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A Letter from Juan Thompson regarding
A Symposium at The Aspen Institute


We all know that Hunter was a great writer, and that it will be his writing and ideas that will endure, rather than his outrageous antics. He asked me several times in the years before he died to look after his legacy as a writer, and I think that is best accomplished by bringing more attention to Hunter as one of the great American writers and political commentators, so that his writing and ideas will continue to influence coming generations of writers, journalists, and political activists.

To that end, I have been working with The Aspen Institute to put together a one-day symposium on an aspect of Hunter’s work this July 21st. The goal of the Hunter S. Thompson Symposium is to bring attention, through discussion, to the enduring qualities of Thompson’s writing, both in terms of content, theme, and style, to examine how these qualities might be relevant to the present, and to explore how they can be developed and encouraged in a new generation of writers.

The inaugural symposium will be held in Aspen and will include such distinguished participants as Senator George McGovern, Professor Douglas Brinkley, and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalists Carl Bernstein and Loren Jenkins, along with past president of the NACDL (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) Gerry Goldstein, Michael Isikoff of Newsweek, author John Nichols and Dr. Audrey Sprenger (Jack Kerouac Wrote Here), in addition to other writers and journalists, for a total of approximately 10-15 participants. The organizing theme of this year’s symposium will be Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, which is particularly relevant as the 2008 Presidential election cycle begins.

The day will be divided into two parts: a daytime moderated discussion among the participants which will be limited to small number of observers depending on the room size, but no more than 70, and an evening panel moderated by Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute, and Professor Douglas Brinkley at Aspen Meadows Campus, 8:00 pm. Tickets are available at the Aspen Music Festival Box Office: (970) 925-9042.

Tickets will be available through The Aspen Institute. . Tickets for the afternoon session will be $75, and $25 for the evening panel. All the proceeds go towards paying the symposium expenses. If there are excess funds, they will be used for next year’s symposium.

Finally, please consider making a gift of $50 or more to help defray expenses. The Aspen Institute is an educational non-profit institution and all gifts are fully tax-deductible. Checks can be made out to:

The Aspen Institute

c/o David Monsma, Executive Director

The Aspen Institute

One DuPont Circle, NW - Suite 700

Washington, D.C. 20036

Re: Acct number 1-20-6205.07 HST Symposium

I very much hope to see you on July 21st. Please feel free to pass on this email to others who you think would be interested, or whose email I do not have.


Juan Thompson



Keep Louisville Gonzo!

Hunter S. Thompson and Ron Whitehead in Hunter's kitchen in Colorado.

Ron Whitehead's suggestions for Hunter S. Thompson's hometown Louisville, Kentucky to pay Tribute to Hunter

1) Courier-Journal (Kentucky's main daily newspaper) devote entire Saturday SCENE (arts/culture section) to Hunter's life and work.

2) LEO and Velocity (Louisville's weekly alternative newspapers) devote entire issues to Hunter's life and work.

3) WFPK 91.9fm (all music) and WFPL 89.5fm (all news) (Louisville's Public Radio Partnership, NPR affiliate) devote one week of programming to Hunter's life and work.

4) Baxter Avenue Theatres (Louisville's art film theatres) start Annual Hunter S. Thompson Film Festival.

5) Place historic marker in front of Thompson Family home on Ransdell Avenue in Louisville's Highlands neighborhood. Purchase the home and turn it into Hunter Museum similar to what Kentucky did for Bill Monroe's Rosine, Ohio County, Kentucky home.

6) Place giant Hunter photo banner on downtown highrise, visible from Interstate 64, near new Muhammad Ali museum, same as Muhammad Ali & Pee Wee Reese banners.

7) Rename The Louisville Free Public Library (the main library at 4th & York downtown) The Hunter and Virginia Thompson Free Public Library. Hunter's Mom Virginia retired, as librarian, from same library. Have a Hunter S. Thompson Room for students & scholars.

8) Rename Louisville's Cherokee Road Hunter S. Thompson Road.

9) Move the Daniel Boone statue (Daniel with rifle), at entrance to Cherokee Park, to Boone County. Replace it with statue of Hunter with typewriter, gun, and other necessary Hunter items.

10) Rename Cherokee Park Hunter S. Thompson Park.

11) University of Louisville start Annual Hunter S. Thompson International Literature Symposium. University of Louisville Rare Books and Archives purchase, catalogue, and exhibit Hunter's entire archives.

12) City of Louisville designate July 18th Annual Official Hunter S. Thompson Day, Public Holiday, No School, No Work, Concert on The Great Lawn at Ohio River Waterfront, downtown. Musicians/Bands perform their own but especially some of Hunter's favorite songs.

13) Keep Louisville Gonzo!



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