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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Central Ohana Where are the first TCers today?
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Where are the first TCers today?
lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 4090
Posted: 2013-02-19 11:17 am   Permalink

Whatever happened to thebaxdog? Dude was one of the original members and hasn't posted since 2006..

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forgotten tikiman

Joined: Aug 18, 2011
Posts: 0
Posted: 2013-02-23 10:46 pm   Permalink

I was just looking at the members who joined about the same time I did. Man! Little to no comments at all. I think a clean up is do.
A.K.A THE MADMAN!! Long live the TIKI-TI. I'll have another green lizard please!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 1055
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2013-03-01 07:53 am   Permalink

This old timer still visits TC often, just haven't been posting much myself. A number of reasons I've been a bit silent here:

* Tiki events are far too frequent and cost too many $$$ to attend very many.

* I used to collect Tiki mugs when they were 50 cents and plentiful at thrift stores, and I'd show off my fantastic score here.... when they soared in value, I chose to sell 'em all. Now I only pick up mugs from restaurants and bars I actually visited, exotic souvenirs the way mugs were originally meant to be.

* I built a spectacular home bar, but had to tear it all out after only a couple of years. That was very heart breaking and discouraged me from building again.

* I hate to say it, but I don't get the same general sense of family, friendship and passion from the newer Tiki folks as I do from the old-timers. In the earlier TC days, someone could post "I'm visiting such-and-such area, can anyone recommend the Tiki sites to see?" and the majority of the replies would be "come stay at our place!", "we'll have a big party for you", "we'll show you around ourselves" etc. I don't notice that as much now.

* A lot of the big events seem to focus more around gearheads, burlesque, silly non-Tiki themes, retro non-Tiki culture... and the Tiki element is just sort of a background decoration only. Sure, the events are fun and I've attended a fair share, but I'd be more happy with a retro "backyard luau" event.

* Times change, and I stay more socially connected with Facebook. I still view TC as a valuable resource... just not a big social media.

* It has just gotten too expensive to pursue vintage Tiki for me. For a long time, I refused to embrace all the new stuff that flooded the market... now I seek out only quality new stuff, from local artists, and even that gets expensive.

* I have already passed the "mad passion" phase of this hobby.... you know, when you went crazy buying and collecting, and now you are full to the rafters with stuff, and you slow the pace. I am still very much into it all, but it has settled into a hobby that doesn't possess every waking hour of my life.

With all that said, I am still working on creating a Tiki lounge, but in a more streamlined style. It is a personal retreat... so I am less likely to show it off and host parties in it. I have been attending more events, but the smaller ones. I love going to the International Tiki Marketplace, not just to shop, but to socialize with the community. When I have travel plans, I work in some Tiki stuff when possible.

I'm still out there, just a bit more quiet!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11594
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2013-03-01 11:53 pm   Permalink

Terry, you're just gettin' sentimental cuz Bahooka is closing

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 1055
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2013-03-02 6:24 pm   Permalink

I'm on a Mai Kai high, and got the Bahooka blues!

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Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2617
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2013-03-02 6:56 pm   Permalink

Excellent post Terry!


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 9193
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2013-03-03 08:28 am   Permalink

I would like to thank Terry for posting honest reasons for
Getting out of tiki, or not being as involved.

Jeff btd

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Big Kahuna
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2007
Posts: 2482
From: SoMass
Posted: 2013-03-03 5:35 pm   Permalink

Excellent post, Terry. The one thing I must disagree with is that the people are still warm & friendly & kind. I've visited SoCal 3 times in the past 2 years & have been welcomed into peoples' homes, shown around the sites, bought drinks & even baked wonderful cupcakes by a certain lovely lady married to a certain crotchedy old punk. I've absolutely made many life-long friends because of TC & even though I do use FB to keep in touch with them on a day-to-day basis, I don't think I will ever lose my love for TC. Maybe we can raise a glass the next time I visit.

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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2013-03-03 6:13 pm   Permalink

Whom are this people who were nice to you, Rick?

I will need to have a firm talking to these individuals
for soiling our Southern California reputation of vacuous self centeredness
and inhospitality!

I can assure you that your next visit here will be appropriately horrible
and I would apologize for the inappropriate kindness you received on your prior visit
here (But I am not allowed to) because that would go against our very nature

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1323
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2013-03-03 9:10 pm   Permalink

I don't check Tiki Central nearly as much as I used to, but just discovered this thread, and thought I would add my own two cents.


