Duke is Dead

Hunter S. Thompson committed suicide today, he was the basis for Doonesbury’s Uncle Duke character. Thompson wrote the book The Curse of Lono when he visited Kona and Honolulu, it talks about the billfish tournament here and the Honolulu Marathon. I’ve never read the book as I’ve always had a hard time reading his work, I remember seeing a copy and paging through the bizzare colorful illustrations. If you have even a softcover copy of the book it has increased in value over the years.

An excerpt from the book with Thompson writing to Ralph Steadman:

It has made my life strange and I was forced to flee the hotel after the realtors hired thugs to finish me off. But they killed a local haole fisherman instead, by mistake. This is true. One the day before I left, thugs beat a local fisherman to death and left him either floating facedown in the harbor, or strangled to death with a brake-cable and left in a jeep on the street in front of the Hotel Manago. News accounts were varied….

That’s when I got scared and took off for The City. I came down the hill at ninety miles an hour and drove the car as far as I could out on the rocks, then I ran like a bastard for the Kaleokeawe – over the fence like a big kangaroo, kick down the door, then crawl inside and start screaming “I am Lono” at my pursuers, a gang of hired thugs and realtors, turned back by native Park Rangers.

They can’t touch me now, Ralph. I am in here wih a battery-powered typewriter, two blankets from the King Kam, my miner’s headlamp, a kitbag full of speed and other vitals, and my fine Samoan war club. Laila brings me food and whiskey twice a day, and the natives send me women. But they won’t come into the hut – for the same reason nobody else will – so I have to sneak out at night and fuck them out there on the black rocks.

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