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June 30, 2007

Albert Einstein and Elizabeth Taylor

Hello. New Owl Farm intern, Natalia Detko from State University of New York, arrived today with our other darling, Senior intern  Liz Yount from Denver University.  They drove through Glenwood Canyon under blue skies, and indeed a blue moon. One of  Natalia’s  jobs will be to post the DAILY quote for you on this blog.  I have highlighted Hunter’s books with my favorite quotes to be included in a book of Hunter’s wisdom.  She will be going through them and posting the quotes I’ve selected for that day.  So… Guess what? You will get your HST wisdom fix on a much more regular basis than I’ve been posting lately. Hot Damn.

The weather was especially  "bright blue" today:  Warm breeze & pionies in full bloom. I have one peony plant that is in such full bloom and attracts so much  attention to that it reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor. I planted that plant only a few years ago among many others. Yes, our Piony,  she hails from a this gorgeous feminine bad-ass  Owl Farm flower garden .  I’m impressed with mother nature today, as always.

Today’s wisdom is actaully from Albert Einstein. Walter Isaacson wrote an important book  about Einstein.  This is from a section from an interview included in Walter’s book:

One Interview was with George Sylvester Viereck:

Do you believe in immortality? “No. And one life is enough for me.”

Einstein tried to express these feelings clearly, both for himself and all those who wanted a simple answer from him about his faith.  So in the summer of 1930, amid his sailing and ruminations in Caputh, he composed a credo, “What I Believe,” that he recorded for a human-rights group and later published.  It concluded with an explaination of what he meant when he called himself religious: “the most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.”

Albert Einstein, from Walter Isaacson’s book 20 things You Need to Know About Einstein.

Until next time, your friend, standing rapt in awe,

Anita Thompson

June 24, 2007

The AntiFreedom

            Hi! It’s been a while. I’ve been under the weather but feeling much better now.  A journalist named Andreas Rosenfelder came from Germany yesterday to spend the afternoon with me at Owl Farm to do an interview for German Vanity Fair. It was great to spend the day talking about Hunter. Andreas was well versed in all of Hunter’s work and also read the advance copy of the Gonzo Way thoroughly. So it was a pleasure.

            I wrote in my book that  in my view, the bond that Hunter and Jack Kerouac shared, more than anything, was their love of freedom. I talked about how I think that Hunter decided as a child to become a writer not just because he was good at it, but because it is the profession that would offer him the most freedom. Jack and Hunter understood that you can go anywhere, at anytime and do anything, as long as you write about it.  I also wrote that b/c Hunter was so obsessed with freedom, he figured out at a young age what is it in life that could restrict your freedom. What is the antifreedom?  I think he figured out it must be fear.  Fear is the antifreedom.  I’ve never met anyone who learned to conquer fear better than Hunter.  How did he conquer it?  He studied it.  Hell’s Angels is a perfect example. 

            Anyway, it was good to talk about these things with Andreas.  VF also flew in a photo crew who took a zillion photos. We even went out into the fields to take a photo of me sitting Buddha style on a shotgun keg. It was fun but a little exhausting. The photographer, Jack Coble, came back today to take some stills of the kitchen and living room – he’s in there now, taking photos of the cats in the kitchen. I put a sheet of Hunter’s stationary in the typewriter for the shoot.  It was great to hear the typewriter humming again. There was nothing like the sound of Hunter’s fingers on those keys.

            Today’s wisdom comes from the beginning of the second chapter of Hell’s Angels. He lead the chapter with the following:


The daily press is the evil principle of the modern world, and time will only serve to disclose this fact with greater and greater clearness.  The capacity of the newspaper for degeneration is sophistically without limit, since it can always sink lower and lower in its choice of readers.  At last it will stir up all those dregs of humanity which no state or government can control. 

Soren Kierkegaard  The Last Years: Journals 1853 – 55

The best thing about the Angels is that we don’t lie to each other.  Of course that don’t go for outsiders because we have to fight fire with fire.  Hell, most people you meet won’t tell you the truth about anything.

         Zorro, the only Brazilian Hell’s Angel.


It was part of the cover story.

         Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., explaining why he wrapped the press with a bogus explanation of the Bay of Pigs invsion.


             Politicians, like editors and cops, are very keen on outrage stories, and State Senator Fred Farr of Monterey County is no exception.  He is a leading light of the Carmel-Pebble Beach set and no friend of hoodlums anywhere, especially gang rapists who invade his constituency.  His reaction to the Monterey headlines was quick and loud.  Farr demanded an immediate investigation of the Hell’s Angels and all others of that breed, whose lack of status caused them to be lumped together as “other disreputables.’  In the cut-off world of big bikes, long runs and classy rumbles, this new, state-sanctioned stratification made the Hell’s Angels very  big.  They were, after all, Number One – like John Dillinger.

