What else can I say about Ray Bradbury?
No one wants to sound like a gushing fan, like a foolish sychophant.
But what can I say about Ray Bradbury?
I can say that he changed my life. I can say that he entered the mind of a four-year-old child and forever transformed the way that child would look at the world.
More than anyone other writer, Ray Bradbury introduced that four year old to the world of imagination. That kid never forgot his father telling him about the Martian Chronicles when he was too young to truly understand, but old enough to be enraptured. That red dot in the sky would never look the same again. The world became a place full of new possibilities. That kid really wanted to get a look at those Martians; they sounded wonderful. That kid soon became a voracious devourer of all books with rocket ships on the cover....and anything that looked like it might be a Martian...
And what about the older kid? That same kid, only a few years down the line? The one obsessed with vampires? The kid who must have watched King Kong and Dracula and Frankenstein about a 100 times? The kid who the other kids thought was kinda cool, but mostly weird on any other day except Halloween? This Martian Chronicles guy was there for that kid too. Hell, for a while, this kid thought that Ray must have gotten inside his head in order to write some of the stuff he did....some of those stories were about HIM! And, hey, this Bradbury guy also seemed to know that Harryhausen guy! The one whose movies the kid loved so much. WOW! This Bradbury really knew what was up!
Flash forward a few years; a confused teen, trying to figure out this crazy, seemingly senseless world; a political concious developing. The books helping him were the standards: 1984 - Orwell, Brave New World - Huxley, Slaughterhouse Five - Vonnegut, Fahrenheit 451 - this Bradbury fellow again, this friend from childhood. This lifelong friend. "Maybe I should read some of the books they were trying to burn", he thought. And he did.
I've read so much more since then, traveled so far, seen so much more. Still, nothing can ever compare to Ray. When I read his books, it reawakens that 4 year old who wanted to see the Martians...I still want to see the Martians, they still sound wonderful. And I'll still read almost any book with a rocketship on the cover. And vampires, mummies, and werewolves...I'll never give them up. And I've learned more from Ray since those childhood years, what he was trying to say through all those works, about the beauty, the terror, the wonder, and pure joy of life. What can I say about Ray Bradbury? There's so much I could say, but I don't want to sound like a gushing fan....
All I can say is, thank you, Ray. You gave me the world. Keep writing, and I'll always, always keep reading.
That four year old will never forget.
That's what else I can say about Ray Bradbury.
What can I say about Ray Bradbury? Well, to start the story I have to mention that I was able to get to know Ray Bradbury through another rather famous author, Richard Bach, who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull, among many other books.
He was a neighbor of mine in Ottumwa, Iowa and I had been reading his articles on aviation for several years. And then he moves to Ottumwa and becomes my neighbor. Wow!
Well, one day when I stopped over to his house, I noticed that he had a poem written by Ray that was framed and signed. He had written it for the Antique Airplane Association's Monthly magazine, of which Richard was the editor. Since I was a Bradbury fan, I asked Richard if I could have his address so that I could write him a letter.
Ray wrote back and that letter is still in my parent's attic, which I want to reclaim. Later, while on a train going from El Paso, Texas to Ft. Ord, California, we had a seven hour lay over in Los Angeles. I got a wild idea of going to visit Ray Bradbury.
Outside Grand Central Station there was the usual line-up of taxi cabs. I approached the first one in the line and told him that I wanted to go see a fellow by the name Of Ray Bradbury. He replied that he knew eactly where he lived because he had taken him home many times.
Shortly he pulled in front of his home located in Cheviot Hills close to Bel Air. Knocking on the door, I was disapointed to hear from one of his daughters that he had gone to an art store with one of his other daughters and his wife.
The driver knew where the art store was and took me there. So, walking in in my Army uniform, I was able to meet Ray, his wife and daughter.
I rode back with them to their home and was able to sit in his living room and visit for a while. He was very nice to give me three paperback books and autograph them. Later, foolishly I loaned two of them out and never got them back. I later replaced them and Ray was kind to autograph them.
