Goodbye Ray Bradbury

July 27th, 2012

My tribute to Ray Bradbury.

On June 5th, Ray Bradbury died. Ray claimed that his memories stretched back to the womb and one of his stories “The Small Assassin” tapped into that idea. Ray was special to me because he told me I could write, not personally but by setting the example. See, Ray told Stephen King the same thing and many, many more who have sat hunched over a keyboard/typewriter in the wee hours. He taught us how to fight off sleep for one more line. He taught us how to blend our own lives with the fiction that we imagined. Ray may not have invented that process but he perfected it and what is more important he taught it.

Ray was the last primal giant, what I mean by that is; is that his works in science fiction make him a cornerstone and in the company of Heinlein, Asimov and Dick (as in Philip K.)

Mr. Bradbury had a favorite audience which was 12 to 14 year old boys, that’s when I discovered him. He wrote “The Halloween Tree” aimed at that audience and so that we who have added thirty or so years to that wondrous age can read it again and remember the glories that were in our grasp and the mysteries that hid in shadows.

Ray Bradbury will always be there, watching from between strange smelling books in the library, maybe because he wrote “Fahrenheit 451” we can all understand the importance of books and the tyrants who would burn them all. Because of Ray we can understand the importance of the unfettered mind that wanders where it will and accepts nothing without challenge.

If ever there were a bastion of literacy it was Ray Douglas Bradbury, thank you Ray. Lord Halifax is credited with saying “Service is the rent we pay for living”, your rent is paid in full Ray and I think you paid the way for a couple of other folks as well.

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