R.I.P. Rober Ebert
I grew up in very rural Montana. We had three television channels on a good day. For some reason, we got some WGN programming, and so I grew up watching the Chicago Cubs play baseball. They were my favorite team.
My other Chicago connection was through a show called “Sneak Previews” and later “At the Movies” hosted by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. We had two movie theaters in town and often didn’t get anything aside from big budget studio films, so Siskel and Ebert were my ticket to hear about what was created in the foreign market, in the low budget market, etc…
I was so sad to hear about Gene Siskel dying and was again sad when Roger Ebert first became ill. In 2009, our team decided to name two of the Uptown peregrine chicks “Siskel” and “Ebert” (“Ebert” the peregrine is in the picture above). I wrote to Roger Ebert to let him know and had a really nice correspondence with him. He was very, very touched to have a falcon namesake. But, his stories about his experiences seeing movies at the Uptown Theater were the real treasure from those emails. I fell in love with the Uptown Theater the first time I walked through the doors. He’d seen the theater in its golden age. We both felt like it was a very special place.
I’m sad that the world is without Roger Ebert. He was a truly nice man and a great film educator to a little girl in rural Montana.