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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Mystery Arizona Don the Beachcomber Sign
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Mystery Arizona Don the Beachcomber Sign
tikipedia
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 491
From: San Diego
Posted: 2009-08-18 09:20 am   Permalink

I came across this sign in a tiny, remote town tucked away in southeastern Arizona. It seemed that the building was a combo antique store/private home. Nobody was around, but I was dying to ask where they got this sign, considering there was no Don the Beachcomber in Arizona. Or was there?

There are no documented Don's in Arizona (although Tucson and Phoenix have a history of tiki), so it is interesting to know if this is from an actual Don the Beachcomber, or if it was made by somebody who just liked the design.


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drgoat456
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Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 504
From: Tucson
Posted: 2009-08-18 2:29 pm   Permalink

Tikip,
I've lived in Tucson for 57 yrs & traveled around especially down here in the Tucson, Bisbee, Nogalas etc. area, Ive never seen a Don's here. Where abouts did you take the pic? I'm guessin' it's just a guy with a sign.


 
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Mai Tai
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Joined: Mar 21, 2004
Posts: 1437
From: Exotic Isle of Alameda
Posted: 2009-08-18 3:00 pm   Permalink

It could have come from the one in Palm Springs - it's not that far from Tucson.
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tikipedia
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Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 491
From: San Diego
Posted: 2009-08-18 3:32 pm   Permalink

If memory serves me correctly, the town was Dos Cabezas, on Highway 186.

Even this widespot in the road is a bit of a drive from Tucson, and is a good deal away from California.
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5126
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-08-18 4:06 pm   Permalink

Tikipedia,

I think Mai Tai could be right with the Palm Springs location. Here is a rendering of the Don the Beachcomber from Palm Springs that Sabu posted. It sure looks like the same sign. You need to go back and get some info on it and .... maybe even buy it!





DC


 
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Or Got Rum?
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Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 529
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2009-08-18 6:44 pm   Permalink

Nice research DC. In the original sign doesn't it look as though the "Don The" is smaller and is not lined up over "Beachcomber". The "Beachcomber" in the original one also has a more homemade look (up and down..not in a line) look to it. They may have had more than one sign or a later one. Just a thought. OGR

 
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Dustycajun
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Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5126
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-08-18 7:07 pm   Permalink

Mr. Rum

I know the signs look a little different in details, but the size, scale and layout look really close. The images from Palms Springs are renderings, so it may be due to a little artistic license. If you look at the angle of the painting, the artist had to move the lettering so you could see it around the boulder.

I have seen a lot of images from the DTB signs and none of them look like that one other than the Palms Springs location.

Here is the matchbook rendering from Palm Springs which is also close to the Tuscon sign.



Need to check it out, I think this is the one.

DC


 
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Or Got Rum?
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Joined: Jul 29, 2009
Posts: 529
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2009-08-18 8:08 pm   Permalink

DC

The Matchbook does look like the sign. The boulder theory could be right on. Good Eye. OGR


 
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tikipedia
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Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 491
From: San Diego
Posted: 2009-08-18 8:17 pm   Permalink

It seems that the AZ sign seems smaller than the Palm Spring sign. Could it be a sign used in another part of the restaurant?

The sign itself seemed to be too well made to be a fan knockoff.
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drgoat456
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 28, 2008
Posts: 504
From: Tucson
Posted: 2009-08-19 07:53 am   Permalink

TikiP,
My wife has been buggin me to take her down to Elfrida (an annual thing) to get chilis. There is a great farm there that roasts them fresh from the fields while you wait. We usually get a 10 lb bag. & freeze what we don't eat right away. Anyway, we usually go down 191 to get there, but Dos Cabazas is just a small detour.
I'll see if we can swing over to Wilcox and down that road and check it out.
Ciao


 
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hottiki
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Joined: Jul 10, 2008
Posts: 354
From: Garden Grove CA
Posted: 2009-08-20 5:04 pm   Permalink

So I know that it's a limit to the pallete that printers can use on match covers, but the (AZ) sign and the trim color on the DTB building are close...that ruddy red rust brown. So how long ago was this photo taken? How many times was this story told? Nobody has staked claim in this gold country to this tikilink sign? reminds me back east 40-50 years ago that some WW2 Harleys, were still in the crates at the fort and you could buy one for a hundred bucks...if you could just find that guy. It also makes me think how Indy felt when Markus told him that the Germans were close to finding the Well of Souls. So I go to the birdseye shot of the land ( the map room if it were, without a staff) and I think I found the x makes the spot, right down to the yellow pickumup. Wonder how many times that has been looked at the last couple of days? Call me crazy, but I can just see some hot rod riding going down thru sandtown this week. Remember: It's A Mad,Mad,Mad World, with everybody driving down the coast for some loot! Now I know there's a couple of schools of thinking on this don't ask don't tell somebody's got something somebody else wants and don't gave a headsup to how much and how far someone will go to get it...but it looks to me that the first stone has been cast by the fact that we all seen it here! This is the place thats cool because someone will get this and we will get the scoop sooner or later on the finding it again, the deal, the stamp of approval study links and photos to back it all up with...I know this (AZ) sign would look good in my tikiroom, but alas, my back won't take the 8 to 9 hour, six hundred mile ride to find it and then back, oh my! So I raise my mug, my best in fact, to those who go forth into the dead of night, the heat of day, down long lonely trails, to udder "thanks a lot, just give me a hand getting it in the back" The games afoot!

 
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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 780
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2009-08-20 11:00 pm   Permalink

Don't wanna be the skunk at the picnic, but I don't think this sign came from a DtB, anywhere. I think it's a... well, not a replica, but a "rendition" of a DtB sign.
'Or Got Rum?' seemed to be noticing the same thing - the lettering's wrong. It's not in the trademark style of the restaurant's, circa 1970's - all straight segments (e.g., the hexagonal 'O'). Nor is it in any of the earlier styles of lettering. DtB's lettering style evolved, over the years, but it stuck to a similar "look" or pattern. If you look through the pictures in Dustycajun's "
Don the Beachcomber - The Locations" thread, this sign doesn't match any of the lettering styles.
It does resemble the sign in the artist's rendering of Palm Springs, posted above (from 1970). But the architect's artist was likely focused on the building, not on exactly reproducing the DtB-style lettering. Did the actual signs use the stylized lettering - duplicated on menu's, matchbooks, etc.? I believe they did.
Also, it doesn't appear to have spent decades in the weather. It could have been re-finished, I suppose, but it looks like the white paint and red stain is pretty new. Is that the same stain on the edge of the roof, over the sign? And the vertical pieces that join the horizontal planks are in front - shouldn't they be on the back? Almost looks like it was made from half the top of a picnic table, but I'm guessing from some old or distressed wood someone found.
I'm speculating on all this, of course, and I'd be happy to be found wrong. It would be much cooler for it to be an authentic piece of DtB history, recovered from Nowhere, Arizona.


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Bongo Bungalow
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Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1295
From: Indiana
Posted: 2009-08-21 03:41 am   Permalink

For a $1,000.00 I've got that same sign in my yard... just give me two days notice before you come to pick it up.


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Grand Kahu
Grand Member (2 years)  

Joined: Jul 31, 2006
Posts: 189
From: Dallas, TX
Posted: 2009-08-21 1:15 pm   Permalink

Well, one really needs a bit more detail to see how professionally-lettered the sign is, but aside from it being the home of a die-hard Don fan (read, most of us on this board), who would actually go to the trouble of making a fake "Don" sign of that scale? It's pretty derned esoteric in the scheme of things. If it said "Jimmy Buffett Lives" I might see it as a fake. ;D

If the rest of the yard, um, "decor" was adrift in fake signs, that might be a clue too, but if it is the usual out-of-the-way home/junque store, I suspect it was just a haul from a demolition site and could very well be the Palm Springs sign, repainted or not. (And as an architectural historian, I very much agree these kind of renderings take huge guesses/liberties as to the final signage, so I would not worry that the drawing is not a clean match to the sign)

GK
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 5126
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-08-21 2:03 pm   Permalink

I'm with Grand Kahu. I think this really could be the Palm Springs sign. The colors look like they match the matchbook scheme. Also if you look at the sign and the artist rendering, you can see the holes for the installation bolts in the same locations above the R and next the D.





Somebody needs to get down to Arizona and check this baby out.

DC


 
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