The Fog Horn

To my everlasting shame I have a Facebook page. I belong to a couple of Facebook “Groups,” too. One is about the family restaurant, Philbrick’s Snack Shack, that was created by someone who worked for my brother, Jeff, when he owned the place. It was set up for former employees and people who loved the iconic dispenser of the world’s best onion rings.

Another group is for people who grew up on Cape Cod as I did. Today someone posted about how he loved the sound of fog horns. There is plenty of fog on the Cape. This immediately reminded me of a paragraph by the great science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury about fog horns…

“One day many years ago a man walked along and stood in the sound of the ocean on a cold, sunless shore and said, ‘We need a voice to call across the water, to warn ships; I’ll make one. I’ll make a voice like all of time and all the fog that ever was; I’ll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard cold shore. I’ll make a sound that’s so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their soul, and hearths will seem warmer, and being inside will seem better to all who hear it in distant towns. I’ll make me a sound and an apparatus and they’ll call it a foghorn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life.'”

I doubt that I’ve ever been able to write something as lovely as that.


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3 responses to “The Fog Horn

  1. Hi Richard:

    It’s amazing how words weaved together are able to touch your soul. Thanks for the blog post.



    Isn’t that a wonderful quote, Omar? It paints such a vivid word picture for sure. Bradbury is known as a science fiction writer, but this just goes to show that one doesn’t have to write “literary” fiction to be a great writer.

    • I remember reading “Martian Chronicles” many years ago when I was in Costa Rica. Then I never heard or read anything about Bradbury until you popped him up in your blog. Great work.

  2. Capt Dan

    One of my all time favorites is: “The crows seem to be calling my name,” said Caw.