Crad Kilodney was a strange fixture of my teenage years. He used to hang around on Yonge Street selling his self-published "Rotten Canadian Literature." I never picked up any myself but came along with a couple of friends who would. Crad was strange and vaguely ill-tempered, but smart and interesting and it was somehow reassuring in an odd way to see him doing what he did.
I hadn't thought about him in years, but Legion of Decency recently noted his passing. You should read the whole article because it notes some of the clever tricks Crad played on Canada's literary "establishment":
But the other day at the dog park, folks were talking about a funny local obituary and somebody asked if I’d read the one about some writer with a really odd name who used to sell his own books on the streets of Toronto.
And I immediately knew that we had lost Crad Kilodney.
I don’t know if the people of Toronto or any in its communities of writers marked Crad’s passing. But for me it marked the end of an era that probably ended quite some time ago.
It’s always been tough to get past the Gatekeepers and carve out your own space in the creative industries. Many with talent die without succeeding. Some instinctively realize the struggle is a dead-end path and pave a road of their own.
You can also read more about Crad at the website for the University of Toronto's Thomas Fisher Library