Tiki Eyeball Trip Report

This year was the first annual Tiki Eyeball. It was an event by Wizzard Road Shows, which does a number of car events over the summer. I was contacted to put together a tiki carving demonstration and then helped get ideas together and promote the event.

For Basement Kahuna, it meant driving 4 hours up to Knoxville from Athens. We then set out on another 9+ hour drive to central Illinois. With a late start and lots of stopping to search antique malls, plus an hour where we put it in park and stood in the interstate, it turned into about a 14 hour drive.

Basement Kahuna and I are always on the prowl for rare liquors and this old sign we thought pointed the way. Screw gin and vodka! We sell Whiskey! Well, on opening the door, a few haggard locals swung around on their stools at 2PM on a Thursday. We were not finding anything there.

So we were a little loopy come Friday. Noa Noa’s in our room before the trip to the Aku Tiki Room. Lake Surfer and his wife, Tipsy McStagger, Kevin and Hadley Moore, and others came by. And then we found out the bus had broken down. In the middle of an intersection…

The sunken bar at the Aku Tiki Room. The design of the bar was fantastic. I wish there was a bar this cool around here, tiki or no tiki.

This painting once had no lei. It still has some nipple. Cool.

Great shell lamps. These are over 3 feet across.

Tipsy and others at dinner.

The Tiki Twins! These gals started serving there, along with their Mom, when they were 13. They continued to work there for decades. I spent most of the night talking to them and hearing their story. In fact, I spent so much time taking pictures and talking I forgot to eat dinner! Luckily I it also kept me drinking slowly.

Great Oceanic Arts rail posts and mask with shell sconces.

Next day was kar time with Kay Ohara signing prints.

Tonga Trader and his wife drove their 1961 Chyrsler 300 to the event. This is one of my favorite cars. You gotta love a cross ram V8 luxury car.

Kevin Moore shows a novel way to torch a tiki carving, using a 1959 Cadillac… Video is on its way…

BK and I went back to the Aku Tiki Room that night and stopped by the Kewaunee Moose Lodge.

This is the Church of the Future! On the road to the ATR.


BK enjoys a lobster tail dinner. The drinks here are fantastic. Demerara Dry Float, Beachcomber Punch and Rum Barrels I recommend. El Dorado 12 Year. The bartender Tom works hard to keep the ingredients in stock.

On the return trip, we stopped at our Papua New Guinea collector’s house to see the new shipment. Here are a few shields.

Left side…

Right side.

We’ll have a few pieces for sale at Hukilau.

The event was poorly attended for reasons we don’t know, but we’ll correct some problems and do it again next year. I already have a verbal agreement from Pablus to perform in the round in the ATR. Basement Kahuna puts the ATR right behind the Atlanta Trader Vic’s. He now has one of his carvings there and is designing their signature mug we hope will be available when we return next year.

4 Replies to “Tiki Eyeball Trip Report”

  1. I ain’t playing noth… oh wait… they have Demerara Dry Floats?

    ok see you there when is it is it time yet ok lets go how do i get there

  2. BK looks to be in a state of ecstacy over the feast before him!
    Sorry to have missed this- glad you guys had fun.

  3. That was drunken fun in the middle of nowhere good time! Glad to meet you and loved your DJ skills, excellent music!

  4. Swanky, very cool. Looks and sounds like you all had a great time. Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to get on out there someday.

    Shit howdy, Vic

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