OSTERGARD, Ray




Author Tags: Fiction

A career lifeguard, Raymond Spence was initially known as Ray Ostergard when he published two novels in the Sixties. Born at Staines, Middlesex, England on July 26, 1937, he was raised at Stonehouse, Scotland and "was shipped with my younger brother and a good deal of hope to Canada" upon his mother's re-marriage. He arrived in B.C. in 1945, lived in Port Moody and Quesnel, and attended UBC for four years. He worked briefly at CBC before beginning to work as a lifeguard in the summer of 1957. At UBC he took writing courses, earned a degree in philosophy and gained a teaching certificate. While working as a lifeguard, Raymond Spence also wrote songs and film scripts, and played in bands. His comic novel Vernal Equinox (1964) celebrates the first day of spring in Vancouver; it was followed by Nothing Black But A Cadillac (Putnam's), now offered by Spence as material for a film. "Meet Jody Sinclair, black, handsome, virile and willing. But he's only half black and only half willing, according to the ladies he meets during a sex crazed, all nighter in and around the Bay area. But that's to be expected since those ladies are coming at him faster than a phalanx of pugilistic Bruce Lees. He does his best to find love and escape employment." In the 1980s he was living in Kitsilano. "Life is short and art is long," he said, quoting Tolstoy to the Vancouver Courier.

[BCBW 1992] "Fiction"