When the camera crew finally coaxed Hunter into position for the shoot and the photographer started clicking away, Hunter barked, "Tell those ESPN guys to come back in here."

Between shots, he took great delight in getting us to hold his props. He handed a bullwhip to me and asked me if I knew how to use it. I nodded my head, even though my experience with bullwhips was limited to watching Bob Knight show off one at a press conference.

Then he stepped back to create some space and whirled the Samurai sword in the air. When he finished his martial arts display, he handed the sword to Daniel and asked him to hold onto it. I can still see Daniel's eyes widening as he stared down at the blade and imagined the damage it might inflict.

When the cameras quit whirring and the weapons were safely stored away on the living room's coffee table, Hunter said he had something he wanted us to see. He pulled out an old video tape from Allen Ginsberg's funeral in 1997. Hunter had been too ill to travel, but he had written a tongue-in-cheek eulogy that he had Johnny Depp read at the memorial service. The one-liners were sharp, and they brought down the house. As Eric said to me Sunday night, we can only hope someone will read something like that when the Good Doctor is laid to rest this week.

I can't really claim that I knew Hunter S. Thompson especially well. I was exactly half his age, and much of his great work was done while I was still in diapers.

But I can say that I did get a brief glimpse into his Gonzo world. A world where it seemed perfectly ordinary to perform a dramatic reading from a "Nash Bridges" script that HST had consulted on. I read the lines of Cheech Marin's character, while my ESPN colleague Jay Lovinger played the part of Don Johnson. A world where breakfast is eaten at 4 p.m., Wild Turkey takes the place of tap water and throwing on an Indianapolis Colts jersey is considered getting dressed up. A world where peacocks are pets, a letter of praise from Marilyn Manson hangs on the wall, and an old photo of HST with John Belushi is buried among assorted clutter on the refrigerator. A world where HST got me to attend a rally and sing "Give Peace A Chance" ... in 2003.

If you stay in that world long enough, "weird" becomes "normal." I'm definitely going to miss it.

Kevin Jackson is one of the founding editors of Page 2 and worked with Hunter S. Thompson during his four years at ESPN.com. He never did get the Good Doctor to hit his deadline.



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