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Hukilau memories

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pablus posted on Mon, Oct 9, 2006 2:04 PM

No pics, just some thoughts.

I think I'm the only person in the tribe to get a sunburn. Oddly, it was while sitting on the beach playing my ukulele with Kanekila teaching me the song "Red Opu." If that isn't irony then it doesn't exist.

The girls were so unbelievably gorgeous. All of them were dressed in stunning attire and just awe inspiring. "Awe inspiring" means drool was present.

Stump Grinder can scream with any of the great horror movie classic screamers. Her performance with Waitiki was astounding.

I think I'm in love with Waitiki. Freaks, the lot of 'em.
The Mayor of Exotica has absolutely lost his mind. It's a beautiful thing.

At one point, after everyone else had left - a who's who of tiki-dom was hanging out in the Molokai lounge until 2:30am or so. I was geeked to be there with them. And then I drove home - to Tampa.

KailuaGeoff's slide show was a lot of fun except for those terrifying photos that had flounder in them.

I didn't go to Beachbum's class - and this is the truth now - because I wanted the people who were involved to be able to tell someone about it that would really care and would give them rapt attention. I'm waiting for Kuku Ahu's email any day with his eloquent raves and raves.

Combo Mahalo is an awesome Hapa Haole band.

APE is like PHISH, except the groupies are better looking and there are Tikis.

Rev. Bamboo Ben has no equal in cutting loose, with the possible exception of Crazy Al. How they hang out together is a mystery that dispels any previous notion of yin and yang.

I missed seeing bungy. Drat.

Ken and Heather Pleasant are very cool people.

The Intoxicators rock like crazy.

The room parties this year were scattered between the beach and a few rooms. The thing was just too big to contain in one area. And that's a good thing.

Mogambo - thanks for the Pampero. See you in Bavaria.

Basement Kahuna is a master carver. And now one of his tikis is in a place of honor at the Mai Kai to testify to it. Well done, my braddah.

Tiki Kiliki and The Tiki Pugs and Chip and Andy and IDOT and Casey and all of the others who worked on this Hukilau are to be showered with mahalos and plumeria leis. It was a first class event at every turn and in every corner. I still think they should open up the vendors to the public on the Saturday but I'm a mercenary like that.

Kern Mattei had a big smile on his face the whole time we were there on Saturday. I like seeing that. Pia and Mirielle also were smiling all night. We were bringing the mana all night there at the Mai Kai. Well done, ohana. I can't imagine that they could have imagined a better 50th anniversary celebration.

Forbidden Island has now declared war on the Mai Kai. I started it.

Me and Finkdaddy on the beach under a full moon and the coco palms, playing our ukuleles together while the pool party wound down. Actually I hear it didn't really wind down - it more or less exploded from the buildup of energy.

I love my tiki mugs - but even better than that was the fact that I got to have drinks with stuckie and with makedamug within 24 hours of each other.

King Kukulele called the Hukilau a "Tiki Summit" and he, as always, is correct. Even though he subjected his Princess to danger and the gawking eyes of the hoi polloi, Queen Hillary was there to provide safety and sanity to His Majesty and heir.

I think my favorite memory was actually one that most would look back on with regret. While playing on the stage of the Mai Kai - I looked out at the weirdly silent audience filled with the faces of people I love - and it was so overwhelming I forgot what song I was singing and what the next lyric was. I turned to look at Kanekila just to get some grounding... I felt like I was floating or something. Happily, it was a whacky number anyway, Kahiki Moon, so you can get away with some of that kind of thing without throwing the whole performance out. Thankfully, Josh whispered the magic words into my ear and the show continued to a thunderous climax of surf music and frenetic dancing where there was no dance floor. Haole Kats rocked the house that night and brought some serious energy to the late night crowd and then continued to call me from the after parties to make sure I was ok while driving.

I'm sure I'll remember more. That's the beauty of the "edit" button.

Oh yeah, if anyone wants to keep the vibe going, I'll be at Atlanta Trader Vics this Friday night at 8pm.


As always, it was good to see you. Thanks for the tiki love. My favorite memories from this year's Hukilau (wow, so many) include (in no particular order -- it'd be so hard to rank these things!):

King Kukulele singing the Hoagy Carmichael monkey song at the JetSetter -- man, that song IS perfect for him!

Tiki carvers out back at the Clipper, carving away...

Crazy Al chipping piece by piece, in time, to the music of Ape.

Those crazy plastic lobsters being used as clappers on Friday night.

Drinking out of coconuts on Friday.

Getting to back Formica Dinette on "Bali Ha`i" ... TWICE ... in just over 24 hours (Mai Kai and Bus trip)

The Joke Butcher! (Bus trip)

Great performances by the Haole Kats, Intoxicators/Disasternauts, I Belli, Billy Mure, APE, Combo Mahalo, and Slip

The Mayor of Exotica EATING MEAT AT THE MAI KAI (after 17+ years of strict vegetarianism)

Ah, so many stories, too many to tell. See yall later, maybe at Okonkuluku U?

Thanks & Aloha!!


