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Love is in the air

February 14, 2002

Love is in the air



By TARA REILLY and KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI


Feb. 14 doesn't vary much for Carol Nichols.

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Her boyfriend "gives me red roses and candy, but that's OK. I'm just glad he remembers," said Nichols, of Hagerstown.

Today is a special day for some couples who will exchange gifts, plan romantic dinners and celebrate their relationships. For others, it's just another day.

George Fitz said he and his wife had no special plans for Valentine's Day.

"I'm getting too old for that," said Fitz, 73, of Williamsport.

Nichols said she's a romantic and always makes her boyfriend's favorite meal - pot roast and mashed potatoes - on Valentine's Day.

After five years of dating, "the spark's still there," she said.

Steven Stevenson, 19, said he planned to relax on Valentine's Day.

"It's just another day of the week for me," said Stevenson, of Hagerstown.

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Flowers and special dinners remain popular Valentine's gifts for many. Employees at Ben's Flower Shop in Hagerstown were busy Wednesday filling orders. Workers at Roccoco restaurant on West Washington Street were planning a special Valentine's Day menu for those who made reservations.

"Love is in the air," Roccoco manager Cheryl Kenney said.

Kenney said Roccoco's dessert chef makes homemade ice cream and other delicacies that will be offered in honor of the day of romance.

Dave Kline, of Hagerstown, said he feels the pressure each year to find just the right gift for his wife, Joan.

"It's hard. I want to get her something she'll like, but I hate to shop," he said.

Kline, 38, said in the past he has bought her jewelry, usually waiting until the last minute to pick out a gift.

"I wish she'd give me some ideas," he said.

Eli Pollard, executive director of the Washington County Arts Council, said an artistic gift is unusual and creative.

The gallery has been busy the past few days as people purchased, among other things, jewelry and hand-crafted boxes for the holiday, he said.

Curtis Ecker, 21, of Hagerstown, said he planned to spend the day with his child and girlfriend.

"You've got to," Ecker said.

He said he'll probably buy chocolate and roses for the special day.

Jim Reiter said he planned to spend time with his mother and sister during the day, and maybe enjoy dinner and a watch a movie in the evening.

"I'd like to see 'The Sound of Music,'" Reiter said.

He said he had bought cards and candy for the occasion.

"I'm planning for it to be very quiet," he said.

Craig Saville, of Hagerstown, was planning a long-distance Valentine's Day.

"My girlfriend lives in Baltimore, so I was planning on giving her a nice telephone call," Saville said.

Saville said he'll spend the weekend with his girlfriend, and they'll see the 3-D version of "Beauty and the Beast" in Baltimore.

Harry Bengston and his girlfriend, Shirley Sheffield, said they weren't sure how they'd spend Valentine's Day, but they would like to take it easy.

"That's kind of a hard decision," said Bengston, 54, of Hagerstown. "A lot of people go and eat on Valentine's Day."

Sheffield, 49, of Hagerstown, said she wasn't sure if they would go out to eat, but they planned to be together.

"We enjoy each other together," she said. "I just like to stay in on Valentine's Day, because it's too cold to stay outside."

Whatever the two decide, Sheffield said she thought it would work out fine because they have the sweets to go with the day.

"I bought him candy for Valentine's Day, and he bought me candy," she said. "So maybe we'll just go to the mall and look around."

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