Sting-Ray Afternoons: A Memoir

Sting-Ray Afternoons: A Memoir

by Steve Rushin
4.3 4

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Sting-Ray Afternoons: A Memoir by Steve Rushin

"Funny, elegiac... a remarkably sunny coming-of-age story about growing up in a Midwest world." --- NPR This is a story of the 1970s. Of a road trip in a wood-paneled station wagon, with the kids in the way-back, singing along to the Steve Miller Band. Of brothers waking up early on Saturday mornings for five consecutive hours of cartoons. Of growing up in a magical era populated by Bic pens, Mr. Clean and Scrubbing Bubbles, lightsabers and those oh-so-coveted Schwinn Sting-Ray bikes. And of a father--one of 3M's greatest and last eight-track salesmen--traveling across the country on the brand-new Boeing 747, providing for his family but wanting nothing more than to get home. In Sting-Ray Afternoons, Steve Rushin paints an utterly nostalgic, psychedelically vibrant portrait of a decade overflowing with technological evolution, cultural revolution, as well as brotherly, sisterly, and parental love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316392228
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/03/2017
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 33,494
File size: 38 MB
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About the Author

Steve Rushin is a writer for Sports Illustrated and the 2006 National Sportswriter of the Year. He is the author of four nonfiction books and a novel. His work has been collected in The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Magazine Writing anthologies. He lives in Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sting-Ray Afternoons 3

1 Eight-Track Mind 23

2 One of These Things Is Not Like the Others 52

3 When You Comin' Home, Dad? 73

4 Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, Teacher Hit Me with a Ruler 91

5 Wish Book 125

6 As We Fell into the Sun 150

7 Every Day's the Fourth of July 195

8 Through the Magic Doorgate 221

9 Ventura Highway in the Sunshine 247

10 Play That Funky Music, White Boy 264

11 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 285

Epilogue: Oh, Oh, Telephone Line 312

Acknowledgments 321

Notes 325

What People are Saying About This

author of The Stars in Our Eyes and the New York T Julie Klam

"If you existed in the 1970s and had any awareness of the world around you, Steve Rushin's Sting-Ray Afternoons is going to hit you like the smell of Clairol Herbal Essence Shampoo. Smart as heck, laugh out loud funny and warm, Steve Rushin does for 1970s childhoods what Jean Shepherd did for 1940s Christmas. This book is nothing short of a Nadia Comenici Perfect 10."

author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair and the forthcoming The Lowells of Massachusetts - Nina Sankovitch

“Charming and heartfelt, hilarious and touching, Rushin's Sting-Ray Afternoons is a pitch-perfect portrait of growing up in middle America during the Brady Bunch era. A gem of a memoir, a tribute to family, and a delectable slice of American history.”

songwriter and guitarist, The Hold Steady - Craig Finn

"Steve Rushin's Sting Ray Afternoons is a fun and often hilarious account of growing up in the midwest in the 1970s. Throughout the book I was pleasantly reminded of things from my own past—Rushin revisits the TV shows, the toys, the games of the era while telling his family's own story. Sting Ray Afternoon captures both the freedom of youth and the universal longing for experience in a bigger, more adult world. If you grew up in the 1970s, prepare to have your memory triggered."

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Sting-Ray Afternoons: A Memoir 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a child of the 60s and 70s with 3 siblings and close knit neighborhood this walk down memory lane rekindled so many emotions I hope my grandchildren stay planted in same neighborhood to revel in the kinship of youth
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed how the author took me back into the 70’s while he talked about his family and his life growing up. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face as he brought up parts of my childhood, as he referenced his life in that era. The author’s style of replaying his life seemed effortless as the words flowed across the page. Steve was the middle child surrounded by brothers and one sister. His father worked outside the home while his mother stayed at home, which in itself is a fulltime job. Steve was a scared teen, his mind was always going to the worst-case scenario about planes, bugs, death, natural disasters and just about anything else. His fears made me laugh, as they sometimes tended to go to the extreme but I also believe it was how the author spoke about them, how he made it seem that he was actually speaking to me. The author was a lover of words, devouring everything that he could read. I loved how the author created his own word-play giving credit in part, to the television shows that started this. The author provides some actual photographs in the novel, pictures of himself and other individuals he spoke about in the novel. I enjoyed looking at these snapshots of the 1970’s, it really hit home the era he was referring to and they made the novel personable. As the author talks about the popularity of wood paneling, I had to laugh. From side panels on automobiles, wood-paneled furniture, to it being attached to walls, this hit home with me. Family vacations that he took brought back the adventure and the tests that were endured on these excursions. I loved all the references to the 70’s, things that have died down but still remain a part of us growing up in that generation. The commercials of this era (Libbys, Libbys, Libbys on the label, label, label), the new words that were created based on popular sayings and the musical puns that we knew by heart (On Top of Old Smokey to Beans, beans, the magical fruit), it’s amazing how these have passed away but just hearing the first words of them, I was singing the jingle. His reminiscing of his bread-bagged feet and the Hertz Donut was hilarious, these things I had completely forgot about. This novel was a terrific walk back in time for me and I can’t recommend it enough, it was more than I expected. “At age six, it only suggests to me that words exist to be stretched and kneaded like Silly Putty, the way a butterfly can flutter by.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having grown in Minneapolis a few years ahead of the author, this brought back a lot of fond memories. A must for anyone from the Twin Cities.
Ilovemister More than 1 year ago
Disappointed. It was overall boring. I skipped a lot of pages. There was pne line in the begining of the book was really funny but other than that not so much.
B-loNY More than 1 year ago
I confess, I haven't read this book yet, but anything written by Steve Rushin has success written all over it. Talented? Read one of his Sports Illustrated articles or previous books.