Very Sad! We were on hand the evening of Mr. B's 89th and had a chance to meet and briefly visit with Mr. Fox-Brenton. Having taught DW for so many years, I expressed my congratulations for his superlative rendering of Col. Freeleigh.
Whenever I did Dandelion Wine and we came to the Colonel's scenes, I would read the passages orally, trying to add character and the sense of "time travel" to my interpretations. Without fail, when these readings were concluded, my students seemed captured in the moments of Green Town, Summer of 1928. It was hardly my skills as an orator that had made the difference.
Instead, it was the pure poetry of the writing and the power of the characters in those timeless exchanges (Pawnee Bill, Ching Ling Soo, "Shiloh. What a lovely name!" "He is a time machine!" "Sure! Climb aboard any time boys!") And then, the final phone call to hear the food vendors chattering and the music playing along the hot Mexican streets, before the window closed and the boys arrive to discover the sad reality...
As I said my final "Thank you" to Mr. Fox-Brenton, I told him about my love of those scenes and that he "truly was Colonel Freeleigh." He seemed greatly appreciated!
...the window has again closed two thousand miles away! Peace.
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He was another writer who was inspired by Ray Bradbury, and Ray was something of a mentor to him. Their two careers - as novelists, short story writers, and screenwriters - were remarkably similar, and they both worked in the same genres.