As I mentioned in my May 13 post, my husband, Rod, and I spent two days in Valentine during the first week in April. I had almost completed my book, but it had been a few years since we’ve visited Valentine, and I needed a current “feel” for the town. Because we were there during an unexpected spring blizzard, our photos are a little “dreary,” but I wanted to share a few of them with you, so when you read my December book, you might feel right at home in Valentine.
VALENTINE’S VISITOR CENTER
Valentine’s vivid white and red visitor’s center snags tourists’ attention as soon as they reach town. Valentine is known as the Heart City, which is indicated by the large red heart on the lawn with the slogan, HEARTS “R” US. Hundreds of red hearts are painted on Valentine’s sidewalks along historic Main Street. It’s customary for people to come from “near and far,” to be married in the town on Valentine’s Day.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
The brick relief murals were created by Lincoln artist, Jack Curan, in the early 1990’s. The top mural features running longhorn cattle to symbolize the movement of the cattle industry in the Sandhills. The smaller mural at the bottom depicts the first century of progress in Valentine.
HOLIDAY INN PORTICO
In my book, a wedding reception will be held at the Holiday Inn. We stayed at this motel because I wanted to walk the same area where my characters would be celebrating. We stayed one day longer than we’d expected, when approximately eight inches of snow fell. Since the blizzard caused us to be snowbound, we became well-acquainted with the staff. Because it was springtime, we hadn’t anticipated cold weather and we didn’t take winter clothing. One of the receptionists gave me her gloves when we started out on our long eight-hour drive through the blizzard to the airport in Lincoln. I’m sure that the characters in my book were also given a warm welcome.