This richly varied account of a life spanning seven decades is more than a memoir about success in business. From the author's early years growing up in a medium sized town in Western Victoria during and immediately after the Second World War it traces a career that culminates in a high profile in Australian sporting and corporate life during some of the wine industry's most turbulent years.
In between there are tales of the inevitable move to the city and the trials and tribulations of life in the big smoke, university studies, playing for Carlton Football Club, national service and marriage at twenty with fatherhood following soon after.
Ray writes vividly of an incident-packed career embracing teaching, AFL umpiring, the pharmaceutical industry and the eventual move into a senior position with a leading winemaker.
Along the way there are tumultuous times involving marriage break-up, single parenting and a fresh start on family life in bringing two families together. Mid-life crisis leads to despair, departure and an eventual reunion with the wine industry.
The subsequent three decades of controversial top level involvement in the wine industry is an exhilarating journey of boosting profits, takeovers (and being taken over), mergers, bitter corporate battles, disasters and triumphs. With this comes numerous directorships, including seven years as chairman of St Kilda Football Club.
It is a full and candid account of an incident-filled life that provides a lively and engaging read.