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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Baltimore's Hawaiian Room at the Emerson Hotel - MAJOR DEVELOPMENT!!!
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Baltimore's Hawaiian Room at the Emerson Hotel - MAJOR DEVELOPMENT!!!
ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2007-03-19 11:54 am   Permalink

I found on Time Magazine's on-line archives, a story from the 1960's about Meki and JoAnn Toalepai. It is interesting to see that the Senator mentioned in the Time story, Daniel Inoyue, is still the Senator for Hawaii!

---------------
Colorless Conjugality
February 25, 1966

Maryland (the "Free State"), which adopted the nation's first antimiscegenation statute in 1661 to keep white women servants from marrying Negro slaves, also passed one of the nation's last such laws in 1935. Aimed at preventing Filipino mess boys at the Naval Academy in Annapolis from taking all-too-willing local brides, it bars marriage of either whites or Negroes with "a member of the Malay race." So, when Jo Ann Kovacs, 25, a white Baltimore nurse, and Meki Toalepai, 26, a handsome singer-dancer-musician from Western Samoa, applied for a marriage license in Baltimore this month, they were refused. Maryland, the unhappy couple quickly discovered, would allow Jo Ann to marry anyone whose skin was red, yellow or white, while Meki could legally take a wife whose skin was red, yellow or brown. But brown and white (or white, brown and black) are not a permissible permutation.

Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye, a Hawaiian of Japanese descent who lives in Maryland when Congress is in session, protested that half of the population of Hawaii would be considered "impure" in the eyes of Maryland. The law, he added, would make "interesting reading in many parts of Southeast Asia where we talk about democracy."

State Senator Verda Welcome, the only Negro in Maryland's upper house, immediately introduced a bill to abolish the miscegenation statute, but her repealer was given little chance in a legislature still dominated by rural, Dixie-oriented lawmakers. The Maryland law and similar statutes in 17 other states (all Southern or border states except Wyoming) may be killed only when miscegenation is considered squarely by the Supreme Court, which has thus far avoided the constitutional question involved. As for Meki and Jo Ann, they were married last week in the Washington (Episcopal) Cathedral before driving to their new home in California. "Who," asked Meki before leaving Maryland, "would want to live here?"
-----------------------

And another sidenote to the Emerson Hotel, and a tangentail connection to mixed drinks, that some may find interesting.

The Emerson Hotel was built by and named for Isaac E Emerson, who made a fortune by inventing Bromo-Seltzer, which was used to ail upset stomachs and indigestion. He formed the Emerson Drug Company in 1891.

In the 1950's, scientists from the Emerson Drug Company were wondering if a fruit flavored drink could be developed using similar methods as were used for their Bromo-Setzer product. They wanted to be able to drop a tablet into a glass of water, and create instant soda pop. The result was called 'Fizzies' - a candy which is still manufactured today. Their original cost was 8 tablets for 25 cents.

All we need now is a Baltimore developed mai-tai flavored Fizzie product. We could carry such a tablet in our wallets, and pull it out in case of an emergency, for those moments when we need a mai-tai and cannot just say no.

Vern



 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2960
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2007-03-19 12:59 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-03-19 11:54, ikitnrev wrote:
All we need now is a Baltimore developed mai-tai flavored Fizzie product. We could carry such a tablet in our wallets, and pull it out in case of an emergency, for those moments when we need a mai-tai and cannot just say no.

Vern




dang, that would be agent 86 all the way!


 
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cocoanutz
Member

Joined: Apr 16, 2007
Posts: 7
From: Island of Baltimore
Posted: 2007-04-16 6:31 pm   Permalink

Hey Tiki People (Maryland area - that is!)

Man, have I got a story for you folks!

Never thought I'd see pictures of my family posted on Tiki Central but... I knew sooner or later I'd end up joining the mix. The Baltimore Sun article you mention is the story about my mom and dad. It's all so funny because I stumbled upon Tiki Central just prior to Christmas when I went to put an ad in Baltimore Magazine for our Polynesian dance group, Meki's Tamure Polynesian Dance Group. I told the receptionist at the magazine's office that I was there to see the sales rep and told her I was with a Polynesian dance group. The receptionist replied, "Polynesian dance group?!? I haven't heard of such things since the Emerson Hotel!" I was taken aback for a second. I can't recall how many times I mentioned the Hawaiian Room at the Emerson Hotel to people and they looked at me with no clue as to what I was talking about. So there I was with this woman explaining to me how when you wanted a special night out on the town, you just went to the Emerson Hotel Hawaiian Room. I spent the next twenty minutes telling her how that where my parents met, performed and eventually fell in love (and got married). She got the biggest kick out of that story and she said she'd look to see if she had any stuff that she accidentally took from the restaurant. I hadn't heard anything from her to date but I'm interested.

