A Master of Education

The Ties That Bind --- Iowa City

The Ties That Bind —
Iowa City

Cover of "Journal of a Trapper: A Hunter'...

Cover via Amazon

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that Forrest Fenn has probably taught more children, and adults, than his father, whose life’s work was education?

In spite of any disadvantages to being the son of the school principal, a key bonus was the three month summer recess that the Fenns spent in Yellowstone.

The annual 1,600 mile journey included a 50-mile side trip to a one-room school house on a dirt road in Wyoming to see an inscription:

He Who Teaches a Child Labors with God in His Workshop.

 

Forrest began his self-education as a youth.  After reading  Journal of a Trapper by Osborne Russell at age 16,  he set out on horseback to retrace/reenact part of the experience.    (See “Looking for Lewis and Clark”,  p. 59 of The Thrill of the Chase {TTOTC}.)

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

He began his teaching career even younger, guiding grown fishermen around the rivers and lakes in Yellowstone country when he was “a young teen.”

College vs experience —

 “Who would you rather have working on your car, a man who just graduated from four years of mechanics school or a guy who has been working on broken cars for four years?”

Marvin Fenn, p.7 of The Thrill of the Chase.

Does Forrest still, at almost 84 years of age, regret not having a college degree?

“I still think about education sometimes, especially now that it’s too late to get any.”  p. 9 of TTOTC

(Not entirely true.  Every June, another septa-, or octa-, or nonagenarian is in the news in cap and gown receiving their long-desired diploma.  But I suspect Forrest would {still} be utterly bored sitting in a classroom where he’s smarter than anyone else in there, including the instructor.  If you doubt his scholarship, check out his expert knowledge on pottery, pueblos, geology, history . . . .you get the idea.)

After his time as a fighter pilot —

Instead of all of those medals, I wish I could have been given a college degree in survival or at least an honorable mention for just having lasted it out.”  

“My War For Me”  begins on p. 73 in TTOTC

            —  he served by teaching others to fly.  When he left the Air Force and began an art gallery in Santa Fe, his  knowledge sharing continued.

Bronze Moose

Bronze Moose Why is it cold?

 Read about school visits in  the chapter “Teachers with Ropes”, p. 109 of TTOTC, and smile.

Imagine signs that say “Please Touch.”

 

After the Gallery was sold, and he began serious investigation of his San Lazaro pueblo, he continued to share, to teach, giving underprivileged (I’ve forgotten his term) teens archaeological experiences at the site.

A Fechin

A Fechin

On Dal’s blog, Thrill of the Chase,  if you click on  Forrest Speaks, you can watch a video, How to Be an Artist, his recipe for success for a watercolorist in need of money.  Sound knowledge, freely shared.

Another fun video there is Woolly Worm, where he patiently teaches how to tie a fishing fly.  (He makes it look easy.)

I doubt that we’ll ever know the full extent of his generosity of time and talents.  You know, don’t let your right hand know what your left is doing.

IMG_0496

But, Forrest Fenn has gotten more kids and grownups off the couch and out in the woods, searching and researching any and every little bit that could, just maybe, somehow, with imagination, might possibly help solve one of his nine clues.

Cody Rainbow

Cody Rainbow

And not just for the gold in the chest at the end of his rainbow….

 

 

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