I’m overdue for one of these roundups!
RAY’S ARROYO. The Lake County News-Sun informs readers that “Literary Landmark status coming to Ray Bradbury Park and its storied ravine”.
While many great American writers have had personal property honored with a Literary Landmark — locations include Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace in Oak Park and Mark Twain’s boyhood home in Missouri — the choice in Bradbury’s case was appropriate: Ray Bradbury Park, which sits just west of downtown Waukegan on the section of ravine he played in and walked to school through during his daydreaming boyhood.It is true that two of the buildings connected to Bradbury before his family moved to California are still standing — his family home on St. James Street and the Carnegie Library on Sheridan Road. But the home is a nondescript private residence, and the library is dormant and has an uncertain future existence.
Ray Bradbury Park, by contrast, is more of a living, breathing thing that was reflected in his “Green Town” books that paid homage to his Waukegan upbringing — “Dandelion Wine,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “Farewell Summer,” in which he referred to “the ravine that cut across my life.”
THERE’S SOMETHING IN MY EYE. Chuck Roberts at the Wonderbook blog has a sweet story about the author of “Dandelion Wine”.
…Somehow word got from those SciFi specialists to Ray Bradbury’s bibliographer. Back then many collectors were “completists.” Completists would seek out any work by an author in any medium. Magazine appearances, radio or TV interviews … Ray and his bibliographer were completists. AND they had never heard that his TV series had been put on video. I suppose the Canadian company that produced the tapes went out of business. Maybe their mostly unsold tapes got destroyed. For whatever reason, for all any of the Bradbury experts knew I had the only copies of The Ray Bradbury Theatre extant.
I was contacted by Ray’s agent as well as his bibliographer. Would I be willing to sell them? Ray wanted to see them and have them for his own collection. [Back then, videotape was the only way to watch things “on demand.”]
Of course I said yes. I was honored to have something a hero of mine wanted. I shipped them off to Manhattan or California. I sent them either gratis or at a very low price. Probably a low price. I couldn’t afford to give stuff away back then.
“The envelope? Have ye lost it?”
If I recall correctly, I included a fan letter to Ray. The tapes were sent to his agent. I was too shy to ask Ray directly, but I included a note to his agent telling him I collected first editions of Ray’s and it would be cool if I could get a dozen or so slips of paper with Ray’s signature which I could tip into those books….
SURROUNDED BY HISTORY. The Indianapolis Star outines the ambitious plan for all the stuff that used to be in Bradbury’s basement office: “Unusual Indianapolis museum will house $6+ million of treasures from ‘Fahrenheit 451’ author”.
Marrying science fiction, space exploration, intellectual freedom and the human heart is no simple feat. But 30,000 pounds of letters, photos, manuscripts, books and paraphernalia at the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies offer insight into how the “Fahrenheit 451” author accomplished it.
Part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the collection is jammed into 1,600 square feet of space on the first floor of Cavanaugh Hall. Its aisles allow only one person to pass through at a time. Movie posters and photos of Bradbury with Steven Spielberg, Joe Mantegna and Edward James Olmos line white cinderblock walls with mere inches separating them. The staff has to set out on filing cabinets his National Medal of Arts and Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for inquiring visitors.
Considering the collection started in a 500-square-foot basement room, the current space is a step up. But its proprietors want more for what has grown into the largest collection of Bradbury’s personal and career effects. They want a national museum and archive that ideally would open in 2020, the centennial of Bradbury’s birth year.
… Additionally, another endeavor devoted to the author, called the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum, is pursuing fundraising to open in his hometown of Waukegan. It will include interactives dedicated to exploring expression, creativity and censorship through “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles.”
ILLINOIS READS. And the folks in Waukegan trying to create the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum (RBEM) are publicizing a local event which includes “A Tribute to Ray Bradbury”.
Save the date for the Illinois Reads Book Festival, March 16, at Waukegan High School, 2325 Brookside Ave, Waukegan. Visit the RBEM table at this free event to promote the joy of reading and to celebrate Illinois authors.
Ray Bradbury Park
4:51 P.M. Saturday, March 16
Celebrate in Green Town!