I'm still appreciative of tiki. My Polynesian/tiki room is still there, but I'm not buying as many mugs or tikis or artwork, partly because I have plenty already, and am much more selective. For the early Hukilau/tiki events, it seemed as if I was buying stuff from almost every vendor, and I felt like a kid in a candy store. Now the appeal has lessened a bit, and I am content with buying just one or two small quality items.

I've gotten quite used to my decor of my Polynesian Room, and don't notice it as much anymore. It is the first room I see when I enter my home. After a while it becomes just a regular background. It is when I have people over, and sense the wonder in their eyes, that I appreciate again how unique and wonderful my Polynesian Room is.


My taste in cocktails has changed - 10 years ago I would get excited anytime I saw a variation of a mai-tai or some other classic tiki drink on the menu - now I am more likely to get excited if I see a cocktail that features mezcal, or chartreuse, or campari, or rye, or whatever my latest cocktail kick is.

For so many years I focused on just the mai-tai and other variations of classic tiki drinks, and followed the discussions for the perfect recipe. I would get so excited when I saw a mai-tai listed on a bar menu. But at some point it seemed too narrowly focused.

An analogy another tiki friend gave is that tiki cocktails are kind of like a slice of pizza - there are many variations, many different sauces or toppings to try and they all may taste good, and there can be great discussions on what makes the perfect slice. But there are many more food items on the menu too, and completely different kitchens the next block over, and when you start exploring those other tastes, you find that you don't really want to eat as much pizza anymore. But you will know where to go for that perfect slice, when you get the craving for it.


I agree with the getting older/health/calorie issues. I'm preferring smaller portions, sipping versus sucking through straw, and part of it is the quality vs quantity thing, and part of it is so I won't have to run to the restroom as often.

Yeah, your body changes as you get older. I'm sure I would be healthier if I drank less/exercised more, and I hope I'm moving in that general direction, but its definitely not happening at the pace my doctor would prefer.


I no longer get upset if a bar doesn't have the perfect combination of quality drinks, decor, and music. I'm completely content with just the quality drink and a peaceful, friendly setting. I think it is good that rum cocktails are appearing in venues that don't necessarily rely on Martin Denny music, although I hope there is always a place to enjoy that type of exotica music and setting.

A friend of mine opened a bar recently, with a menu that included some good rum drinks, and he was complaining about some tiki folk coming in with their Hawaiian shirts and complaining about the music not being right, the decor not being right, perhaps the lighting not being perfect and making other suggestions, and he became a bit upset and wished he could have yelled to them 'Go and open your own damn bar'

And I found myself understanding him, and agreeing with him - which kind of surprised me. 10 years ago I would have been one of those who lit the tiki torches and marched in righteous anger yelling 'Damn those heretics who dare to play hip-hop in a tiki bar' Now I find myself sitting next to and sipping a good rum with my friend, and thinking 'Mmmm, this hip-hop song is pretty cool for this setting'


Those of us who got into tiki 10, 15, or 20 years ago got into it partly because it was so new and adventurous. We were curious people, and we continue to seek out new things, and new activities. For myself, it has been the live theatre scene in the D.C. area.

Others have likely discovered their own unique interests, that lie outside the general constraints of the Tiki central boards. It isn't necessarily that tiki suddenly became unattractive and repulsive to them, but that their focus is just venturing in some other direction, whether it be a minor tangental shift or a drastic change.


I do still appreciate tiki. But I no longer feel I need to have my life tuned to the 'Tiki All the Time' radio station like it used to. I will attend Hukilau this year, and will hopefully have a great time, but my emphasis will likely be less on the all-night partying scene, but more on the just hanging out with friends, and 'get renewed by relaxing in the Mai Kai gardens' mode of being.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1368
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2013-03-14 4:39 pm   Permalink

Huh? What?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 25, 2012
Posts: 167
From: Twain Harte, CA
Posted: 2013-04-09 08:53 am   Permalink

This subject is funny because it shows what happened to Tiki in the first place. From the time Don The Beachcomber started the craze until it died in the 70's, the same process happened. And it will happen again.

Then you will see all the tiki crap back in the thrift shops where it belongs and hardcore Tiki Freaks can once again buy and collect tiki for a song.

I personally have enjoyed the resurgence in Tiki, but not the high cost and fad it has become.

Tiki is for founded by bums who could take cheap rum and turn it into drinkable drinks. Build Tiki rooms from found and scavenged items. Now I'm seeing mugs selling like hotcakes for $300 a pop, please that's not tiki culture.

The appeal to me is escapism into my only little world and leaving the big world outside for a short period of time.

Tiki life is great for me. I enjoyed before the resurgence and I'll enjoy it after it dies again.

