photo courtesy Bonnie Daws Kourvelas
Look what my pal Bonnie Daws Kourvelas has turned up — some rare interior shots of the Luau, the Polynesian-themed restaurant that stood on Poplar across from East High School.
Bonnie, who attended Sheffield High School, has been poring over some old Sheffield scrapbooks she acquired from the mid-1970s, and turned up these (and several more) snapshots of a high-school organization — we're not sure which one — that was having a luncheon at the Luau, and she passed the photos on to me. Note the woven-grass-covered walls (did this place pass the fire codes?), the somewhat bizarre decorations, and the "authentic" Polynesian attire of the waitresses.
In some of the shots, the walls are rather plain-looking paneling, but until somebody tells me otherwise, I'm going to assume all of these were taken at the Luau.
Bonnie is one of the few people I know who will publicly admit that she shares my enthusiasm for this kind of off-the-wall historical weirdness. She's harnessed some of that energy as the producer of several outstanding Memphis Memoirs historical segments for WKNO-TV, as the host and producer of the Southern Routes series on that same station (some of which actually featured a fellow named Vance Lauderdale), as the author of a very fine illustrated history of Dyersburg, and in many other ventures. I'm always grateful for her capable assistance.
Recognize any of the folks in these photos?
Now: If we could only find a halfway decent shot of the outside of the restaurant ...
Thanks, Bonnie. Keep looking!