|Standing beside Ray Bradbury signing at a bookstore in Albuquerque, Sept. 1999.|
During the months I was in Santa Fe doing my first artist-in-residence gig, I read in the paper that Ray Bradbury was visiting the area. He had spoken at a book signing in Los Alamos the day before. The article mentioned that he was scheduled to be at a bookstore in Albuquerque signing the next day. Herb's birthday was coming up and this seemed like the perfect gift--a copy of The Martian Chronicles and anything else signed by his childhood hero. I just had to drive down and get this, so next day I zipped down I-25 for the signing--there was a huge crowd there--who'd have thought the old guy still had such a following, in Albuquerque of all places? Anyway, I ended up being #113 in line, and patiently waited my turn with a pre-printed slip to write in the name of the person to dedicate the book to, "Herb." I asked one of the delighted store clerks (sales were brisk) to take a photo of me with Ray to include with my gift. You will be missed, Ray Bradbury, R. I. P.