He had not returned to Waukegan since his 13th year. But Waukegan never left him. It’s presence stayed in his heart and mind. found its way into any number of stories. I would like to think, that sometime yesterday, Ray Bradbury came home. That the spirit of the man now happily roams the streets, visits his old haunts, making them his own. Oh not in a dark and foreboding fashion, one of chained spirit to past memories formed while living, rather, that of one which infuses his essence into the places which he once cherished, making them richer for having his presence there.
Certainly, if I were a librarian, or night watchman, tasked with closing up Waukegan’s Public Library(s) for the night, I might give pause to the spry 13-year-old who is still reading quietly … or the elderly silver-haired gent doing the same. If you happen to mention it is closing time, and the only response received is “That’s okay, the books and I will keep each other company, until you return.” Smile, and perhaps say “Goodnight Mr. Bradbury.”
For the world is poorer in his passing. But richer for what he left behind.
Rest In Peace Ray Bradbury.