The Fenn Diagrams

Journeys Inspired by The Thrill of the Chase

Portal

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I won’t be making it to this year’s Fennboree, but if I could, I would take a moment in Santa Fe to get a look at an ancient wrought iron gate on East Palace Avenue, the site where dozens if not hundreds of scientists, mathematicians, and physicists, after meeting with gatekeeper Dorothy McKibben, disappeared from sight beginning in April 1943.P1000401

(Well, first I might stop at that French pastry shop at La Fonda where Amy bought those gorgeous treats for Forrest’s book signing last September.)

Said portal transported those invited to the site of the Los Alamos Ranch School on a mesa in New Mexico.  You probably know (part of) the rest of the story, but for me, I learned a lot from a book called Bomb, by Steve Sheinkin, my newest favorite non-fiction author.  Wow.  He used to write textbooks for schools but kept notes on all the things they wouldn’t let him put in–fascinating stuff I should have learned.   Sheinkin puts it together in a compelling and quick read.  (Young Adult level but hey, who’s got time for an academic treatise these days?)

So back to the story:  the race between the Americans and the Germans to develop the bomb; some very, very brave Norwegians on a mission; the spies who wanted to steal the plans for Stalin;  the guys who just wanted to give it to the Russians so there wouldn’t be only one superpower in possession of the new and terrible weapon of mass destruction.

When I was young, my ideas of Russian spies were partly based on Boris and Natasha, and hearing intimations about the McCarthy era excesses.  Somehow my public school history classes never got much past the Civil War by the end of the school year, hence the black holes in my knowlege.  (No, that’s not a typo;  it’s spelled Fenn’s way.)

 

[Side note:  There was a Rocky and Bullwinkle episode titled Buried Treasure.  Hmm.  Frostbite Falls?]P1000443

 

I could also rave about Sheinkin’s newest book,  Most Dangerous:  Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret Viet Nam War.  I have no excuse for not knowing or remembering more about the topic, having been of school age when it was in the newspapers, except that the facts didn’t all make it into the media at the time.  I wish that weren’t still true. History gives us perspective if we’d only choose to look at the parallels in our own day.  Does your view of Ellsberg color your impression of Snowden?  What caused Benjamin Arnold to switch sides?  Had you even heard of the Port Chicago 50?

Do you agree with Abraham Lincoln?

“I am a firm believer in the people.  If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.  The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

(Check out Steve Sheinkin’s  other books like King George:  What Was His Problem?  or The Port Chicago 50:  Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights or  Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, etc.)

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Bears, Oh My!

Summer’s winding down and bears will be getting hungrier.  Rethinking my entire Yellowstone area hiking plans.  Hmmm.  How far south do the grizzlies range?

Bears, oh my!

Bears, oh my!

Cute story by Ryan Gebhart for Middle Grade readers about a boy and his grandpa.  FICTION, fortunately!

The Call of Distant Places – Book Launch for Forrest Fenn’s Latest

(If I weren’t eighteen hours away . . . )

Leon Gaspard

Charmay Allred invites you to an autograph party

Please join us and bring a friend

Leon Gaspard – The Call of Distant Places

A new book by Forrest Fenn and Carleen Milburn

Monday September 14, 2015

5-7 pm

La Fonda Hotel

Santa Fe Room

Light refreshments will be served

Please RSVP by Sept 10 to:leongaspardbook@gmail.com

From “Beowulf” (The Other Beowulf)

A Year In Verse

From “Beowulf and the Fire-Dragon”:

Hold thou now fast, O earth,now men no longer can,
The treasure of mighty earls.From thee brave men won it
In days that are long gone by,but slaughter seized on them,
Death fiercely vanquished them,each of my warriors,
Each one of my people,who closed their life-days here
After the joy of earth.None have I sword to wield
Or bring me the goblet,the richly wrought vessel.
All the true heroes haveelsewhere departed!
Now must the gilded helmlose its adornments,
For those who polished itsleep in the gloomy grave,
Those who made ready erstwar-gear of warriors.
Likewise the battle-sarkwhich in the fight endured
Bites of the keen-edged bladesmidst the loud crash of shields
Rusts, with its wearer dead.Nor may the woven mail
After the chieftain’s deathwide with a champion rove.
Gone is the joy of harp,gone is the music’s mirth.
Now the hawk goodly-wingedhovers not through the…

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Fathers and Sons

Marvin and Forrest Fenn

Lawrence and Dan Fogelberg

Yours and mine

    “The Leader of the Band”FogelbergBand

1942 DeKalb All Grade School Band Concert

Dan Fogelberg‘s father Lawrence

Dan certainly had a way with words-

                  “I’m Just a living Legacy to the leader of the band”

2nd verse:  “A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn’t wait
He earned his love through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand”

It puts me in mind of Marvin Fenn as school principal and Forrest’s tales of lessons learned.  (See the books.)

