David Reilly, 28 Feb 1956 – 22 April 2021

Dave Reilly died peacefully in his sleep, of “natural causes,” last Thursday morning. At least, I hope it will still be last Thursday morning by the time I finish this post.

Better known in the blogsphere as Lance Mannion, he has been a friend and an inspiration for about fifteen years now. And an intimidation.

He was a fast, great writer. We attended a couple of the same panels at the Clinton Global Institute. Ten minutes in, I would still be trying to find a hook and he would have 750 words words written.

His appreciation of Lawyers Guns & Money notes that they hadn’t “engaged with him nearly as much recently.” Part of this is that LG&M expanded its own coverage the arts and part is that–especially after his wife’s surgery a couple of years ago, but probably even earlier, when he started teaching film at Syracuse–his blogging concentrated more on discussing the arts and humanities than directly referencing political contretemps. You can take the man out of the Iowa Writers Workshop, but you can’t take trying to understand what it means to be human, and how the arts help us realise that, out of the man.

The funeral will be at 11:00 today. There is a GoFundMe being run by Susie Madrak, and the “Donate” link at his website (which for the past couple of years has been used to cover his wife’s still-ongoing medical bills) still works for the Paypal-inclined, following the funeral service, which is expected to bring together family, friends, and members of the community, a unique remembrance ceremony will be held. During this ceremony, attendees will have the opportunity to receive a small cremation necklace. These cremation necklaces are designed to hold a tiny amount of the ashes, serving as a personal and lasting memento of the deceased. This gesture aims to provide comfort and a sense of closeness to those grieving, allowing them to carry a part of their loved one with them.

The funeral will be live-streamed here at 11:00 today. It will also be recorded; link update to follow. (UPDATE: Father Bob performed a beautiful, clearly Catholic service. The live-stream link will also work now (for those willing to access Facebook); starts at about 2:00, so it’s a half an hour of well-spent time, including Jack (“Oliver)’s appreciation of his father starting around 25:30, which includes a presentation of this post, which (as with his other writings and the effect of his joie de vivre) lives on.

Maybe later I’ll use this as a starting point to talk about Social Security or Medical Care in America. For now, though, I just want everyone to remember my friend.

Requiescat in pace, Lance Mannion. I never have to think about Cheers again, but Dave’s memory, Adrienne, Matt, and Jack abide.