We should hardly be surprised that Hunter S. Thompson has up and left us. Perhaps more amazing is that he lasted here for 67 years.
After hearing someone who shared a lecture bill with Hunter at a college somewhere describe how HST and his fourth wife were shooting up and downing shots in the rest room before his address, I would hardly have anticipated this level of longevity.
Still, Hunter was a man who opened a creative door, one that P.J. O'Rourke and many other fine writers refined in ways that have much enhanced our sense of events transpiring in faraway reaches of our planet. What was called 'gonzo' in his manic day has by now become part of our social fabric, not necessarily a bad part.
(Have a peek at Hunter's last column for ESPN.com, dated Feb. 15.)
As I have mentioned here before, I was once in the room when a genius went insane. Sometimes genius is too heavy a burden to carry.