On 2006-10-09 14:04, pablus wrote:
I think my favorite memory was actually one that most would look back on with regret. While playing on the stage of the Mai Kai - I looked out at the weirdly silent audience filled with the faces of people I love -

Precious Pablus, you ARE loved!!! We were so happy to see you on stage at the Mai Kai cuddling us with your songs and uke playing. You are the embodiment of Ohana comfort and good vibes.

And THANKS for acknowledging ALL the fabulous ladies for their beautiful attire and goddess like visage. You truly appreciate us gals. (Pablus, you and Tristan should open a school to educate other gentlemen in this rare art...)

Wow, what a great weekend... everything ran so smooth and we had lotsa roooooooom with three hotels and events and activities spread all around. What a special treat it was to stay at the Yankee Clipper where the Polynesian Room was, seeing Bre-elle smim by in her fishtail, Otto mooning the Wreck Bar after the mermaid show, Neptune, Karbora and Sven all asking who was buying what Witco from whom for how much and how to get in on the action, getting a sneak peak at the Tiki Modern book with the author's of Tiki News, Tiki Road Trip and the Grog Log, finally meeting Holden and Hanford, hanging with Mogambo again, having the chance to show a few slides we've collected over the years and being introduced by BigBroTiki as a warm up for Jeff Berry who was getting set to pass drinks all around - man, is this the Hukilau or the Twilight Zone....? Wait, we're sitting with Aunt Bungy listening to Ape play the Molokai Bar, Wayne Coombs is ducking under the fish floats, Neptune Tiki is getting the Mystery Drink treatment, Marian is on stage grabbing some guy's butt, there's Florida's own Pablus on the Mai-Kai stage with King Kukulele and the Haole Kats, and Joe, Josh and TJ tearing it up on vintage surf tunes with Crazy Al dancing on a table.... and Ben..... what happened to his clothes? Flounder? Flounder??? We love you son. A dream couldn't be this good or hilarious. We laughed so hard it hurt.

Mahalo to all, but especially our hostess, host and all of their fantastic helpers. Thanks for a lovely time!

I've posted my pictures from this year's Hukilau on Flickr.com.

Check out my album here:

Thanks everyone for a great time! OKONKULUKU!

Mahalo to all for such a wonderful Hukilau--one of the best yet from the 4 we've attended.

Thanks to Pablus, Basement Kahuna, Swanky and the brotherhood for gracing our room Thursday with a GIANT BOWL of CONCUBINES. Yummy. My I Belli boys rocked the house and we met a new friend Pep--gracias mi amigo.

Our APE album looks a lot like James Teetlebaum's book--ratty from loving use, a few burnholes and many cup rings on the page. Hearing and seeing it live took it to another dimension. Nice carving to the beat there Al!! I Belli Di Waikiki were hot as usual, but we missed partying with you in your underwear this year boys. Combo Mahalo rocked out!!!

Saturday night is one we'll never forget. The Mai Kai was more elegant than ever, and more inspiring as we fostered new plans for our own hut at home. WAITIKI--thanks for showing us all how it's done. It's such a pleasure to see musicians enjoy themselves and their fans so much. Mahalo to all you crazies.

But for us, one of the best moments happened after our return to the Cabana. Jungle Jim & I, our friends Coconut Girl and Charlie Tuna, a big stand up bass, acoustic guitar, lots of ukes, some Hawaiian hand drums and much alcohol drew some great players to our porch. Playing with the Haole Cats, Combo Mahalo, some of the Intoxicators and new friends Alan and Bliss was only stopped by the dawn and sleep deprivation. Our souls were willing, but our drunken flesh became weak about 6:30 am. I still lovingly have the bruises on my hands from beating the crap out of those drums. What a night.

What a hukilau. What a great Ohana--we're so proud to be a part of it. Thanks to you all, and come see us in our little grass shack in Dade City, Florida.


Actually meeting and talking to many dozens of people... I never got to do that before. Good to meet everyone and catch up with the regulars.

Mrs. Boo trying to talk me into jumping in the pool fully clothed with her. I was hiding from Mr. Bamboo Ben actually!

Wondering how Ben, Al, King K, and Tiki Bob had so much energy in the pool when I was tired.

How many were in the pool clothed? 5? 6?

Seeing mugs from the Mai Kai I didn't know were really from the Mai Kai. I got to touch them!

Meeting Tiki Diablo's wife.

Pacifica's coconuts!

Ape and the hatchet man!

Billy Mure and Ape made me teary eyed.

Kreepy Absinthe!

Standing in the ocean with a dozen or so TCers in our underwear.

The gang playing in the room until...5AM? No complaints.

Hot tub rodeo! Having security come by during hot tub rodeo with BK's rum bottle passing around, etc. and no worries.

Mai Kai show brings tears to my eyes.

Pablus starts to play in the Mai Kai and you could hear crickets! Legendary! Otto whispers to me "He's our Bruddah Iz."

Sipping rum with Kern in his ultimate office with Bre, Otto and and seeing Mr. Kukulele actually let alcohol cross his lips!

The conga line passes me and I see Charles Phoenix near the back rather stoic. As he passes, he turns and says calmly, "help me."

