Ray Bradbury has died at the age of 91. Bradbury influenced many millions of people with his imaginative gift for words that evoked the conflicted spirit of the human species.
My first encounter with his work was through a serialized radio play based on his Dandelion Wine stories which aired from somewhere across the Canada/US border in 1969. I had a small cheap transistor radio but the earplug for it was broken so I would stash the radio under my pillow and listen to the muted voices weave stories in my mind before falling asleep. I can still clearly hear the sounds and emotions of those tales.
I eagerly sought out more of whatever came from this guy named Bradbury. As I grew older and became enamoured of monster movies and the stop motion art of Ray Harryhausen. I didn’t know then that Bradbury and Hausen were life long friends. When I finally found that out it, of course, made perfect sense – how could it have been otherwise?
From all the ghosts, goblins, aliens, demons, monsters, behemoths, tricksters, astronauts and just plain folk Bradbury conjured up he most certainly entertained us but he also gave us a legacy of mindfulness best summed up in this quote from The Martian Chronicles:
“The meaning of life – is life itself.”
Thank you, Mr. Bradbury. Thank you very much.
UPDATE PART DEUX:
And how could I forget the lovely and talented Rachel Bloom: