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The Volcano
Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-02-09 10:38 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-08-19 06:12, JTD wrote:
Kono,
The Boston Red Sox held spring training in Winter Haven from 1966-1992. That would also have provided a good source of customers/revenue for a couple of months each year.

JTD



Sorry, it's a bit off-topic, but yes, you are right about the spring training. I remember that we'd have some kids who would be at school each year for only that part of the year, year in and out, and the dad was a baseball player. I thought we had a big family with six kids, but that family had probably 8-11 kids. What I mostly remember about them is that their station wagon had a third set of doors, sort of like a stretch limousine, only not a limo! Can you imagine our eyes pop open when that family arrived to drop off the kids at school, and all those doors popped open?

Should I post this sort of thing in a PM in the future?


 
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Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2007-02-09 10:44 am   Permalink

Volcano Girl;
Thank you for posting! Its wonderful to hear first-hand stories!!!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-02-09 10:48 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-09 10:38, Volcano Girl wrote:
....Should I post this sort of thing in a PM in the future?



No no, all these details are of interest here. Check out my post on the bottom of the previous page to jog your memory some more.


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-02-09 11:08 am   Permalink

Excellent post, bigbrotiki!

There were matchbooks aplenty, probably one of the only vestiges of the place that I actually have in my possession here in OH. Alas, I do not have a scanner, but if I can find one in my stash of matchbooks (that's what I used to collect from each place I or my parents visited, at least for many years), I will take a digital shot and someone can show me how to post it once I get that done.

Now that I am dusting off some of my memories, I remember that the statue was actually called a Bora-Bora statue, not a Buddha. The item on the stand at the left of the Bora-Bora statue was NOT the menu, but as I recall, some sort of explanation of the origin of the statue. It would be cool if Mom still had any of these items tucked away. She might, but I don't really want to get anyone's hopes up...I just don't know what became of all that "stuff". I remember at Dad's passing that a few things were pulled out of hiding, like the menu, maybe a couple of pictures of the place.

The Tiki statue was similar to the Pele one you posted, except that I think the arms sort of went up to merge with the top part (a little bit like Atlas holding the world above him).

The last item you posted was about the size of a business card. Mom probably has some of that, too. The font used for the name was probably used on the menu cover as well. It was for sure the font used on the matchbooks which were bright orange like the menu.

Can you even believe the prices in those days?


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-02-09 11:20 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-09 10:48, bigbrotiki wrote:
Quote:

On 2007-02-09 10:38, Volcano Girl wrote:
....Should I post this sort of thing in a PM in the future?



No no, all these details are of interest here. Check out my post on the bottom of the previous page to jog your memory some more.



Glad to hear that the off-topic details are okay as well. You have jogged my memory some by enlarging those pics. It WAS quite a showplace, especially for it's time. There was nothing like it around for probably even hundreds of miles. Remember, this was still pre-WDW, although construction for that had begun.

I remember that there used to be billboards posted on the highway (I-75) announcing it's approach probably even in to Georgia (ok, it seemed like that as a kid). I'm guessing the billboards were also posted along the southern route heading towards Miami. The billboards featured the same dark-haired, dark-skinned, voluptuous Polynesian woman that the menu boasted.





 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-02-09 11:30 am   Permalink

Oh man, a BILLBOARD sized ad for it, that would be a winner! Off course, these are the kind of road side ephemera that nobody ever photographed, and that are lost in the winds of time...

Looking forward to viewing your finds, picture posting has actually gotten quite easy here on TC now.


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-02-09 12:09 pm   Permalink

Rats! I just went to look for the matches, and found that there aren't any Volcano ones in the stash that I have on hand. That means one of two things: either they are in a box in a storage unit, or they were among belongings I had that were ruined by a flood a few years ago. (I lost a lot of photos and sentimental items.)

Well, I'll just keep my chin up and hope that Mom has some stuff she's willing to "share".

A few more memories, have come back. I remember there was also some sort of flyer about a half sheet of paper that had details like the one posted on the business card. It was in black and white. I know that I used to have that pasted in my scrapbook from when I was a kid, but I'm not sure where that scrapbook is right now. I thought I had it in my living room with other photo books, but I guess not, as I'm not seeing it there. I'm sure I will stumble upon it at some point.

Also, sometimes my three oldest siblings worked at the restaurant if they were short-handed. I can only imagine that each of them have very different perspectives about the restaurant from my own. We younger kids (my older brother, younger sister, and myself) only had to do odd jobs, like folding stacks and stacks of cloth napkins into those cute shapes that stand up by themselves, or running to give someone a message from the office when whoever was being sought wouldn't answer the phone extension (like in the nightclub building, since it was louder than in the other buildings). Most of the time, being there was cool for the three of us younger kids. Sometimes it was really boring, and although there was a small TV in the back office space, wrestling was the only thing my brother would turn it to.

