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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Savage Renewal - Tiki and Golf - The 1974 Hawaiian Open Tiki Decanter - where did you find yours?
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Savage Renewal - Tiki and Golf - The 1974 Hawaiian Open Tiki Decanter - where did you find yours?
Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2804
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2006-05-01 2:04 pm   Permalink

Tiki and Golf have always been inextricably linked throughout history. I mean, what could be more tiki than golf? First, you've got all those giant Moai heads on mini-putt courses throughout suburban America. Then there's the.... Well, secondly you've got those, um.... You see, there's this proliferation of.... Um...

Oh yeah! There's the Jim Beam Tiki Decanter from the 1974 Hawaiian Open. Whew! I knew there was another connection there somewhere. "But wait, Sabu" you say. "You collect postcards and matchbooks. What can you possibly tell us about Tiki Decanters?"

First of all, I must say, not everything I do involves postcards and matchbooks. I can talk about tiki mugs and decanters with the best of them. And I can do it without getting all nerdy and delving into my postcard collection. And that's what I'm gonna do. But first let me show you this nifty postcard that Jim Beam published in the late 70s, as part of series depicting their commemorative decanters

There it is. One of the most appealing and repulsive tiki artifacts of all time. An incongruous mix of Polynesian tribal culture, Whisky, Golf, and Airplanes. The true bastard of the tikiphile's collection. Its impressive size and heft make it a show-stopper when you reach back and pull this ceramic idol from among the bottles behind the tiki bar. But then with a squeaky twist and a pop, you pull out the embarrassing golf-ball stopper and the smell of 30-year-old Kentucky corn-whisky fills the air, and the Polynesian spell is broken. To understand our friend here, we first need to unravel the mystery that led a Whisky company to create a Tiki decanter for a Hawaiian Golf Tournament sponsored by an Arline company.

Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to do that. Instead, let me distract you with this cool copy of the The Waikiki Beach Press from February 1974 that I own.

The text of this article reads: "Islanders and visitors will be flocking to Waialae Country Club on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1-3, for the last three days of the ninth annual Hawaiian Open Golf Tournament.

Top golfers will be vying for $220,00 worth of prizes. Tickets will be $6 per person through Sunday and may be purchased at the gate, most hotel lobby tour desks and at United Air Lines ticket office in the Beachcomber Hotel on Kalakaua Avenue.

ABC-TV will televise the final two tournament days of the Open on Saturday, Feb. 2, and Sunday, Feb 3, via color satellite to the Mainland.

Johnny Miller, triple tournament winner of the young 1974 pro golf season, will head the list of top pros appearing in the tournament.

Defending Hawaiian Open champion John Schlee will be back having completed the 1973 season as tenth in the overall money standings with a total of $118,000.

In addition to Schlee, spectators will view the smashing drives of Arnold Palmer, top money winner and traveling golf counselor for United Air Lines; former Hawaiian Open winner and leading pro, Lee Trevino; leading professional Japanese golfers Takaaki Kono, Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki, Takashi Murakami and Isao Aoki, and Australian golfer Bruce Crampton, 1969 Hawaiian Open winner and four-time 1973 winner of the Phoenix, Tucson, & Houston Opens and the American Golf Classic.

United Air Lines is the sponsor and major underwriter of the tournament, assisted by Newsweek Magazine and Hertz as contributing underwriters as well as over 35 other local and Mainland sponsors."

It is chilling to note, that of the golfers mentioned in this article, many were affected by the "Curse of the Jim Beam Tiki" in following years:

  • Johnny Miller's career was plagued by a series of injuries and, later, the yips.
  • John Schlee would never have the success he had in 1973 and died a forgotten man.
  • Arnold Palmer would go on to make embarrassing commercials for Hertz Rental Cars with OJ Simpson.
  • Three out of the four Japanese golfers mentioned were eaten by monsters in the movie "TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA" only one year later.

Even more proof of the Tiki Decanter's Curse is the fact the 1974 Hawaiian Open was actually won by Jack Niklaus, who is not even mentioned in the article, and who it turns out, was a regular patron of several famous mainland tiki bars, where he would often drink Mai-Tais. I think the influence of the Tiki Decanter's power is clearly evident.

Even more amazing is the photograph on the front page of the paper

In this photo, Hawaiian Open Greeter, Danny Kaleikini, attempts the almost impossible task of teeing-off with a Fresh Pineapple as a golf tee, while at the same time embracing a scantilly clad stewardess. I've tried this shot many times and I can tell you, it is nigh improbable. Only the power of the "Jim Beam Tiki Decanter" could allow Danny Kaleikini to accomplish such a feat.

Another source of Danny Kaleikini's power might come from the rare Hawaiian Open jumpsuit he's wearing. Just look at the United Airlines Pinapple logo all over the fabric in this closeup

Oops. I'm sorry. I accidentally posted a picture of my Ceasar Salad. A simple mistake. Here's the photo of the fabric

The text under the photo reads: "Danny Kaleikini, star of the Kahala Hilton Hotel show and official greeter for the Hawaiian Open, gets in some swinging practice for the ninth annual tournament at the Waialae Country Club until Sunday, Feb. 3. Assisting Danny is attractive Lennie Omori, reservations agent for United Air Lines, sponsor and major underwriter of the annual golfing event. First prize for this year's event will be $44,000 with the total purse, $220,000, largest in the tournament's history."

"Well, Sabu," you may ask. "Have you ever personally been affected by the Curse of the Jim Beam Tiki?"

Funny you should ask. As a matter of fact, I have. It happened almost ten years ago at an Estate Sale at a 1950s-Ranch house in the Los Angeles suburb of Lomita. I had just pulled up to the curb in front of the sale when I noticed two vintage four-foot fern-wood tikis lying on a blanket on the lawn. I quicky got out of the car and raced up to the tikis. Each one was in perfect condition as they had been kept under an awning by the swimming pool since the 1960s. Trying to stay as calm as possible, I asked the owner how much he wanted for the two tikis.

"I'm afraid I sold them about five minutes ago to that gentleman over there for twenty bucks." he told me. I whirled around, and there, getting a hand-dolly out his truck was none other than Jack Niklaus!!

Haha. No, I'm just kidding. I had never seen the man before in my life. But the fact was, I was minutes too late to participate in the tiki-find of my career. Despondent, I rummaged half-heartedly through the remaining merchandise on the lawn. I opened a cardboard box, and there, right in front of me was a 1974 Jim Beam Hawaiian Open Tiki Decanter. I realized right there, if I was ever to escape the curse I would have to purchase that decanter right then and there and become its willing slave for the rest of my life. I paid $2 and took it home, where I placed it in a special position of respect, in full view on top of my bar. Since then, I've had mysterious luck when finding tiki postcards and matchbooks.

Here is a photo of my Tiki Decanter

As you can see, the button with the airline/pineapple logo has fallen off his forehead and is in a drawer somewhere, but overall he still looks pretty good. At first I was embarrassed by the golf-ball stopper, but now, I find it rather endearing.

Please post your own pictures of your Jim Beam Tiki Decanter and tell the story of how you acquired it. Do you keep liquor in it or use it just for display? Are you embarrassed by the golf-ball stopper or proud of the incongruity? Does anyone have one of the matching plastic tikis that were also souvenirs of the 1974 Hawaiian Open? Tiki and Golf is a subject that is vital to all of us and deserves a thorough discussion.

I hope you agree.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1564
Posted: 2006-05-01 2:40 pm   Permalink

Dear sweet God.

Amazing post sir!

Mmmmmm..... ceasar salad....

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2002
Posts: 864
From: Behind the Cheddar Curtain
Posted: 2006-05-01 2:53 pm   Permalink

Danny's jumpsuit...too bright...can't focus...my eyes! MY EYEZZZ!!! THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING!!!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 255
From: O.C., SoCal
Posted: 2006-05-01 3:17 pm   Permalink

Do people ask why there is a light bulb on top to the decanter? Lennie Omori, reservations agent for United Air Lines, is the woman of my dreams....

