Thursday, April 22, 2010

Orange County Tiki

I hope you'll be able to join us for dinner with the Orange County Historical Society at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach, June 10. I will be speaking at their dinner program about the history of the "Polynesian Pop" phenomenon of the 1950s and '60s in Orange County.
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From architecture, décor and music, to literature, theme parks and backyard luaus, the South Seas was a wildly popular theme throughout Mid-Century America. This was especially true in sunny Orange County, where primitive carved figures, grass huts, 'Aloha shirts,' and lush jungle landscaping seemed right at home.
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The location for this dinner event is doubly historic. Don the Beachcomber is a historically significant restaurant that recently took up residence in one of America’s few remaining authentic tiki establishments: The former Sam’s Seafood. The place has recently been lovingly restored and improved. We'll be dining in the "Hidden Village" room, with waterfalls, a tiki bar, grass huts, fishing float lamps, tikis galore, and everything else you'd expect.
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The event is open to everyone -- not just Society members. But please sign up soon before we run out of space. To register or for more information, download a PDF flier at: http://www.orangecountyhistory.org/tiki2010.pdf
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(Today's photos show the late Pitcairn Motel on Harbor Blvd. in Garden Grove.)

6 comments:

Renee Fontes said...

I found some great pictures and news clippings in the Orange County Fair Archive. The Fair theme was "Hawaiian Holiday's" 1960-1967 Fair-goers even dressed in Hawaiian outfits to come to the fair. Hilo Hattie was the entertainment and they even gave away a grass hut as a prize!

Chris Jepsen said...

Any way I could get some good quality scans of those photos? And maybe photocopies of the news clips? I'd love to have the fair represented in my program.

By the way, I thought the Fair people were talking to historian (and former County Archivist) Phil Brigandi about helping them get their historical materials in order. Is he working at all with you on this project?

Renee Fontes said...

Hi Chris, The OC Fair plans to bring in a professional historian for the archive, but I am not sure of the time line for that.

I am gathering and organizing for the "Forever Fair" 120 Anniversary exhibit. I am enjoying working on this project (I never missed a Fair since being a 4-H member in the'70s). I will see what is the best way to share photo's and clippings.

It's important it is to our community to gather and preserve Fair history!

Chris Jepsen said...

Glad this project is being seen to, Renee. I just hope we still have a Fair to enjoy in the coming years.

Renee Fontes said...

Of course we will! Orange County has had fairs for over a century. Santa Ana, Anaheim, several in Pomona, Huntington Beach and 6o years in Costa Mesa. The beat goes on!

Renee Fontes said...

Chris, I have the contact persons name to request scans of historical pictures and news clippings of the Fair. My Email is rfontes@ocfair.com
I can connect you if you are still interested.