Thursday, September 03, 2015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot Glass: Highlighting a Vast Collection Built 1.5-oz. at a Time

Earlier this year, I had problems with my Comcast service and the first technician who came to my home  indicated that he would need to access the cable outlet feeding into my condo unit.

This probably doesn't sound like an unreasonable request, but the jack was behind two bookcases that had been set in place for 7+ years, filled with books and abundantly adorned with souvenirs, art pieces, satellite speakers and much else.

But my biggest chagrin was due to each of the bookcases--and a third, which I wouldn't need to move--holding hundreds of shot glasses.

As expected--and necessitating the initial tech leaving and another service call having to be scheduled for a different day--it took me several hours to take down and safely box 500+ shotglasses I have been collecting for 20 years, so that I could sufficiently move the bookshelves to allow access to the outlet.

Although order was restored months ago now, I took my time putting the shot glasses back on the shelves, in part for fear that recurring technical difficulties would require follow-up visits from Comcast, but also so that I could photograph several groupings of the 1.5-oz. glasses, many which wind up hidden 2, 3, 4 and 5 rows deep on their shelf and stacked up to 5 glasses high.

One of my most recent acquisitions.
I can't tell you exactly why I collect shot glasses, especially as I rarely drink hard liquor and have never actually used any of myriad souvenirs that I have purchased around the world--or which friends and relatives have brought back for me from their expeditions.

But I'm pretty sure that beginning my collection--largely on a whim--dates to the fall of 1995, when I moved into an apartment in Glen Ellyn, IL.

This was after I had graduated from college, lived in Los Angeles for 3 years, returned to my parents' home for more than 2-1/2 years and went to Europe (mainly London and Paris) for the first time in 1993...without bringing home any glasses.

I guess in having a new home I wanted something to collect and display, and while to a lesser extent I've gathered refrigerator magnets, emblazoned golf balls, souvenir baseballs, t-shirts and various other tchockies from my travels, shot glasses are what I have most regularly and steadfastly sought and bought on domestic and international trips--a good handful always wind up rolled within shirts and slacks in my suitcase on return--or even just from local restaurants and attractions that sell souvenirs.

But especially with my own acquisitions slowed a bit due to spatial limitations, I'd guess that at least 20% or more of my collection represents places I've never actually been, thanks to others who are kind enough to keep me in mind when venturing somewhere cool (and often perhaps finding themselves wishing to rid themselves of leftover foreign currency at the airport).

A couple recent gifts from Memphis, a (Pro Football) Hall of Fame shot glass
and a shot glass from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for I don't recall my benefactor
I'm not as obnoxious about requesting that jet-setting pals bring me back a shot glass as I once was, but until the book shelves actually begin to crack--believe me, they've been sagging for years--I'll be more than happy to welcome any new additions into my collection.

And much as I spotlighted my collections of neckties and autographed Playbills earlier this year, I'm glad to share a good smattering of my shot glasses online--many of which even fairly frequent visitors to my condo would never see.

It's been awhile since I took the photos, and besides 10-20 new acquisitions that I haven't bothered including, I seem to recall aborting initial attempts to photograph shot glasses grouped by themes. And other than a massive "full shelf shot," I never bothered with the glasses on the 3rd bookcase.

Yet I'm hoping to depict not only that I have a lot of shot glasses--if not quite 1,000, close to it--but also have tried to feature many that I think are fairly unique or otherwise notable.

Hopefully this won't be a kena hora (Yiddish for "jinx" or something close to it) but not only have I never used one of my souvenir shot glasses, to date I've never broken any.

Anyway, without further ado, here are:

The Shot Glasses Herded Around the World
(Click on photo to enlarge)

No comments: