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May 31, 2007

A Gonzo Moon

There are some major plate tectonics happening in Woody Creek.  The Woody Creek Community Center construction is now officially underway and the Woody Creek Tavern is changing ownership tomorrow. There were two simultaneous parties in Woody Creek today — one at the Tavern and one at the WC Center.  Everybody was sparkling and feeling a bit odd. So, in the spirit of Woody Creek, I posted a portion of an interview with Ed Bradley about Hunter and Woody Creek at the end of today’s blog. 

Did you feel a little mischievous today? Like you wanted to get together with friends and commit a crime or two?  If you DID commit the crime and are worried if you are losing your grip, don’t worry. I have good news. It’s just the blue Gonzo Moon. This month’s second full moon in Sagittarius  will connect in a trine to Mars and conjuncts lucky Jupiter as it sweeps into the evening sky — and those are two very lucky aspects. Green light at the end of the dock is flashing bright and beautiful if you know what I mean. So, cut off the traces and have a little fun.

And don’t forget to toast to our loved ones on the other side.  

 Here is an interview of Ed Bradley by a gonzo lawyer: the entire interview can be read on the woodycreeker.net

Hal Haddon: The Woody Creek Caucus has taken a stand against several provisions of the Patriot Act.  Is that basically just whistling into the wind or does the voice of the Woody Creek Caucus get heard outside of this valley?

Ed Bradley: You know, I don’t think the president hears it.
Hal Haddon: Does he hear anything?

Ed Bradley: They just passed a revised version of the Patriot Act so I don’t think the Woody Creek Caucus has much influence. But, you know, we need the Woody Creek Caucus and caucuses all over this country to make our voices heard, and I think that what the Woody Creek Caucus says and does, whether it’s heard or not, is important. I think it’s whatever your belief is. Whatever your political beliefs are, it’s the system to express yourself—express those beliefs, and if you’re opposed to the system to rail against the system. That’s the American way and that was Hunter’s way and that’s the Woody Creek way.

Hal Haddon: Hunter talked about an organization that may or may not be mythical called the Woody Creek Rod & Gun Club, and he said it was so secret that people would only meet in the dark to maintain maximum anonymity. Hunter said you were a member. So I guess my question is—if you wouldn’t be breaching the oath of the Woody Creek Rod & Gun Club—did that organization exist and what did it do?

Ed Bradley: I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me.




Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

 p.s. I’m flying to NYC tomorrow to be part of book expo. Hope it’s fun.  Will let you know.

May 26, 2007

Kitchen Debate In The Rockies

Yes! The Owl Farm Kitchen Debate was a success.  Mick Ireland and Tim Semrau did have it out in Hunter’s kitchen yesterday in what turned out to be an interesting and philosophical debate.  NPR was here and is airing the story on Sunday “All Things Considered”  (link here, then click on "listen" ). Both newspapers said it was by far the most interesting debate between the two candidates to date. 

 We scheduled an hour, but it seemed to fly by, so we extended it another ½ hour. I think it was a refreshing style of debate because George Stranahan elevated it to a discussion of each candidate’s philosophy, rather than the usual campaign rhetoric. I will list George’s questions at the end of today’s blog so that you can keep them in mind if you would like to host a local political debate in your own kitchen in your own town. All you need to do is get the candidates to agree to come and call the media.  Yes, you too can have some good local politics happening in your kitchen. But most important, it’s good to think about how you would answer the questions yourself.


This morning I was struck with a weird postpartum sadness however, as I read great articles about the debate on the front page of each newspaper. In addition to these articles ran a story in the Aspen Daily news explaining that the Hotel Jerome is being re-sold to another huge resort conglomerate.  The Hotel Jerome is the oldest hotel in Aspen and served as the campaign headquarters for Hunter’s Freak Power campaign for Sheriff in 1970.  And it was also the unofficial headquarters of the Joe Edwards run for Mayor that set the tone for the politics of Aspen for the next 35 years.


In 1969, Hunter convinced Joe Edwards, a 29 year-old lawyer and bike-racer from Texas who held similar political beliefs, to run for Mayor. He promised that if he won, Hunter would run for Sheriff the following year in 1970. Both Joe and Hunter missed the mark — but only barely.  But they won in what we are learning now, in a very important way:  Their legacy is still felt today as the political dialectic still includes the freaks — the people who have dropped out of urban rat race and moved to the Aspen Valley.  It was Hunter and Joe and the host of volunteers that empowered the drop-outs and gave them a voice. 


