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Hunter we will miss you...

Message from Anita Thompson
Sunday, February 19th 2006
I have decided to post the editor’s note I wrote a few days ago for the inaugural issue of The Woody Creeker, which has not been released to the public yet. I started to put this magazine together 2 months ago as a way to record some of the fantastic things that go on in Woody Creek and among the charter Woody Creek members Hunter included in his life over the years. I don’t think any of The Woody Creeker subscribers would mind if I share my note with you here first, on this very important day for all of us who loved Hunter.
It is my way of sharing with you how I am dealing personally with the one-year anniversary of Hunter’s death -- and, perhaps help you cope with it, or with the loss of any loved one. The following is really an explanation of how I have coped with the loss of my best friend, mentor, and lover. I turned to reading his work, and even more to focusing on the beautiful and smart people around me. They’re everywhere, if you just pay attention.
If you are a Hunter Thompson reader, you will recognize most of the names here. If not, enjoy the mystery.
Thank you so much for your letters, cards, and emails this past year. I read them and I cherish them. I hope I can repay the favor over the next few years by making more of Hunter’s work and life available to you.
Sincerely yours,
Anita Thompson

My heart is not heavy tonight. It’s still dark outside here at Owl Farm on Wednesday, February 15, but the sun is about to come up. The cover (with a picture of our peacock on the front, and the gonzo symbol on the back) is being printed in Basalt, and the borrowed Risograph machine is warming up in the next room, ready to print 16,000 sheets that will then be folded and stapled into what is about to be the inaugural issue of the magazine you are holding
Up the road, the Stranahans are probably just waking up now (Ben and Juliana went west after graduating last year). They have their dogs and the wild turkeys and of course whiskey, beer and art businesses to care for. Gaylord will be driving down Lenado Road in a few hours for his morning papers and coffee and drink at the Tavern. Daniel and Isa from Little Woody Creek are feeding the kids by now. A few doors down, Don Johnson is raising his family on his ranch. Joe and Neil don’t have to plow snow this morning: they’re probably happy about that, as the snow has been heavy this year. The Woody Creek Store is about to open for the daily coffee grind and Ann’s hot breakfast burritos, which we call “rumble strips” and “speed bumps,” are about to be served. I can hear Amy and John Oates being woken up by one of their roosters. Jennifer Craig and Sue are thinking about the spring garden where they, with help from Marci and Meg, grow and sell the most amazing organic vegetables blessed by Woody Creek soil. Tex is going to work. Andy Hall is probably throwing a log on the fire. I have no idea what Jimmy Ibbotson is up to at this hour. Lights are starting to flicker on around this Beatnik-Cowboy Shangri-La.
It’s 1 o’clock in Kent, England, where Ralph Steadman is on deadline to finish his book about his relationship with Hunter and how it all began. Doug Brinkley has just moved his growing family back to New Orleans, where he is finishing The Great Deluge, which unravels the natural and political dynamics of Hurricane Katrina. We should brace ourselves for both of these books. They are going to be -- as Hunter would say -- “humdingers.”
The Woody Creek family stretches far and wide. In New York, newlyweds Patricia Blanchet and Ed Bradley and of course Stacey Hadash and Terry McDonell are on their way to work for art, journalism, money and sports, respectively. John Walsh is cracking away at ESPN. Jann Wenner is doing the same at Rolling Stone. In Boston, George Tobia is about to make some deals. In San Francisco, Jedi fighters Michael Stepanian and Tim Ferris are both sleeping, I hope, considering that it’s 4 am there. And down in Los Angeles, Jack Nicholson, whatever he is doing, I’m sure is doing it with a beautiful grin. Sean Penn is recovering from his tragedy; our hearts are with you Sean. In Pennsylvania, Tina and P.J. O’Rourke are feeding the kids. In Pittsburgh, Julie Oppenheimer is organizing nurses to stand up on their feet and unionize.
In Washington, DC, Curtis Robinson is winning wars; Shelby Sadler is still up clicking away on a story about Dick Cheney with a gun. The rest of the city hopes Walter Isaacson will be the next Secretary of State.
My first writer in Residence Jennifer Stroup is working on her novel, after having proofread this entire issue. Alice Cotton flew in from Switzerland to manage the gonzo website. Jennifer and Wayne Ewing are feeding the Polo ponies, and Sheriff Bob Braudis is watching over us.
In Denver, Hal Haddon, for now, still brushes off the pleas from Owl Farm to run for Governor. But, he, along with his colleagues from the NACDL, Gerry Goldstein from Aspen, Norm Mueller, Morris Dees, Abe Hutt, and of course the beautiful and elegant Kathleen Lord, is happy that, this morning, Lisl Auman is not eating breakfast in prison. She is working and living as a free woman.
These are the reasons why my heart is not heavy tonight. I am living the Woody Creek life. And I am honored to be crossing paths with these amazing people who, because of my husband, make up the far-reaching fortified Woody Creek Community. They are my friends and my allies, and it will be my job in this magazine to record some of our stories and share them. I have committed to 10 issues for now. And if I don’t go broke again, maybe there will be more. But most important, we will have some fun. And when we’re old and gray, we will look back and be happy we did it.
Lots of love to you.
Your friend in Woody Creek,
Anita Thompson

Gonzo Wear
PO Box 220
Woody Creek, Colorado 81656


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Jimmy Hollaman and GUS

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