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The BEST private tiki backyard-close to where I grew up!

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laney posted on Sun, Mar 7, 2004 4:43 AM

This house is about a block from my parents house. The lady who lives there is very nice, she used to call me "little bo peep" because I used to walk my lamb past her house on my way to the horse trails. I could see parts of a giant clam shell and a tiki hut from the trail and always wondered what was behind this unassumimg (no tiki in the front) house. The yard has been this way as long as I can remember. I finally got the nerve to knock on her door and ask to take some pictures. I reminded her who I was and she asked how my Mom was doing and talked about my siblings. She couldn't believe I was old enough to have Nick. After some small talk she said "Sure!"
Wow! As my son put it "This is my dream backyard!" I was in AWE!
Like anyone who has taken pictures at OA or any tiki bar, the pictures don't do this place justice. I don't use my digital camera for more than e-bay or posting things here so I don't have a card. I missed taking pics of about 15 other tikis and carvings on the sides of buildings and littered throughout the paths. There were vintage glass floats all over the ground and hanging on the back fence of the yard too!
Here's some pics (as many as my camera would allow and some didn't turn out)

keep in mind these structures are not part of the house. I asked her what was in the A frame and she said, "Oh, thats the Polynesian room, it's filled with all sorts of stuff, there's even a kitchen in there, but it's kind of a mess right now" I didn't want to bother her too much as her husbands health is failing, I think from a stroke.

there were tikis and shields leaning all over the place! OH! That bird is hooked up to a gas line to make a flame!

here's the bathrooms, and see the boat, she said she used to serve food from that at parties.

here's the lath, the waterfall goes into the pool and down the other side to wind through paths and little bridges.

Um, we're talking 30'+ tikis here!

my son, Nick, is standing on one of the little bridges.

this was pretty much the scene inside the lath, tikis everywhere, you can't see the glass floats on the ground EVERYWHERE! and there were several of the "big head" tikis (like the Simpson's) I just didn't get a picture of.

every support post was carved!

here's a little balcony (the back side can be seen from the horse trail)My 8 year old could fit in that clam shell.

the other side of the balcony.

See the anchor and mask?

a little nook with shells, shark jaws, and ships parts.
The other side of the yard had a pool slide, and even a small aviary (I think it was empty)
Like I said, I missed a lot of photo ops and wished I could see into that A frame, I didn't even look into the bathrooms because I didn't want to be pushy. I will drop her a note of thanks and ask to see it again some time but I know she is having a hard time right now with her husbands illness. She said "Oh, you can get these carvings in Whittier, at Ocianic Arts." I wonder if she knows how expensive a set up like that would be now. She said she's always loved it (DAMN) and it's great for luaus, now for the grandkids. She also said she does her best to keep it up, having the tikis painted and even the bird's paint was recently touched up. I asked her if she got many requests from people to take pictures and she said "No, none."
There is another house a few houses down drom my parents with some tikis in the front yard I will photograph next week.
I hope you enjoyed this hidden paradise, man, I did!

[ Edited by: laney on 2004-03-07 04:47 ]

[ Edited by: laney on 2004-03-07 04:53 ]

JTD posted on Sun, Mar 7, 2004 4:56 AM

Wow! Thanks for posting, Laney. I'm glad you knocked on that door. That is my dream backyard, too!


Wow, what a find! Ever since I started my research I was aware of the fact that there are (were) backyards like these all over Southern California, but HOW do you find them? One can't knock on everybody's door with a picture of a Tiki and ask "Do you have THIS in your backyard?"
This is definately the best example I've ever come across, better even than "Herman the German's" yard (who had painted his pidgeons to look like tropical birds).
A lot of O.A. stuff, but also carvings from unknown sources.
Laney, I wonder if you could be my ambassador here, and bring the Lady a copy of the BOT. I will send you one (or give you one later if you can get one in your vicinity). Her ill husband will enjoy the hell out of it, and then you can explain that the author is interested in photographing their Shangri-la for posterity. No one knows what will happen to it once he kicks the bucket, with the off spring often not being appreciative of their parents' taste, or maybe the house changing owners, and presto, in a few years all this could be gone.