After her stories, I sort of needed to know alittle more about the Hawaiian Room. I stumbled upon Tiki Central when Google-ing Emerson Room Tiki Mugs brought me to Johntiki's rant about losing his mug on a botched eBay bid. It made me think about the mugs we recently tossed in the trash after my grandmother died (she was mentioned in the Sun article). My grandmother "borrowed" many decorations from the Emerson Hawaiian Room. I remember her story of carrying a seven foot palm tree home that she transplanted in her own "Hawaiian Room" in a rowhome in Locust Point. She had posters, mugs, shells, trees, monkey pod stuff, photos, salt/pepper shakers, etc. She died several years back and most of her stuff went to the landfill when her house was cleaned out and sold. I didn't realize how interested I would become in the stuff now that it is gone. The family still has a couple items.

So,I found myself intrigued by all of your tiki postings. I thought I'd look more into it after Christmas vacation. Our family went to New Zealand, Samoa, Hawaii and California the day after Christmas for four weeks. I knew I needed to collect a few mugs while I was away. I did just that while in Hawaii on the way home back to Baltimore. Not only did I get some mugs from Da Big Kahuna and Tiki's Grill and Bar (both at Waikiki), I also bought past issues of Tiki Magazine at the Thor Store in Waikiki. I didn't realize how deep I was in the Tiki movement until I was reading the magazines in my Waikiki hotel and the particular article I was reading was all about Tiki sightings all about Oahu. I read about the Sven Kirsten book and realized because my dad was in the traveling Polynesian dance group, I had the opportunity to travel across country in 1976 stopping at many of the prominent Tiki establishments. I even know some of the performers shown in Sven's book. Off the top of my head I remember stopping at the Hukilau in Pittsburgh and staying with the owner, a guy named Val. I remember all of the exotic decorations, the funny drink names (names a 10 year has no business repeating), the fish netting everywhere, the cheesy cellophane skirts the dancers wore. I had no idea that 30 years later I'd be wanting a restaurant like that!

Back to the present day, we returned from the Xmas excursion and I received a call from Abigail of the Baltimore Sun. Although the story is mainly about the overturning of the law regarding mixed marriages in Maryland, it has hit many different people in many different ways. Our dance group website has gone nuts with bookings, people want their kids taking hula lessons and crazy notions of opening a Tiki-type grill and cafe are swirling in my head. The website by the way is
www.hula123.com I ordered the Kirsten book a couple of weeks back and can't believe that someone documented so many of the things that I lived thru growing up in a Polynesian entertainment type household. I've been to and performed at the Aloha Inn in Gaithersburg, the Marriott Kona Kai near DC, the Hukilau in Virginia Beach, the Hukilau in Chicopee, Massachusetts as well as other places I've forgotten. Some of you may remember such places.

I run our dance group now and I'm looking to put on some annual Tiki themed events in the coming year. Our calendar is somewhat booked to be trying anything this year. We mainly provide all live Polynesian floor shows wherever we get hired. I would love to meet some of you Maryland area people at some of our events. I wish I could attend the 2007 Hukilau in Ft. Lauderdale but we are already committed to other events. I look forward to hearing from some of you and I'm sure I'll be sharing some photos that I dig up from my memoirs (now know as Polynesian Pop artifacts!)

Enough for now my new found friends! Any Tiki carvers in Maryland? I'd love to learn.


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dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2242
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2007-04-16 6:45 pm   Permalink

aloha cocoanutz ~ what a great story! (well, except for the 'throwing grandma's stuff away part") ! welcome to Tiki Central, and thanks for sharing! i'm on the other coast, but sometime i'd sure love to see your dance group perform!

 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5732
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-04-16 8:44 pm   Permalink

Welcome to TC cocoanutz....and I agree with DB...great story!!! This is not the first time (and won't be the last) that a story on TC makes it out to someone just teetering on the edge of living in their own history over again. What a thrilling experience to know you have been to and performed in places that are now embellishing such great works as The Book Of Tiki. I look forward to more of your posts.
_________________
"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"


 
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Hula Cat
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2006
Posts: 171
From: Bellows Falls Vermont
Posted: 2007-04-16 9:21 pm   Permalink

Wow !......what a facinating thread ......cocoanutz, does your troup still do the show at the Hukilau in Mass.? ...if so many of us in N.E. would love to or have seen you already!....it must be quite the rush to see your family's story blossom onto a new wave of appreciation.
_________________


 
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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2007-04-16 9:23 pm   Permalink

Wow - I always hoped by posting this project I would eventually stumble across someone who had first hand knowledge of the Hawaiian Room and the Polynesian "scene" in the Baltimore area and now I've really hit it big time! I'd love to meet you and possibly plan a get-together with some of the local MD/DC/VA ohana - we could probably talk your ears off for a few hours! While you're at it, why not stop by the local tiki forum at http://www.marylanddctiki.com and say hello?!
_________________


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ikitnrev
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2007-04-16 9:57 pm   Permalink

Welcome Cocoanutz;

That was a great article in the Baltimore Sun. Your parents deserve lots of credit, and much applause also goes to you, for continuing the Polynesian dance traditions - especially in Baltimore, which is not exactly known for grass skirts and hula. You have definitely reached a group that will treasure your heritage, and would love to hear more of your stories and memories.

