Ray Bradbury at 100 (and in Upland at 69)

The centennial of Ray Bradbury‘s birth (Aug. 22, 1920) was cheered by fans on Saturday around the world. Bradbury, of course, left us in 2012, no doubt for Mars.

Bradbury has long been proclaimed my favorite author going back to fourth grade, when I first encountered a couple of his stories (starting with “There Will Come Soft Rains”) and became enraptured. In some ways I’m less enchanted as an adult, but he left such a deep imprint that any latter-day favorites can’t dislodge him.

Anyway, in cleaning out my camera roll recently, I found a few Bradbury-related photos I meant to do something with and never did. The Upland Library’s Friends bookstore in 2018 (?) had a copy of “The Toynbee Convector” at an attractive price and with a delightful inscription: “To David.”

I could have bought it and passed it off as a personalized copy! Who could have proved me wrong? Actually, I have a few signed Bradbury books already, and the coincidence of the inscription made me less interested in buying this, so I didn’t. (There’s the germ of a story there: Man magically rewrites his personal history by adding items with his name inscribed in them, and the encounters become real.)

As a bonus, the copy had a Bookworm bookmark. So that’s reason enough to post the photos here: We now know that among Bradbury’s appearances at the much-missed downtown Upland bookstore was one on Dec. 2, 1989. The bookstore was the subject of a column of mine in 2018; read it here.

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