Me and Mr. Bradbury: A Brief Brush With An Icon

06 Jun

Every author has signing stories. Some fun, some less so. Some well attended and others very lonely. For me, my first signing was memorable and then some. It was many years ago at the unfortunately now-defunct Mystery Bookstore in LA. It was a Saturday. As the store often did, it was an entire day of signings with various authors assigned an hour. If I remember correctly, mine was at noon. Since this was uncharted territory, I had no idea what to expect.

Arriving around 11:30, I was greeted by a line out the door and down the block as I drove along Broxton. My thoughts? This book signing deal is pretty cool.

Once I entered the store I saw that the line plugged directly into a table where the great Ray Bradbury sat. For the next half hour he signed books and chatted with fans, the line gradually evaporating, until only he, the store staff (Shelly, Linda, and Bobby), and I remained.

I guess the line of excited fans weren’t there for a rookie after all. Big disappointment. But then I had the opportunity to sit and chat with Mr. Bradbury for a few minutes and that made up for everything. A very gracious gentleman.

My brief brush with true literary greatness.

God bless you, Mr. Bradbury. You are indeed a national treasure.


Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Writing


7 responses to “Me and Mr. Bradbury: A Brief Brush With An Icon

  1. Ruby

    June 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    What a delightful story. And I thought my Elvis story was interesting!


  2. Pat Marinelli

    June 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Womderful story. Rest in peace, Mr. Bradbury


  3. Craig Faustus Buck

    June 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I signed him up for a book fair I organized back in the ’70s. Only after we were organized did he notify us that he didn’t drive. I was happy to pick him up and spent a delightful time transporting him and talking shop. He was a delightful participant in the event along with Maya Angelou, Groucho Marx, Howard Fast, and dozens of other notable writers whose identities have disappeared into the black hole of my memory. He had a prescient, insightful mind that will be sorely missed.


  4. Teresa Reasor

    June 7, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Wish I’d been there too. I loved his stories. The Illustrated Man was my favorite.
    He will be missed.
    Teresa R.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      June 7, 2012 at 6:19 am

      That was a great story as were so many he wrote. My favorite was always Fahrenheit 451. The movie was excellent also.


  5. Coco Ihle

    June 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    What a wonderful experience, Doug. I know that is a time you will never forget. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.


  6. Laura Elvebak

    June 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Great story, Doug. I once attended an authors’ day in San Jose where Ray Bradbury spoke and then signed. I was thrilled when he signed the back of my first manuscript for luck.



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