Open thread for Ashley

I’m sorry to have to break such bad news: We just found out that Ashley died this morning.

From his blog tonight:

This is Hana, Ashley’s wife. I am sorry to tell you but Ashley passed away this morning, Wed. April 2, 2002 in Florida.

Everybody who loved him and whom he made laugh, please pray for him and his children.

Things are going to be a little crazy now as I have no fucking idea what to do. Pardon the profanity but I guess you must be used to it from here.

I will post again the funeral arrangements and such.

I never got to meet Ashley in person but he was as wide open and helpful as an old friend about working on this blog from the minute he answered my first email. He admired, appreciated, and championed The Wire and all of David Simon’s work to such an extent that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt he wouldn’t mind it being brought up at such a time as this. It was never just about a television show, and Ashley knew that, knew it was a part of the story of America, that we needed to see it, to know it and not look away, before it was too late.

Damn it, I downloaded some vintage NOLA funk the other day by Eddie Bo and The Soul and I couldn’t wait to listen to the whole album, then email Ashley about it to see if he knew it.

This place is way too quiet now.



  1. […] Also, an open thread’s up at NuPac. […]

  2. I’m speechless. What on earth happened, I wonder?

  3. I’m sorry for your loss, Nancy. He adored you so much and it was obvious you two delighted in each other’s company, even if only online.

    I’ve put a call out to Nola blogger Maitri to let us know if there will be any memorial fund set up so we can share with his Wire family.

  4. Oh, damn. A hell of a thing to wake up to. I only met him a few times in person, but he certainly does inspire vivid memories. Going to be a sad morning.

  5. […] did get to share blogspace with Ashley over at The New Package, where The Wire was discussed until the small group of NuPakers and various hangers-on were blue in […]

  6. Just heard.

    I never met Ashley, but communicated with him only recently about his effort to have me speak at the DePaul commencement. As it happens, I was to be in the UK that weekend editing Generation Kill, and so sent regrets, but I feel for some weird reason that it is important for me to do the last thing that this fellow asked me to do.

    Ashley understood the dynamics of addiction exactly and there wasn’t a subtext to any of Bubbles or Gary McCullough that eluded him. His voice was honest and blunt and full-throated. And rooted as he was in New Orleans, I felt that there was a possibility I was going to get to know him a lot better.

    This is all very sad and sudden and upsetting.

    I’m gonna call DePaul today and say that if they still want me to do it and they have not moved on to another speaker, I’m going to fly black and forth from London to do it. Might be too late, but Ashley worked hard to get them to extend the invite when they were of course wondering what the hell The Wire is, so…

    Damn, damn, damn….

  7. I am stunned and saddened. The DePaul event would be a wonderful tribute if ir could happen. Warren Zevon came up on my iPod yesterday, and for some reason I went from “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” and played “Excitable Boy” and of course thought of Ashley. Weird.

  8. DS, I sincerely hope it works out — I know that Ashley was excited about the idea and even the mere possibility of you making it.

    And when it comes time for you to work in New Orleans, I feel certain you WILL get to know him better, as he was beloved by many there and they’ll tell you the stories.

    He was really looking forward to blogging here about Generation Kill, too.

  9. Mr. Simon, I am so glad to hear your voice here. I knew that he was fighting to have you speak at commencement, and when I heard the news, thought of whether that plan would fall through.

    You will know him through his works, here in New Orleans. We will all miss him, together, and continue what he started.

  10. David, you describe the man pretty damn well for somebody who never got the chance to sit at a bar with him. It would have been great fun to watch you two bounce off of each other. He was a force of nature. He was my best fucking friend in this whole fucked-up city, he was the only non-alkie who seemed to “get it” when I was dealing with my own addictions and my own issues.

    I don’t know what I’m going to do without him, and it hurts my heart to listen to his kids tell me all about how Daddy is dead, as if they think he’s going to be back by the weekend.

  11. […] seen all but the last season. Ashley started writing this year for a blog about The Wire, Got That New Package, along with RacyMind, Ray, Athenae and Scout, Nancy Nall, and Virgotext. The Wire’s creator, […]

  12. virgotex, Ray, racymind, nancynall, Athemae,

    I posted this on my blog tonight but when it finally all st in, I thought about all of you.
    As I read my weekly “FeedBlitz” update today, I didn’t know. I didn’t get it.

    I’d only known him through his contributions to “Ashley Morris: the blog” and “Got that new package.” What a spirit! My prayers and protection to his wife and young ones. I will keep his blog on my blog roll because he was my kind of man!

    Alan Gutierrez paid such a tribute to Ashley today and it never occurred to me why (too tied up in my own shit, if I’m honest). Like Alan, I’ve decided. I don’t really care what is thought of me (Okay, I never really cared.). As in Ashley’s “FYYFF” post, walk in my damn shoes.

    People like Ashley were part of why I felt I had to go to NOLA the first time – and why I went back again. I had no “real” money to donate to schools or hospitals or anything – just me – and a proud heart that understood. I gave what I could and I’m so damned glad I did.

    Ashley had a proud heart too – strong, vocal and unapologetic. The love for his city was alive and palpable. It made me jealous and wanting sometimes. He loved and believed not only in the “rightness of the thing,” but he believed in being FROM somewhere, FROM something. For that, there’s a place in my heart for him always. He touched a lot of damn people, make no mistake!

    To Hana and the kids – take care Chere

  13. […] the voices from all over the nets confirmed his impact, and the […]

  14. […] An open thread about Morris, and news of a memorial […]

  15. From the DePaul web site:

    Also receiving honorary degrees are:

    David Simon is a renowned journalist and award-winning creator and writer of some of the most realistic contemporary police and crime television dramas, including HBO’s “The Wire.” Simon also is the author of the non-fiction book “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” which served as the basis for the long-running NBC series.

  16. […] re David Simon @ DePaul commencement Thanks to Jim King for info re David Simon’s involvement in the upcoming DePaul commencement activities. Per the DePaul site, the date of the ceremony is […]

  17. I am deeply shocked at the death of such a person as Ashley. He was a simple man and damn good at his work. I understand the hard times that Hana must be going through. I am deeply hurt and would like to my online tributes to the noble soul of Ashley.

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