Listen to the Echoes

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By Sam Weller at 8:09am ET

I’ll never see you again. I’ll never see you again. I’ll never see you again.

The problem with death, you once said to me, is that “it is so damned permanent.”

I will miss you dear man, mentor, father, friend. I type these words through heavy tears. I thank you for 12 glorious years of life, learning and laughter. You have blessed me and my family beyond measure, and for that, I thank you.


Sam Weller


  1. Be well, Sam, and stay creative.
    - Robert

    Comment by RobertZ — June 6, 2012 @ 8:47am
  2. Sam,

    Thank you for sharing so much of Ray with us over the last decade.

    I just recently used some of Ray’s work with a former student of mine who had suffered a serious head trauma. While he was fighting to regain his self in the hospital, I kept a collection of Ray’s work at his bedside to help us get through it.

    Even though I only knew him through his words, I miss him terribly. You have been touched in a much more intense fashion by his generosity and wit. I can’t even begin to grasp how hard this is for you. I’m failing to find words to show the compassion I’m feeling for you.

    Thank you for bringing so much of Ray’s life to us.

    Now it’s time to pull out those copies of Dark Carnival, the Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes and relive his life all over again.

    Take Care With You, Sam.

    Thomas Nelson

    Comment by Thomas Nelson — June 6, 2012 @ 9:07am
  3. [...] one of the book’s editors and the author of The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury posted this message: “I’ll never see you again. I’ll never see you again. I’ll never see you again. The [...]

  4. Zuzu and I are sending you all of our Love, Sam.

    Comment by Andy Burnside-Weaver — June 6, 2012 @ 9:48am
  5. Bradbury has always been an inspiration. He made my life as a sci-fi reader/fan richier than any other writer. His “Fanreheit 451″ was the book that helped me achieve a high mark in my Cambridge Proficiency Certificate of English and is still my most beloved sci-fi book of all times.
    Thank you, Ray, for all the joy, thrill and ideas you have put your books. Thank you for making your sci-fi stories the deepest reflection of human condition among other sci-fi writers.
    I regret I never had a chance to meet you personally and your leaving this world makes me really sad.
    Sam, I wish all the strength to overcome this loss.
    From a great fan from Brazil,
    Flávio Moreira

    Comment by Flavio Moreira — June 6, 2012 @ 10:02am
  6. I just heard on the radio about Ray’s passing. I feel so hollow. I know he’s left us with so much, but right now I only feel the loss.

    Comment by Mary H — June 6, 2012 @ 11:44am
  7. I miss him already. Peace to you, Sam.

    Comment by kate mckinnon — June 6, 2012 @ 12:14pm
  8. :-( went my heart quite deeply today. Bradbury was the essence of life, the beauty that envelops the colors of a child’s imagination, and more importantly the essence of authentic love. May we all be so blessed. My condolences to his family and to you Mr. Weller.

    Comment by Angela W. — June 6, 2012 @ 12:15pm
  9. Immediately after hearing the news, I Googled “Sam Weller,” having read your wonderful hagiography? biography? on Ray, and needing to hear what you had to say about his passing. I had to read your blog because: I knew, if anyone understood how I felt right now, it would be you. I write this with tears down my cheeks, I share your loss. Mars is Heaven. And Ray took us all there. Goodbye, Ray.

    Comment by A. Barak — June 6, 2012 @ 3:50pm
  10. We are all mourning together. You are in my thoughts today, Sam. Your biography is a monument to a great life–thank you for preserving so much of him in your words that would otherwise have been lost. In his books, in your books, Ray Bradbury lives forever.


    Comment by Dr. J. Patrick Mullins — June 6, 2012 @ 5:20pm
  11. I feel like the sun just went out. My heart aches for you Sam, and for Ray’s daughters.

    Comment by Cathy Akers-Jordan — June 6, 2012 @ 5:49pm
  12. A sad day, but it’s amazing how many quotes from Ray are appearing all over the web. Not just his aphorisms about building wings and living forever, but quotes from his stories about confronting death, leavetaking and so on. The man knew it all, and tried desperately to communicate it to us. An extraordinary writer. RIP, old friend.

