Friday, April 30, 2010

One Final Note Re: The Kentucky Derby.

It is decadent and depraved.

On assignment for the short-lived Scanlan's Monthly to cover the 1970 Kentucky Derby in his hometown of Louisville, Hunter S. Thompson found himself, accompanied by illustrator Ralph Steadman, "
falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a pool of mermaids". The result would become seminal "Gonzo" reportage.

I got off the plane around midnight and no one spoke as I crossed the dark runway to the terminal. The air was thick and hot, like wandering into a steam bath. Inside, people hugged each other and shook hands...big grins and a whoop here and there: "By God! You old bastard! Good to see you, boy! Damn good...and I mean it!"

In the air-conditioned lounge I met a man from Houston who said his name was something or other--"but just call me Jimbo"--and he was here to get it on. "I'm ready for
anything, by God! Anything at all. Yeah, what are you drinkin?" I ordered a Margarita with ice, but he wouldn't hear of it: "Naw, naw...what the hell kind of drink is that for Kentucky Derby time? What's wrong with you, boy?" He grinned and winked at the bartender. "Goddam, we gotta educate this boy. Get him some good whiskey..."


No comments: