Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentines

Who the hell arms a baby?!?
Happy Valentines Day folks! Where did it all begin? Why is it that we feel the urge to go shop when a poorly armed baby starts to appear? Who's fault is it that the bulk of North America feels brainwashed into an orgasm of spending to show one's love on a specific day?

You can be sure that the greeting card companies and retailers have a hand in making it the crazed event that it is, but it's origins are a little hazy nonetheless. One legend has Valentine as a priest back in ancient Rome. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than married men (obviously he never had a platoon of bitter married folk, or a crack squadron of divorcees). As such he decided that marriage was to be made illegal for young men (aka his recruits). In comes Valentine, the hero to the people and declaring the decree unjust he marries any young lovers that come to him in secret. Of course when Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius decided to have him killed, coincidentally starting the myth that marriage is bad for your health.

Another version has Valentine being killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. While awaiting his execution he fell in love with a pretty young thing (Ahhhh prison love......how romantic). She is supposed to have been the jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement. Before his death he wrote her a love letter which he signed, 'From your Valentine,' which we still use to this day. While his origins still remain murky he was a beacon of love for the masses and by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

This simple tradition that began all that time ago has it's roots in death and cruelty in that he was killed for helping others. With all the killing it is only fitting that way back in 1929 a few "businessmen" in Chicago marked the occasion with the killing of 7 of his "competitors' men. Al Capone masterminded the killing of a bunch of Bugs Moran's men who were waiting for a truck of smuggled Canadian whiskey at SMG Cartage in Chicago. While the seven of them were inside a cop car pulled up outside. Bugs took off for cover and the car unloaded it's cargo of three uniformed men and two in street clothes.

What's up doc?  Ooooops......wrong Bugs.They lined up the seven men and mowed them down with their machine guns, failing to kill Bugs, the intended target. Capone was tucked away in Florida at the time and pointed the finger at Moran while Moran blamed Capone. Each stated that only the other one killed like that.Nobody messes with Capone!  Except maybe the IRS. The warehouse was memorialized in a way by the city. The SMG's Garage was eventually turned into an antique furniture storage business by two men who had absolutely no idea of the history of the building. They eventually packed it up when they realized that people weren't coming for the furniture. The building was leveled in 1967, but the bullet riddled bricks from the rear wall were salvaged and bought by a Canadian. He rebuilt the wall in a restroom in a club with a 20's theme he built, where three nights a week women could peek in at the grisly construct.



I think it would spruce up any bathroom!
When the club closed the bricks were supposedly sold for $1000.00 each and anyone who bought them also got a little bad luck in the deal. Of course, just like Valentine's Day's origins this curse is also a little muddy because other accounts have the wall being dismantled as a lot and kept all together as well so who really knows?

11 Comments:

Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

See? I knew there was a reason that I liked Halloween more than Valentines Day! :)

8:45:00 AM  
Blogger sands of time said...

Happy Valentines Day

9:36:00 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

Now did Al Capone know how to send a Valentines Day greeting LOL

1:02:00 PM  
Blogger Martini said...

Pete: Be Mine.

2:28:00 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

Happy Valentines Day..

10:48:00 PM  
Blogger ms. creek said...

nevertheless, happy VD!

11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Le laquet said...

See, it's all about commercialism ... card and flower companies. I'm with Walker ... I'd rather be told I love you just becasue it's the 9th of July!

4:21:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I wanted a Valentines Day with all the trimmings so I drove down to see my sister and her three kids.

Happy Valentines Day Pete and family. :)

Yes, I know it was yesterday. Get over it. ;)

9:09:00 AM  
Blogger Hick said...

This was a fascinating story. I had never heard of about the bricks and the curse and all that. Who says you can't learn anything in the blogosphere?

11:29:00 AM  
Blogger PBS said...

Pretty interesting history, or at least some good stories. I love Valentine's Day. Hope you had a good one!

10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Ava said...

Nothing says love like a gunshot wound. Just ask Frank. I mean.. Frank's not here.. yeahh...

5:36:00 PM  

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