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Carol Perkins: Another Valentine's Day is behind us

Most memorable Valentine's Day was while Guy was in the Navy, and her father told her, 'You have a call from Butler Funeral Home . . .
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Reflections during Black History Month

By Carol Perkins

Roses are wilted in vases with brown petals lingering on countertops, and all the good pieces of candy are gone from heart-shaped boxes. Another Valentine's Day is behind us. Guy and I have celebrated at least fifty-three of them, counting the ones before we married.

One in particular is the most memorable. When he was in the Navy, the only place in town to send or receive flowers was through Butler Funeral Home. They worked with florists in Glasgow since we didn't have one here. I remember so well that I was sitting around the kitchen table with my family one Saturday night when I came home from college, and the phone in the hall rang. Daddy answered the phone and then turned to me, "You have a call from Butler Funeral Home," I thought something had happened to Guy who was overseas at the time.

My throat locked up so badly I could barely answer the phone. Did I think I would get a message from Butler's if he had been hurt or killed? At that time, the funeral home was our source of all news-foreign and domestic! They operated the ambulance service so when bad news came to town, it usually came to Butler's first.

The message was from Ms. Butler, "Carol, you have a lovely vase of flowers over here." I was still reeling; not thinking straight.

"Is everything ok?" I asked.

She probably thought I was crazy! Like a teenage girl, I started crying when I hung up the phone, which made my brother think Guy had died. He left the table. Dealing with his sister's tears was unexpected because I was never a crier.

Daddy drove to Butler's to pick up the flowers; someone took my picture standing next to them. That was a Valentine's Day I am not likely to forget. The only way to contact sailors (or any other military personal) was through letters, so it took a while for Guy to know I had received the red roses. Our letters traveled "airmail."

Taking pictures back then was not very common, either. Cameras required flash bulbs, and they were so expensive most of us took very few pictures at random. The film was black and white unless you splurged for color, which costs much more to develop. Rolls of film could be sent off through the drugstores to be developed or through the mail. I can't recall the name of the company, but they furnished a package for the film and I mailed my check and waited. Sometimes rolls of film lay around the house for years. Things were more complicated back then.

Overly the years I have received flowers, cards, jewelry, good meals, massages, spa coupons, and stuffed animals (when I was a teen), but none compared to the dozen red roses Guy sent me from somewhere on the other side of the world. (I'm sure his parents had a hand in making this happen.)
(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on

Contact: Carol Perkins, PO Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129. Phone 670-432-5756.

This story was posted on 2017-02-16 17:38:52
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