Books That Inspire 2012

Dandelion Wine
Ray Bradbury

During the summer of my ninth year I lost my father but found my brother. My dad died of a heart attack; he drove off to work one morning and never returned. My brother, a senior in high school, was lost in rock and roll. We shared a bedroom, but we never talked; we were on different life schedules. That is, until the day my father died. We got the news early one evening. My brother didn't say anything until the afternoon of the second day, when he picked up a book and started to read out loud to me. That book was Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. It was set in the summer of 1928 in Green Town, Illinois. From the world of the 12-year-old protagonist Douglas Spaulding, my brother recounted the sights, sounds, smells, joys, and fears of an uncomplicated summer in a less complicated time. Chapter after chapter I learned just how much we shared; me, my brother, and Douglas. We all rejoiced shedding our winter boots for the super-fast summer sneaker. We all anticipated the first taste of Fourth of July ice cream. We all believed old people were never young. We were all afraid of the unknown stranger. And, we all really loved our brothers, even though we didn't talk much and had to share a room. Dandelion Wine ages well for all ages.

Paul Arcaroli
Senior Advisor
Human Resources