But missing is a lonely business. It’s like pain, something you can’t share. Odd… you can share joy and laughter… but pain, physical that is is not helped by fellow sufferers.
I grew up with Ray, never realizing he was famous. I only knew him as one of the author’s, in my father’s writer’s group, always a large genial presence. Generous, loving and smiling.
As I grew I slowly became aware of his fame… but it was a very gradual realization..
When I started to write in 2006, Ray was the soul of generously and from 2006-2012 he became my mentor, my Rabbi, my Priest and my second father. I miss him terribly.
The world knows Ray as a fabulous writer, but those of us many in number, but few in actual terms of world population knew him as a lover. He was bursting with it, love of words, love of sunshine, ideas, people and pets…especially cats, ( at one time he had twenty-five.) Love oozed from every pore. He never lost his wonder and childlike excitement about everything. Ray was “Pay it Forward,” incarnate. I think he imbued all who knew him with belief in themselves. He was certain of their ability to persevere and succeed. He always tried to help others up the ladder. For Ray, “the top,” was a place of infinite acreage. As more rose to the peak, the peak would expand.
We few, we happy few, we band of Bradburyians who knew Ray, mourn the writer, but, miss the man of great heart, expansive spirit and boundless, endless enthusiasms. He was fresh as a new mowed lawn. He inspired us all, not only to write better, but to be better.
I remember hearing Ray read drafts of the The Halloween Tree. Ray had painted “The Halloween Tree” years before he turned vision into prose. The painting always hung in his office. It pictured a night black tree, branching with sinister intent into an orange sky. Then it became a screenplay and finally a novel. Ray was drunk with language. His voice full of wonder, enthusiasm and passion.
Ray Wrote the below about my dad, but it could have been written about him
“His discovery of ideas and writing about the odd quirks in those ideas, reminded me of that old couple in HULOT’S HOLIDAY, the wife moving along the beach picking up strange shells or seaweed, handing them back to her husband who, without flinching, unbeknownst to her, tossed them back over his shoulder. So, it seemed to me, Dolph moved through the world, one part of him handing on fancies, the other half tossing them not away, but onto paper, so none of us would lose. Meanwhile, his restless curiosity moved him on down the beach, and we followed.Gladly.