As we all know, we lost Ray Bradbury late Tuesday night. I posted a small thing on our Facebook page when the news came out early Wednesday morning, but I didn’t put anything up here on the site as everywhere you looked people were writing Wikipedia-derived remembrances with everyone listing off the same three books without anyone really coming off as a real fan. My favorite Bradbury story, A Sound of Thunder, wasn’t mentioned by anyone. Was it because of the bad movie adaptation a few years ago? Did no one else really read his work outside the three big books everyone mentioned? I don’t know.
Ray Bradbury was my favorite science fiction writer. A Sound of Thunder blew my child mind when I first read it as a kid, and that led me to reading everything from Bradbury I could get my hands on. Seeing him at San Diego Comic Con year after year was one of the best things about going to the Con. Not just because he was my favorite writer, but because you could see on his face how much he loved being around all of those like-minded geeks. Even in the latter years as his health declined, he had a child like joy around him at the Con. Not being able to see that during the annual summer geek Mecca is going to be sad.
Did you know that Ray Bradbury was gifted a tree at Disneyland? He was a friend of Walt Disney’s and even designed the famous EPOCT Center sphere that houses Spaceship Earth. He loved Disneyland and dreamed of having one of his creations in the park. And in 2007, they officially dedicated a tree to him to be the official Halloween Tree. During the rest of he year, it’s just an unassuming oak tree. But during Halloween Time at the resort, they decorate it and it becomes the Halloween Tree.
I stopped by the park yesterday evening to get a fresh picture of the tree and people were walking by it not knowing its significance, one guy even plucked a leaf from a low hanging branch. But that’s Ray Bradbury’s tree.
Bradbury will be dearly missed and his passing leaves a void that will never be filled. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ray Bradbury’s family, and everyone who was ever touched by his fantastic imagination.