A Grier-Musser Valentine

Valentine’s Day Memorabilia at the Grier-Musser Museum

On Sunday, Martine and I stopped in at the Grier-Musser Museum in the shadow of Downtown L.A. to see their Valentine’s Day memorabilia. Of late, Susan and Rey Tejada have been concentrating on paper in the form of old-fashioned images on postcards, greeting cards, and books—especially with pop-up illustrations.

There’s something about seeing this type of material in the Victorian mansion on Bonnie Brae Street that sends you back in time. Afterwards, we sat down with Rey and Susan over cookies and punch and talked for a couple of hours.

Although I got Martine a card for Valentine’s Day, we both decided to go out for lunch on the day after, when we were less likely to run into crowds. So tomorrow we will have a nice English lunch at Ye Olde King’s Head in Santa Monica. It is a great place to have fish and chips or bangers and mash or Cornish pasties. Fortunately, one is not likely to encounter such downmarket English cuisine items as spaghetti sandwiches or baked beans on toast.

Martine and I hope you enjoyed this little gem of a holiday. Why do I call it that? I would rather honor the love I feel than some bogus political or historical event, such as Columbus “discovering” America. After all, wasn’t he met at the beach by the local residents?

The Origin of Valentines Day

When I was a child at St. Henry’s Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio, I studied in religion class how the holiday began. Apparently there was a Saint Valentine. Actually, there were three of them; the one after whom the holiday was named was called Saint Valentine of Rome. According to the Catholic Online web site: “St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, and young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses and his feast day is celebrated on February 14.”

I find it interesting that Valentine is also the patron saint of epilepsy, fainting, and plague. This seems to go against all the lovey dovey stuff, but then that happens fairly frequently with the saints.

When I wish Martine a Happy Valentines Day tomorrow morning, I will of course refrain from bringing up all the negative stuff.

Some Kewpie Dolls for You

Kewpie Dolls at Grier Musser Museum

Kewpie Dolls at Grier Musser Museum

I had always heard of kewpie dolls before, but today was the first time I saw some of them. Apparently, they were originally a comic strip character invented by Rose O’Neill back in 1909. Their popularity took a number of forms, and they were popular and well-known through the 1940s. I always associated them with game prizes given at carnivals.

If you look closely, you will see my hands wrapped around my Canon PowerShot A1400 reflected in a mirror behind the dolls. Martine and I had paid another visit to the Grier Musser Museum, where there was an exhibit of antiques relating to Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and Black History Month.

Afterwards, we had a nice conversation with Ray and Susan Tejada, who own the museum and live on the premises. Visitors to their special Sunday tours are treated to cookies and punch, which Martine loves.