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The Volcano
Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-05 7:29 pm   Permalink

OK, I just got off the phone with Mom. I just couldn't let *that* go by without asking her about it. Here's some clarification. Mom had told me before that Dad had a dry run with the whole restaurant staff before it was opened, and the invited guests were people from various nearby press outlets. I did have that event confused with the luau that was held at Cypress Gardens, which was also for the "Press Association". I thought she had meant that it was the same event, but they were two different things. Apparently, the luau at CG happened at a later time, and not before the opening of the restaurant to the public. I don't think it was necessarily the National Press Association, maybe it was the Florida Press Assoc. However, she was adamant that Dad (the Volcano) provided ALL of the food, and that, knowing my father and his many connections, he most likely had been the one in charge of getting the rest of the luau put together. Dad had a LONG standing relationship with Cypress Gardens, since his teen years (he had been one of the water-skiers there before he got married), and my understanding now is that CG was very excited to have Dad back in town. So...while the Mai-Kai people think it may LOOK like it was catered by them, it would NOT have been.

Mom would only go so far as to say that it's possible that the dancers may have performed at the Mai-Kai, that maybe they were a group with an agent, and may have been hired for the event by my father. Since some of Dad's ads and interviews talked about the ability to cater events up to 500, she is certain that he made the arrangements and knew how and where to get the required items to host a luau properly. It is possible he may have "rented" some equipment from Mai-Kai, but I can assure you that the china used was from the Volcano, and the volcano ice fruit centerpieces were one of Dad's signatures. I can tell you that it's within the realm of possibility that Dad had seen a luau set up at the Mai-Kai, or any other number of places (two that came to Mom's mind were Frances Langford's Outrigger, or the Tahitian Inn in Tampa). She also told me to talk with my oldest brother, because he may have had to "work" the event. Talking with him will give us an idea of when the CG luau was held, and whether he was privy to where Dad got any of the materials from, if they weren't owned by the restaurant. I will get back with you all further about that once I have heard from him. So for now, the food was completely catered by the Volcano, not the Mai-Kai. Any speculation on the part of the Mai-Kai people is just that, and that is likely because they didn't know that Dad had such a good relationship with Cypress Gardens. They should be content that they were able to sustain/grow their business, and not try to take anything away from the good work that my father did.


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-05 7:56 pm   Permalink

I'm going to try to get this article uploaded before my son needs the computer again. I've been working all day on making it readable. I'm sorry about the different sizes of font. I tried to get them to all be the same size, but I guess I have plenty of learning left. I'll probably not be able to get back with anyone tonight, so "happy reading"!

This article was published in the Ledger (Lakeland) on Friday, January 12, 1968.








This would probably have been one of the first newspaper ads, maybe the first, that Dad produced (yes, he got that involved in the minutiae, at least at the beginning).



This is one of the pictures that accompanied the article. I haven't gotten the other one done yet, but it's of the Bora Bora statue, which you have already seen. I obviously haven't grasped how to make a newspaper picture to come out any better than this.




 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5047
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-03-06 08:37 am   Permalink





Here is the Mai Kai logo side of the bowl. I was not implying that this was the Mai Kai bowl. I was thinking it was the Harper bowl made for the Volcano and wish that darned glass wasn't in the way so we could see what logo was there! I only know of one of these in existence, so if it was made for another location, that means maybe more of them out there somewhere. BUT this is clearly the Mai Kai bowl. You can see "KAI" in the picture. How it got there and why is the mystery.

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[ This Message was edited by: swanky 2007-03-06 10:01 ]


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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-03-06 08:57 am   Permalink

Volcano Girl, please don't think I was trying to question your credibility or the authenticity of your pictures. Not at all. I'm completely thrilled at the pictures you've posted and have really enjoyed the stories you've shared about the Volcano and your family. The only reason I asked the Mai-Kai about that picture was to see if they could recall the event or the Volcano and to see if they could shed any light as to why a Mai-Kai mystery bowl was at a Volcano-catered luau. I was surprised when they said it looked to them like a Mai-Kai luau. But like I said in my post, I wasn't inclined to believe that their conclusion was correct. I'm sure to them it does look like a Mai-Kai event. The bowl is theirs and the mugs they thought were their Maru Amu mugs (which I don't think so). And that ice fruit dish...

