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Boat: A Memoir of Friendship, Faith, Death, and Life Everlasting

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Overview

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 ...

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Boat: A Memoir of Friendship, Faith, Death, and Life Everlasing

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

William Wiegand
“This book is a treasure: vivid, humble, smart. There's nothing fashionably enigmatic about "Boat," the adult Hawaiian who works on Waikiki beach and befriends the athletic young haole schoolboy, Mike, who is equally straightforward. What Boat has to offer helps Mike, even as he leaves the Islands, to seek his own "place" in any often lethally angry world, and to find the near mystical moments of pure joy.”
Harvey Meyerson
“A gem of a book. It makes you want to be there with Mike, sharing his gutsy journey to manhood; and Boat's guiding wisdom speaks to all of us. Bravo, bruddah!”
Steven Hawley
“Growing up in an age starkly defined by war, violence, greed, alienation, depression and loneliness, Baughman deftly lays out the terms of his own salvation, as he learned them from an unassuming native Hawaiian surfer, spear-fisher, and beach keeper named Boat. Listen to heart, soul and body as well as mind. Find your place, care deeply for and know intimately the land and water there. Grow deep roots amongst family and friends. Fight like hell when you have to. Have faith in love. Believe that miracles are possible. Other people write about these things. But no one writes about them like Mike Baughman. His prose reads like a rich stretch of secluded ocean beach: quiet, clean and clear, a salty sparseness on initial encounter that belies an embarrassment of riches just below the surface of things. Boat pays high tribute to the miraculous good luck of a simple good life.”
Robin B. Carey
“The memoir is as brawny, lyrical, and clean as the waves and the vision it celebrates. Baughman's journey to manhood leads through breakers and blood, friendship and love, to an ending that compels respect.”
Ron Jacobs
“Those of us who were raised there understand that Hawaii was a place like no other in the decade following World War II, a remote island territory soon to become our most unique state. Michael Baughman captures that time, the place and its people just as they were. His kinship with the native beachboy known as Boat develops in unexpected ways and also covers unique territory, ranging from street-fights to spirituality and revealing life as a gaudy anuenue (rainbow) of fellowship and high adventure.”
Lawson Fusao Inada
“This memoir provides access to what lies beyond assumption and illusion. Every setting has heart, life.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611454932
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Buffalo and raised in western Pennsylvania, Michael Baughman moved to Hawaii at age ten. After college he served in the US Army in Germany, after which he returned to teach and write. He lives in Ashland, Oregon, with his wife of fifty years, children, and grandchildren.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Good, but should have been better

    This chronicle of a young man's friendship with an amazing Hawaiian man named Boat had the potential to be a great memoir. Instead, the author's preoccupation with himself leaves the reader feeling shortchanged.

    The characters seem flat and lifeless as if the author is afraid to let them speak in their own voices. Even Boat isn't portrayed with the depth of feeling that he deserves.

    I enjoyed the book, but I wish that the author had waited to write it until he has matured as a writer. As it is, he doesn't quite do justice to a person as strong and loving as Boat must have been.

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