Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cherriece Wright: 1971 - 2007

http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20070727/OBITUARIES/707270344&SearchID=73288675805590

This is the first I have heard about the death of Cherriece Wright, the critic whose mantle I inherited when she left the Dispatch a couple of years ago.

I first met Cherriece my sophomore year of high school when she came to speak to my Mass Media class about movie reviewing. I had no idea at the time of course, that in a couple of years I would be hired as a correspondent free-lancer to work alongside her reviewing films. But I remember being charmed by her immediately...she was hard not to like. She had a spirit and an energy about her that was simply infectious.

When I first started writing for the Dispatch as a columnist for the teen page in 2004, Cherriece was the primary film reviewer. Later, after I graduated high school, we split the duties of reviewing films on the Lifestyles page, sometimes even engaging in published debates about who we thought should take home Oscars (in 2004 she was a supporter of Ray, and I was an advocate for Sideways).

As a general rule, she would always have first pick of what movie she would review that week. However I remember one time the movie she planned to review also happened to be the one I had asked for that week. She graciously let me have it, and took on the second-tier film that neither of us really wanted to see, saying it was okay, that she hadn't "crucified anything lately." That movie was The Alamo, which I ended up giving a scathing review, so there ended up being two crucifixions in the paper that week.

Eventually, Cherriece left the paper due to her health, and the sole responsibility of reviewing movies for the Dispatch fell to me. Our styles and our tastes may have been radically different, but I enjoyed what little time I had with her. She was a good reviewer and a terrific presence. Her wit made for interesting dialogues, and she will be missed.

35 years just wasn't enough time.

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