Richard Crighton was a Cambridge educated barrister who served in WW2 in the Royal Navy on one of their "swift boats". He decided to emigrate to Canada, for some reason, and ended up selling encyclopedias door-to-door until he was lucky enough to be hired by Bombardier as the Vice President of marketing selling snow mobiles. His claim to fame from this experience was running a lottery program which saw each buyer of a skidoo receive a lottery ticket. The assumption was that at least one of the thousands would win a big prize. Sadly, the exactly mathematical minimum number of prize winners were winners so no chance for a big PR campaign. Richard moved on to being an advisor for the federal government in New Brunswick, helping small business. One of the projects involved a rabbit abattoir... there was a huge demand in France for bunnies. But unfortunately, the project developers failed to notice that dead frozen bunnies were not wanted; only recently living ones were.
So he began writing.
His first novel was "The Million Dollar Lift", and I'm pleased to say I was its first reader.
It was a crime caper at a Ski Resort in Colorado surround by apres ski antics and fireworks. His agent was Dominick Abel in NYC. His second novel "Red for Terror" was a spy thriller featuring the Bader Meinhof gang.
Richard (or Dick or as I called him Mr. C) was almost a father in law, and while that cause didn't work out, we remained friends until he died and I had the honour of being a pall bearer for his lovely wife Keitha.
He looked great in a tux and with an olive martini in hand, his Benson & Hedges in a long cigarette holder. He epitomized class, and I was proud to be a friend and an occasional golf partner. I think of him often, and seeing him write books gave me confidence that I could.
So here's a lift of my martini, shaken not stirred, to my late friend and mentor, Dick Crighton.