It's That Day of the Year When Love Had Better Not Be Forgotten

By Rooney, Jackie | The Florida Times Union, February 9, 2008 | Go to article overview

It's That Day of the Year When Love Had Better Not Be Forgotten


Rooney, Jackie, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Jackie Rooney

Now is the time for all good men to remember that Thursday is the day when a chubby little fellow armed with a bow and quiver of arrows flies down chimneys leaving gifts of chocolate, roses and fancy cards bearing messages of love.

I may be mixing my legends and myths, but it's fun to imagine a naked cherub putting a heart-shaped love token beneath the branches of the Rooney Bin fake fig tree in the living room.

In reality, I know that my hubby, the Binmeister, aka Cupid's helper, needs warn - um-m - hints that Valentine's Day is looming on the calendar. It's an important occasion in my book. They say love is blind, but at the Bin it was love at first sight. Valentine's Day was the first holiday we celebrated as a couple just weeks after we were introduced 42 years ago on a blind date. The winged matchmaker was out and about early that year, because - zing, zing - his love-potion-dipped arrows hit their mark.

Cupid, aka Eros by ancient Greeks, is the personification of Valentine's Day. His arrows signify passion and love. In Roman mythology, the mischievous son of Venus the goddess of love and Mars the god of war displayed characteristics of both parents. Consequently, he was quick to play pranks and start trouble by shooting love darts at gods and humans, causing them to fall in love, sometimes with the wrong partners.

- Speaking of bows and arrows - believe me, I wasn't sure how I was going to segue to this either - circle the wagons, the American Indians are coming. Actually, they were at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort on Jan. 31. Leaders from the Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes and the Delaware Nation mingled with about 300 people at a Kiowa Powwow VIP reception and dinner ceremony. The day's festivities began with a sale of American Indian paintings, jewelry and pottery. It was part of a four-day event wrapped around the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens' exhibit, A Kiowa's Odyssey, which runs until Sunday, March 16. Events included a public powwow in St. Augustine, a University of North Florida seminar and Family Day at the Cummer.

The exhibition grew from a sketchbook of drawings by Kiowa warrior Etanhdleuh Doanmoe, depicting the tale of 72 Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Arapaho and Caddo Indians captured in Oklahoma in 1875 and imprisoned at St. Augustine's Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marco). Now the exhibit is on an odyssey that began at the Trout Gallery at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., which owns two sketchbook drawings. Gallery Director Phillip Earenfight saw they were related to drawings he'd seen at Yale, so he organized a touring exhibit of the sketchbook. The Cummer is the second stop on the tour. Earenfight was a guest at the dinner along with Cummer Executive Director Maarten van de Guchte with his wife, Margie, Deputy Director Hope McMath and Board President Frank Watson with his wife, Mary.

Frank Barker, president of Friends of Ocean Communities Using and Supporting (FOCUS) Cummer, and Vice President Harold Pruner, a member of the Delaware tribe, helped bring descendants of the Fort Marion captives to Jacksonville so they could tell their story. FOCUS underwrote the cost, but Barker said Pruner and his wife, Ann, "were the driving force behind the event." Some tribal VIPs attending were Delaware Nation President Kerry Holton from Oklahoma, Duane Whitehorse, descendant of Chief Whitehorse of the Kiowa tribe, James Blackbear, who heads the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes' Oklahoma powwow, and Ray Kingfisher, who emceed the Indians' musical/dance performances.

St. Johns County Commission Chairman Tom Manuel and Glenn Hastings, county Tourist Development Council executive director, were responsible for the St. Augustine activities, along with Amy Harper with the National Park Service. Barker described her as "a walking encyclopedia of the history of Fort Marion." Notable guests were Chuck Wells with his wife, Sally, from Oregon. …

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