    Comment by Phil Nichols — June 7, 2012 @ 12:16am
  13. Ray Bradbury will live forever. Love what you do. Do what you love. Watch his Big Read video. Lovely, and full of love, wonder and joy.

    Comment by Robin Bravard — June 7, 2012 @ 2:31am
  14. Your incredibly deep-rooted and raw loving tribute to this man moved me to tears.

    I’m so, so very sorry for your loss, Sam.

    Comment by Alana — June 7, 2012 @ 9:47am
  15. My condolences to you, Sam, for the loss of your dear friend. I listened to your radio interview on Q with Jian Ghomeshi and was deeply moved. The two of you had a beautiful friendship. I’m a young writer and I can’t wait to read some of Ray’s work for the first time. I’m heading to the library now :)
    Take care

    Comment by Yasmine — June 7, 2012 @ 10:37am
  16. Sam Weller,

    Thank you for your beautiful tribute to your friend, to our dream-catcher, Mr. Ray Bradbury. I live in northern Canada, and every May when I see the first dandelions I think Ray Bradbury. Then I think that I must once again steep myself in the heady wine that is his book Dandelion Wine. Many readings, constant wonder.

    Comment by Mike Rosen — June 7, 2012 @ 10:59am
  17. I just listened to you and Jian Ghomeshi on CBC. So moving, so inspiring. Thank you for all generous sharing at such a tender time.

    Comment by Janet — June 7, 2012 @ 11:51am
  18. I’ve just come to this site for the first time, after hearing you interviewed on CBC’s “Q”. I discovered Ray Bradbury’s wonderful short stories decades ago and I’ve been thinking (again) about them, and the man, over the past day.

    Comment by Angus — June 7, 2012 @ 11:51am
  19. I listened to your interview on CBC this morning with Jian Ghomeshi. Thank you for your comments about Ray Bradbury. I have been a fan of his writings for probably close to 50 years. As a boy, I stayed up late on school nights reading “The Martian Chronicles” under the covers by flashlight. In high school, I was mesmerized by his lyricism in “Dandelion Wine”. As a young man, I was terrified by his images in “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. And of course there are his wonderful short stories. I’ve read them myself, to my daughter and to my students over the years. Several years ago I wrote a tribute to Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clark in the form of a song. Whenever I performed it at open mikes or coffee houses, I would always prepare the audience by telling them that the first line was not true. Sadly, now it is. The song is called “Goodnight, Ray Bradbury” and I’ll share just the first stanza with you.

    “Did you hear that Ray Bradbury passed on today,
    Though I think that aliens whisked him away,
    He’s up there on Mars sipping dandelion wine,
    With Laurel and Hardy, they’re all feeling fine.”

    Thank you again,
    Scott Ritter

    Comment by Scott Ritter — June 7, 2012 @ 12:27pm
  20. I am so moved by all of these loving words and beautiful tributes. Thank you to each and every one of you who have posted your thoughts and memories and sorrows. I send you gratitude and love.


    Sam Weller

    Comment by Sam Weller — June 7, 2012 @ 3:14pm
  21. For 5 semesters, the required textbook for students taking my “basic reading” course in community college was Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories. It inspired them and took me back to a most wonderful time in my life–a time when books were magical and the world was full of wonder. Thank you Mr. Bradbury. I got to meet him, he autographed my original edition of Fahrenheit 451 and posed for a picture with me in 1996 when he came to our college to see the school’s theatrical production of the novel. That was an unforgettable moment for me. He was a genius and his works will live forever.

    Comment by Shelley Birenbaum — June 7, 2012 @ 3:47pm
  22. Hi Sam,

    I am a former student of yours and I’ll never forget the time you called Ray during class and put him on speakerphone. I remember the way his voice sounded when he spoke with you, pure sweetness. It was clear to everyone in that room how much he loved you and how much you loved him. When I heard the news of his passing, I thought of you immediately. I hope you are comforted by your precious times with Ray and the bond you shared. Take good care of yourself, dear teacher. You will be in my thoughts! Much love,

