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Monday, August 25, 2014

RMS 74th Convention in St. Louis, Missouri

The 5A bus stop is sketchy, but dependable.

Last Sunday I took the 6:45 AM Metro 5A bus to Dulles Airport to head out to the RMS 74th Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. The bus stop was sketchy that early in the morning, but got me there in 45 mins for $7.

A little over two hours later I'm at the Sheraton Westport Chalet hotel in St. Louis. I have some time to get my room and check the place out before things open up later in the day.

The proof sheet for the MARVA 2014 RMS matchbook that was available at the convention.

L to R: Bill, Me, Bob and Charlie
During the week I got to catch up with some of my favorite matchbook collectors and friends.

I bought these nice car manufacturer covers from Carol.

Look at that smug cat with it's crown...

Some great dine and dance type covers, one of my favorite categories.

Freebie table covers were great, including these nice sports schedule covers including the 1969 St Louis Cardinals.

Very, very 80's covers.

A really awesome cover for New Moon trailer homes.


Four nice examples of late 1930's and early 1940's matchcover designs.

Come on down to Cafe Mocambo and watch this Debra Winger-esque woman roll around on a tiger rug.

The moon's face is priceless on this girlie cover.

Here's yet another cover with a lady in a martini glass.

I forget who handed me this cover for the Whiting Hotel in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, but I'm glad they did. The back panel of this cover is pretty funny (see below).

Detail of the Whiting Hotel matchcover depicts a young, orange haired Johnny Bravo (see below) from Cartoon Network fighting a man with deformed trapezius (upper and mid-back) muscles and abnormally low kneecaps while an unidentified gun toting man who may possibly be Colonel Sanders or Uncle Sam watch along with W.C. Fields, a mustached butler with gigantism, and an ugly man in a white dress.

This freebie table bobtail cover is hilarious.

Read it a couple times if you have to.

I like the older industrial covers because visually they're very interesting, but they also represent a time in this country when we designed and built things using our own natural resources that made our lives better and didn't rely on the cheap labor of other countries to manufacture them. The items America produced during this time were of high quality and lasted far longer than the same contemporary items that are now imported. In my opinion all of these old industrial product matchcovers represent the jobs many Americans in this country once had. 

Above: Darling Valves, manufactured in Williamsport, PA and the Nelson Studwelder (my favorite matchcover from the RMS convention).

Roper's Ribs in the Jennings neighborhood of St Louis.

Roper's Ribs was a great choice to try some St Louis style barbecue. Denise and I shared a giant order of ribs, brisket and shrimp that was fantastic. Their potato salad was also very, very good.

A thrift store we stopped at with a vintage 7 Up sign in the window.

"The Mississippi. The mighty Mississip. The old Miss. The old man." -Clark Griswold

The St Louis Arch is huge and you can see it from the interstate.
"Hey, see that, kids? That's the St Louis Arch, the gateway to the west. It's over 600 feet tall and there's an elevator all the way tot he top. That's 60 stories to you and me."

I actually got to do the thing I wanted to do most on this trip, which was to go and see the St Louis Arch. Thank you Angelus Club president Denise McKinney for taking me out there. You rock.

The Ashley Street / Union Light Power House once provided steam heat and electricity to all of downtown St Louis. The neo-gothic architecture of the building is amazing and I would have loved to have gotten a closer look. More here:

The 34 four foot tall Vess soda bottle in the the old industrial section of St Louis.

Vess soda matchcovers.
Me in front of the 34 foot tall Vess bottle. Loading dock hobo action in the background.

Busch Stadium, home of the St Louis Cardinals.

Denise and I stumbled onto the TUMS building that was built in 1933 while driving through the city. Check out how the lettering above the doors totally matches the lettering on an older matchcover, below.

"Perhaps the first Modernist building in downtown St. Louis, the Tums factory was groundbreaking in its simplicity. Art Deco influences can be seen in its sparse decoration, but the overall design is pure International Style, with alternating ribbons of windows and brick forming continuous bands around the facade. The tower acts as an accenting vertical element. At the other end, a second vertical component appears to be an earlier building, appearing on a vintage postcard without the International Style section."From

Hand lettering on the window of the Guitar Haven store.

The Crown Candy Kitchen was amazing and it looked like little had changed on the inside over the years.

I'll spend the extra 4 cents and get my horoscope while I'm in the Crown Candy Kitchen.

The Union Light / Ashley Street Power House used to provided electricity and heated steam to the entire downtown St Louis area. See more here:

Adrian, get me a tux!

Me and my partner in crime and sister from another mister, Denise McKinney.

After at least six delays due to mechanical problems with the plane and five hours at the airport, I got a different flight out for the next day and went back to the hotel in time to go to the RMS banquet (thanks to Bill Gigantino).

Lucky me, I got to sit next to a guy who spent a good portion of the flight rubbing his knee against my leg and pulling his arm hairs out one by one (see above).


  1. I like how Rolaids is a sponsor at the ballpark, yet the birthplace of Tums is one block away.

  2. Good eye! How much you want to bet Tums and Rolaids are not only made by the same company but are chemically the exact same thing?