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April 30, 2006

checking in from Woody Creek

Hi Guys, I ended up canceling my trip to New Orleans because I got some sort of flu. If I am feeling better by Tuesday, I’ll go to New York for the 1000th Rolling Stone party on Thursday. Doug Brinkley wrote an article for this 1000th issue (coming out May 4th) about the cover of the Hunter S. Thompson Memorial issue. It was one of the highest selling Rolling Stone ever, which doesn’t surprise me. Check out that issue to hear what Doug has to say about it, as it’s quite beautiful. In New York, maybe we should have an impromptu Hunter S. Thompson Reading. If any of you have any suggestions, let me know. I am setting up an incoming box here on the blog. If it’s not up tonight, it should be up in the morning. Doug did have a successful visit with Alex Gibney and his crew at the Archive vault. They are highly professional and take their jobs seriously, as I’m sure you’re happy to hear. So, their project is underway. More on that later. Tom Thurman is wrapping up "Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride" documentary on Hunter as well. I also sent him some great footage of Hunter that I’m sure you will love. I will be going to L.A. in July to help with the film. Yes, we should do a Hunter S. Thompson reading in L.A. too. Okay, Goodnight! Anita Thompson, Woody Creek

April 28, 2006

Isn’t it great, the feeling…

Isn’t it great, the feeling of falling in love?  It starts out as butterflies in your stomach and periodic giggles and constant smiles.  If you’re lucky, it grows and it gives you a sense of excitement, peace and happiness to have it in your life.  Well, I’m falling in love with the Woody Creeker.  That’s what I’ve been focusing on for the last few weeks.  There are updates on the movies coming out about Hunter.  I’ll tell you what I know this weekend.  Here is the editor’s note for the second issue.  People seemed to like the fact that I posted the first one, so maybe we’ll make it a tradition.

Talk soon, love, Anita.

 You can imagine my pleasure in presenting you the second issue of the Woody Creeker.  You were probably as thrilled as I was to see the cover art by none other than our friend and ally Ralph Steadman.  I’m honored to offer all sorts of unusual and stimulating art to you on the cover, the centerfold, and throughout the entire magazine.

 You may have noticed that it is 12 pages longer than the first issue!  In the beginning, my intention was to keep it a 32 page magazine, but I see that is going to be impossible, at least for now, because of the large volume of great  material that was submitted to us over the last two months.  I made some painful cuts for the sake of avoiding a gigantic tome.

 I hope you will laugh, learn something, and be inspired by the material in this issue, as I am.  Ed Bradley’s interview, for example, inspired me to resurrect the elusive Woody Creek Rod & Gun Club.  Decades ago, Paul Pascarella designed the stationery on which this editor’s note is printed.

 The introduction is by my neighbor, County Commissioner Michael Owsley, who turns the concept of fishing on is head, as is the case oh, so often in Woody Creek. Gaylord Guenin takes us on his flight of fancy, and Dwight Shellman demystifies the process of getting our elected officials to reaffirm their duty to uphold the Bill of Rights and the United States Constitution, and tells how other communities can do the same. Yale lawyer and neighbor John VanNess, in his column, points out with a smile some of the misdemeanors and felonies that you probably are committing at this very moment, as you read this page.         

 Proud Uncle Jimmy Ibbotson talks music,  while Janet Schoberlein talks gardening, and Alice Cotton talks Michael Franti and the Black Crowes in the spirit of Gonzo. 

 In her witty style,  Peg O’Brien, our local physical therapist,and well known alternative medicine practitioner,  helps you heal your cracked skin.  And from now on, you will know the anatomy of a crack! You will love George Stranahan’s photo and story ŇAmor en el Aire.Ó  I am happy to introduce the first installment of his daughter Molly’s memoir about the charmed and rugged time she had growing up in Woody Creek almost half a century ago.

 In a different kind of historical thread, Eric Shoaf, a chief administrator at the library of Brown University,  has been collecting Hunter’s early work for more than 25 years and has been compiling a comprehensive bibliography from his findings.  He has kindly agreed to take us along on his journey, now and in the future, as he finds more gems to add to the collection.

 We all know longtime Woody Creeker Andy Hall.  In the Conversations in the Kitchen portion of this issue are the excerpts from my interview with Andy, who is an important part of our Woody Creek character.

 And character, yes, this brings me to maybe my favorite part of this issue, which I would like to dedicate to Bill Cardoso.  Call me biased, but I must point out these two pages (26 & 27) together: Linda Luke’s rules for a full moon, and my husband’s rules for driving fast.  Read the two together, and you will get a very real glimpse into what I call the Woody Creek Life.

 Until next time,

 Your friend in Woody Creek,

 Anita Thompson

Owl Farm, April 28, 2006




April 24, 2006



      This is Anita Thompson writing to you from Owl Farm.  It’s April 23rd, 2006.  Outside, it’s 58 degrees and it’s been storming all afternoon.  Inside, it has been a bit stormy but in a more productive sort of way.  You’ll be happy to know that I’m wrapping up the second edition of the Woody Creeker. It’s great.  We have a fantastic Ralph Steadman painting on the cover and loads of Woody Creek articles on the inside, including an interview with Ed Bradley. I also included an informative and dangerous piece by Hunter that he wrote one night after dinner in 2002 about Speedism, titled “Rules for Driving Fast.”

