Ray Bradbury introduced me to my life in the shadows...to my life in science fiction and conspiracy...he has inspired me to actually be myself. It is a pity that not everyone shares these feelings...the first book of his I read was the Martian Chronicals, and then Faranheight 54, and then Dandelion Wine, and the the rest of his outstandong collection of books. Does anyone agree with me that he changed your life as well?
WOW! Where to begin?
He definately did change my life in more ways than I'll be able to lay down here in the short time I have to sit at this computer.
As a kid my hero was Jacques Cousteau(famous marine biologist) and my favorite fictional hero was Captain Nemo. They provided me with both escapism and hope, and in hindsight I now realize my sense of nostalgia, respect for life, and interest in preserving all that is good. At around 12 years old Bradbury came into my life via "SOMETHING WICKED" which led to THE ILLUSTRATED MAN at 13 and FAHRENHEIT 451 at 14. He seemed to make all of these early influences gel or come together.
All of these influences add up and are seemingly entertwined in the making of "me". I believe Cousteau helped shape my early mental make-up, Nemo (my soul, conviction, and courage), and Bradbury, at precisely the right time, my heart.
So, here I am with my head in the clouds and flippers on my feet, trying to swim to Mars via the ocean.
There's a lot more to it, but I haven't time right now.
[This message has been edited by grasstains (edited 11-09-2004).]
I have been influenced by him or thought of him in some form every day for nearly 30 years.
Yeah, me too.
Everyday I see, hear, or smell something that reminds me of something I've read by him.
It's raining here now. Of course, I will have to let some of it fall onto my tongue.
Heroes: let's list our heroes, and observe the progress of our lives.
First hero: RB.
Second hero: Norman Mailer.
Third hero: Huey P. Newton.
And that's the way that went.
My first hero was John Glenn.
A list of heroes, eh? Where to begin isn't the problem, but where to end... And I already see three of my top five listed.
Obviously these are people who have done great things with their lives. I think what makes them heroes, at least to me, is that they all have a strong sense of personal integrity. They seem to stand for more than their own accomplishments. There are many others who could have easily made my list but these are the ones who stand out in my mind. Ray Bradbury would always be "first among equals" on any such list of mine.
Bradbury more then changed my life. As a child I grew up watching science fiction with my father. Ray Bradbury Theater was a regular. I wanted to read so badly, but when I was in the first grade I couldn't seem to pick it up, nor in the second. It was in the third grade that I was diagnosed with Dyslexia (you may notice my spelling.) The Martian Chronicles was the first real novel I read. It has stayed with me ever sence. Not only has Bradbury's insite into the human codition inspired me in every thing I do, but the trymph of that first novel is somthing that I can not even begain to discribe...
Bradburyesque, believe me, you're more articulate and orthographically correct than many of the youth who post to this site who probably aren't dyslexic.
As for heroes, one of mine is Stan Freberg. Imagine my delight when I checked out "The Tip Of The Freberg" from the library and discovered that one of his "Sunsweet Prunes" commercials features Ray Bradbury!!
I don't mean to repeat myself, but I had been reading Ray for quite a few years before I had the privilege of meeting him, his wife Marguerite and two of his daughters (their names, unfortunately, I do not recall) having them give me a ride back from an art store to their home to visit with Ray in his living room some 37 years ago.
Subsequent visits to his home along with corresponding with Ray over the years in addition to being able to call him on the phone once in a while, has definately influenced my life. The underlying theme of this man, besides his genius, is his true humbleness, kindness and utter willingness to extend himself to others.
I know this is a message board about Ray and all he's done for us all over the years, but I must say calling him a hero is a bit much. He is a great man with an uncanny writing style and an inspiration to everyone.
My hero would have to be my father.
rich0917--Isn't it possible to have more than one hero in our lives? My parents are both heroes to me, each for a different reason, and my grandmother as well. But I still think of Ray as a hero, for the joy he has brought to my life and the new and different ways he has made me look at the world around me. I feel that he has opened my eyes up to life, if that makes any sense. I know too that there are several people on this board who attribute major life changes to Ray. Ask Nard, ask Mr. Dark. I'm sure they have other heroes in their lives too, but there's no reason a great author such as Ray can not be our hero as well.
lmskipper and rich0917,
You are both fortunate to have heroic parents.
For some people, like me, RB did serve as a father/grampa/uncle figure. You have no clue how much I have wished for a father who could be capable of being my hero. I'm 40-ish and still wish for it, even now, and regret the hand I was dealt regarding this issue. But I'm eternally grateful for RB coming into my life at precisely the right time and providing some guidance, compassion, and kindness as well as escapism and adventure.
On Thanksgiving Day I give thanks for Ray Bradbury.
[This message has been edited by grasstains (edited 11-25-2004).]
It took RB to teach me that a childhood with fireflies, dandelions, and vapor-light-free summer nights--had *value*. That I was worth something--just because.
My father survived WWII to raise a son, my grandmother survived diabetes for a while to raise a grandson, and my wife nurtures their legacy. These are my heroes.
Ray is easily included in their number.
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