And speaking of characters, science-fiction author Ray Bradbury is another good one. He’s 88 now and is still going strong. (He’s the last of the great sci-fi triumvirate of Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov.)

Here’s a great story in the New York Times about his efforts to save a library in California. Here’s a good bit from the article:

Mr. Bradbury has long been known for his clear memory of some of life’s events, and that remains the case, he said. “I have total recall,” he said. “I remember being born. I remember being in the womb, I remember being inside. Coming out was great.”

He also recalled watching the film “Pumping Iron,” which features Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his body-building days, and how his personal recommendation of the film for an Academy Award helped spark Mr. Schwarzenegger’s Hollywood career. He remembers lining his four daughters’ cribs with Golden Books when they were tiny. And he remembers meeting Bo Derek on a train in France years ago.

“She said, ‘Mr. Bradbury.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ She said: ‘I love you! My name is Bo Derek.'”

Ms. Derek’s spokeswoman, Rona Menashe, said the story was true. She said her client would like to see some more of Mr. Bradbury, too.

Mr. Bradbury’s wife, Maggie, to whom he was married for over five decades, died in 2003. He turns 89 in August.

When he is not raising money for libraries, Mr. Bradbury still writes for a few hours every morning (“I can’t tell you,” is the answer to any questions on his latest book); reads George Bernard Shaw; receives visitors including reporters, filmmakers, friends and children of friends; and watches movies on his giant flat-screen television.

He can still be found regularly at the Los Angeles Public Library branch in Koreatown, which he visited often as a teenager.

Good stuff, Mr. Bradbury. And good luck with Bo Derek.

If you haven’t read “The Martian Chronicles,” you should — even if you think you don’t like science fiction. I recommend “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “Usher II.”