Monday, June 15, 2015

Woody Creek Tavern: Where Gonzo's Spirit Lives On

From the May 31, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Spirit of Thompson lives on" by David Kelly.

WOODY CREEK, COLORADO

Most days someone wanders into this "rustic little saloon in a lush valley outside of Aspen" asking for directions to Hunter S. Thompson's house.  They are often wearing black, smoking cigarettes and have "gonzo" tattooed somewhere.

People at the bar don't tell them.

Ten years after Thompson's suicide at his Owl Farm, this bar, where he would get "frightfully drunk, abused drugs and incited mayhem has become a shrine" of sorts.  The walls are covered with his pictures at different stages of his career.

Looking at a photo of the bar, I'd have to say it is definitely one of those dive bars.  there are stories of Thompson carrying a gun in his golf bag, leveling a gun at the bartender and shooting...blanks and emptying the place with a smoke bomb.  Most folks definitely would not be asked back, but that was not accorded to the gonzo journalist.

When he died, his ashes were blasted from a 100-foot cannon," said one patron.

At the Woody Creek Community Center next door, there is a whole shelf of Thompson's work and his wife, Anita, who still lives at Owl Farm holds a class here as part of her Gonzo Foundation to promote his legacy.

On Feb. 20, 2005, Thompson, 67 and in declining health, ate a breakfast of fresh fruit and Jell-O with gin and Grand Mariner splashed on top then got a pistol and shot himself.

A place to Visit If Out There.  --RoadDog

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