Bamboo Ben looks like he may conch out any minute, for 6 hours, then he has more energy than any of us later and the next morning he's up before me and looks better...

Stories about Dad from the Bum.

Sweet tiki history with Geoff. Florida rocks!

Wayne Coombs. Period. If you know him, you know.

Holden, Al and Ben in the Molokai together again. Three amigos!

Seeing my waitress dancing on the Mai Kai stage.

Seeing Mrs. Thornton smiling ear to ear, and Dave Levy spending lots of time having a good time with the ohana. Seeing the smiles on Kulani's face all weekend too.

BK's tiki with the leis on it in the Mai Kai.

Bre-elle. Nuf said...


On 2006-10-10 08:51, Swanky wrote:

Meeting Tiki Diablo's wife.

Wasn't she a knock out!?! And a great (slightly skewed - like me) sense of humor.

I went with her, Diablo, and Basement Kahuna on a search for bamboo on Thursday afternoon. The bamboo place we were looking for was near a store called "Gay Mart." We got lost and called the bamboo place to ask for more directions. When we explained where we were, the lady thought we said "K-mart!" It was a hoot! We should of taken a picture.

It must have been funny to passers-by to see us tooling around Ft. Lauderdale with a half dozen 10 foot bamboo poles sticking out of their Pontiac rental car.

I really enjoyed getting to know the Diablos on this trip.

What fun!


I really enjoyed meeting everyone that I have talked to, and finally putting a face to all the dozens of names. The vendors were fantastic, and it was really great to see Kreepy Tiki, Chisel Slinger, and finally meet Keigs(whom just made a shelf for me). I finally got to meet Holden of Tiki Farm, and many other very friendly people. This is by far the best Hukilau yet, and I appreiate all of the hard work and effort that went into the event. I am counting the days till Hukilau 2007 in June! See ya there!


I wish I could have been at this event. It sounds like it was a blast!


<I wish I could have been at this event. It sounds like it was a blast!>

How dare you treat our moments together at the wreck bar with such flippancy.

Man...4 Hukilau and they just get better and better. My memories? A quiet arrival at 1AM Tuesday with a 10 foot panel van after 11 hours of driving...ready for that Cabana. Getting up Wednesday morning and realizing I'd left my clothes in Athens! Puttering around all day Wednesday looking for Aloha shirts in Ft. Liquordale! Kim bailing me out with one from her for sale stash!(Mahalos!) Having a nice, quiet dinner Wednesday at the Mai Kai with TikiBob, Christy, Scott, Stacey and the early arrival crew..Enjoying the hospitality of an incomparable host and good friend Kern Mattei..then being ushered over to the indoor garden by Kern and Pia and Kiliki and Dave Levy afterbeing told they had something to show me...and BOOM realizing what it was they had to show me-the tiki I carved for Miss Thorton standing in the foremost place in the passageway. That was a highlight of my life...a full circle go-round from which I first embarked from my wee little nothing Mono Tiki Tia home lounge on Nanthahala Avenue in Athens back in 1990..I was blown away. Awakening in the morning on Thursday and hectically embarking for the local NBC affiliate station to do a Hukilau segment, and realizing that that guy I had been shooting the bull with in the green room before our time slot was none other than William Katt, the Greatest American Hero himself. Pricelessly cool. Meeting the vendor crew, and meeting up with my brothers from other mothers Diablo and Lakesurfer and the patient, supportive, helpful, and understanding great wives behind the great men. Crash and crew and Lucky Lou's enthusiasm after a 16-hour drive from Texas. Wrapping up the early setup and heading down to the Cabana to hang in Jim and his lovely Wahine's room with Pablus(you, my friend, are the official keeper of the Concubine...it's okay...because I said so..)who saved me some Concs like the irreplaceable buddy he is. Catching up with Sven after (Lord, how long?). Then getting to see the Gen'rl and Humu and the gen-u-wine bona fide behind-the-scenes superwoman known as I Dream Of Tiki and Mr. and Mrs. Lopaka and Otto and Vern and Alice and Bamboo Ben and Al and Josh and Keigs and Heather and Danny and Steph and... Getting up Friday and having a great time meeting the last vendors loading in..'Doin a liddle bidness...Selling practically out of my vintage tiki mugs in an hour! Doing some slightly late carving for the folks with Danny and Keigs and Al and Lakesurfer...nice break. Lakesurfer knocking down some coconuts and Palmetto bugs. Worrying sick about getting all three of my responsibilities for the day in a straight, doable row! Billy Mure and Ape together on stage! Meeting up in our room for one helluva punch mixed by the swami Martiki and Rebecca and then taking that (and 100 proof Nirvana Banana, and Cruzan Single Barrel, and 35 or so of my dearest friends out into 3 or so feet deep (30 yards out!) of the most crystal clear moonlit ocean I've seen to this day to drink drinks and tell tales and live life to the fullest...testing my "hybrid bands"-(Leonard Nemoy Skynrd...Minnie Pearl Jam!) on revund Otto (who I hadn't seen since Trader Vic's 50th!). Hanging with Hanford and Michelle and Alice and Ibelli and the Haole Cats and friends at the big hot tub until lord knows when.. Wrapping up the vendor co-or duties rapid fire (and thus having to bow out of the Beachbum's seminar unfortunately). Keigs selling like platinum those last few hours! Dresses for Crash and Lucky Lou (you wear it well, ladies!). Shirts for moi! Loading the big van and off to the Mai Kai..Me and Nikki enjoying a superb show and having the best company I get every year! Getting meself a plaque to love fer all me own! Sipping 21 year-old Flor De Cania in the office with Ken, Heather, Nikki, Alice, and Denny and his new family. Kern Mattei is a rare quality of a host. I always look forward to seeing you, man. BACK IN THE WATER for the Friday Night crew! Wrapping up with dinner and conversation Sunday with Keigs and Heather...on the beach, with the most gorgeous harvest moon. The list goes on and on. Aloha to all of the Ohana. If I forgot you, I didn't really. I adore you all, and mahalos for years of friendship!

