People of Georgian: Photographer’s love of science fiction out of this world
January 15, 2021

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People of Georgian: Meet Doug Crawford

When I was a kid, my dad would take me grocery shopping.

On those excursions I would go to Cole’s bookstore, and with my allowance would buy either a Hardy Boys book or a science fiction paperback.

I like reading, and the ideas in science fiction were of interest to me.

I enjoyed reading about all those deep things that are sometimes not as easy to talk about in dramatic novels: religion and spirituality and despotism and different political systems.

Through science fiction, we can talk about contemporary issues but in a different setting.

It’s nice to imagine a time in the future when we can envision ourselves done with our current messes and our act together enough to get out into space and be good to each other.

My parents were voracious readers as well. My mom read the Toronto Star cover to cover. My dad read the Globe and Mail and the Financial Post because he was Mr. Businessman.

I had no brothers and sisters, so I didn’t have anyone to pick on, or conversely pick on me, so I had lots of spare time.

Monster movies, science fiction ‘resurgence’

Besides reading, I watched lots of TV. I watched the original Star Trek when it came into reruns in the early 70s.

We also got Channel 29 Buffalo, and they had creature-feature science fiction Saturday and Sunday, so I’d watch, like, eight hours of science fiction and monster movies every weekend.

When I was a kid, that’s when Star Wars came out, the new Star Trek movie, Battlestar Galactica.

There had not been a lot of science fiction since the last 60s, and I was too young to be in on that, but by the time the late 70s and early 80s came around there was a resurgence.

All those things also issued model kits, and I was interested in that.

A person peeks out behind a large grouping of model kits and science-fiction items.

Extending big-screen adventures at home

Back at Cole’s bookstore, that’s where I got my first Planet of the Apes plastic model kit.

I don’t have the vast majority of my models anymore, but I’ve got a Millennium Falcon and a USS Enterprise kit – they’re huge – which I bought while on a Grade 9 art trip to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

They were a way to extend all of those big-screen and small-screen adventures right into my home.

Doug Crawford, Visual Media and Communications Specialist at Georgian College.

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