The Floyd Watkins/Hunter Thompson Feud

Novelist V. S. Naipaul once said that nonfiction is better suited than fiction to capture the complexities of today’s world. There may be no better example than the story of Floyd Watkins and his 45-acre Beaver Run Ranch in Woody Creek, Colorado. Hunter Thompson lived just downstream of the ranch and complained loudly about Watkins and his manicured spread, and was joined by the local sheriff, who later co-authored a book that called Watkins a “corpulent transplant from Miami.” For his part, Thompson, who was accused of “trouticide” in the deaths of Watkins’s stocked fish, ran for sheriff on a platform including a “policy of the sheriff’s office to savagely harass those engaged in any form of land-rape. This will be done by acting, with utmost dispatch, on any and all righteous complaints.” Brent Gardner-Smith revisits the whole story in this morning’s Aspen Daily News.

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