“IN MEMORY OF”

This very first blog for BOW WOW FLASK entitled “In Memory Of”, is written in tribute to one of the projects two founders, “PAPA RICH” Miano. Edward Huls and Papa Rich first met one another “out and about” Honolulu’s evening music & social scene, as both men had a very keen love for music, especially live music. And so it was that the two of them were always in attendance at the live performances of two of Hawai’i‘s rising stars, TAIMANE and TAVANA. 

 PAPA RICH Miano had already established himself as a local legend, by being both the “Birdman of Waikiki”, and the founder/Owner of one of Waikiki’s hottest most popular nightClubs, “NASHVILLE”. A forever entrepreneur with never-ending ideas, concepts, brainstorms & angles on “how to make-a-buck”, Papa Rich came from Boston (where he founded one of the rowdiest bikerBars in Massachusetts, “Bonnie & Clyde’s”). He came to Hawai’i in the early 70’s and realized the potential that Waikiki offered to an entrepreneur like himSelf… as thousands of international visitors poured into Waikiki each and every week. 

 So being the entrepreneur and visionary that he was, Papa Rich bought himself a “parrot” (you heard me right), along with an Instamatic camera. Huh ? He and that parrot he named “Foxy Lady”, were inseparable for the next 15-years as they walked up & down the busy sideWalks of Waikiki, engaging tourists with a warm “Aloha” and then offering them to have their photo snapped with Foxy Lady sitting on their shoulder. Needless to say the idea caught-on as Papa Rich began making money “hand-over-fist” as happy tourists would lineUp to have their picture taken with the colorful passerine perched on their shoulder 🦜 

 You gotta’ remember this was back-in-the-day, before the advent of “smart phone cameras” and digital pictures. So it was up to PAPA RICH to snap that momentous photo of that tourist with Foxy Lady perched on his shoulder, and then make an agreement with that tourist that he would come to his hotel room later that evening with the photo, and if the tourist liked it, he would pay Papa Rich $10 for it!!

 It was then up to Papa Rich to walk over to the local Woolworths in Waikiki and to their photo department. Take that roll of film out of the Instamatic camera, turn it over to the photo technician who would develop the photos from the film and would have it ready for Papa Rich to pickUp later at the end of the day. The business flourished, and soon Papa Rich had trained a handful of younger people in his own image, gave them territorial sections of Waikiki, and set them loose to appreciate having a “fun job” whilst sharing their day’s income with their benefactor and boss, Papa Rich. 

 Papa Rich was unique, creative, fanciful, quixotic, and original. He was the original “Birdman of Waikiki”… Yes, there are others today following in his footSteps, with many parrots and macaws perched on their shoulders as they travel up-and-down the sidewalks of Waikiki. And each and every one of these roving entrepreneurs remembers, and pays tribute to their leader & originator, Papa Rich Miano. The business got so good that Papa Rich expanded it to include Front Street, Lahaina, on the island of Maui. 

 Please excuse the fact that I’ve sideTracked and gone off on a tangent…. may I, may we return to how Papa Rich Miano and Edward Huls came together, forming a fast-friendship, and even moreso, Papa Rich taking Edward “under his wing” and assuming the role of * “hanai” father to Edward (the father I had never known nor had). 

 * “Hānai” – Hawaiian word & definition: Hānai is a term used in the Hawaiian culture that refers to the informal adoption of one person by another. It can be used as an adjective, such as “hānai child,” or as a verb, to hānai someone into the family”. 

 Papa Rich’s love and admiration for Foxy Lady was rivaled only by his love of dogs… And so it was only natural, it was destiny, that the two entrepreneurs & dogLovers ❤️🐶 Edward & Papa Rich should connect, which we did. We were almost inseparable as we cruised about Honolulu & Waikiki in Papa Rich’s sleek & elegante, blackPearl, 4-dr sedan Jaguar (one of the “sexiest” cars I’ve ever ridden around in). At 84-years young, Papa Rich had a penchant for beautiful, younger women… and so that whenever we were out-and-about, and during intermission of one of TAVANA‘S, or TAIMANE’S performances, you were certain to spot Papa standing in the center of a gaggle of girls of all ages, and relating one of his myriad of stories (usually based on personal experience). 

