It was an adage that Chris Limberis took to heart.
Chris died last Saturday, Nov. 5, at University Medical Center. He had been battling leukemia for more than a year. He was only 47 years old. According to those who were there, Limbo's last moments were peaceful. He's being buried in Colorado with family.
A tribute to his life is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Hellenic Center, 1145 E. Fort Lowell Road. A memorial service is slated for 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11.
His death is a huge loss. That may actually be an understatement: Chris was one of the best pure reporters who ever set foot in Tucson. He was the best I've seen in my journalism career. And when you combined that excellent reporting--a byproduct of experience, an encyclopedic knowledge of local government and sources everywhere you could imagine--with Chris' heart, it was magic.
Chris cared. He really, really did. He was driven not by money (he worked for peanuts here at the Weekly) or a desire for accolades (he was mortified when I would enter his stuff in journalism contests). He was driven by a worldview that bad people needed to be exposed, corruption needed to be spotlighted, the little guy needed to prevail over the big guy.
This is not to say Chris was perfect. Sometimes, he cared a little too much, and he'd get too involved in the things he was covering. When he found a topic he was fascinated in, he became like a pit bull, and wouldn't let go of it. We clashed more than once over his coverage of certain people, certain scandals, certain events. His writing skills were only so-so, and he could be stubborn as an ox.
He was also intensely, almost obsessively, private. He had voicemail on his home phone, and for years, it was full. (I am not exaggerating.) He'd accompany me on the occasional restaurant-reviewing excursion--on the condition I didn't use his name; thus, he became "Dweeb, the Weekly staffer who does not want his name used in restaurant reviews." He urged me and his other co-workers not to visit him at the hospital when he got sick. He even asked us not to put anything in the paper when he went back to the hospital, for what turned out to be the final time.
Despite his yearning for privacy ... boy, did he care. He was the first to offer a word of advice to a wayward intern, the first to send a get-well card to an ill co-worker, the first to suggest a dentist to a new-to-town co-worker.
And he cared about Tucson, its people, its newspaper readers. The Old Pueblo is a much better place because of Chris Limberis. As a journalist and as a citizen, he wanted to do nothing more than to afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted--and that's just what he did.
I have a lasting memory of "the old days" at the Tucson Weekly in the downtown offices. I had just finished a 40-year career in the electronic media and was just beginning my freelance print career--a veteran in one aspect of reporting, a rookie in another.
Didn't matter to Chris. He warmly welcomed me as the newest member of the "Weekly team" and, in a business that often involves cutthroat competition and self-centered egos, his genuine sincerity remains a fond memory.
To some, Chris Limberis may have appeared to be a cocky reporter. He wasn't. He was thorough. That made him confident. Over the years, he handled many a tricky story. He always reported them accurately and professionally. He was good person and an even better journalist.
Chris and I "bonded" into our own cancer "club" just more than 5 years ago, when we were both diagnosed within a close period of time. He was a very private person and didn't want to discuss his situation publicly, but once you're part of the "club," and you know who you can be open with, the communication just flows.
We sort of became each others' sounding board of gripes (so to speak). We'd see each other and immediately take turns ranting about our aches, pains, discomforts, symptoms, treatments and various reactions to all of the above. One of our last conversations centered on our latest repercussions: His curly hair, and my straight hair. It made us both laugh to even be discussing something so silly.
Recently, after I had to stop working, I received a lovely card from him telling me I was an inspiration to him and thanking me for always listening to his gripes. I hope Chris knew I felt the same way. I never had the chance to say it to him, but I know he knew, because that was the kind of friendship "club" we had.
Chris A. Limberis was a man of great passion. I am truly blessed and a better person because he was my friend.
One of our own.
One of a kind.
It is painful to realize that this special person will not be coming in anymore. Chris was our night owl, our guardian, in a sense. He always made sure the office was safe and sound. He rescued us from scorpions and other creatures. He was passionate about his work. He knew where to dig, who to ask, how to find information. He was, in my estimation, the very best--bar none--searcher of public records!
