Forum / Have fun, Ray, wherever you are...

  • 0001_pabst_blue_ribbon_time.thumb
    Jun 06, 06:37pm
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    Christian Bell
    Jun 06, 06:39pm

    Goodbye, Ray. And I just re-read Fahrenheit 451.

  • 0001_pabst_blue_ribbon_time.thumb
    Jun 06, 06:46pm

    (from the interview)

    I had to go the funeral of one of my favorite uncles. Driving back from the graveyard with my family, I looked down the hill toward the shoreline of Lake Michigan and I saw the tents and the flags of the carnival and I said to my father, Stop the car. He said, What do you mean? And I said, I have to get out. My father was furious with me. He expected me to stay with the family to mourn, but I got out of the car anyway and I ran down the hill toward the carnival.

    It didn’t occur to me at the time, but I was running away from death, wasn’t I? I was running toward life. And there was Mr. Electrico sitting on the platform out in front of the carnival and I didn’t know what to say. I was scared of making a fool of myself. I had a magic trick in my pocket, one of those little ball-and-vase tricks—a little container that had a ball in it that you make disappear and reappear—and I got that out and asked, Can you show me how to do this? It was the right thing to do. It made a contact. He knew he was talking to a young magician. He took it, showed me how to do it, gave it back to me, then he looked at my face and said, Would you like to meet those people in that tent over there? Those strange people? And I said, Yes sir, I would. So he led me over there and he hit the tent with his cane and said, Clean up your language! Clean up your language! He took me in, and the first person I met was the illustrated man. Isn’t that wonderful? The Illustrated Man! He called himself the tattooed man, but I changed his name later for my book. I also met the strong man, the fat lady, the trapeze people, the dwarf, and the skeleton. They all became characters.

    Mr. Electrico was a beautiful man, see, because he knew that he had a little weird kid there who was twelve years old and wanted lots of things. We walked along the shore of Lake Michigan and he treated me like a grown-up. I talked my big philosophies and he talked his little ones. Then we went out and sat on the dunes near the lake and all of a sudden he leaned over and said, I’m glad you’re back in my life. I said, What do you mean? I don’t know you. He said, You were my best friend outside of Paris in 1918. You were wounded in the Ardennes and you died in my arms there. I’m glad you’re back in the world. You have a different face, a different name, but the soul shining out of your face is the same as my friend. Welcome back.

    Now why did he say that? Explain that to me, why? Maybe he had a dead son, maybe he had no sons, maybe he was lonely, maybe he was an ironical jokester. Who knows? It could be that he saw the intensity with which I live. Every once in a while at a book signing I see young boys and girls who are so full of fire that it shines out of their face and you pay more attention to that. Maybe that’s what attracted him.

    When I left the carnival that day I stood by the carousel and I watched the horses running around and around to the music of “Beautiful Ohio,” and I cried. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I knew something important had happened to me that day because of Mr. Electrico. I felt changed. He gave me importance, immortality, a mystical gift. My life was turned around completely. It makes me cold all over to think about it, but I went home and within days I started to write. I’ve never stopped.

    Seventy-seven years ago, and I’ve remembered it perfectly. I went back and saw him that night. He sat in the chair with his sword, they pulled the switch, and his hair stood up. He reached out with his sword and touched everyone in the front row, boys and girls, men and women, with the electricity that sizzled from the sword. When he came to me, he touched me on the brow, and on the nose, and on the chin, and he said to me, in a whisper, “Live forever.” And I decided to.

  • 0001_pabst_blue_ribbon_time.thumb
    Jun 06, 07:26pm


    If you haven't, you should check out his little (big) book on writing:

    Zen in the Art of Writing

    (make you feel good all ovuh!)

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    Carol Reid
    Jun 06, 07:58pm

    From that little book, in the essay "The Joy of Writing"-

    Everywhere you look in the literary cosmos, the great ones are busy loving and hating. Have you given up this primary business as obsolete in your own writing? What fun you are missing, then. The fun of anger and disillusion, the fun of loving and being loved, of moving and being moved by this masked ball which dances us from cradle
    to churchyard. Life is short, misery sure, mortality certain. But on the way, in your work, why not carry those two inflated pigbladders labeled Zest and Gusto. With them, traveling to the grave, I intend to slap some dummox's behind, pat a pretty girl's
    coiffure, wave to a tad up a persimmon tree.
    Anyone wants to join me, there's plenty of room in Coxie's Army.

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    James Claffey
    Jun 06, 08:05pm

    ah, matt! what a splendid anecdote. a gentleman, he was...

  • 0001_pabst_blue_ribbon_time.thumb
    Jun 06, 08:27pm

    Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
    --Ray Bradbury

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    Sally Houtman
    Jun 06, 10:38pm

    Just read the Paris Review interview. What an astoundingly fascinating look into his life, his influences, his creative process.

    Thanks for the link. So glad i took the time to read it.

    Particularly liked this"

    "You must live life at the top of your voice! At the top of your lungs shout and listen to the echoes."

    And you can't fault the logic of his three rules to live by"

    "One, get your work done. If that doesn’t work, shut up and drink your gin. And when all else fails, run like hell!"

    I'm a'gonna go now and listen to some echoes.

  • Darryl_falling_water.thumb
    Darryl Price
    Jun 07, 03:08am

    Yeah Ray was the real deal--and he wrote what he wanted to. He was great at inspiring other writers to the same courage. He didn't mind saying he was inspired by childhood things. He wasn't afraid to be misunderstood, or laughed at, or not taken seriously. He made his point. And he wrote beautiful stories.He was able to live the good life of a writer with all its ups and down with a sense of humor and a touch of wicked grace.He'll be missed.

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