After losing my dear friend and mentor, Robert Crayhon, I wanted to dedicate my next blog to him and share some thoughts on what a special person he was in my life. An Ode to Robert Crayhon
The first time I met Robert, he was wearing circular tortoise-shell framed glasses and a yellow and maroon striped rugby shirt. I immediately thought of Clark Kent in Superman: humble, sweet, charming, and quietly brilliant. I was instantly hooked and hung onto every tidbit of knowledge he rattled off at rapid speed. Little did I know then that was who Robert would be to me in life: a Superman mentor of sorts who thought faster than a speeding bullet and was trying to save the world.
Anyone who ever met Robert always knew about his comedic side. He and I became fast friends because I laughed so loudly at all his jokes. Even when performing at a comedy club doing live stand-up, Robert always said he knew when I was in the audience. My favorite jokes of his are these:
“I’m half-Jewish and I’m half-Catholic so I never know if I should feel guilty all the time or enjoy what little pleasure I do have in life.”
“Why do airplanes carry flotation devices on domestic flights?”
“I’m a flaming heterosexual.”
“People always use the word natural. Gasoline is natural, but I wouldn’t tell you to drink it!”
Robert’s comedic brilliance while giving seminars earned him an international following that was almost cult-like. He connected with audiences of all sizes and had a core group of disciples that would attend his annual seminars religiously. Yet despite his incredibly energetic onstage presence, Robert could be remarkably quiet as well. He required patience and took years of knowing you before really letting you into his personal life. Giving you his personal cell phone number, meeting you for lunch, sending you research compendiums…each little step Robert took towards a friendship was an honor and a gift beyond belief, because closeness was not necessarily a natural thing for Robert. Although he had a huge professional network around him, he had to maintain strong boundaries and was protective of who he let into his life. So to feel hand-picked as Robert’s friend really felt awesome and amazing.
Robert was ridiculously generous, even to a fault. Robert had asked me to work for him (which was akin to winning the lotto, by the way), and while he was my boss he took all his employees to Aruba and put on an incredible seminar for us there. He sent me his full research compendium on carnitine when he wrote The Carnitine Miracle, totally out of the blue, just because he thought I’d find it interesting. He never made money on the annual Boulderfest conferences he masterminded and often lost money on the seminars, but he really didn’t care—as he put it, “It was all for the greater good.” Robert was also generous with his time, and even babysat my son Ben when he was a newborn, just because he was in the neighborhood.
Robert’s memory and his brilliance is unsurpassed and you would be hard-pressed to find someone like him ever again. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of the thousands of people he has so generously helped; I can’t even take a vitamin without thinking of Robert! I owe my whole practice and career as a nutritionist to Robert. There simply are no words for the depth of gratitude I feel for this man, though “Friend, Mentor, Comedian, and Healer” will have to do as an epitaph for now.
Robert, you changed the WORLD. I will miss you for the rest of my life. When the stars have all gone out, you’ll still be burning so bright.