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Matt Reese
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 1182
From: San Diego
Posted: 2013-07-10 06:31 am   Permalink

I just got done re-reading this thread. Geez I sound angry back there! It occurred to me that Tiki Oasis is quickly approaching and it is the one event that I am at, guaranteed. Although it is a general madhouse now, I think I'm going to try and treat it like an opportunity to reconnect to that old 'Tiki spirit". Maybe try and tap into the feelings I used to get when I was first around the whole Tiki scene. I look forward to seeing all the old friends and making some new ones as well. If all goes well I may find myself attending more events, posting more often and even checking out thrift stores again. Who knows? I do miss the way this scene used to affect me, and I don't think it'll take much to get a bit of that back. I guess, as always, it boils down to the people.

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Big Vic
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2010
Posts: 107
Posted: 2013-07-10 06:48 am   Permalink

No matter what the year's theme is for Tiki Oasis, I like the straight up tiki stuff the best. I love seeing the friends I've made over the years. I love making new friends, The comfortable afternoon parties, the drinks, the awesome night scene. I dig helping Otto and the gang pull off the event and I love working with my old high school buddies to put on our room party for you all. Tiki Oasis is hundreds of creative people being creative and having fun! I'm just tickled pink they let in!

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2013-09-11 3:01 pm   Permalink

It's funny, because I feel like I came to so much of this so very late, finding the community just as the Kahiki was being torn down, and yet I remember TC's yahoo group days and ended up registering here just a little over the 'first 100 member' mark. It's all relative I suppose.

A decade plus on now, my home "Lounge of the Seven Pleasures and Kapu Gardens" is still an ongoing project, I tend to gather with local Tikiphiles here in the DC area roughly once every 2-3 months at House of Foong Lin or Shanghai Village, though some of us cross paths more often. OakTiki and I Try to make Hukilau or Ohana every couple of years, depending on our travel, and we still make a point of hitting Tiki odds and ends as we travel, sometimes connecting with other locals as we go, sometimes we're scheduled a bit too tightly to do so.

Tiki, and so many of the folks we've met through it and TC itself are still an important part of our lives. That said, we're in a relative desert here in Maryland, precious little by way of venues, so we make our own as best we're able. What little we do have, like the Tiki Bar at Solomon's Island, is well worth the visit, but isn't quite our Tiki "home" in the sense of Tiki we mean by the word.

I haven't been stopping by TC anywhere near as much as perhaps I should, but part of that is that I often get some of the Tiki related news I need more by word of mouth. But I do stop in and look around though I've often not much to contribute.

I suppose I am one of those folks still adapting from when Tiki mugs were three for a buck at tag sales and Arthur Lyman records were considered part of that great flotsam and jetsam stream of 'vinyl by the pound.' Some of us were Tiki long before target discovered slapping a "tiki" graphics on anything could make it sell, but then I'm not saying everything 'resurgent' is bad either. Just different. Our world has changed, but it's not just TC. Things like e-bay changed the dynamics of all of it profoundly.

TC has adapted from a time period when being 'into Tiki' or exotica was 'weird' and got you blank stares into a period when so many books have been published, websites, facebook groups, Television series, now college classes etc. taking the entire period seriously, in architecture, in ceramics, fashion, etc. Now when you say "a-frame' people don't necessarily envision an alpine style cabin in the Adirondacks.

So 'old-timers' and TC itself has had to adapt to those changes and the massive influx of new people.

Those who are in it for one form of 'the Tiki'- the history, the architecture, the art, the mixology, the exotica, the carving, etc. etc. etc. who draw together out of wanting to be near others with similar interests, I've always felt a kinship with and done what I can to share whatever I can with.

Those who see particularly some of the events as a 'hella-strong drink' excuse to get wasted and lose a weekend, well it's their 'Tiki' too, but probably not those I'm most likely to be spending my time around, though if those folks ever want to learn more, I'm more than happy to pass along whatever I can. I'm not trying to be condescending, just in that for some of us, there's more to it. That more is what brought us here in the first place.

As others on this thread have said, 'real life' gets in the middle of some of the doing, and as ikitnrev pointed out, curiosity was a common thread for many of us early folks. We came to Tiki with a lifetime's worth of exploration and wanderings between communities and cultures and so stopping, frozen in time at ANY given point just isn't exactly in our natures.

That doesn't mean a nice dim bar like Foundation in Milwaukee, when the music and the drinks are just right won't hold our hearts and our attention for a nice long spell, though.

Some of us are easy to find, you just need to know where to look.
"You're getting more interesting by the drink!" -Pepe le Tiki

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