It's been brought to my attention that kate hellenbrand, former girlfriend of my teacher Mike Malone, has started blogging and ranting about how my father and Mike have stolen the legacy of Sailor Jerry (which she claims to rightfully own) and have completely sold out and left Jerry's wife penniless.
Now, back in the day when Jerry passed, he left instructions for his wife to sell his shop and all his art to either Zeke Owen, Mike Malone, or my father, Don Ed Talbot Hardy (actually his given name... he doesn't have any 'monkiers' nor go by "Don" as in mafia don, as kate claimes), and if none of them were interested in it, to actually BURN all of it.
At the time, Zeke had a successful shop in San Diego and my father was finally living his dream at the time of working in Japan, so neither of them could buy the shop, but Mike, working at the time for Zeke, realized that this was a great opportunity and made the big move to Honolulu.
Now you have to realize that Jerry's widow got paid a very, very good sum of money (especially for 1973 dollars) from Mike for the shop and all of the artwork that went with it. Since it was a large amount of money, it even took Mike a good deal of time to pay it completely. When he did finally give Louise the final payment, he was given even more artwork. All of this art would have been BURNED. Lost forever. Louise got paid, Mike got ownership of the Jerry legacy, and kept it alive. NOT kate, who STILL claims to have tattooed under Jerry (the only woman who Jerry had tattoo in his shop was Micky Uma, who Jerry had called his 'new apprentice' to my father and Mike to rib them... you can see in a famous photo of Jerry a sign he made that said "Beauty and the Beast Tattoo" as a joke... Jerry was always fond of the idea of having a good looking girl in the shop to attract more sailors), which is a total fabrication. Although she was Mike's girlfriend at the time, she did not work at Jerry's shop at all.
Later when Mike and kate broke up, she took it upon herself to take a large amount of Jerry's art, stencils, and photos from Mike. She has since then laid claim to Mike's story of being Jerry's golden child and said that these items, which she has been selling for quite some time, as rightfully hers. Mike had just let her have these items for years, not even bothering with her in a fit of disgust. It wasn't until years later he even eluded to her being a thief and taking his life story to make her own 'road to glory'.
Now that Mike has been gone for two years, I can only assume that she feels that the coast is clear for her to start spewing further lies and insults. Somehow she figures that Mike and my father screwed Louise since some of the Jerry art is now being used on clothing and rum. Mike and my father became the sole owners of Jerry's artwork after Louise sold it (Mike had sold a good amount of Jerry's artwork to my father). It would have been burned and lost forever otherwise. Mike decided to make some money off of the artwork, first by partnering with my father to make the Sailor Jerry flash books (which are still used by tattoo artists around the world) and then later partnering with the clothing company that still produces the Sailor Jerry line of clothing. The clothing company made a deal with the liquor producers who make the rum, which apparently is a world-wide smash hit. Recently the liquor company bought out the rights completely, and my father and the executors of Mike's estate got paid in a settlement, which was from I understand, not a huge sum. Mike had been selling Jerry's original art for years, which was just as much of his right as licensing it as he had purchased it in full from Louise years earlier. That's the end of the story.
It's very sad that kate still tries to tell the world her lies. I don't know if it is jealousy that she takes stabs at my father and Mike or dementia. Nonetheless, she wraps herself in a disguise of false sainthood making claims that she is trying to right wrongs. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I tried to comment on one of kate's myspace blogs where she is throwing her garbage against the wall, but she only allows comments to go through that she sees fit, which makes it look like she has a great cheerleading squad. Oh well.
Anyway, here's the letter that Louise sent Paul when she was looking for Mike or Zeke to sell off the shop. Make of it what you will.
Last minute addition: I realized that her nickname 'shanghai' is very appropriate considering what she did to Mike's life story.