Here is an excerpt from “Freak Power in the Rockies”

Aspen is full of freaks, heads, fun-hogs and weird night-people of every description…but most of them would prefer jail or the bastinado to the horror of actually registering to vote.  Unlike the main bulk of burghers and businessmen, the dropout has to make an effort to use his long-dormant vote.  There is not much to it, no risk and no more than ten minutes of small talk and time – but to the average dropout the idea of registering to vote is a very heavy thing.  The psychic implications, “copping back into the system,” etc., are fierce….and we learned, in Aspen, that there is no point even trying to convince people to take that step unless you can give them a very good reason. Like a very unusual candidate…or a fireball pitch of some kind.
The central problem that we grappled with last fall is the gap that separates the Head Culture from activist politics.  Somewhere in the nightmare failure that gripped America between 1965 and 1970, the old Berkeley-born notion of beating the System by fighting it gave way to a sort of numb conviction that it made more sense in the long run to Flee, or even to simply hide, than to fight the bastards on anything even vaguely resembling their own terms.

 — Hunter S. Thompson “The Great Shark Hunt”


Indeed.  The rest is history. And yesterday, here in this kitchen was a tribute to that spirit of awakening the power of local politics. 


Here are the questions George asked the candidates:

1.      What would be your mission statement as Mayor?

2.      “Government must do what the people cannot do for themselves.  How do you interpret that statement?

3.      Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and they are us.” Which of us and in what way?

4.      [What is your philosophy on city police in terms of ] drugs, recreational drugs, immigration?

5.      We’ve had a 35 year political conversation about growth and it still feels like a boa constrictor continually coiling and constricting. Growth eventually HAS to stop; either by strangling itself or by design.  Which would you choose and how would you implement?

6.      More and more Aspen affects down valley (at least to Rifle) and down valley affects Aspen.  What does the mayor of Aspen do about this?

7.      Aspen is unique and the information age is new to us.  How does this change traditional models of governance here and now?

 Then, senior Woody Creek Politician Commissioner Michael Owsley asked "Hunter ran for sheriff on Freak Power, what kind of power are you running on?"

Okay!  Enjoy your weekend and remember to tune in to NPR see if you agree with Mick and Tim’s answers – and how they compare to your own.


Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson


p.s.NPR’s  Ben Bergman aired the NPR national story shorter, and will send a link to the longer version which will run on Tues.


May 24, 2007

The American Dream

Remember the dandelion fields I was telling you about?  They have now turned into fields of silver fluff balls.  Playing catch with Athena has become that much more interesting.  As she runs back to me, the white fluff balls explode behind her into what looks like huge plumes of floating fairy dust.  It is sureal. And it’s also nice to know that next year, there will be that many more dandelions. 

Today I’d like to post a quote from a book I pulled off the shelf yesterday as I was cleaning the house. The house got pretty dusty since I spent the last two semesters in New York. But, I’m doing it all now. Tomorrow, the two Aspen mayoral candidates Mick Ireland and Tim Semrau will have it out in the living room in front of the local TV and radio stations.  It should be fun. I’ll also give you a report. It is the first political debate I’m hosting at Owl Farm, so I’m working hard to make it a success.

Anyway, here is a quote from the book, “the Quotable Richard M. Nixon:”

…I believe in the American dream, because I have seen it come true in my own life.

      —Richard Nixon

Until next time, your friend,
Anita Thompson

May 21, 2007


Goodmorning. Hope you’re having a good monday. Yes, I’m hosting a political debate at Owl Farm on Friday and I’ll keep you posted.

For this monday morning. I decided to post a part of an interivew that I included in my book, "The Gonzo Way" about the 7 lessons I learned from Hunter. This is something Hunter’s dear friend, named Stacey Hadash who is a very sucessful woman who works in banking in NYC and is married to another good friend of Hunter’s, Terry McDonell (editor of Sports Illustrated). Hunter and Stacey were friends for about 13 years, and she became a friend and mentor to me later on. It’s a beautiful observation about Hunter and I thought I’d share it with you for a nice monday morning kick.