P.S. Kiliki freaking out and then aceing everything. I think she fakes the freak-out part just to look humble.. :) The Baby Ruth that I had with me to put in the pool but forgot about. The 144 piece Yankee Doodle fireworks assortment that I also forgot. Jab's great ties. Bruce's great luck. Stephanie and Danny's arrangement "I make the stuff...you sell the stuff"..Getting two Id's from Ken and a sneak preview of ze book from Heather. Lobster Cantonese so good wars have been fought over it (Peking Duck, too!). Holden for the book title. Bungy for the stories. Paul for the live performance of my favorite CD. All of the bands plowing some earth. Brother Swanky in that cabana set. Brother Swanky's help with my booth. Checking out Mojo's fantastic place and carvings (This man has a great collection!!) and then GatorRob's place.

[ Edited by: Basement Kahuna 2006-10-11 21:25 ]


I don't even know where to start...from the kickoff party on Thursday through the finale at The Jetsetter, I had a fantastic time.

The party on Thursday was a great way to start the weekend. That's definitely one of the most fun gigs I've ever played. During the Surf finale, folks were flying into the pool from all directions - some even went in voluntarily. The energy was awesome and we just kept feeding on it...even after the cops showed up!

The main event was quite memorable...not only did I get to be a fan boy around Billy Mure, but the musical performances were great! From flying woodchips to blue pompadours to horny Chimpanzees, it was a great time!

Friday night after the main event, we hosted a little jam in our room. Ended up playing with the cats from Combo Mahalo, Waitiki and Ape over the course of the evening...in fact, at one point, we had folks from 4 different bands jamming together. The last notes were picked around 5:30 am...just in time to hit Ernestos for a breakfast burrito! Yummy!

I was lucky enough to get a great seat (thanks Pablus!) for the Waitiki and Intoxicators sets back in Tahiti on Saturday. I gotta say, the music lineup this year was first class all the way. Oh yeah, Abe LaGrimas is from another planet or something - truly an admirable musician and improvisor. That guy is on another level.

After an exhilirating and well-received performance with Pablus (love you, bro) at The Mai Kai, we headed back for another night of jamming until 6am. Thanks to Jungle Jim and Jennifer for inviting us over to the balcony....Valerie had a gorgeous vintage Upright Bass that TJ and I passed around for hours while Brian from Combo Mahalo kept pulling out one great tune after another...those cats are the real deal, and nice guys to boot. (Watch for Anthony Locke's name...that guy is multi-talented and his steel playing kicks ass! You'll be hearing about him.)

Sunday at the Jetstter was a fitting finale for the weekend. We did a few early sets, then hung out and enjoyed the madness. Kanekila and I got up to jam with Slip and the Spinouts on some ass-kicking rockabilly. Butch from Cavefish got up and tore it up on some surf tunes. What a blast!

Thanks to all who supported us at our performances and those who bought CD's. We truly hope everyone enjoyed our offerings. We certainly enjoyed ourselves!




I had posted this on a different thread so I figured I would move it here:

Well, it is pictures like this that warm the cockles of my heart. We did have a rip-roaring fun time in the congo line with the lobsters!

Thanks to all who participated in the Tiki Bob's Tiki Bobster Fest!

Anybody have any more photos?



I always find that it is such a rough re-entry back into my work-a-day world after the euphoria of attending an event like Hukilau. The 50th Anniversary celebration exceeded my expectations. There is no way to describe the feeling you get when you are surrounded by the larger than life Ohana sharing in one kodak moment after another. You can not make this stuff up.

There are many treasured moments to reflect upon. Hanging out with Freddie Ballsomic is an event in itself. His life is definitely in living color! The truth is I was so elated at the Thursday pool party I could not stop smiling. A sea of tikiphiles from coast to coast! Great music, old and new friends, and the weekend rolled from there. It was definitely worth getting out of bed on Friday to be front and center for the marketplace. This is where I had to pace myself. First stop was to meet Aunt Bungy. Her positive energy will cure anything that ails you. I was so glad to see she made it and can’t wait to delve in to the stories of her adventures. From there it was on to the live carving on the beach. That was surreal to see the masters tag teaming tikis. The chips were flying under the sunny skies of Ft. Lauderdale. Next it was the breathtaking mermaid show. Tiki Bree wowed the crowd with her gold spun fishtails and elegant beauty. Then on to the main event where I peaked seeing Billy Muir with Ape. One day at Hukilau is better than an entire vacation.