A later step would be to ask if they have any photos of their backyard Luaus from the 60s, that is another thing hard to come by. Oh if I think of all the great snapshots that are out there, and no way to find them!


Thanks for posting a little bit of tiki paradise ---- WOW! Awesome! I need to get out on my patio and get to work! I am inspired!


Excellent photo essay. Little Bo Peep, Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.


Boy what an Excellent find. Thanks so much for sharing. Look what we would have missed without TC.....


X marks the spot and Laney found it! What a treasure! Thanks for the wonderful pictures Laney!


Unbelievable! I hope you follow through with bigbrotiki's suggestion. Most older people I've encountered who have poly-pop stuff from the heydays are unaware that it's now unusual or that there are people who are really interested in the history behind their mug collection, home bar, or jaw droppingly incredible back yard poradise.


Wish that was my backyard!

Now, wait a second...did you say you used to walk your lamb around the neighborhood?

Damn!!!!!!!! What a great find.

That is absolutely unbelievable! You had a lamb growing up?! I thought I was the only one.

Amazing pictures!

Hey Little Bo Peep....cool find.
Will you be sporting pony tails at the next party?
Thanks for discovering that and for posting the images....can't wait to see more!!


Thanks Laney!

great pictures laney!!!
thank the tiki gods for giving you the sight to find that house!!
we should have all the tcr's post pictures of their backyard, front yard,side yard or balconies. show off what you've done or what you would like to eventually do.
diesel tiki

Righteous!!! Help Sven get in there with his camera ASAP.


This is so excellent. As this forum grows and grows, it ios harder and harder for any of us to make a real 'discovery'. Finally, here's something no one else has seen before (well, besides the lady's friends and family.) What an excellent find. Congrats!

I have been thinking about this more and more - after going all the way to Thailand to Trader Vic's, knowing that many others into the tiki revival have been before me and already taken pix... well, there really isn't anywhere I can go that hasn't been documented. The most exciting part for me about tiki is the urban archaeology aspect.

Although this forum is an awesome place to see and disseminate information, it also takes a little thrill out of tiki hunting, cause every time you think you seen something new, you do a little search and find out it isn't news after all.

Well, whta I mean to say is, good job!

Amazing! All that hidden away all the years! It seems that the people who have always had something never realize how special it can be to those who have been looking for it all their lives!
If at all you or someone else can get in there we have to see more! Thanks for sharing!

laney posted on Mon, Mar 8, 2004 3:08 PM

First let me say, I will do my best to get Sven an invite with plenty of advance notice so that we can see into the room and take more photos. But, I have been through my Fathers illness-going from taking care of several mulit-unit rentals plus their large lot, in his retirement, to being in a wheelchair with the need of a caregiver. I know how hard it is to adjust so I certainly don't want to be a bother. I ask please, if anyone knows where this house is, don't infringe on their privacy. Give them some time.
Yes, I had a lamb. I also had a ewe who had triplets but the lamb who lived at my parents was my baby. He was supposed to be sold at auction but I couldn't do it. I'd walk him/he'd follow me, everyday, he would play chase with his buddy, my friends Doberman (it was quite a sight) and he would drink out of the drinking fountain (without putting his mouth on it) But he eventually got lonely for other sheep so I donated him to the Santa Ana Zoo. He quickly became the alpha-sheep and figured how to unlock the doors-they renamed him 'Godzilla' I had a zoo membership for years and would visit him all the time to sneak him M&M's. He died a couple years ago of old age :cry:


Laney, that was some great stuff. Thanks for the pics.


i am unworthy!!!


Unbelievable. Absolutely awesome stuff! No one I've seen has a backyard done that well any more... Congrats on an awesome find Laney & thanks for sharing it with us....

Thats my dream backyard too! Wonderful! Even if it would be an intrusion for Sven to go in to take pictures I bet that lady and her husband would love the BOT. Please update us on how future contacts go.

Thanks Laney! what a great place for a ITD Party...Aloha!

That is truly awesome. Made me want to go and shovel snow and start landscaping.