This talent, coupled with a huge network of resources built over many years, is what I will remember: work. But I will miss his interest and compassion in little things, like the food and treats he would bring in to share, and the funny stories he would tell. I was fortunate to be able to talk to Chris a lot when we found ourselves the last of the worker bees at the end of my day and the start of his. We had long conversations about mutual acquaintances, since we both had spent a lot of time downtown. We also talked about Colorado, where both of us grew up. We talked about sports.
When I heard when he'd left us, I was thankful that he wasn't suffering and thought that he must have really wanted a good view of the Wildcats victory over UCLA. I'm glad he got it.
I am sure his spirit is going to be with us a very long time. It will be with me.
Joann Hardy Carranza
I admired Chris for a long time before I met him. He covered the Pima County supervisors for the Star during a time when every meeting was political theater, and he did it so well that I'd put down the paper feeling I'd been there. He never editorialized, but he absolutely knew the players and their history and the angles they were working, and he'd slot in enough background so that you understood for once what was happening and why.
I knew him only by name when I finally got myself introduced to him. Famous Chris Limberis turned out to be lovely company. He was sweet and cheerful and funny, with beautiful, self-effacing manners, an encyclopedic knowledge of everything Tucson and a bottomless, spitting contempt for corruption and stupidity. Chris was proudly Greek, devoutly religious and deeply kind. He was also a fierce, old-school reporter who never let go, even when he felt like hell. That was probably most of the time for the last few years.
Here's how dear Chris was: He once sent me a thank-you note for a get-well card.
I will miss him terribly. Tucson will miss him, without ever realizing what it lost.
Chris Limberis was to Tucson in many ways what Herb Caen was to San Francisco, Mike Royko to Chicago, Pete Hamill to New York. Like them, he was married to the town he wrote about.
Had he lived much past 47, he would've graduated to the status they enjoy in their respective cities. He might even have become a columnist, although he'd have considered it a demotion from what he was--a reporter.
He came from Colorado and received a master's in journalism from the UA in 1985. Fortunately, all that J-school stuff didn't destroy his natural instincts. Much of what he did is no longer considered necessary by those churning out today's crop of children stumbling at bringing us "the news."
I first met Chris when I was a county employee, and he was just starting his career reporting on local government. Unlike most of the airheads who've held those beats over the years, Chris knew that subject matter and institutional history came ahead of asking shallow "he said/she said" questions.
Today, it's called the library. Back then, it was the morgue. Chris probably spent more time there than half of his colleagues combined. Starting with no institutional memory, he acquired one by simple research and hard work. He'd take the time to do the background to ensure he got something correct.
The old morgues weren't online, and anything beyond the last few years still isn't. Chris would go all the way back. Shortly after our first meeting, he handed me copies of part of my own file from 20 years before.
Chris had another 20 years to build his own memory. Minus a brief period of government employment for which he was temperamentally unsuited, he only had two jobs--the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Weekly. He could've easily gone out on the gypsy circuit and landed a spot in another town where the pay was better and the respect greater, but he chose Tucson. He never wanted to leave--this was his town, and it showed.
Among his colleagues throughout the media, he was held in high regard. That's not unusual for a good reporter, but what gave Chris greatness was the high regard he was held in by those he wrote about. Everyone knew he wouldn't cut slack for people he considered friends. Equally relevant, he never overkilled those who weren't, even when some thought they deserved it. All also concede his great personal integrity.
Chris was scrupulously fair and monumentally thorough. I recall his covering an execution for the Star. I told him H. L. Mencken had once written about witnessing one. He asked to borrow my copy. Mencken was a tad more cynical than Chris, but after the articles appeared, none of us were able to determine where Chris himself stood on the death penalty. His objectivity was at times almost superhuman.
