Ray Shasho

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The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business

At an age when most kids are just getting rid of the training wheels on their bicycle, Ray Shasho entered into a crazy world of secret lingo and bullying sales tactics at the Chin Lung Art Gallery, his father’s retail store on the corner of Thirteenth and F Street in Washington, DC. Check the Gs is the true story of how this bizarre family business changed his world forever.

Raised by a Cuban Catholic mother and Syrian Jewish father, Shasho made his first sale at the age of six and never looked back. Life in the family business (and in the Shasho family) was never boring. From FBI interrogations to angry mobs, each new day at the Chin Lung Art Gallery brought with it new adventures.

Check the Gs tells a story for everyone who is proud of their family and heritage but not afraid to laugh at its many eccentricities, and for anyone who has ever worked in retail and experienced its humorous situations and misadventures.

Click here to read the latest review

About the Author Ray Shasho

Raised by a Cuban Catholic mother and Syrian Jewish father, Shasho made his first sale at the age of six and never looked back. Life in the family business, and in the Shasho family, was never boring. From FBI interrogations to angry mobs, each new day at the Chin Lung Art Gallery brought with it new adventures.

Ray's new book Check the Gs tells a story for everyone who is proud of their family and heritage but not afraid to laugh at its many eccentricities, and for anyone who has ever worked in retail and experienced its humorous situations and misadventures.

In the mist of things, he absorbed some great stories over the years while working in Washington DC but he will always cherish those few hours that he spent with, "the splendid splinter" Ted Williams. “Someone always wanted to rain on my parade because their life sucked” says author Ray Shasho.

“I attended the school of hard knocks and learned to Check the Gs.”

After deejaying at several popular radio stations Ray Shasho became a successful entrepreneur and eventually worked for four of the largest financial institutions in the world.

The avid writer currently lives in Bradenton, Florida, and pens a classic rock music column for Examiner.com.

Ray Shasho is a classic rock music aficionado. He especially enjoys in-depth interviews with notable rock celebrities. His articles are featured on recording artist’s websites worldwide.

Examiner's Bradenton Classic Rock Reporter.

Where to Buy

amazon

barnes and noble

books on board

iUniverse

 

Also available at -

Apple's iBookstore, Sony, Diesel, Scrollmotion and worldwide distribution through global libraries, schools, colleges and universities.

 

Click here to listen to Ray's interview with Erik Hines on CRN Digital Talk Radio in Los Angeles

Reviews

The story is about a kid from Baltimore that got dragged to work at a very early age to his fathers business in Washington DC. You journey through his personal trials and tribulations. The character is confused from being brought up in a Catholic/Jewish/Cuban/Syrian household. And on becoming streetwise at an early age in Washington DC. He has a difficult time adapting to the simple ways of being a kid- because he feels that he has been forced to become an adult at his fathers business. There is lots of craziness surrounding his fathers techniques and ideas for operating a retail store. The story is funny,mind-boggling,bizarre and reminiscent to many of our own personal trials and tribulations. I loved the story and especially the way he described the characters. The characters in the book are awesome! I recommend you buy this book, you'll love it! ~~Ilovebooks4ever

 

Normalcy is a myth and anyone who tells you differently isn't very normal. "Check the Gs" is a memoir from Ray Shasho who tells of his own offbeat upbringing working in the family business art gallery, from a young age. Of Cuban and Syrian descent, he tells a very American story of coming from everything, seeing everything, walking the line of the law and much more. A fun and fast paced memoir, "Check the Gs" is a worthwhile addition to many a memoir collection. ~~ MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

Reviews

Original, Entertaining and Hilarious-- This book has all the elements of a classic in the making. The novel is centralized around Raymond, a boy growing up around up in the family store in Washington, DC...but that is just the tip of the plot. The dynamic characters really make this memoir. Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding...but with "Cuberians", the families made up name for what you get when you mix Cubans with Syrians from Brooklyn. Plus, the family store gets a lot of traffic from Famous Actors/Actresses, politicians...and crazies. It captures moments of a unique family but as the reader, I could really relate to the tribulations, awkward moments, and inside jokes. Check this book out! ~~Luci90


Reviews

Ray Shasho has quite a memory, especially when it comes to what songs played on the radio during important times throughout his youth.  Combining his nostalgic recant of  Billboard’s Top 100, like some infomercial for a Time-Life Oldies CD collector’s set, along with his detailed whimsical recollections while growing up, and you have the “soundtrack ” for a truly enjoyable story called Check the Gs: The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business. 

Spiraling like a 33 rpm vinyl record around his father’s retail gift store in Washington DC, a block away from the White House, Ray began his career at the age of 6 (going on 16), when he put down the Windex and paper towels to sell a pair of shades to his first customer. “Ale-Say,” Pig Latin for “sale,” was said by the guy’s comical and secretive comments hollered around the store owned by his dad and his uncle ~ both identical twins. Between Cuban slang, Spanish, mathematical pricing algorithms, made up words, and yes, “Ig-Pay Atin-Lay,” the atmosphere in the store was as clouded with unrevealed slang to thwart customers’ understanding the pricing of merchandise as the perpetual second-hand smoke laid a fog from the owner’s cigars.  What a tumultuous time in this country’s history.  The babies were booming, the racial tensions post Kennedy’s and Martin Luther King’s assassinations threw the USA into a riot driven country.  However the dollar had value. The store had radios, TVs, cameras, binoculars, rings and jewelry, souvenirs and “you name it” all stocked behind sparkling clean glass cabinets, with shelves higher than can be reached without a ladder and items displayed in the front window precisely as a masterpiece of jigsaw placement.

Ray, raised by a Cuban Catholic mother and a Syrian Jewish father was 100% street smart.  What impressed me most was when Ray was older, so did his style of writing change into a more mature written voice.  For example, his early years, the first third of Check the Gs, had observations as seen through a kid’s perspective.  I actually felt a kid was narrating the story in first person!  Yet as Ray matured, his storytelling had more to do with his meeting all sorts of people, falling in love, but still selling gadgets, and making a PR (profit).

Ray Shasho is a product of the second half of the 20th century, made in the USA from parts around the world, and within him is every trend in music, television, politics and culture contributing to his philosophical and comically analytical reflections collected in his fine book of memories.  I found Check the Gs to be pure entertainment, fantastic fun and a catalyst to igniting so many memories of my own life, as I too am within a few years of Ray.  So to all, I say if you have a bit of grey hair (or no hair), buy this book!  It’s a great gift for your “over-the-hill” friends, or for their kids, if they are the history buffs of younger generations trying to figure out why we are the way we are.

~~Pacific Book Review