    Molly Biell

    Comment by Molly — June 7, 2012 @ 6:09pm
  23. I fondly rememer my introduction to the marvelous magic of Ray Bradbury when I read The Martian Chronicles at 14 in 1950. I have been a fan since. I cannot express my sadness at the news of his passing. I, too, have had tears and such a sense of great loss. It is hard to think that there will be no more stories from that wonderful brain. He had such a joy of living. It flowed from him everytime I ever saw him in an interview. He never lost his sense of childhood wonder which is such an inspiration to us all. He will always live through his wonderful body of work which will continue to bring great joy to all who also love autumn and small town summers. And, as a previous comment has said, I do hope he is indeed with Laurel and Hardy, whom I also love. Thank you Ray, thank you, thank you, thank you, and, LIVE FOREVER!

    Comment by Thomas W. Wilson — June 7, 2012 @ 7:51pm
  24. Hearing on Jian Ghomeshi show on CBC of Ray’s life through Sam, struck a deep cord in me . – I read his Books , in German later in English . – he did touch a world of teens then and now , i was one of them – Ray was fun and raw and honest – I will take with me knowing he valued his intuition the most as he wrote ! See where it got him . He lived a loved full life , what more can a man ask for ……May he be reincarnated so we can read more common sense

    Comment by Vanessa Wiebel — June 7, 2012 @ 11:37pm
  25. Sam,

    I’ll always remember an interview you shared with Ray at the Harold Washington Library a few years back. I caught myself wishing the two of you would just keep going and going. But alas, the talk had to end–and what I remember with most clarity is this: Before hanging up the phone, Ray spoke over you as you tried to say your goodbye’s. A booming “I love you, Sam” came barreling through the auditorium, and I’ve always remembered that. The unabashed sweetness between the two of you has always struck me.

    Be well, Sam. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers. Many thanks for everything you’ve shared–you’ve enriched my life beyond measure by bringing Mr. Bradbury into it.

    – Lizzie Duszynski

    Comment by Lizzie — June 8, 2012 @ 11:57am
  26. Sam, I feel a kinship with you although I’ve never met you, for I share a deep love for Ray as well. Your incredible love for him and the close bond between you is so evident in your writings. I know you were an incredible blessing to him, his adopted son, who made his later years so full of joy despite his grief and physical limitations.
    I wrote to Ray in high school and he sent me a Martian Halloween card with spaceman stickers on it. I wrote him another letter a few years ago stating, “You don’t know it, but you’ve been a dear soul-friend, inspiration and mentor-in-absentia to me for 27 years… Nothing makes my hair stand on end like a brilliant imagination, a mind full of connections so fantastic they make perfect poetic sense, illustrating truths hidden there all along. I can’t thank you enough for giving back a sense of awe, wonder, beauty, warmth, generosity and hope to a soap-scum world. You have given me gifts beyond measure. If I don’t get to hug you in this life, I can’t wait to in heaven!”
    Four months later, I was stunned to come home to find a message from him on my answering machine, thanking me for my “terrific” letter, wishing me Merry Christmas, and ending, “God bless you. I love you.” I sat down and cried.
    It has been my great regret that I never got to meet him, and now I never will. However, he lives on in my writing, my music as a professional violinist, and in the entire way I view the world and its wonders.
    Thank you so much for all of the heartfelt work you have done to illuminate the workings of his heart, mind and soul to all of us kindred spirits, the Ray Bradbury extended family. I can’t wait to read your new book, and it will be such a comfort to me now. Blessings and best wishes to you!!!

    Comment by Jeanne Johnson — June 8, 2012 @ 9:50pm
  27. Enjoyed your interview on Q. Bradbury has inspired me from my early teenage years through my adult life. His has been like a close friend who lives in the neighborhood. Someone I can go and see anytime . He is always available and accessible. My condolences in the loss of your friend.

    Comment by Byron Murray — June 10, 2012 @ 6:09pm
  28. Dear Sam, I know that it must seem like the sun has gone out of your world. I am still working through being in a world without Ray Bradbury in it. I am re-reading your loving and lyrical biography of him and finding it very helpful. He was always there for me when I was a lost and geeky adolescent. Then, at a very early San Diego Comic Con – may have been 1970 – I was going down the stairs into the building and he was coming up. Our eyes met for an instant and he gave me a blinding smile that has stayed in my heart ever since. I am looking forward to your new collection – I have it on order – and have made a special place in my study for all my Bradbury books. Thanks for being there for us, Sam.

