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Cameo: Finding companionship

Being a single woman in a couple-oriented small community is never easy. Annora Brown was no exception. She belonged to the Fortnightly Club, had art classes and knew everyone on the street. Still she needed companionship.
Then she and Gordon Crighton started doing things together. He was a photographer from Pincher Creek who was 15 years younger than her. The two were as different as day and night, but both were gifted artists.
She was the business woman — friendly, compassionate, hospitable, well read, with a good sense of humour.
Some thought of Gordon as the oddball, the boy who never grew up. He had lots of energy and was always ready for adventure — particularly if there was the expectation of a good picture by the end of the day. One friend said, “He kept her young with all his expeditions.”
His quick wit and mixed metaphors always made for a good laugh. Joe, his dog, traveled with them in his “Gomobile” — a rickety old vehicle that he would push to dizzying speeds on impossible roads.
“You know Annora,” he would say. “This Gomobile has done more good in the world than most missionaries. It has scared the hell out of an awful lot of individuals!”
“Can folks believe we are able to spend so much time together and only be friends and business associates? Some people can,” Annora wrote. “Many others, for the sake of gossip, would prefer to think otherwise. Be that as it may . . . I’m proud to say there were times when his thoughtfulness and kindness to others made him look as if he was 10 feet tall.”
Whether it was to explore landscape or the delight in visiting their aboriginal neighbours, they enjoyed time together. Gordon particularly loved taking pictures from the enclosures at the Blackfoot rodeos.
In later years, both retired to Deep Cover, B.C. where Gordon lived in a building on Annora’s property which included her studio on the upper floor.
“In later years,” one acquaintance recalled, “Gordon was a great help (to Annora) — doing all the chores around the studio and garden, and taking her wherever she needed to go.”
(For Annora Brown’s life and work stories visit “Annora Brown.”)

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