Ashley put street name tiles in the newsA letter from Entergy assures us that New Orleans' distinctive street name tiles will be replaced by the utility company as it proceeds with routine work in our historic neighborhoods. They blame the whole unfortunate episode on "a subcontractor's crew."
And while they claim to have uncovered and dealt with the issue on their own, they mention columnist Chris Rose who wrote briefly about it in The Times-Picayune two weeks ago.
I have no reason to doubt their story, but do take exception that they credit Mr. Rose for calling attention to the matter without any credit to the man who first kicked over this ant pile: Ashley Morris.
Yes, Ashley Morris, the same "pain in the ass" neighbor of Mr. Rose who the columnist realized too late was a true friend of New Orleans.
There's a big difference between people who talk and people who do. It is my observation that the "complainer" gene is rampant in the species, and people like Mr. Rose are an excellent example. By definition, reporters show up after the fact and scribble notes about what happened. Columnists like Mr. Rose complain about why something happened or did not happen largely for entertainment value.
But the credit for making something--anything--happen rarely if ever goes to the journalists. It is the "citizen soldiers" who carry the battle to the enemy. People who show up at City Council meetings and speak up. People who write letters and campaign for good causes. People who alert their neighbors and agitate for change when things go awry.
People like Ashley and the exceptional crew of NOLA Bloggers.
Mr. Rose would marginalize these doers. To him, folks like Ashley are mere "voices in the wilderness, raging at the machine." Although he wrote these words as praise of Ashley, there is clearly a belittling tone to writing that someone spends his time "tilting at windmills."
Well Mr. Rose's column and the letter from Entergy appear to dispel that myth.
Street name tiles are in the news because Ashley made them news.
We interred Ashley's remains several weeks ago, but don't think that means he's finished.