David Mills, one of my husband’s oldest friends and colleagues, died yesterday after collapsing on the set of Treme where the two old friends were working together for — the fifth time? The sixth? It’s hard to quantify. They met at their college newspaper, then went on to work for newspapers in the same area. They co-wrote an episode of Homicide together, the one staring Robin Williams, and ended up being nominated for a WGA award. Legend has it that David Mills then said, “This television shit is easy” or words to that effect and went west. He wrote for a lot of television shows. He collaborated on The Corner, winning two Emmys. He created Kingpin, which I personally enjoyed the hell out of. I think I watched all six hours in one evening. He wrote for The Wire and, given his love of music, was an obvious fit for Treme.
Most of what I know about Mills I know from my husband. Mills wasn’t a person inclined to talk about himself. Hell, he wasn’t a person inclined to talk that much at all. But he was fearless when he did speak. He wasn’t afraid of disagreeing with people and he never took it personally when people disagreed with him.
This I learned on my own: He was a natural blogger. A few years ago, when I pruned way back on my bookmarks, stopped reading so many blogs, Undercover Black Man was one of the ones I kept. All of David’s passions were there — music, politics, calling out people on bullshit. His penultimate blog post was on Obama’s rhetoric — and it wasn’t flattering.