Last week I traveled down to Southern California and spent a few days doing some tiki hunting. But the main reason I visited was to attend Chris Jepsen's seminar on the history of Orange County tiki. To summarize the evening in one word, it was fantastic. The tikiphiles who live in Southern California who did not attend really missed an excellent opportunity to learn about Polynesian Pop culture in their own backyard.
The event was hosted at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach.
The dinner and presentation was held in the Hidden Village, the large backroom for private parties and events. The event was attended by around 100 folks, including local tikiphiles and members of the Orange County Historical Society. Also in attendance were several experts on local history, tikis and pop culture, including; Phil Brigandi (former OC archivist), Charles Phoenix (Histotainer extrodinaire), Mark Davis (aka Richard Cheese), Jody Daily & Kevin Kidney (tiki artists and local experts) and Eric Lynxwiller (local historian and author of books about the history of Wilshire Blvd. and Knott's Berry Farm).
Chris covered a wide array of topics and had some great images from the OC archives. The show was divided into chapters, including:
-The Rise of Polynesian Pop Culture
-Orange County Tiki Temples
-Bringing Home Tiki
-Enchanted Tiki Homes
-Tiki Apartments (my favorite subject!)
-Tiki Trailer Parks
-Tiki: God of Fun
-Death of Tiki
Chris giving his presentation
The level of research was apparent that Chris had spent putting together this show. Excellent job Chris!
While I was out in Southern California, I had the chance to track down and photograph some new apartment complexes, so keep an eye open for future posts.