“I really wish you had came with me to one of the Ukulele festivals. I could have showed you the way…oh, don’t forget to contact these custom builders…”
Still looking out for us, even in his final moments. What an epic guy. IMHO, Mike’s most profound impact to the ukulele world was the exclusive “MGM setup” that even his most entry level ukes got. At some point, it just became a labor of love. How many people can say their first uke was a dolphin Makala purchased from him? His profit from that sale was less than $5 each uke after setup. This gesture of Aloha has perpetuated the ukulele. It also showed the potential value of what a dealer can truly offer. His contribution to the industry was huge and the positive effects will ripple out endlessly.
Mike was passionate and genuine. Music, food, and friends filled his life. He was a happy guy. He had the luxury of being able to sit outside and enjoy Hawaii’s beauty while playing some of the best ukes. When I say Hawaii’s beauty I mean stunning. From the time he was little he enjoyed this majestic view from his backyard-
“Every man dies – Not every man really lives.”
Mike was full of life. It’s a shame he left us at the young age of 55. These last few years, I was lucky enough to work along side Mike and I’m glad that I have many great memories of him. Mike would play piano for my kids every weekend morning, sometimes teach them a few magic tricks and maybe even show them a few dance moves. He became part of our family. No one will ever replace MGM. God made a limited run of one. I can only try my hardest to support the ukulele community with the methods that he pioneered.
I apologize if my thoughts scatter. I just wanted to express a few words of gratitude and say that he truly was a great friend to me.
Mike was survived by his father, mother, and sister Gail. All work or have worked as educators in our school system here on Oahu. Extremely nice and good people and my deepest condolences go out to them.
Mike was a natural teacher. I consider his First Ukulele Lesson to be the absolute best. Every time I witnessed it in the store I would see new players gain confidence and get that first realization, “I can actually do this!” It was one of his many talents. Mike was larger than life, and he’ll live forever in our hearts.
“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.”