At last, The Woody Creeker hits the stands | AspenTimes.com
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At last, The Woody Creeker hits the stands

John Colson
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The Roaring Fork Valleys latest publishing sensation, The Woody Creeker, is now available well, sort of.Several hundred copies were delivered Monday to the Woody Creek Store, along with a couple of store copies for customers to peruse.More will be available in the coming days, according to its editor, Anita Thompson, widow of the late Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. They will be available, for free for this inaugural issue, at the Woody Creek Store and the Woody Creek Tavern; the Hotel Jeromes J-Bar; Jimmys An American Restaurant & Bar; the Lynn Goldsmith Gallery in Basalt; and The Aspen Times front counter.The 32-page magazine was published Monday, the one-year anniversary of Thompsons suicide at the couples Owl Farm ranch in Woody Creek. An initial run of 1,000 magazines was printed, with a duplicate run planned for later as demand warrants.Since news of the magazine broke in early January, Anita Thompson has been deluged with requests for copies from fans around the world; she plans to send the journal to subscribers. She also has fielded numerous interview requests from journalists still hungry for news of Thompson and anything related to his life and legend.Thompson and two of her assistants, graphic artist Katie Jo Frank and longtime friend Linda Luke, finished printing the magazine at 3 a.m. Monday in the front room at Owl Farm, using an aging but still workable Risograph printing machine on loan from a friend. Thompson was still packing the finished pages in boxes at 11 a.m.I think we did pretty good for three blondes working late into the night, said Frank, whom the magazines masthead lists as one of several managing editors.The Woody Creeker was produced in typical HST fashion missed deadlines, late-night howl sessions and last-minute editing changes.In fact, Thompson said, the entire process reminded her of earlier days working with her late husband.I really missed those 3 a.m. deadlines, she said over coffee Monday morning as she prepared to take the finished pages to a Basalt printer for stapling.As far as the magazine goes, a four-color image of one of the Thompsons peacocks adorns the cover; a color picture of the 2002 Class of Woody Creek is on the inside back page. The inside pages are black and white. Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is listed as the Editor Emeritus, followed by a list of contributors, editors and some rather obscure references such as Celtic Magician (thats Linda Luke) and Minister of Defense (George Tobia).Prose, poetry, interviews and images gathered from the friends and followers of Thompson fill the following pages.The most notable outside contribution (meaning it came from someone who is in no way a Woody Creek denizen) is an interview with HST by famed essayist and conservative humorist P.J. ORourke. Drawn from a pair of frenetic autumnal conversations, in 1987 and 1996, the piece is titled, Truth Is Easier, quoting a line from Thompson during one of the interviews.Dispatches from inside the Woody Creek zone are no less exotic, of course, drawn as they are from the musings and hallucinations of a roster of characters who defy anyone to pigeonhole their philosophies or lives.There are numerous tributes to the wildness of nature in the high country, as well as a description of the land-use-plan that created the utopia called Woody Creek, laid out in an interview with the plans progenitor, George Stranahan.There is a recipe for Green Fairy Absinthe, calling for wormwood (dried and fresh), juniper, nutmeg and a gallon of Everclear, among other ingredients.Anita Thompson unhappily admitted she had to leave out more than one submission, for reasons of space (in terms of pages, not of mental gaps), but she already is preparing for the second edition, due out when you least expect it, as it clearly states on the cover.John Colsons e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com


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