MELISSA BLOCK, host:
We assume police in Pittsburgh aren't concerned with the public pilfering activities of our next guest. Jennifer Gooch sees herself on a rescue mission for wayward gloves and mittens lost on streets or sidewalks wherever she might spot them. She collects the gloves and then tries to reunite them with their mates.
Jennifer Gooch joins us to talk about her Web-based project, Onecoldhand.com. And Jennifer, how did this all start?
Ms. JENNIFER GOOCH (Founder, Onecoldhand.com): Well, I moved to Pittsburgh last year from Dallas, where we don't have quite the need for mittens and gloves.
Ms. GOOCH: And I noticed these things everywhere. I think, perhaps, for northerners, they're may be part of the - a forgettable part of the winter landscape, but for me, that was something I really hadn't seen before. And if you really pay attention, they're kind of everywhere. And very sad to see.
Ms. GOOCH: Sad. You have this kind of sinking feeling, you know, when you see a lone glove getting covered in salt and snow.
BLOCK: So when you find a glove, what do you do?
Ms. GOOCH: Well — and I'm not the only finder, by the way. I have many, many finders throughout Pittsburgh now. But I receive the gloves, sort of pick them up, I photograph them, catalog them, kind of give them a number and then I upload them to this site where they can be looked through.
BLOCK: So if somebody knows they've lost a glove, they can come to your site. And if they see theirs, they can let you know, and there would be a reunion.
Ms. GOOCH: Exactly. If they request - they e-mail me a picture of their glove, and then I can make the match and I'll send them their glove for free.
BLOCK: And you have drop boxes now all around Pittsburgh where people can leave gloves off that they have found?
Ms. GOOCH: We do. We have several coffee shops and libraries that allow us to put boxes in. And people can drop off their gloves and also pick up stickers. We have stickers for finders to deal with the conundrum of picking up someone's, someone else's belonging. And the sticker says missing a glove? Onecoldhand.com.
BLOCK: Oh, so you mean if somebody goes back to where they think they may have dropped their glove, they would actually find the sticker saying here's where you might be able to find it.
Ms. GOOCH: Exactly. Yeah, one of my finders found the sticker on a lamp post where he walks by everyday and he didn't realize even then that was where had dropped his glove. But he logged on the site and found his glove.
BLOCK: I'm looking at your Web site right now, and I'm looking at some recent collection. Women's black-cloth gloves, men's black leathered glove. Black knit glove, women's left cheetah print gloves.
Ms. GOOCH: I actually have two left cheetah print gloves.
Ms. GOOCH: In the same area, yeah. And maybe they should have coffee together. Like, (unintelligible) to know him.
BLOCK: And then you can go to part on your Web page where it says reunited. I'm going to click on that. And these are the happy reunions of — there are like four of them, there are four pairs of gloves who found each other again.
Ms. GOOCH: I have one on the way yesterday. Someone just said they found theirs. So we're excited about that.
BLOCK: What kind of feeling is that for you?
Ms. GOOCH: It's great, you know? The reunions, I have to say, are kind of a pleasant surprise. I think the Web site, I really thought, is the solution for us finders. Because you see those, and there's nothing you can — maybe pull it up and set it on a ledge. But in actuality, you really know that this person probably will never come back for it. So the site creates this kind of opportunity for benevolence however naive.
BLOCK: We should say you're getting your MFA from Carnegie Mellon. And this is sort of part public service, it's also part art project, part sort of metaphor for life, I guess. It's all these things rolled together.
Ms. GOOCH: It is. The site, for me, is, I say a metaphor for how people use the Internet and attempt to connect with each other and try to find what's missing. And the glove is kind of a perfect symbol for that metaphor because it's literally in search of its soul mate.
BLOCK: Well, Jennifer Gooch, it's great to talk to you about your project. Good luck.
Ms. GOOCH: Thank you.
BLOCK: Jennifer Gooch, creator of Onecoldhand.com, a site for the collection and hopeful reunion of Pittsburgh's dropped gloves.
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