Saturday was action packed starting with Geoff’s presentation on Florida tiki. My enthusiasm for the sunshine state has resurged to say the least. I relived my childhood in those images and declared my pride at being a resident of the sunshine state. Jeff Berry’s lecture was fact filled and packed a punch. What do you say about sipping on a Kiliki punch made by the master himself as you are sitting next to Tiki Kiliki. Then, just when the mellow kicks in you find yourself privy to images from Sven’s world…from his childhood to his upcoming new book. I felt like I was floating and thankful to be at that place at that time. (note attendance at mixology lecture to explain potential out of body experiences). A half an hour later I am at the Molakai bar sampling my first Jet Pilot. Thanks to my doubles partner Tiki Skip I also got to savor a Zombie. Life is good. I could not have imagined a more honored 50th celebration for the Mai Kai. And the Mai Kai knew it. The food was never better and the show was superb. For me it all hit home when the Haole Kats and Pablus took center stage with Basement Kahuna’s tiki hovering in the background. I have never seen them more complete. Sock monkeys and all. Then Crazy Al and Ben take the stage, people are dancing in the aisles, tikiphiles are everywhere. I did not want it to end. Thank god for after parties!

My reflection would not be complete without my finest Hukilau moments revolving around WITCO….from following up on local leads, to buying WITCO from a TC vendor on day one, to meeting Heather and Ken Pleasant, to discussing finds with BigBroTiki, to talking shop with Neptune and FreddieB. Nothing feeds my tiki soul more than talk of swamp cedar. Getting a glimpse of the upcoming “Tiki Modern and the Wild World of WITCO” on Sunday with Sven sealed the entire Hukilau weekend for me. It was an overwhelmingly fine moment. I have gotten my fix for now, but the WITCO light burns eternal.

Much appreciation to Tiki Kiliki, Casey, Basement Kahuna, Tiki Pugs, I Dream of Tiki, Chip and Andy and all the rest of the volunteers who made this year happen. What you gave to this event did not go unnoticed. I could not be more grateful. Long live Tiki…………………

Kim, you're true blue!

On 2006-10-11 21:58, Basement Kahuna wrote:
Kim, you're true blue!

That's not the half of it, Kim looks over and says, "Stop it, you're gonna make me cry too."
She got it... and I'll never forget it, ever.


Now I really feel left out! It sure looks like it was a blast! Hope to be there next year!


Loki posted on Thu, Oct 12, 2006 8:52 AM

Your a classy lady and it was a pleasure to meet you. Gotta make it down for our next tiki jam...


I've posted some of my pictures in the other photo thread, but wanted to add some comments here....

I've attended all 5 Hukilaus. When I attended the first one in Atlanta in 1992, I was not aware of anyone else in the D.C. area who was also into tiki. It was at that first Hukilau that Swanky informed me of the existence of a website called Tiki Central.

Four years later, I'm still attending Hukilaus, and this year I was joined by around 20 other local tiki friends from the D.C./Baltimore area who also came down for Hukilau, and even met more D.C. area people when I arrived. If that isn't progress, I don't know what is.

It was a honor to be a member of these communities - both the local D.C./Baltimore circle, and the larger tiki community as a whole. It was great to be in the presence of so many friends, and although I may not have been able to converse with you as much as I would have liked, your presence was definitely noticed. In a perfect world, we would be able to talk with each other for as long as we wished, but alas, there is never enough time, too many activities and visual and auditory distractions (sensory overload!), too many rum drinks to sample, not to mention too many new faces that I've never been introduced to -- yet.

Some of my personal memories/highlights ...

  • Hearing the Haole Kats play while swimming in the Cabana pool - it was relatively calm when I was the first to enter the pool, but I was soon joined by others morewild and crazy than myself - some in swimming attire, some fully clothed. This evening of wild pool activity later ended in the moonlit ocean.

  • Tiki marketplaces - both at the Yankee Clipper, and the Bahia Mar. Waaay too much good stuff. Oddly enough, in this paradise of tiki products, somehow one of the favorite item I bought was a portrait of Hank Williams Sr, done by Jaksin (and I don't even have a country music room) You never know what surprises the tiki artist community will present to you.

  • Seeing the packed house at the Wreck Bar for the mermaid performance. And then the next day at the Mai Kai, standing next to and talking with the same mermaid. Who says that there is no magic in life?

  • Woodchips flying through the air, like some form of biblical locust invasion, during the APE set. Later watching all the great visual eye-candy as Billy Mure joined APE.

  • Beachbum Berry's mixology seminar - the expertise and history presented was fascinating, and the drink samples were a wonderful enhancement. I had not been aware of the direct linkage from Don the Beachcomber to the Mai Kai drink menu.

