Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Buzzy's Ashes

I received the following message from Buzzy Trent's son Ivan, with his permission to print; it explains why many of us did not know what the funeral arrangements were or how to observe his passing out of respect for all he did for all of us who surf. While it is not my intent to insert myself into a family disagreement, I feel the following is important to know, not only as the final chapter in the incredible life of Buzzy Trent, but as a lesson for us all, too.

"Unfortunately, My Dad's wife (Gladis) organized the services in grim haste. She also demanded that his death not be made public until the 29th of September as per my sister. Even Peter Cole and George [Downing] did not know. "Additionally the services was a closed circuit event to say the least (Her demand). Quite frankly, my Hawaii relatives are very upset regarding her actions (understatement). His ashes were scattered at point panic on the 29th of September 2006. "Back in 1987 on Christmas day as we watched "Big Wednesday" on my VHS, My pops told me how much he loved makaha. He Insisted (to my Wife and I ) that he wanted to have his ashes scattered by George Downing and Uncle Buff at Makaha point to include a party on the beach. "What frustrates us regarding this woman is her refusal to understand and appreciate who my father was and is to the world of surfing. "Amidst the emotions, I'm sure Dad's remains are flowing towards the Westside enroute to Makaha. Please feel free to print. "Respectfully, Ivan Trent"


  1. Hi Malcolm - and kia ora from Aotearoa.

    I was saddened to hear the news of Buzzy's passing and the way his wishes, as well as his family and friends, were ignored.

    Having grown up in Santa Monica and graduated from the same high school as Buzzy, Dave Rochlen and the Cole brothers there were always some amazing, sometimes outrageous, Buzzy Trent stories around.

    The house where I grew up was only a block and a half from his mother's house and we'd always mention it with a bit of awe whenever we passed it, hoping to get a glimpse of Buzzy if he was visiting.

    Quite a few of my old friends and acquaintances were lifeguards who served with Buzzy during his lifeguard days at Santa Monica and State Beach. The stories they told were every bit as legendary as Buzzy's big wave exploits.

    To me, Buzzy was like one of those mythical heroes from one of David Gemmell's novels. A man to be respected, but not crossed. A man who didn't suffer fools gladly, if at all. A real "waterman" with the kind of skills, courage and audacity that seem so rare today.

    I regret I never got to meet him and extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends. Requiescat in pace

    Regards, Bob Feigel

  2. From Jack McCoy:

    Thanks very much Malcolm for your great articles on Buzzy. As a kid
    growing up in HI, the lat 50's I was 12 and such a stoked surfer.
    Sevo's first mag came out and buzzy had a few shots in it. When we
    heard of the high surf days, my mom would let me out of school and
    drive me and a couple of friends around the northeast side to the bay
    to watch. We were lucky to be there on a couple of the big early
    days, sitting there on the point and then hanging on the north side
    of the bay where our heros would come in and talk about their rides
    at sunset. It would take about an hour and a half to drive home but
    it seemed to go in just a few minutes because of the buz and stoke
    that filled the car as we replayed what we'd witnessed all the way
    home. Buzzy was obviously our #1 big wave hero in the early days.
    the "guts" Hobie ad is the one that we'd use to convince any of our
    doubters at school when arguing about big wave riders. We always
    thought that George Downing was a big wave legend. quietly surfing
    giant Makaha. We later learned to love Ricky, Peter, and Jose but it
    was Buzzy who always seemed like the crazy charger.

    I've yet to read all of your chapters on Buzzy so I don't know if
    you've got this story in there or not, but later, after high school,
    a story was going around about Buzzy working on one of the early high
    rises in Waikiki and up several floors, spotted a small Flippino guy
    slip and fall. As he went by, Buzzy reach out and grabbed him and
    saved his life. No one ever questioned the story, just knew that if
    anyone was going to reach out and grab a guy falling in space and
    bring him in it would be Buzzy.

    His wife is Violet and and daughter Anna, who has always loved uncle
    Bud (Browne). She was taking Bud on bungie trips to NZ in his late
    80's and today still looks after him north of Santa Barbara in his
    new nursing home.

    Anyway thanks again for your wonderful efforts and aloha,

    jack mccoy


Mahalo for your comment!