Stacey was working with James Carville for the Clinton campaign when she and Hunter were introduced:

Shortly after the campaign Hunter invited me to Owl Farm to help with his new book "Better than Sex" – which was his book about the 1992 election. I called James for advice. What about the rumors of drugs, guns, explosives, knives, troubles with women? James didn’t hesitate, "Call me when you get out there," he said. Hunter and I were friends for the next thirteen years. Thinking about him now I remember how open he was, especially to new people in his life, new friends. Many of us get too busy with life to live it like that – we work at jobs where we can’t trust colleagues, we don’t have the time, we’re too ambitious, too busy with family, too closed in our own worlds. Hunter was different. He saw the value in new friendships, that they opened his world – to new points of view, values, jokes, crazy and wonderful places. We’re talking real friendships here – not the kind that inflate your own status. And then he went one better. He chose his friends carefully and then mixed them up in the kitchen of Owl Farm and at book parties in New York among other places. And in my book, Hunter gets credit for making some very interesting introductions. After all, I met my husband, Terry McDonell, through Hunter.

–Stacey Hadash

I don’t have any HST books with me know, so I’ll post wome wisdom when I get home.

Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

May 17, 2007


Hi. Last time, I posted Hunter’s observations about the Outlaw Mystique.  Hunter had a keener eye than anyone I know, along with Ralph Steadman.  Hunter’s ability to not only observe what was really going on, but his ability to describe what he saw is of course, one thing we love about him. As Ed Abbey put it, Hunter was “a seer – one who sees.” 

He also had the uncanny ability to describe the thought process not just of a criminal mind, but his own mind on drugs. Most people don’t realize that “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was not written under the influence. He wrote it here in the Owl Farm war room, after the trip to Vegas, relatively sober. He used his skills to remember what it was like.  Hunter often talked about the misconception that he wrote on acid or other heavy drugs.

 Today however, I decided to post something Hunter did write while he was stoned out of his mind — ripped to the tits… on Mescaline.  He wrote in a hotel in Los Angeles in 1969:


Jesus, 6:45 now and the pill has taken hold real.  The metal on the typewriter has turned from dull green to a sort of high-gloss blue, the keys sparkle, glitter with highlights…I sort of levitated to the chair, hovering in front of the typewriter, not sitting.  Fantastic brightness on everything, polished and waxed with special lighting…and the physical end of the thing is like the first half-hour on acid, a sort of buzzing all over, a sense of being gripped by something, vibrating internally but with no outward sign or movement.  I’m amazed that I can keep typing.  I feel like both me and the typewriter have become weightless; it floats in front of me like a bright toy.  Weird, I can still spell…but I had to think about that last one…”Weird.”  Christ, I wonder how much worse this is going to get.  It’s seven now, and I have to check out in an hour or so.  If this is the beginning of an acid-style trip I might as well give up the idea of flying anywhere.  Taking off in an airplane right now would be an unbearable experience, it would blow the top right off my head.  The physical sensations of lifting off the ground would be unbearable I this condition; I feel like I could step off the balcony right now and float gently down tot he sidewalk.  Yes, and getting worse, a s muscle in my thigh is seized by spasms, quivering like something disembodied…I can watch it, feel it, but not be connected.  There is not much connection between my head and my body…but I can still type and very fast too, much faster than normal. Yes, the goddamn drug is definitely taking hold, very much like acid, as sense of very pleasant physical paralysis (wow, that spelling) while the brain copes with something never coped with before. The brain is doing all the work right now, adjusting to this new stimulus like an old soldier ambushed and panicked for the moment, getting a grip but not in command, hanging on, waiting for a break but expecting something worse…and yes, it’s coming on.


–Hunter S. Thompson,  Screwjack. (Mescalito)


Put that in your pipe and smoke it.


Until next time, your friend, standing firmly on the ground,

Anita Thompson

May 15, 2007

Outlaw Mystique

Hello. It’s Tuesday morning at Owl Farm and outside are what we call "Fields of Gold.” I’ve never seen so many dandelions. The heavy rain the last few days has caused a symphony of yellow in the lawns.  My German Shepherd, Athena and I have to take several tennis balls out on our walks because they get lost among the flowers.  The missing balls will either be rescued when the dandelions loose their blooms and their bright yellow color shows up against the green, or they’ll be shredded by the massive John Deer tractor mower (yes, the one with the bullet hole in the side).  We shall see.  
Anyway, today’s HST wisdom is from Hell’s Angels – I was thinking about the Outlaw Mystique this morning and thought I would post this clip from chapter 6. It’s about the human need, particularly the outlaw need, to belong:

Like converts to Communism or Catholicism, Hell’s Angels who were once AMA [American Motorcycle Association] members take their role more seriously than the others.