Chris read everybody else's stuff and even listened to local talk shows. Many of us would get personal messages, often highly prized attaboys, about a column he liked or a guest he didn't. He was on top of local happenings like no one I've ever seen. And in private, he could be scathing about those in his profession who exhibited sloth or incompetence.
But the longest suit Chris held was his inherent ability to detect a fraud. He had a quality that can't be taught. He knew the phonies from across the room, and he was almost impossible to hustle. The smarter ones knew to beware of Greeks bearing notebooks. He also had a low opinion of those in the media who get hustled.
Above all, I was proud to call him my friend, and I will miss him greatly.
If there's a celestial equivalent of Chicago's famed BillyGoat, Chris is there sharing a drink with Mike Royko. I hope Mike likes Metaxa.
Diet Pepsi, cheese crisps, good Greek food and a beautiful sunset. These were a few of his favorite things. Bye, Chris. I will miss you! Rest in peace!
Chris was old-school at its best. He was more concerned about others than himself. As a journalist, he had sharp analytical instincts, and was fearless in his pursuit of the truth.
We had the best laughs, whether you told your funnies in English, Greek, Spanish or some mixed variation.
You shared interesting stories about your life growing up: high school, college, your mom, family, ex-girlfriends, friends, enemies, Tucson politicos, Symington, journalism ethics (or lack thereof) and story subjects. And how about all those people who sucked up to you, just so you wouldn't write about them or would stop writing about them? I learned a great deal about you and what you cared about and disliked from your stories. What a life ...
You always said the one and only true love of your life was your mom. Life was never quite the same for you after she passed away. You missed her deeply.
Thank you for loving the southside of Tucson. Thank you for going to the Pueblo games and writing about things that mattered to southsiders. Thank you for visiting my parents whenever you were on the southside. You made them happy with your many visits.
Thank you for the fine coverage on the William Scholl case. It was during that time, as you said, when I "was holding court out in the hallway" that we discovered we were in the same graduating class at the University of Northern Colorado ('80). It was then you had flashbacks of seeing me in the journalism/business building, because we passed each other time and again in the hallways. The mystery of why I seemed so familiar to you was then solved!
Thank you for always being there for Vanessa from the time she was 13, because her own father was MIA. Thank you for taking her out on Halloween in your goofy gorilla costume. Thank you for playing basketball with her and sharing your love of Malo and Santana with her. Thank you for taking her cruising in the "Riv." Thank you for rescuing her dogs on countless occasions. Thank you for going to her graduation and shouting "Go 'V'!!" when you thought her name was called (even though she never made it there, because she was involved in a car wreck and in the emergency room). That is one of your funniest stories ever.
Thank you for loving Zoe or "Joey," as you teased her. She loved you back. And so did Nola and "Lil Doggie."
Thank you for encouraging me to stick to my goals and making sure I wasn't distracted from them. Thank you for teaching me how to write a killer Freedom of Information Act request. Thank you for helping me finally finish my mom's book. Your critique of the book is framed and in her living room. Thank you for giving me moral support through three years of doctoral school.
Thank you for always sticking by me, no matter what the controversy.
Thank you for rescuing me from nearly marrying a bad guy. If it weren't for your investigative skills, I might not have known what a phony he was. Thank you for the talks, letters and e-mails pounding sense into me about how he was the wrong guy for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I'm glad you lived just long enough to know I ended it all. The relief on your face, the high-fives and your cheers of "Way to go, Rose" were heart-warming. Best friends rescue their best friends from harm. You saved me from disaster.
Thank you for being best friends. I'll catch you later.
Although I only worked with Chris for a short time, I found he had a great combination of thoughtfulness, intelligence and humor. He was one of the first people to introduce himself to me at the paper, and he immediately made sure I knew how to reach him and that I could contact him when needed. He is the only one I recall bringing food to our Weekly meetings, which he was eager to share. (OK, does an expired six-pack of Boost really count as food?)
