Well said, Uncle!
It seems odd that, with Ray being one of their few claims to fame, the Powers-That-Be in Waukegan don't do more.
I wonder, if we asked politely, whether someone like Steven Spielberg would interested in "adopting" Ray's homes. I saw a post mentioning Don Henley's Walden Woods Project; might we start a Ray Bradbury Home Project?
There are a couple of "Green Town" websites, but I could not find any photos of Ray's or his family's houses. *SIGH* Maybe the one each of us creates in his imagination is better, but I'd still like to see "The Real Thing" as Ray saw it.
Like I had mentioned couple times previously...
...if anyone can...and wants to post photos of Ray's home and neighborhood...(plus the recent Literary Walk pictures)...on some WebSite, so others can see them....feel free to get in touch with me...and I'll get them over to you to post....
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 10-12-2002).]
What a wonderful thing the Waukegan Downtown Association is doing, and what a wonderful event for it! At least the Carnegie Library will be restored, even if not in time for its Centennial. I am so happy to at last learn of someone in the area who is interested in this subject and may be able to answer some of my questions. Thanks so much for posting a description of your walk. A description of my 1984 visit, and a link to letters from schoolchildren who went on an October, 2000, walk, are posted in other threads on these boards. That church was there at least two years ago. One of the kids' letters said it was the German Baptist Church, then the Latin Presbyterian Church. I mentioned that I found the new building into which the Baptist Church moved, but never did find the old building described in the book. It seems that chance is now gone forever, alas. It was both Bradbury's grandparents and uncle who lived next door at the Washington Street house. An elderly neighbor recalled his Uncle Bion, who liked to play records. As the schoolkids' letters pointed out, this house is much plainer than in the book. The third story and cupola have either been removed, or were added only from Mr. Bradbury's imagination. When I saw it in 1984 the colored windows were still there, and yes, I got pictures of them! There was no fence then and you could go in the yard. In 1984, the people in Ray's old house acted somewhat scared. They didn't speak English and seemed to convey the attitude, "We don't know him, and whatever he did, it isn't our fault!" They had a baby about two years old. I wonder if this could be the young man you saw imbibing, having undergone a "sea change" into something strange, if not rich, or if a whole different group of Mexicans lives there now. As with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's and Walt Disney's houses, the Bradbury homes have fallen prey to renters. The opposite fate of Thomas Wolfe's house, which in his lifetime was crammed with boarders (according to his books, of a somewhat undesirable nature at that) but after his death his family was interested in its preservation. It was a museum for many years, and will be again when the ravages of a 1998 arson fire are repaired. Let's hope some wealthy and WISE individuals in Waukegan wake up enough to realize that what they have is certainly on a par with Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe, authors whose sites are lovingly preserved, buy this property (which is probably for sale, as the owner doesn't think enough of it to live there himself, but merely rents it out) and preserve it as the national treasure it truly is.
When I inquired about restoration and reconstruction of Mr. Bradbury's childhood neighborhood, I did not have in mind a "Disney and Fries" atmosphere. Just the opposite. As Dandelion adds, more like "Poe, Twain", (in my NE region) Rockwell, Frederick Remington, and Thoreau.
One of the most enjoyable and tastefully done locations which has captured the genius of a person's life work (that I have visited) is actually in Baddeck, Nova Scotia: the summer home of Alexander Graham Bell. It is filled with inventions, pictures, presentations, memorabilia, and publications. All is set in family friendly surroundings, original buildings well maintained but not glitsy, and grounds educationally arranged. http://capebretonisland.com/AGBell.html
Looking at the new RB Bio. makes one wonder at all the great stuff that still remains archived in the vaults of publishers, photographers, movie producers, and then by the author himself!
If much (buildings, etc.) has already been lost, it might be a diffucult project to undertake. However, it would be one well worth considering in view of the man it would honor.
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 10-15-2002).]
