Thank Goodness For Dr. Miyasaki
Wednesday - April 20, 2005
Do you have this problem? Parking. Your place of business has limited parking so it’s a crisis when somebody mucks it up by being thoughtless. One person parks in someone else’s stall, that person parks in someone else’s, pretty soon everybody’s nose is bent out of joint and everybody’s grumbling. But somehow, because you all work together in close quarters, you get along and resolve to do better next time. It’s not pretty but we all know parking’s expensive and a great big hassle, so we tend to cut our co-workers more slack.
But hey. There are limits. The other day it was not one of our own who pulled into one of the scarce stalls in the KGMB lot. The guy got out of his car along with a cute blond moppet of a little girl, and proceeded to walk over to the strip mall next door. Happens all the time. Folks don’t want to pay whatever it is they charge for parking over there and decide to borrow the neighbor business’s stall. Today, though, I’d had trouble (again!) finding a space so I wasn’t about to let this guy go without a word or two.
“Hey,” I said, “ you can’t park there.”
At first the guy feigned ignorance.
“I can’t? I didn’t know. Look, it says ‘guest,’” he said with a goofy little smile as his cute daughter looked up at him. That was pretty stupid and he and I both knew it.
“There’s the lot for where you’re going, you could just move your car,” I said, in what I thought was a reasonable tone of voice. That’s when he dropped the ignorant act and got nasty.
“Yeah, well, call the police,” he practically snarled, and kept walking.
I really didn’t have anything to say. I had a lot of thoughts, though. One of them was: Real nice example for the kid, mister.
On another note, it’s always a pleasure to meet people like local dentist Wilfred Miyasaki. Miyasaki has an office downtown and does pretty well, but that’s not enough for him. He is one of that special group of professionals who believes that he should give back some of his good fortune to the community. Miyasaki through the years has donated his services to improving the quality of life for others. One of his projects — repairing the damaged mouths of women who’ve been badly abused by their spouses.
This year Miyasaki and his wonderful staff are offering a program called Toothprints. It’s a way to make a dental impression of children that can be saved and used for identification purposes should a child go missing. The dental mold saves saliva, which is a powerful source of scent for tracking, and DNA as well. Having a child lost or stolen is something no parent wants to think about. But should the unthinkable happen you would be prepared with a tool that could help find or identify your child.
Miyasaki charges a small fee, but doesn’t keep any of the money. It all goes to Parents and Children Together, or PACT, which has many programs for neglected and abused children. And if you can’t afford the small donation, he’ll do the Toothprints for free.
The fact that he’s doing this is, pun not intended, impressive. Even more so is how he got started. I bumped into Mrs. Miyasaki at Manoa Marketplace, and she told me the story. She said it was her son, David, who actually started his dad on the path to charity. He was in Boy Scouts at the time. And one day he came home from a meeting and said, “Dad, you ought to use your dentist skills to do something good.”
Mr. Miyasaki took the advice to heart, and ever since then he and his staff have been volunteering their skills and time to community service. Call it dentistry with a heart.
Meeting great people like the Miyasakis makes encountering the nasty parking thieves of the world bearable.
His number, if you’re interested in Toothprints, is 533-0000. when you see him thank him for being one of the good guys.
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