« November 2006 | Main | January 2007 »

December 28, 2006

Hunter on Hemmingway on Xmas

Hi there, I’m back home at Owl Farm finally. It was a long hard trip getting here as DIA was closed for 3 days. But I did make it home for xmas. I stayed in my pajamas for two days and only covered them up with ski pants to take Athena out for hikes in the 3 feet of snow. It was great.

Xmas was not easy. I miss him more than ever this year. I’m sure many of you do too. I’ll post more often now that I’m home and working on the Gonzo Way, which several thousand of you have already pre-ordered, so I am making it clear and concise and fun!  Here is some HST wisdom on Hemmingway:

 Hemingway was not a political man. He did not care for movements, but dealt in his fiction with the stresses and strains on individuals in a world that seemed far less complex, prior to World War II, than it has since. Rightly or wrongly, his taste ran to large and simple (but not easy) concepts — to blacks and whites, as it were, and he was not comfortable with the multitude of gray shadings that seem to be the wave of the future.

It was not Hemingway’s wave, and in the end he came back to Ketchum, never ceasing to wonder, says Mason, why he hadn’t been killed years earlier in the midst of violent action on some other part of the globe. Here, at least, he had mountains and a good river below his house; he could live among rugged, non-political people and visit, when he chose to, with a few of his famous friends who still came up to Sun Valley. He could sit in the Tram or the Alpine or the Sawtooth Club and talk with men who felt the same way he did about life, even if they were not so articulate. In this congenial atmosphere he felt he could get away from the pressures of a world gone mad, and "write truly" about life as he had in the past.

–Hunter S. Thompson National Observer, May 25, 1964

Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

P.S. I did finish the semester triumphantly! thank god. I don’t think I hit the 4.0 mark like I thought, but it’s okay, I’m 34 years old. It was Hard for me at first as you know, but I think I’m actually catching on. And thank you sweet Hunter. And thank you Columbia University!



December 20, 2006

You’ve Been Ignored.

Oh Dear. I’ve been writing papers and studying for exams for the last 10 days. Someone was supposed to be posting the HST quotes that you submittted to Gonzostore. 

I’m on my way to take my last exam of the semester (On Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, Kerouac, Dellilo, and others and one non american — Nabokov.) And because all these writers of course make me think of and love Hunter more than ever, I had to check in with you and saw that you’ve been totally ignored all week.  I know how it feels, and I’m sorry!!

I’m headed into the exam shortly, then back to my apartment to pack, then to a brief Xmas coctail party at Alex Gibney’s office, then……to JFK headed for Woody Creek for my Xmas break!!  Yes!  So, I’ll post when I get back to Owl Farm with some of your quotes.  I’ll also let you know a bit of what my professor tested us on.  I think it will be great.

Your friend, on the home stretch,

Anita Thompson

December 12, 2006

Our SweetHeart on TV Tonight

1.This is a quick note to let you know that our sweet Hunter will be on Starz (cable channel) tonigth at 10pm Eastern and Pacific.  The documentary, Buy The Ticket, Take the Ride by Tom Thurman about Hunter(more of a hollywood take) but it’s good and I think you’ll like it!

2.We have decided to postpone the third volume of Letters until after September of next year,  You’ll see why when it comes out.

3. My Gonzo Way book about the Seven Life Lesson I learned from Hunter will actually be out in March.

4. Yes, the HST photo book that recently came out is legit.  I have not seen a copy of it yet (for some strange reason), but the man who put it together is named Steve Crist, and he had been working on it before Hunter died, and is VERY GOOD at his work, and I presume it’s fantastic.  All the mock-ups and samples that I have at OWl Farm are top-notch.

5. Alex Gibney’s documentary about Hunter is due out next year.  I am meeting with the archivist (Don Fleming) this week to go over the audio cataglog of the footage and documents they’ve reviewed for the film.  I’ll let you know the progress. They’re also top-notch.  As you know from the film Enron

6.Starting tomorrow, Laura Doty (Owl Farm intern) will be posting the HST quotes that many of you submitted on Gonzostore.com every day or so until the begining of JAnuary.  I will be posting periodically btwn now and then. 