During the past year, I took photos to go with his articles on the hearings surrounding the David Brian Stidham murder. When I asked him for some background information and names, Chris went out of his way to communicate with me about the case, drew me a map of the room with everyone clearly identified, and then publicly thanked me for the work I did. I felt proud to be associated with such a thorough and considerate professional, who was also very humble about his own accomplishments.
It's hard to know what to write in this situation, as Chris hated any sort of extra praise and attention. But I must pay tribute to the man who graced the Weekly office with great talent, a hearty laugh and unwavering generosity.
Chris and I often worked later hours, and we shared conversations when the newsroom had been deserted for the day. We'd talk about work, our shared Mediterranean heritage, family and other topics. When I left for the day, he would unfailingly wish me a good night. He would then toil into the evening hours, putting forth an effort unmatched and possibly unknown to others.
It's well-known that Chris was an excellent reporter. I had great respect for his talents. But I also appreciated his generosity, sense of humor and kindness. He was the first to ask how someone was doing and to lend a helping hand. And he did so in a gentle, authentic manner.
Chris would reject compliments given to him, but he was quick to give out praise and thanks. He always greatly appreciated my efforts, even for the simplest of things.
It was clear Chris cared about the welfare of the little guy and rallied against injustice and poor treatment. He sincerely wanted good things for good people and was genuine in that wish.
Late nights here will not be the same, but somewhere in the heavens, there's a story that needs to be written. The Limberis byline will continue.
Thank you for our time together, Chris. Until we meet again.
He was Chris to many, Limbo to some, and Spike to a select few. To Ed Moore, however, Chris Limberis was another way of spelling Whoop-Ass in a Drum.
For his part, the then-county supervisor from District 3 developed an Ahab-like obsession with Limberis' work on the county beat. Moore's attitude appeared to be that if it appeared in the Arizona Daily Star, and it exposed some shenanigan of his or didn't reflect Edzilla's view of reality, Chris wrote it.
Chris had great instincts and an unusual eye for the games politicos play. He also had a trademark gesture when it became obvious that someone "just didn't get it." Chris would twist his mouth in a way that combined a smile with a wince and slowly shake his head in the manner of parents watching a toddler repeat a forbidden task.
And "Ed Moore"--just the name--was all you needed to say for Chris to bust that move.
Watching Limbo deal with Moore was a fascinating experience. Moore used a combination of weird allegations, a booming voice and a bullying demeanor to keep anyone from looking too closely at his situation.
Limbo walked right through it, time and again, as calmly as most of us walk the grocer's aisles.
Moore's Limbo-fetish reached an amazing peak one Tuesday meeting, after a couple of Arizona Daily Star reporters--neither of whom resembled Limbo in any way, shape or form--detailed the county's inability to defend itself on property-valuation litigation. The package also pointed out that the supervisors pooh-poohed the situation and ignored the assessor's S.O.S. signals.
As with any investigation involving pols, time becomes everyone's enemy. You can't do the story without getting their side, which means they know the story's coming. Can the pols get the item on an agenda before the news organization delivers the story?
This time, the reporters won. Four supervisors listened attentively to then-Assessor Rex Waite's comments on the long-standing problem. But not Moore. Even though the main story caught him in several contradictions, Edzilla said there really wasn't a problem; the stories were false, and obviously the work of Chris Limberis.
As he said that, folks craned their necks--especially the ones who knew all three reporters--to see how Chris would react to this bizarre case of mistaken identity.
They saw that same half-smile, half-wince, that same slow shake of the head.
I'm going to miss Chris Limberis. I'm going to miss the insider tips, the scathing judgments, the hidden mysteries only he could dig up. I'm going to miss his wicked sense of humor, his frequent bursts of outrage and his determination to topple the high and mighty. Most of all, I'm going to miss all the stories that aren't going to get told because he's no longer with us.
Chris was a humble man and a fearless reporter who loved shining a light on the little details almost as much as breaking the big stories.
