Something Wonderful This Way Came

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We say farewell to a Great One today with the passing of Ray Bradbury.

Blessed with a rich and long life, he was an incredible gift to the child in us all.

I’m going to keep Mr. Bradbury and all the charming and chill provoking memories he imbedded deep within my adolescent heart in my thoughts for the rest of this day and especially this evening when I tuck myself into bed and recall all those nights reading under the covers (often with flashlights)…

Who can forget the palpable sense of foreboding while reading “Something Wicked This Way Comes”?

Though the piddly, pathetic excuse for a  “carnival” that occasionally passed through our small town in British Columbia was, disappointingly, much less real than the one Bradbury had created in my mind, compare it I did; imagining far more sinister goings-on behind the mouldy tarps than reality delivered

 ( probably just a few guys in sweat stained “Deep Purple” t-shirts and Harrachi sandals passing a filthy joint)

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Or the unimaginable horror of living in a world where all books had to be burned,

sacrificed to a television addicted society

(Hey, wait a minute…)

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That “Science Fiction” wasn’t just for boys…

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and a body covered with spine-tingling stories kept me preoccupied for days…

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or perhaps my favourite, which I think I’ll run out and get a copy of today;

The quiet, soothing imagery of Bradbury’s own small town recollections; ink black skies punctuated with fireflies and  porch swings swaying with the invisible hand of a hot and eery wind…

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For me, a voracious adolescent reader and an avid fan of “horror” in particular, Bradbury was like the genius love child of Edgar Allan Poe and Harpur Lee.

Simply wonderful.

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“Dandelion wine. The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered.”

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RIP Mr. Bradbury.

1920-2012

Thanks for the memories.

There is now one more amazing story coming to life upon the skin of The Illustrated Man.

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29 Comments

    • Same here! Can still remember the individual stories even though i read them more than 40 years ago!

  1. Fantastic tribute, Slim. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read any of his books…but I’m going to get me some Dandelion Wine ASAP! It’s sad when one of our icons passes on:(

  2. I didn’t know we shared a love for horror movies too! Thanks for helping us remember an amazing writer……x

  3. When my eldest daughter was in her late teens we read Fahrenheit 451. We each decided, then and there, to become living books, should the need arise. That was over 30 years ago. Our agreement has not been forgotten.
    Wonderful tribute, Slim.

  4. Whenever I wish for something I always think of that Bradbury short, The Monkey’s Paw and make sure my wish has all the scary angles covered.
    Thank you for the lovely tribute.
    Jess

  5. Edgar Allen Poe and Harper Lee? Of all of the many chillingly brilliant things that you come up with, chapeau for that. It is a wonderful tribute to a phenomenal light lost. Merci.

  6. Thank you for helping us remember a wonderful man with a wonderful imagination but
    PLEASE remember: pass is a transitive verb and requires an objects. One does not pass:
    one passes away: there is no passing of a person there is the passing away.

  7. When he was touched by Mr. Electrico, he said, “I must lead the creative life.” My favorite quote is from Zen in the Art of Writing: “Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together. Now, it’s your turn. Jump!”

  8. I had never really heard of Dandelion Wine, but the cover art and the quotes have me so intrigued that now I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  9. Thanks Slim for the reminder of what a wonderful writer he was. I remember buying, “Something Wicked this Way Comes, ” in jr high. I had no idea he had so many books. I’ve got to start introducing my boys to them.

  10. I seems I have a lot of reading to do…Thanks for reminding us of his genius…sometimes we take things for granted…

  11. I too was a voracious adolescent reader. Sitting next to my bed right now is “Something Wicked…”, my original copy of “Dandelion Wine” resides at the lake house where it is fondly reread each summer.

    Ray Bradbury and I both went to L.A. High, and although he was there many years before I was his legend was large. Before it was rebuilt after a destructive earthquake, L.A. High had an 6-7 story tall imposing brick clock tower ( L.A. High saying: “Always a hiil, always a tower, always a timepiece.”) The most infamous story is that he once snuck a cow up to the top of the clock tower over a weekend, and although the cow had no trouble walking up the winding stairs, it refused to walk down!…….quite a scandal and I never had the heart to learn how many “pieces” were required to remove the cow!

    Favorite quote:
    “Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.” Amen!

    Thanks for bringing back the memories

  12. Certainly, one of my all time favourite writers from my young teens along with British writer John Wyndham.

    Prophetically, media is still a threat to written books, only now so much more intensely. Will the internet and eBooks succeed where television and films did not?

Would love to hear from you!