Short Pants To Striped Trousers: The life and times of a Judge in Skid Road Vancouver

Short Pants To Striped Trousers: The life and times of a Judge in Skid Road VancouverWallace Gilby Craig was born in 1931 in Fraserview, then a village-like southeast suburb of Vancouver.

As a child of the Depression, he learned to make do with simple pleasures and value the neighbourly quality of ordinary people.

Short Pants to Striped Trousers recounts, with warmth, humour and insight, his journey from the family shack on Clarendon Street to a downtown law practice and twenty-six years on the bench of the Vancouver criminal division of the provincial court.

Since 1975, from his vantage point in the middle of skid road, Craig has observed the downward spiral of an area beset by drug trafficking, addiction, lawlessness and murder.

He says, “If the reality in Vancouver is that crime pays and is without punishment, and I believe it is, then the criminal justice system is truly a tattered scarecrow."

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Over 100 photographs illustrate the text of Short Pants to Striped Trousers.

PART MEMOIR, PART LOCAL HISTORY AND PART POLEMIC . . .Craig thinks Vancouver’s future is in jeopardy because too many judges have gone soft on crime and too many politicians have gone soft in the head . . . Like his late hero, Judge Les Bewley, Craig is a jurist who expressed his opinions in the hard-headed, commonsense vernacular heard more often in the barroom than the courtroom.

                                                                        -- Ian Mulgrew, The Vancouver Sun