Remembering Toller Cranston
By Sandra Ríos
Toller Cranston, 65, one of the most prominent figures on the artistic scene in San Miguel, died of a heart attack on January 24 at his home on calle Sollano. Friends, whom he regarded as his family, left a multitude of floral arrangements outside his home. Cranston was also very well known as an international ice-skating legend.
Cranston arrived in San Miguel from Canada in the ‘70s to settle here permanently and devote himself to painting, one of his great passions. Over the years he made great bonds of friendship with the local community. In an interview with Anita Bleyleben and June and Tony Eyton, Cranston’s close friends, they spoke of him as a very creative man with a great sense of humor, a magnetic and original personality, and a very hospitable person above all. His house was always open Monday to Friday for anyone who would stop for breakfast at 9am and stay to chat about art, music, or the current political scene.
June Eyton mentioned that many people from around the world came to San Miguel just to visit him. Some of them bought houses here, lured by the charm of this beautiful city and to be near him. “One of his passions was painting. He also loved Mexico and Latin American music,” says Anita. Toller Cranston had one of the largest collections of Mexican pottery in his house, and some of his friends have suggested that it would be a good idea to keep it as a museum collection.