That was back in 1967 and 34 years later I am happy to say that he has been kind to me to respond when I write, to invite me into his house briefly two other times when I was in L.A. visiting my son, and then in 1996 when my wife and two daughters stopped by and was able to take some photographs with him, that I later misplaced (darn it!).
Over the years Ray has been such a gentleman to write my children a short note when they were reading one of his works in school. It wasn't until later that I realized that I wasn't the only one that this great fellow has shown kindess to in responding to their inquries and letters.
I just sent him a photograph of a field of dandelions which I had taken several months ago and finally got enlarge, framed, and in the mail to him.
So, in addition to his great accomplsihments as a literary giant, he has been a kind, considerate, and loving person who really has a deep compassion, not only for his work, for all of the people who love his writing.
Geez, flyboy, thanks for the nice VERY pre-September 11 nostalgia! Anyone trying that nowadays would no doubt be hauled off in chains! I got his phone number from a mutual friend and was asked by his daughter, "Sweetie, where did you get this number?" I only ever got to California once, tried to see him then, but didn't get to, but have been fortunate to visit his hometown and enjoy a longtime correspondence.
Writers really shape our minds. Ray Bradbury has been one of the best. I have been reading him since the 1950's. A long time... and he never runs out of fresh ways to view the human experience. Rather like an older brother, he has always been just a bit ahead of me, but always let me know I was going in the right direction with my own choices. Who could ask for more/
I don't really know what to say after all of that. It couldn't possibly be true.
Bradburyhater, slander is a tasty word think about it more often....
What's this guys problem? He must have a pretty dull life. If you haven't noticed, which I don't see how you couldn't, he's posted ten messages all about the same thing. Why would anyone come to this website to post ten messages about how ignorant they are? Doesn't he have anything better to do? I'm confused!
Okay Mr. Hater, I believe you've gotten out of hand. You're lucky you can hide behind your words, behind your computer screen, in your house where you think you're safe. If I even thought I had an idea of where you live, the whole place would be burned to ashes. So if you wish to participate in the interesting and meaningful conversations, fine, but don't do it until you've grown up. You may think it's cool now, you may think you'll get away with it, but it WILL come back and bite you in the ass.
Unfortunately, perhaps this guy is using this forum as a way to vent his frustrations, whatever they may be. However, it seems to be the consensus of the rest of us, Avid Ray Bradbury FANS, that this degenerate should vacate the premise and take his foul-mouthed, gutter level being to another venue, one that might tolerate his kind much more than we can.
I had originally posted what I thought were two suitably angry responses to our friend, bradburyhater. Then I realized that any time taken out of my day to respond to anything he may say is more than his actions deserve. I'm going to be ignoring all further posts from him, and I encourage the rest of you to do the same. His conduct and "opinions" hardly justify any response. I hope he someday finds the strength and maturity to do something more worthwile with his time.
[This message has been edited by Paul Toliusis (edited 01-10-2002).]
[This message has been edited by Paul Toliusis (edited 01-12-2002).]
He's never too stupid for God to love him.....
Point well taken, RainWalker. I've gone back and re-edited my orginal post to elimate any direct attack on his person, only the immaturity evidenced by his actions. He's probably very young, and definitely rather insecure. I let my anger (at the attacks on Ray, not so much as on my own person...as well as bradbury hater's rampant bigotry and homophobia...forty years ago he probably would have accused me of being a "n****r-lover") get the better of me at the outset. Thanks for setting a better example.
[This message has been edited by Paul Toliusis (edited 01-12-2002).]
All very noble, guys, but has it ever occurred to you that this person might - just might - be dangerous? I don't rust anyone whose reality umbilical has so obviously been severed.
I doubt he's any more dangerous than any other common ng troll. Haven't we wasted enough time already? Let's not justify this guy any further. No more posts on him.
Ok-candoing I'll ignore you-know-who.....I was going to ignore him origanally but that kind of got forgottan :/
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