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New York, New York

Hi there.
I just got back to the hotel from a party for the 1000th issue of Rolling Stone. It was a grand ordeal.  Jann Wenner was in fine form.  It is quite an accomplishment: 1000 issues. I know the work it takes to put out even a small magazine, so bravo Rolling Stone.
Hunter, of course is on the cover.  He is the only person on the cover in two places.  Once, as the spirit in the sky, and then the huge blue gonzo symbol in the back, on which Jack Nicholson is perched.  It’s a wild cover, with artistic, cultural and political icons spanning from 1967 to 2006.  Inside, Doug Brinkley writes about the cover photo of the March 24th, 2005 issue: “Hunter’s quixotic 1970 campaign for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado….  There’s something evocative and haunting in the way Hunter’s smoke envelopes him, swirling around his eyes like ethereal wisps of bordello opium.  Mostly, I think the photo shows the man behind the image: the thoughtful, serious artist who was already, even in those early Gonzo days, living on the edge…”  
Doug’s piece goes on about Hunter’s love for Bob Dylan’s music with a story about Bob’s harmonica and Hunter’s red IBM Selectric II typewriter, and how I sent it to Dylan after Hunter died, knowing that that was what Hunter wanted. 
Then, the piece ends listing some of the projects that are in the works (of which I’ve mentioned to you last week I think).  Also noting: “And practically anybody who ever downed whiskey with Hunter has a memoir in the works.  Lost in all the mania over Gonzo Hunter, however, is the more poetic, brooding, contemplative Thompson – the one on this final Rolling Stone cover, the man who read Revelations weekly, memorized Coleridge and listened regularly to “Mr. Tambourine Man” as if it were a gift from heaven.”
I re-read this issue in the car on my way home from the party.  I walked up to my hotel room, sat down on the bed and had a good cry.  Not so much out of sadness but because I see that he is so very much alive in this legacy he left behind.  And something else is happening Mr. Jones. More and more new people are being introduced to his work.  People who hadn’t read anything of his while he was alive, are being introduced…. then seduced…. then activated.  I guess the same thing probably happened to you when you first read his work. 
Anyway, thank you so much for your letters.  I was completely overwhelmed after having put up the incoming mailbox on the blog.  But, I will be going through more of them when I get back to Woody Creek tomorrow.
So,  I regret to say that I can’t hold the impromptu HST reading here in New York like I hoped because the covers of the Woody Creeker 2nd issue were delayed, so, I have to be there to get the mag together this weekend.(I’ll plan ahead next time)   But, you can certainly hold your own impromptu reading.  Call over a few friends for the Derby. I would suggest to you to reread “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.”  We all know that’s a humdinger! Tell me what you think after rereading it.  And don’t be shy about drinking a mint julep or two.  He drank it only one day a year, and he liked his with fresh mint perched on the side. 
Sweet dreams! 
Anita Thompson
New York.
May 4th, 11:45pm

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