The Future of Gonzo

Hunter S. Thompson's widow Anita tries moving the celebrated writer's legacy forward

It wasn't until she started working for him that she fell in love. A few months later, she moved in and quickly found out what it was truly like to live with a "teenage girl trapped inside the body of an elderly dope fiend." After living with Hunter for about six months, "I was in the bathroom, brushing my hair or something, and he opened up the bathroom door and he threw in a whole bunch of Chinese firecrackers—and I realized I was with a big kid," she laughs. "They were snapping all over the bathroom like it was some sort of mini war zone.

"I was terrified, but by the time I jumped out of the chaos and the smoke and popping firecrackers, I realized I was cracking up and laughing, rolling on the floor because it was so funny."

As she writes in The Gonzo Way, Hunter was "a champion of fun and a champion of the underworld, which combined to make him most of all a champion of individualism."

"All I knew was, he knew a lot about football": Anita Thompson at Owl Farm
photo: Natalia Detko
"All I knew was, he knew a lot about football": Anita Thompson at Owl Farm

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Related
Hunter S. Thompson's burial
From the LA Weekly, September 1, 2005
by Lewis MacAdams

Anita says she plans to stay on Owl Farm and maintain it as "a thriving place for the study of things important to Hunter—politics, literature, history, and journalism." There's also another book of letters coming out in the next few years, and a recent symposium at the Aspen Institute on Hunter's literary contributions is expected to become a yearly event.

Anita is carrying the torch that Hunter lit, shining its glorious light onto the world for generations to come. No, her new book doesn't read like anything Hunter S. Thompson wrote, but that's because Anita isn't trying to copy Hunter. She's doing this her own way, her brand of gonzo.

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