Sunday, October 27, 2019
As you may remember, among all the other useless stuff I collect, I save old matchbooks. My collection doesn't grow anymore, because restaurants have largely stopped offering matchbooks as promotional items, but I've kept a lot of them from the '80s and '90s.
While reading Ms. Moon's recent post about going to the Ocean Grill in Vero Beach, I remembered that I went there myself in the late '90s. It occurred that I might have a matchbook. And I do!
As was my habit, I wrote inside the date of my visit and who I was with -- in this case my friend Sue, on Dec. 20, 1999. We went shopping in Vero afterwards, and according to my journal at the time, "I got some great Calvin Klein overalls at the mall there! I'm a farmer!"
(This was actually a matchbox, which is hard to scan!)
I decided to scan some others too, just for the heck of it:
Here's a quick trip down memory lane, from left to right, top to bottom:
1. Visage was a dance club on the Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. An occasional hangout for me in my mid-20's, it specialized in "alternative" music like New Order and Violent Femmes. (From a visit with three friends on Feb. 2, 1991)
2. The Colonnade was a seafood restaurant on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa with a fabulous waterfront view. It has since been torn down to make way for ritzy condos. (With John and Sue, October 2005)
3. Kokomo was a dance club in Lakeland. It billed itself as "Lakeland's only beach resort," even though it wasn't on water. I think they had a sort of sandpile outside. I specifically remember dancing to Janet Jackson here. (With Cherie and Arthur, June 16, 1989)
4. Hukilau was a Polynesian restaurant in Key West. I barely remember visiting there with my friends John and Barbara in 1986 or so, although I didn't write down the exact date. Lots of plants and torches and tiki gods.
5. Kasey's Cove was a beer bar near the University of South Florida in Tampa. I spent many productive hours there with friends, drinking pitchers and watching music videos by INXS and the B-52's. (With Michelle, Dec. 16, 1987)
6. Mirabella's was a well-known seafood restaurant in Tampa where I went with my family, often for my birthday. I used to love their lobster. The restaurant was torn down long ago. This is one of my oldest matchbooks -- so old I don't even know when I got it.
7. The Kapok Tree Inn was a sprawling, legendary restaurant in Clearwater. I went with Barbara in the mid-'80s. It has also been demolished.
8. Fast Eddie's was at the base of the pier in Anna Maria. I went with some friends on New Year's Eve in 1989. We were all very excited to be rounding the corner into a new decade -- the '90s! There's still a restaurant in that building, but Fast Eddie's is long gone.
9. Gary's Harborside is a lakeside restaurant with a deck in Winter Haven where I used to hang out with friends from work in the late '80s. Of all the places represented by matchbooks in this photo, this is the only one that's still open. (With John and two other colleagues, Dec. 21, 1988)
10. Coconut Joe's was another college hangout. Alcohol was a new experience when I went there a few times in spring 1985, as an 18-year-old. I remember ordering Mai Thais. What was I thinking?!
11. The Adam's Mark was a big hotel on Clearwater Beach. They had a great breakfast buffet, where I took several friends back in the '80s, including fellow blogger E. (Remember, E?) It has since been torn down.
Lots of memories are wrapped up in my matchbooks!