Many of you have heard about the sudden passing of Emmy award-winning TV writer David Mills, who wrote for shows such as NYPD Blue, The Corner, The Wire and the upcoming Treme. Funny thing is, that’s not how I knew David.
In fact, I didn’t even know he was a TV writer, let alone someone recognized for their talent on award-winning shows. First, for a long time I thought he was another David Mills, who I knew from the Black Filmmaker Foundation days, but that wasn’t the case. No, what I knew about this David Mills was that he was a blogger, the creative force behind Undercover Black Man. We’d exchanged a few comments and added each other to our respective blogrolls. But that was about it. If I'd looked closer, I would've discovered that, prior to his TV career, he'd done a lot of music journalism.
When I was crowdsourcing the funding for my recent SXSW trip, out of nowhere he donated $500. Just like that. Humbling to say the least. That was the single biggest donation I received. In many ways, he was responsible for my ability to make it down to Austin this year.And I hardly knew the guy.
I thanked him for his generosity and this was his reply:
You're very welcome, Rob. You have turned me on to so much music, I felt a debt.
Keep on. I look forward to reading about SXSW.
I certainly hope that he got a chance to read what I’d written, but the bigger lesson is the reminder that we never know who's life we're impacting when we do good and honest work.
Here's a glimpse at the 14-minute preview of Treme, which premieres on HBO on April 11:
- NY Times obit
- NJ Star-Ledger remembrance
- Some of David Mills' music journalism (via Washington Post)