I first met Hunter S. Thompson when I was a staff photographer for The Metropolitan, the student newspaper of Metro State College in Denver. Hunter was doing the college tour scene. I interviewed and photographed him during the press conference, which was well-attended. Hunter was on time, somewhat sober and very cordial. We met after the press conference and as I walked him to his vehicle, we shared a joint of some of the best Afghanistan cannabis that was around at the time. We became fast friends. His lecture was later that night at Colorado University Field House in Boulder.
Hunter was an hour late to the event. Upon arrival, he removed one of the velvet ropes from the poles that kept everyone back from the stage. He put his drink on the table and slammed that velvet rope across it and shouted, “Who the fuck are you people and what do you want from life?! And what do you want from me?!” Well, the lecture or rather performance went on in drunken libation, ending with an autograph session. He autographed my copy and wrote his phone number in my dogeared copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I called a couple times, and he was always cordial and asked if I would come out to see him. Well, I regret never making the trip to Woody Creek.
Fast-forward twenty-nine years or so and I arrive at the famous “Owl Farm” with the Abakus Munchie Cup crew. There were only ten allowed to visit this hollowed place today. On the ride out from the Gant hotel our limo driver shared some insightful and humorous tales of Hunter and the farm. Upon arrival, we noticed a shooting range in front of the house. Hunter was an avid shooter. After a short walk from the limos to the labyrinth, we all walked the maze. I was photographing when Steve said: “All you photographers put down your cameras and walk the path.” Of course, I did as the chief requested. It was a blessed path and I give thanks for the moment.
Abakus is free at many dispensaries throughout the Colorado Mountains. If your local one doesn’t carry it, have them contact this website and request copies. The debut issue is dedicated to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.