When ten-year-old Michael Baughman moves to Hawaii with his parents, he is troubled and confused. His father doesn’t provide the guidance Baughman needs and the boy doesn’t know who to turn to. When a larger-than-life Hawaiian beachboy” named Boat takes Baughman under his wing, the boy finds a teacher and mentor. Boat is 285 pounds of solid muscle but gentle spirituality, and he introduces the boy to the ways of Hawaiian mysticism, offering simple, profound wisdom that helps Baughman thrive in an otherwise lonely childhood. Even after Baughman leaves the islands seven years later, the unlikely friendship endures for the rest of Boat’s life, influencing and inspiring the author to this day. Baughman’s narrative begins with a distressed boy at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and ends more than six decades later with himself as a content old man experiencing a miracle in Mexico. With a photographic memory, Baughman recalls virtually verbatim every significant conversation he had with Boat. Boat spoke Hawaiian Pidgin English, and its unique lilt and rhythm grace this touching memoir. A testament to friendship and the revelations provoked by wisdom in unexpected places.
Michael Baughman was born in Buffalo and raised in western Pennsylvania and Hawaii. After college, he served in the US Army in Germany, after which he returned to teach and write. He is the author of seven books. Baughman lives in Ashland, Oregon, with his wife of fifty years, children, and grandchildren.