Your friend,

Anita Thompson




December 09, 2006

Cranberry Juice and Vodka Lime

Hi. It’s 12:15 on Sunday morning and the streets of New York are humming with drinkers.  It’s almost the cold season.  East coast cold is different than any other kind of cold in the country, it’s humid and bitter and can chill you to the bone. New Yorkers know this and are bracing themselves.  The long black and grey wool coats are out with lamb’s wool & cashmere & black hats & gloves clasping scarves to the face, red eyes in the wind, and all walking faster than ever —straight to the bars.  I found myself doing the same.  Cosmo drink.  Click for recipe.I drank my first “cosmopolitan” tonight with a friend from school.  Despite the ice, hers looked so warm and sweet I had to try one myself. The color makes it look more tropical than Manhattan-ish. And boy, it was tasty – Cranberry juice, triple sec, vodka and lime juice.  Yum.  Too bad I’m in the middle of finals I would have stayed for another round.  

As I walked home, one mittened hand clutching my scarf, I thought about Hunter and wondered what he would say about James Baker’s report about the state of Iraq and how it instantly re-shaped the national coverage of the war.  The day after Baker released it, even Israel reported they too wanted peace and would leave the West Bank despite the fact that last week, they said that Bush’s invasion in Iraq had brought stability to the Middle East. 

Baker, what an interesting man, to have that much authority to change the dialogue just by stepping on to the scene. Gosh, I almost developed an instant crush.  But then, of course I realized, he is simply fixing his own mistake. Remember the 2000 Florida election scandal?  Hunter shook his head when James Baker got involved and flew the fleet of jets full of lawyers in to “handle it”.  Hunter had great respect and deep distrust of James Baker.  So, it’s interesting to see this all go down. Let’s keep in touch and watch what happens.  I’ll post some links for you tomorrow maybe, I’m tired tonight and need to log off, but not before I post something that Hunter wrote about Lisl Auman in re: the system. 

When I logged on line tonight after I got home, I read the disturbing report about the United States’(our) love of locking people up in prisons. The International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College in London reported that more people are behind bars in the United States than in any other country. China ranks second with 1.5 million prisoners, followed by Russia with 870,000.  A U.S. Justice Department report released on November 30 showed that a record 7 million people — or one in every 32 American adults – were in the system (locked up, on probation or on parole). And 2.2 million actually in prison or jail. We now imprison more people for drug law violations than all of Western Europe (I think has double the population of the United States.) 

This is from Feb. 5th, 2001 on ESPN:

I don’t do this very often – Never, in fact – but this case is such as outrage that it haunts me and gives me bad dreams at night… I am not a Criminal Lawyer, but I have what they call “a very strong background” in the Criminal Justice System and many of my friends and associates are widely known as the best legal minds in that cruel and deadly business. 
It is no place for amateurs, and even seasoned professionals can make mistakes that are often fatal.  The System can grind up the Innocent as well as the Guilty, and that is what happened to 20-year-old Lisl Auman when the Denver District Attorney [now governor of Colorado!] put her on trial for a murder he knew she didn’t commit, then put her in prison for the rest of her Life Without Parole….
—Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube

The beauty is that we can end on a positive note tonight, because Lisl is free, and although she is not out of the system yet, she is out of prison. But there are so many more behind bars.  My advice to you, on this cold night in New York, is to have yourself a good lawyer, because they can be the last buttress between the cold streets of New York, and the cold bars of a prison cell.

Jesus, I’m getting grim, aren’t I?  I’m sleepy too so… Goodnight.


Until next time, your friend, still feeling the effects of cranberry,

Anita Thompson


Central Standard Time:           

December 04, 2006

What Would Abe Lincoln Do?

Abe Haddon  

As promised, here is the portrait of our beloved Hal that our beloved Ralph painted especially for our beloved Woody Creeker Mag — all wrapped up in the image of our beloved Abe.  All is well in the world.  Except of course in the Middle East.

I wonder what Abe would do as president in today’s situation? Lincoln did put an end to the Civil War, and Bush Jr. has almost created an unbelievable Civil war that threatens the entire Middle East.  It’s extremely depressing.  I’ve been desperately looking for some answers which is very difficult without Hunter. I do however, recommend a couple articles if you don’t have time to read the 4 big books out about Iraq:

Mark Danner’s Article in The New York Review of Books analyzes these three to explain how on earth the United States caused this disaster:

1.Bob Woodward’s  State of Denial: Bush at War, PArt III

2. Ron Suskind’s The One percent Doctrine:  Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11

3. James Risen’s State of War: The Sectret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration

Read the "memo" from Rumsfeld to the president two days before he was fired.  Do leaders of the free world really use that kind of 6th grade language in war-stategy documents?  Or was it planted just at the reading level for mass media? I bet Hunter would know!  Was it the only way to get Bush to read a pentagon memo, finally to reduce it to single syllable bullet points? (Mark Danner’s article  points out that Bush reads little more than the bible)

In terms of how we might get out of Iraq, read Harper’s October issue which has an excerpt from:

1. Sen. George MCGovern, and William R. Polk’s Book Out Of Iraq.

This is what Hunter said about it on the day after Sept 11 in his ESPN column: 

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.

