I've gotten to do a lot of cool things in my line of work. I've met musicians and actors and more, and I'm grateful for every second of it. But one of my favorite moments so far simply involved sitting within 50 feet of a celeb. That celeb was Stan Lee.

He was a guest at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in 2017, appearing on a panel alongside fellow comic legend Frank Miller. I was covering that panel, sitting in the third row on the aisle. It was the perfect shot for photos, only I barely remembered to get any because we were just having fun.

Prior to the panel starting, we actually had to be evacuated. A piece of the overhead equipment started smoking just before Lee took the stage, and that could've been seriously problematic. They got it fixed and the panel got rolling, but of course Stan Lee made a joke about the malfunction.

What followed was an hour of pure awesomeness; there's really no other word for it.

At this point, Stan Lee was 94 years old, so he was having trouble hearing some of the conversation. But he made light of it, joking that he was really just choosing not to listen. He ribbed Frank Miller about making it to comic con "big leagues" and sassed everybody he could.

Stan Lee told us all about how much he loved Spider-Man. When asked how it felt to have the characters he created evolve into what is now the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he simply said "It's nice." He was 100 percent, unabashedly himself, and we all laughed along. He clearly had a passion for what he did, and he was fully aware of how many lives he changed.

I didn't get to interview him that day, but I don't regret that. He was there for the fans. I was simply happy to be along for the ride, because honestly, just sitting in the same room as Stan Lee was a privilege.

He will be sorely missed. Excelsior to a legend!

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