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Thread: Something new- well Almost -- from Alvin Okami

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    5,123

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    Quote Originally Posted by efiscella View Post
    Here is what Alvin Tells me about the Artist:

    Ed,
    The artist is a Vietnamese national who emigrated to the U.S. a number of years ago. Get ready because his story is 100% true and authentic and pretty much unbelievable. This person has been in front of a firing squad over three times and still is alive and well. He suffered under the communist regime only because of what he believed. They thought that he was some kind of instigator that wanted to upset the government and stir up trouble so he was constantly harassed and imprisoned many times. He played a vital role during the era that was known world wide as the Vietnamese Boat People.

    These poor innocent vietnamese were trying to escape the tyranny by escaping on whatever boats they could escape in and this artist was responsible for saving the lives of more than 435 of his people. He took an abandoned ship and loaded 435 people in the lower cargo area of the ship and stood on the top deck with a makeshift officer's uniform and approached a check point with a guard standing and waiting for the ship to draw close. The guard shouted to him and asked what was the password. Of course he had no idea but shouted at the guard telling him that he had the nerve to ask for the password when he should know better. The guard was so frightened that he apologized and let the ship through
    the checkpoint.

    This Vietnamese young man's father was a preacher and when he had heard what his son had done, he decided to change his Vietnamese first name to Moses Cao because this situation reminded the father of Moses leading his people out of bondage from the land of Egypt. So from this episode, the artist;s name became Moses Cao. He is also jokingly referred to nowadays as Holy Cao (Holy Cow).

    The story is just the tip of the iceberg regarding Moses's life story. I hope one day I can either relate more incredible
    stories that he has told us or if the fates allow, you get the chance to meet this unforgettable individual.

    I hope this gives you an idea of the artist that I am hoiored to collaborate with and have his artwork adorn the face of my one of a kind PIneapple Sundays.

    Al
    Thanks for that. So many people are leading miserable lives. Every day when I feed my dogs, I tell them they are eating better than most people in the world.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    434

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    What a great backstory on the artist (Holy Cow!)... It may be time for Pops to start a blog with his stories, but that might take away from his creativity with the ukuleles.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sewell, NJ (suburb of Philadelphia, Pa)
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    626

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    I have suggested this to Pops to start working on an autobiography or a blog, but you are 100% correct in that it could take away precious time in his finishing his ukulele orders and continuing the work on the new ones. We actually got as far as Chapter 1, and then work took over. What we have agreed on is that I would share info and stories about Pops and even from Pops directly through social media. Alvin knows that when it comes to being a luthier, or inventions, and even engineering, he is top of the heap, but when it comes to computers, social media, etc, he calls himself "a technological dinosaur" so I have offered to step in and help to fulfill that role.

    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow21 View Post
    What a great backstory on the artist (Holy Cow!)... It may be time for Pops to start a blog with his stories, but that might take away from his creativity with the ukuleles.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
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    541

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    This has been great reading. A couple of weeks ago we were on a Princess cruise that stopped in Honolulu. Four of us joined the tour at the factory but we got there early and talked story with a Pops. He’s such a nice guy - everyone at the factory is “family friendly”. I brought my 6 string Pineapple Sunday that hasn’t been sounding quite right. Took it in the back and asked if they could restring it. Wow! Now it sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to see what Pop’s making next. He’s got soooo many ideas in his head.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,173

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    It's great to see a guy who has built such a successful company, and is now free to explore some new innovative designs!
    John

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    87

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    Is that one with the fish hook part of the prototypes?
    Current makers: Kinnard, DeVine, Moore Bettah, Ko'olau, Grimes, Kamaka

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Steveston, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    982

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    What a gorgeous lineup of pineapple ukes from a fabulously creative luthier!
    Bruko Soprano Thinbody (maple)
    Lone Tree Soprano (hemlock, western maple, pacific yew)
    Mya Moe Tenor (myrtle)
    Koaloha Tenor (mango)
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    Lone Tree Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    434

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchenu View Post
    Is that one with the fish hook part of the prototypes?
    Likely not as it has the KoAloha stock.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Sewell, NJ (suburb of Philadelphia, Pa)
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    626

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    I shared the comments from this thread with Pops and he was so happy to read them. He asked me to make one of these available now so that if anyone wanted one by Christmas, they could get it. When these are released in January, they will have a MSRP of $3000. The hard case will sell for $100 additional. Plus shipping. Pops was thrilled with the comments on the post in Uke Talk and so wanted to get some of these prototypes out by Christmas, and recognizing the short time, he has asked that I put this orange hibiscus up for sale on the UU Marketplace at $2400 which includes the "One of a Pine collector's Uke", the KoAloha Hard Case, and Free Shipping CONUS. The post is now up on the Marketplace

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