Something awkward this way comes


Here I am speaking Oct. 8 at Western University to an intimidatingly wall-like mass of people to introduce Ray Bradbury. (Photo by Jeff Malet.)


Midway through, Muriel Spill of the Pomona Public Library came out to move me, twice, to get me in position for the video camera. In the overflow room, all they were seeing was the bare wall and my voice coming from off-camera, as if I were the Invisible Man. (Photo by Bruce Guter.)

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And here is Bradbury himself a few minutes later holding forth, with his biographer, Sam Weller. (Photo by me.) You can read my account of the event in Wednesday’s column.

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  • Will Plunkett

    I took two pages of notes (must’ve been the college auditorium room that gave me flashbacks of writing quickly during lectures) and even wrote a sort-of narrative about the crowds before the speaking started.

    I liked your “thank you” motif in your introduction. From one midwesterner to another, good job!

  • Don Anderson

    Your column was nicely done (and, midwestern appropriately, tastefully done as well).

  • Nice article! I saw Bradbury speak at Little Bridges auditorium in 1968. I brought along my journal and asked him to write a brief message in it rather than give me just an autograph. He wrote: “Be in love with something!” and signed his name. Words to live by….

  • Kristin McConnell

    Wow! What a thrill! I think I’d faint dead away if I met my hero. 🙂 I suspect he enjoyed his Clark bar. 🙂

  • Doug Evans

    I saw Bradbury at the University of Redlands some nineteen years ago… an inspiring speaker, and I had a lot of the same feelings you did about meeting a childhood idol, though without the Illinois connection in my case. A few years back, he spoke at Mt. SAC, where I teach, but I wasn’t able to go as (alas) I was teaching that evening. I would have called in sick and attended anyway but the Director of my program was in the audience. If I was the kind of guy that typed frowny-face symbols I’d put the frowny-face here.

    …I have the feeling I’ve shared all this before in a previous comment, but it was some time back, so, heck, in honor of Bradbury’s birthday, I’m sharing it again.

    [We’d have been sad if you hadn’t shared it. 🙁 DA]