Somewhere in my room I still have one of Crad’s chapbooks. I can’t recall the title, but I definitely recall Crad. I saw him regularly, though we rarely spoke. (Did he perhaps attend the wonderful Harbourfront Reader’s Series that Greg Gatenby used to run, and perhaps still runs?).
At the time I was a student at Vic College and walked to and fro daily, between the married students residences on 30/35 Charles Street and Vic, with its wonderful, orangey ice-cream-cone-roofed College. Eventually I ran into Crad and wound up swapping one of my belongings for one of his books. I let him choose which of his writings he gave me. Would that I could remember what I swapped for it… maybe a bike, maybe a book, maybe a loonie or toonie–if they existed at the time. The exchange occurred curbside (of course!), sometime during the late 1980s or early 1990s.
I do not recall the title of the book, but I do remember that it was accompanied by a gruff, slightly annoying comment; like “how would I know what you want?” He handed me one at random, which suited me fine. It was an intriguing interaction.
Wherever he now is, or isn’t, I hope he’s happy. Or at least… not unhappy.
Can’t say I “knew” him, but did buy books and an audiocassette from him in the late 80s; he standing on a street corner, sometimes in the financial district sometimes not; me going about my business as a 21-year-old messenger boy.
Still have all the books, wish I knew what became of the cassette – I remember it being hilarious.
He was not a great writer in any conventional sense, but still clever, funny, and the perpetrator of wonderful pranks: submitting famous stories to literary competitions under assumed names; or holding his own “competitions” by soliciting unknown writers through classified ads and publishing the results (plus, I believe but can’t be sure, some of his own deliberately dreadful tales) under titles like “Worst Canadian Stories”. His sense of humour was encapsulated in the name of his self-publishing imprint: Charnel House.
I hadn’t given him much thought over the last 20 years or so, but am saddened to hear he’s gone. RIP
In the notes to Paying For It, Chester Brown highly recommends two books by Crad Kilodney. This is how I belatedly came to read both Excrement and Putrid Scum and I have to say that I loved both books! Taken together, the two were an engaging reading experience that I’m genuinely glad I had the chance to undertake (thanks to Chester Brown’s recommendation and to ABE, the online book-buying site that allowed me to find the books). What’s to be written? Crad Kilodney now has a fan in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada (far far away, I know) and, if I may put it this way, I wish his spirit well. At a time, due to the evil of the bully in Ottawa, I am hard-pressed to think about reading “anything Canadian”, I will soon re-read this two volumes (and a few others by him that I have yet to experience) in memory of him. DaP
Aw damn. I remember Crad well, selling his crappy books on Yonge Street. I bought a few from him over the years and return to them from time to time. They always make me laugh.
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