“So, have you read any good books lately”?
“Really? Can’t even say, ‘Hi, how are you? How have you been?'"
“Sorry. Hi, how are you? How have you been? Read any good books lately, Bozo?”
“My, my, somebody’s kind of grumpy today. Anyway, to answer your question, I just finished an interesting slice of suburban Middle American life called, “Sting-Ray Afternoons” by Steve Rushin, whom you might recognize as a writer for Sports Illustrated. It’s a memoir, focusing on growing up in the 70’s, in Bloomington, Minnesota. “Sting-Ray Afternoons” is filled with amusing anecdotes about Rushin’s childhood, but just be aware, he has to have gotten some kind of sponsorship deal because he mentions the brand names of just about everything he can remember from those days. Man, whatever it is, he slips in that brand name or commercial jingle or catchphrase.”
“Isn’t that kind of distracting?”
“No, not really. Well, maybe a little at first. He got me going down memory lane, though, remembering things that I haven’t thought about in years.”
“Do you remember candy cigarettes? You know, candy or bubble gum rolled into a little cylinder, and wrapped in paper to make it look like a real cigarette? So that you could pretend to be a grown-up with a cig dangling from your lips?”
“No, I don’t remember that, but, wow, that’s kind of disgusting.”
“Well, that’s the way it was back then. Nobody knew any better, which could be said about a lot of the 70’s, I guess. Anyway, “Sting-Ray Afternoons” was a fun read, and I would recommend it.”
“Okay, great, thanks for the tip, Bozo.”
Born in Buffalo NY 1966. A great walk down memory lane. Rushin is an expert wordsmith. I was compelled to turn every page and wished there were more. Laughed out loud and gave the book to my older brothers to read.
If you grew up in the Midwest in the 70's, this is a fabulous must-read. Hilarious and heart-warming.
Steve Rushin was a much anticipated "Point After" writer for Sports Illustrated before ending that gig to write on other topics. While I miss him in S I, I'm gladly blazing through his memoir of 1970's suburban boyhood. He is witty and alliterative in this fun-tastic memoir of family life in the sports-obsessed Midwest. Not necessary to be a sports fan to enjoy this read by an award-winning sportswriter, but remembering the 70's will make it all the sweeter.
Great memoir of growing up in the 70s including a plethora of pop culture references and a dash of humor!
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