Saint Valentine's Day

Cast Pewter Heart-Form Keychain (LEO Design)

I remember Valentine's Day since the Second Grade. Miss Lum had us all bring-in valentines—one for every classmate, both boys and girls. My mother bought me a box of valentines for 19¢. They weren't proper, folding "greeting cards" but, rather, cheerfully illustrated die-cut hearts, flowers, puppies and mailboxes. They came connected on a large, printed sheet and I spent the night before Valentine's Day punching-out the pieces and writing upon them the names of each classmate. I don't recall there being any envelopes, just the two-dimensional, flat "greetings," each with a "To" and "From" line on the backside. The next morning in class, we were instructed to come forward and deposit our valentines into a cardboard "mailbox" which the teacher had festooned with pink and red crepe paper.  Later that day, after our nap, we discovered that the teacher had organized twenty little piles of valentines—one for each student—and she began distributing them to eager little recipients, all sitting cross-legged on the floor (in the position then called "Indian Style"). Although I received a respectable number of cards, I remember a vague sense of injustice as I looked-around the room. Every student had been instructed to bring one card for every fellow student. Yet, some kids, it seemed, clearly had fewer cards than others! Some students must not have brought-in a card for everyone! How could this happen? That was the rule! It was one of my earliest acquaintances with unfairness in the World.

Today I find myself far more-focused in my Valentine's Day greetings: one recipient, two cards.  First there's the "serious" card, always left on the breakfast counter Valentine's Morning. Then there's the "fun" card—to be found snuggled under the bedsheets on Valentine's Night—which usually features an adorable puppy. The more the puppy looks like our little dog, Benji, the better.

This sculpted pewter heart, fashioned into a key fob, was made in San Francisco. It's not bold, in fact it's rather modest. But it makes a nice little reminder of a great love which is weathering the effects of time. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248