Markus Burkhart, who wrote under the pseudonym
“Stoney”, was probably the best-known news writer about nightlife in
Pattaya. He wrote German columns for many magazines, including the Farang.
He also wrote the news releases for many Walking Street a-go-gos. He died in
Chonburi Hospital on May 30, 2005, at the young age of 50. Here is my
I met Markus Burkhart (Stoney) 15 years ago. I was
sitting on a beach chair at Jomtien Beach, and after greeting him, I
discovered he could speak perfect English. In a few moments of conversation,
I realized he was one of the most intelligent persons I had ever met.
I hold two doctor degrees, and while being tested at the
University of Pittsburg in USA, I ranked in the 93rd percentile of PhDs
But Markus, who never attended university, was ever bit
my peer. We became immediate and fast friends, a close relationship that
remained firm until his untimely death.
I am the director of a social organization caring for
orphans in India, and each year I flew to India. I stopped in Pattaya for
about 8 weeks to visit Markus. For several years we met at the beach, swam
for a few hours, had dinner, and then went out till the early morning hours.
Nine years ago he told me of a Thai lady in his building
who was pregnant. The baby was born a boy, and named “Boy.” I watched
him grow, and knew Markus secretly gave money to feed, clothe, and educate
the child. At age 3, Markus brought Boy to my swimming pool, and after that
I saw both of them every day. Markus confided to me that he wanted a
companion for his old age, and hoped to adopt Boy (he named him Roy
Burkhart). I knew all the details of the process of making Boy his son. And
what a shame that after caring for Boy all those years, Markus left so
suddenly without enjoying Boy’s company in his old age.
Three years ago I began staying in Pattaya for six
months, and our friendship cemented further.
We discussed politics, music, technical data about TV and
stereo, and life in Pattaya. He was knowledgeable in every field a PhD would
discuss. I am sure we talked tens of thousands of hours during those
interesting 15 years of close friendship. We shared our ideas about health,
family, personal relationships. He was closer to me than my own brother.
I left Pattaya on April 19, 2005, several days after he
left with Boy to visit his parents in Germany. I e-mailed him after his
return to Pattaya, but received no reply. Just last week Stephan Matter
wrote me of his untimely death.
I was in shock, then grief, then anger that my friend
died when I was not there to help him. Our friendship will be indelibly
imprinted on my heart until we meet on the other side.
Goodbye, my friend. My vision is blurred with tears, and
I will hold your memory closely in my heart.
Dr. Johannes Maas