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From Leah Garchik's Column...

Back yesterday from Hunter Thompson's ranch in Colorado, where Thompson's ashes were shot into the atmosphere on Saturday, Gene Schoenfeld provides some sidelights:

Guests were shuttled by bus to the ranch from Aspen, on a road lined with local law enforcers and hired security people. Guests were forbidden to bring cell phones, cameras or recording devices, and were screened to make sure they hadn't. There seemed to be as many security people and support staff -- caterers, show producers -- as there were guests (250 or 300). The invitation said 6 p.m., and the event went on for about 12 hours.

George McGovern spoke, as well as John Kerry, but Kerry left as soon as the scent of marijuana became obvious, said Schoenfeld. CBS newsman Ed Bradley was there, as was San Francisco lawyer Michael Stepanian. There were Tibetan drummers and prayers, and live performances by Lyle Lovett and Johnny Depp, who as the major financial support of the event, was said to have spent $2.5 million of his own money. Also performing was Harry Dean Stanton. "He's always looked ravaged,'' said Schoenfeld, "now he looks half-dead. But when he was on stage singing, he sounded good.''

Thompson's memorial had been in March. "The pope only had one funeral,'' it was said. "Hunter had two.''

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