On my 19th birthday I was a terrified/exhilarated freshman at Shimer College. I heard that Ray Bradbury was going to speak later that day at the Waukegan library because it was his hometown. But it was scheduled to start right as my last class ended, so I hauled ass and stood happily in my standing-room-only spot, listened to him answer questions, and then people lined up and he signed his books for them. I was penny-roll broke and didn’t have time to run to the dorm and grab my Fahrenheit 451 (one of the few ‘classic’ books assigned during high school that I didn’t despise), but I didn’t want to give up a chance to shake his hand. When I got to him I apologized for not having any of his books with me. “All I have is my textbooks, sir, I ran straight from class.” He asked what I had, and since I had Einstein with me he approved, re-titled the Theory of Relativity, rejected Emile Durkheim, signed both and drew a doodle in my notebook.
Thank you, sir.