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The Promised Land

It’s been raining here ALL DAY. It gave me a great excuse to stay in my apartment, even stay in my pajamas, to finish reading “The Promised Land” By Nicholas Lemann.  Doug Brinkley was happy that I read it because he told me I can’t understand the dynamic of America, unless I understand the black migration from the south to the north and how it did indeed change our country.  So, it was a perfect day to stay indoors and read.  Looking out at the rain, I thought about the crabby blog I posted yesterday and thought I’d check in with a smile today and post the following: 


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 that 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: Hal Haddon, 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 and new lawyer friends like Jerri Merritt and others.  My unpleasant blog yesterday was sort of a lash at the whole legal world stemming from an exhausting experience with it. My friend John Van Ness, has a great quote on his wall: “The main purpose of a lawyer is to protect the client from other members of the profession.” Indeed. It doesn’t change the fact that the best minds often come out of law school and the smartest, beautiful people I know happen to be in that business – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 


Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson




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