As with anything involving Hollywood, Wheeler's story took an odd turn and maybe had not a happy ending.
Lyle Wheeler worked on more than 350 films, winning five Academy Awards ('Gone with the Wind', 'Anna and the King of Siam',The Robe (1953),The King and I (1956) and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)) and was nominated for twenty-four others.
The list of movies this man worked on is mind-blowing. Some people would hang their hats on having created the sets for Tara in Gone With The Wind, but he went on to design sets for some of the greatest, now classic films, of his time.
The only thing that says more about his talent than his five academy awards is the fact that he was nominated some 29 times, on more than one occasion for more than one film in one year.
It's the stories of those Academy Awards that is the sad part of this story. In his later years Wheeler fell into some financial problems forced and was forced to sell his house in Pacific Palisades in 1982
I'm not certain where Aloha Jhoe's entered into the equation or whether it contributed to his financial downfall. Maybe his decision to put together a really cool tiki place was the kind of decision making process that fueled his entire life. I get that. Aloha Jhoe's had a design that was far different from places like Trader Vics or Don The Beachcomber's. It stood out in a sea of cliche's in my mind as having some sense of actual inspiration or thought. You can read more about the restaurant at the Tiki Central website HERE
I am also not sure who drew or created the matchbook cover we took this image from. Maybe it was Wheeler, to be certain Wheeler art directed it. Whatever the case it is a very cool and funky piece of work. We have digitally redrawn the image in order to better reproduce the art on a shirt, allowing for consistent color and sharp line, which to be honest does not mean a lot on a t-shirt, but I felt that we wanted to preserve the art in a way that made it look something more like the original image.