Years ago, when HubPages was still a relatively fresh concept, when there were still authors that wrote out of a nearly psychotic compulsion to disgorge the contents of their imaginative brains believing that a high personal score was a true indication of the quality of the work and could not possibly be attributed to a marketing strategy - there existed a group of friends. And by group...I do mean GROUP. If you were to try and map it based on relationships, it would be more complex than the family tree of any individual living in the state of Arkansas.
We were a competitive bunch. Seething with equal parts admiration, envy and lust whenever we read a piece of work that made one of ours look like a laundry list in comparison. But it drove us to be better...and inspired us to awaken our dormant imagination and push the boundaries of what might be good taste or at least test the rules of the site. We laughed together - no prank or hub villainy was spared in order to get a gasp of shock, a titillated giggle of delight or a "this means war" declaration (said in a Bugs Bunny voice) from another Hubber in the group.
We fought together - if a troll dared to peek out from under it's bridge - we rallied together, descending en masse on the Hub and giving the troll a good verbal thrashing. I don't know about any of you but whenever I saw Shadesbreath leave a comment, I felt like the kid sister whose big brother had just shown up and ohhhh, boy somebody was going to be really sorry soon. Anyone peeking their head into my office would have seen an adult woman, wiggling in her seat with her tongue sticking out, sing-songing "Yer gonna get it...yer gonna get it..."
We championed new and exciting writers that showed great promise by swarming their hub and bringing the HubParty to their page. If you ask any writer the one thing they love nearly as much as creating something to read and they'll tell you that it's reading something incredible that has been created by someone else. Writers feed off this creative energy - to live a stagnant life is creative death.
One by one, this group wandered away. A few made the conscious choice to cut ties with Hubpages - but others merely opened a door, curious about what lay on the other side. The pull to move forward was stronger than the lure of what was behind.
The internet is such a place of extremes. In it, we can anonymously spew hatred...but we can also love people without ever having met them face to face. Through writing, we can share who we are...what we dream...and then, from somewhere out in the static comes a voice that says, "me too" and the world just got a lot less lonely. We speak heart to heart, devoid of the superficial shell that sometimes gets in the way with its nagging sense of inadequacy.
These were the people that I called my friends. As we drifted off, into our own creative niches, we established sometimes tenuous ties to one another through Facebook, LinkedIn, email. Occasionally we would get together in cyber fashion and become maudlin, talking about the good old days of Hubpages and how much we missed terrorizing it. Wasn't it fun?
Some of the group still exist on Hubpages and may even visit this forum and if you do, I have some sad news. Last Thursday, 1/29/15, Christopher (Christoph) Reilly, 56, passed away after a battle with cancer. For those of you that remember him, I know that you realize what a devastating loss this is. For those of you that have not had the pleasure of knowing him, I encourage you to read one or two of his hubs.
Chris was a Renaissance man - theater, art, writing, music, he was a giant ball of creativity (I can hear him laughing at that) - capable of making women swoon and men say "Dude! Show me that trick!" If he ever had a true enemy, I'd be surprised. Very surprised.
My first impression of Chris was that he was a perverted stalker. After publishing one of my hubs, he sent me a personal comment via email stating, "I can't explain it, but I feel compulsively drawn to you." I don't think you can blame me for warming up slowly to him...
I know, for a fact, that Chris joined after I did...but for the life of me, I can't remember a time when he wasn't there. Everybody seemed to know him...no matter how many times he changed his avatar to something creepy...the minute...no...the millisecond he hit that publish button, the world was on him like paparazzi or crazed fans. Including me.
I'm going to miss you like hell, Christoph Reilly - but at least I know I'm not alone.
I wasn't around in those early days and never had the pleasure of knowing Christoph, but I offer my sincere condolences and those of the HP Team to his friends and colleagues here on HubPages. The passing of a writer is a loss to the world.
This is absolutely beautiful, and I'm sure that wherever Chris is, he shed a tear or two upon reading it. I only hope that one day somebody will care enough about me to write such a beautiful eulogy.
Heartfelt condolences to the loss of a great mind. It is so sad to lose the ones we care for, and he was quite young. He will be greatly missed.
Might you post a link to his profile, or one of his hubs? I could not find them.
I visited his profile, prolific indeed and well-loved by the hubber community. Sorry for your loss, may he rest in peace.
Oh my... such very sad news. What an incredible writer he was and such a wonderful human being. I am so sad to hear this news. He was a breath of refreshing intelligence to read and he had a great sense of humor. I only recently saw a post from him on FB.
When I hear news like this, I have no words... my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Thank you spryte for your loving tribute and thank you so much for posting here in the forums. He was well loved by so many of us. Those were the days back then. I'll try to find one of my favorite hubs of his and post it.
http://christophreilly.hubpages.com/hub … euss-Count
Beautiful everything, including the comments.
(I hope the hubbers that knew him will see this thread on this side of the forums. Many long time hubbers don't visit the topical forums too often.)
I'm really sad to hear this
What an amazing tribute Spryte. Beautiful.
Although I am new here, I am sincerely sorry to hear that Christoph Reilly has passed away. I will say a prayer for those mourning the loss of Christoph
I will miss him too. I confess to having the joy of staying in touch with him via Facebook in recent years, but it was different in terms of the immersive nature of a hubpage (as he wrote stories more than "articles" most of the time). His humor was evident on FB too, obviously, as the nature of such a witty being can hardly be hidden no matter the venue, but there was a certain joie de vivre he brought to his HubPages that, besides being hilarious, invited community. He was the sort of fellow who, with humor and charm, becomes, without trying—without anyone even realizing it's happening—the center of something bigger than the sum of its parts, if I might resort to cliche. He had gravity, a social glue, about him, and I for one was the happier for it, the more amused for it, and pushed to become a better writer for the intelligence that held all that together in his prose and personality.
Beautifully expressed, John. I think he very much inspired us to dig deeper and find not only our muse, but our laughter.
RIP beautiful Christoph.
I think a wonderful way to pay tribute is simply to read some of his hubs. He would like that.
A wonderful tribute to a talented Hubber who I remember fondly through his hubs and commentary. Very sad. He will be missed.
Mere words are quite inadequate on these occasions. So sad to hear that Christopher Reilly has passed on. I remember my early days on HubPages with fondness, and Christopher played a big part in keeping me hooked. He was always a very warm, witty man with a playful sense of humour. I'm sure those that knew him somewhat better than I did, must certainly miss him very much indeed.
by Cris A8 years ago
Here's to more of your coolness!
by Cris A8 years ago
Hey ChrisCongratulations on your latest feat - I must say you did it with style and class! Um, I brought some girls to celebrate with you!
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Who would you consider a hubber with a ton of class?
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Which Hubber has the widest range of topics?
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