Home / Death of an American Legend

Death of an American Legend

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

It was the middle of the night, years ago, I was on a flight to where, I don’t recall. I had picked up a book at a bookstore on the recommendation of a friend; “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. This was back when there actually were bookstores, not the mega-chains that now prevail.

The plane was very dark with only a few of the overhead lights on, and after taking care of whatever, I reached in the bag and pulled out the book. I’ll never forget getting about 4 or 5 pages into it and suddenly LAUGHING OUT LOUD. So loud, that previously sleeping heads turned to look at what the hell was going on. As I recall, it was one of the funnest flights I ever had. That was my introduction to HST.

Over the years, I read a lot of his stuff, saw the movies and semi kept up with his career. I even once saw him in person in Denver when he did a reading and question and answer at the Paramount. Signed a book of mine and shook my hand. Hunter was always a riot, and that night he kept a bottle of whiskey under the black clothed table and regularly took his glass, reaching under the table and bringing up a full glass.

Living in Denver, you would from time to time hear about the exploits of HST. One of my favorites was the story about when he and Ed Bradley from 60 Minutes were playing golf. It was Ed’s turn to drive, and as he began his back swing, Hunter pulled a shotgun from his bag. As the ball took flight, and Ed watched the ball intently, Hunter neatly blew the ball out of the air. And, nearly giving Bradley a heart attack. You’d hear little tidbits like that about him.

Over the last few years, I would occasionally catch his column on Page2 of ESPN.com. What started out as a regular column had somewhat degenerated into once a month or so of his thoughts on life from Woody Creek. It seemed that Hunter wasn’t quite as sharp as he once was but the occasional brilliance would show through.

Tonight, I hear Hunter has taken his own life. No doubt, with one of the guns that he most often wrote about.

It brings to mind the fate of many of the great authors, taking their own life. Maybe they feel the dulling of the edge. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and maybe the pen sometimes begins to run out of ink. And to the men that wield it, that is probably a very frightening thing.

I’ll miss him.


More views and information on Thompson here.

Powered by

About Dg

  • I respect that. Thank you. He was a little before my time – and may be to blame for the rise of journalists as celebrities.

  • PS lege-n-d.

    you may delete this message now

  • RJ

    The man was an American classic, warts and all…

  • Kenn Jolemore

    The passing of an original , one of a kind man. We could use many more of his type to make it through the nonsense that is passing for government now-a-days

  • gonzo marx

    “when the going gets weird, the weird turn Pro” HST

    the Curse of Lono is finally fufilled…the greedheads and swine can rejoice…i can almost hear the Tin Man with his gravelly chortle pulling his hand out of the Shrub’s ass for a second so he can squirt some Iraqi’s blood onto the corners of his rusted mouth, enabling that shark like smile….fuck them…i refuse to allow this Horror to drown me in the Kingdom of Fear

    a giant has fallen in the Wilderness…none of the “legit” Citizens will do more than a token Notice…but the freaks,the outlaws,the strange, the thinkers, the Doomed….they will notice.

    among the Tribe of the Weird there will be much Lamenting and consuming of peyote buttons as we Spirit Walk and rail against the gods as to why our Shaman has been taken from U.S.

    the gods won’t Answer, of course…they never do, and now there is one less Voice to put our muddied feet on the Path…one less Visionary to rub our noses in the fact that the Emperor is ALWAYS naked…you can almost hear the cackling from Hell as Nixon jerks off violently in small souled glee…

    when most of the hippies that had tuned in,turned on and dropped out shed their tye dye clothes for the yuppie suits and BMW’s of Reagan’s 80’s…becoming the fascist neo-Cons, epitome of all they had railed against, Hunter stood firm on the slippery muck of Principle and Truth…spewing the Words that helped tear away the Veil of Corporate propaganda and hauling us out of the rut induced by cowardly, politically correct, right-think.

    he was not the kind of man that burst thru a concrete wall spitting dust and looking good doing it, he was more the guy who watched that Freak consume the room, and then picked up all the loose change on the floor after the bar fight…but he always “stomped on the terra”, leaving indelible boot prints on the necks of our Spirits as he gnawed on the Skull of Truth with his very own teeth.

    so wash down that mescaline with a quart of Wild Turkey, spark a joint and wait for it all to kick in…give the good Doctor the mother of all Wakes that he deserves….

    me…i’ll be wondering who is going to feed the mojo-wire with the flotsam of America’s id, and wailing and gnashing my teeth in the realization that half a continent away in the quiet snows of Owl Farm, the peacocks are crying….