      I’m a week behind on the magazine, and almost a month behind on the launch of this blog.  Please accept my apologies for the delay!

      But you will be happy to know that I have good news to report re: the projects  designed to make more of Hunter’s life and work available to you.  Today, I’ll just give you an overview of the sort of thing I’ll be posting in this blog.

       I will be posting on a regular basis.  It will be for those of you who know Hunter’s work inside and out and have been tracking his every move, including the progress of his career and legacy before and after his death.   But I’ll also be writing for those of you who only have a vague notion of Hunter S. Thompson, and want to know more.  I’m still learning more about him every day.

      It is important for you to feel you have a connection to Owl Farm and I will keep you updated on projects that the rest of the Gonzo Family and I are working on, or even thinking about for that matter.  I may even ask you for help at times.  One rule at Owl Farm is that we all pitch in around here.  So, while you’re logged on to, consider yourself sitting here in the kitchen with me, as I take us through its history and help it along in it’s future.  It’s up to us. 

      Its been an emotional weekend because tomorrow is Hunter and my wedding anniversary, although I am much stronger this year than I was last year, since Hunter is not here on this day, I decided to focus on those who love him, such as you.

      In addition to wrapping up the Woody Creeker, I’ve been watching some of the home videos I started filming here and on our travels since 2000, when I moved in to Owl Farm.  I’ve been going through these films and selecting the ones that I think Hunter would like me to share in the future.  Some parts will be released in a couple documentary films coming out about Hunter in the next year or so.  One is by Starz! directed by Tom Thurman, which should be out in November.  The other is  being done by Alex Gibney, who is best known for his movie about Enron, “The Smartest Guys in the Room.”   Although they are both in the works, from what I’ve seen so far, you will love them!  Wayne Ewing has released “When I Die: The Making of the Gonzo Memorial.” 

      Ralph Steadman has just finished his book about their historic friendship.  I can’t wait to tell you more about Ralph and how great he has been, and what he has done for me and the Gonzo Family since Hunter died.

      I’ll be in New York the first week of May to do some more interviews for one of the books I’m writing.  The first one is an extended essay on the life of Gonzo Journalism.  It will be a small book for Fulcrum Press to come out in the fall.  I am learning a lot already and can’t wait to share it with you. 

      While in New York, I’ll be staying with Stacey and Terry McDonell of Sports Illustrated who will be giving me some insight.  I’ll also be checking in with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone and I’ll give you the progress report on how his book edited by Corey Seymour is going.  I want to thank Corey for suggesting that I do this blog in the first place!

      There are others, such as the Sheriff’s book about Hunter, Warren Hinckle’s book, Hunter’s son Juan and his possible book, and there is a photo book in the works too.  I’ll give you the inside scoop.

      I will keep you updated on the anatomy of the Wisdom Book (the quotes and aphorisms from Hunter’s writing and my own notebooks that I consider wisdom.)  For example, I just sent off part of the manuscript to one of Hunter’s editors, Shelby Sadler, who is editing Polo is my Life.  She has also graciously offered to proofread these blog postings! 

      Doug Brinkley is Hunter’s literary executor and biographer. I will let you know what his progress is on the third Letters book, the status of the archive, and other official works that Doug is in charge of.  I’ll be in New Orleans with Doug at the end of the week and maybe check in with you while I’m there.  I believe that Hunter in many ways inspired Doug’s newest book called The Great Deluge, which exposes the horrors political and natural of Hurricane Katrina, will be released May 8th.    

      George Tobia of Boston is the trustee, among other things mostly in charge of “the deals.”   He is the man, for example, who put together the Rum Diary movie deal with Johnny Depp and Josh Hartnett.  Not only was George Hunter’s business lawyer, he was also Hunter’s late night Jack’s Joke Shop rep.  More on that later.

      Hal Haddon of Denver is the third trustee.  He is what I call the magic counselor.  He doesn’t appear very often, but when he does, we all listen.  He also has a long history keeping Hunter safe from crooked cops in the courts.  Remember the famous Sex and Drugs and Guns case in 1991?  It was Hal who proved Hunter’s innocence, despite the odds and therefore kept Hunter out of prison.  And now, he keeps us safe from the many vultures that try to descend on the Hunter Thompson Estate. And there are vultures! Don’t worry, I will let you know who some of the villains are.

      But, it won’t be hard to keep it positive.  For example, there is a lot going on this summer at Owl Farm itself.  At the beginning of June, I will have the entire NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws) legal conference here for an afternoon as a form of gratitude for these lawyers being on the front lines of the criminal justice system which Hunter understood so well.  I’ll also let you know when the first seminars will be held, whether the first ones will be political seminars, writing seminars, maybe even shooting seminars.  I’ll be posting as often as possible.   Yes, you’ll hear about the progress of Lisl Auman, and the Hunter S. Thompson Foundation, as it develops.

      The point of all this is to let you know that Owl Farm is alive with Hunter’s spirit and will stay that way.  There would be no Owl Farm if it weren’t for you,  Hunter’s readers. 

Lots of love to you, 

Anita Thompson

Owl Farm

April 23rd, 2006

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