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Auspicion Coalition

April 1, 2010

Sometimes, there are some pretty suspicious coincidences out there.

Come April 11th, Treme will be premiering.

Treme writer and co-exec producer Dave Mills died of an aneurysm on Tuesday.

Mills also authored the blog Undercover Black Man

…which Dr Ashley Morris linked to on his blog

…and Ashley, family man, professor, blogger, musician, foodie, Saints fan, great and fierce champion of New Orleans, and inspiration for John Goodman’s character in Treme, passed away at nearly the same time as now in 2008.

Your mind’ll be blown if you don’t rein in the impulse to go searching for cosmic conspiracies stringing together such a chain of events.  Talk about your auspicious beginnings.  Damn.

I sometimes wonder how far Treme will go in following some of the details of Ashley’s existence here, of his absolute love affair with this city and his anger over what happened to it and is still happening to it.  The clips I’ve seen of Goodman’s Creighton Bernette in action show some flashes of the way Ashley’s razor sharp mind could turn the toughest questions concerning New Orleans’ rebuilding inside-out, something that was always in evidence in his posts.  AshMo’s appearance as Harry Shearer’s favorite mime in the Krewe du Vieux parade following the Federal Flood has been recreated, we know that much (but we don’t know how much of it will appear in Treme…).  What’ll be next?  Fleur-de-lis tattooing?  Bernette in the 2007 crime marchSlumming with the Queen Bee?  How far will this go?

And then I find myself wishing there wasn’t even a question in my mind about this.  That Ashley’s death would truly have been what some of us initially thought it was: a cruel April Fool’s joke.  That the Big Man himself would still be on this earth, blogging away, schlepping up to teach at DePaul in order to raise his three gorgeous kids in the city he loved and fought for in words and in deeds, and growing old with his wife Hana, one of the strongest women I’ve ever had the privilege to get to know.  He’d still be marching in the KdV subkrewe of PAN each year, visiting as many of the city’s eateries as he could, maintaining friendships with folks of all sorts, and striking up new ones.  He’d still be cheering on his Saints team from his section in the Dome for home games, honking his horn and reveling in the incredible season the team just had.

It is indeed an auspicious thing that the motley krewe of this blog remembers Ashley Morris not only with a link to his memorial website, but with the little sparks of the man’s spirit that live within every one of us that was privileged to get to know the man for the short time on earth that he was with us…and those sparks affected even the people who only got to know him through his posts and his comments on other bloggers’ posts.

Case in point: David Simon.

Here’s hoping Simon and the Treme folks never end up in the category of fuckmook.

  1. April 1, 2010 12:50 pm

    I recognized Ashley from the brief clips that I’ve seen. I hope that Goodman carries Ashley’s rage and love for this city to a wider audience.

  2. April 1, 2010 12:59 pm

    NOLA is all about weird spiritual coincidences. Yet, I hope everyone remembers that John Goodman’s character is only loosely based on Ashley and is not meant to portray Ashley to a tee.

    I’m way excited for the show, but have to remind myself that there will be some “disappointments.” It is a teevee show after all and not a documentary, and even documentaries rarely tell the whole story.

  3. liprap permalink
    April 1, 2010 2:08 pm

    Yeah, I do have to keep in mind that this ain’t gonna be a documentary…and, honestly, I don’t want it to be. We’ve already had that, and too many of us are still living that.

  4. Charlotte permalink
    April 1, 2010 9:11 pm

    I’d just like to point out this T-P interview of two local actors in Treme – especially Ameer Baraka who has turned his life around and is an inspiring role model.

  5. April 2, 2010 11:20 am

    Fine and timely tribute! We miss Ashley, but are continually inspired by him.

    (Candidly, I’m confused by the uses of “auspicious” in this post.)

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