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SUMMER 2005 RUSSEL WONG, STAR PERSPECTIVE UNIVERSITY

HOTOGRAPHER
LATIN PASSION HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY RISING ESSAY CONTEST WINNER

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UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

OLD OREGON Civil War games engraved, leaving room for the next 108." But adopting any Civil War trophy requires agreement between the two university athletic departments, says a circumspect U O Athletic DirecWarren Spady tor Bill Moos. Yet he admits T h e Platypus "has a history now that it has been rediscovered," and "could definitely be an option." He hopes for a decision before next fall. Spady hopes he can finally sign his work. And Williams, who retires this June but has agreed to continue athletic department oversight responsibilities for two more years, may play a role in reestablishing The Platypus as part of the great Civil War tradition. He'd like that: "Most of the rivalry is very good natured. . . . It generates a lot of conversation between people; it brings attention to the two schools. And it's kind of fun." But he'd like it even better if next fall the U O could reclaim bragging rights to the Civil War — and The Platypus.
— PETE PETERSON '68 MS '77

MEMORY

GOING, GOING, GONZO
SIX-THIRTY CAME AND GAVE WAY TO 7

COUPLE GIVES $1 MILL! FOR SCHOLARSHIPS Remembering the financial struggles they faced in their college years, Joel and Colleen McCloud of Torrance, California, have dedicated a $1 million pledge to scholarships for needy UO students. "We believe that every kid deserves the opportunity to get a good education," says Joel McCloud MBA '67. He and Colleen '67 both hail from working-class Oregon families that made sacrifices to help their children obtain a university education. 'AMAZING' VICTORY Uchenna Agu '87, 1986 Pac-10 triplejump champion and a former UO cheerleader (who gained national notoriety in an infamous gum-throwing incident with OSU's Gary Payton), and his wife, Joyce, have won the CBS reality-TV program The Amazing Race. The Agus' luck has changed dramatically: from losing jobs in the debacles at Enron and WorldCom to winning $1 million in Amazing Race prize money. Last year, UO student Karli French and her twin sister Kami (featured in OQ Spring 2005) took fifth place in the competition. JUNE EVENT MINGLES ALUMNI AND RECRUITERS On the heels of the successful January Career Networking Event, the Portland Center, Career Center, and the UO Alumni Association will be among the sponsors hosting a UO alumni career networking opportunity on Tuesday, June 28, at the Portland Center in Downtown Portland. The UO Alumni Networking and Career Connection event will be held from 5:30 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. and will provide an exclusive opportunity for alumni to meet recruiters from top companies and to network with fellow Ducks. More information at uoalumni.com. FOOTBALL FESTIVITIES While the team finishes up spring football practices, the Alumni Association is gearing up for the fall's football pregame parties. Look for the Alumni Association tent at Stanford (October 1), Arizona State (October 8), and Arizona (October 22). Join the Duck spirit and party with your fellow alumni and friends.

o'clock as I anxiously paced the hallway of the University's Sweetser dormitory. Five friends were coming down to Eugene from Corvallis, and they were appallingly late. The date was February 28, 1991, and we had to get to the ballroom at the Eugene Hilton by 7:30 in order to get seats at a lecture given by the outlaw journalist Hunter S. Thompson. I shouldn't have worried about running late. Just as we sat down, a woman, presumably with the U O Cultural Forum, which had invited Thompson, took the microphone and apologized for the speaker's tardiness. Last seen at the hotel bar, he had disappeared. Thompson was governed by his own twisted version of the circadian rhythm. If his daily routine, as described by his biographer E. Jean Carroll is accurate, Thompson would typically lunch around 7 P.M. on cheeseburgers and fries, several bottles of Heineken, followed by carrot cake or ice cream, a snort of cocaine, and a "snow cone" — a glass of shaved ice flavored with a generous pour of Chivas Regal. No wonder he was late. A n hour late. Ken Kesey '57 and Ken Babbs made a brief and disastrous effort to

Hunter S. Thompson, at a card game on the Kesey Farm, February 28, 1991

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sate the increasingly impatient audience by telling a few choice anecdotes about their friend. The effort was cut short by a surly heckler. Right about then Thompson emerged from wherever he had been hiding and sat down at the table from which he'd speak. In his hand, he held a yellow plastic cup filled with Chivas and ice — perhaps the remnants of a "snow cone." He opened by mumbling incomprehensibly into the microphone. Drunk and likely stoned, and with no prepared remarks, he rambled for about ten minutes. This changed when someone in the audience called out a question. Thompson perked up. His voice became clearer. He seemed to draw strength from two-way dialogue. There was much in the news to talk about. Operation Desert Storm was winding down, Kuwait having just been recaptured by U.S. forces the day before. "I have the tape machine running back home recording the whole war," he said. I piped in with a strangely prescient question of my own: Should we go in and get Saddam? Answer: "I don't see what difference that would make." Ever the political junkie, he described then-President George H. W. Bush as "the meanest yuppie who ever lived." He predicted that the 1990s would be "like the 80s but without the money."

