One of the only good things from a writer's passing is that you get to read archived passages and stories from other writers about a passed life....And after losing Hunter Thompson last night, that's the only good thing with the end of this chapter...
I think the "He stomped terra." statement from HST's estate was a good one. The statement sums up one of the most innovative and last great masculine writers of the last century...Just plain whoopin' ass...I've always felt that reading a Hunter Thompson
chapter or a passage from his 'gonzo' readings made me feel like I was riding on top of a wild elephant running down Van Ness Avenue...Raising hell and chuckling uncontrollably while doing it.
Yet, when I look at the way that Hunter Thompson went out, I'm not thrilled...A lot of people that I talked to today said 'What type of ending did you expect?', but to me there's a difference between 'not surprised and 'not thrilled'...And I do have to say that when a buddy reported that the hero behind the "Hey Rube"
columns appeared in bad shape at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen a couple of weeks ago, I was anticipating the final chapter was coming soon...However, I just wish that I could have had a hang-out session with the 'Mad Bomber' to hear what it was like to infiltrate the Oakland Raiders headquarters in the 70s...I'll guess that one will have to wait for the next incarnation.
I don't know why I have been so captivated by his readings over the past few years...I do know that I love the fact that he considered himself a sportswriter before any thing else. And I have always been blown away by his ability to cover a wide array of subjects from hanging out with Defensive Tackle Tom Keating
of the Oakland Raiders to reporting from the '72 Republican National Convention with the same style and passion for the bizarre.
His writing style was so personal that I always felt that I was experienceing a time long passed in a wacky time machine, and it looks like my wish of a conversation with him will have to wait for another time continuum. In the meantime, here's a great obit from SFGate...Check it out
...The obit has some great stories. So, be sure to check it out.Also, ESPN2 did a great job today with a tribute to his career. Editor Kevin Jackson tells a great story
of a photo shoot a short time ago that allowed him to hang out with HST. In the article, Jackson also depicts the wonders of a HST voicemail...Be sure to click on the link. It's a good one.
On a personal note, my final end of reading great sportswriting is nearing it's end. Really, other than Bill Simmons
, is there really a reason to hit up 'Page 2' every day? We lost Ralph Wiley
this summer, and now we've lost Hunter Thompson
. On my end, when I think about it, my two greatest influences in writing are now gone...In one screeching year, I lost he serious side of Wiley, who introduced me to Malcolm X
and urban athletic blight, and I lose the insight the wacky and explosive world of H.S. Thompson. The past 12 months have been tough razorblades to chew on.Mahalo,IronDog