“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away. No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition. … He fought a courageous fight. I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.”
– Chaz Ebert, the widow of legendary film critic Roger Ebert, who passed away yesterday at the age of 70, reflects on his death and the life they shared together. Our condolences to her and their family. [People]
We like to tell people we were “introduced by Ann Landers,” which is technically true, although Eppie Lederer didn’t know her at the time. The night I took Eppie to an open AA meeting, we decided to go out to dinner together afterwards; this was the first and only time we ever had dinner for two. In the restaurant, Chaz was at a nearby table that included a couple of people I knew. I didn’t know her, but I’d seen her before and was attracted. I liked her looks, her voluptuous figure, and the way she presented herself. She took a lot of care with her appearance and her clothes never looked quickly thrown together. She seemed to be holding the attention of her table. You never get anywhere with a woman you can’t talk intelligently with.
Something possessed me to pull off one of the oldest tricks in the book. “I have a couple of friends over there I’d love for you to meet,” I told Eppie, and got up to take her across. As the introductions went around, Chaz was included. When we went back to our own table, I had her card. I studied the card and showed it to Eppie, who said, “You sly fox.”
–Movie critic Roger Ebert tells the story of his 20 year romance with wife Chaz in a moving column on the occasion of the couple’s 20th anniversary. It’s a two-hankie must-read. [Chicago Sun Times]