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The Volcano
Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-02 1:40 pm   Permalink

Here's our Polynesian-style chef, "Chinese Joe", at work in the kitchen! Wish I knew what yummy food he was preparing! There's a blotch in the lower right corner of the picture that you can ignore.



So how old do you all think he is? I thought roughly around 60, but that's a guess. Did I mention that Mom thought he went to work for The Kapok Tree restaurant after we closed up? Apparently they were opening a branch in Madeira Beach about that same time. I understand the main one in Clearwater closed in the last several years.




 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-02 1:52 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-02 13:28, bigbrotiki wrote:
With the help of a magnifier, I could read them well, so one is into it enough, they can. Regarding more articles, it depends if they have anything unique to offer, or just restaurant reviews, which might get repetitious.

From my viewpoint, it's all about eye candy. The visuals are what really draws people in and transports Tiki culture, so items like the menu covers, and the 8x11s are the most impressive. Part of that is also the architecture, like blueprints or even renderings of a Tiki temple. And interiors with Tiki decor like statues and lamps.....

When they have seen all that, then people get curious about the background, and will want to read more about it.
We are kind of at this point here, so yes, any info is welcome, just not too much of the same.



Thanks for the input, I'll be working on scanning in the pics next. It's going much slower for me today. Another new learning curve I guess. On the positive side, I'm getting better and faster at this with each item I do, still I'm a bit frustrated!


 
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jpmartdog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2005
Posts: 650
From: Amesbury, Mass
Posted: 2007-03-02 3:42 pm   Permalink

VolcanoGirl - I think you are doing a great job with the new scanner -
Thanks for all your efforts - we are all appreciating this post! Not sure what kind of scanner you have, but I learned some helpful tips with my scanner. Maybe the first is obvious but to crop the item when you select the image as it appears on the scanner bed, just before you Save or Send the scan to file. When scanning items like news articles, magazines or anything that is a printed original as opposed to a photo - I go into my menu items (either under settings or tools) and select *Sharpen details in photos & also *Descreen printed originals. Feel free to pm me if you have any specific questions!
I agree this would make a great display at an event and it seems like you will have enough information, photos, stories and first person narrative to make a wonderful publication!
Eager to help any way I can!


 
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Kono
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2007-03-02 3:51 pm   Permalink

I think you're doing fine on the scanning. I prefer the "yellowed" look to the bright white but either is fine. I have no trouble reading the newsprint and I enjoy reading it.

What software are you using to edit the pics? Like jp said, use descreen when you scan and a little sharpen before you shrink the pic. I like to throw in a little +brightness and +contrast myself.

It would be nice if there were a place to post mega-jumbo size pics but I can't think of good solution for that at this time. I'm thinking maybe blogspot lets you post larger pics that you link to with a smaller "thumbnail" in your post. Feel like starting a Volcano blog?

Look forward to the rest!


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-02 5:03 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-02 15:51, Kono wrote:
I think you're doing fine on the scanning. I prefer the "yellowed" look to the bright white but either is fine. I have no trouble reading the newsprint and I enjoy reading it.

What software are you using to edit the pics? Like jp said, use descreen when you scan and a little sharpen before you shrink the pic. I like to throw in a little +brightness and +contrast myself.

It would be nice if there were a place to post mega-jumbo size pics but I can't think of good solution for that at this time. I'm thinking maybe blogspot lets you post larger pics that you link to with a smaller "thumbnail" in your post. Feel like starting a Volcano blog?

Look forward to the rest!



I have an HP scanner (part of our printer), and the photo program is Microsoft Picture It! Photo 7.0. So far I've just been using the brightness and contrast adjustments, but after seeing yours and JP's hints, I will try the other things also. As for a Volcano blog, right now I think this is all I can handle, LOL, but I'll keep my mind open to it as we move along.

Stay tuned!! I'm getting ready to upload more!


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-02 5:49 pm   Permalink

Picture yourself walking up to this tropical paradise. There are fountains of water spraying upward out of lagoon pools all over the entrance area. Of course the landscape is filled with tropical foliage, palm trees, palm bushes, a bit of hibiscus here and there. But mostly running water. You cross a little wooden bamboo bridge, and the water from the lagoon flows underneath you as you cross. The walkway is covered with a thatch roof (in case of inclement weather). You (or sometimes a doorman) pull open these two huge, HEAVY wooden doors (I think they were carved as well). You walk into a rock-walled hallway of sorts (maybe 10 ft. long?), and there's still running water on each side of you (about knee high) in pools that it collects in. Suddenly you see in front of you an opening...



