Thursday, May 24, 2012

File this under “Obscure teen fashions of the 1960s”


I was rooting through a box the other day when I came across the Tiki God that I thought was way cool back in my sophomore year in high school (1960-61).

It was something I found in a magazine that looked exotic and evoked a vague Polynesian vibe.

tiki01It’s a crudely carved 2½” tall wooden image with green glass eyes and a leather thong for wearing around the neck.

I suspect most of my classmates just wrote it off as more evidence of my eccentric nature. Nobody made a big deal about it and I don’t recall any other Tiki Gods popping up in my school to make me a serious trend-setter. Nope. It was just me and my stupid Tiki God.

Here’s a photo from the 1961 yearbook, the Oracle, showing me wearing it and leering at Miss Stiles, a student Latin teacher. I was also wearing my favorite ultra-fashionable shawl collar sweater that day. I really liked shawl collar sweaters. I hope they come back into fashion for men someday.

The girl in the white blouse sitting in front of me is Sharon Hensley, my girlfriend at the time. If she had an opinion about my Tiki God, I don’t recall her ever expressing it.

But she did dump me in the spring of 1961, so maybe the Tiki God was the problem after all. I’ll have to ask her at our 50-year class reunion next year.

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