Years of watching him do his thing taught me to trust my instincts but question my assumptions.
I still can't quite believe the Greek has set sail with the ferryman. I bet by the time he gets to the other side of the river, he's gonna know all the dirt on Hades himself--right down to his property values and his voting record.
So sue me.
Thanks to Chris Limberis, I routinely received letters from lawyers during my tenure as editor of the Weekly.
One I recall concerned the deceased developer of a subdivision where the residents suffered from an apparent failure to properly plan for their water consumption. In The Skinny, Limberis labeled the developer "the cheapest SOB who ever walked the face of the earth," eliciting an attorney's complaint on behalf of the man's widow.
As usual, our defense was airtight. For one, dead men can't sue, nor can their widows sue on their behalf, according to court precedents. For another, the description was clearly hyperbole--how would you measure who is "the cheapest SOB who ever walked the face of the earth," anyway? Limberis just meant the guy was cheap, but he had a swell way of putting it.
Or the old Limberis did, that is. The "new" Limberis was a result of his illness. "I got that leaf turned. Only positive things about positive people and the positive things government does," he wrote me in an e-mail earlier this year. Well, more hyperbole, to be sure, but he did dull some of the edge. He never revealed in print, though, the Limbo we all knew and loved personally.
Limberis and I hit it off from the beginning, partly because we both once lived in Colorado, partly because we each followed college basketball, and not just the Arizona Wildcats, but mostly because we were simply simpatico. He showed me around the southside, introduced me to people I should know, and entertained and educated me about local politics. Limbo knew all the best places to eat and drink, and even though I knew how little he was paid, it was hard to wrestle the bill from him.
He wrote to congratulate me this spring when my alma mater, North Carolina, won another national basketball title. I remembered on Sunday, after I learned of his death, that Limbo wrote a cover story for the Weekly about a Pueblo High School basketball star ("Pride of the South Side," Feb. 7, 2002) when I was editor.
He was a better reporter than writer, but that piece showed off his writing ability better than most. As I re-read it, I found the writing as "improbably strong and deceptively quick" as his subject, who aspired to the heights achieved by Lafayette "Fat" Lever, a graduate of Pueblo High who went on to star at Arizona State University and then in the NBA with Portland, Dallas and Denver, where I admired his talents up close.
Limberis knew his subject likely would not be another Fat Lever, but he gave us an insight into the ambitions, limitations and importance of family for a southside kid with dreams. It revealed another side of the city, and another side of Limbo.
He expressed hope for the young star: "If (he) remains as grounded and appreciative of familia as he is today, then he will find success at the next level, whether that's on a basketball court or not."
As his editor and friend, I found Limbo to be grounded and appreciative of familia. He knew what was genuinely important, and was much broader than The Skinny. He certainly will find success at the next level, whether that's in a celestial newsroom or not.
For much of his career, he might have recoiled at reading this description in print, but Chris Limberis was the most generous SOB who ever walked the face of the earth.
I wish he could sue me.
Most of the reporters I've worked with have required a little nudge every once in a while, a push to call one more source, check out a seemingly unpromising tip, get out of a rut and come up with some different story ideas. I never, ever, had to nudge Chris Limberis.
If anything, I'd sometimes have to tug him back. He'd maintain an astonishingly long list of future articles, several of which he'd never get to because he'd find more timely news to report. Sometimes he'd chomp down on a story and not let go until every last source, and the occasional editor, had gone limp. That grinding sound around 5 p.m. on a Tuesday was Limbo scraping up against his deadline, but the result would be worth the wait, and the wait was made easier by the cheese crisp Limbo would often bring in for the staff on production day.
