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About the Book

How do three siblings grow up under the same difficult circumstances but end up taking completely different paths in life? This question is at the heart of Wrong Side of the Tracks, a memoir by Ron McElroy about coming of age with a loving mother’s strong connections to her family’s Hawaiian heritage, a mentally unstable father, and the dangerous daily threats of an impoverished southern California community. Despite a youth fueled by drugs, alcohol, and violence, McElroy discovers the courage and skills to escape the harsh reality of his family life.

During his many visits to Hawaii, one of Ron’s uncles teaches him to surf and he quickly excels in a thrilling competitive world. He gradually realizes that surfing is both a connection to his heritage and a way to break away from the self-destructive life style of his older brother and sister. McElroy becomes a top level amateur surfer on teams that win local, regional, and international championships. He uses his celebrity to endorse surfing products, then moves into sales and ultimately real estate. Today, McElroy is a developer and entrepreneur with commercial and residential housing business interests in California, mainland Mexico, and Hawaii.

This classic journey of transformation will resonate for all readers who can identify with an honest and revealing memoir filled humor, action, and adventure. McElroy learns that with strong family bonds, discipline, skill and a positive, loving spirit, you can choose a different path and create a better life for yourself—no matter which side of the tracks you come from.