About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view MelindaHall's profile
    Posted June 6, 2012 by
    new york, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Ray Bradbury's legacy

    Remembering our Ray


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     MelindaHall says, 'Ray is one of the few people I've ever known who truly had a huge heart. I used to moderate Q&As with him and he was always so kind and patient with every person who asked him questions. He did not solely define himself in the world of sci-fi at all. Rather he was an observer of human behavior and his keen imagination allowed him to write all kinds of genres.'
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    In late summer 2001, I had the opportunity to co-produce the play "Falling Upward!" for Ray Bradbury in Los Angeles. Tragically, 9/11 unfolded just two days before the play was to open and there was the question of if we should continue. Ray thought at a time when the world was split apart, it was a duty to bring people together.

    Although Ray's mobility was limited, he came to many performances in order to have a Q&A with the audiences. I was fortunate to moderate these Q&A's.

    I remember many things about Ray. One was how much he adored his wife, Maggie and that was clear from our first meeting at his modest home. Just the way he lovingly said her name told volumes of their half-century love story.

    Another love of Ray’s was Halloween. It was his favorite holiday and he wore his silk pumpkin tie all year round, yes, even paired with a white cotton shirt and shorts in the heat of summer.

    Years later, when I was about to begin producing my film: HOW SHAKESPEARE CHANGED MY LIFE, Ray offered to be my first interview.

    He told me that Shakespeare kept him company in Ireland whilst he wrote the screenplay for MOBY DICK. He had fears about not being able to adapt the Melville novel of the whale, but he turned to Shakespeare for inspiration and was able to deliver the script to John Huston's satisfaction.

    Ray told me: “So, I went to the copy of Moby Dick and opened it and Shakespeare turned the pages for me. And now Shakespeare is helping me write Melville for the screen.”

    Typical Ray, backing away from taking full credit.

    I asked him what his favorite Shakespeare quote was and he replied: “Something wicked this way comes” to quote Macbeth’s witch. “And I turned it into a whole book!”

    “So you see how important he (Shakespeare) was? At the center of my life!” and he began to tear up and asked me to shut off the camera before he started crying.

    Ray has had a crater and an asteroid named for him and as Shakespeare wrote in Pericles: “Heavens make a star of him”, our Ray of Literary Light.
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