SOMETIME in the next five years, traffic all across L.A. will freeze.
The freeways that were once a fast-moving way to get from one part of the city to another will become part of a slow-moving glacier, edging down the hills to nowhere.
– Ray Bradbury, February, 2006, Los Angeles Times
This is how Ray Bradbury started a Los Angeles Times essay back in early February, 2006, expressing his belief that a monorail system would help solve transportation problems in LA. This wasn’t a new proposition. Bradbury fought for over 50 years for a monorail system – his clean, noiseless, cost efficient solution to Los Angeles’ public transportation woes…to no avail. Often seen traveling on his bike, between bookstores, theaters, and other favorite spots around town, even in his transportation choices, Bradbury was ahead of his time.
Ray Bradbury’s unfettered imagination and zest for life, reveling in both its ugliness and beauty – whether it be in the horror and ecstasy of fiction, or the dirt and sun of Los Angeles – will remain an inspiration throughout the rest of my lifetime, and countless others in Los Angeles, and the world.
Wouldn’t it be great to honor Bradbury by picking up his cause, pursuing the dream of a Los Angeles monorail? Call it the Rayal. The conductor uniforms would be akin to Mr. Electro – coattails, top hat, and all. The decor theme could be a rocket to mars, and the interiors would smell of “all the thunderstorms throughout time”. And why not? If we remember nothing else, it’s that Ray Bradbury challenged each and every one of us to dream the big dreams. He will be missed.
What fun you are missing, then. The fun of anger and disillusion, the fun of loving and being loved, of moving and being moved by this masked ball which dances us from cradle to churchyard. Life is short, misery sure, mortality certain. But on the way…why not carry those two inflated pig-bladders labeled Zest and Gusto. With them, traveling to the grave, I intend to slap some dummox’s behind, pat a pretty girl’s coiffure, wave to a tad up a persimmon tree. Anyone who want to join me, there’s plenty of room…
– Bradbury 1973