The New York Times (6/7/12) ran a long obituary about Ray Bradbury, his life, his work, and his influence as a writer, and as a person. Bradbury was a man who seems to have been an enthusiast for life, and filled his writing with that passion.
Particularly touching were the comments that followed the obituary. For the most part these remarks were from men who discovered Bradbury when they were quite young, kids really. It was not just that they were entranced with what Bradbury wrote. He turned them into life-long readers. Apparently, they were so enthralled by his ideas, his language, and his writer’s craft, that they embraced the universe idea of reading—and never forgot that it was he who gave the gift.
Many years ago I had a brief (and accidental) encounter with him—a shared taxi ride to the Miami airport. The strong impression he made, his embracing, open-hearted personality, was as striking as it was lasting, so that I could describe it in detail to one of my sons today. Fleeting as that meeting was, my memory seems to be in accord who those knew him far, far better than I. He seems to have been a wonderfully giving person, as well as a wonderfully giving writer.