Friday, February 14, 2014



Temecula, CA – Tis the time of the year when the Heart Over Murrieta is seen again like a February
Bainbridge Christmas tree light extravaganza, with one exception. The engineer who puts on the display with a little help from his friends can stage this performance year after year. The picture that you see at right was only staged once, over a tall hill in this area, never to be created again, unless, perhaps the person who took this picture returns to the valley someday.

I say this is the case because I know the photographer and the circumstances under which the photograph came to be [untouched or photo-shopped]. Like the day this appears annually in print or online, the origin story is as magical as the real story of Saint Valentine.

Both the photographer and the saint got into trouble concerning education. The difference is one escaped any punishment because of his magic. The other got a day remembered in his honor. 

The story after the jump.

Centuries ago, the monk Valentine, a favorite of the emperor, got into trouble for teaching a blind woman to read. He had violated a decree and it cost him his head. At his death, the blind woman was granted sight, as she had been blind from birth.

Flash forward to the present.

The photographer walked into his dad’s room. His father had just gotten home from his day job.

“Er, hi dad. Listen there is something I need to tell you before they call from the (principal’s) office.”

The father cocked his ear and looked attentively at his son.

“I cut school today, and went hiking. I just didn’t feel like school for some reason, but I took this picture for you with your phone.”

The father, in stunned silence took the old Motorola RAZR and flipped it open, going to the picture display.


“I’m sorry but I wanted to tell you before the office called. Am I in trouble?”

The father took a second look at the picture, and then reflected on the boy’s mother, a wiccan, or witch as the belief system is popularly labeled. The man looked back up and said,

“No. This weekend you and me are going to climb up that same hill. I’ve always wanted someone to climb it with.”

(This picture previously appeared in print via a February issue of Neighbors, Temecula. The photographer is my youngest son – Ed)

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