Scattering of Hunter S. Thompson ashes scheduled for Aug. 20 |

Scattering of Hunter S. Thompson ashes scheduled for Aug. 20

ASPEN ” Plans for a public ceremony this summer celebrating the life of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson have been nixed in favor of a private memorial service Aug. 20 that will include the scattering of the author’s ashes on his ranch near here.

The date of the ceremony for close friends and family is scheduled to coincide with the six-month anniversary of Thompson’s death Feb. 20, close friend Doug Brinkley, who is one of the executors of Thompson’s estate and one of the planners of the memorial, said Tuesday.

Several suggestions have been proposed or considered by a committee planning the memorial, including setting up closed-circuit television screens for expected crowds in nearby Buttermilk, but the only firm detail so far was the date.

Plans this summer were to include a public symposium and concert in honor of Thompson, who shot himself in the head after a long and flamboyant career.

“It got too tricky to morph symposium and ashes, so instead there is just the private service for the six months (anniversary),” Brinkley said in an interview Tuesday.

Details of how Thompson’s ashes will be scattered were being worked out and other details were expected to be finalized Thursday, said Woody Creek resident George Stranahan, another member of the memorial committee.

Among the suggestions for scattering Thompson’s ashes were firing them out of a cannon from atop a 100-foot pillar topped by a 53-foot statue of the journalist’s “gonzo fist” emblem.

Brinkley said a public symposium will be organized within the next 18 months that will include experts and a scholarly look at Hunter’s works, life and legacy. Hunter left several new journalism classics such as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and cast his image as a hard-charging, drug-crazed daredevil.

Meanwhile, plans are also in the works for a beer in Hunter’s honor called Gonzo Imperial Porter. Flying Dog Brewery announced the beer’s sales would help fund the building of the “gonzo fist” tower.

In a statement, the brewery said beer’s label will include the emblem and this quote from Thompson: “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity, but they’ve always worked for me.”

At 9.5 percent, the beer has nearly double the alcohol content of average.

“We tried to make everything about this beer Gonzo,” brewery president Eric Warner said in a statement.

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