In 1999, I had a website. I realize now that the format I was struggling for was what would become the "blog".
I wrote a piece that I was very proud of at that time about the influence of Gene Siskel and Stanley Kubrick on who I had become. I wish I could find it to post. I suspect it says much of what I want to say now, although perhaps my memories are being kind.
Watching Sneak Previews was one of the joys of my childhood. It's where I learned that grown-ups could also love movies. The enthusiasm that both of them brought to discussing movies was inspiring. Not only that, they discussed movies that I would not necessarily have heard about or considered as interesting in the way to be enthusiastic about.
Starting from the beginning, I always felt a kinship to Ebert. Perhaps it was him being the "fat one" and me being a chubby kid or just that he more often seemed like the "fun one" who was more likely to enjoy a mainstream movie or most especially an exploitation movie.
Since then I've learned a great deal from watching his further adventures, reading his books, listening to the commentaries he recorded and following his blog. This should have been expected, but somehow it wasn't for me, so I'm strangely at a loss for words.
I'll leave it to I do not fear death by the man himself, A statement from Chaz Ebert and, oddly enough, Roger Ebert Hails Human Existence As 'A Triumph' from The Onion.
I can't think of anything to add today.