Tomorrow (August 22) will be Mr. Ray Bradbury’s 91st birthday. We had the great good fortune to meet Mr. Bradbury at the Dark Carnival Bookstore of the Imagination in Berkeley, California, in 1993 (indeed, the bookstore’s name is taken from Bradbury’s famous short story collection: here’s their websitehttp://www.darkcarnival.com/). Also, Mr. Bradbury appeared at the late Forrest J Ackerman’s Famous Monsters Convention in Arlington, Virginia in 1993 and Son of Famous Monsters Convention at Universal City, California, in 1995 where we got to see him both times. Mr. Bradbury and Mr. Ackerman’s friendship (along with special effects legend Ray Harryhausen) goes way back to the 1930’s, as all three of them shared a love for all things science fiction and what Forry always called “imagi-movies,” a term which encompasses science fiction, fantasy , and “horror” films.
Mr. Bradbury has another great love, and that is of the institution called the library. It is well-know that in his younger years Ray Bradbury used the rental typewriters in UCLA’s Lawrence Clark Powell Library’s basement to type his work, including Fahrenheit 451. He also spent many hours in the public library, which is where he says he got his education, “not the college” and in June, 2009 spoke in behalf of the H.P. Wright Library in Ventura, California, which was on the chopping block (and unfortunately closed November 2009.)
We wish Mr. Bradbury the best birthday ever, thank him for all of the wonderful books he’s written that grace the library’s shelves, and salute him for his support of libraries everywhere.