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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Tiki Shop in 1961 Family Photos - West Los Angeles on Wilshire?
Tiki Shop in 1961 Family Photos - West Los Angeles on Wilshire?
congawa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 356
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2014-05-04 8:24 pm   Permalink

In going through some of my parents photos, I found these shots, taken during a visit by my grandfather Harry Walker. On January 18, 1961, he and my mother Doris Walker left my parent's apartment at 625 S. Barrington Ave. in Brentwood, walked south on Barrington to pick up Chinese food at the Mandarin Inn. I've researched that, and found that it was at 11829 Wilshire Blvd., 1 1/2 blocks west of Barrington. Since it would be logical for them to walk down Barrington, then turn right and go west for a block and half, it is likely they saw this "Tiki Shop" somewhere near Wilshire and Barrington.

I posted the photo of my mother yesterday on Facebook, and BigBroTiki, Bora Boris, Lake Surfer and others gave me some good tips and TC thread links (and that they were in the general style of Bumatay and Ellis). I'm posting these here in case anyone recognizes this place.

My grandfather Harry Walker in front of the Tiki Shop in West LA area, January 18, 1961:



My mother Doris Walker in front of two Tikis. The poster is for the 1961 NFL Pro Bowl game, held at the LA Coliseum three days earlier. The back of the bigger billboard makes me think this could be closer to San Vincente and Wilshire, which is near a large traffic intersection and the VA Hospital (there were tall office buildings built on those sites in the 1970s/80s).

Bora Boris pointed out that the Tiki on the right resembled one at Mar Vista Lanes, which isn't very far from the Wilshire/Barrington area:
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=1738&forum=1&vpost=316137



Harry Walker (visiting from my father's hometown of Moline, Illinois) typed up an 18 page recollection of his several week visit to LA. On this page he wrote: "1-18-61 - Relaxed and caught up with household chores, but took time out to sun ourselves by the pool and also read a little. 82 degrees. I strolled down to Wilshire Blvd. checking up on a Tiki Shop to see how they carve the different characters. Then I went to Mandarin Inn, picked up part of our dinner."

So this wasn't just a Tiki broker/retailer, carving was going on there.



My grandfather mentioned they were picking up Chinese at the Mandarin Inn. It didn't take much research (LA Times Historical) to find the Mandarin Inn was at 11829 Wilshire Blvd. It's no longer there...the building now houses the "Cabo Cantina." However, I found this site with a 1978 photo--the Los Angeles Public Library Archive Grid: http://184.168.105.185/archivegrid/collection/data/731094056



Hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll drop by Oceanic Arts to see if Bob or Leroy are familiar with this place, and report back if I find out anything.

Caltiki Brent
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Bora Boris
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2588
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2014-05-04 8:54 pm   Permalink

Just adding as I mentioned on Facebook that the big guy next to your Grandfather looks a lot like the Tiki on the Tonga Lei menu cover. Maybe the Tonga Lei bought him from the Tiki Shop?



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congawa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 356
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2014-05-04 9:18 pm   Permalink

Thanks for noticing that, Boris...looks logical to me!

And I just found an earlier memo of my grandfather's vacation that shows I had the wrong date for the photos that were shot. He was on his own on 1/18/61. But earlier, on December 23, 1960, he typed the following:



He mentions that he and my mom (who was getting over a bought with the flu) went to Westward Ho Market (which was near the apartment, at San Vincente and Barrington), then "went to Basket Bazaar, took pictures in front of a Tiki shop. We also went to and broused [sic] through a second-hand book-store. After all this walk Doris felt much better. (Tikis are South-Sea-Island "totem poles" carved right in this shop on Barrington Avenue from huge redwood logs.)" Basket Bazaar was at 11675 Wilshire, on the northeast corner of Barrington. The Tiki Shop was probably somewhere just above that on Barrington, not on Wilshire like I initially thought.

Here's a 1960 LA Times ad for Basket Bazaar (sounds like possibly a Pier 1/Cost Plus kind of place), showing the Wilshire/Barrington address.



I wonder if there could have been any connection between the Tiki Shop and Basket Bazaar?

Caltiki Brent

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congawa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 356
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2014-05-04 9:24 pm   Permalink

Incidentally, if anyone is interested, this is the inside of my mom and dad's apartment at 625 S. Barrington Ave. (where I also lived for my first 11 months--no recollection other than photos).

Here's my dad reading the paper:



Here's my mom typing in the bedroom:



Caltiki Brent
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6187
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2014-05-04 9:48 pm   Permalink

I see he has his indoor suit on for sitting around the in the house, as was per the custom in those days

 
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Tiki Shaker
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 706
From: Menifee, CA
Posted: 2014-05-04 10:03 pm   Permalink

What is the subject matter of that picture, hanging on the wall, above the lamp, in the photo of your mom?

It almost looks like someone, dressed in white, standing in front of of an a-framed tiki establishment!

... Just noticed, the same picture is next to your dad in his photo.





[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Shaker 2014-05-04 22:04 ]


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4351
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2014-05-05 09:08 am   Permalink

Congawa,

Cool photos, thanks for posting. Nothing like a little Tiki mystery! The closest thing I could find is the Coral Reef Imports that was located on Pico. Probably too far from Wilshire to be the place.





I think your visit with Bob and Leroy may be your best bet. Look forward to hearing what you find out.

DC


 
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8FT Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 30, 2003
Posts: 1226
From: Kansas City, MO
Posted: 2014-05-05 4:04 pm   Permalink

Congawa, Cool info. I am sitting at my computer at home which sits on top of a desk just like that one behind your father except that the drawers are on the right side of mine.
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