What a wonderful thread! Nard and Dandelion, I, like Mr. Dark, am jealous in a good way! I'd love to see pictures. One of my goals is to somehow save up enough money to fly out to Waukegan and see the ravine, walk up and down what's left of the original steps, see the library, haunt the old haunts...Although as many have said, it is the spirit of how Ray captured those places of his past, and the happiness it can bring us, that matters most...I'll keep all that in mind when I can finally make the visit a reality.
Mr. Dark- I'm very glad you're feeling better!!!
Hang in There All:::
I'm talking with someone next week (viz: week of October 21st)...who may very well put together a simple Website for me, to post photos I have, from recent to the past, of Waukegan and Ray... Will tell you next week if this works out...
It's been great to learn of the existence of the "Ray Bradbury Park" with the beautiful walkway to tour the ravine, but something seriously needs to be done to preserve the homes as historic structures! It would be great if the biography-in-progress could somehow address that. Does anyone know how the library restoration work is going?
I agree - I think it's important that Ray's childhood home and the home of his grandparents receive some attention - The first step would be to somehow get them registered as historic landmarks (or whatever equivalent would work), which would protect them, at least to some extent, from falling into serious disrepair. The next step, I suppose, would be funding for restoration (although I understand they are still lived in).
Anyway, I firmly believe something should be done, and would be happy to volunteer what time or resources I have, if someone could find out how to proceed. We should look into contacting someone in Waukegan.
Nard, I checked out your website! I was thrilled to see all the pictures taken in 1975 of Rays Grandparents house, and the streets he had walked as a boy. That one picture of his grandparents house I noticed all the dandelions in the lawn. I said to myself this is Greentown. The picture of the ravine lives up to its name, it looks like it could breath on its own at night. Rays Home should be preserved not just on the shelves of libraries, but on the street that he lived in the house that he was raised.
Illinois has a vital native son that needs recognition from his home state.
He is already recognised for his talent worldwide. If it is not done his home could just remain a rental, not a monument.
[This message has been edited by uncle (edited 06-07-2003).]
Will add a Website page ...to accomodate the pictures I took for the 'tour' of ""Greentown"" last October. They will fit the copy I wrote, the topic of these postings.
Also have a picture of what Ray's old boyhood home looks like today, and will probably put it on the website in another week. That, and a couple new Bradbury pix probably mid week. Will include a picture taken in front of the building in which he had an office, on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. Hey, thanks for checking out the Website.
Thank you, for all the pictures you have recorded, and have shared. It fleshes out more of Rays life for me, as a boy his beginnings on the lawns, and in the fields.
Your artwork on the website is remarkable, I could see Venus, and Marscapes flowing in the inks on your glass plates. It is also good to put a face with a name. Glad to meet you, Yes, another of the "Book People".
It's nearly end of June and just got around to getting that one picture of Ray on the bike, posted on my Website.
The fellow that does my Website is studying computer science and doesn't always have a lot of time. Yesterday, he left for Czechoslavakia, to teach English for 3 weeks at a school there. Unfortunately, I asked him to change some copy on all my full-length pieces of music...and I guess I am stuck with the 'same' song, on all the listings...at least until he returns. See, you push the wrong button, and the world goes on tilt....
So... no new Bradbury photos until probably July 15th, when he returns. (I gotta start learning the ins-and-outs of Website design...)
Thats alright about the music, I just figured the tune varitions must be so subtle I must be missing it or you had a redundandt musical theme. I will check it out after the 15th of July. Have a great 4th!
Since I have my Website up and running, I shall present some of the pictures I took, that coincide with the 'Waukegan Tour Report' of last October.... Will have it done sometime within the two weeks.. Will make a post when I have them ready to see..... http://www.catchaway.com
What's the story with Bradbury's home? Maybe I missed a posting somewhere. Anyone buy it? Also, has there been any further tours of Waukegan? For instance, like last month? Thanks.
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