Thank You Christopher Schmitt
Richard Grillotti profile shot

Richard Grillotti

I have so many great memories with Christopher.

From our days as undergrads at the FSU Art Dept computer lab geeking out on design and photoshop and this Internet thing that was springing up around us to hanging out on evenings and weekends having game night at Linda's home.

From playing Settlers of Katan with our friends while she would cook us delicious Cuban dinners to playing Super Mario 64 on their N64 while doing my laundry and watching The Simpsons and the first season or two of SouthPark.

From working together at 3W Studios doing web design in Tallahassee after graduating, and dealing with the workplace dramas together to all those times we rented a beach house on St. George Island with our best friends for a weekend having ridiculously good times.

From moving to Altamonte Springs, Florida together and starting our own high-end web design business (we wanted to make the Web look much better, and in 1998 it needed a lot of help) to going to this Mexican chain restaurant often with Miles, Tony, and Stephanie to eat “El Matador", which we knew we’d likely regret later on. Or that mom & pop place we loved the Philly cheesesteak from down the street, but didn’t quite trust what was going on in the kitchen, or what the meat really was.

From the many times we’d go to Disney Quest, this mega arcade that used to be at Downtown Disney in Orlando, and the Disney parks themselves, to that one time we were dying of heat at the park and found "The Cool Zone", an air-conditioned ice-snow themed Coca-Cola pop-up hallway where you would get blasted with cool AC air and mist, and could sample coke drinks. It saved our lives!

I took this photo of Christopher on a floating pirate ship behind me on the Peter Pan ride, and for some reason felt compelled later on to imagine it was Chris’ space ship and he was touring the moon and the cosmos in it:


That time we saw Weird Al Yankovic live together (not my first, I'll be honest), and all the geeky things we had in common, like Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Wars, The Transformers, comics, appreciating how much he loved The Flash comic books, & preferred the DC Universe over Marvel, his love of U2, his enjoyment of all of the vibrant hues of green and his attempt to use it in his (own personal brand) designs whenever possible. “Green means Go” he told me, and I got it, and still see love to see and use green that way now.

Also, his brilliant “Web Design Pad” mousepad that he designed. It was a beautiful color wheel that included all the cross-browser web-safe colors, with hexadecimal values written on top of each color. He was already trying to make the web design world a better and more consistent place between Mac and PC users, and users of different browsers as well. We could commiserate well on this topic... And I’m amazed (but not surprised) at all he went on to accomplish later on, leading the CSS charge and pushing browser standards and quality for design and accessibility, and so much more.

I am heartbroken by Christopher's passing, and that I don’t have him to share the next geeky thing to report on or discuss that we both cared about probably way too much.  That I didn't get to catch up with him on what he thought of Picard season one after it finished, or talk about the Mandalorian with him.

Most of all though I remember Chris as fun, always ready to play, and be a goofball just like me. He was so inspiring, funny, witty, clever, and I love that he enjoyed making people laugh and how naturally it came to him. Hi laugh is what I remember most when I think of him.

This photo I’m sharing here is the most recent one I have that he sent me after getting to meet the band The Cybertronic Spree, a Transformers Cosplay band (yes they play their instruments in those outfits).


I 3D printed him that Autobot Matrix of Leadership he’s holding & mailed it to him. He brought it with him to the show and got this excellent photo with the band. I know I have many more photos on hard drives somewhere but this is the one I have now and its a good one.

All my love to you Christopher. I miss you a lot and I'm grateful for all the great times we shared.