Hunter devised a plan of escape from Jersey Shore and on Christmas Eve, 1957, he made his move. Lonely, broke, and unemployed, Thompson would flee Jersey Shore for New York City by "Huntermobile."
TO KRAIG JUENGER:
December 23, 1957
Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania
Well, this letter should be a little more informative than my last one, if nothing else. It won't be very long, because I know so little about what I'm going to do that I'm unable to go into any detail. Just as soon as I find out anything definite, I'll let you know.
In a nutshell, here's the way things stand as of now: tomorrow morning, I shall load all my earthly belongings into the Huntermobile and point it's nose in the direction of New York City. If the car makes it without falling apart, I shall remain in New York until at least the eleventh of January. After that date, if I haven't located a means of gainful employment, I shall then embark for St. Louis - via Louisville.
So there you have it: one of the most hare-brained schemes of the generation . . . a typical "Thompson production," and one of the most "all-or-nothing" propositions ever to be hatched in a human mind. I can think of nothing I'd rather avoid more conscientiously than being poverty-stricken in New York City . . . but that's precisely the situation I'll be in if I can't find a job by January 11th. I have $119, a box of food, a crippled car, and a temporary room in a fairly decent apartment. The reason I have to stay there until January 11th is that the College Board exams are being given at Columbia on that date, and I have to let the CB people know where I'll be by December 28th. So I'll have to stay in New York until the 11th. If I don't have a job by then - and the kind of job I want is scarce as hell - then I'll be off again. Where I'm going to get the money to go bouncing around the country like this is a real interesting problem: but I shall find it somewhere. I'll have to.
I got back from New York about 4:00 this afternoon and found your cards waiting for me in the mailbox. Needless to say, I appreciate them - as I do everything else with a St. Louis postmark on it. I neglected to get any Christmas cards this year, so allow me to wish you a very merry yule and all the erotic pleasures of a happy new year. My holiday season, incidentally, will be much better than I originally thought. Jerry Hawke, an ex-LT. from Elgin who now goes to the Columbia law school, fixed me up with temporary lodging and invited me to join in the holiday festivities with him and some of his friends. So the terrifying prospect of spending the holidays in Jersey Shore fortunately failed to materialize. Needless to say, I feel better - and much more cheerful than I did when I was working. And, incidently, I think I forgot to tell you why I'm no longer working . . . but now that I think for a minute, I think I told you in previous letters: so I'll close before the paper ends. CHEERIO . . . .
If you liked this letter and wish to see more I urge you to Follow me/upvote/resteem as I will be posting more HST letters and as soon as I gain some more bandwidth I will be diving right into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, so stay tuned.
Here's the links to the other posts in the Letters series -
Open Letter to the Youth of our Nation -