Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Vintage Valentine Story…

Hello, dear friends!

Hope you’re all in the middle of a wonderful weekend with your families & friends…got any Valentine’s plans?

I have a sweet vintage love story to share with you today in honor of Valentine’s Day…

Back in the spring of 1904, a cowboy rode into town…tall and lean in the saddle, bringing a herd of cattle to his uncle’s ranch.

Don Frederick Riggs, young

After delivering the cattle, his cousins and friends invited him to a big dance that evening.  He declined, saying that he “was not dressed for society”…but, being coerced successfully, he went along.

While there, a beautiful young woman began doing a dramatic reading—part of the program for the evening.  The young cowboy fell instantly in love…but he felt very unworthy of such a girl.

Hating to leave the next morning, he vowed to return as soon as he could to try and win her heart…

Soon came the town’s Basket Social.  Don rode the 40 miles once again to his uncle’s house…hopeful for a chance to be with his dream girl…Mary.

For the basket social, the single women would make a basket of food for the men to bid on.  Whoever won a woman’s basket, would also win the privilege of eating lunch with her.  (Remember the basket social scene in “Oklahoma”?!)

Don bought several baskets before he finally got Mary’s…and after that came the hayride…

Soon, everyone in town knew that when the tall, handsome cowboy rode into town, he was coming to court the beautiful, young schoolteacher…

Don F. & Mary West Riggs

Don and Mary were married in 1907…this is, I believe, their wedding photo…

What a wonderful and eventful life they had together…always loving, always faithful…

Another page completed today for my heritage scrapbook…


Simple black and red…perfect for a sweet Valentine story…


The photo framed with a bit of Platinum Stickles…three roses alongside…


A lovely vintage Valentine poem—a free printable image from Crafty Secrets, which you can get here

Don later was completely blind…the effects, they said, of so many years spent in the saddle under the blazing Arizona sun…Mary wrote and published two books about her beloved family history, for which I am truly grateful…

Here’s the newspaper photograph from the article about their 50th wedding anniversary…Don listening as Mary reads to him from one of the books she had written…I love this picture…

So grateful for the people that helped to make me who I am…so many stories to learn and to share as I go along on this journey…

…thanks for joining me on the journey today…

Please stop by Crafty Secrets and enter into their wonderful Valentine giveaway—so much vintage goodness just waiting to be won!

See you soon with something new…


(Vintage Valentine images found online.)


  1. What a wonderful story of true love you have shared with us today! Thank you!

    And your card is just lovely....

  2. Such a beautiful love story! Love your memory book page too.
    Happy Valentine's Day!

  3. This is such a wonderful love story. The photos are so lovely!
    Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!

  4. Loved this story and pictures and card...he was super handsome, I would have fell for him! ;D

  5. Oh Julie, you are so blessed to have these family stories. Your card is lovely too!

  6. This story and that last picture (well, ahem, all of them!) is PRICELESS!!! Beautifully put together. ♥

  7. Hi Julie,
    What total beauty your have created and what an amazing story--I wish we had that basket tradition today--wouldn't that be neat?

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your husband.

  8. Another beautiful post Julie! I just love reading these stories about your family. You have such a beautiful and colourful family history. How lucky you are to know all these fabulous details and to have the photos to see as well! Thank you so much for sharing them with us, along with your wonderful creative talents! The two together are awesome! I send love and hugs to you. Have a wonderfully blessed Sabbath day! xxoo

  9. Julie,
    That is such a beautiful story. It brings years to my eyes! I think your family is just amazing and I am so glad you have studied all your ancestors and can share them with us! love reading about them.

  10. Julie,
    so fantastic, with all this wonderfull material, you have fron your ancestors- thanks for sharing-
    your page, is a beautifull treasure.

  11. Wonderful photos; wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. xx

  12. Wonderful story, Julie. Thanks for sharing with us!

  13. Hi Julie,

    What was their last name? Boy, I can tell you growing up in Arizona, I could believe the blindness issue. I can't even remember how many times I thought I was going blind while walking around out in the hot sun. Have a great Valentines Day!


  14. Oh Julie! What a perfect love story for Valentine's day! I loved it and the pictures! Twyla

  15. JULIE, PRECIOUS JULIE! What a HANDSOME couple...Oh, there are so many love stories to tell and discover. Thank you for coming by to see my QUICKLY put together post. I have been working hard with my husband all weekend long and found very little time to do what I so love to do: write well. I threw it together with sincere thoughts, but revision went out the window this time! Mille mercies, anyway!!!! BLESSINGS, Anita

  16. What a sweet sweet story....where do you find such amazing stories....this one is perfect for Valentines....may yours be filled with oodles of L*O*V*E my sweet friend...your cards make my heart sing. xoxoxo

  17. Thank you for sharing this. I so enjoy reading stories of family history. And this one was just perfect for Valentine's Day.
    Your scrapbook page is lovely. The red roses add so much romance to the color scheme.

  18. What a wonderful story. SIgh.
    I've been absent lately - I know. I'm hoping to catch up. But had to zip over and see what's new with you and tell you that YOU MAKE ME SMILE! Each and every time I visit you.
    I hope you have a Wonderful Valentines Day my friend.
    Hugs. Karen

  19. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful, warm story. It is things like this that make our family history so wonderful - and pictures to match! You are truly blessed.

  20. I loved hearing this story...I LOVE family history. Love, courtship seemed somehow "purer" those days.
    can you imagine now, haveing a basket social for our youth to attend....
    instead of worrying to death about "date rape drugs". shheeeesh

    wonderful love story to hear on this valentine weekend.

  21. Hi Julie, That's another wonderful story of your ancestors and the page you created around it is lovely.
    ♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥!

  22. I loved this story. It's 'real and true' love.
    The kind of love that comes from marriage vows: in sickness and in health etc. Don loved Mary so much that he was willing to sit in a saddle for forty miles. I' glad he won her heart. Happy Valentine's Day.


  23. Hi Julie,
    What a wonderful story of your Don and Mary. So sweet, and a perfect sentiment for Valentine's Day. How tender Mary's expression, whilst reading to her husband. Thanks for sharing these family photos, and their stories with us. Happy Valentine's Day!

  24. Happy Valentine's Day Julie! No wonder you are so talented at creating cards and tying them into stories of your family -- it's in your blood for sure! How wonderful for you and the generations to come. Best wishes, Tammy

  25. Julie,
    What a beautiful love story...were Don and Mary your great-grandparents? Don was so handsome...he must have swept Mary right off her feet! Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Valentine's Day!
    Cheryl at My Sister's Cottage

  26. I love reading love stories like this one especially when they are TRUE. I also love reading about peoples family history...the 'story of us'! It's where we come from and who we are. You're very fortunate that this part of your families history was passed down to you so you can pass it along to your children and grand children...never to be forgotten. Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment in your families past Julie.
    Maura :)

  27. Loved your story and your blog's eye candy! Have a great day! :)