Over the last few shows I’ve had quite a few “memoir” writers; their books have been written for various reasons, therapy, the hope that the book can help others or just to provide entertainment. My guest on today’s “A Book and a Chat” firmly falls into the latter, though for him writing about his youth was a candle in his darkest hours.
Ray Shasho’s book “Check the G’s” the story of a family and the business that sustained them his childhood through early adulthood. The book is full of humor as well as snap shots of American history and music, as well as the inside secrets of his family business, originally called Chin Lung Art Gallery, though as we heard it was far from a Chinese Art Gallery.
Ray sold his first item in the store, owned by his father and uncle at the grand age of six, it was a “real call dude” pair of sunglasses. The Chin Lung Art Gallery’s inventory (electronics, jewelry, cameras, artwork, and more) was as varied as the international clientele that frequented it and the Shasho family itself headed by Ray’s Syrian Jewish father and Cuban Catholic mother. The life skills the author learned from working in his father’s store helped him to become a fearless adult with a head for business and a strong sense of family.
There are trials and problems litter the pages of “Check the G’s” (G’s are customers by the way) mixed with the antics that took place in the store while it was open for business six days a week. Many famous characters fill the pages as they did the store including baseball star Ted Williams, James Mason, Dick Gregory, Art Buchwald, Dinah Shore, Chuck Norris, Muhammad Ali, Lee Atwater and a famous actress who was asked to leave. Ray also offers firsthand accounts of the D.C. riots following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the murder of John F. Kennedy, and meeting celebrities like Muhammad Ali, Chuck Norris, and Sugar Ray Leonard.
After seven years of running one of the businesses himself, Ray closed the last family store and walked away with a full appreciation for what he had learned from the work
“Check the G’s” is a book all will enjoy as Gary Sorkin, wrote for Pacific Book Review…
“I found Check the Gs to be pure entertainment, fantastic fun and a catalyst to igniting many memories of my own life. If you have a bit of grey hair (or no hair), buy this book.”
Ray's love of music has now lead him to interviewing many famous rock artists details of which he was able to share with us during an entertaining show.
So listen now and share an interesting and entertaining show as I spend thirty minutes sharing "A Book and a Chat with Ray Shasho".
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"A Book and a Chat with Ray Shasho"
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"Ray Shasho - Check the G's"
Barry Eva (Storyheart)
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