Patterson brothers, Robert, Raymond, and Ronald


Good-humored brother trio originally from Honolulu, Hawaii; the Pattersons moved to Southern California as teenagers in the 1950s and served for decades as live-in ambassadors of the casual, beachboy-influenced surfing lifestyle. All three spent much of their adult lives in the Dana Point/Laguna Beach area, working at the Hobie Surfboards factory.

Oldest brother Robert "Flea" Patterson was born in 1934, and moved in 1952 to Santa Monica, California, where he lived with hotdogging ace Mickey Muñoz and his family; he and Muñoz would be lifelong friends. The quick-footed 130-pound Patterson was then regarded by many as the best small-wave surfer in the world. "Absolute perfection in the water," La Jolla surfer Carl Ekstrom said. "Bobby never made a mistake. His feet would blur and next thing you knew he was on the nose, then they'd blur again and he'd be on the tail stalling. Like he was floating up and down the board." Patterson finished third in the 1963 West Coast Surfing Championships, and won the 1964 Malibu Invitational. From 1962 to 1971 he lived in Dana Point and worked as a glosser for Hobie; in the early '70s, wanted by the FBI, he fled the country for Thailand, and spent the rest of his life as a fugitive. He died in Bangkok in 1994 at age 60.

Middle brother Ronald, born in 1936, was one of the original members of the Windansea Surf Club. He moved to Dana Point in the early '60s, worked as a sander at Hobie, earning distinction of a sort by chain-smoking up to five packs of Marlboros a day and working without a dust-filter mask. Not surprisingly Ronald died of cancer in 1996 at age 60.

Younger brother Raymond was born in 1938, and was regarded as one of Hawaii's premier ukulele players when he moved to Laguna Beach in 1956. He also began working for Hobie in the early '60s, as a laminator, and was a member of the San Onofre Surfing Club. Raymond died of heart failure in 1989 at age 51.

The Patterson brothers together wrote the pidgin English "Da Kine Chreesmess Fairystory" for Surfer magazine in 1965. The story ends with the surfing "Sandy Claws" making a Christmas Eve toy stop in Waikiki. "He went cut bak and ride da curl, an no queeka den you can say 'Duke Kahanamoku' he went put all da toy stuffs in front da Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Queek like one jax rabbits, he jump on hes bawd, and even wen he was far away we went hear him excreem, 'Merry Chreesmess to all you guys, an Alohaaa!'"