“He watches over her and takes good care of his wife even though she has plenty of help available,” said James Gee, administrator at the facility.
“I met Fay after receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy,” said Everett. “I went to work at Purebest Water Company in Kilgore. There were two companies in town at the time as Kilgore’s water was too salty. I met Fay on a blind date.
“She was one of triplets. I ended up dating all three triplets, but it was Fay that won my heart,” he laughed. “It may have been because she made me walk a chalk line.
“I had to wait until she was old enough to get married as she was still in school when we started dating.”
The couple married in 1972. Everett continued to work at the bottling company but also started to work for Jimmy’s Wrecker Service in the evening. Later, he purchased the company. The Davis couple became well known in Kilgore for ownership of Everett’s Wrecker Service.
“When the police department called in an accident, Fay would call the newspaper, so photos could be taken by the reporters,” said Everett. “We worked it hand in hand,” he proudly recalled.
Today, Everett has a hearing problem, but feels he is in “pretty good shape, physically.”
Fay suffers from Alzheimer’s but is right there in the room with him. There is only one other lady that has caught his heart over the years and that is his granddaughter, Heather Lanea. Her Kilgore High Stepper photo hangs close to theirs in the room.
ONE MORE sweetheart story to tell – Virginia Leak was three years from graduating from high school and living in Peatown Community. Joe D. Jones was back home in Kilgore after being discharged from the Marines after World War II duty.
“It was arranged for Joe and me to meet at a Sunday School party. I was 18 and working at the Railroad commission in Kilgore. And even at that age, people were already telling me, ‘You’re an old maid!”
“He was just out of the Marines and World War II and didn’t know any young people. At that time, Joe didn’t know what he was going to do. He went to Kilgore College for awhile and took a photography course. But mostly – and he would tell you himself – he was right here and just fooling around. Oh, he was a lifeguard at Kilgore swimming pool and a good lifeguard.
“Lucille Butts, was a neighbor of Joe’s mother Grace McIntosh, and a member of Grace’s Sunday School class at First Christian Church in Kilgore. The party was there and I was shy when I was introduced to Joe. But, they had asked me, ‘Would you like to go out with a young man? He’s just out of the Marines. He’s home and a neighbor.’ I answered, ‘Well, I guess so.’
“That’s when we started dating. We went to movies and parties together, then one day I said, “Oh, Joe, nobody will marry me. Unless you would.”
Virginia and Joe married in Peatown Church on November 28, 1947, and stayed together until the latter’s passing in 2012.
OKAY go now, buy that special person in your life a box of chocolates, some flowers or a card. Become someone’s favorite memory through the years. In the meantime, May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. We may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 9903-984-2593. Happy Valentine’s Day to all.