Listen to the Echoes

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THE HOUSE PART IV

By Sam Weller at 6:22pm ET

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.

8 Comments »

  1. The beginning of this post made my heart sink, the end of it made me laugh.

    Comment by Andy Burnside-Weaver — January 21, 2015 @ 8:37am
  2. The destruction of Ray’s house fills me with a sadness that mere words can’t express. I can only imagine it’s even harder for you and his daughters. I’m glad you have photos and, more importantly, memories of Ray to treasure. Hugs to you!

    Comment by Cathy Akers-Jordan — January 26, 2015 @ 2:54pm
  3. What a shame. I wonder, did any of Ray’s wonderful collection of toys from his basement survive? I’ve often thought it would be great to go to his estate sale and purchase a spaceship or robot or heck even a dinosaur. Something of his to remember him by, a playful do dad :) . He was one of my all time favorite authors. I loved his child’s eye view of the grown up world.

    Comment by JO — February 25, 2015 @ 9:04pm
  4. I’m sorry to miss your talk with Southwest Manuscripters this evening but glad to have come upon this blog.

    Comment by Christine E. — June 15, 2015 @ 6:42pm
  5. Andy–

    I’m glad you got a laugh at the end of this sad story. My intent was to add a little levity to this drama. Ray wouldnt want us to be to grief stricken.

    Comment by Sam Weller — June 21, 2015 @ 5:13am
  6. Cathy–

    I have been terribly sad about the destruction of the house. Ray wanted it to remain standing, with all of his possessions left where they were. Of course, this was impossible, but the house, Ray’s memory and Los Angeles literary history deserved a better outcome.

    Comment by Sam Weller — June 21, 2015 @ 5:23am
  7. Jo–

    There was an official auction of Ray’s belongings last year. If you google “Ray Bradbury estate auction” it will come up. All of his possessions sold for just over half a million dollars, scattered like confetti to the wind. I wish they could have all been housed in a Ray Bradbury museum.

    Comment by Sam Weller — June 21, 2015 @ 5:25am
  8. Christine–

    Sorry to have missed you! It was a great night. There was talk of having me back, so let’s make that happen!

    Comment by Sam Weller — June 21, 2015 @ 5:27am

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