Dorothy at rec.arts.sf.written at Google Groups asked:
I have been told Ray Bradbury was infamous around LASFS, in his early days, for his habit of giving people the hotfoot. Any old LASFSians know whether this is true?)
To which I replied:
I don't know, what is the hotfoot? Setting someone's shoe on fire or something?
Several people responded Yes, strange that this practice was so prevalent it had a name, but you had to make your own entertainment back then and this is one way computer games have improved the world.
You put the non-burning end of a wooden match under someone's shoe. You then light the burning end with another match. Then
you back off and wait for him to notice.
Kinda like what Hermione did to Snape, only not magical.
I know Forrest Ackerman or someone in the group said the callouses on their knees were all from throwing themselves down saying, "Thank God we didn't drown him." Evidently he was a rather obnoxious young lad.
That is the impression I got, yes.
But I vasn't dere, Sharlie.
Anyone know whether this is true? I wonder if such primitive forms of entertainment still prevail in less technologically advanced societies.
I belonged to LASFS during the early 1970's, and the talk then was that Ray was a prankster. Somewhat later, talking with Ed Hamilton, an old writer friend of Ray... he too mentioned that Ray was full of fun and games as a youngster.
Now if you know how to get a hold of Ray Harryhausen... he literally grew up with Ray and would surely know well all the facts. Then there is Forrest J. Ackerman, who introduced Ray Harryhausen to Bradbury....and has known both Rays for most of their lives. (This is getting complicated ...)....
Then there is Wilson Tucker, Science Fiction writer from way back in the '30's. who knew Ray. I was fortunate enough to meet Wilson Tucker 25 years ago, while he was passing around a bottle of 'smoooth' Jack Daniels... He was kind enough to give me a couple original photos of Ray as a young man. ( Here's his e-mail address: email@example.com ) Of course, so many others have... gone to the great typewriter in the sky...
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 01-22-2003).]
I haven't heard much about Ray's "adult" years - I use that term only as a reference to his age, since he's found some way to bottle that vivacity of youth - but I have heard about "hotfooting" in some older stories.
Dandelion, my brother just spent a couple of years in Chile. The children there all play with these oversized wooden tops. A length of twine is carefully wrapped around the top, which is about the size of an apple, with a nail driven through the middle. You then kind of whip the string, the top goes out on the ground and spins on the nail. Then other children do the same thing, trying to pierce the spinning top with the nails of their own tops. It gets quite heated, and apparently requires a lot of skill. He brought a very nice one back (unfortunately, I can't remember the name of these things), but the cheap ones that all the children have are a nickel or dime apiece. He says they are all perfectly happy with "primitive" forms of entertainment.
Makes you wonder if these complex video games or flashy movies are really all that necessary.
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