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A Wink From the Heavens

Hi. Hope you are surviving what remains of February.

I’ve been receiving many phone calls and emails asking about the Rum Diary and another "biography" coming out about Hunter.

Yes, the Rum Diary is on track. All is going swimmingly. News to come ASAP. But I try not to get too involved in the middle of the semester in these things.

Doubtful this "biographer" is on the level or has the desire to do the kind of damage Jann Wenner tried to do.

I worry less about these things as time passes — two nights ago, on my way to class, passing through a bottleneck at the marble steps in front of Low memorial library, my heart was heavy as always in February,  students were chattering as usual, when suddenly I overheard a guy (probably a sophomore) talking to his friend about his paper he is writing about Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas and Gilgamesh. His buddy was thrilled at the concept and they kept talking as they reached the bottom of the stairs & turned right in the direction of Butler library. I kept walking up in my own direction however, so I didn’t hear the rest. 

But my heart did a double take as that moment reminded me that the naysayers can do no damage to Hunter’s work, no matter how hard they try for whatever sick or jealous reasons. Hunter’s work will live long after the rest of us are gone. The students and the people will keep it alive. It is a lovely thing, eh?

When Hunter was their age, he walked on these same marble steps. Did he know that students would be bringing his work into their curriculum? What a kick he would have at that age to know that his wife, not yet born would overhear these students talking about his work in such a moment. I overhear these sort of things all the time. But the story of Gilgamesh, the sense of loss that we’re feeling at this time of year was a welcome wink from the heavens.

Anyway, I’m writing to you because you must know that it is 4 years without Hunter tomorrow. My only advice to you is to pick one thing YOU personally are good at, and do it. What is it that will be contributed to this world when you are gone? Work on it. If you need some encouragement, read a passage from any of your favorite HST books. But to truly make Hunter proud, read his work, then do your own. That’s what I intend to do.

Lots of love to you tomorrow. Chin up…

Anita Thompson

Apparently, the guy is named Jay Cohen, or Cowan who wrote the "insiders" book about Hunter’s "drugged out brilliance" or something. I hear he was a caretaker at Owl Farm in the 80s. Hunter never mentioned his name to me or Doug in the last decade, so i can’t say much about the guy. I think he was one of the hired thugs who wrote nasty letters to the editor after Hunter died and the secretary sued the estate for "back pay."  He and the others stopped after estate lawyers presented correspondence between Hunter and the secretary proving just the opposite, and chances for the estate being the one with the claim… She and the son immediately dropped the suite and I signed a contract promising not to publish the damning letters or tapes about them unless I have reason to. I haven’t heard his name until now. I doubt any of this would be in his book, as he didn’t know Hunter for 30 years, but rather, 30 years ago. And most of the damning money, hemlock society exchanges took place long after this guy Jay was gone. But who knows if he wants to cause that kind of grief for them. Doubtful. Hopefully his intentions are good.


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