Image of David MillsSome days, it is easy to think about what you want to blog about and others not so much. Some times the words come easily and other times you struggle. Today happens to be one of those days when I have so much I want to say, but am not sure how to say it. I apologize ahead of time if some of my thoughts become a bit disjointed and rambling.
I was sitting at work when I received a notice on my Blackberry that I had a Facebook message. Usually, it is junk, but unfortunately today it was not the case. It was a message from one of my best old friends, Don Valyou. It was to tell me that another of our dear friends, David Mills, had passed away suddenly. Needless to say, it has hit me like a ton of bricks. I have written tributes here for others who have passed away, but none of them have involved folks that have the personal impact as David's death has on me.
There is a lot that can be written and will be written about David's career as a writer for the Washington Post and his Emmy Award winning television career. In fact, David passed away in New Orleans of a brain aneurysm while working on a new HBO Series, Treme set to debut in a couple weeks. I will let others write about those things. Instead, I will pay tribute to the David Mills that I have known in my lifetime and share some of my memories of him.
The three of us all headed off to Maryland with different goals and different interests. I went to study business, David to study journalism, and Donald eventually ended up studying philosophy. The one thing that we all shared was a deep appreciation for philosophical and political debate, music, and like most college students, beer. In those days, you could drink beer at 18. David was the youngest of the three of us, but on his 18th birthday, the three of us headed out to the Yesterday's Inn, a topless bar near campus for our first legal beers in a bar. We spent most of the time at a table off to the side of the stage debating issues rather than watching the entertainment.
For the rest of our college careers, we continued to do a lot of things together. One Christmas, we exchanged joke gifts with one another. David gave me a deck of hard core porn playing cards. I played a lot of solitaire with those. That Christmas, I gave Donald a Buddha incense burner and David gave him a bong. One weekend, we ended up taking a trip up to a campground and rented a cabin for the weekend. We took a lot of beer with us that weekend, but it was there that I tried pot using the bong that David gave Donald. It was the first of two times, both with my boyz.
Like a lot of high school and college friends, our careers and other things took us in other directions. We got together a few times after graduation, but we eventually lost track of each other. Over the years, I followed David's career and I have to admit I took a little bit of pride in having been friends with an Emmy Award winning television writer. I remember working part time at Barnes & Noble a few years ago and seeing his picture in Entertainment Weekly as one of the top 100 young up and coming people in the entertainment industry.
A couple of years ago, I reconnected with David through LinkedIn, a professional social networking site. It was there that I discovered David's blog, Undercover Black Man. His blog inspired me to start this humble blog, so you can blame him for this being here. Eventually, I also was able to reconnect with Donald through Facebook. Thank God for Al Gore's Amazing Internet and Social Media.
As I mentioned previously, David's blog inspired me to start my blog. During the election of 2008, he was a big supporter of Obama, I was not. When Obama won the election, I wrote a post called Welcome to the USSA. David commented on my post that he was confident that Obama would govern as a centrist and not hard left. I had been meaning to email David to see if he still felt that way. Tragically, I will not know in this lifetime.
Let me close by saying to David that I am so happy were able to reconnect and get together last summer. I love you and miss you already. You have been and will always be a very dear friend. It has been a privilege and an honor to know you and call you my friend. While it isn't my typical musical fare, I know that you loved you some P-funk, so I send you off with this. See you on the other side.