We have surveillance cameras at our Maui pawn shop, but we DO NOT do what Portland pawnbroker Mike Fink does:
Fink, who owns Guitar Grave, has been posting YouTube videos of customers who are trying to sell stolen items or have stolen from him.
He does more than that. He posts videos from his shop about anything that strikes him as funny, and he is a humorous man. Some are what you might expect — stoners; but others are just Portlandians who seem to hear a different, more uncertain trumpet. You can watch a bunch of them by going here.
Fink also marries people. This is not that unusual. A number of pawnshops (but not Kamaaina Loan) will tie your knot. We have not watched all his videos yet, but our favorite so far is “A Very Guitar Grave Wedding.” The bride, Nikki Rae, who seems to be having a very good time, says, a few minutes after Fink ties the knot, “I want to be on top.”
For some reason a local radio reporter walked in during the ceremony and recorded it. It must have made for curious radio. He ended up being the witness for the marriage, too.
Guitar Grave is not the most obvious name for a pawnshop, but there’s a story behind that, too.
Fink says he started out selling games and was looking for a name. Marketing advice said to find something alliterative, so he started searching the database of available names for Game G-something.
Among the choices was Grave, and he picked that because it was the only one that his son, who was then 7, could spell.
Later, an employee persuaded him to expand into collectible guitars, and Guitar Grave was born.
Really, Kamaaina Loan (Hawaiian for “child of the land,” meaning native-born or, loosely, old-timer) seems pallid by comparison. And nobody but a kamaaina can spell it.