Photo by Joe Hu, Town Crier
Residents young and old celebrate Valentine's Day with all their heart
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. For many in Los Altos, it will be a time to express love and affection, whether it be to one's husband or wife, or to one's pet hamster.
For some men, it may provoke memories of a last-minute trip to the local drug store to get chocolates to make up for forgetting the day altogether.
For women it's a different story. They have romantic thoughts. Their fantasy may be a sumptuous dinner at Jocco's, a small trinket from Gleim's, or maybe a weekend at a Carmel B & B with wine and roses.
By the end of the day, many will have received only a card by Hallmark with a sweet sentimental message inside. But for most, this will be enough.
How will Los Altos residents celebrate Valentine's Day?
Hediyeh Shakeri, a fifth-grader at Bullis-Purissima, has some definite opinions.
"It's a day for love, happiness and friendship," Hediyeh said. "I'll send a card to my mom and dad, my teacher and my three cats, Pepper, Stripper and Diamond. Oh yes, maybe my brother."
Another Bullis fifth-grader, Eleanor Arculuis, said Valentine's Day is for peacefulness and forgiveness of bad things and showing how you care about someone.
Ryan Duggal is looking for a card from everyone in his fifth-grade class. Michelle Kwong is looking for a card from her best friend. Shelley Kind wants cards from her two best friends.
Eleanor is looking for a valentine from her grandparents.
"They send money, but I can't use it. My parents put it in my education fund," she said.
The girls all agree getting a special valentine from a boy is disgusting, but Michelle feels that getting a card from a boy is cool.
What's a good valentine gift for a fifth-grade student? This is what they want.
Eleanor wants a pet ruby dragon. Hediyeh would like special powers. Michelle wants to be treated to a movie. She wants to see "Snow Dogs."
Ryan was the first to mention candy. He would like a box of chocolates, but won't get it from others in the class and Shelley wants another cat.
'Heart of the Community'
Among adult residents, members of the Los Altos Community Foundation celebrated their sixth annual Heart of the Community Gala Saturday night at the Los Altos Golf and Country Club.
At $100 per person, the more affluent residents celebrate with a sumptious buffet and dancing to DJ's "Special Request" music. The optional black tie produced the usual pink, red and white bow ties for the event.
Community Foundation members Marion and Bob Grimm said it was their Valentine's Day, as they danced a slow number on the Country Club floor.
The dance floor gets crowded and close when the DJ plays Glenn Miller's "In the Mood," but when he spins "YMCA" by the Village People, the dancers' arms go up, the legs go out and the aerobics workout is in full swing.
Bobby and Dennis Young celebrated their Valentine's Day at the Gala, but left early. "It's tax time, you know," Dennis Young said.
Los Altos Hills residents Jim and Charlette Geers were saluting each other as lifelong valentines after 46 years of marriage, and Al and Nancy Traficanti said every day is Valentine's Day because they were heading to Las Vegas after stopping in Paso Robles and spending Valentine's Day with another Los Altos couple, Ann and George Perham.
Valentine's Day originated in the 5th century as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop.
Valentine was beheaded in 270 A.D. by Emperor Claudius and the church selected Valentine as a suitable patron saint of love. He lives on every Valentine's Day.
A trip to the Los Altos Senior Center isn't quite as lively as a trip to a classroom. Most seniors do nothing. They play cards to socialize and remember the cruises they went on years ago. The center has numerous surviving spouses that would love to receive Valentines but feel their day for love has passed. Many seniors take advantage of the special day and celebrate.
"Oh to be young again," said Dolly Sexton of Mountain View. "Last year, I received a real rose coated in 24-carat gold from my only son for Valentine's Day. My departed husband gave me my engagement ring on Valentines Day in 1944."
Mr. and Mrs. John Irick are going out to lunch at Marie Callender's. They have been going for soup and a sandwich the last 31 years on Valentine's Day.
Five months ago, Millie Gallo of Los Altos Hills found a new valentine. Tomorrow, she and her partner are going for an evening of jazz, dinner and dancing in San Jose.
Suellen Rottiers, Redwood City, has been married for 15 years and will go to the Heritage House in Mendocino. She and her valentine have gone there every year since they were married.
Who sends the most Valentine cards? Kids. Who receives the most Valentine cards? Teachers. There are more than 1 billion Valentine greetings sent to sweethearts or friends of affection each year.
This year e-cards are becoming more risky and can be sent from numerous web sites. The Web is the "in" thing. An estimated 70 million Valentine e-mails will be sent by the Internet this year. Dot-com Valentines range from sublime to ridiculous in their varieties on the phrase, "I love you."
As long as there have been men and women there will always be matchmakers. Laurie Nizam, and her partner Jeremy Siders, have launched a local Web site called Men of the Silicon Valley.
"The ratio of educated clean-cut employed men to women is out of balance and we have to show them off," Siders said. In (Santa Clara) county, there are 5,000 more single men than women and what a better way to get them together on Valentine's Day?"
Siders wants women to sign up, promising their Valentine within 24 hours. All they do is register at www.menofthesiliconvalley.com.
"It's a fun site with a lot of excitement and exciting returns," Siders said.
Have a lovely Thursday.