Maplewood History: A Hunk, A Hunk of Burning… Hobby? Part 2

When I published the first half of my images of Gene Kitson’s unusual matchbook cover collection, I wanted to come up with an unusual and clever title. Failing that I decided to use the one above.

My thinking is that if the title is clever or unusual enough it will attract more clicks than Miner’s. Should that occur I’ll consider myself the winner of Editor Miner’s weekly “Most Viewed” designation that his articles usually always win.

Anyway, the subject – Matchbooks – started me thinking about burning which led to Elvis’ “A Hunk, A Hunk of Burning Love” song which is definitely a strange title for a song. So I watched him perform it on YouTube.

Now I’m old enough to barely remember when Elvis’ hit song “You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog” first came out. I always thought that was a strange song for a man to sing. And I was right for as you are, no doubt, aware it was first released by the blues singer Big Mama Thornton. But nobody cared and it was a big hit for him.

By the time “A Hunk, A Hunk of Burning Love” was released I wasn’t paying much attention to Elvis any longer. So watching him perform it on YouTube was eye opening. He had on one of his signature white jumpsuits. He stood with his side to the audience with his legs spread front to back for nearly the whole song. He moved very little. He was still very trim and looked to be in good physical condition. So I don’t know why he didn’t shake it a bit more.

Also he had his guitar on him but only played just a few notes in the very middle of the song. Then at the very end he pulled off his guitar, whirled it once around and then just stuck it straight out in front of him and held it there. He was posing so someone could get a good photo is all I could think of.

I enjoyed his performance even though much about it seemed very strange. His was such a famous figure and so familiar that I think it was easy to overlook just how weird some of the stuff he was doing actually was.

Speaking of weird, what follows is the second half of Gene’s unusual collection. [Editor: here’s part one: Maplewood History: A Hunk, A Hunk of Burning… Hobby?]



We do aim to please.  Thanks for your interest and support.  Thanks to Gene Kitson wherever he may be.

10 thoughts on “Maplewood History: A Hunk, A Hunk of Burning… Hobby? Part 2

  1. Looking at these sure bring back memories of growing up in Maplewood. I didn’t see one from Lou Thellman’s Shell at Big Bend and Manchester. Lived on Flora just down the street from Ted’s corner. The reason for the different addresses is that the ice cream shop was in a building attached to the north side of the tavern building.
    Johnny’s Phillips 66 was another haunt as well as Buck Montgomery’s Standard station at Big Bend and Flora. Roeper Danz was on the way to MRH High, so I would look at cars and dream. Tulip Box was a neat place.
    Genuine, Maplewood Auto and Kern Auto Supply were all hangouts for buying parts for the continuous repairs to my cars.

    • Don, Your recollections always add a lot to our knowledge of the history of our community. I truly appreciate them. Thanks.

  2. I went to an estate sale and found 2 calendars. One has old concert posters from 60s Ann’s 70s the other had the pinup girls. Every so often i can use these calendars

    • Tom, If any of those calendars are advertising Maplewood businesses, I’d love to photograph them.

      • Doug, I wonder if Bob or Jim Scheidt have any old calendars. Seems like way back in the day that would have been a place that might have passed them out. Or the folks over at Citizen’s Bank, Empire Hardware store, JB Smith Funeral Parlor. Trying to think of older places that might still have a living connection to the place that might have some old stuff around. Even Sunnen.

        Need to preserve a record of it before it is gone.

      • Doug,
        no surprise to you, I have two old Maplewood business calendars also.

  3. looking again at the matchbooks I see Ted’s Corner seems to have one set of matchbook covers that are a little more innocent than others. One talks about sodas and malts and shakes, the other about beer. Then I noticed the addresses. Only a few numbers difference but it made me wonder if the place grew, moved, had new ownership, took on a different personality. That or had a matchbook for the family and one for others?

    Any one here remember any of these places? I know some have said they do but most were before my time. That Tulip Box looks like a large place. Someone had to go there. Is that building still around or gone

    My next thought would be if someone might have collected calendars? In my hometown the local bank, the grain elevator, the tractor supply dealer, the funeral home all gave out calendars. Some only had one picture and the 12 pages you tore off, others had a new picture for each month.

    • Mark, the building that once housed the Tulip Box restaurant most likely disappeared with the widening of Big Bend. I haven’t tried to pin down any dates on when that occurred. I think it was early 1960’s. Construction of the railroad overpass almost certainly eliminated the restaurant. In this earlier post about the Big Bend Quarry, the Tulip Box can be seen at the very top of the first photo.

      • did it disappear due to eminent domain? I would think that several other places might have had the same thing happen? I know where you live but wonder if before the overpass and widening of Big Bend was there another row of homes that would have faced your homes or were the first row of homes on the block?

        In your other post you asked about the dump site being monitored for what might have been tossed in there? Any idea if that might have ever happened? Or still happens? Based on what they are looking at in Maryland Height dump site it makes me wonder what there might be in that gravel pit.

  4. those with the pin up girls on them reminded me of the calendars that used to hang in the gas station I used to work at. We had a full line mechanic shop with 2 full time mechanics, sold tires, did everything from pump gas, check air pressure, check the oil, had a wash and wax bay as well as did transmissions and engine rebuilds. This was not around here but back in Kansas.

    Way in the back room, away from the public view was usually a calendar, often provided by one of the tool or oil companies of the girls in similar poses usually holding a large wrench or hammer, maybe on a ladder. I never remember actual nudes but still very little clothes and I am sure they were only posing to show off the tools.

    It does make me wonder just how family friendly some of those places were with those kinds of match books.