Quote:

On 2007-03-05 19:29, Volcano Girl wrote:
... and the volcano ice fruit centerpieces were one of Dad's signatures.


While I have no reason to doubt you are correct, the ice fruit dish was not exclusive to the Volcano. The Mai-Kai also served one that is nearly identical. In fact, they still do. On the
Mai-Kai web site, click Menus and then Desserts and you will see the Polynesian Surprise. ("Fresh tropical fruits adorn this volcano of ice, set ablaze at your table with sparklers.") Here is a picture of one:



Quote:

They should be content that they were able to sustain/grow their business, and not try to take anything away from the good work that my father did.


I don't believe they had any intentions of doing so. They really didn't say anything at all to me about the Volcano and they don't know the whole back story about your father. So, while their conclusion about the picture might have been off, I don't think their intent was to disparage anyone.

You know, I debated whether to even post their remarks at all. Maybe I shouldn't have, but some good came of it, right? You contacted your Mom again and got some clarification about it. So my actions weren't really ALL bad.

You should really get down to the Mai-Kai sometime. I have a feeling the similarities between it and the Volcano will bring back a flood of childhood memories for you.


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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-06 11:28 am   Permalink

Gator Rob,
I was mostly surprised and confused by the very idea that the Mai-Kai people thought that the Cypress Gardens luau was catered by them. If it had been, I'd like to think that they would remember such an event more clearly, because I know it was a pretty big event to Dad. We should know a little more when my oldest brother gets back to me (our schedules are completely lopsided from each other, so usually a bit of time goes by in between catching each other). However, I'm sure that time has faded all of our memories; mine, Mom's, my brother's, and the Mai-Kai people.

It's funny though, the impressions you get of things as a child, some of those impressions are very strong (maybe even incorrect), and so while I didn't relate the luau to the Press Association, I remember Dad working non-stop with Cypress Gardens on some things. The talk about what was going on would pervade the dinner table (at least in our house). I think the name I recall as one that was brought up with frequency (associated with Cypress Gardens) was Dick Pope. I'm pretty sure that Dad knew him very well, and worked with him often. If he or any of his family is still around, maybe someone could check it out to see what they remember. Cypress Gardens may even have something there that could be checked out.

Like I said in the earlier post, it wouldn't surprise Mom or any of us that Dad had engaged certain groups to help him prepare this event. The food and dishes were absolutely provided by the Volcano. I agree that even the ice fruit dish that I thought of as a signature of Dad's may not have been his original idea, or it could also be that someone enjoyed it so much at the Volcano that they incorporated it into their menu from him. I don't know how we'd ever know for sure. Perhaps the Mai-Kai has it on one of their early menus. FWIW, Dad also had the volcano ice fruit dish flame up, but it wasn't with sparklers.

As for the Mai-Kai bowl, it does look like it could be one of their early ones. I don't know how we'd ever find out if Dad was able to purchase any from them, or borrow them, or what circumstances led to them being used at this luau. I suppose it's within the realm of possibility that Cypress Gardens hired the Mai-Kai for producing part of the event, and Dad to do other parts. Maybe they all worked together to make it a seamless event. We'll see if my brother can shed any more light on it.

Quote:
So, while their conclusion about the picture might have been off, I don't think their intent was to disparage anyone.



Thanks for clearing that up. I think there are a few things that I may sometimes be sensitive about, and my Dad and what he struggled with concerning the restaurant workings is one of them. There is a good reason why the Volcano didn't stay around very long, but it had little or nothing to do with Dad's capability (not that you suggested that, just that I'm sensitive to it).

Quote:
You know, I debated whether to even post their remarks at all. Maybe I shouldn't have, but some good came of it, right? You contacted your Mom again and got some clarification about it. So my actions weren't really ALL bad.



