The price of posting a Valentine may have gone up this year, but the postmaster of this heart-tugging address is still working overtime to place his special seal on more than 50,000 cards and letters.

For Willie Wright, processing the thousands of valentines pouring into this town is a labor of love.His post office, which serves a community of 200 on Virginia's southern border, is the only town in the United States that bears the name of Valentines, although there are three of the singular variety in Arizona, Texas and Nebraska.

"We're busy," said Wright, who has put his wife, an assistant and a clerk from a neighboring post office to work to help place a special cachet on each envelope and stamp the coveted "Valentines, Va." postmark.

"This is the third week, but I've kept it all up," Wright said.

Postmaster of Valentines since 1951, Wright said he always got a trickle of valentines from folks around the region. But in 1978, after some national publicity, valentines started flooding into Valentines from all over the United States.

While this year's figure is shy of the record 90,000 valentines he posted in 1990, he says 1991 will still go down as his second-largest year.