The Angels are too personally disorganized to have any clear perspective on the world, but they admire intelligence, and some of their leaders are surprisingly articulate. Chapter presidents have no set term in office, and a strong one, like Barger, will remain unchallenged until he goes to jail, gets killed or finds his own reasons for hanging up the colors.  The outlaws are very respectful of power, even if they have to create their own image of it.  Despite the anarchic possibilities of the machines they ride and worship, they insist that their main concern in life is to be “a righteous Angel,” which requires a loud obedience to the party line.  They are intensely aware of belonging, of being able to depend on each other.  Because of this, they look down on independents, who usually feel so wretched – once they’ve adopted the outlaw frame of reference – that they will do almost anything to get in a club.

“I don’t know why,” said an ex-Angel, “but you almost have to join a club. If you don’t, you’ll never be accepted anywhere.  If you don’t wear any colors, you’re sort of in between – and you’re nothing.”

This desperate sense of unity is crucial to the outlaw mystique.  If the Hell’s Angel’s are outcasts from society, as they freely admit, then it is all the more necessary that they defend each other from attack by “the others” – mean squares, enemy gangs or armed argents of the Main Cop.  When somebody punches a lone Angel every one of them feels threatened.  They are so wrapped up in their own image that they can’t conceive of anybody challenging the colors without being fully prepared to take on the whole army.
–Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels

Until next time, your friend,
Anita Thompson

May 14, 2007

Rally At the Capital

Justice is expensive in America.  There are no Free Passes… You might want to remember this, the next time you get careless and blow off a few Parking Tickets.  They will come back to haunt you the next time you see a Cop car in your rearview mirror.  Or if you notice your teenage daughter hanging out with a rotten-looking Skinhead … Ther is no such thing as Paranoia.  Your worst fears can come true at any moment… What happpened to Lisl Auman can happen to Anybody in America, and when it does, you will sure as hell need Friends… Take my word for it, folks.  I have Been There, and it ain’t Fun.

Thanks again for your help on this. It is good Karm and also very wise.

Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube (Free Lisl Rally May 14th, 2001)


I did attend a rally yesterday at the capital in Denver to commemorate the anniversary of the Free Lisl rally we had for her on May 14th, 2001. To celebrate the success of Hunter’s campaign to free her that started that day, and to remember those innocent children still behind bars, Lisl was there in full force and looked beautiful. She spoke and sang and asked us all to remember the forgotten 45 children who are behind bars today.  The rally was put on by the The Pendulum Foundation. and I invite you to familiarize yourself with them — it is an important group that works to get childred out of the criminal justice system. They asked me to speak, so I read a bit out of The Gonzo Way about one of the political lessons Hunter taught me.  When it comes to politics — it’s all about WE.

Until Next time, your friend, back at the Farm,

Anita Thompson

May 09, 2007

All Politics is Local

Here is a note on voting from Hunter from “Hey Rube’

That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that “it doesn’t matter who’s President” has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World — or been beaten and gassed by Police for tresspassing on public property — or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons — or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower: that is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.

-Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube

So, our friend Mick Ireland captured 47% of the vote yesterday in the pre-runnof mayoral election. His main opponent, the developer, Tim Semrau got 34%. Our friend Torre (in the order of our beloved Ralph Nader), pulled 17%. Torre was doing a nice job on City Council and it goes witout saying he will be back, and is a much needed voice in Aspen politics. He spent many nights in the kitchen listening to Hunter’s wisdom.

Hunter also supported Mick Ireland in the past, who is an experienced dedicated public servant, and GIFTED organizer. I learned a lot volunteering for the the county-wide Kerry Campaign he organized in 2004. Colorado is unfornutaly a red state, but Pitkin Couny, under his care, voted 70% for Kerry. He knows how to get the vote out.

At least he knows how to get the vote out for other candidates. the voter turnout here was only 2,183. Between Mick and Tim Semrau, they spent a total of $51,000 (according to the Aspendailynews.com Monday article). Mick had spent $23,000 so far, and the developer had spent $28,000. Here is the breakdown according to my solar powered calculator:

Each vote cost Mick $23
Each vote cost the developer $38

The runoff is next month. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of our local politics.

Until next time, your friend,
Anita Thompson

p.s. Does anyone know what the national statistics are for how money raised translates to voter turnout? I’m aware that books are written about this, and departments of universities are dedicated to studying this, but who has the most reliable info? Please click on the email link to the left and send me some info. Thanks!!

I’m headed back to Columbia today to take my last exam of the year, and will be back Thurs or Friday.

p.s.s.s. I just spoke to Troy Hooper from Aspen Daily News, and yes, they are happy to sponsor a debate that I will host here at Owl Farm between Tim Semaru and Mick Ireland. George Stranahan and maybe Hal Haddon to provide some good questions.

