I was first introduced to Ray by my mother's closest friend Sanora Babb ( Wife of the great cinematographer James Wong Howe ) I was only 17 years old. I remember how wonderfully nice a person he was. He was a force of nature. Over all these years, and the many times I would run into Ray and one fucntion or another... he was always this wonderfuly nice person. Here he was... one of the most famous writers in the world.. and he was still so incredibly nice. Always will ing to give advice... to encourage. "2,000 words a day...".
Ray has reveived many richly deserved accolades over the years, repeated a million times. Such as the fact that he was a hugely hard worker and dedicated to his craft... that he was a GIANT in the history of literature... not just Science Fiction... but the whole of literature. These things have been widely acknowledged and said many times.
I myself feel that for me that greatest accolade I can give to Ray was that he was one of the nicest men I have ever had the honor of knowing. Give the degrees of his deserved success this was no small feat by any means.
Goodbye my old friend. Traveler of Galaxies, scribe of tales great and small, teller of fortunes and futures to be. I knew you as a man humble and great and I will miss you until me meet again someday in some future you probably have already fortold.
Since hearing of Ray's death this morning, I have been thinking of what I might add to this forum. In reading Bennett's post, I knew this was the place to put my thoughts because, like Bennett, I found Ray, with all his fame, to be one of the nicest persons I have ever known.
I first met Ray at a convention in LA in around 1995. I knew he was going to be a guest at the convention, and was expected for a banquet to be held that evening. I hung around the hotel lobby with my first edition of THE STORIES OF RAY BRADBURY, hoping to introduce myself and have him sign my book. Ray had been my favorite writer since I was 12 years old (long before 1995!), and the main reason I went to the convention was to meet him, and tell him how much I loved his work and what it meant to me.
Ray entered the hotel lobby in the early evening, and immediately was surrounded by friends, well wishers and fans. I waited off to the side, partially because I did not want to intrude and partially because I was somewhat terrified at the prospect of meeting my literary hero. Finally, he was alone and I walked up to him with my book. I opened my mouth to speak and found to my amazement that, for the first (and it turned out, only) time in my life, I was speechless. I simply could not get any words to come out and the harder I tried to talk, the worse it got. Ray looked at me, saw my difficulty, and said, very kindly, "Would you like me to sign your book?" I simply nodded, still unable to speak. He looked at my convention name tag and said, "Well, let's see who I'm signing for." The name tag noted my name and where I was from, which was Evanston, Illinois. He looked up, smiled, and said, "Evanston? Hey, I'm from Waukegan! We're practically neighbors!" With that, my inability to speak vanished, and Ray spent several minutes in that hotel lobby chatting with me like I was a long-lost friend.
It was at that moment that I realized Ray Bradbury was not only a great writer, but one of the nicest people I had ever met.
I got to know Ray better and better in the ensuing years, and the passage of time never changed his kind and generous heart. However, I will never forget that first encounter, and the kindness he showed a tongue-tied fan.
God bless, Ray. Rest well, my friend.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Richard,
I had the rare and honored privilege of enjoying his company a little over a decade ago. I found him to be a very nice man with an extraordinary intellect that very few people in this world could come close to. We are truly at a loss without him in the world.
The time we spent together only lasted a couple hours, but it is a memory i will remember for the rest of my life. He was even kind enough to buy me a few of his own books, and sign them for me when i came up a little short to purchase them myself.
June 5th. Ray Bradbury died on this date in 2012. It's hard for me to believe he has been gone eight years.
|Powered by Social Strata|