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Honoring The Hala Kahiki's "Tiki Titan"

"If tiki had a Michelangelo, it might just be designer William John Westenhaver," Maureen O'Connell writes for the Sun-Times.

(And if the Sun-Times had an editor, they would have made those verb tenses parallel, but I digress.)†

"And if he had a Sistine Chapel, it could be the Hala Kahiki lounge in River Grove.

"Mr. Westenhaver was one of the foremost makers of all things tiki - carved chairs, tables, totems, idols, light fixtures, candle and menu-holders. His pieces - produced by Witco, the company he co-founded in Mount Vernon, Washington - once graced Polynesian-style clubs, hotels and restaurants across the country, built in a wave of post-war escapism redolent of rum, coconut and bamboo . . .

"Mr. Westenhaver, 91, a resident of Coupeville on Washington's Whidbey Island, died Dec. 14 after a fall, said his son Kim."



"Billy was an only child who grew up in Aberdeen and later southern California when there were still some wild places. He loved the ocean, bays, lagoons, and backwaters that were prevalent back then.

"He joined the Navy at the age of 17 and served in the South Pacific during WWII. He loved to draw and would always include drawings and artwork with his letters back home.

"After the war, he married Patricia Jean Frank and started a family in southern Cal.

"He worked for Union Oil and attended LA Art Center on the GI Bill."


Tiki Modern: And the Wild World of Witco.


Condolences on Tiki Central.


The Witco cocktail, served at the Cosmic Coconut.


The Hala Kahiki.


How A Midwestern Family Built An Enduring Tropical Oasis.


House of Paradise.


I've been told by an actual linguist that the verb tenses shouldn't agree because the phrase is conditional. My only response to that is: the guy's death certainly isn't; that's a permanent condition. I may be technically wrong, then, but we both agreed, along with a third party, that the phrasing is awkward in any case.


Comments welcome.


1. From Steve Rhodes:

The Hala Kahiki has always been one of my most favorite places on the planet, though I haven't made it there in years. My favorite drink there was always the (relatively modest) Blue Hawaii, though I've really barely dented the menu.


Posted on January 18, 2017

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
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BOOKS - All About Poop.


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