Naw, it's okay, we're ! This is how we learn about all the different things there are to know. Without it being said, maybe none of us would have ever gone further. TC is a place to learn all about the world of tiki.

Quote:
You should really get down to the Mai-Kai sometime. I have a feeling the similarities between it and the Volcano will bring back a flood of childhood memories for you.



Without a doubt! I don't usually visit the east coast of Florida when I'm down there, but I may have to change my ways eventually. A short visit for one of my days I can probably deal with. I'm selfish when it comes to my vacation time, though. We don't have as many sunny days as I'd like in Ohio, and we have nothing remotely resembling the Gulf beaches (which IMHO are the superior ones Florida has to offer).

I've got much work to do still, and I think I convinced Mom to send the other pictures that she held back. I told her I would get everything fixed up. Hopefully that was enough for her. She is worried about any of this getting lost or damaged further. Lots of it is very delicate already.

ALOHA!



 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5047
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-03-06 12:35 pm   Permalink

The folks at the Mai Kai are not always 100% sure of their own history. If they are not clear on this, it is not a big surprise. There are parts of their history I don't think there is concensus about and that stuff is major! Well, now that I think about it, in the magazine articles in which that bowl is pictured, the dates are mid-sixties. 1966. So, it does make sense, time-wise.
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ted tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 195
From: minneapolis
Posted: 2007-03-06 3:36 pm   Permalink

I just stumbled upon this thread today and am grinning from ear to ear. Really cool stuff. I'm in Minnesota right now and it's not exactly 1967 but I'm really excited about this place for some strange reason.

 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-03-06 4:43 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-06 11:28, Volcano Girl wrote:
Quote:
You should really get down to the Mai-Kai sometime. I have a feeling the similarities between it and the Volcano will bring back a flood of childhood memories for you.



Without a doubt! I don't usually visit the east coast of Florida when I'm down there, but I may have to change my ways eventually. A short visit for one of my days I can probably deal with. I'm selfish when it comes to my vacation time, though. We don't have as many sunny days as I'd like in Ohio, and we have nothing remotely resembling the Gulf beaches (which IMHO are the superior ones Florida has to offer).


Yup, we agree there. The Gulf beaches are the best. I grew up in the panhandle. The sand is pure white and the water is a beautiful emerald color. (FYI - your TC signature says "Gainesville, FL" - I went to UF) Anyway, when you plan a trip to the Mai-Kai, please let us all know and we'll do our best to plan a welcome party!


 
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FreddieBallsomic
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 08, 2005
Posts: 628
Posted: 2007-03-06 6:27 pm   Permalink

Sorry to chime in, but I just caught this thread and it is spectacular research....Thanx to all for sharing. This is some great stuff.

 
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Capt'n Skully
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 404
From: The Lost Lagoon
Posted: 2007-03-07 07:21 am   Permalink

Great to meet you Volcano Girl! Really cool stories and items you have been sharing..

So what did you think of the attempted Bora-Bora drink?


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-07 09:33 am   Permalink

Ahoy, Captain! It was a great night for both my husband and me!

So, the Bora-Bora drink...it could have been better. Improvements I would make would be a better rum than the one that was used last night. I think someone mentioned that it was made with an inexpensive light rum, and that would make a HUGE difference in my opinion. The blackberry brandy was a bit much, maybe should have been half of what it was. It overpowered the rum easily (which could change significantly with the use of a different rum). Several others mentioned that they thought a peach brandy would have been better also. I don't think I heard last night what you thought of it, but I would be interested to know.

I am now noting with interest that on the larger portioned recipe for the Bora-Bora, no blackberry brandy was used at all. Instead it calls for cherry brandy and grenadine, in addition to both a light and a dark rum, lemon and pineapple juice.