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 874
From: Port Angeles, Wa
Posted: 2006-05-01 4:35 pm   Permalink

I've had one for years and until now I didn't know it was missing the grinchy golf ball cap anyone got any extras? I found mine at Goodwill when Goodwill was a good source for tiki items and on the bottom of it is the original price tag of $8.50 from The W.S.L.C.B. (Washington State Liquor Control Board). I hope this isn't cursed much like Pele's lava taken away by tourists is.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3691
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2006-05-01 4:53 pm   Permalink

I haven't had a chance to read this thoroughly yet, but I want to point out that it's things like this right here that make you a god to me:


On 2006-05-01 14:04, Sabu The Coconut Boy wrote:
Another source of Danny Kaleikini's power might come from the rare Hawaiian Open jumpsuit he's wearing. Just look at the United Airlines Pinapple logo all over the fabric in this closeup

Oops. I'm sorry. I accidentally posted a picture of my Ceasar Salad. A simple mistake. Here's the photo of the fabric


Critiki - Critiki News - Ooga-Mooga

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2006-05-02 12:55 am   Permalink

I WANT THAT SUIT! Great post, Sabu!
Somebody please post a picture of that United Airlines Tiki statue that emulates that ugly Tiki. Or did the bottle copy the statue..? It is one of the three or four UA Travel agency display statues they made.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1566
From: Mass.
Posted: 2006-05-02 02:36 am   Permalink


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2006-05-02 09:44 am   Permalink

Excellent report.
I only have the 1975 Hawaiian open menehune decanter, wich I found in Atlanta, in a thrift shop.
I'm very proud of him.
Is there other millesime years of decanters ?

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 04, 2006
Posts: 73
From: Oaktucky
Posted: 2006-05-02 12:40 pm   Permalink

As an avid golfer, I had to have one. Unfortunately the Pineapple logo is missing and Since i've accuired this tiki, i've developed an awful slice. The curse has struck again, and the only way to cure this is to replace the missing Pineapple logo. Sabu you mentioned yours is stuffed in a draw, would you mind passing yours on? I'm up for negotiation.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5311
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2006-05-02 12:53 pm   Permalink

I said "no thank you" to a similar decanter about a year ago. It was not this one! Yet another Jim Beam tiki decanter is out there I swear to you. I am an uber nerd and when I saw it in the display case and immediately search Ebay history to get a price and found they were not selling and not selling for near what this one had on it. Plus, it was ugly... I dodged a bullet. And it's ugly.

The Swank Pad Broadcast - If it's Swank...

[ This Message was edited by: Swanky 2006-05-02 12:54 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 05, 2005
Posts: 1401
From: sackatomato
Posted: 2006-05-02 1:23 pm   Permalink

mahalo for the very entertaining post, sabu!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 29, 2006
Posts: 115
From: montreal
Posted: 2006-05-02 1:29 pm   Permalink

This is all very interesting. The picture of the golfers is ... I am speechless. Also I took good note to never dressup like a ceasar salad thanks to you.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 15, 2005
Posts: 372
From: Lake Mojave
Posted: 2006-05-10 1:57 pm   Permalink

Wow. That jumpsuit. 1974. Amid rampant inflation, Cold War tensions, an oil crisis, and a federal government scandalized throughout the land, creative people produced clothing and artifacts like those. This has given me a good feeling that is going to last a while, and when it wears out I think I'll look at this thread again.

Your presentation was perfectly attuned to the nature of the material. I'm inspired.

I actually stared at the salad for a while trying to see the shirt's patterns, before getting the joke. Ahem, well done...

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 02, 2002
Posts: 544
From: WA
Posted: 2006-05-10 2:29 pm   Permalink

great story and pictures , I found mine about 3 years ago at the good will for a few bucks in perfect condition. I have not found a good tiki mug or decanter at the good will since so maybe thats the curse.

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