    Comment by Lynn Hogarth — June 11, 2012 @ 3:28pm
  29. Dear Mr. Weller,
    Thank you for all the ways you have shared Ray Bradbury’s experience with those of us who love him from a little more afar. I am so sorry for the physical loss of your dear friend.

    When I heard the news of his death I felt like a star flamed and vanished from the sky. Hearing you talk on my local NPR station later that day about how important Ray Bradbury was and how much you will miss him gave voice to what I and thousands are feeling.

    I first met Ray Bradbury in my 7th grade reader with The Sound of Summer Running. I devoured his short-stories as a teenager and still pull them regularly from my shelves. The first story I performed in a storytelling workshop was “A Scent of Sarsaparilla.”

    I am picturing Ray stepping through his own version of that attic window, into joy and light. HIs spirit may have left his body, but he will never, ever die.Thank you Ray Bradbury, and Godspeed.

    Comment by Anne Rutherford — June 12, 2012 @ 2:03pm
  30. In 2009 Bradbury was doing a book signing at Vormans in Pasadens on Halloween day. My then 6 year old son and I went to the signing. My son, a big fan of The Halloween Tree draw, with crayon, a picture of a Halloween Tree with the words “Live Forever” above the image, intending to give the drawing to Ray. When we stepped up, my son gave the picture to Ray and he lit up. He read it and laughed and told my son, “I’m trying, I’m trying” He was so taken with my son, he asked him to come around and stand next to him while he signed our book. He blew him a kiss, and said to him, “I love you and you live forever!” I just about fell apart. I’m glad a friend who was with us, took photos of the encounter. I thought of that exchange when I heard the news of him passing, it made me happy and sad.

    Comment by L Garcia — June 12, 2012 @ 3:08pm
  31. Ray’s memorial was yesterday. It was beautiful. I have just now looked at all the comments here and I am overwhelmed. Thank you dear people, thank you!

    Comment by Sam Weller — June 13, 2012 @ 7:28pm
  32. My father (who passed away a few years ago) gave me his copy of “The Martian Chronicles” to read when I was 10, maybe 11 years old. I’ve been a reader and fan of Ray Bradbury ever since, and was saddened, last week, to learn that he’d passed away. Last night I found a copy of your “Listen to the Echoes” in a favorite bookstore and purchased it, and am now looking forward to reading it. All the best!

    Comment by Ricardo C. — June 14, 2012 @ 12:06pm
  33. I teach Ray Bradbury’s short stories to my 10th graders. Farenheit 451 is one of my most favorite books. Ray Bradbury is truly an inspiration from his humble beginnings, loving family values, and superlative writing skills!!! The physical death is permanent. But spiritually, emotional, and literally experience of RAY BRADBURY still lives!!! RIP

    Comment by Kimberly Fain — June 14, 2012 @ 4:38pm
  34. Dear Sam, I just finished The Bradbury Chronicles, which I started the day Ray died. I read it slowly because I didn’t want it to end, and because I interspersed Ray’s stories with the times in the biography when they were written. What a beautiful book you have written! It reads as easily and deliciously as one of Ray’s stories, packed with tons of fact-checked information but never dry, tedious or journalistic-sounding. It was so fun and fascinating to see how his experiences growing up influenced his stories so directly, sometimes in ways I had guessed. I feel like you’ve opened a window to allow me to meet Ray in full, to fill in all the gaps and sleuth all the hidden corners. What a gift for a lifelong Bradbury fan!! I am eagerly starting “Listen to the Echoes,” which I received for my birthday which falls right near Ray’s. Thank you so much for these cherished gifts you have given to Ray’s “extended family!!!” You helped me so much to grieve his passing in a constructive way. He couldn’t have a more ardent or well-matched biographer, both in your magnanimous personality and your lyrical, impassioned writing with its faint scents of Ray’s influence around the corners. :)

    Comment by Jeanne Johnson — October 8, 2012 @ 9:42pm

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