Dandelion Wine Redux

In the almost two months since Ray Bradbury died, a host of tributes have appeared, touching on almost every salient aspect of his long life and his exceptionally many-sided work.

I’ve read most of them and just came across another one online, written July 13, by John Wilson, editor-at-large for a magazine I might never have seen, if not looking for articles about Ray … Christianity Today.

I thought I would share the comments with you.

In his article, Wilson cites a June 7 Chicago Tribune feature celebrating Bradbury written by Julia Keller, which covered familiar territory, citing his many books and awards, his screenplays, etc.

Yet most of the top half of page three (I’m going to look for the issue, to see for myself) was given to a gossipy feature by Mark Jacob, headlined: “BRADBURY RODE WITH SLOW COMPANY.”

A large photo showed Bradbury on his bike, and the caption read: “Ray Bradbury didn’t drive a car, but he was often out and about in Los Angeles, browsing bookstores, his bicycle propped outside.”

A sidebar noted that while Ray Bradbury “had some amazing accomplishments … one nonaccomplishment is also noteworthy: He never got a driver’s license.”

Theories Anyone?
There were several theories proposed to explain this quirk in his personality. One even said Bradbury’s “abiding fear of automobiles” was probably attributable to the multiple-fatality accident he had witnessed shortly after moving to Los Angeles in 1934, at age 13.

The theory said, for Bradbury, “it remained a recurring nightmare.”

But I don’t buy it. Throughout his long and prolific career, Ray Bradbury, a master of the short story, also wrote novels and poetry, radio dramas and screenplays. He even served as a consultant to NASA. He was often seen in limos. If you were to ask me why Ray Bradbury, the long-time futurist and visionary didn’t drive, my answer would be simple.

Because he was Ray Bradbury.

AP Photo/Steve Castillo

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