Update 2: Donate to Ashley’s family by clicking here.
Update: MP3 (NOT SAFE FOR WORK, SMALL CHILDREN, SOME HOUSE PETS, OR PEOPLE FROM NEW YORK, CHICAGO, ATLANTA, MIAMI, SAN FRANCISCO, TEXAS, KANSAS, AND IOWA)
Prominent (and most awesome) New Orleans activist, blogger, and educator Ashley Morris died yesterday in Florida.
Arrangements are pending and will be announced on his blog.
Louisiana just lost one of her champions.
Your Right Hand Thief (Oyster)
New Orleans Patriot, professor, musician, cigar aficionado, blogger, husband, father, Saints fan, techie, polymath… truly a generous, original, vital soul
When we had what was left of our house demolished, I blogged about losing my albums. My music collection was mostly 70’s and 80’s rock and punk, and I lamented that many were either too rare or too local to ever replace. Ashley immediately rushed in to help. He offered to give me his collection of old LPs and a turntable that he said he no longer used. Ashley noted that we shared a similar appreciation for early punk rock. Tempting as it was, I had to turn him down because there was no room in a FEMA travel trailer for such a gift. Undeterred, he later offered to give me a TV.
When the Saints returned to the Superdome, Ashley was right there. His blogs about that experience were so powerful, so completely heartfelt for something as trivial as a football game–yet Ashley was able to make the connection between a mere game and the soul of this struggling city, a city down physically and emotionally. His words poured out of his blog like fine wine, each phrase so delicious to savor. Out of the blue one day, Ashley invited me to be his guest at the next Saints game. This time I took him up on his generosity and we enjoyed a smashing Saints victory.
we’re very shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of new orleans blogger, ashley morris. it was only a few weeks ago that mr. morris and his family were in central louisiana at libuse for the annual czech heritage days.
Ashley Morris, New Orleans blogger and champion of her renewal and rebirth, fiercely loyal to the city’s cause, and always a gentleman, has passed from this earth. A truly sad day, please extend your thoughts and prayers to his family.
When I heard of his death, I didn’t cry. I kind of compartmentalized it. Then, the other day, I broke out my DVD of the VH1 special on him.Wow.
I played his video of Keep me in your heart repeatedly, and wept like a baby.
I miss him…I wish his grandkids could have gotten to know him better.
One of the first NOLA blogs I ever read was Ashley Morris: the blog. And the first post I read was the now classic, legendary post of the NOLA blogoshpere— “Fuck you, you fucking fucks.” I had instant respect for the bravery of those words and the man who expressed them. Actually I first thought Ashley was a woman and concluded– “Man she can bring it better than Athenae”–that says something. Of course in short time I realized she was a he and though I did meet Ashley, I came to know him through his writings. And through Ashley I came to know and love even more the city he loved so…New Orleans. I think that is a testament for which he would be proud….that his words and expressions would guide one to love his city.
Ashley fought for the recovery of New Orleans like no other. Just read FYYFF and Sein Fein. Please do. But there was more to his voice and blog than the right and righteous anger. Ashley wrote of the food, the restaurants, the music, the celebrations and parades–the culture of New Orleans. His words breathed the lifeblood of the city and it was a joy to read each day.
And then there were the Saints.
If his many posts taught me of a New Orleans I’d yet to know, it was the Saints posts in which I found the universal common ground with this remarkable man. I, being a die-hard fantactical Packers cheesehead, understood the depth of emotion and the meaning of a team and stadium to the people who came together each Sunday. And it was a post that Ashley wrote not long ago about the people who came together in section 635 of the Superdome that I want to re-post for you to appreciate the man–the man that many in New Orleans consider a hero–and he was. But in this post he tells a story, a New Orleans story, a damn good story that stood out in my mind and that in itself is a true testament in a city known for its stories and storytellers. In it, Ashley our hero, writes of his heroes. The first time I read it I said aloud–“Man that is SO New Orleans. Right there, that’s it.”
The very first time I met him in person, he told me the incredible story of his family. He said, “I had a Jack Nicholson childhood.” The story, which he wrote about on his blog, was that he had grown up with a “sister” who turned out to be his mother. His “parents” were really his grandparents. He didn’t find out any of this until after his “parents” were dead. He had no idea who his real father was. This is, of course, not funny, but when Ashley thought someone was engaging in too much self-pity, he was given to saying, “fuck you. My entire family lied to me my whole life about who my parents are, and they died without ever telling me, and I never even got to tell them to fuck off!” This had the effect of making the self-pitying person, Ashley, and any onlookers dissolve into howling laughter at the absurd unfairness of life.
Ashley Morris has gone back to the Universe and the void he leaves will be spiritually vast. I knew him mostly through comments on this blog and his. I had several conversations with him at different events but essentially, digital missives comprised our friendship, exchanges about New Orleans and sometimes about our former hometown of Pensacola.
Simply in that tiny realm, I learned a few things about him…
He detested all things snooty or uppity. He conducted a boisterous love of local peoples and cultures. He had the intelligence and repertoire to engage even the most critical thinkers. He possessed a vibrant joie de vivre. He was a pirate, a trickster, a madman. He was profound and profane; he was an intellectual and a fanatic. He was a bull in a china shop and if shit was going down, you wanted him on your side.
