I can't stop crying. I know that sounds crazy. I've never met the man. He was such an inspiration to me, through my teenage years and throughout my adult life. His writing opened my mind and inspired creativity in my own life. I feel this loss as if it were my own father. Mr Bradbury, You WILL be remembered for all of time. You may not have lived forever but your writing will.
As I expect many Bradbury fans do, I often live in books. Have since I was small. In 1969, at thirteen, I found “I Sing the Body Electric” which literally (and literature-ly) formed my life: I was a somewhat odd Iowa boy trying to socially survive an adolescence with few like minds among my peers and I had found a more senior, successful one in Ray Bradbury. As fast as newspaper route money came in, it was spent on more Bradbury. Reading the worlds he created, in his prose that rolled like poetry, made my own little world, which spawned stories about transplant victims reliving their donor’s deaths; fireflies that kept humans in jars; and trees in a forest imprison and exact revenge on lumberjacks, not so strange and maybe even a bit wonderful. I became brave enough to submit and share them, which I did with a student’s success, this a big confidence boost for me which I carried to adulthood. Many of us didn’t get a chance to thank Mr. Bradbury in person, but I did, many years later, when I met him in Kentucky at a National Science Teacher’s Conference where he was a keynote speaker. I shook his hand and thanked him for his words which had made me…different. And better. Good-bye to you, Ray, I hope your feet are light and fast in wonderful new shoes as you now run through all the summers of all your lives.