"I hope I'm never investigated by Chris Limberis," someone who was in no danger of that once told me. She knew that Chris could dig up anything on anybody, and wasn't afraid to publicize it if he thought it was in the public interest. He worked his sources like an old-time newspaperman, schmoozing with pols and bureaucrats at the county office building, then coming to the office to call around and chase rumors and get reactions. Most importantly, he loved the dreary work of sifting through public records--tax rolls, campaign finance reports, voter registration--to see what he could discover just by doing the numbers and tracking the money.
Perhaps because he was so adept at that, he did his best to keep out of the public records himself. As far as I know, he owned no property in Pima County; years after he moved to Tucson, he still drove a car with Colorado plates. At least once, he even checked into the hospital under the name of a Cuban baseball player.
When I became editor of the Tucson Weekly, Chris had gotten himself into a situation that could have had the appearance of impropriety. The publisher suggested that I call him into my office and give him a lecture on ethics. Instead, the problem resolved itself when I simply showed Chris the respect due someone with his record and experience. Over the years, he would repay that respect tenfold.
Chris had a temper, but I never saw him misdirect it. He saved it for public figures who, in his words, got "too big for their britches"--people who may have done good work on committees or at the lower levels of the bureaucracy, but whose ambitions drove them beyond their levels of competence. On the other hand, he was always quick to praise people from all walks of life who did their work well and with modesty and graciousness. That's the sort of person he aspired to be, although he never admitted to it.
He and I were comrades in cancer. We were the same age, and he developed colon cancer a year before I did. When mine was diagnosed, he chided me for being competitive and unoriginal, and then became one of my most solicitous friends, even tracking me down at the hospital one day when I didn't come to work because of delays in an unexpected procedure.
Chris and I both made it through the colon cancer, but it was the treatment that apparently triggered the leukemia that finally did him in. No doubt there are people in Tucson, subjects of Limbo's reporting, who couldn't help but sigh in relief upon hearing of his death. That's as it should be. Two kinds of reporters earn enmity in the community: Those who routinely get things wrong, and those few like Chris Limberis who get things discomfitingly right.
If it weren't for Chris, I would have given up journalism long ago.
We'd spend late nights in the newsroom together. He'd trade banter over the phone with friends and politicos while I slaved away designing pages for Weekly, Inside Tucson Business and countless special inserts.
I hated every minute of it and was ready to quit everything: newspapers, journalism. I'd forget any dream I had of being a famous writer spewing copy to the masses electronically from my house on one of the Great Lakes in Michigan. I wanted to give up and work at a grocery store to support my infant daughter until I got my license back, and then land a job in sales or something.
"Arek, come on; don't you see it? This is your opportunity. Find the time to do stories for Jimmy. I don't care how; just do it," Chris said with his boisterously loud, booming, newsroom after-hours voice, leaning against his cubicle, his white button-down shirt untucked and his hands in the pockets of his kind-of baggy blue jeans. "People out there are watching you and for that byline. They're waiting for you to get through your legal problems so you can move on."
I began yapping like a small dog: "Who? Give me their number!"
"Oh, I don't know," he said in his trademark mysteriousness. "Just keep writing, and get your license back, and you'll do better than you ever thought. Trust me: I've heard people talking. Just keep writing."
He plopped back in his chair and slid his headphones over his ears again.
He knew I didn't need to hear anymore. Chris never gave up. Neither will I.
Arek Sarkissian II
I knew Chris for an awfully long time as a friendly co-worker. But in the years following his diagnosis with leukemia, I got to know him far better. He became a friend who happened to be a co-worker.
I work out of my house and only stop by the office once a week to pick up my mail, usually after hours. Chris kept similarly odd hours, opting to get his work done in the office when no one was around, so as to not put his immune system at risk. In the last year or two, I probably saw Chris more regularly than I saw any other Weekly employee, and I got to know him pretty well because of this arrangement.
Let's get one thing straight, though: Chris was intensely private and told me little about himself during these exchanges. I learned early on that where his privacy was concerned, the line couldn't be crossed. Shortly after we had all received word of his diagnosis with leukemia, I asked him how he was doing. He got so visibly uncomfortable that I never asked again. From then on, I reserved all inquiries about his health to asking others.
