A picture of teenage Ray Bradbury with Marlene Dietrich made my day

Illustration for article titled A picture of teenage Ray Bradbury with Marlene Dietrich made my day

In this picture, you can see the fifteen-year-old Ray Bradbury — long before his famous author days — posing with the incredible movie star and singer Marlene Dietrich. How did this happen?


Over on Dangerous Minds, Tara McGinley contextualizes this odd coupling with a few telling quotes from interviews that Bradbury did over the years. He told Playboy that he'd moved to Hollywood with his family when he was fourteen, and that he loved to chase down movie stars on his roller skates:

I was madly in love with Hollywood . . . I skated all over town, hell-bent on getting autographs from glamorous stars. It was glorious. I saw big MGM stars such as Norma Shearer, Laurel and Hardy, Ronald Coleman. Or I’d spend all day in front of Paramount or Columbia, then zoom over to the Brown Derby to watch the stars coming or going. I’d see Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich, Fred Allen, Burns and Allen—whoever was on the Coast. Mae West made her appearance—bodyguard in tow—every Friday night.

In a LIFE interview, he added:

I still have my autographs and a few roller skate ball bearings left over from those days so long ago. Almost all of the people I met then are gone, but miraculously Marlene and George have survived. The light that comes out of these pictures is a constant rerun of my life as a somewhat silly but always loving boy, terribly reluctant to enter manhood.

The thought of Bradbury as a teenage skater, getting a snapshot taken with Dietrich, made me feel nostalgia for a time I never even lived through. Absolutely adorable, but also wistful and beautifully unlikely, just like Bradbury's best writing.


via Dangerous Minds


He looks way older than 15 in that picture (maybe it's cuz the photo didn't age well?).