Voila! You enter a huge atrium area are greeted by a Bora Bora statue. (However, this picture doesn't really do it justice.)



Next you sense the enormity of the room you've entered, and look up to see a very raised domed thatched ceiling. You begin to hear gentle music coming from somewhere. You take a deep breath and exhale. You feel tranquil and peaceful, yet wonderfully aware! Welcome to the Volcano!






 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-02 6:05 pm   Permalink

Were you feeling it??!! I was!!

I wish I could do that with every post. Sorry that I'll have to get back to a bit of reality here. Here's more pics!

Mom's note on this next one was that she thought it was taken of one of the dining room waitresses on break in the Tiki Lounge. (Notice her outfit versus the cocktail waitresses coming up in later pics - or like the ones from the luau at Cypress Gardens). I'm pretty sure Dad didn't allow any of the workers to smoke while on duty. This was probably even taken before the evening crowd showed up. I tried enlarging the items in the background, without much enhancement value. I hope you'll be able to see enough of it here.



Here's one of a cocktail waitress in front of the Bora Bora. I think I see a torch over her left shoulder.





 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-02 6:44 pm   Permalink

Here's two dining room waitresses showing off their colorful outfits in front of the Bora Bora. I wonder what his nickname was - my brother had mentioned about it earlier. I never knew they gave him one! There is a small sign at the base of the statue, and it probably described something about the BB, however, I don't remember the details.



If the other bar was in the Tiki Lounge as Mom thought, then this was probably the bar in the Lava Club. Some of the decorative pieces are the same as the ones in the other bar. Sorry this one came out much redder than I thought!



This looks like a spread for for one those buffets you've seen in the ads. I've always enjoyed the dry-ice effect!



I tried to get a close up of the tiki things just for all of you. Hope it came out okay! If anyone knows any info about any of the pieces, please fill the rest of us in!



This is one of the buffet workers. Looks like he's getting going on a crown roast. At least that's what it looks like to me. I can't tell what's in the pan. Maybe oven-roasted potatoes?



Apparently this was taken on opening night. From left to right: GrandDad (just barely), Grandma P. (GrandDad remarried after his first wife died), a waitress, Mom, and Dad on the right behind her. Those curtains behind them are made of black bamboo beads. You could still see beyond them a little, but it was obscured a bit. I think the kitchen area was behind them, so Dad didn't want anyone to have to look at that while they were eating. This was taken in one of the thatched huts that you can see in the postcard. I think it was one of Dad's favorite tables to eat at. We sat there a lot when we went, but not every time.



I hate to say it, but this is all I've gotten done so far. I will keep working on this, but this is probably it for tonight. I need to take a little break! Could someone please make me a Mai-Tai?








 
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Kono
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2007-03-03 06:07 am   Permalink

I made you a mai tai last night but I drank it!

Thanks for all the work. You're doing a fine job on the scanning. I wonder who made the Bora Bora statue? What's interesting about that statue is that it has the marquesan style head on top of a moai style body.

Did you say that you have a sketch or blueprint of the layout? I'm having a hard time picturing it in my head. Am I correct that there was a Bora Bora Lounge, Lava Lounge, Lanai and Dining Room?

Do you remember ever hearing about or visiting the other Florida tiki establishments? As Sven mentioned, the large bowl at the Cypress Gardens luau is the one that they use at the Mai Kai in Ft Lauderdale.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-03-03 08:10 am   Permalink

Wow, cool stuff. The first thing that strikes me is the "What's missing in this picture" effect between the two shots of the bar at the Tiki Lounge. In the one with the waitress smoking (as far as I remember, everybody was smoking everywhere all the time back then) there is a very seductive black velvet nude painting on the back wall, which is replaced with a rather mean looking native in the one a couple of photos below. I bet that some of the more conservative churchgoin' folk had complained, maybe that native was a joke about that....
That nude is a known motif, a wahine drinking out of a shell, and I think it was done by Tyree, not Leeteg.

Most the folks here know this postcard image, but I wanted to show YOU this. Here is a Mai Kai mystery girl carrying that famed mystery bowl:



It has been reproduced since, but not with the same detail. A you can see in your photo of the Luau table, the straws went in thru the Tiki's mouths.

