Celebrating Ray Bradbury's 90th Birthday: CFQ Post-Mortem Podcast 1:28.1

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August 22, 2010 represented fantasy author Ray Bradbury’s 90th birthday. In celebration of that event, this week’s Post-Mortem podcast examines his career, including the many film and television adaptations of his work: FARENHEIT 451, THE BEAST FROM 20000 FATHOMS, THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, etc. Plus, correspondent Lawrence French fills us in on the details of the celebration in Los Angeles, which declared August 22-28 to be “Ray Bradbury Week.”


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    By Ray Bradbury
    Hally, you say? What does the name Hally mean? Why, it’s short for Halloween.
    When she came into my life and into the house about eight years ago, she had a streak of burnt pumpkin across her face and I looked at that streak of burnt pumpkin and I said, “That’s Halloween. That must be her name.”
    So I called her “Hally.” And she became part of my life and she lived with me, and followed me around all day and slept with me each night. In the morning, she would get out of bed and lead me into my den and sit with me and have breakfast. First thing, I gave her drink of chocolate milk.
    When I would leave for an interview, or an appointment, or a lecture, she led me downstairs and out of the house to the garage so I could get into a car. Three hours later, or four hours later, or eight hours later, she would be waiting for me in front of the house. When I returned in a car and opened the door, she would reach up a paw and touch me and welcome me home. Then, she’d walk away from me, down the sidewalk, and throw herself down on the day-warmed ground and writhe around in ecstasy of joy, welcoming me home. That’s a very unusual cat, you must admit.
    And then she would lead me upstairs one by one, five steps and a turn, and then twelve more steps to the top. Then, when I got to the top of the stairs, she would lead me into the house, into the front hall, and then into the dining room and she’d jump up on to the table, and she’d lead me across the dining room, and then up a few more steps to my den. There, I would sit and watch TV, and she watched with me. And late into the night, she’d lead me into bed. The routine was always the same.
    One occasion, she waited for me in the rain. Eight hours she waited. You must admit, that’s a very unusual cat.
    In the summer, when I would go to Comic Con in San Diego, I would leave for twelve hours, and I came home at almost midnight and there she was waiting for me, at the bottom of the stairs, in front of the house. That’s very unusual behavior for a cat, you must admit.
    And now, she’s gone. I horribly miss her. She died three weeks ago. I got out of bed one morning and found her lying on the floor. I came into the den and instead of leading me, she followed me. She dragged herself on the floor to follow me out of love. I looked down and saw her on the side of my chair. I put her up on the armrest, right next to me, and the rest of the day, she stayed with me, by my side. And I heard just one little sound from her of discomfort. A gentle moan. In the all the years I knew her, she never meowed at me. But that last day, I heard that sound, that small sound of discomfort, and I meowed at her, and I saw her tail thump and I knew she was still alive. But then late that night, going to bed, I meowed to her, and the tail did not move and I knew that she was gone. I had her placed in my bed, and I came to bedroom using my walker and I almost didn’t make it, I was crying so hard. I couldn’t walk. It shook my whole body. I slept with Hally all that night and I bid goodbye to her and I told her that I loved her and I that I would miss her forever.
    The next day, we buried her in the backyard, with flowers all around her, and she’ll be out there, remembered, forever. And I have pictures of her, that are quite amazing, and I have motion pictures of her, which I shall show to friends. And everyone who knew her, knew the Hally that I loved. She was my friend. She was special. She was human.
    So here’s to Hally. God bless her dear soul.

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