One of the first NOLA blogs I ever read wasAshley 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 andSein 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 themeaning 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.”
It is rare to find in one man’s voice, the fire of FYYFF and the gentle humble appreciation of“Heroes in our Midst.” It is an homage to heroes and history and a city. It is all that he fought for and his leg of the fight is now over. Others will carry on. But no one will replace the remarkable voice which lives on for us to remember and appreciate atAshley Morris: the blog. Thank you Ashley…
Heroes in our midst
Most of the people in our section are like that. There’s the guy
behind us that flies in from Huntsville for every game, the tattooed
couple up a row on our left, the cross-dressers down the row, the good
ol’ boys on our left, the guys behind me who will actually accept when
I offer to do them up in eye black, and so on.
In other words, our section, the cheap seats of 635, is a
cross-section of New Orleans. We’re the King Arthur krewe of sections.
We’re the Gentilly of sections.
We’re lucky. We’re right on the rail, and the people across the
walkway in front of us get about the same view, but pay about double
One couple that sits in the section in front comes in from
Hattiesburg for every game. It’s a mother and daughter, and they love
the Saints as much as any of us do, if not more. They never miss a
The mother, Miss Ellie, has a bad knee and so Dillyberto (usually)
or Cl10 or I (occasionally) will help her down the steps to her seat.
Like us, she’s up against the rail, but instead of a walkway in front
of her, she has nothing but the expanse of the dome. Her daughter,
Bettie, is a riot, and loves to tell us stories about how Momma won’t
miss a Saints game. As a former resident of the ‘burg, I always manage
to bring upLeatha’s BBQ Inn, which is, I truly believe, where God goes when he wants barbecue.
Well, Miss Ellie was talking about how she was going to have to have
a knee replacement, and Bettie was saying that she refused to have the
surgery done during the season, because she wasn’t about to miss a game.
That’s a Saints fan, y’all.
On February 11, Miss Ellie had a total replacement of her right
knee. According to Bettie, she’s in pain, but doing well. From Bettie:
My last words to her before she was given her “la-la land shot” wasGO SAINTS!!!!
This caused Bettie to miss the Thoth activities, but she planned to hold court at Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop on Mardi Gras Day.
We are blessed. We are Saints fans, and we have true heroes like Miss Ellie Dahmer walking in our midst.
Long live Miss Ellie. One of my heroes.
Professor Ashley Morris. One of my heroes.