Ray Bradbury, RIP


Ray Bradbury: The cover of Planet Stories

(above) Cover of Planet Stories, spring, 1949 edition Photograph: Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

Dandelion Wine, cover by Tom Canty

Ray Bradbury: A studio portrait of Bradbury taken in the 1940s

io9.com has got one of the most beautiful obituaries in tribute to a writer that may ever exist, written to American Science Fiction genius Ray Bradbury who has just passed away, at 91, author of  Dandelion Wine; The Martian Chronicles; The Illustrated Man; Fahrenheit 451;screenplay and script writer.

The author is Kip Russell, (worth looking up just for that adventure) and his stunning words say it all.

Except for leaving out that I loved him too, and learned from Ray Bradbury, the finest proponent of ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, a national treasure for America. I’m making sure to copy it here especially for Billy Boy, and for all the grownups of today whose childhood imaginations launched them into the thrill of exquisite tomorrow.

This, from Kip Russell…….

“Somewhere in America, a boy tap-dances on a tuned segment of discarded wooden sidewalk, calling his friends to run over the hills by moonlight…

Out on the Veldt, the animals pause for a moment, as though something unseen had passed through their midst…

Somewhere on Mars, a new silver fire is burning to welcome him…

By the river, a Book stops it’s recitation for the day, to remember a fine man who wrote such fine, fine things.

Thanks be, for Ray Bradbury, who taught me that there could be poetry in prose.”

Happy Birthday America


The Hawks Perch, Big Sur

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA     We’re 235 years old today. The spirit of revolution is never far from our hearts. Nor should the men who were the first American politicians be who pledged their “lives, their liberty, and their sacred honor” on that declaration of independence from European tyrants. We need a long hard look for a single politician today with any honor much less sacred. Americans are good in a crisis and excellent at accomplishing the impossible. In due course we’ll throw the scoundrels out, drain the DC swamp, and continue changing the world for the better by example. The past decade has been an educational intro to cultures which need getting up to speed, discovering the enlightenment of human potential, individualism, and independence. We’re still a beacon. Happy Birthday sweet land of liberty, shine on.

BIG SUR SUMMER      We really are in the most spectacular Big Sur summer, enveloped in gorgeous sunny blue-skied air. The recent short rain set all the aromas loose again, the potent bay, sweet fern and jasmine, sharp acacia, and dark rich riverbank earth. There’s a waft of salt mixed in from the ocean.

Big Sur is in a sweet pocket of sun with fog and cloud banks just to the north and the south of us.

Bearded Iris, Big Sur Hillside

Sold a large painting yesterday,  “Wild Bearded Iris by Riverbank”, (shown), it’s headed north above San Francisco with a wonderful couple. They didn’t say a word for a good ten minutes, walking around the gallery, looking, looking in silence, then the woman stopped in front of a painting she’d kept returning to and out of dead quiet said, “It’s beautiful! It’s so beautiful!” and I swear I saw her heart leap.

There are more pleasures with my gallery than I can sometimes count and sometimes am barely aware of. One is the joy of connecting work I’ve done with a stranger. Good day. Business coming back, roads open, campers and thrilled travelers, and the air rife with the happiness of being alive.