Kirby: Hearts and minds follow custom on Feb. 14

Love’s feverish citadel will be pleasantly besieged.

– Augusta Chronicle, Feb. 14, 1861

Welcome to Valentine’s Day, something The Augusta Chronicle has acknowledged for 170 years.

The first mention shows up in 1847 with a brief notice that encouraged the purchase of expressions of playful affection.

That was pretty much the same situation in 1861 (see the quote above) when the newspaper again suggested buying a card to share your feelings – romantic or “sarcastic.”

Today the holiday remains what it has long been – a marketing effort to sell cards, candy, flowers and restaurant evenings. So consider this a reminder: Be Cupid, not stupid.

The stores should be open all day.

MEMORY MISTAKES: I recently mentioned watching the baseball movie The Natural with my wife and how we both suddenly realized we had incorrectly remembered the sequence of events in the climactic scene.

Dean Antonakos writes to suggest we were victims of the “Mandela Effect,” the latest term given to false memories we all have. He said it’s pretty common with many things, including Bible verses. We just remember things wrong.

It gets its name from the mistaken belief held by many that revered South African political leader Nelson Mandela died in prison instead of gaining freedom and becoming the country’s president.

On the same topic, George De Baca wrote to suggest my wife wasn’t so much interested in watching a baseball movie with me, but in watching a movie featuring Robert Redford. I pointed out that I was not unaware that Georgia actress Kim Basinger was particularly lovely in the same film.

My brother-in-law went to high school with Kim in Athens. He remembers her as “chunky.”

False memory, perhaps.

SPEAKING OF STARS: The “In the Sky” feature on our weather page points out that the zodiacal light – or false dusk – should be visible these days after sundown.

It is described as an eerie light extending up from the western horizon in late winter or early spring. It is caused by sunlight and space dust. You also see it in the east before sunrise in late summer or early autumn.

TODAY’S JOKE: Pat Salisbury shares this one.

The bar waitress looked at the three boys coming into the bar. They sat down and ordered three beers.

“May I see your identification?” she asked politely.

Two of the boys handed over their driver’s licenses. The third made a show of looking for his. He finally pulled out his library card and said, “Sorry, that’s all I have.”

“OK,” said the waitress. She then turned to the bartender and ordered: “Two beers and a library book, please.”

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344

or bill.kirby@augustachronicle.com.

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