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Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From Cannon

Hunter Thompson's post-death wishes were that he be cremated, and that his ashes then be blown out of a cannon across his ranch. His entertainment lawyer from Boston, George Tobia, Jr, says that will be done. Tobia also provides this description of Hunter's death:

In a phone interview yesterday, Tobia said only in retrospect does it makes sense that the 67-year-old author sat in his kitchen Sunday afternoon, stuck a .45-caliber handgun in his mouth, and killed himself while his wife listened on the phone and his son and daughter-in-law were in another room of his house. His wife had no idea what had happened until she returned home later.

The Denver Post says Hunter's son Juan Thompson provided this account to investigators:

Juan Thompson told investigators he heard a sound he thought might be a book dropping and went to check on his father shortly before 6 p.m. Anita, Hunter Thompson's wife of nearly three years, was not at home at the time. His grandson was the only other person in the house.

When Thompson's body was taken from the home by hearse, Juan Thompson placed a CD of favorite songs that Hunter had edited and titled: "Where were you when the fun stopped?" in back of the hearse with the body. On the CD were "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with Mother Maybell Carter and some songs by Warren Zevon.

The family is getting a new spokesman:

Presidential historian Doug Brinkley was flying to Aspen on Monday night to act as a spokesman.

Ralph Steadman confirms the ashes and cannon wish.

You can listen to Hunter here, giving his view on media coverage of 9/11. (link via What Really Happened.)

Sunday night and Monday, the blogs were filled with news of Hunter's death, eulogies, rememberances and condolences. Today, the media weighs in. Here are some:

  • Gonzo Gone, Salon (short snippets from Sonny Barger, Rosalynn Carter, Ben Fong-Torres and others)

Update: Tom Wolfe writes a column on Hunter , calling him "the century's greatest comic writer in the English language."

Update: The Rocky Mountain News (2/24) has an in-depth interview with son Juan Thompson and his wife--they are sad but proud. Read the whole thing or our recap with choice quotes.

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    Now that is the way to go.

    A Gonzo funeral. The man lived -- and died -- true to form. I'd say a prayer for him, but he'd be insulted.

    The last couple of articles for ESPN magazine seemed like he was finding his stride again. They were as funny, entertaining, and as trenchant as the old Hunter could be. I was hoping to hear more from him in the next few years and I thought that he had gotten a second wind and was ready for a tussle with the new evil of the NeoCons. Unfortunately we will never know what drove him to end his life and I doubt we ever can understand the motivations he had for doing anything. I am sad because of his passing away from us but I know he had his reasons.

    Maybe he realized he was on the wrong side & there was no hope?

    I LOVE IT! Cannon-shot ashes all over his estate. Highly appropriate for this lovable mass of eccentricities. I didn't agree with much of what he stood for, but he definitely made the world a bit more fun and entertaining by his presence. I'll pop a beer for him.

    someone definitely needs to listen to Cheney more often. Get some class, doc.

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#9)
    by nolo on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 08:20:47 AM EST
    Yo, Doc -- one of the things you might possibly have learned while caring for your aunt (and I applaud and respect you for that) is that depression afflicts many aging people. That the effects of depression might cause someone to leave "a final mess for his wife to clean up" is no surprise, any more than the fact that your aunt's aging process left you with some bedpans. Thompson's family isn't complaining about the mess they had to deal with, and you have no right to.

    Goodbye HST. I loved your work. She lived to the end with dignity as her body withered away, dementia, catheterization, bedpans, the whole thing This is either sarcasm or heavy irony.

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#11)
    by Peaches on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 08:46:06 AM EST
    Hey Doc, May we all die with such dignity as your dear old aunt. Unfortuneately, that is not always the case. Whether or not HST died with dignity (or your aunt, for that matter) is not for the living to decide. What we have are some fabulous writings giving testimony to how he lived. Whether you condone his lifestyle, agree with his politics or not, it is impossible to deny that Hunter S. Thompson represented something uniquely American. He was a true individual beholden to no hierarchical authority. No gov'ts, politicains, or bosses were going to decide how he was going to live his life or do his life's work. He represented the wild west outlaw image-whiskey,guns, horses, gambling, and all--in a modern age where America looks increasingly more like 1984 than True Grit. Hunter S. Thompson's voice was living, breathing evidence that all is not lost in America. That the individual can still rise out of the conditioned mundane that passes for culture in America today. Let's hope he is not the last voice characterizing this fading spirit of Americas past glory reaching back to Mark Twain. Kinky for Governor

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#12)
    by michael on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:03:51 AM EST
    I know I don't consider bedpans and withering away to be "dignity." The Stoics had it right.