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So much for Objective Journalism. Don't bother to look for it here — not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.
— Hunter S. T h o m p s o n Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72

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At one point, one of my friends approached the stage and casually tossed a small plastic bag of marijuana into Thompson's lap. This started a stream of other ever more interesting tossed gifts: More grass, several sheets of LSD, and a mysterious paperback book offered by an agitated long-haired chap who insisted it was "extremely important" that Thompson read it. Later Thompson received a strange visit from a local homeless woman known popularly around campus as Hatoon (see sidebar, p. 44). Entertained, Thompson let her try to make a speech on the peril of water in campus drinking fountains, but she struggled and sputtered. Seemingly frustrated, she said, "If you could point a laser beam at my brain, you might understand." Thompson smirked, and pulled a laser sight — the kind used on rifles — from a pocket and pointed it at her as she had described. She didn't like this and fled the stage. Throughout the course of his variously incoherent and eloquent ramblings emerged the kernel of the message that runs through his published work: that the American Dream is nothing if not ambiguous, uncertain, and for far too many elusive. Chronicling "the death of the American Dream" was his journalistic mission, despite the inconvenient fact that through his own success he proved his entire premise false. As Thompson's talk wrapped up, the crowd — including me — rushed forward in search of his autograph. Someone standing next to me reached through the scrum and swiped Thompson's cup of Chivas, still about a third full. While he wanted the cup as a memento, he was kind enough to let me drain its remaining few ounces of watery Scotch. Perhaps I hoped it to be an elixir that might mystically convey a touch of Thompson's gift for powerful prose.

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I wasn't the least bit surprised to hear that Thompson had turned a gun on himself on February 20, 2005. Watching his father die after lingering powerlessly in a Louisville Veterans Administration hospital in 1952 would have left an indelible scar upon Thompson's then fourteen-year-old psyche. A piece he wrote in 1964 for The National Observer on the 1961 suicide of Ernest Hemingway in Ketchum, Idaho, is about the closest thing one can find

in the Thompson oeuvre to the kind of self-reflection his readers hungered for, particularly in his later years. And it's also easy to see it as a blueprint for the exit Thompson would choose for himself forty-one years later. It opens with a quote from a neighbor describing Hemingway in his final days as "That poor old man. . . . He was so frail and thin and old-looking that it was embarrassing to see him." "Frail" was no adjective for Thompson.

He knew the clock was running out. Approaching his sixty-eighth year, various health problems had started to mount. He sometimes used a wheelchair after breaking a leg last year, had recently acquired an artificial hip, and was at the time of his death recovering from spinal surgery. He was far from the man who a little over three decades earlier had written his last great book, the one Frank Mankiewicz, George McGovern's campaign manager in the 1972 presidential race,

EVENTS

28 Portland Networking and Career Connection UO Portland Center : 29 Boise jcks in the Hawk's Nest Baseball Picnic

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OLD OREGON

often described as "the most accurate and least factual book" about the election. Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 is a dazzling and disturbing indictment of the dirty business of presidential politics. In it, we see Thompson at the height of his power, flexing his strange muscles for the polemic and inventing fictitious anecdotes that in fallacy contain more truth than most meticulously fact-checked news reports.

This made the terse reporting that first revealed his death that cold Sunday night all the more unbearable to read. They unflinchingly called it a "self-inflicted gunshot wound," robotically reciting the unforgiving clinical facts, with neither texture nor style. How might Hunter Thompson have described the scene of his own last exit? The indignities of human age had launched their final, unshakable assault

upon his body, and he would deny them their prize. Seated at his kitchen "command post" before his typewriter — the word "counselor" cryptically typed on the center of the page — he paused midconversation to set down the telephone receiver, his wife Anita on the other end of the line. Then he wrapped his lips around the barrel of a .45 caliber pistol, and figured he'd see what happened next.
— ARIK HESSELDAHL '93

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day after her encounth Hunter S. Thompson, atoon, a colorful campus figure for more than three decades, died after being struck by a motorist while riding her bicycle across Franklin Boulevard. Hatoon, whose given name was Victoria Adkins, ived on a bench near 'O bookstore since early and before that kept her • possessions in front of the ght Library. News of ing rippled across cam an impromptu memori rial ng up outside the bookstore, followed days later by an on-campus memorial service attended by many friends and acquaintances. Her death followed Thompson's by only nine days. Both were sixtyseven years old.

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