One of my fondest memories of LA is walking down Larchmont Street with my wife after lunch, just killing time on a nice weekend. There is a bookstore at the end of the block (Chevalier’s Books), all glass windows and nice displays. We’d never been in before, but we wandered by and saw a table set up by the window where an older man sat, alone, reading at a table. There was someone standing near him and talking to him, but otherwise the store was mostly empty. We walked a few more feet and saw a sign on the window: Ray Bradbury signing books today.
Then it was time for a series of comical doubletakes. Me to my wife. Us to the sign. Us back to the man at the table. We scurried in, amazed that the store was so empty when a literary legend was inside. I scooped up Fahrenheit 451 and Stories and got them signed. We didn’t say much to him, as he seemed a bit tired, but he was very friendly. We expressed our amazement to the cashier at his presence, and she said, “Oh, he just comes over to sign books sometimes.” Unannounced, no fanfare, just… hey, I’ll sign some books if you have them.
Words, worlds, wonder. Ray Bradbury had much to give, much to teach, much to say, and thank god we’ve got his thoughts captured on paper for the generations to come.