Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Sunset on the Tucson Tiki Man"
3" by 4"
Oil on Gessobord

I read on BoingBoing this week that an old friend of mine was scheduled for demolition.

Magic Carpet Golf on Speedway in Tucson Arizona was one of my favorite Tucson hangouts as a child.

I was eight years old in 1976 and the 'Tiki Man', a three-story-tall concrete Easter Island Moa with glowing red eyes and a green-lit spiral staircase leading to a caged observation platform, loomed huge in my imagination.

That's what we always called it. The Tiki Man. That's what everyone called it.

I spent many a happy hour there.

And then I nearly caused a car wreck some twenty years later when my Husband and I visited Tucson and I suddenly saw my old friend looming over the road.

I started screaming 'Tiki Man! Tiki Man! Tiki Man!'

I'd had this immediate and intense rush of childhood memories.

I had totally forgotten the Tiki Man until that moment.

Now, Magic Carpet Golf has been sold to a car dealership and they don't hold my deep love for kitch. They want the property swept clean.

But thank all the gods, the Tiki Man will escape that fate.

I just got word that he's been purchased by a downtown Tiki-themed bar.

Saves me the trouble of renting a U-Haul and committing grand larceny.

But I'll have to go back to Tucson and visit him in his new digs.

I'm so relieved he won't be bulldozed.

I painted this before I got the news of his reprieve. I'm all better now.

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