Dandelion Wine — first a short story in 1953 and then a novel in 1957 — may not wield as much name recognition as Fahrenheit 451, but it is the late Ray Bradbury's most personal work. This sensory tribute to his boyhood summers in Illinois begins:
"It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer."
One of our commenters, "Tes Stone," remembers an interaction she had with the author, when the wind's "proper touch" seemed to have temporarily gone out of his experience. Stone wrote:
"I had the great pleasure of meeting him when I was still in college. As a part-time waitress at a fancy Los Angeles restaurant, I recognized him sitting at what appeared to be a business lunch with two 'suits.' He didn't seem very happy, so I rushed up to the bartender, grabbed a bottle and slapped a label on it, which said 'Dandelion Wine.' I walked to his table quite pompously and said, 'Your wine, sir.' His great wide smile and kiss on the cheek will always be etched in my memory. I am heartbroken, but very glad of this experience and all the wonderful work he has left us."
(Marissa Alioto is an intern on NPR's Social Media Desk.)