Ashley was a remarkable human being with an awe-inspiring wealth of experience, an amazing sense of humor, and the kind of anger that is only born of a deep deep sense of humanity. I only knew him from the RT community and a few parties I went to. But he was a person I looked forward to conversing with through his internet presence nearly every day for the past few years. I wish there were something I could do or say that could make this any better for his friends and family.
Ashley’s star has risen. We’ll do what we can to carry on the struggle, but few, if any, have ever lived with as much intensity. In the land of the giants, Ashley was king. You are already missed, and will not be forgotten. All who care about New Orleans should pay their respects to one who loved it more than any. The best form of respect would be to care for his family in this time of grief and need. Sinn Fein brother!
The shock is over and now I just miss a good friend very much.
Ashley Morris passed away this morning. Geek, educator, blogger, musician, but more importantly, husband, father and a great friend of New Orleans, is gone. I’m going to miss you, Professor Morris, you were a big man in so many ways.
It is needless to say that Ashley’s death is a huge blow to the New Orleans blogger community, but this is also where our community can be at its best. By helping its own. What Ashley would want is that we are there for his wife and three small children. Let us be at their service.
It is my sad duty to let you know that Dr. Ashley Morris, the man most likely to call Ray Nagin a fuckmook to his face, passed away today. We have lost our excitable boy. His unrelenting passion for our city and his community will be missed as much as his unflinching and cuss-ridden dissections of the federal, state and local incompetence that has brought our city to its present state.
Hana, his wife, left a post on his blog. Go by, leave a comment, read his old posts if you haven’t. Let them know there are people out there who care. He leaves three young children.
Tomorrow when I leave work. I am heading to my cigar shop and buying the biggest, smelliest cigar I can and enjoy it in honor of my blog friend and huge supporter of this blog Ashley Morris. I went to his page tonight and found out he passed away. I met Ashley once at last year’s Rising Tide event but I communicated with him at least once or twice a week. I am sorry we never got to enjoy our cigars together. We should have made those plans sooner. You never know what tomorrow is going to bring. I would pour out some liquor for you but I know you would want me to drink it instead.
When I mentioned in a post that I played tuba in high school, he asked me in an email if I still had the tuba. He said he had a drum and we could do a brass band thing.
I regret I did not still have that tuba to have shared that experience with the man.
We’ve lost a mountain, and we are the lesser for it.
The New Orleans blogging community has lost one of its unique personalities: Ashley Morris, who now belongs to eternity.
As everyone who read his blog knows, Ashley loved with a passion beyond passion. He loved New Orleans, and God help anyone who loved her less than he did. He loved her so much that he named his youngest son Rey D’Orleans: the King of New Orleans.
He will be deeply missed by his lovely wife, Hana; his three beautiful children; and his countless friends and fans.
I’m stunned. And mute.
This man nurtured us all. This fellow took discomfort and stomped on it. All you felt when you were with him was that this is a kindred soul with a passionate love for life in Our City. Ashley Morris drew us into the larger community. Ashley took the realities of disaster aftermath and helped all come together.
Without hesitation, I share with you that I will mourn his loss at every New Orleans Saints game. I will selfishly mourn because I loved to share the games with him and Hana.
As the shock and mourning comes in waves, we must ponder two very serious questions of this afterlife issue.
1. What kind of standards must the Lord have to bring heaven up to in order to match Ashley’s love of Our City?
2. Will Buddy D. be able to handle Ashley’s horn during the Saints games?
And I really don’t know what to say, except that I sure will miss his voice. I didn’t really know Ashley in “real life” but I read his blog and he put so much of his heart and soul into his writing that I felt like we were buddies. And we collaborated on a couple geeky endeavors online, so I guess in a way we were. I’d bump into him from time to time at places like the Mother-in-Law Lounge or the Parkway Bakery. It’s disconcerting to realize that won’t ever happen again.
I woke up this morning to find my feed reader full of obituaries – for one person. A fellow nolablogger, Ashley Morris died yesterday. I am so genuinely shocked and upset to hear this. Ashley talked about New Orleans issues with such energy, honesty, and wonderfully profane humor. I only met him once, but he certainly left an impression, and I’m so deeply sad for his wife and three young children.
More importantly, he was able to take the anger and frustration that so many felt about what happened in and to New Orleans and focus it on the issue. His blog inspired and inspires me to try to do the same. I do not have his way. I truly loved the way he always kept the focus on the real issues and never let the nincompoops baffle the unaware with lies about New Orleans.
I still think he was right about one laptop per child in New Orleans, and I watched Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations now because of him. I love that every possible contest that involved New Orleans was featured on Ashley’s blog, and we were encouraged to vote in them.
Ashley was a real influence on me. In fact, when I came up to my computer today, his blog was the last one I was perusing. Things can really happen fast.
Ashley Morris was a dear friend and a source of laughter and wit. I loved him dearly. Those who knew him were amazed by his life story and all the interesting turns it had taken. Bad luck and good luck; he always seem to stay one step ahead of the bad. Knife, I’ll miss you.