Thank you, Ray Bradbury, for influencing me to read and write science fiction. Your book on writing and your optimism have always remained close to my heart. As a secondary English teacher for 12 years, I have taught your books and short stories for many years. In fact, I read FAHRENHEIT 451 orally, cover to cover, to two of the most unruly classes of seventh grade Reading students my first year of teaching. They were spellbound by your view of the future--so was I and I still am. My favorite book of yours is THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES. I enjoyed reading your short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" to my sophomore English classes last year. You built that story around Sarah Teasdale's poem by the same name. You honored her by doing that and we love you for it. You had a gift for showing us the possible futures ahead of us. It's a pity that more of us didn't take heed of the dangers; maybe more of us will now. One of my acquaintances lived down the street from you and visited you regularly. When my friend Laura told me that story, I thought to myself, "How wonderful to live so close to Ray Bradbury, to be able to visit and be his friend." She was indeed lucky, and the rest of us are fortunate, too, to have your influence in our lives. Godspeed. Vaya con Dios.
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