Humans of Granby

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Steve Rushin
Journalist, Sportswriter; 
(Sports Illustrated), novelist
2005 Sportswriter of the Year
(National Sportswriters and 

Sportscasters Association)
Age: 51
Tell about your career at Sports 


Steve Rushin photo by Rebecca Lobo
I started working there about 30 years ago as a temporary fact checker. Then in 1991, while in my early 20s, I covered the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Minnesota. Over the years I have written up major league baseball, hockey and tennis (Wimbledon), along with many other sports events. These days, I generally write a back page column and some longer features. Recent examples include Ice Golf in Greenland that was a part of searching for the northernmost golf course in the world and the southernmost course. In the past I have also covered the ’88 summer Olympics in Seoul, the ’94 winter Olympics in Norway, ’96 summer Olympics in Atlanta, ’98 Olympics in Japan and 2004 in Athens. The ’96 Olympics were especially memorable because the USA women’s gymnastics team was so happy that they did an impromptu Macarena dance after their trials.
A few years ago I was involved in one of the Swimsuit Editions that turned out to be a photo shoot done in Antarctica. Along with several documentary filmmakers, I first had to fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, located on an island in the Tierra del Fuego chain south of Argentina. There are mountains in the north and the Beagle channel to the south; the city sits in a wide bay. Next we traveled to our final destination on a mega yacht/small cruise ship along with several billionaire tourists that most likely hadn’t seen the continent before. This was an especially trying assignment as I can get seasick on the swing in my backyard. After taking several medications in addition to a scopolamine patch, I boarded the liner, (felt a little more secure knowing that there were straps on the beds if you needed to be held in). After a couple of days crossing the Drake Passage we arrived in Antarctica and eventually made our way to what was a former British scientific research base that is now under Ukrainian domain. It proved to be quite welcoming since not too long before they had received a large pile of wood for an additional outbuilding. Research is critical, however, the scientists felt down time was also important, so the addition has become a pub replete with pool table, ping pong table and sports banners hung over a nice bar. A VCR meant that all could enjoy movies because there is no internet on the remote, frozen continent. Twelve Ukrainian technologists, (who also perform numerous noteworthy experiments); are there for six months at a time and they live life fully by putting on their best jackets and ties for dinner at the pub on Saturday nights.
The scenery was fantastic. I had my daughter’s stuffed bear named Merly with me so that he could be featured in a slide show for her Valley Preschool class. We saw penguins, albatross, and breeching whales and had a GoPro camera on the beach to capture it all.
The models may have experienced a bit of discomfort because they had to dress with heavy coats and remove them for the seconds needed to take a swimsuit shot. And there were the tourists who were kept at a considerable distance from the photo shoots and sworn to secrecy. In spite of these regulations we later found out that a number of photos had already appeared on the TMZ celebrity news/gossip website.
Tell how you feel about writing
The books I have written lately are a departure from writing about sports. I have to have passion for the subject matter in order to compose and produce a new book. My most recent novel, Sting- Ray Afternoons is a memoir of growing up in the 1970s.
Tell about diversions that you enjoy…
I really do like to travel and have now been to all seven continents. My daughter loves the Harry Potter books so I took her to London to see the Harry Potter studios. I look forward to taking my family on trips like this one. I would also like to eventually learn to play a musical instrument.
What do you feel makes Granby a unique town amongst other New England towns?
I grew up in a small city named Bloomington, Minnesota, and have not lived in any other New England towns, so it’s hard to make a comparison. When I first arrived, it was a slow transition getting used to the darkness, bears, deer and coyotes that howl in the evenings. Nowadays, I see that Granby is unusual and charming in a number of ways. When we had friends come to visit not that long ago they went for a drive around town. When they came back to our house they were astounded that some people in Granby sell vegetables, flowers, eggs, etc. on the honor system. It is comforting for me to know that this area is safe enough for anyone to put $3 in a box and take away a dozen eggs. It is also great that Granby is located within easy driving distance to either Boston or New York City so people get to enjoy both the quiet countryside and two excellent east coast cities. Because of all this I feel it is the greatest place for raising kids. I took my son fishing by Old Mill Pond village one summer; later we watched a bear cross Barndoor Hills Road. My whole family truly enjoys Salmon Brook Park. In essence, it is the natural beauty, safety and location that make Granby exceptional in my eyes.