Valentine’s Day – for love, romance or martyrs?

by Judy Bushy
Sometimes we all need a little extra dose of love, so it is very appropriate that today we celebrate Valentine’s Day!! (Happy Camp High School staff and students were very grateful for no school holiday on Monday for Lincoln’s Birthday as well!!
Pope Gelasius named the day in honor of the martyrdom of Saint Valentine and it wasn’t the romantic emphasis of today when 25% of the greeting cards for a year are sold at Valentine’s day. I suspect that most of those are fancy romantic valentines, and the other packages of dozens for school children to share with the entire class. Even today, many of the school children, and greeting card hobbyists will make their own—truly a special card to receive from a friend.
Historically, there were two men named Valentine and were beheaded on February 14th . Legend had it that a priest, Valentine, married couples against the command of the Roman Emperor Claudius II which led to his martyrdom. They identified him by a purple Amethist ring that he wore. Other stories tell how he befriended the blind daughter of his jailer, “Asterius and before his execution wrote a letter to her signed “Your Valentine”. He may have died February 14, 269, and Julia supposed to have planted a flowering almond tree at his grave.
However, it wasn’t until 18th century England when lovers began the tradition of gifts of flowers, confections (chocolates) and greeting cards. A nursery rhyme book from Gammer Gurton’s Garland from 1784 included: “The rose is red, the violet’s blue, the honey’s sweet, and so are you. Thou art my love and I am thine; I drew thee to my Valentine: The lot was cast and then I drew and fortune said it shou’d be you.
How unimaginably sad, that in the twenty-first century we have more martyrs of Christians in the world than any time since then. Last October a study was published on proliferation of martyrdom over the past century. Currently around the world, more than 200 million Christians are threatened because of their faith in more than half (105 of 190) of the nations in the world. There have been more Christian martyrs in the 20th and 21st centuries than since the first century.
Last week, Senator Marco Rubio, from Florida spoke out with a plea for civility, a warning that if civilized debate dies in the Senate, it will die in the broader society too. * “I don’t know of a civilization in the history of the world that’s been able to solve its problems when half the people in a country absolutely hate the other half of the people in that country. . . We are reaching a point in this republic where we are not going to be able to solve the simplest of issues because everyone is putting themselves in a corner where everyone hates everybody…What’s at stake here tonight is …the ability of the most important nation on earth to debate in a productive and respectful way the pressing issues before it.” One grows so tired of the lack of genuine debate and much name-calling, vilifying anyone with whom one disagrees! It seems to be the worst on social media, but is seen so much more commonly everywhere these days!

Love is patient

Love is patient

Strange Creatures Spotted at Elk Creek Campground


Some odd things seem to be happening at Elk Creek Campground in Happy Camp. Since the September fires in the forests near the town, there have been reports of eerie lights and strange noises coming from a vacant travel trailer in the park. The managers, Ed & Jean Davenport have not been able to find anything unusual. However, a camper who asked not to be identified states that, “Strange creatures have been driven here from the forest by the fires.” Another camper states, “I make sure I’m in my rig by nightfall. I keep the lights on and don’t go outside, no matter what!”

The Davenports are concerned by the reports, but assure everyone that there is really nothing to be afraid of. In fact, they are inviting anyone 13 and older to come see for themselves. The campground will welcome your presence and provide a tour of the travel trailer to help calm your nerves. Their only ghoul (I mean goal) is to be sure all have a good time at the park.

Despite all the Davenports reassurances, certain of the Happy Camp High School Seniors state “they won’t go to the park.” There seems to be some real fright from these young adults despite their show of cool bravado and their strong denials to the contrary. It does seem odd that they would pass up free refreshments if they weren’t worried about showing their fright.

For the rest of you brave and curious souls, visit Elk Creek Campground & RV Park, 921 Elk Creek Road in Happy Camp, on Saturday, October 27th from dark until 10:30 p.m. Unlike a certain motel, they’ll be leaving the lights off for you! See you there!

— Elk Creek Press Release