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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Remembering Writer Ray Bradbury

Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury in Feb. 1982. He passed away Tuesday at age 91. (AP)

We rebroadcast our conversation with author Ray Bradbury today. Below we have a remembrance from Here & Now producer Alex Ashlock.

By: Alex Ashlock

I grew up in Alton, Illinois but I always wished I had grown up in Green Town, Illinois.

Ray Bradbury’s death has me thinking about that today. Green Town was the fictional setting for some of Bradbury’s most evocative stories, “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” and my favorite “Dandelion Wine.”

The main character of the story is a 12-year-old named Douglas Spaulding. The title of the book refers to a wine made by Doug’s grandfather, a wine made with the petals of dandelions. It serves as a metaphor for packing all the joys of summer in one bottle. I always felt like that was what we were trying to do as kids during those long and lazy days — riding our bikes, having adventures, playing baseball, swimming, and shooting off firecrackers when we weren’t supposed to. “Dandeline Wine” captures the magic of summer perfectly:

Sitting on the summer-night porch was so good, so easy and so reassuring that it could never be done away with. These were rituals that were right and lasting: the lighting of pipes, the pale hands that moved knitting needles in the dimness, the eating of foil-wrapped, chill Eskimo Pies, the coming and going of all the people.

There are no time machines, but you can go back to those kinds of summers when you read Ray Bradbury. The porch swing, the pleasant buzz of the lawn mower and the smell of freshly mown grass, and fireflies. Ray Bradbury, thanks and rest in peace.


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