Last month I received an email from a woman named Diane who stumbled across my pizza box collection by way of a video produced by Yahoo. She was taken by the story because she and her husband also collected pizza boxes. Each one had a personal significance because they were collected on family vacations and road trips. It wasn’t just pizza boxes, they collected pizza t-shirts, books, signs, ANYTHING! Each item represented a memory. Diane’s husband passed away last year so I thought it best to post her own words about the collection. Everything below was written by Diane (and lightly edited by me).
My husband collected a LOT of things but only things that triggered memories from his past or present. His parents smoked, he never did, but collected over 100 ash trays with names of places his parents had been or we have been. He also has a license plate from every state from the year he was born. That’s on the opposite wall from the pizza boxes.
The pizza box collection started after we returned home from Chicago about 15 years ago where we went to have a deep dish pizza. We waited almost two hours in the rain, had the delicious pizza and continued our visit. When we got home he said he should have gotten a box and was mad that he didn’t so that was his incentive to collect boxes.
We lived in a small house then but he had a FULL man room and no where to show off the boxes so they were just stacked up. We moved into this house nine years ago and it had this huge garage with bare walls so he hung his favorites there.
In the photo [above] there are four that look quite similar in the center. We were in Italy and had MANY slices of pizza. I don’t speak Italian and trying to tell our waiter we wanted a box to take home was not easy. He finally got it and we were able to get one. Some friends on our trip saw us with the box and were curious about why he had it and when he told them they started bringing us boxes too. We didn’t have the nerve to tell them we already had most of them so we came home with about ten boxes on that trip. Had to get rid of some clothes to fit them in the suitcase.
The photo (above) is at one of our local pizza places taken just months before he passed away. He is the one on the right.
We have a box from Germany, Austria, France, and other countries but mostly local. His favorite is probably the one I had my grandson make for him when he was two. Others are from trips we took in the US. I wish he were here to tell you all about them.
He loved everything pizza. We built a pizza garden in our back yard with a pizza oven, he collected pizza tee shirts too. I had a quilt made of some of them for his best friend after he passed away. I also had pizza served at the reception after his funeral.
Back to me:
This is such a beautiful story and I’m delighted to share it. I really wish I could have met Diane’s husband, as we would have talked for HOURS about pizza box collecting, but I hope that posting this encourages others to save pizza boxes. The thrill of an exciting pizza box is honors his memory.