I once made a movie about what it was like to come to Maui for the first time back in the day and experience the hardships of carving your path. Step one is finding a place to live. That movie, Double or Nothing, was only a bit exaggerated, but for the earlier arrivals, Oahu was an even more difficult nut to crack.
The only people I knew on the crowded isle was my best friend, Diane, but she left the day after I arrived back to the mainland. She did introduce me to her cousin, John from Tennessee the captain of a nuclear sub at Barber's Point. My first place to stay was in Waipahu, the armpit of Oahu near Pearl Harbor, in a concrete block apartment building that resembled the Detroit Projects.
Those first few nights were an adventure, and I'm not just talking about the cockroaches, rats and centipedes. While John had earned his respect in the hood as the only Haole, I had not. Fresh meat off the boat. He told me to not dare walk on the streets at night, as the bruddahs liked to drink Budweiser, then beef, then hug, then drink Budweiser, then beef... and so on. I would not make it through the first phase.
So, I was outta there, and off to Waialua. Out of the frying pan, into the fire, Master Baggins would say, with nothing in my pocketses. I found a duplex to rent, and without taking one look around this neighborhood, quickly turned my living room into a shaping room. To say my landlord was not pleased is an understatement, so she made me take it all down. Fortunately, I took the first two boards I made to Pearl City. The first normal one got me a job as designer at Town & Country, the second bat mobile was a wtf moment, but I kept the job anyway, which paid by the board sold. So in essence, I was broke ass mofo.
Avalanche was right in my backyard, and well, the self-destruction that followed you can read in my book. If you really really want to. But meaner than Avalanche, which I had dreamed of riding since seeing those incredible Steve Wilkings' photos of Thor and Stan, were the neighborhood locals. Needless to say, I had my trials and tribulations, both off and onshore.
I was soon gone to Kailua on Monday, where I got a good deal on a house. The dead giveaway should have been the flea bomb that was left in one of the rooms by mistake. Within the week, the eggs had all hatched and they were jumping all over the place like Matt Schweitzer on coffee. That's my story and I'm sticking to it, so if you think you had a rough beginning, there's a lot more to my story. It's in the book. You can buy the book here.