Written in 1971, at which point young Mike Peterson was a resident of South Bend, Indiana, the furious missive was sent in response to a piece of satire he submitted [which earned him a fellowship -ed.] to Rolling Stone magazine; unluckily for him — or luckily, depending on your angle — said piece was forwarded to Hunter for assessment. This was his reaction. Note: For those interested, the original piece written by Mike that inspired such a response can be read here. [LettersofNote]
I got about three paragraphs into Peterson’s piece and had a similar (though less memorable) reaction to Hunter. My favorite part of Hunter’s letter was “Sincerely, [intentionally unintelligible scribble], Yail Bloor III, Minister of Belles-Lettre.”
The name Yail Bloor sounded familiar and I figured it had a backstory, and it does. “Yail Bloor” was the name Hunter gave to Aspen bar owner/real estate broker Michael Solheim for his article “The Great Shark Hunt.” Solheim was the guy who first introduced Hunter to Oscar Acosta, aka Dr. Gonzo from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Benicio Del Toro in the movie), and served as campaign manager during Hunter’s run for mayor of Aspen. Solheim is the dude in the middle in the picture below (via the NYTimes):
In William McKeen’s Hunter S. Thompson biography, he writes:
“Bloor” was one of Hunter’s favorite names from his telephone-prank days, along with “Squane.” He had even quoted “Bloor” during his campaign coverage.
So… now you know. And knowing is what they call sex in the Bible.
Anyway, I wish more rejection letters were this honest. I’d rather be told to cram something up my ass where I wrote it than today’s equivalent, which is, “This is a really smart and well-written piece, but…”