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#14)
    by Adept Havelock on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 10:02:42 AM EST
    Glad to see Hunter went out like he wanted to. As for the trolls, these are probably the same hypocrites who have no problem trashing someone they disagreed with, but were absolutely outraged when people suggested similar things about the the death of Ronald Reagan.

    I read quite a bit of Hunter in my youth. While I've grown over the years to disagree with his message, I am still humbled by his talent. R.I.P.

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#16)
    by desertswine on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 10:58:24 AM EST
    She lived to the end with dignity as her body withered away, dementia, catheterization, bedpans, the whole thing
    Now that's comedy!

    Left a final mess for his wife to clean up. How pathetic. Oh wel, kaboom. You can be sure that smelled, Glanton. I took care of a dear aunt in her old age. She lived to the end with dignity as her body withered away, dementia, catheterization, bedpans, the whole thing. I learned a thing or two from her. So could Gonzo. Classy metaphor, Glanton. You presume quite a bit there. Nothing a little mature judgment and circumspection wouldn't cure, I suppose. [Ed. This is third comment from Doctor Ace today.]

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#5)
    by glanton on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 12:36:31 PM EST
    deleted for profanity and name-calling of another commenter

    deleted

    Such a typical guy. Even dead, he wants to be blown.

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#19)
    by john horse on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 02:46:10 PM EST
    By coincidence, for some reason (I hadn't found out about Thompson's suicide yet) last Sunday I visited the grave of a friend of mine who had committed suicide about 15 years ago. When he killed himself my initial reaction was anger. How could he leave his wife a widow and his son fatherless? How could he do this to his friends? How could he do this to himself when he had so much going for him. Mixed with this anger was guilt. Was there something I could have done or should have done that could have prevented it? Over the years I have come to see that it was noone's fault, not even Michaels. If someone died of a fever, we would be blaming the disease not the person suffering from the disease. Michael was caught in the grips of a disease called depression and he wasn't strong enough to come out the other side. I don't know if this applies to Hunter Thompson. If it does, then I don't believe in glorifying his death or seeing his death as some sort of moral lesson. I prefer to remember Thompson as someone who was full of life and lived life to the fullest.

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#20)
    by glanton on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 02:48:09 PM EST
    As a stand-in for the general vapidity of TL trolls, Doctor Ace writes: "Classy metaphor, Glanton. You presume quite a bit there. Nothing a little mature judgment and circumspection wouldn't cure, I suppose." Interesting. B.B. and by extension the good Doctor seek to turn something as sad as a man's suicide into a GOP soundbite, framing it in terms of "sides," and then we get whiny pontifications about classiness when they're called on it. What is it about such people that they cannot let up on their propaganda, even when the subject is the death of someone whose contributions on this rolling speck of dirt many of us obviously value? Can you let nothing alone? As much as I loathe, say, Nascar, it would never have occured to me in the aftermath of #3's death to dog him to his grieving fans. A man had died too soon. It was sad. It didn't make a damn bit of difference what I or any other wine-swiller thought about Nascar. Please, trolls, get lives. Try and remember that existence goes beyond the GOP agenda.

    Attitude is everything.

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#22)
    by jimcee on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 06:55:43 PM EST
    Somehow a cannon would be a fitting send off. The man was controversial and so should be his goodbye. Good bye you nut boy and F-you if we screw up your send off, good-bye.

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#23)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 02:30:05 PM EST
    Ace - Indeed. Now have the f'ing common decency to put a cork in your talk-radio level profundities while others are grieving.

    Jondeee, how come that logic somehow didn't apply last summer for Ronald Reagan?

    Re: Hunter Thompson : Cremation, Ashes Blown From (none / 0) (#25)
    by glanton on Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 05:02:26 PM EST
    Doctor: For most of us it did apply. But this thread isn't about Reagan, it isn't about you.

    Funny how Hemingway lived and died the same way and he is revered to this day! HST is made to look like a bufoon , what he did to change the landscape of journalisim will never be repeated by the yuppie morons of today who are only interested in the almighty dollar and their summer homes etc. lol , hunter had more balls than most and did not ape his contemporaries , like him or not he was true to his craft and took more risk than many before. R.I.P.