And here is a late 60s ad for Calvert's Leilani Rum, showing the Tiki Leilani mug they practically gave away as a promotional item. (See close up of text below)




Now that modernist BOTTLE sometimes stood in a vacu-form display that looked like this (flash-lit):


This is the Tiki you see as a centerpiece on your buffet table. It came with a light bulb inside to light the sign and make the Tiki glow, and a light bulb outside to back light the bottle (shot without flash):


This is a rare item now, that vacu-form plastic is very fragile, but TC's Swanky just scored one on e-bay for very little money.
I wanted one ever since I had seen them on the walls of the Tiki Ti in LA, where they have been re-engineered as wall sconces lighting their cocktail menu (sans feet). Can someone maybe post a photo of that?

I vote that some TCer who has a bunch should send Volcano Girl a Tiki Leilani mug for her wonderful thread here! (And send me a Leilani Rum bottle for my display! )

I won't be posting for the next two weeks, because I'll be in Havana, but will be back with Trader Vic's pics and stories. Aloha all.



 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-03 09:42 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-03 06:07, Kono wrote:
I made you a mai tai last night but I drank it!

Thanks for all the work. You're doing a fine job on the scanning. I wonder who made the Bora Bora statue? What's interesting about that statue is that it has the marquesan style head on top of a moai style body.

Did you say that you have a sketch or blueprint of the layout? I'm having a hard time picturing it in my head. Am I correct that there was a Bora Bora Lounge, Lava Lounge, Lanai and Dining Room?

Do you remember ever hearing about or visiting the other Florida tiki establishments? As Sven mentioned, the large bowl at the Cypress Gardens luau is the one that they use at the Mai Kai in Ft Lauderdale.



Hey, no fair on the mai tai!!

Oh, yes, and the layouts. It turns out that they seem to be sketches Dad must have made of how to arrange a certain portion of the restaurant for say like a private party or something. They aren't making real sense to me. It must have been something he was playing around with, because the outlines of the space are all the same, but some of the basics, like where the restrooms are changes on each one, the different stations are in different places (ie. water station, turn-in order station), even the manager's office in a different place on each sketch. Also there are notations with math problems about how much of a certain thing needed to be ordered or accounted for. It does not show the layout of the rest of the building, at least not in a way that I'm understanding it yet. I'll try to ask Mom if it supposed to complement some other drawing or layout.

As for the blueprint, I think it's just of the house when Dad used to live there as a kid. It doesn't relate to the transformed building in any way that I can discern, other than it's what the structure was like before it was altered. Seeing that she sent some pictures of the house before it was changed, that's probably all she had, so she sent it. I'll get around to showing the couple of those house pics after a while.

I really, really wish that I had a photo of the entrance to the restaurant, through the covered walkway. I mean it's great to see the volcano and the lagoons and the buildings, but that next (missing) view would be total sweetness. It's funny, but as helpful as these pictures are to give you an idea of the place, it almost seems like they are not the parts that I really want to convey. I guess we will have to glean as much information as we can from each one of them.

As for the buildings, there were two. I think that the nightclub building housed pretty much one long room, with a bar to the left as you entered and the stage on the far side (I think, but I'm not 100% on the stage position, it could have been on the right about midway.) This nightclub building was called the Lava Club by Mom, but I think I called it the Tiki Lounge in my earliest posts.

The restaurant building housed the main dining area, the Bora Bora Lounge/aka the Tiki Lounge by Mom's words/aka the lanai. I always thought the lanai was the entryway before you got to the atrium part when the BB statue was, but I guess I was using the wrong terminology. So really there were three areas that were used by most guests (the dining room, the lounge, and then the nightclub, which was separate). If Dad had a separate banquet room, I am unaware of its location. I would have to guess that for private parties he must have closed off an area of the restaurant to regular customers, maybe used some sort of room divider or curtain. I just don't know for sure, but will ask Mom if she remembers any more about that. Maybe that's what those sketches of layouts are for.

The only establishment that I had heard of back then that was Polynesian (besides our own) was the one at Disneyland. We had been there about a year or so before Dad opened the Volcano. Mom said that she remembers that Dad had visited Anne Langford's (?) place in Ft. Lauderdale, and I can only guess that she is referring to the Mai-Tai there. However, I can't seem to find a reference to Anne Langford with any of the historical information online about the Mai-Tai. I got the impression that they were sort of friendly competitors, so it's possible that Dad either borrowed the bowl from them or had one of his own. Maybe when the place closed the Mai-Kai got some of the ephemera?? Unless someone knows anyone at the Mai-Kai to talk to, I don't think we'll ever really know some of these specifics.

