On my infrequent excursions to Long Beach Island over the past fifteen years, I've always kept an eye out for this little roadside stand that sells tikis and tiki-related merchandise. I've never actually stopped there, mostly because I've always been trying to outrace the rest of the shore traffic. But being a fan of the painter Shag, I've always found the sight of it extremely pleasing and often pledged to stop in some time when I wasn't in a hurry.
So, I was saddened this weekend to find it in ruins.
The thatch-roof stalls were empty and dilapidated. The tiki torches had all burnt out and mostly fallen to the ground. The Hawaiian-shirted salespeople vanished. And the lone surviving tiki had fallen into a state of hideous neglect, serving no other purpose now, but to hold up a leaning, handpainted, plywood sign reading "Tiki museum for sale."