To the editor: David L. Ulin writes of Ray Bradbury’s now demolished house in Cheviot Hills, “Bradbury’s house ... was notable for what went on inside it.” No kidding.
My wife and I, struggling screenwriters in the 1980s, typed for the author. He was writing “Death Is a Lonely Business” at the time and our routine was to pick up 20 or so handwritten pages from him every day, seven days a week.
He told us he was having a party one night, but we should just let ourselves in the unlocked Cheviot Hills front door the next morning and go downstairs to his office to retrieve the pages.
En route through the post-party house, you might have thought a pack of wild teenagers had hosted. There were overflowing ashtrays and empty wine and champagne bottles on their sides everywhere you looked.
But downstairs, as promised, were Ray’s 20 pages. But of course.
Michael Pardridge and Janice Hickey, St. Augustine, Fla.
To the editor: Reading Ulin’s piece on Los Angeles’ amnesiac literary landscape, and teacher Jeremy Adams’ piece on young people who no longer read passionately or seriously, I recalled being one of many teenagers who haunted the Free Press bookstore on Fairfax Avenue, Pickwick on Hollywood Boulevard, Dutton’s in North Hollywood, Chatterton’s in Los Feliz and other great and vanished bookshops.
When the L.A. Times stops printing a book event calendar, when boutiques disappear one Fairfax shop after another, and when the L.A. culturati revere the “Brady Bunch” house more than the Ray Bradbury house, young people get the message about what matters and what doesn’t.
Jo Perry, Studio City