Tuesday, April 26, 2016

In Memoriam

One of the realities of this blog is that I frequently have to plan ahead. Since I have specific feature posts on specific days every month, I sometimes work ahead. Just this morning as I was waiting for my daughter to get ready to leave for school, I went through my NetFlix queue to plan the two films I’d watch from Chip Lary and Nick Jobe for May. It was also a chance for me to look through the blogs of other people and see what I’ve missed in the last couple of work-heavy days.

What had I missed? A few lists, reviews of movies I’ve seen, reviews of movies I haven’t seen. And then “In Memory of Chip Lary.” What?

Chip had been ill I knew. For the last 16 months, he and I have been posting reviews of films we’ve challenged each other to on the second Monday of the month. In March, I got an email from him telling me that he’d been having some health problems and that he’d be a day or two late. A little later he had surgery to remove his gall bladder and was hoping that things would get better. I don’t know if the causes of Chip’s passing were related to this, complications from this, or something entirely unrelated. All I knew was that Chip seemed to be slowly getting back to health.

The loss of Chip is a blow to the blogging world and to anyone who is a fan of movies. Chip was more than generous with his time, reading and commenting on blogs everywhere, and commenting not just a word or two but often well-thought and clear posts that showed insight and a real depth of knowledge. He was capable of disagreeing with a review in a way that didn’t make anyone feel dumb or wrong for having a different opinion. He went out of his way to help people locate movies they couldn’t find, and for the last few years was the standard when it came time to rewrite and rearrange the new additions to the 1001 Movies list to put things in a standardized order for all of us who follow that list. Every now and then I will post a film reviewed from “The Magic Flashdrive.” Those movies are ones that Chip sent me, films that I likely could not have found on my own.

More than that, though, Chip was a friend, and he was a friend to many of us in this community. Most of us knew about his extensive movie knowledge and his ability to, when the mood struck him, to watch more movies in a month than many of us watch in a year. He was more than that, though. He was a true and real friend, someone who was far more than his movie collection. When I tell people that I have friends I’ve never met in person, he has been one of the first two or three people I think of. Through email, we talked movies, but we talked other things, too. He was a smart guy who knew a lot about a lot, and just like with movies, he had that talent for giving advice and opinions in a way that didn’t seem rude or condescending.

Chip and I agreed on plenty, but we didn't always agree. You don’t have to look any further than the last review he posted. He treated everyone with respect, though. For many of us, I’d venture a guess that he was something of an older sibling.

I’m going to miss the hell out of him for a long time, probably the rest of my life. The entire community will.

Requiescat in pace, Chip, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


  1. Oh, my God. Such a sad start to the day. Chip was such a generous person, with his thoughts and with his lists. I will really miss him. My heart goes out to his friends and family.

  2. I second that and everything you wrote, Steve. These are crushing news and I still have trouble understanding it. Chip was indeed a generous character and I will miss him a lot.

  3. Nice tribute. Generous, helpful, knowledgeable, a loyal friend. There was nothing bad to say about him. Chip deserves all the praise he gets. A class act who will be missed.

  4. It's a sad day. It will take some time before any of us come to terms with it, I think.

  5. A great tribute. I must admit I felt numb when I saw the In Memoriam post from Chris. It is very sad news; my thoughts are with his family and friends, who I hope know he is very much missed by the blogging community.

  6. I'm a regular reader of your posts and I'm sorry to say that I never made an effort until now to follow up on some of the other bloggers you mention in your project. I do scan the blog list on your page to find things of interest, but when I look at your reviews, I was always looking at the opinion and I seem to have missed the context. I did not know Chip, but you seem to have had a good on-line friendship with him and I wished I'd payed more attention to that when he was still with us. I love the concept of a community that shares a passion, but I've been guilty of neglecting the "community" part of that concept. Steve, this was a nice tribute, and after seeing it I found Chip's site and read a few of his posts. In honor of your writing relationship with him, I am going to commit myself to reading something you recommend from one of your correspondents at least as often as I can find them in your work. Life is to short to just "pass through", my condolences to all of Chip's friends on-line, I regret that I was not one of you.

    1. I think, honestly, it's worth rededicating myself in some respect to being more active on other people's blogs. That's why I started doing this, after all.

  7. I'm very sorry for the loss of your friend and the loss of a smart, kind person who was thoughtful of others and contributed his talents to the world.

  8. Hi Steve, Chip's sister Lynette wanted me to thank you for your In Memoriam post to Chip. (You can read her comments in my in memory to Chip blogpost)

  9. Wait, what? I can't believe this. This is so, so sad. I'm totally stunned. But wow, what a lovely tribute post to such a terribly sad thing.

  10. Hi, thank you for posting this. Chip meant so much to the blogging community. I am so saddened by his loss. I just don't have the words yet. He was an incredible writer and blogger. He will be dearly missed.