Saturday, March 14, 2009
World's Best Husband Meets World's Greatest Lover.
My husband has appreciated Ray Bradbury since he was very young. He would take his books in his backpack to make Boy Scout camp outs tolerable. The stories affected him in many ways. One thing it did was give him a love for the United States. I think because of Ray Bradbury I am the luckiest girl in the world. Without him, I may have never known my husband.
Every once in a while over the past few years my husband would announce to me that Ray Bradbury was having a speaking engagement at this or that place. He would say he really should go. There were always reasons why he did not go. Usually it came down to there being so many responsibilities he just did not think he should do it. In February there was another speaking event. In Los Angeles. This is where I pull down the map of the U.S. just like Tom Hanks did in Sleepless in Seattle and start counting states out loud. Ohio is not right next door to California by any stretch of the imagination. I knew my husband was waiting for me to tell him why it would be imprudent to make the journey. But this time I did not indulge that particular fantasy. This time I encouraged him to go. I found us a really great deal on airfare and hotel and off we went!
We arrived early to Sierra Madre High School. Two hours early. Just in case, you know? There was no way we were going to miss this. We walked around the town and into lovely shops with even lovelier shopkeepers. After an enchanting walk around the town we headed back to the high school and took a seat in their quaint auditorium.
Ray was introduced, and he began to speak. I wasn't expecting to be wowed by him. I am not sure exactly what I expected. Someone impersonal and formal, talking about writing in some mundane way. What an unexpected treat we had when Mr. Bradbury spoke! I guess the first thing he did which was unexpected happened before he even spoke. They had a table set up on stage for him to sit behind to give his talk. He asked them to remove it. I found it charming that he wanted to be more intimate with us. I wont tell you what he said, although I might add a video if I can work it out. He has a great sense of humor and an absolute love of life. He's the kind of guy we could sit up with late at night, talking about all sorts of things. He would be great fun in a game of "Apples to Apples." He would likely not be impressed with my writing skills. But then, neither are you. So what?
My husband had some communication with a man named John. I don't know John's last name, I just knew to look for the guy with the dragon pin on his lapel. He helped me make my husband's dream come true that night. So John with the dragon pin on your lapel, wherever you are, I love you. And thank you. I know that's not enough, but It's all I have right now.
My husband was grinning like a ten year old birthday boy getting a table full of dreams as Mr. Bradbury spoke. It all went by way too fast. Mr. Bradbury got a much deserved standing ovation by a loving crowd. When it was over they announced he would sign a book for the first 100 people who got in line. I pushed my husband saying "Go! GO! GO!" This is not typical behavior for me, but he'd brought a handful of books and all his hopes with him to California and I was not going to let him leave disappointed. He got his book signed. In the end everyone there got a book signed. Mr. Bradbury didn't let a soul go home disappointed. Least of all my husband. *nod to John again
I'll give you a very brief, quite surprising synopsis of what Mr. Bradbury said:
College - no.
Libraries - yes.
He gave himself the title "World's Greatest lover."
*Check out my other blog to see how I molested Ray Bradbury!