Valentine's Day holds a special place in Michele Collins' heart as she remembers her late father Michael Ferretti, who was lovingly called "Big Mike."
"I miss my dad and will always remember Valentine’s Day with a happy tear and a little chuckle," said Collins, a Yorktown resident and a member of the Yorktown Engine Company #1 Women’s Auxiliary.
Collins is one of five children and while she was growing up her family didn't have a lot of money, she said. But her father would always do something special on Valentine's Day – whether it's give his children a candy kiss or a small daisy.
"It would be something that would put a smile on your face and just to know that you were loved on this day," Collins said. "Nothing fancy."
One year, everyone pitched in and sent him a Balloon-O-Gram to work – Ferretti worked in transportation at Consolidated Edison. It was delivered at the change of shifts.
It had to be done the day before Valentine’s Day because the woman, who had just started her business, was going away, Collins said. The woman show sang 'Happy Valentine’s Day to You' to the father of five in front of about 50 co-workers.
"He didn’t know to laugh or cry and all the card read was 'Because you are loved, love your Crew'," Collins said. "He had so much pride and happiness that we all thought about him on this day."
Her father, who passed away 17 years ago, always remembered that day and every year he would say "No balloons this year!", Collins said.