Celebration Pipes were first created on Laie Point , North Shore Oahu, in the winter of 1973 as the legendary island waves thundered into the lava tubes running under our lanai studio. The Sunshine Festival in Diamondhead Crater was only a couple of weeks away on January 1, 1974, and I was behind on my Christmas gift list. We had created over 250 handmade K-POI radio coffee mugs for the stations’ owner, Tom Moffatt. Tom Moffatt productions brought Elvis to Hawaii in the 1960’s and just kept bringing the best talent and performers in the world to the paradise called HAWAII.The Sunshine Festival was an annual all day extravaganza on New Years day that seemed to get 10’s of thousands of rock and roll fans off to a good start each New Year. Lots of music, dance, and good times had for all inside a dormant VOLCANO in the middle of an island, in the middle of the ocean. So besides the dozens of handmade ceramic mugs, bowls, plates and toothbrush holders that were to this time the normal stock in trade for our home ceramic business , a new item, a handmade, lavastoneware, 22kt GOLD PLATED pipe was offered to the public for the first time.
Since the early 1970’s were also a time of abundant and virtually FREE sweet smoke such as Kona Gold, Maui Wowie, and Kauai Electric, the attendees to the Sunshine Festival turned out to be EXACTLY the correct demographic group to offer this latest creation to. From a humble batch of 15 or so pieces, an entirely new enterprise was launched that today is being reborn thru the evolution of our worldly consciousness via the internet.
In the spring of 1974, a friend of mine, a printer from California who received one of the original batch of Pipes for a Christmas present, called me to inform me that a new magazine was being launched, and I had best give them a call PRONTO….this of course was the now legendary HIGHTIMES magazine founded by Tom Forcade and about to awaken the world to a new view of things both cosmic and funny. I made about 300 Pipes and traveled to California where I met West Coast editor, Steve Becker at the HighTimes office in Los Angeles. We set in motion the production for the first ad that came out in the first color covered High Times with the PBY airplane in the Bahamas on the cover.
That initial ad drew 250 sales in the first month….at the beginning, High times was a quarterly publication. It eventually grew to a bi-monthly and then into the present monthly editions. The success was immediate and grew throughout the rest of the 1970’s. Tom Moffatt productions ordered many of the Pipes for a little bit of ALOHA to our world traveling entertainers. The black velvet and satin bags made a great presentation to accompany PLATINUM PLATED PIPES for Aerosmith, the Platinum Punks.
Each year saw more presentations as groups like Fleetwood Mac, Loggins and Messina, Cecelio and Kapono, Jesse Colin Young, Paul Kantner, Kalapana, and Bob Marley and the Wailers would cruise thru and rock on…….Bob Marley played under a full moon at the Lahaina tennis stadium in August of 1979…..this was indeed an honor for me to present a piece of Paradise for the father of reggae and all the Wailers to enjoy!During the mid seventies, I also became active in the Hawaii chapter of NORML, headed by the late great legendary ping pong champion and defense attorney extraordinaire, Hyman Greenstein. The flamboyant barrister came to the aid of many prosecuted for the weed and if you were ever in his office on the 13th floor of the Ala Moana building in Honolulu, you’d be lucky to score 7 points on his Olympic ping pong table before he dashed your hopes. Hy wore white linen suits and green bowties and drove a snow white Alfa Romero Spyder Veloce in the warm Hawaiian sun as he shuttled between his office and the courts….but I digress…it’s just that I miss his smile that I see after all these years.
Mr. Greenstein introduced me to Mr. Keith Stroup, the founder of NORML. Mr. Stroup received a Pipe from Celebration and the next thing I know, I’m headed back to California to attend the biggest fundraiser ever put on by NORML at Hugh Hefners Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills. I donated 6 Pipes in a Koa wood case that raised $1,200 for NORML in the silent auction along with works by LeRoy Neiman, Gary Trudeau, Futsey Nutsel,and many others. It was an honor to present Mr. Hefner with a Pipe to add to his collection. Even Hunter S. Thompson was roaming around the grounds that night taking in the various forms of entertainment that popped up.
Those were the good old days……as the 1970’s ended, Tom Forcade made the cloud circuit, John Lennon not too long after that, hostages in Iran changed the power structure and the 1980’s arrived with a cold wind blowing on the NORML relations of people and their herbs. Suddenly laws were popping up making ANYTHING that could be construed as a Pipe, even a coke can folded over, an illegal THING.
So, since discretion is the better form of valor, and I was a family man, I decided to BURY the inventory I had made along with the formulas and custom tools I had designed and VOWED not to dig them up until Hawaii Legalized the use of PAKALOLO. Then we could come out again and play.
Well, Guess what happened in June of 2000? Governor Ben Cayetano signed legislation created by BOTH houses of Hawaii government allowing medicinal use of the herb for suffering patients. That’s close enough for me!! Almost 20 years later, we are after all in a new century, millennium, etc., etc. and I have succeeded in recovering the buried artifacts and have re-equipped and re-tooled and am now announcing the CELEBRATION MILLENNIUM EDITION.
Take a trip thru our site, tour Hawaii at your leisure, and drop us a line….we’d love to hear from you. On the ordering page, you can pick the Pipe you want and we’ll get it right out to you. You’ll be in mighty good company along with 10’s of thousands of old timers, you can help start a new era of awareness and enjoyment. Look for our special offer on the ordering page where you can BID for one of only 34 Pipes dug up from the hills of Haiku, Maui. These 19 year old pipes are of the same basic design. However, they are NUMBERED as well as signed. This will distinguish them from the new Millennium Edition, which will bear the SL initial and M for Millennium.I have donated the proceeds from the silent auction for the 34 Pipes to NORML. The auction started the day we lit the candle on the new website and ended on December 20th, 2000. That way we can end the year on a note that will a bridge from the not too distant past and into the true future of the actual next Millennium.Thanks again for stopping by the site and enjoy your trip thru our island paradise!