That was the title of the first Ray Bradbury Lecture I attended. The year was 1975. I'd just started college. I'd been reading Bradbury's work since I was 10. I was 12 when I read 'Dandelion Wine' the first time. It was a transformational reading experience for me. Attending his lectures was as big a turn on for me as any rock concert. I was in awe of the man. Ray Bradbury spoke like he wrote. The same lilting free flowing poetic prose I loved to read on the page issued forth from my idol with every word he uttered. I never approached him after the lectures. There were so many things I wanted to ask him. I was overwhelmed. I simply did not know what to say. I feel like Ray Bradbury is one of the people who taught me to write.
My Mom, who had been a Bradbury fan since the pulp days, attended one of his lectures unbeknownst to me. Mom collected RB's autograph for me on a paperback copy of his poetry anthology. To this day it is one of my treasured possessions. I find myself hardpressed to pick one but the short story 'Drink Entire Against Madness Of Crowds' spoke loudly to me on the very first reading. It remains one of my favorites and continues to haunt me to this day.