January 15, 2015
As I began this blog series about Ray Bradbury’s longtime residence, I suspected the worst may happen, and, indeed, it has. The Bradbury home at 10265 Cheviot Drive in Los Angeles sold last June for $1.76 million. Apparently, in today’s market, that’s a just a modest sum for a tear-down. Demolition on the Bradbury home has already started. In a matter of days, the house will be but a ghost. I thought I would celebrate the beautiful dandelion-yellow house on Cheviot Drive with a gorgeous photo taken of the built-in bookcases in the living room. This photograph was taken by Zen Sekizawa as part of the still-life photographs I envisioned when I was putting together Listen to the Echoes. I’m now more grateful than ever that we documented the house and Ray’s possessions.
A brief anecdote about the photograph here, as the giant framed portrait of Bradbury deserves some explaining. The framed photo within the photo is a picture of Ray on the set of the film Something Wicked This Way Comes. He’s holding the screeplay for the motion picture, which he authored. Ray was given this picture as a gift, but Maggie thought its size was absurd, so Ray took it out to his second home in Palm Springs. One day in 2006, I discovered the picture in his garage and brought it in. He laughed and said Maggie hated it and we should bring it back to the house in LA as a gift for her. We loaded that giant picture in the back of my rental car and delivered it to Maggie. She rolled her eyes and said, “I thought I had rid myself of that terrible thing. Thanks a lot!” She had a wonderful sense of humor. I placed the picture in the living room and it stayed there for many years thereafter.