  • Lobster Bora Bora, accompanied by first a Missionary's Doom, and then a Jet Pilot, at the Mai Kai. Definitely one of the best overall meals I've ever had, all followed by Waitiki performing in the Tahitian Room. In the tear 2000, I was able to watch Abe perform as part of Don Tiki at the Kahiki closing party, and here I was, over 6 years later, watching him perform again. Some tiki places close, some continue, but the people who appreciate and take part in tiki cultures sontinue.

  • The Jetsetter Lounge. Very cool place, and a great ambiance, especially with all the tiki people there.

  • Finally buying all of the Tiki Art Now books. I've known Otto since the mid-90's zine scene, and had resisted buying his books until I could do so from him in person, and have him autograph them. It took several years, but it finally happened! It was also nice to get a 'Tiki Archeology' DVD from Sven too - the VHS tape I had purchased at the first Hukilau was getting worn out.

  • Monday afternoon beach action. Calm, warm waters, and very relaxing to wade in. Pelicans flying very close to the water surface, between us and the shoreline. And then the arrival of the schools of silvery fish, and how they start jumping into the air above the water surface in unison, as if some hidden arm of Neptune was sweeping through the water, commanding them to jump. This sweeping jumping motion went on for about 10 seconds, directly in front of where we were sitting, and then calm waters again. This was one of the most wonderful and unexpected scenes of nature that I have ever observed up close. (I have since learned that fish will jump like this if they are being chased by a barracuda or shark under the water surface -- good thing I was out of the water by then!)

  • 4 nights of beautiful Florida weather, with the moon in or near full moon phase

Finally, thanks to Kiliki, Casey, and all the other organizers and behind the scenes people who helped to make this event happen. You've helped to make our lives, and vacations, much more interesting than they really deserve to be.


Otto posted on Sat, Oct 14, 2006 12:02 AM

Pablus, funny that you start a thread off like this because you inspired me to jot down my thoughts at 4 am on Saturday night after seeing you onstage at the Mai Kai. I know you didn't start the thread to receive adulation but here it comes:

Some random and not all-inclusive highlights of Hukilau

Apes surfing on a plastic crate in Bahia pool, and not caving their skulls in on the edge of the pool.

a dozen drunks trying to body-surf one foot waves at one a.m. and then drinking straight off the rum bottle on the beach til two a.m. (oh, that was every night!)

Jeff Chenault laying down the history in his Exotica presentation. Good to see Jeff finally getting credit for being on the forefront of the Exotica music craze.

Bree's mermaid inauguration and then poolside chess with the King, with drinks c/o David & Rebecca of Purple Orchid

accidental breakfast with Pablus at Bahia Cabana bar

Pablus' Bruddah Iz-like uke set and his even more amazing feat of consuming ONLY two drinks while spending hours at the Mai Kai - INCREDIBLE!

Kern's back office/behind closed doors rum tasting. What a host.

Beachbum Berry's drink seminar #2. Brought a tear to my eye not only to see my ol pal givin the gospel but when he winged the biggest of all compliments my way - here is the master of mixology comparing me to Don the Beachcomber to a crowded room of Tikiphiles. Thanks Jeff!

Capping the night at Jetsetter Lounge (w/ Phreddie, Nancy, Syd, and a green Malia) by buying a bottle of Voodoo Tiki tequila and getting a complimentary upgrade to their limited edition $250 Anejo. Anyone up for a top-top shelf tequila tasting?

capping the weekend by squeezing in one last dip in the ocean and a few minutes of quality time with friends Vern, Alice, James T., Deb and Paul (Munktiki), before sloggin off to the airport

Ok...it's been a week and I think the cobwebs have cleared enough to post a big "Thank You" to the event organizers for throwing a great party! I was a last minute addition (thanks Ahu for pushing me off the fence). Arrived late (Friday eve. - actually threw my luggage under one of the tables at the Mar and headed straight to the bar) and left early (had to catch a plane at 6 on Sunday, so left the Cabana at 5...the party still going strong on the balcony when I left).

Thanks to all that helped a last-minute attendee with accommodations, dinner show tix and plenty 'o rum. The atmosphere, music and people were fantastic. I especially enjoyed the late night jam sessions featuring a rotation of all of the bands in attendance (I especially enjoyed the extended version of 'Pipeline' with the instruments being passed around during the song...though must admit, I was distracted from the concert by the hot tub beer cooler rodeo that has been referred to by others and usually ends with a visit from the paramedics - luckily no injuries, just hours of entertainment). Also, I am a big surf fan...so great to hear the Intoxicators! Only wish that I could have stayed for the party at the Jetsetter. Another time.

I met a lot of people...but for those I did not, I was the big, tall fella (made taller with the addition of an FOM fez) who was endangering the hanging artifacts at the Mai Kai and was likely standing in front of you as you were trying to see the band.

Thanks again to those who organized the event...and to those who have helped organize in the past (making it what it is today). You should be very proud. It was a great party!

On 2006-10-09 14:04, pablus wrote:
Oh yeah, if anyone wants to keep the vibe going, I'll be at Atlanta Trader Vics this Friday night at 8pm.

