Back in the days before social media, blogging was pretty much the way people communicated, ranted, raved and commiserated in the months following The Federal Flood of 2005, also known as Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans had a vigorous and active group of bloggers and Ashley Morris was undeniably the loudest voice in the New Orleans blogosphere and one of the founding members of the Rising Tide Conference. Today is the fourth anniversary of his untimely death and Mark’s post today got me thinking of Ashley and what I wrote on my now defunct blog, Casa de Charlotte Della Luna, when I found out about his death.
Here is an exerpt of that post with links to some of Ashley’s famous rants. A bit of NOLA blogging history. RIP, Ashley.
Thursday I opened the laptop to check my email which is where I learned of Ashley’s death.
I wish I could write good enough to make you see how much we’ve lost in his death. There just aren’t enough words and I cannot come close to writing them, still in the weak,baby lamb state that I’m in.
In the last couple of days and nights since I learned of it, I’ve dreamed of Ashley off and on in my feverish cocoon. I’ve dreamed of his wife and three small children…of how he will never see them grow up and how he will never grow old with H.
Ashley had such passion and commitment, with a rowdy, bawdy spot-on commentary that set him apart from all the rest.
I never knew anyone who had more of a fierce, burning father-love for New Orleans. Never. He commuted weekly to his job in Chicago so he could live in New Orleans. He was a loyal and outspoken fan of The New Orleans Saints and I daresay never missed a home game. He was an advocate for displaced musicians after The Flood. He raised his voice and beat his drum in the people’s march against violence back in January ’07. I was honored to be in that march with him and all the other Nola bloggers. And he kicked Ray-Ray’s butt up down and all around until the day he died. Huzzah!
Ashley was a fighter, a doer, a warrior, a ranter extraordinaire and an inspiration to us all.
Varg said about Ash: “He detested all things snooty or uppity.”
That observation is so very true and one of the things Ash and I had in common. I have, at times, earned myself the reputation of being, shall we say, too blunt. My bluntness is especially pronounced when I perceive “snooty or uppity” behaviour. On several occasions Ash emailed me and encouraged me to speak my mind, reminding me that I had the same right as anyone else to do so. Yes, we had our conversations and they are a big part of why I love Ash. He wasn’t a kinda-sorta “when I have time” friend. He was the real deal. Even if it was mainly an online friendship, as ours was.
Ashley has left a proud and colorful legacy to his three children. They will know their father was a true patriot of New Orleans, a well-loved and respected man.