Sunday, June 29, 2008
RAY BRADBURY AT ACRES OF BOOKS
Sorry about the camera angle. I never used that function before. Now I know.
Famed author Ray Bradbury is known for lots of things, namely his books, which include Farenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. Locally, people know Bradbury as a proponent of Long Beach's Acres of Books, a world class destination soon to be hit by the city's figurative and literal wrecking ball. Bradbury ain't no spring chicken, so he called the store (and the media) to make what could be his final appearance.
I'm lucky enough to be on the good side of Acres of Books and jumped when manager Raun Yankovic called me with the news. Yes, it took four days for me to post this, but that's the beauty of this blog thingy - I can update whenever I want.
Bradbury talked for about fifteen minutes in the store's music room, which doubles as the open mic lounge. It was hot outside and even hotter inside that cramped space during the middle of the day. He couldn't hear well, sat in a wheelchair and took his time. Most of the questions asked were of the amateur kind ("Why are bookstores important?" "Are you sad to see this place go?") and made me glad I wasn't covering this. Shit, now that I read this, I guess I was, which means my question of what he reads now is probably pretty lame too. Damn.
He talked about diplomas not meaning a damn, how stupid it is for the greater Los Angeles area to lack quality bookstores, how places like Borders and Barnes & Noble have a place if done properly, the meaning of the French medallion around his neck and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember. But it was good, in a press conference sort of way. Most of the reporters seemed like an editor sent them there and I was disappointed that fewer fans didn't show up, but it was Wednesday at 1 p.m. Score one for the unemployed!
As you can see by my pictures, there were a lot of photographers. Most pissed me off. I mean, get your shot and get the fuck out of my way, but don't push two inches in front of me and stand there for a few minutes and expect me to move. We're in the business together, but come on people, show a little respect. I mean, look at my pictures below. They're just as good as anything the so-called pros produced from this event.