Vern


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2960
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2007-04-17 05:38 am   Permalink

hey cocoanutz!!!

what do you know, i live in mount washington and have a blog about the city and pop culture in general, and just did a posting about the hawaiian room that got alot of locals riled up about having a tiki place in baltimore again.

http://jjohnnydollar.blogspot.com/2007/04/baltimore-tiki-history-hawaiian-room-in.html

i'd say the time is ripe for live polynesian entertainment in baltimore again. i hope we can meet in real life sometime ~ there are lots of people in town who i think would be very supportive.

aloha, johnny dollar


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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5047
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-04-17 06:33 am   Permalink

This is why it is important that every Polynesian place that ever was has a thread on Tiki Central. The next generations hit the Internet and search for their past and they should come here, where we are all very interested in their stories.

Thanks for sharing. Can't wait for pictures!
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cocoanutz
Member

Joined: Apr 16, 2007
Posts: 7
From: Island of Baltimore
Posted: 2007-04-17 7:32 pm   Permalink

Thank you all for making me feel so welcomed!

Below is info on one of our short programs. I guess it's alright to forward this info about a performance we're doing. I'm not sure of all the rules on TC yet. If any of you can make this event it is free and there will be food available but you do need to register (call the number listed). I know my dance group is the finale and the 30 minute program will occur at 9:30pm. It is late but it's a nice event. All other groups will be more geared toward the Orient and India if similar to the past several years. The Tahitian drums will be rumbling at the end.

We are also doing luaus for social clubs on April 28 at 8pm in Arbutus and May 6 at 1pm in Baltimore Highlands (near Linthicum). I'm checking to see if tickets are available to the general public and will keep you posted.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THROUGH MAY 4, 2007

CONTACT: 301-454-1450; TTY 301-454-1472
APRIL 5, 2007

ANNUAL ASIAN PACIFIC HERITAGE MONTH RECEPTION

Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander traditions at the Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Reception on Friday, May 4, 2007 from 7:30-10 pm at the Newton White Mansion, 2708 Enterprise Road, Mitchellville, Md.

The mansion will be decorated with fans, parasols, and plum blossoms to honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Enjoy Asian snacks while watching authentic dances of Japan, China, Korea, Philippines and Hawaii. Visit the henna artist for your Indian-style hand decoration.

Admission is free and reservations are recommended. This event is for ages 14 and older.

For information call 301-454-1450, TTY 301-454-1472.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George's County owns and operates this facility.



Carving from Auckland Museum



Another Maori carving from Auckland Museum


Thought you might enjoy these couple photos from the trip!





 
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Surf tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2005
Posts: 268
From: Va Beach
Posted: 2007-04-17 8:17 pm   Permalink

quote:[I've been to and performed at the Aloha Inn in Gaithersburg, the Marriott Kona Kai near DC, the Hukilau in Virginia Beach]

WTF!! We have (or had) a Hukilau here? I did quick search on line and through the TC archives and this is the only mention of this (actually VB was only mentioned 24 times total, half of which was TCers mentioning that they were going on vacation here.) Doe say one else have info on this.

I have had zero luck in thift store shopping here so either the location may be an error or there are a few more efficient thrift shoppers in town.


 
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cocoanutz
Member

Joined: Apr 16, 2007
Posts: 7
From: Island of Baltimore
Posted: 2007-04-18 2:17 pm   Permalink

Sorry Surf Tiki, the place in VA Beach was called the Blue Hawaii and I don't think it's around anymore (don't know for sure). I should have confirmed the names of these places before I posted.

Does anyone know of a place called Trader Vincent's that used to be in Baltimore? My mom said it was a tiki bar too and was located where the Holiday Inn revolving rooftop restaurant was near Camden Yards. We are going to start going thru some of the photos tonight and try identifying the correct places. I myself am anxious to look thru her collection. Can't wait to begin sharing these with you all.

Please standby...


 
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johntiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2007-04-18 6:08 pm   Permalink

Standing by... with baited breath!

Never heard of Trader Vincent's... oh no, not another project!
_________________


 
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cocoanutz
Member

Joined: Apr 16, 2007
Posts: 7
From: Island of Baltimore
Posted: 2007-04-18 8:38 pm   Permalink

Dear friends,

If you've followed along with johntiki on his continuing saga of looking for photographic proof of the Emerson Hotel's Hawaiian Room decor and interiors, this will be a great day. I have dug thru several photo albums of mom's and there are oodles of pictures from both the Emerson and Trader Vincent's. I even found some match book covers and two swizzle sticks from the Emerson tucked in the book! The swizzle looks different than the one you photographed and they are not the Moai type mentioned in your earlier post. We'll talk more about that later. It's late and I'm excited for both you and me. I can't wait to catalog all of the photos. Below is one of my parents and the group. Funny side note (and you may not be able to see this clearly on this scanned photo), the guy in the back on the left is the same guy in Sven's Book of Tiki (see page 65). In Sven's book he is the guy in the back on the right side. Interestingly enough, this same guy is still playing in a show at Waikiki called the Hawaiian Hut. Amazing!

Anyhow, without further ado... introducing the Hawaiian Room at the Emerson Hotel, Baltimore



The back of the photo says 1968 possibly around August.

More to follow, I promise!


 
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