I just began my daily routine of clicking onto Ashley Morris' blog, only to discover that he died yesterday. At first, I was certain that it must be an April Fool's Day joke or something--but after reading through the comments, I realized it was real. I don't even know what to say, it's such a complete and utter shock. My heart goes out to his wife and three children.
I've never met Ashley Morris, other than during KduV last year, when he handed me one of the "Edwin Edwards, Now More than Ever" postcards his sub-krewe was handing out. He, of course, had no idea who I was, but I was excited about my mini-brush with celebrity.
I feel certain that I would have really liked Ashley, had I gotten the chance to meet him--he was just the kind of person we all needed around here after Katrina. I first discovered him through that classic post, FYYFF. Can't even remember how I came across it, but it was after Katrina, I was hurting, and FYYFF gave voice to all of the anger I think most of us were feeling at the time, as we came to the realization that the majority of the country didn't care about us or New Orleans and thought we had gotten what was coming to us for living here.
Anyway, FYYFF opened up the world of New Orleans bloggers to me, and I've been a devoted lurker ever since. So thank you, Ashley, for your passion for this city, for expressing the anger and outrage we've all felt since the federal flood, and for your humor. Thank you for introducing me to the New Orleans blogging community--if you're on Ashley's blog roll, you're probably on my regular reading list. I feel like I've lost a friend today, albeit a friend I'd never met.
Sinn Fein, Ashley. May the light perpetual shine upon you.