09 January 2015

"Matchless"

photo by Elisa Wike Hurley


for a short time as an undergrad I smoked a pipe -- mostly in my room at Stopher Hall. in  my drinking days a handful of cigarets. & that one time a cigar.  those instances aside I identify as a non-smoker.

but I am a collector & documentarian of my times. so in those days when so many restaurants & hotels displayd heaps of matchbooks for the taking I took.

like so many others I put them in a large glass container. when that filld I startd a second jar.  fear of fire causd me to remove the actual matches -- which I suppose is anathma to true collectors in the field. but I was collecting memories more than artifacts.

I've announcd my intentions to downsize & that I'm thinking of the whole project as a piece of mail art. but as I approach such a daunting task I keep getting ideas for smaller projects within that grand one.

so I dumpd the containers which I discoverd held nearly 500 items dating back to at least 1967. I pickd a handful of favorites which I'll keep in the glass stein someone gave my father for a birthday. soon I'll start mailing out the others.




photo by E W H

38 comments:

cinemage books said...

i remember your annoyance with me when I would dip into your match collection to light a cig or a joint.

Alex Gildzen said...

I must've been drunk because I don't remember that.

Anonymous said...

well, as the recipient of the "ASHLEY'S" Sheraton Inn at the Rochester Airport, I thank you, Alex.

this morning was fun - let's get together more often in 2015.

Sidney

Pressin On said...

ha many thanks i got Country Diner Family Restaurant --luv Bree

Anonymous said...

thanks for including me in your latest mail project. received circus circus reno today. how apropos, it is where i stayed on my first trip to reno.
ding ding ding, you're a winner and a keeper!!!!
gary

GX Jupitter-Larsen said...

I just got Szechwan House...!!! Yes!

Dianne Borsenik said...

This is an Alex Gildzen day for sure! I received the matchbook from "Downtown Deli and Café", Anchorage, Alaska--thanks, Alex!

Also received a copy of "Jumping Over the Moon" by Alex Gildzen, a simply lovely Green Panda Press chapbook, from Bree today. Yay!

Alex Gildzen said...

wow Dianne…. you got a copy of the book before I did!

Kimberly Nichols said...

Received my Kaiser Grille / The Deck matchbox today ... lovely to be reminded of The Deck, which no longer exists ... when I was working as Communications Manager at Desert AIDS Project and writing gay porn as a man for our local gay rag, my buddy Jeff and I used to eat the ahi tower for lunch together there as he would regale me with his real life tales of adventures at the local Warm Sands' resorts - of which I would promptly put through my erotic literary brain mill and publish ... love to you Alex!

Alex Gildzen said...

I'm loving these responses. they're bringing another layer to the piece.

rjs said...

i collected them for a while too, Alex; i've still got two drawers full of them in the kitchen...that they'd be a fire hazard never crossed my mind, so all of mine have all their matches intact (for the most part, i wouldn't save any book with matches missing)

since i smoked a pack a day between 1966 and 1972, i probably have a lot of the same matchbooks that you did..

Ron said...

I have an old matchbook from the Grand Piano coffee house in San Francisco plus somewhere the "little magazine" that was published in matchbooks, I think by Dave Morice.

Roger Di Paolo said...

Loved that you sent me The Side Door matchbook from that long gone restaurant in Kent. Fond memorles of lunches there during the down-at-the-heels 1980s.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, dear Alex, for my Musso & Frank's LA match box. The place is something out of an old noir movie, like where you, Mort and I met.
Ta-da. My poem ...
Here's a flash of my silver screen
I'm Roberta of Noir,my films are mean.
Utter despair,destruction and doom
Fate's hand grips the darkened room
Gangsters, double-crossers, grifters
Femme fatales, hard-ass drifters
You're screwed before you even begin
Drag on a cigarette,down a quart of gin.
Plunge into hell's deepest hole
Enter the darkest corners of the soul
Urban and gritty
A world without pity
No song, no dance
Screw that last desperate chance.
Don't buy a ticket for a happy ending
I'm Roberta of Noir, deeply
offending.
(Yikes, Alex, how can I write this on happy pills) xxoo RTZ

-K- said...

I got mine!

"Landmark The Tower"

thank you for including me, Alex. It's not quite the same thing but I'll be sending you a sneak preview on FB in just a minute.

I'm sure you'll know about the subject matter than I. And maybe even it's location...