One of the traditions that we observed on a weekly basis was that on Sundays after Mass, we went there as a family for the best roast beef buffet in town (apparently, carving it fresh for each customer as they watched was a big deal back then). The guys carving the roast wore those big poofy chef hats and white aprons. I'm thinking that maybe the Green Grasshopper ice cream was maybe vanilla with creme-de-menthe mixed in. Something like that anyway.

There was a McDonald's just a block or so away on the same side of the street, which I think was the west side of hwy-17. I remember a hotel chain also being nearby, like maybe a Holiday Inn or something like that. I don't know if any of that is still there, but probably not. It has been nearly 40 years since The Volcano was around.


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-02-09 2:03 pm   Permalink

I found this while looking around. It explains some of what Kono found out about the Volcano originally. I guess that's where the mistaken last name of F came into play, and also the part about the Italian family.

http://www.dizzyrambler.com/scrapbook/seventies/matanzas/matanzas.html

****In late 1970 Ron Whitney decided to start playing the Rustic Lounge in Winter Haven and after about a year or so he was offered the opportunity by Ric Furnari to move the band to "Dante's Blue Room", an upscale Italian restaurant and lounge in southeast Winter Haven. Ron cut the act down to a trio and along with Ronnie Skinner on guitar and Allen Keefer on Drums the band, then using the name Ron and Matanzas, started packing the crowds in.

After Raintree County broke up, Jesse and I didn't play for several months, but eventually (probably early 1973) we had started going over to the Blue Room and jammin' with the guys on Saturday nights. After a few weeks Furnari liked what he was hearing and the place was packing out on the week-ends, so we were hired to play Friday and Saturday nights with the band. Business was so good, Furnari soon moved the club into a vacated Polynesian restaurant in downtown Winter Haven that had large twin Tiki-hut style buildings separated by a garden area complete with rattan bridges and fountains. He dubbed his new venture, Dante's Roma and Inferno Lounge. In the beginning, the restaurant was in one building and the lounge was in the other and the band played five nights (Jesse and I worked 3 nights, I think!) a week. It was also during this time that I made my ill fated attempt to play the banjo (?) as part of the "showtime" portion of the week-end shows. ****

I remember hearing the name Ric Furnari floating around after we had moved from WH, but I had no idea of the context of it till now. I have no idea if he was involved with the restaurant at the time my father owned it, or if he was just someone who bought the property after we left.


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Kono
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2007-02-09 3:47 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-09 14:03, Volcano Girl wrote:
I found this while looking around. It explains some of what Kono found out about the Volcano originally. I guess that's where the mistaken last name of F came into play, and also the part about the Italian family.

http://www.dizzyrambler.com/scrapbook/seventies/matanzas/matanzas.html

****In late 1970 Ron Whitney decided to start playing the Rustic Lounge in Winter Haven and after about a year or so he was offered the opportunity by Ric Furnari to move the band to "Dante's Blue Room", an upscale Italian restaurant and lounge in southeast Winter Haven. Ron cut the act down to a trio and along with Ronnie Skinner on guitar and Allen Keefer on Drums the band, then using the name Ron and Matanzas, started packing the crowds in.

After Raintree County broke up, Jesse and I didn't play for several months, but eventually (probably early 1973) we had started going over to the Blue Room and jammin' with the guys on Saturday nights. After a few weeks Furnari liked what he was hearing and the place was packing out on the week-ends, so we were hired to play Friday and Saturday nights with the band. Business was so good, Furnari soon moved the club into a vacated Polynesian restaurant in downtown Winter Haven that had large twin Tiki-hut style buildings separated by a garden area complete with rattan bridges and fountains. He dubbed his new venture, Dante's Roma and Inferno Lounge. In the beginning, the restaurant was in one building and the lounge was in the other and the band played five nights (Jesse and I worked 3 nights, I think!) a week. It was also during this time that I made my ill fated attempt to play the banjo (?) as part of the "showtime" portion of the week-end shows. ****

I remember hearing the name Ric Furnari floating around after we had moved from WH, but I had no idea of the context of it till now. I have no idea if he was involved with the restaurant at the time my father owned it, or if he was just someone who bought the property after we left.



Now that's some sleuthing!

TC member Bre-elle believes that she has seen the original building recently. Given that some of the other info I found was incorrect, maybe the building(s) still stand? Do you have a pretty good idea of where it was located (cross streets)? I'll go and try and snap some pics of the buildings if they are still there.


