Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tiki in the US Air Force

Hickam Air Force Base is located on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii, adjacent to Pearl Harbor. It was built in 1947 as part of the reconstruction of the US military at Pearl Harbor (when is was destroyed in December 1941 by the Japanese).

Hickam AFB is currently headquarters for the Hawaii Air National Guard. The HNG sports a tiki in their logo, as do many of the squadrons that are stationed at Hickam.

Hickam is also home to the 154th Wing of the Hawaii National Guard.

The 154th Wing has several different squadrons assigned to it, including the 199th Fighter Squadron. The 199FS has a few different logos with tikis.

When the 199FS became operational in 1947, they flew the P-47 Thunderbolt, with tiki logos soaring high.

You can see the tiki with wings logo on the nose of these Thunderbolts.

The 199FS is still based on Oahu, but today they fly the F-15 Strike Eagle and the F-22 Raptor to serve and protect.

One of the other squardons serving under the 154th Wing at Hickam that sports a tiki logo is the 203rd Air Refueling Squardon. They operate the KC-135 Stratotanker.

A quick thank you to all the men and women past and present that serve and protect the United States in our armed forces.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hali Kalani Apartments - Whittier, California

Next time you find yourself in the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier, you are in for a real tiki treat. Your first stop, should of course be Oceanic Arts to shop and browse all of the incredible Polynesian Pop items, d├ęcor and materials they have for sale. However, when you are done shopping, before you jump back onto the California freeways, make a quick detour 10 minutes south along Whittier Boulevard and you will find the beautiful Hali Kalani apartments.

The main entrance into the complex leads thru this beautifully maintained A-Frame.

I love the way the concrete stairs slabs that lead up to the door are offset from each other.

Here are the only remaining tikis I found in the complex. It appears that a local tikiphile lives here.

The backside of the A-frame taken from the interior courtyard.

It wouldn’t be Southern California without the palm trees and giant albino bird of paradise plants to provide the lush tropical atmosphere.

If you want to stop by for a visit, you can find the Hali Kalani Apartments at 10041 Scott Avenue in Whittier, California.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

South Pacific Apartments - Hawthorne, CA

In the South Bay city of Hawthorne, California (original home to the Beach Boys, where they started and wrote many of the biggest hits)are the South Pacific apartments.

They have a nice A-frame over the entrance into the corutyard. I really like the brown batten wooden siding that starts on the second floor. It gives the appearance of a treehouse or hut.

The rock facia around the courtyard entrance appears that there may have been a water feature here in the past. I expect there were probably duel water fountains on each side of the lobby door.

I like the rough end cut on the exposed header beam and the weathered brown paint adds a beachcomber feel to the complex.

As expected, there are no longer any tikis here, but with the tropical landscaping inside the courtyard, we can only imagine what used to be here several decades ago.

If you want to stop by the South Pacific apartments for a visit, you can find them at 13020 Kornblum Ave., Hawthorne, California.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mid Century Goodness - Part 3

Today we wrap up our look at the wacky world of Lake George with a visit to the Magic Forest.

The day I stopped by the Magic Forest, it was raining so the Diving Horse show was canceled. I really wanted to see it, how often do you get a chance like that?

It wouldn't be Lake George without more concrete sculptures. This time we find Uncle Sam, Santa Claus and another Paul Bunyan greeting us in the parking lot.

Right on the edge of the parking lot, along SR 9, you can find this beatiful work of art to help draw folks into the park. When was the last time you saw Mighty Mouse riding an elephant?

Wouldn't it be fun to take this out for a spin around town?

A damsel in distress being rescued by the prince.......

It looks like the prince runs up and down the tower along this track. He was either broken or not running while I was there.

More giant characters around the park.

They also have a safari train ride thru the magical forest. It does not run on tracks, it's more like a hayride along this bike path.

So after seeing all the kitchy roadside goodness the Town of Lake George has to offer, when you drive by the Tiki Resort, it does not seem unusual at all, in fact it fits right in!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mid Century Goodness - Part 2

Mini Golf Mania!

You can’t throw a rock in Lake George without hitting a putt putt golf course. I found 8 courses with a 6 minute drive each way of the Tiki Resort. They are everywhere.

You want pirates, they’ve got pirates.

The Lake George area must be the concrete sculpture capital of the world. Cartoon characters, animals, dinos, folk heroes, exotic places and landmarks, you can find all them in Lake George. Let’s take a look at two of the wackiest courses you can play.

A Mohican Indian and Tom Sawyer’s Tree house.

Catch a wave in Hawaii.

Paul Bunyan is popular around here, you can find him in a few different places.

Don’t forget your parka, it gets cold in Norway.

The Spanish Guitar.

How about a trip to the Orient……Japan……

…..or maybe a ride in a rickshaw in Hong Kong.

But this hole was my favorite. If you can hit your ball up the little ramp in front of the kangaroo and jump it into the pouch, it comes out his tail pipe around back.

Golf Around the World is a great course, but hands down, the kitschiest course has got to be Goony Golf.

It’s the Gooniest!

What a great mascot they have.

Several of the characters around the course are animated, their arms or legs spin around.

My favorite dino at the course. His little arms move up and down and at night he looks wonderful when the course is lit with colored lights.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mid Century Goodness - Part 1

For the next few posts, I’m going to be taking a slight ‘non-tiki’ detour to explore the roadside mid century populuxe wonderland that the resort town of Lake George, New York has to offer. As I mentioned in my last post, Lake George is located upstate, about 1 hour north of Albany, in the Adirondack Mountains.

I was in Lake George for about 3.5 days, so while I was there I did quite a bit of exploring around town and discovered lots of great things.

How about lunch at Mr. B’s Best? They had excellent roast beef sandwiches.

Anyone want to stop for a treat at Martha’s Dandee Cream?

Step on up to the window to place your order.

Later on in the evening we could pack the kids up in the car and head over to The Glen Drive-In Theatre (an almost extinct part of Americana)

If you really want to experience the roadside kitchiness of Lake George, how about cruising along SR 9 in this 1961 Plymouth Tempest (For Sale, only $5,500).

How about heading downtown for a visit to the House of Frankenstein Wax Museum? They had some really classic/cheesy torture scenes. Note the animatronic Phantom playing the organ in the second story window.

You can see Dr. Frankenstein……

…..and his monstrous creation

When the sun sets, the neon comes on

About six miles down the road from the Tiki Resort is the Town of Glens Falls, NY. The Hudson River flows right along the edge of downtown. At the falls, there is a cave called Cooper’s Cave.

In 1826, Cooper’s Cave became famous when author James Fenimore Cooper visited the area and was inspired to write his most famous novel The Last of the Mohicans. The story is about the French Indian war that took place in upstate New York in this area. The Mohican theme is popular in the area and you will find references all over town.

A Mohican Indian stands guard at the lobby.

Then at night, more great neon.

Kids, do you want to go out and play on the Indian swing set?

More to come……