Farewell to a Chicago legend: Sergio Mims (1955-2022) | Tributes

Among other favorite memories: Being a guest on his WHPK radio show, “The Bad Mutha’ Film Show” whenever I could. Three good hours of conversation, movies and laughter. Guest him on my podcast, “Christmas Movies Actually”. Same thing. He always brought it and told incredible stories that connected everything during the speech. The episodes of “Black Christmas”, “Lethal Weapon”, “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Dead Bang”, recorded only a few months ago, would have been quite boring without him.

Shopping with him at Reckless Records. We met there a few times. I once went there with the purpose of buying their “Viva Las Vegas” Blu-ray (I saw it listed on their website. It was only $3). He arrived first and beat me to it. I told him it was his, fair and square. Hey, he got there first, right? A week later he put it in the mail and sent it to me. He wanted me to have it.

Its Blu-ray commentary tracks. He could do them without looking at the notes. He knew it. During confinement, he made one for “Song of the South”, just for his friends. Which gift !

Of course, I’ll always remember his catchphrase whenever the subject of seeing movies from the 60s and 70s came up: “Hey,” he would say with a devilish grin. “I was the!”

He was there. He was here too, with all of us, and our lives have improved.


Every time I approached Sergio at a film screening or festival, he had a mischievous smile, and I knew right away he had a story to tell. Whether this story is current or a tale from the past, he loved to tell stories – it was a passion he was so good at and his enthusiasm was contagious. Yes, his knowledge of film and film history was vast and unparalleled (especially as it relates to Chicago film history), but what I will always remember is how interested he was storytelling and the lives of others. He will be greatly missed.


It’s hard to write about Sergio without wanting to describe the mischievous glint he so often had in his eyes. Not really possible I guess. This kind of magic is beyond words. I can only tell you that I always felt like I was part of a special chicanery when I was with him. I was onto something. More important I was with him. In my work as a theologian and film critic, I grew up thinking that walking alongside someone is the greatest spiritual gift. It’s not really a question of time but of presence. Sergio often walked beside me. Wondering how I was doing when I needed to be noticed. I asked for my opinion because he thought it was important. When you were with Sergio you felt seen. Those little encouragements (Has Sergio ever been encouraging?) will always walk by my side.

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