            Attorney General Thomas C, Lynch, then new to his job, moved quickly to mount an investigation of sorts.  He sent questionnaires to more than a hundred sheriffs, district attorneys and police chiefs, asking for information on the Hell’s Angels and “other disreputables.’  He also asked for suggestions as to how the law might deal with them. 

            Six months went by before all the replies were condensed into a fifteen-page report that read like a plot synopsis of Mickey Spillanes’ worst dreams…

            The report was colorful, interesting, heavily biased and consistently alarming – just the sort of thing to make a clanging good item for the national press.  There was plenty of mad action, senseless destruction, orgies, brawls, perversions and a strange parade of innocent victims that, even on paper was enough to tax the credulity of the dullest police reporter.  The demand was so heavy in newspaper and magazine circles that the Attorney General’s office had to order a second printing…

            …by the time the dust had settled, the national news media had a guaranteed grabber on their hands.  It was sex, violence, crime, craziness and filth – all in one package. 

            …The Hell’s Angels shuddered with perverse laughter at the swill that had been written about them.  Other outlaws shuddered with envy at the Angel’s sudden fame.  Cops all over California shuddered with nervous glee at the prospect of their next well-publicized run-in with any group of motorcyclists.  And some people shuddered at the realization that time had 3,042,902 readers.

            …part of the report stated that of 463 identified Hell’s Angels, 151 had felony convictions.  This is the kind of statistic that gives taxpayers faith in their law enforcement agencies…and it would have been doubly edifying if the 463 Hell’s Angels had actually existed when the statistic was committed to print.  Unfortunately, there were less than 100. 

         Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angles.

Until next time, your friend, not afraid of the Hell’s Angels,

Anita Thompson





June 12, 2007

Owl Farm NORML Party for Hunter

Hello! The NORML Party this weekend was a success. I hosted 60 criminal defense lawyers and their spouses and 2 dozen other serious Hunter lovers who drove from all over the country to spend some special time at Owl Farm.  My friend, brilliant Criminal Defense Attorney Jeralyn Merritt, who is also the host of talkleft.com gave a great description of the party on her blog via the Supranos final episode hour. Her blog is the best in Colorado for keeping you up to date on what’s happening in the crime and political world in a serious and fun way. I highly recommend her to you.

Hunter’s Spirit was alive and lit up the hearts of all the Hunter readers who made their pilgrimage to Owl Farm on Sunday. Jimmy Ibbotson, Bobby Mason and other good friends played.  Tommy Chong even got on the stage and played. It was fun. I asked Tommy to ring the Gong at 4:20. He walked up with a sweet smile and rang that thing with an echo down the Woody Creek Valley. It was indeed a special day. 

 One student from Florida State who runs the NORML chapter (doing their part to end the prohibition of marijuana which ensnares so many young people into the criminal justice system) asked me if he could take a small jar of Owl Farm Soil.  I’m happy he is bringing some of the Owl Farm spirit back to Florida with him.

 I hope you had a great weekend. I’m off to the doctor (I got sick yesterday after the post-partum clean up.) I’m never sick long breathing the Owl Farm air.

 The HST wisdom for today comes from a letter that Hunter wrote to Keith Stroup about the criminal defense lawyers who came to his aid when Hunter was wrongly accused of all sorts of things in the early nineties.  I is from Songs of the Doomed.  I included it in the invitation booklet:

Suddenly I had my own gang. My own army, my people, my friends, my warriors… They came from all points of the compass and all points in time, and we stomped on the terra like champions.  It was something to see, folks, and beautiful to be a part of…

And yes… there is more to this hellish story, but the magazine is going to press and Keith is going crazy, so I have to quit now; But  the tale is not finished.  All I can say now is Thanks, once again.  You boys are OK when you get the right music to dance to, and I was proud and goddamn happy for the chance to dance with you.

— Hunter S. Thompson, Songs of the Doomed.

Okay. Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson


The lectures

June 05, 2007

Back from Manhattan

It’s late here at Owl Farm but I just wanted to check in with you before I go to bed that I’m back from NYC and the book signing was a sucess. people lined up and told me their Hunter stories, which I always love to hear. All the proofs (galleys) are gone — all 400 of them found a happy home. It was fun.
I’m going night nigth.
check in the morning.

Your friend, Anita Thompson

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