JimF50 said...

Thanks for the "Uncle Charlie's Restaurant" matchbook -- I ate there several times in the 70s. I love the art deco logo. "Uncle Charlie's" is to gay bars in NYC what "Ray's Pizza" is to slice joints. I believe the original UC bar was on 3rd and 39th -- the first place I got picked up! And the UC restaurant was 3 blocks down at 36th. Then they opened a UC on Greenwich Ave., right around the corner from my apt. on Charles St. -- maybe named after the original Uncle C! And then they opened another outpost on Christopher. They're all gone now, but by googling UC, I found there's a new UC gay bar on E. 45th. Love live UC!

Scott Blake said...

Thanks for the "Chelio's Trattoria Caffe" cover.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Alex. Let's meet at "MR.HENRY'S - Georgetown" sometime very soon. Drinks and dinner on me.

t. rees
rochester,ny

Barb said...

Alex,
How neat! How did you know that I'm a M*A*S*H fanatic? I, too, had a glass container of matchbooks from all over the country and locally. I love the idea of your mail project and am honored to be included in it. Thank you so much. Your friend from when we were much, much younger,
Barb

Matthew Rettenmund said...

Ooooh, I love mine!

Holly said...

Thank you for including me in your little "project". I have keepsakes from places I've been and now have a new place to check out! Denali National Park :)

honoria said...

Hi Alex, Thank you for the match book from the Cocktail Terrace of the Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue.

Thurman Rachel said...

Just got my matchbook from "Himalaya Restaurante." Thank you!

Thurman Rachel said...

Just got my matchbook from "Himalaya Restaurante." Thank you!

Jennifer Kosharek said...

I got a piece of your life... "Turtle Cay VA Beach, VA" Thanks for thinking of me... I've been making collages and painting over them for years... I will include this in one of my collage paintings.

Jennifer Kosharek said...

it would have been fun to make tiny books out of all of these....

Alex Gildzen said...

Jennifer -- if you do use it in a painting pls send me an image. thx.

Ray Craig said...

Hi Alex - Thank you for The Oaks Lodge matchbook - last August, I moved from San Bruno to Shingletown, California - about 5 hours drive north from SF - we live in the woods now - I'll forward you my new address - Thanks, Ray

Richard Hansen said...

Alex! A lovely little memento from The Voyager Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska arrived from you, for me in the mail today. Thank you!

Mark Kuhar said...

Got mine in the mail today! Love it. Have many memories of the Taverne of Richfield, mostly driving past it on my way to shows at the Coliseum!

Bonne de Blas said...

Thanks so much, Alex! The matchbook cover from Joey's in Chagrin Falls has a new life as a much-needed bookmark, and will once again be surrounded by books and words. Thanks again for including me in your project!

Steve Kerr said...

Thanks for including me in your "matchless" project, Alex. I have the cover from Luchow's restaurant in NYC. Never ate there before it closed but brought back fond memories of visits to my brother when he was attending General Theological Seminary near there in the 60's.

Jean Vengua said...

Just received my Monterey Bay Inn matchbook today, Alex! On the day that I think we might have found a place to actually move to in Monterey. So it seems like a portent or something, that I received it today. It's saying: you will soon move to Monterey! I'd better prepare and get rid of all this stuff I've collected! Thanks, again, Alex. It's wonderful to get this token from you in lovely Santa Fe. My partner Michael has family in Las Lunas, so when we next go to NM, we will stop by and vist you.

Alex Gildzen said...

stay in touch Jean. wd love to see you here.

Tofu said...

The Nero's Pizza matchbook will end up in some piece of art. For now it is safely stored in one of the collage fodder bins.

Ken Miller said...

Thanks so much for the Hoteis Othon matchbook, Alex! I love old graphics and have a soft spot for matchbooks. One of my prize possessions is a sample book from the 70's from a company that makes matchbooks for businesses, with all the cheesy clip art.

DLakeNYc said...

I JUST got yours from the Brandywine. It had gotten jammed up vertically against the back of my mail box since you sent it in February. I didn't notice it until today.

Brent M. said...

Looks like this is a sign that I must visit Belgium to reunite the match book cover with its origins, Hoegaarden. In the meantime, I will safely store it with my Alex Collection. Thanks for including me and Steve in your grand effort; I feel but a degree of separation from the other participants. A kindly wildfire sans flames.