May 08, 2007

Will New Mayor Flee to Canada?

I logged on line to see if anybody could give me some info as to who won the Aspen mayoral runnoff election today — since I live way out in the country, I can’t vote in their mayoral race. I would have liked to because city council has gone out of its way to destroy aspen with rich developers scaping and building wherever the hell they feel like, at any time they feel like, and the locals be damded. but, instead, I found an email from a friend Kat, who send me this “Canada’s Recent Immigration Concerns”

And I thought “Why not post the thing” b/c I’m leaving back for manhattan in a few hours and won’t be able to check in until tomorrow or thurs.

so, if you hear about the mayoral race in aspen results tonight please email. if not, I can just read the results at www.aspendailynews.com. Yes indeed. I hope I see Mick and Torre having a nice debate here at Owl Farm in the next few weeks. they’ve been invided to debate here in the Owl Farm kitchen over wine and whiskey if necessary and grassroots television and the local papers. We shall see. they are both very good people. One far more experienced than the other. Soon come


The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into
Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for
increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration.

The unflinching arrogance of the Bush Administration is
prompting the exodus among liberal citizens who fear they’ll
soon be required to hunt, pray, and agree with Bill O’Reilly

Canadian border farmers say it’s not uncommon to see dozens of
sociology professors, animal-rights activists, and Unitarians
crossing their fields at night. “I went out to milk the cows
the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in
the barn,” said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage
borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and
hungry. “He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-
range chicken. When I said I didn’t have any, he left. Didn’t
even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?”

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected
higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried
installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the
fields. “Not real effective,” he said. “The liberals still
got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn’t
give milk”

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet
liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station
wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for
themselves. “A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged
conditions,” an Ontario border patrolman said. “I found one
carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice
little Napa Valley cabernet, though.”

When liberals are caught, they’re sent back across the border,
often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from
conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the Bush
administration establishing re-education camps in which
liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR.

liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the
border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus
trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching
a half- dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian
immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the
supposed senior- citizen passengers. “If they can’t identify
the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get
suspicious about their age,” an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants
are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the
good Susan Sarandon movies. “I feel sorry for American
liberals, but the Canadian economy just can’t support them,” an
Ottawa resident said. “How many art-history majors does one
country need?”

In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and
Canada, Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian
ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps
to reassure liberals, a source close to Cheney said. “We’re
going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might
but some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is
determined to reach out.”

And why not.
Until next time, your friend,
Anita Thompson

May 07, 2007

Elk Down From the High Country

Goodmorning. I thought I’d take a break from my procrastinating and post a couple things for Monday Morning HST wisdom. Again, I have to let you know that I’m still using my mac, which is forcing me to use html language wich my skills don’t allow me to link or use the regular style of bold and spacing et cetera. So, bear with me until I get my pc replaced.
Here at Owl Farm, it’s been interesting. We had a major snowstorm (snowstorm in May, yes) that brought the Elk down from the high country. As I write this tonight at 1:35 am, there are about 200 elk outside my window in the back pasture. They are quiet and very powerful. It’s like a gift when they come.
Since I finished my Final Paper on the Middle East, I want to quote from a book by James L. Gelvin from a book called “the Modern Middle East: A History.” My professor Rashid Khalidi assigned it, and it’s full of info and I highly recommend it.
On a seemingly unrelated note, I want to post a bit from Hell’s Angel’s for the HST wisdom.
Here is Gelvin:
Oil has made the region strategically important to outside powers, particularly the United States. Think of it this way: the United States has a historic connection to the West Africa country of Liberia. Liberia was founded by freed American slaves in 1822 and over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Liberia resembled an American colony, in deed if not in word. In 1989, Liberia descended into a bloody civil war in which a quarter of a million of its citizens have died. On the other hand, the United States has no historic connection to Kuwait, which was a British protectorate until its independence in 1962. According to Amnesty International, during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait during 1990-1991, far fewer Kuwaitis – several hundred – were killed than the number of Liberians who have perished that countries civil war. Yet the United States put together an international coalition and sent five hundred thousand of its own troops to liberate Kuwait. The American response to events in Liberia has been tepid at best. Even after the secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, personally appealed to the American administration to send peacekeeping troops to Liberia in 2003, the United States sent only a token force of two hundred marines. Kuwait is one of the world’s largest producers of oil.