I have seen one picture at the Critiki Mai-Kai site that reminds me of the entrance to the Volcano. Here it is!



That little bridge over the water...picture something akin to that, but instead have it be a thatch-covered walkway. The part closest to us (where the musicians are) would be walkway on top of grass with the lagoon and volcano to the left (out of sight from this vantage point, but not in real life). Once you cross the bridge (which was longer than the one in the drawing) are the big heavy double doors to the restaurant. After you go through the doors, the BB is in front of you, the main dining are is to the left and the bar/lounge is on the right. Is it coming into your imagination any better? I will attempt to sketch a layout and will scan it in at some point.

I do know that Dad loved Trader Vic's, but I don't know which location, or if he discovered it after the Volcano or before. He traveled extensively across the US and loved eating out at any fine restaurant, not just Polynesian. I have matches somewhere in my huge collection (if it still exists) from the Mai-Kai although I have never been there myself. Some of the pictures on Critiki look very dark on the restaurant parts, and the ambience at the Volcano was not as dark as those. If there are any of the old Kahiki in Columbus, it was more similar to the atmosphere there. I do know for a fact that Dad had no idea of the Kahiki's existence until we took him there in the late 90's. We were stunned that there was another restaurant as close in ambience to the Volcano, and had never heard of it in all Dad's travels (although in fairness to Dad, I don't think he visited Columbus at all until we moved here).


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-03 10:05 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-03 08:10, bigbrotiki wrote:
In the one with the waitress smoking (as far as I remember, everybody was smoking everywhere all the time back then) there is a very seductive black velvet nude painting on the back wall, which is replaced with a rather mean looking native in the one a couple of photos below. I bet that some of the more conservative churchgoin' folk had complained, maybe that native was a joke about that....
That nude is a known motif, a wahine drinking out of a shell, and I think it was done by Tyree, not Leeteg.



I was looking at those two pics very closely as well. It seems to me that they are in two different places. One is in the nightclub bar, the other is in the lounge across the atrium from the dining room. I don't know which is which, but the ceiling areas look different to me. I would think that this one is in the nightclub because of the seductive picture,



and that this one was in the lounge. However, Mom thought it was the other way around. I will try to ask her more.



The rest of your info is way cool!

Quote:

I vote that some TCer who has a bunch should send Volcano Girl a Tiki Leilani mug for her wonderful thread here! (And send me a Leilani Rum bottle for my display! )



I second that vote! Any takers?

Quote:

I won't be posting for the next two weeks, because I'll be in Havana, but will be back with Trader Vic's pics and stories. Aloha all.



We will miss your input!! Have a great time!


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-03 10:57 am   Permalink

Here's a few more that I was able to clean up a bit. In this first one, is it just me, or does the figure at the top of the sign seem to be at an angle, as if it spun around?? I don't remember that but I suppose it's possible! It also looks like Hwy 17 (aka 6th St) was already two lanes in each direction.



I know you've all seen lots of shots like this, but I thought I would go ahead and show you everything I've got. This would be off the covered porch area (isn't that called a 'lanai'?) of the restaurant bldg, looking north and east a bit to the nightclub across the lagoon. You can see one of the geysers spouting in the background, and the waterfall on the volcano is flowing, too (I think it was shut off during the closed night hours).



Here's another view of the volcano from the covered walkway. With that piece of bamboo laying there on the mulch, I'm guessing that we haven't opened for business yet. On the right you can see a bit of the lanai (covered porch) of the restaurant bldg. Beyond that would be where the water through the glass wall was for the dining room guests.



This one is a view of Lake Howard at sundown from the back side (west) of the restaurant. The road that you see there, in my mind would be the equivalent of Ave. E (which doesn't seem to exist anymore) or possibly Ave. F. The old Continental Can Company would have been behind the photographer. Across the street is the property that the Volcano sat on. I don't know if the parking lot extended that far back to Lake Howard Dr. (which the car is on). I tried to enhance this better, but couldn't without skewing too many other features.



So this is the extent of the photos that I have scanned and edited thus far. There are still more, and I'm probably about 2/3 of the way through them all.




 
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The Granite Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 02, 2005
Posts: 812
From: Nashua, NH
Posted: 2007-03-03 11:14 am   Permalink

This thread continues to amaze!!!!

Thank you Volcano Girl!


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-03-03 11:31 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-03 11:14, The Granite Tiki wrote:
This thread continues to amaze!!!!

Thank you Volcano Girl!



You are quite welcome! I am glad there is someone to enjoy it!



 
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