August 22, 1920 -June 6, 2012
“I have never listened to anyone who criticized
my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my
dinosaurs and leave the room.”
Just a few days ago, a great teller of fantastic tales passed away, leaving us for that October Country beyond. When I heard the news, I was in shock, One of the authors I read since I was younger, who was one of those who inspired to keep on writing, no longer stepped on the ground of the same planet as me? Memories of the few times I met him at conventions back in
assaulted me. No doubt now, he is able to walk along the Martian canals and see
the planet with his own spirit that he told tales of in The Martian Chronicles. He will be able to be a boy again in that
distant October Country, visit the mysterious carnival come to town, and climb
that Halloween tree. Visit the vampires. See if the Illustrated Man still
traveled the dusty roads. Taste dandelion wine again with angels. California
He left us a legacy of stories that will never grow old, ones we can read over and over. I plan to read them again this summer in his memory. What better tribute I figure. He painted pictures for me with his words. Hook me with a hook better than any hook used by a young boy or girl going fishing along a creek on a hot summer afternoon. There’s comfort in his tales for me. A belief I can travel anywhere. That fantastical things do exist. Most of all, he pushed me even further to pen my own tales. I hope that one day when I step upon my own path to that October Country, I too will have left behind a legacy of words for others to cherish. It’s the only real tribute I feel I should give to him as a thank you for writing for us readers. For entertaining me and others.
Thank you, Ray Bradbury, you will never be forgotten. You will always be there with the others who inspired me years ago: Edgar Allan Poe, HP. Lovecraft, Anne McCaffrey, JRR Tolkien, and Shirley Jackson, plus others. Most of all, thank you for giving us all the gift of your imagination; a most precious gift indeed.