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| THE SHELVING OF MOKIHANA
Oahu is just an amazing place. In the city of Honolulu we have
a modern city, replete with hi-rise buildings, commercial offices,
stores, schools and businesses ; condensed in a mile radius.
Oahu houses the bulk of our island chain's population hovering
around the million mark or about 80% of the state, and yet for the
residents here we view Honolulu as a small town. You are bound to
run into someone you know whether on a quick side trip to the market
or a business appointment downtown. Among locals invariably after
introductions the conversation will steer around to..."what high
school you grad from?" Only in Hawaii will one make a connection
with your high school and invariably tie in a mutual friend or relative
that was once your classmate. Honolulu also looks for quality....if
ya got a good product you will be found no matter how obscure you think
you may be...as in all small town the word gets out. Its just a matter
In the early nineties I was smitten by the consuming desire to construct
my own guitar. It seemed at the time "The right thing to do" but let me
now digress a bit and fill in a little background......
I had my own business as a General Contractor and a 3000 square foot workshop/storage
facility with a separate 600 square foot office. Like most builders I offered
my building services for Commercial, Industrial and residential projects.
My company was called Mokihana Builders and I had been around licensed and
at the ready since 1972.
As Mokihana Builders we also built custom cabinets
and our workshop had machinery to carry out this line of work. For myself as
owner of the company my duties were in the administration, organization, and
daily running of the business itself. Client meetings , Architectural and
construction precons, scheduling of subcontractors, estimating, and problem
solving went along with the invoicing, payment requests, tax schedules, payrolls
and business correspondence needs of an office.
In between I was the Ann Landers of construction,
giving out advise and solutions over construction
field related details to our crew foremen on the various
projects that we were performing. This was me: If
you would picture this...a figure seated behind an
office desk hunched over with forehead resting on
the pads of his right thumb and index finger, telephone
receiver gripped with his left hand and held to his
ear...both elbows grounded on the cluttered desktop.....eyes
shut in an attempt to seal-off the external world
and lips moving in response to the unseen entity on
the other end of the receiver.
Ouch...this was me....my
modus opporendum, for the most part this is what I
did with my time. I now marvel at the uniqueness and
adaptability of the human mind to adopt itself chameleon
like into myriad situations without complaint or judgement.
There's a running comment in the professional field that goes something like this:
"a seasoned business only becomes so when its gone through its first series of legal
battles". If progress is measured in the amount of attorneys a society exudes.. then
America ranks number one.
My experience of legal confrontations isn't printable. It seems
that economics becomes foremost and principal is reduced to an after thought. It seems
responsibility is shed like water off a duck and legal counsel dispenses advise tempered
only with economic ability.
So, needless to say twixt my daily duties as Pater Familiae
of Mokihana Builders I had my fair share of legal snafus and attorney billings. The key here
is to remember that I now am writing in the present about the past; however in the early 90's
as Owner of Mokihana Builders, the above was simply part and parcel of my chosen profession
and I was neither unduly distressed nor overwhelmingly ecstatic. I simply woke up early,
got to work by 6:45 am and my day magically begun.
I'm sure that this pattern would
repeatedly continue for years on end save for a small advertisement in the daily newspaper
announcing non credit classes for beginning slack key instruction. Needless to say I
signed up and attended the first of many sessions to follow obsessed by kiho'alu; and the
wanton lust for a good guitar.
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