— James Gelvin. the Modern Middle East

From “Hell’s Angels”
…The run was on, “outlaws” from all over the state rolled in packs toward Monterey: north from San Bernardino and Los Angeles on 101; south from Sacramento on 50…south from Oakland, Hayward and Richmond on 17; and from Frisco on the Coast Highway. The hard core, the outlaw elite, were the Hell’s Angels…. Wearing the winged death head on the back of their sleeveless jackets and packing their “mamas” behind them on big “chopped hogs.” They rode with a fine, unwashed arrogance, secure in their reputation as the rottenest motorcycle gang in the whole of Christendom.
— Hunter S, Thompson , “Hell’s Angels”

Until next time, your friend,
Anita Thompson

May 04, 2007

Derby Indeed, But No Tom Benton

Hi there. No, I haven’t forgotten about you. My laptop refuses to show anything else on its screen except for an array of technicolors. Circuit City says I have to mail it back to them to recover all my documents — which did include one final paper from last week. and several important manuscripts.

I was also very depressed by another blow to the tribe: We lost artist Tom Benton last week to cancer. You know him as the man whom Hunter asked to create the beautiful double thumbed fist for Hunter’s gonzo symbol. He also made Hutnter’s sheriff posters in addition to the cover of “Fear and Loathing on The Campaign Trail.” He was a great artist and a local resident in Aspen and he will be missed.

I’m back home at Owl Farm and have to use my html skills to post on my huge mac, which I’m typing on right now. For some reason, this one won’t show me the tool bar that I need to post margins and things like that. In addition to the general depression I feel for many reasons, despite this blog celebrated its 1 year anniversay on April 24, which is Hunter and my anniversay. Becuase I am in the middle of studying for finals (to fly back to NY next week to take). for the first time in 7 years I won’t be enjoying a derby party here at Owl Farm. It will just be me and Sue Carolan (she is an artist whom Hunter made famous for her “single edition sex hats” in his ESPN column) and Chris and Gerry Goldstein. I don’t even have the julips yet. Soon come.

Hope you all are doing well in this springtime and as Ralph Steadman would say “kicking the shit out of life…” soon, you will also see an image of the gonzo memorial poster that Ralph created to pay off the mortgage of Owl Farm. There are still a few left which you can email your info and we’ll get in touch with you.

Anyway, enjoy this clip from “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved: And please, have a mint julep for Hunter and Tom.

  …I shook my head and said nothing; just stared at him for a moment, trying to look grim. “There’s going to be trouble,” I said. “My assignment is to take pictures of the riot.”
“What riot?”
I hesitated, twirling the ice in my drink. “At the track. On Derby Day. The Black Panthers.” I stared at him again. “Don’t you read the newspapers?”
The grin on his face had collapsed. “What the hell are you talkin’ about?”
“Well…maybe I shouldn’t be telling you…” I shrugged. “But hell, everybody else seems to know. The cops and the National Guard have been getting ready for six weeks. They have 20,000 troops on alert at Fort Knox. They’ve warned us–all the press and photographers–to wear helmets and special vests like flak jackets. We were told to expect shooting…”
“No!” he shouted; his hands flew up and hovered momentarily between us, as if to ward off the words he was hearing. Then he whacked his fist on the bar. “Those sons of bitches! God Almighty! The Kentucky Derby!” He kept shaking his head. “No! Jesus! That’s almost too bad to believe!” Now he seemed to be sagging on the stool, and when he looked up his eyes were misty. “Why? Why here? Don’t they respect anything?”
I shrugged again. “It’s not just the Panthers. The FBI says busloads of white crazies are coming in from all over the country–to mix with the crowd and attack all at once, from every direction. They’ll be dressed like everybody else. You know–coats and ties and all that. But when the trouble starts…well, that’s why the cops are so worried.”
He sat for a moment, looking hurt and confused and not quite able to digest all this terrible news. Then he cried out: “Oh…Jesus! What in the name of God is happening in this country? Where can you get away from it?”
“Not here,” I said, picking up my bag. “Thanks for the drink…and good luck.”
He grabbed my arm, urging me to have another, but I said I was overdue at the Press Club and hustled off to get my act together for the awful spectacle. At the airport newsstand I picked up a Courier-Journal and scanned the front page headlines: “Nixon Sends GI’s into Cambodia to Hit Reds”… “B-52’s Raid, then 20,000 GI’s Advance 20 Miles”…”4,000 U.S. Troops Deployed Near Yale as Tension Grows Over Panther Protest.” At the bottom of the page was a photo of Diane Crump, soon to become the first woman jockey ever to ride in the Kentucky Derby.

— Hunter S. Thompson

Until next time, your friend,
Anita Thompson

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