Such a wonderful surprise after the trek from JAX to Atlanta...


Jen and I thank you so much for your hospitality.

We were happy to help celebrate another year that you will bring happiness to this world.

All the best to you! :)


Nobody was as surprised as BK to see you guys drop by at the perfect time.
The look of sheer delight on his face... like a BK in a vintage booth at a flea market.
(Do you even KNOW anything about aloha shirts, BK? DO YOU?)

Glad you made it back to Wiskeyconsin AOK, Sliver Surfer.
Here's to next time.

Also, mahalo to the ATL crew for joining the boithday fun at Trader VIcs.
That Barney West tiki outside the door is a serious piece.
Fun night and a great way to complete the Hukilau cycle.


Our first experience at the Hukilau was great, and it being the first time we were vendors for such an event was wonderful as well. We met a lot of people and had so much positive feedback on our stuff that it made all the hard work that went into everything well worth it.

And speaking of hard work that went into the Hukilau, thank you to Tiki Kiliki, Casey, Basement Kahuna and everyone else who helped put it together.

It was very cool to meet the other vendors and talk to them about their stuff. Crash, Tiki Diablo and Lake Surfer thanks for the feedback on our stuff and for ideas on where to score some wood to try my hand at carving. Hopefully, I'll still have both hands after I attempt it.

We'll be posting pics as soon as we can find the cord to the camera. We look forward to becoming more involved and meeting more people.

My Hukilau memories

As usual, the bulk of the best ones for me are the unplanned. This is not to say that the Friday night show, or the Mai Kai, or the Jetsetter were ANYthing but spectacular. But you expect those to be great. And they were (THREE firedancers! And the new one was cu-YUTE).

Personal Highlights:

  • Sitting with the Heelgrinders, my darling roomie Sandra, and Chip&Andy watching Bre-Ari-Elle the Mermaid through the windows of The Wreck Bar. Better than Cirque de Soleil, cuz she was REAL! At least, it sure looked that way to me. Enchantment Under the Sea.

  • The offshore after-party, passing around the bottles of whatever. Someone asked, “Who decided The Party would be 50 feet offshore, right here in the ocean?!” I laughed and laughed. And returned the next night. The company, the water, the light from the full moon(s) :wink: – all perfect.

  • Watching the bronco – I mean igloo-busting competition in the hottub. Another favorite quote, courtesy of Swanky, after someone yelled to send in the rodeo clowns (to distract the wayward igloo): “You mean Scottish Rodeo Clown Doctors.” (It really was miraculous that nobody lost any teeth.)

  • The Beachbum’s lecture. I learned SO MUCH. As Tikibars handed me yet another sample of the de-LI-cious Nui Nui (reading my mind that I wanted another), I laughed at my – well – ALL our nerdiness. “You realize what this must look like to the hotel staff; here we are listening to lectures about the ‘diaspora of Polynesian drinks,’ and earlier we’re oohing and aahing at slides of matchbooks and swizzle sticks!!” [Thanks KailuaGeoff!] “Yeah,” added Tikibars, “all the energy, research, and the money we spend on coming to things like this – if we put all that to other purposes, we could cure cancer! Or solve world hunger!” I laughed – and grabbed another Nui Nui. Yummieeee.

  • Getting to sing in the Mai Kai with my four favorite husbands in the village of Okonkuluku (where polygamy is allowed). I’m still trying to figure out HOW those guys put away SO MANY DRINKS. And still stand. And still PLAY. And play WELL!

  • Sitting next to The Joke Butcher on the bus to the JetSetter. The JB didn’t give up – kept right on going with great jokes, even if the delivery was, um, imperfect. I love that woman.

  • Lying on the beach Monday with Paul and Deborah Munktiki, Vern, James T, Otto and Karen (I’m so glad you came to Hukilau, Karen!). The sun was hot, the water was PERfect, Deborah (aka the JB) provided tinto verano, and Vern made a sandwich run. We had umbrellas, comfy chairs, huge towels, and perfect company – some of my favorite people in the world. All we lacked was a National Geographic Special Presentation.

And then we had it.

  • The magical spectacle at the beach started with pelicans – LOTSA pelicans (just when you left, James and Otto!). When I approached the water to snap a shot, I heard everyone scream and what sounded like hard rain hitting the water. I looked from behind my camera to see a bajillion fish jumping – great churning waves of flying silver, shimmering in the bright Florida sun. That’s why the pelicans were hanging around. And why were the fish jumping? To sacrifice themselves as a tasty treat for the hungry birds, now swooping in for the kill? Ha! To avoid being shark bait! We didn’t see the underwater predators, but a woman with whom I spoke earlier said she’d seen a few there. Nurse sharks, 2 or 2&1/2 feet long. Coooool. They did it again and again, but smaller waves each time. (I guess the sharks were getting full.) What a GREAT last Hukilau event. (Even better than the octopus that PearlyShell, Mean Gene and I found last year!)

