Sara Gadarian, the wife of the late Arsene “Blackie” Gadarian, is selling all of her husband’s old tools and machinery at the end of October. The sale is to raise money for the Blackie Gadarian Memorial Vocational Scholarship Fund at Lahainaluna High School.
Through his life, Blackie collected a huge variety of tools and equipment, much of which he used extensively on Maui.
“We made a railroad car for the Ka`anapali Railroad in 1982,” Sara told me. “He did all the brass handrails for the grounds of the Hyatt Regency when it was built. He did a lot of fancy brass work for the Grand Wailea. He rolled rebar to make frames for umbrellas for the Hyatt. He made numerous security gates for condos and buildings, and stainless ladders for boats. He also made handrails for stairs for buildings to become ADA-compliant.”
Gadarian’s selling her late husband’s tools in 267 lots. Probably the most unique item on the sale list is a pink (it used to be bright orange) 7.5-ton* high-lift Hyster forklift (pictured above, next to Blackie).
“The forklift was Blackie’s go-to tool for everything,” Sara said.
Other items include welders, grinders, sanders, drills, metal fabrication tools, a 60-ton electric press, pipe-cutters, sledgehammers, jigsaws, hacksaws and thousands of fasteners (brass and stainless steel).
Blackie was a Maui treasure from almost the moment he and Sara arrived in Lahaina in the 1970s. Soon after they opened Blackie’s Boat Yard, Blackie’s Machine Shop and eventually Blackie’s Bar.
After graduating from technical school in New York, Blackie served in the U.S. Navy during World War Two as an aviation machinist. After the war, he went to work at Western Airlines as an engine mechanic (which, his wife Sara told us, is where he got his famous nickname). It was while working at Los Angeles Airport in the late 1950s that Blackie and Sara met, and the married in 1960. They soon moved to Newport Beach, California, where they opened Blackie’s Boatyard in 1964.
The Blackie’s Machine Shop tool and equipment sale will take place at 622 Luakini St. in Lahaina on Saturday, Oct. 28 and Sunday, Oct. 29, from 8am to noon each day. For more information go to Mauiblackie.com.
* This story originally misstated the size of the forklift.
Photo courtesy Sara Gadarian