 You see, another commonality between Papa and mySelf is that we both are forEver storyTellers… the difference being that Papa’s stories were not fabricated. Papa’s stories were sprung from the rough & tumble fringes of Boston and his “Bonnie & Clyde’s Bar”. Whilst my stories are more chimerical, laced with humour, profundity, & penetration ✍🏼 Papa’s wife of 50-years, Sandra, loved him dearly and thus “turned a blind-eye”, realizing that his “roving-eye” was one of the few things that still brought him happiness at this point in the “Winter of his Life”, as we all watched his health fading, worsening, & declining. 

 Many of Papa Rich’s “brainiac ideas” were hatched whilst we sat at the bar of our favourite “watering hole”, the Irish bar & pizza place, “J. Dolan’s” in downTown chinaTown. I mean Papa’s brain & imagination never rested as he continually kept bouncing ideas ofof me on how we might “make jack”. He was relentless with some pretty far-fetched ideas. Until one day as we sat at the bar, Papa looks at me with that rascalish look of his, takes a big sip of his favorite “pour”, and sez to me: “Edward, what the world needs is a better stainless-steel water bottle that will hydrate humans who are dogLovers ❤️🐶     And thus was born our BOW WOW THERMOS FLASK-Hawai’i whereby with every Flask that we sell, a portion of that sale goes to the “Rescue centers for the humane treatment of dogs”. 

 I began doing my research and due-diligence to discover, and then report back to Papa Rich, that we were entering a very competitive industry, where other stainless-steel thermos bottles were already out there and that they had very good exposure and $ales. This did not deter Papa as we forged ahead and the BOW WOW THERMOS FLASK ™ was born !! We were competing with a tidalWave of other FLASKS, with the “Top 10” being: 
#1. Hydro Flask #2. Takeya #3. Contigo #4. Yeti #5. S’well #6. Kleen Kanteen #7. CamelBak #8. Owala #9. Stanley #10. Mira 

 I reported back to Papa that these were the ten(10) “Top Dogs”… that we were the new little dog in the kennel, and that we had our work cutOut for us if we were to scratch & claw our way up and hang with these Top 10 Dogs. Papa’s response was what I knew it would be, what it always was: “F – – K ‘em” he said, ‘We’ve got a better bottle than all of ‘em and this is gonna’ be a success”. With that he told me to contact the manufacturer, send them our drawings, ask them how much for a first order of 3,000 FLASKS, and then “Come to me with the invoice and I’ll give you the money”. 

 The #1 leading stainless-steel hydration flask appears to be “Hydro Flask” that was conceived by a couple of hippies up in Bend, Oregon back in 2009. They began selling their water bottle at local farmers markets and it gained appeal amongst the outdoor recreation community. The couple sold their “baby” to an investor/entrepreneur who ran with it for the next 7-years, strategically marketing the brand-name and gaining popularity amongst millennials, zoomers, and college students who pay attention to the rise of environmental and health consciousness. In 2016 Hydro Flask was sold to a giant American conglomerate for $210 million and who took Hydro Flask to worldWide prominence (e.g. large displays in each of the 494 Whole Foods locations thruOut the United States). 

 It took me 3-months to discover where Hydro Flask was being manufactured. Once I discovered that manufacturing facility, I went to them and told them: “I want my BOW WOW FLASK to be every bit as good as the Hydro flask, and better” And the manufacturer did just that by: 
>  Making our 22-oz BOW WOW FLASK convenient fit into a lady’s handBag, into a child’s backPack, and perfectly fit into the “console-cupHolder” of automobiles… 
> A stainless-steel lid, unlike Hydro Flasks “rubber-lid” which captures bacteria… 
> The “mouth-opening” of our BOW WOW FLASK is sized to accept ice-cubes… 
>  And ‘lest we forget, BOW WOW FLASK is a charity-based company whereBy a portion of every FLASK sold goes to two(2) separate charities: 
1) The Rescue Centers for the Humane Treatment of Dogs… 
 And   
2) “Charity:Water” a 19-year old humanitarian nonprofit organization intent upon providing clean, fresh, safe water to 3rd world countries, and tribes around Mother Earth… “Water is Life” 

 Papa was a gambler, a man’s man, who never minced words, a humanitarian who had a bigHeart ❤️… a man who loved children & dogs, and who always was the first one to help others less fortunate, to be in as least pain and suffering as possible. It was at Papa’s funeral that I stood over his open-casket and the tears began gushingOut 💦 And I said to him: “I miss you terribly and I promise that I will take your “baby”, BOW WOW FLASK, all the way to the top and join the other “Top Dogs”… 
 I miss Papa very much 😔😥 


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