Only Hukilau 2006 complaint – that I didn’t get to spend decent time with so many people. I wasn’t avoiding you, anyone, I swear! I mean, where WAS I? Oddly enough, I kinda wish there weren’t so many wonderful day events so that I could have just hung out with the ohana. Instead, I felt guilty – like I was missing out on something – if I missed any planned event. And I STILL missed out on planned events, either because they were running late but I couldn’t change my schedule, or I’m a f***ing idiot who can’t read a schedule, or because I was helping out a lost performer. And I look at people’s pictures, and I’m like, “when did THAT happen? Where was I?!”

Yeah, whine whine whine, Alice. “Waah! There was too much fun to be had! Boo hoo!” :roll:

Other happy little moments:

  • finding out that I FI-nally had a Bahia Cabana room in the main part of the hotel, and right under the Italians’ penthouse. I wasn’t in my room more than 5 minutes before two GORgeous Italian boys knocked! (OK, they were looking for my cute roommate Sandra/Betty Rubble, but STILL! HANDsome!)
  • getting Finkdaddy’s beautiful Maori style bone fishhook while enjoying a burger at the Cabana bar with JTD and Gary.
  • seeing Basement Special K and Nikki still so happy together. Yay :)
  • meeting the amazing Thayer. I soooo have to get out to Alameda and see you and the Martikis again!
  • seeing Denny, Hilary, and Baby makes three. She is SO CUTE. Oh, the kid's cute too.
  • meeting and dancing with Nancy, Syd, and Phreddie from NYC at the JetSetter. Good luck with your college choices, Sydney!
  • seeing again the wonderfully talented and darling Mr. and Mrs. ChiselSlinger (6 years after their fine fine after-Kahiki-closing-backyard-luau, because of which I came to know Vern, Mr Smiley, Patrick the Silver Fox, Otto and Baby Doe, Sven and others!). Y'all will always be The Standard of hospitality to me.
  • meeting fellow tiki Texan Kenike. Can’t wait ‘til Trader Vic’s Dallas!
  • Marina the Fire-Breathing Orion Slave Girl dancing for the table of old ladies in purple dresses and red hats (huh?). And she’s gonna be the next Wreck Bar mermaid: cool!
  • lunch with Holden (did you find your glasses?), the Bamboo Bens and other fellow hangover-ees. I’ve GOTTA get back out to the West Coast!
  • Kern’s invite to sip rum and sign his poster in the back office. How sweet to see him SO into our being into the Mai Kai!
  • sitting right at the stage at the Mai Kai, across from Casey and surrounded by some of the nicest, sharpest people I know. Does a girl get any luckier?!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou Tiki Kiliki (how DO you do it, year after year!), the always dapper Casey, TikiPugs, BK, Humu2, Gary, King Kuke (who always holds it together), all the performers, all the vendors, ALL the people without whom Hukilau is not possible.

Counting the days ‘til June 14, 2007!
(Pictures forthcoming - finishing the last roll before I take 'em into the developer, non-digital Luddite that I am!)

"Zazz captivates felt."

[ Edited by: Formikahini 2006-10-17 07:57 ]

Definitely, one of the highlights of my experience was Formikahini singing "Bali Hai" with us at the Mai Kai, and also on the bus to the Jetsetter...

On 2006-10-16 14:15, frostiki wrote:
Our first experience at the Hukilau was great, and it being the first time we were vendors for such an event was wonderful as well. We met a lot of people and had so much positive feedback on our stuff that it made all the hard work that went into everything well worth it.

And speaking of hard work that went into the Hukilau, thank you to Tiki Kiliki, Casey, Basement Kahuna and everyone else who helped put it together.

It was very cool to meet the other vendors and talk to them about their stuff. Crash, Tiki Diablo and Lake Surfer thanks for the feedback on our stuff and for ideas on where to score some wood to try my hand at carving. Hopefully, I'll still have both hands after I attempt it.

We'll be posting pics as soon as we can find the cord to the camera. We look forward to becoming more involved and meeting more people.

Frost... great meeting you two and glad you had a good time. Keep up the good work, I love that your stuff is tiki but still Midwest grounded. Stay true to the roots and people will seek you out. Being a tiki artist here in the frozen tundra can be tough at times, but once you find your niche crowd you can run with it. I'll keep you in the loop, we do have our share of tiki events up here.

Thanks for the trade... it will be one of the first pieces to go up in my new tiki bar!


Thanks for the support, and for keeping us posted. Our little wooden friend we adopted from you is adjusting to his new home and looking forward to his new Tiki room.

Mahalo to everyone for filling in the blanks from Thursday/Friday for me. Big time Mahalo to Al and Rev for saving from a rock star death at the Cabana. Tell the security guard I'll pay the dry cleaning bill. Thanks also to TK, Casey, and the pugs for their hard work. Another awesome Hukilau!


it was all a blur!!! Cracker Barrel....Hertz rental with a BIG oil leak....drinking in the ocean from midnight or so to 5 am or so....and FINALLY winning a tiki from Tikijaksin!! (thanks guys!) zazzz!!!!OH, iNKY finds it ironic that I always try to burn down the place I love so much!!!! (insert picture here!)

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