- The unveiling of the Bradbury Literary Landmark plaque in Green Town
- Prominent Bradbury speakers, including Dr. Jonathan R. Eller, Director, Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, Indiana
- Special performance of Bradbury’s short play, “The Whole Town’s Sleeping” by Waukegan High School students
RBEM is proud to partner with the Illinois Center for the Book for this dedication in Bradbury’s hometown. We’re thrilled to celebrate Ray Douglas Bradbury, the Waukegan boy who became the author of “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles” as the American Library Association’s United for Libraries network pays tribute by dedicating a Literary Landmark to Bradbury in Waukegan.
TWILTONE CLIPPINGS. David Doering transcribed a piece from Imagination! #7 (April 1938) with Uncle Ray’s ingredients for a “success-fool” SF story. Hmmm…. “ffooti-pusses”?? “Ackermaniac”??
FORMULA FOR A SUCCESSFOOL STF STORY
By Ray Bradbury
- 1 scientist well frayed, grayed & bent
- About 60 years old, he has invented some supercolossal machine that can warp time or destroy matter–take your choice.
- Then add a gob of mathematical equations & problems, 100 large words such as ultraforrest jackermanerless & lagoobrious.
- Then bring in a theory by the heels. Any theory will do.
- The date should be around 2067 or 3098 AD (Ackerman’s Demise). [Okay, so 2008 is a little off…ed]
- Then add a lovely daughter for the professor to shoo out of the laboratory
- (business of twirling moustache & raising eyebrows as the mad genius raves: “it will revolutionize the world, it is Colossal!”)
- Also a son for the scientists to work side by side with, forging thru the innermost secrets of Science with heads proudly bent in meditation.
- Then bring in an athletic young reporter who has been summoned from the city by a mysterious message something like this: “Dear Dick: Come at once. Great experiment. Has gotten away from me. Danger to the world. Hurry for G–‘s sake! Your friend. Frank.”
- Let the lug solve the mystery immediately upon his arrival. Even tho he never had taken the higher mathematics he was a whiz at adding & subtracting as a kid…so let him solve the mystery that the prof, who has been searching for 60 years, has overlooked. This is what is called “human interest.”
- Then have the foul ffooti-pusses arrive from Rigel, breathing poison! The scientist combats the incredible Monstrosities with artificial creatures of his own.
- Have earth fall to the moon–
- have dinosaurs crawl over the hero’s tummy–
- let him rassle a lion as the earth cracks in 2 pieces..!
- Then drag in a few dead bodies (preferably Forrest J Ackerman or such stuffs) & let them play the parts of ghouls (on 2d thought, HanKuttner would be better suited to such roles–the Ackermaniac may be reserved for characterizations requiring dead heads) endeavoring to endanger the Sweet Young Thing.
- Have the sun explode or die.
- Have the girl be very muscular: she can toss a “hind-end-oh-no” over her shoulder as the hero dances on the head of some dodo from Jupiter…
This is the end. Are you glad? Has this inspired you with an idea? If it has, write it down (or up) & airmail it to the dead letter office with the side off a barnacle, a Pogo stick & a manhole & we shall instruct Santa Claus to bring you a composite picture of all famous science fiction writers.
Warning! The Karlottans among the kiddies will adore the toto…but keep it away from nervous adults! One glance will give your girlfriend a permanent wave!!
BRADBURY RE-ANIMATED. A 2015 classic from Brain Pickings: “Ray Bradbury on Storytelling, Friendship, and Why He Never Learned to Drive: A Lost Vintage Interview, Found and Animated”.
In the fall of 2012, Lisa Potts discovered a cassette tape behind her dresser. On it was a long-lost interview she had conducted with Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920–June 5, 2012) — regimented writer, creative idealist, list-maker, space-lover, sage of life and love — exactly four decades earlier, when she was a journalism student in 1972. Potts and her classmate Chadd Coates were driving Bradbury — a resolute, lifelong nondriver — from his home in West Los Angeles to their university, Orange County’s Chapman College, where he was about to deliver a lecture. The informal conversation that ensued emanates Bradbury’s unforgettable blend of humor, humility, and wholeheartedness to the point of heroism.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, John A Arkansawyer, and David Doering for these stories.]