I’ve long enjoyed and respected Sports Illustrated columnist Steve Rushin’s writing. After reading an early spring SI excerpt from his new memoir, Sting-Ray Afternoons, I knew I needed to track a copy down. The book hit store shelves in July, and if you came of age in the 1970s or 1980s, I recommend you track down a copy, too.
Sting-Ray Afternoons celebrates the wonder of the Sear’s Wish Book Christmas catalog, the sweeping station wagon-mania that filled family garages and interstates for a decade, the rise of shopping mall culture, the popularity of various must-see television programs so many of us eagerly awaited each week of our childhood then discussed at school the next day, and similar elements, including Schwinn’s runaway best-selling bicycle, the Sting-Ray. Although Rushin uses sports news and events to highlight important moments and life stages, you need not be a sports fan to enjoy this memoir. Rushin’s travelogue, Road Swing, is another example of his considerable capacity to leverage sports when exploring life’s more impacting components.