For those who are unaware of what Capt. Skully and I are talking about, there was a FOM meet and greet last night at the Tropical Bistro in Columbus. I brought along a binder of Volcano things that Mom sent, and that I have been working on. Something those in attendance got to see, that I haven't finished cleaning up, is a page (front and back) of some of the drink recipes that Dad used. Tikiskip persuaded the bartender to make a serving of the Bora Bora for us, and it was passed around for each to take a sip (with their own straw, of course). I realized last night that I have never tasted any of the concoctions that Dad served, so last night was my first!


 
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Capt'n Skully
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Joined: May 28, 2005
Posts: 404
From: The Lost Lagoon
Posted: 2007-03-07 11:35 am   Permalink

I was really curious due to the usage of blackberry brandy.. I found it lacking something- which could have been the recipe's balance as you said. I didn't like the initial taste, but the ending was ok. It had an interesting flavor overall, and I think a few tweaks would produce quite a tasty drink.

The Cherry Brandy and grenadine version will probably produce great results- seems more traditional to the drinks and of that era to me (but I'm no mixologist).

It's funny that you can finally try the drinks!


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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-07 9:14 pm   Permalink

I mentioned to the "tiki people" who gathered last night at the Tropical Bistro, that I think I may have figured out who the artist is who did the two menu covers. I zoomed in on the autographed area. It looked like it said "Ka'ne" to me. So I began cyber-sleuthing again and found the name of one artist that really seemed to fit. Have any of you heard of Herb Kawainui Kane? Below is a comparison of his signature then on the two menus, and now, from a current painting that was up for auction at e-Bay recently.







I found several interesting websites with decent info about his background. Go to the websites to learn more about him. He's fascinating!

http://www.coffeetimes.com/herbkane.html



excerpt~

In 1970, Herb Kawainui Kane left a successful career as a graphic artist in Chicago to begin a new life in the land of his ancestors. Within 14 years he was so renowned in Hawaii he was named one of the state's "Living Treasures."

-snip-

In his past two decades in Hawaii, Kane (pronounced Kah-neh) has become renowned as a fine artist, mostly as an oil painter. His work is seldom found in art galleries; usually every painting has a buyer before it's completed. He keeps a computerized data base of his work, but he's so prolific that even he doesn't know how many paintings he's done over the years.

"Not all my paintings are on the data base," he explains, "and I've never sat down and actually counted those that are on it."

In addition, he has created the artwork for six postage stamps for the United States, nineteen for the Marshall Islands, four for French Polynesia and another six for the Federated States of Micronesia. He also sculpts, has written three books and numerous magazine articles, and he is a very knowledgeable, self taught historian. Combining his love of both history and art, he paints what he loves- Hawaii's past.

-snip-

Kane continued to pursue his itch in college and graduated with a master's degree from the Art Institute of Chicago. He began working as a commercial artist in Chicago, but after "it got to be a bore," he switched to free-lance story illustration for magazines and books.

-snip-


end excerpt~

I believe that it could have been in the Chicago area that my Dad may have crossed paths with Mr. Ka'ne. Dad traveled extensively on business when I was very little, and we know that he was in Chicago a lot. What I don't know yet is if Mr. Ka'ne is still alive. I hope to contact him if he is. He would probably be around 80 years old by now.

http://www.hawaiiantrading.com/herb-kane/



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jpmartdog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2005
Posts: 650
From: Amesbury, Mass
Posted: 2007-03-08 04:34 am   Permalink

Once again this thread is thrilling. I was immediately impressed when I first saw the menu cover graphics and illustration - the wahine were beautifully drawn, and graphically the colors were dramatic and exciting. Now to know the artist and to see his progression. That photo you included with Ka'ne and his harbor painting is awesome. Obviously he is dedicated to historically depicting Hawaii's history. That painting of the harbor with outriggers and clipper ships is nothing less than amazing. Can't wait to search for more examples of Ka'ne's masterpieces!

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[ This Message was edited by: jpmartdog 2007-03-08 14:49 ]


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Jeff Central
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Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1591
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2007-03-08 11:54 am   Permalink

Great information on the menu artist Volcano Girl!! That is wonderful.

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff


 
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