Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Luau Party, Los Angeles, CA 1958
A nautical lifesaver hangs centered on an abalone and starfish studded fishing net festooning on a pale brick backyard wall like a giant bat. The draped display is an inspired backdrop for an aqua tile trimmed swimming pool decked in battleship grey and furnished with a wooden diving board, redwood bench, trio of mismatched aluminum chairs and a round table shaded by a fringed umbrella.
Islander wannabees are dressed for party success in hearty Hawaiian shirts, sarongs and muumuus. They sit Japanese restaurant style on white-piped canvas cushions around a blanket. Some of the guests sport festive straw hats and leis. At the head of the blanket a smiling, shirtless man is theme inappropriate in light blue twill trousers and a white terry towel around his neck.
Recognizable among the sweet and sour spread are a red Jell-O mold, a ripe pineapple surrounded by coconuts and bananas, cheese cubes pricked with frizzled toothpicks, white bread rolls, and a casserole dish filled with, what looks to me like, some sort of Spam and hash brown concoction topped with sliced pineapple halves. Some maraschino cherries would be nice! Whatever it is the casserole will contrast nicely when served on the mint green paper plates. I wonder what they are washing all of this down with in those bright green paper cups. Exotic cocktails anyone?
This colorful slide is a great style guide start for a backyard luau supper party that you, yes you, can throw this summer. For the full exotica effect add strings of multi colored mood lighting and hang candle-lit Japanese lanterns above the blanket. Pipe in lilting Hawaiian war chants on hidden speakers and, of course, have at least one giant tiki god flanked by tiki torches. Hire at least one professional hula dancer, or if you can an entire troop, for an after dinner dance.
For all of your luau party needs I suggest none other than Oceanic Arts, the worlds largest and oldest (AND GREATEST) Polynesian pop supply house, located in Whittier, California since 1956. To walk through their well-stocked warehouse is an experience you will never forget! Your island imagination will be inspired and your aloha spirit will soar!
Here’s to luau parties, Oceanic Arts and YOU!
Visit Charles’ site or join his Slide of the Week Mailing List.
DOO DAH SURF CONTEST
Saturday, July 25th, 7:30 a.m.
Sunset Beach, Pacific Palisades, CA.
Dress in costume, surf and have fun!
CHARLES PHOENIX’S RETRO SLIDE SHOW
TOUR OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
August 7, 2009 at Noon
at Farmlab in Los Angeles, CA