It’s 1945, and the War is Over. American soldiers came home with stories of the beaches and tropical warmth of the South Seas. (It was best to tell stories about Island life and hospitality than share tales of horror from the battlefront). They brought photos and souvenirs, and a taste for exotic foods.
Soldiers and sailors came home with money and a sense of adventure… and a desire to travel. They wanted to go back to the beauty that they saw. Travel to Hawaii became easier, with flights on the Pan Am Clipper flying from San Francisco to the islands in a mere 16 hours. After years of depression and war, Americans were ready to have some fun.
In 1948, James Michener released his book, Tales of the South Pacific, about his adventures during the War… in 1949, Rogers and Hammerstein took the story and ran with it. They gave us South Pacific, and we all learned to “wash that man right out of our hair”.
Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon Tiki Expedition became the original Reality Show…. as he sailed to Polynesia on a Balsa Raft. People loved the adventure of it all!
Tiki was IN, Tiki was HIP, anything related to this amagamation of made up South Seas culture was cool.