It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy. …

…We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for WAR seem to know who did it or where to look for them.

This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed — for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now. He will declare a National Security Emergency and clamp down Hard on Everybody, no matter where they live or why. If the guilty won’t hold up their hands and confess, he and the Generals will ferret them out by force.

OK. It is 24 hours later now, and we are not getting much information about the Five Ws of this thing.

The numbers out of the Pentagon are baffling, as if Military Censorship has already been imposed on the media. It is ominous. The only news on TV comes from weeping victims and ignorant speculators.

The lid is on. Loose Lips Sink Ships. Don’t say anything that might give aid to The Enemy.

–Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube

Until Next time, your friend, who thanks Laura and Peter for finally sending the Abe file, 

Anita Thompson

p.s. Keith Stroup (Hunter’s friend and lawyers who founded NORML) emailed me about the last entry to say "As you know, we all felt it was an honor to know Hutner as a friend, and to work with Hunter when he either had a great idea, or needed some help himslef."   Thank you Keith!


p.p.s RE: the questions you have about the lawsuit that a former employee filed against Hunter’s estate: Hal is wrapping it up very soon and will cause as little embarrasement as possible to her or anyone else.


p.p.p.s. I’ll post some of Hal’s interview soon, I just got a little carried away linking all the above articles, and now I really have to get back to the library.  JESUS MOTHER OF GOD..  I CAN’T BELIEVE THE SEMESTER IS ALMOST OVER.  I SEE THE FINISH LINE.  HOT DAMN



December 02, 2006

Gonzo Lawyer

     We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive. . . .” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”
     Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process.
— Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

     Yes.  The freedom tha Hunter expressed in life and in every line of his work was often made possible by the longtime friendship he cultivated with his attorneys.  Starting the tradition was of course Oscar Zeta Acosta, the famous “Samoan” attorney (Hunter Originally used that term to hide Oscars’ identity) who for years counseled Hunter on everything from how much mescaline should be eaten to what never to say to a police officer to morale boosters when Hunter ran for Sheriff of Pitkin County in 1971 on the Freak Power ticket.

     The list of Hunter’s lawyers grew rapidly over the years following Oscar:  John Clancy, Michael Stepanian, Gerry Goldstein, Abe Hutt, John Van Ness, Keith Stroup. And non criminal lawyers such as George Tobia, Joe Edwards, and Morris Dees.

     Hal Haddon is not the sort of lawyer you will find speeding shirtless down the highway pouring beer on his chest. No. Hal was Hunter’s lead attorney for other reasons. 

     They share the blood of a tribe that started perhaps around Bobby Kennedy and Chicago in 1968 (they finally met in 1974) and spans the decades of political victories and losses ever since.  The blood of this tribe runs thicker than money or whiskey and is the only reason why I can fathom why Hal has defended Hunter like a lion with the full force of his law firm before and after his death and never charged a dime.

     Years ago, right before Hunter introduced us, he wrote Hal’s phone numbers on a small piece of yellow paper and told me to always keep it in my wallet.  Then he said  something like “Haddon may seem harmless, with a dry sense of humor, wearing glasses and bowl haircut, but don’t let that fool you; he’s a good friend and hell-on-wheels in a courtroom – it’s like watching Abe Lincoln..”  I understood.

     So, for Hal’s birthday (today),  I thought I’d run the interview I did with him  this summer, where he talks about his days as Robert Kennedy’s advance man, his days as a navy JAG lawyer, running Gary Hart’s campaign, running his law firm for 30 years — most interesting for our purposes, is how his relationship with Hunter came to be.    

      But guess what? I don’t have the files with me here in NYC and not a single staff member from the Woody Creeker, or Owl Farm or web person will call be back or return my emails. Now that there are 2 feet of snow on the ski slopes, I’m being ignored!!!  Thanks a lot guys.  I also don’t have the files of the fantastic portrait that Ralph Steadman painted of Hal as Abe Lincoln for the Summer Fall issue of the Woody Creeker. So, Laura, Linda, Katie, Peter, Amber — someone please respond!

     But lucky for us, I do have the link to the private Woody Creeker site that has an interview that I put up strictly for locals to read, but I want you to read it too. It’s Hal interviewing our beloved Ed Bradley about Hunter and Woody Creek.   

Until next time, your ignored friend,

Anita Thompson


Hosting by Yahoo!