"We are saddened to bring such news, but this morning Arthur Snyder passed away in his sleep at 79 years old. He was a United States Marine, a USC Law Graduate, a politician, a restauranteur, but most importantly, a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He will leave a legacy for ages to come but what he left in everyone's hearts will last a lifetime. Burial information will be posted soon. We will be holding a celebration of his life this Saturday at Don the Beachcomber in the Longboard Room from 3pm - 8pm. For more information please email email@example.com. We ask that during this time of grieving you do not try to contact the family or staff at Don the Beachcomber. More information will be posted shortly."Sad and shocking news, indeed. Art was a significant and charming personality in the recent chapters of the tiki revival. He and his wife, Delia, have done amazing things in a very short time with the former Sam's Seafood, somehow restoring and preserving one of the last palaces of tiki (Sam's) while simultaneously creating a whole new one (Don's) at the same location.
|Art with Holden Westland of Tiki Farm last June at Don's.|
A few months ago, Art took me on a personal tour of Don's, including the legendary basement, which features a mysterious tunnel leading toward the lagoons behind the property. Art said the basement was haunted, and asked that I be respectful and not too noisy. He also asked that I NOT take photographs, which was a far more difficult assignment. In any case, it was an interesting look at what was undoubtedly a smuggling tunnel back when brothers Sam and George Arvenitis owned the place. (No connection to Prohibition, however, since nothing was built on the property until the 1940s.) Anyway, Art was interested that I was a historian and that I'd already done a bunch of research on Sam's. I, in turn, was very grateful for the tour and information he shared with me.
|Art with members of the O.C. Historical Society's board, planning a luau over mai tais.|
Art's funeral will be held Wed., Nov. 14, 9am, at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Dr., Los Angeles. (Drive to Old North Church once inside the cemetery.) Reception following interment at the Hall of Liberty. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you consider making a donation in Art's name to: Solheim Lutheran Home in Los Angeles.
Mahalo for being a great host, Art, and for all you've done to keep tiki alive and well. A lot of people are very grateful.