By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
MOULTONBOROUGH — Valentine's Day cards have a long tradition, extending back hundreds of years. Today about 190 million of them will be exchanged in the United States alone, almost all them commercially produced, with some well-worn and time tested sentiments expressing love and affection.
Vintage Valentine's Day postcards are popular collector's items and the sight of several of them in a large box of postcards at the Concord Antique Center prompted Pat Nash of Moultonborough to purchase four of them on a recent visit.
"I didn't look at the handwritten messages on the back, but when I got home and read one of them I thought that it was so cute that it needed to be shared," said Nash.
One of the cards, mailed from Springfield, Massachusetts, on Feb. 14, 1910, to Miss June Howard of South Londonderry, Vermont, contained a drawing of a sled and a poem, written by a man named Lawrence, which expressed his desire that she be his Valentine:
Upon this little sled you see
There's only room for you and me
The coast is clear and sledding fine
Hop on be my Valentine
What is also unique is that another of the Valentines bought by Nash, which was postmarked 1909, was also sent by the same man named Lawrence to Miss June Howard of Rutland, Vermont.
Nash said that the Valentine's cards were contained in a box of post cards which a 95-year-old man from the Concord area had brought in to the antiques center. She said that she is hoping that publication of the story about the cards will lead to some relative of the woman who received the post cards to fill in the details of her life.
"The cards are so adorable. And the poem is just priceless," she said.
Nash, who retired three years ago from Vista Foods in Laconia, where her husband worked for many years as the meat cutter, handled customer service at the store for 10 years. She and her husband ran October Farm Market in the shopping center where Hannaford's is now located, from 1995 to 2003, and before that managed the E.M. store in Meredith.
"When Vista bought the store from Peter Dole, Associated Grocers contacted us and asked my husband and I to come there and work. Every year he got an award from Associated Grocers because he ordered over a million pounds of meat from them," she recalled.
Pat Nash shows the four Valentine's Day postcards that she bought recently in Concord. Two of them were sent by the same man to June Howard of Vermont in 1909 and 1910. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
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