Thursday, September 18, 2008
James Crumley, RIP
My buddy James Crumley died yesterday. A wonderful writer, a great friend, and one-of-a-kind character who made Hunter Thompson seem tame and puritanical. Big hearted man whose The Last Good Kiss is one of the great novels of the 20th century.
We drank some booze together for a year in El Paso. We lost a mattress off the top of our car on some dark back road. (I'll not even try to explain how that happened.) We took a piss in a latrine that ran under the bar at the Kentucky Club in Juarez--that latrine ran out into the street. That urinal/latrine was to spare the drinkers at the bar from walking to the men's room.
We once carried all of Les Standiford's earthly possessions to a new house (or some place), and Jim dropped Les' refrigerator, which because it was Jim and because there were drugs and booze involved struck us all as hilarious and we laughed for half an hour about this poor broken appliance. Then later in the afternoon he dropped a huge box that split open and it was full of ties. Ties! And Crumley yelled, "That fucking Standiford, he has us moving his life collection of ties!" That's when we all decided that Les could move the rest of his stuff.
He was a great funny guy. A man of immense talent and boiling over with passion. He was also one of the best read people I've ever met. He was 68.
It's a sad sad day.