Chris was a politically minded investigative journalist, which is to say that he loved stirring the shit-pot. That shouldn't be forgotten when we think about who Chris was. But he was also one of the kindest, gentlest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. I got the feeling that the reason he was so reticent to talk about himself was because he didn't want anyone to worry--to the unfortunate extent that he was never forthcoming about how dire his situation actually was.
There are a lot of things that can get you down in the course of being a writer for an alternative newsweekly, and like Chris, I would never air that dirty laundry in public. But perhaps one of the things I will most remember about Chris is the pride he took in being a part of the Tucson Weekly. There were innumerable times when, in the course of discussing the current week's issue, he would expound on his belief that the paper you're holding contains the writing of what he called "the best in the business." "You doing music, Jim Nintzel covering politics, James Reel and Margaret Regan doing arts, James DiGiovanna reviewing movies," he would say, with a host of other names included, "We've got the best writers in town under one roof." Of course, in typical self-deprecating fashion, he would never mention his own name, and knowing how embarrassed he would get when complimented about anything, I learned to just add, "Hey, Chris, you're no slouch yourself, you know?"
Those after-hours trips to the office to pick up my mail took on new meaning each time Chris wasn't there. I missed interrupting him, either working the phones or with his headphones on, frantically transcribing an interview. Because it meant that he was in the hospital again. It meant he was too sick to be there, even after hours. Each time he wasn't there, I'd spend a minute or two standing at his desk, wishing him the most positive wishes I could. It became a ritual, one he never knew about, and one he'll never know about. It breaks my heart that it didn't work.
When I went in to get my mail the day after learning he was gone, things were awfully eerie. His desk was still exactly as he had left it. I paused there again, but this time, my thoughts were horribly different.
In all his humility, I hope he at least knows how much he's changed our lives.
Chris Limberis was a complete joy. I spent many a late evening and weekend sharing our office, working in harmony to create the best.
I am blessed to know this wonderful and caring man--and completely sad. He was my friend.
Jill Jesson Smyth
I joined the Weekly in January 2004 as the fresh-faced--and utterly terrified--new City Week editor. It was my very first job out of college. Everyone I met was someone I knew by name but not by face, and I felt intimidated to be in the company of the writers whose work I had read for years. I remember how, every morning, Chris would turn, grin like we'd been friends for ages, and say, "Hi, Carrie! How are you doing?" Without fail, his cheery greetings soothed my nerves in those early days and helped me to truly feel like part of the Weekly family.
Even when I became a freelancer and visited the office less frequently, Chris always took the time to say hello and ask how graduate school was going. After his hospitalization, I missed his warm Weekly welcome. It makes me sad that future generations of new Weeklyites--as well as the old ones--will miss it as well. I'll always admire and appreciate how he understood the power of a few simple words to make a newbie feel comfortable. Thanks, Chris. The Weekly won't be the same without you.
Though I didn't know Chris well, I recall meeting him for the first time a couple of years ago and being struck by his quick wit, delightful sense of humor and the mischievous twinkle in his eye. Godspeed, Chris.
Chris was the most fiercely dogged reporter I've ever known. But he was such a nice guy about it. I'd guess even those scoundrels he chased out of town still had a touch of affection--or at least respect--for him.
Either way, there had better not be any malfeasance in heaven. Because you can bet your boots Chris is already sniffing around.
We'll miss you, buddy.
Chris Limberis loved his Greek food.
Noshing Around owes him for the Greek-restaurant gossip he fed me the past couple of years. He was particularly and gently vigilant about my knowing that Fronimo's Greek Café expanded, and that I knew all their menu items were made from scratch, and that Athens on Fourth Avenue was open for lunch.
If there's a heaven, and sometimes I believe there is, Chris is up there now enjoying a big dish of pastitsio. Opa!