“Every once in awhile
I dream that Time is over
And there is no more Time, and if I
wait any longer
I won’t be here to say nor you to hear.
So while there’s time, let me say it
Thanks for all the days, months, clocks,
lamps, chairs, and years.. […]
Knowing my first love with you.”
– Ray Bradbury, selected excerpt from “Christmas Greetings 2004 ‘Maggie Remembered’”
Before Marguerite “Maggie” Bradbury passed away, she and Ray sent annual Christmas greetings to friends and family, often poems. In 2004, the year after her death, Ray remembered Maggie in yet another Christmas poem memorializing late nights spent together feeding their four daughters and walks to Ocean Park on foggy nights.
Maggie first met Ray while working at Fowler’s Bookstore in 1946, where she was instructed to keep an eye on him because of his suspicious appearance in a large overcoat. Ray shared with Maggie that he was a writer and the two were engaged two months later, their anniversary inscribed inside a copy of Cyril Connolly’s The Unquiet Grave.
Maggie was an even more ravenous reader than Ray and many of their dates included bookstore visits. She read fast and remembered everything. Maggie loved history and the Classics, and they often exchanged books as gifts with Maggie introducing Ray to poets and European literature.
Maggie managed their household of six, and as the only one with a driver’s license would sometimes rescue Ray and his bicycle from work. Maggie read and critiqued Ray’s typescripts and he deeply valued her thoughts. Maggie’s favorite escape, throughout their hectic life of international travel and fame, remained curling up with a good book.