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.