It is with great sadness that I bid farewell to Nashville Scene Editor and friend Jim Ridley. I first met Jim in college at MTSU, and we stayed in touch over the years. He was always super-supportive of my horror host gig, and always more than happy to provide coverage for Dr. Gangrene events, and even allowing Dr. Gangrene to grace the cover of the Scene Halloween 2011. Over the past couple of years it seemed I kept running into him around town, at The Belcourt theater, some random event, or McKay Books, and Jim always had a huge smile on his face and wanted to know what I'd been up to lately. One of the friendliest, kindest and funny fellas you could ever hope to meet. Farewell Jim, you will be missed my friend.
This picture was taken by my son Luke at last year's 12 Hours of Terror film fest at the Belcourt theater. Pictured here is Jim (pointing at me), myself and Belcourt film guru Jason Shawhan. This was taken the morning after the fest, all of us celebrating having survived the overnight terrors. Jim was ALWAYS excited about the 12 hour festival, and always hand-picked a zany film to screen at the festival. If you looked at the lineup and there was one entry that was uber-bizarre and wacky, chances are it was a Ridley contribution to the lineup. I will always remember him enthusiastically pelting the crowd with candy midway through the event. I HATE that he won't be able to see the Belcourt theater in all its restored glory this summer. I know he would have loved and sung its praises in THE SCENE. This year's 12 Hours of Terror will not be the same without you. Farewell buddy.
BTW, there is a Jim Ridley memorial fund to help pay medical and funeral expenses and support his family in their time of need. Our thoughts go out to his wife and kids.