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2007-02-09 4:34 pm   Permalink

I've scanned Google Earth along Hwy 17 approx 4 driving miles from Cypress Gardens and I don't see anything that would indicate an A-frame roof with perhaps a small pond next to it (of course, that could have changed over the years... and at this altitude, all the roofs looks A-frame!). Volcano Girl, do you recall if it was located next to a large lake, which might be Howard Lake?

 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-02-09 8:31 pm   Permalink

Yes, it was located near Lake Howard. I started writing a great post, but accidentally closed out the tab, so I'm gonna have to start from scratch. (Please bear with me, I'm a little frustrated right now.)

I was able to find out that there's a Budget Inn on 6th St and Ave D which is, coincidentally, 4 mi from Cypress Gardens (I got that from the website info). - see
http://www.budgetinnwinterhaven.com/aboutus/

Here's the address of the Budget Inn there:
401 6th St NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881

and the Google Maps link:
http://maps.google.com/

I'm trying to get the whole link in, but if it doesn't work, you may have to cut and paste the rest of the address.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=401+6th+St+NW ,+Winter+Haven,+FL+33881+&ie=UTF8&z=16&t=h&om=1&iwloc=addr

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=401+6th+St+NW,+Winter+Haven,+FL+33881+&ie=UTF8&z=16&t=h&om=1&iwloc=addr

Anyway, once you get there, if you zoom in a couple of clicks, and use the hybrid view, you can see the rooftops of the buildings and some of the nearby topography. I think to me it looks like the Budget Inn is on the NW corner of 6th and Ave D. The Volcano (in my humble estimation) was either north of the BI adjacent to Ave F, or it could be across Ave D from the Budget Inn. Can you see the pink/reddish colored bldg on the zoomed in view? Is it possible that that is the same bldg as the young man was standing in front of in my previous post where Ric Furnari's name was mentioned? I can't really tell for sure, but since it's been 40 years for me, I guess it could be. However, the bldg layout that is north of the BI looks more like the layout of the Volcano restaurant and lounge that I remember. I hope my descriptions aren't confusing. To break it down, I'm thinking that it was in the block between Ave F and D on the west side of 6th St (hwy 17). If anyone was able to go there and take some shots of those buildings, I might be able to tell you if it's the same thing, but then again, if someone had an architect redesign it, it could look completely different. Heck, the restaurant was a far cry from the pictures of my Dad's home when he was growing up. You'd never know that it was the same place from the outside. (But on the inside, some of the old house remained intact, and it still somewhat resembled a home - like the part where Chinese Joe used to live was up some stairs and there were doors all down a hallway as though they had been bedrooms in the past). I hope any of this is helpful.


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-02-10 12:20 pm   Permalink

Very interesting. So if the Volcano was already an empty building by 1973, it existed for only 5 years or so, which explains why there are so few ephemera in circulation.
Considering the timeline, the million Dollar investment might have been too hard to recouperate, since the late 60s were already the tail end of the Polynesian craze. The same thing happend to the Mauna Loa, a lavish Detroit Tiki Temple that only lasted a few years.


 
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Volcano Girl
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2007
Posts: 92
From: Columbus, OH via Gainesville, FL
Posted: 2007-02-10 11:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2007-02-10 12:20, bigbrotiki wrote:
Very interesting. So if the Volcano was already an empty building by 1973, it existed for only 5 years or so, which explains why there are so few ephemera in circulation.
Considering the timeline, the million Dollar investment might have been too hard to recouperate, since the late 60s were already the tail end of the Polynesian craze. The same thing happend to the Mauna Loa, a lavish Detroit Tiki Temple that only lasted a few years.



Yes, it is a shame that it was so short-lived. I think 5 years would have been about the max. It was definitely empty by 73, maybe even summer of 72. My older brother got married one of those years (heck if I remember which, but I'm thinking 72), and I remember that the building was vacant when we returned for his wedding whichever summer it was.


 
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Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1591
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2007-02-11 05:19 am   Permalink

WOW!!!! Thanks for all the stories Volcano Girl. The pictures are great Bigbro!! Thanks for posting these great Tiki memories.

This is why I love TC.............research!!!!!

Below is a menu of The Volcano restaurant that was located in South Bend, Indiana. No relationship to the one in Winter Haven though but interesting nonetheless.





Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff


 
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ChefMike
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 35
From: Yellow Springs, Ohio
Posted: 2007-02-11 07:20 am   Permalink

I think this may be the address of The Volcano:
THE VOLCANO
445 6TH STREET N W
WINTER HAVEN, FL 33881
Sorry if its already been posted.


 
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