Kablamo! That must have been something to see when it was all being created. I wonder how many phases it took or if it was all in one shot. To bad the hubby is sick, though. Thanks Laney.


Incredible! This is the Tiki find of the century!

Thanks for sharing, Laney.

Laney, it might still be a good idea to keep an eye on that house if they ever want to sell it. There are a few real estate agents in So Cal that specialize in finding vintage homes for buyers that would appreciate them.

Also, as a side note, if they have any vintage slides of parties they gave in the 50s or 60s I know a certain slide historian who would probably love to duplicate them:

words not good enough, my final resting place.


Thanks Laney for the great post......I woulld never leave that place.....work from home........


This is amazing. Thanks for posting the pics! This is my dream back yard, too. :)

Thank you for sharing your amazing pictures and story. I am overwhelmed and literally in tears. What a wonderful time this family must have had. I am just blown away. Thank You so much!!

Wow, I can't believe I missed this thread! Thanks for bumping it sparklegem! What a fantastic place.


I know I'm preaching to the choir and saying what's been said over and over here but I must bow my head in quiet awe. The boat for serving food, the "Polynesian room"...I can only imagine the parties they must have had there...if those tikis could talk! There are so many artifacts there, it must have cost a fortune, even back then to put all that in. Many of us can only hope to even come close to that level of pure tikiosity!!

Laney, How're your neighbors doing? Do they need any help around the house or yard? I know that a house like that can get to be alot to take care of as you get older, & TC members would be glad to volunteer with work around a yard like that.

GECKO posted on Fri, Apr 16, 2004 7:51 PM

sorry I've been bizzy and missed this crazy post! it deserves a bump! I love it! Hopefully Bigbro gets to take some great pics incase this beautiful place is ever renovated by some munks! Thanks so much Laney!

Wow wow wow!!!!! I'll just chime in with the others, it's the most amazing yard I've ever seen. It's the ultimate without a doubt!


Just wanted to check in to see if this yard still exists a year or 2 later? I remember Sven was interested in photographing it. Did that session ever happen?

Laney, top job, not just the snooping but the story.

One of my Dad's friends in Garden Grove used to have a house very much like that. I was off Lampson St near Brookhurst. It could have been a prop for a movie with 10 foot waterfalls, swimming pools ponds, and all the tropical plants.

When I do any little addition to my yard, I think of it as a seed in the future to those kinds of places.

Fantastic Photos, thanks!

Wow...Wow! I cannot think of anything else but, WOW!


That has got to be the most incredible tiki find I've ever seen. It's perfect.

I do recognize the tiki in pic #5 on the right. I picked up one of those a few years ago at the Cruz show.. probably an Oceanic Arts piece (?)

I'm curious- whatever did happen with this gem and Sven?

I hope it remains that way forever...Any updates???

Holy Sh*t! I must've been drunk when I missed this one!


That backyard is very inspiring, like a mini Mai Kai...
Would love to get something like that going in my back

Bete posted on Wed, Feb 8, 2006 4:13 PM

What a cool yard!

Most amazing yard I have ever seen. I can't imagine how much extra I would pay for that house if they were to sell just to get them to leave it as is.

WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!


On 2004-04-16 08:34, freddiefreelance wrote:
Laney, How're your neighbors doing? Do they need any help around the house or yard? I know that a house like that can get to be alot to take care of as you get older, & TC members would be glad to volunteer with work around a yard like that.

How 'bout let's BUY it! It's "mai tai" - The Best!

a.k.a. Mayor of Forbidden City

[ Edited by: tikigap 2006-02-09 19:35 ]


Seriously! We could all pitch in to buy it intact, and then time-share it! Wow, I'd even go to Bakersfield for a week to immerse myself in that atmosphere (no offense to Bakersfieldians...it's just not known as a "vacation" destination...hehe).


... neighbors down the street vacation in bakersfield three weeks out of the year... for some, it can be quite the retreat...

... but then again, anywhere in california is great...

... there are some killer thrift stores in and around bakersfield, too...

Pages: 1 2 87 replies