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Romantic Traditions


Wedding fashions from Foley’s department store, 1928

Wedding fashions from Foley’s department store, 1928

Wedding fashions from Foley’s department store, 1928

By Story Sloane III

For generations, Valentine’s Day has stereotyped February as the month of love. It has become a tradition for most men and women to use Feb. 14 as the perfect occasion to spoil that special loved one with out-of-the-ordinary kindness.

Young boys took their favorite girl to the local “soda fountain” to indulge in frozen concoctions, or treated them to a first-run movie. In the old days of Houston, just about every drugstore had a food counter that was well-equipped to satisfy every young sweetheart’s sweet tooth. Most movie houses offered a place of darkness and security where hands could be held and, if you were lucky, you could even share a kiss or two.

The bar was set much higher for adults, however, when it came down to insuring a happy response from one’s love interest. Dinner and dancing at the Rice Terrace was always a good place to start. Combine an outing on the town with a fine piece of lingerie from Foley’s department store and you were almost guaranteed a positive reaction.

For those men who truly wanted to make sure their relationships turned into something permanent, a trip to J.J. Sweeney and Company on Main Street was the place to go for a good diamond — and a truly successful Valentine’s Day often meant a trip back to Foley’s to pick out a wedding gown!

Photos courtesy of Story Sloane’s Gallery, www.sloanegallery.com

Silk stockings were certain to make a lady feel extra feminine on an evening out

Silk stockings were certain to make a lady feel extra feminine on an evening out

The soda fountain at Mading’s Drug Store #3, located at Westheimer and Mandell, 1927.

The soda fountain at Mading’s Drug Store #3, located at Westheimer and Mandell, 1927.

Looking swell at the Rice Hotel terrace facing Texas Avenue, 1930.

Looking swell at the Rice Hotel terrace facing Texas Avenue, 1930.

Looking swell at the Rice Hotel terrace facing Texas Avenue, 1930.

J.J. Sweeney and Company jewelry store at 700 Main (at Capitol) in 1929.

J.J. Sweeney and Company jewelry store at 700 Main (at Capitol) in 1929.


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