Crazy Train Redux

Peter Maguire and me in my backyard on Kapuai Street (“Backyards”), Sunset Beach, 1994. He’s got his Brewer “gun” and I’ve got my Owl 11’ pintail, which I still have (and ride). Photo: Owl Chapman

My old friend and ally Peter Maguire has (of his own volition) edited and republished the essay I posted several months ago: “Riding the Crazy Train: A Phantoms Tale (Kaunala to Paumalu).”1 Peter is a real writer, scholar, historian, journalist, and screenwriter, among other things, including intrepid world-traveler, surf nazi, and martial arts expert extraordinaire. His credentials and bon fides are legit. Peter has published many books and scores of essays and articles, many of which appear in The Surfer’s Journal, Beachgrit, and various Australian surfing magazines over the course of the past 30 years or so. His books include: “Law and War: An American Story” (2002, a magisterial treatise on the laws of war, war crimes, and the Nuremberg Trials)2; “Facing Death In Cambodia” (2005, a personal study of the Cambodian genocide under the Khmer Rouge)3; and “Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade,” with Mike Ritter (2015)4; all published by Columbia University Press. The list goes on. Most recently, Peter ghost wrote the autobiography of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Maestro Rickson Gracie: “Breath: A Life in Flow” (2021).5 These are all great (often fun) reads that provoke thought, understanding, and critical reflection on an eclectic range of topics. Suffice to say, Peter’s interests, insights, and expertise vary widely and he covers a lot of ground in his life and work.

I first met Peter in 1994. He recounts this encounter in his introduction to my essay; he gets it more or less right and we remain friends almost 30 years later. Peter recently took the liberty (with my permission and blessing) to edit and revise “Crazy Train,” which is what he put up on his Substack “Sour Milk” today.6 Given his critical eye and wisdom, I defer to his revisions and leave it to you, the reader, to decide on which version is a better read — his 3500 word distillation or my almost 12,000 word rambling stream of consciousness. Personally, I like both versions. In any event, I remain both honored and grateful that Peter took the time and effort to polish my story and give it new life on and through his platform. I sincerely hope that you enjoy his version of the "craziest wave” I ever rode. Please check out “Sour Milk” and subscribe: I guarantee that you will learn something, think more deeply about a range of issues, and enjoy the depth and quality of Peter’s penetrating and uncensored analysis of contemporary world events.

Sour Milk
Riding the Crazy Train
Introduction by Peter Maguire I first met Andy St. Onge on Oahu’s North Shore in March of 1994. At that time Andy was an up-and-coming member of the “Sunset Beach Underground.” I had just received my doctorate and was on my way to Cambodia to investigate and document Khmer Rouge atrocities for the first time. The previous two winters I had …
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