Full lyrics here: Dan Fogelberg – Leader Of The Band Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Pondering

Pondering

1972 Dinosaur National Monument

(Missing my Dad, too)

First fish?

 

The Sonnets

Forrest Fenn is writing poetry again.  I’d love to watch over his shoulder and see him at work. Is it a messy process with lots of words crossed out?  Or does he compose it in his head and only write what works? Does he adhere to form or formula?  Or is he a free spirit, free verse wordsmith?

English: Title page of Shakespeare's Sonnets (...

English: Title page of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Photo credit Wikipedia

Apparently William Shakespeare  worried about leaving a legacy.  At least the young man narrating the Bard’s first  dozen or three sonnets did.  He stood gazing marvelously in the mirror, pondering, and concluded that he’d just have to get married and have a son. {Okay.  That’s more abbreviated than even a Cliff’s Notes version.} But, it made me think of the last chapter in Forrest Fenn’s Too Far To Walk where he gazes with marvel(?) in his mirror in a closing poem.

Legacy~~~

“Oh very young.  What will you leave us this time?” Cat Stevens

Where the Wild Thyme Blows

Thyme

Thyme

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows….

Wm. Shakespeare

No wild times in Santa Fe next month.  The Fenn gathering at the Loretto Inn and Spa has been canceled.

I’d like to have attended, and not just to meet the competition, though that in itself might prove fascinating.

And not that it would have been really wild, but you never know.

English: Wild thyme in the flower bed of a &qu...

English: Wild thyme in the flower bed of a “garden à la française” in the park of the castle of Champs-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne), France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Favorite Fennisms

 

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A year ago, I set off on my first hunt for the Fenn treasure.  I’d hoped to wait until I had a complete solve, but I knew that the snows come early on the northern Rockies.  I was confident that the chest was hidden somewhere north and west of Yellowstone, but couldn’t rule out the rest of Wyoming, so off I wandered, with Mr. Waterhigh’s blessing (and/or his desire that I find the gold.)IMG_0267

I emailed Forrest from West Yellowstone and entertained him with my story of not having the right shoes at the waters at the Continental Divide in YNP.

Forrest’s response—

“You’re having too much fun.”

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I next emailed him from the Gallatin Valley to wish him a Happy Birthday, and he invited me to Santa Fe for a cup of coffee.

Decision—

Hmmm?

a.)   Should I stay on course and hike to a ‘water high’ with just the grizzlies for company, or

b.)  should I skip my night at the hot springs, which I really wanted to visit, and set my GPS for Santa Fe?

 

Forrest said,

“Life’s short and getting shorter.”

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Really.  It was an easy choice.

Besides, I can always go back to Montana with Mr. Waterhigh.

(We spent our 24th or 25th or 26th anniversary there. Next month is our 35th, but he’s tied up this year….)

I was somewhere in Colorado before I got ahold of  Mr. W to tell him of my change of plans.  He suggested I pull the old Colombo thing as I was leaving.  You know, pop back in the door,  “Oh.  Just one more question, Mr. Fenn….”  and hope to catch him off guard with the perfect question.IMG_0403

 

I didn’t, of course.  I was pretty much speechless….

So, I did find treasure south of the mountains when I got to meet the remarkable Forrest Fenn.  All in all, it was a fantastic trip/chase.

Possibly my favorite Fennism is found in the Epilogue of his book, The Thrill of the Chase

“And what I’ve learned that’s most important is that both countries and people should know enough to just leave other folks alone and do a better job of protecting our planet.”

 

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— By the way, his 84th birthday is next Friday, so why not surprise him with a “Happy Birthday” wish from all 304 of you blog followers.

(He’s in the phone book, otherwise I wouldn’t post his address–

1021 Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico)

DON’T just show up in his driveway!  I’m thinking cards, flowers, chocolates, …. No wait.  That’s me.

 

The Architect

English: A rough-sawn hemlock timber frame hor...

According to Forrest Fenn, the poem was written by an architect.

1900 barn

Barn built by Rich brothers in 1900 on the family farm

 

 

I saw this cool post on ‘poems that look like what they’re about’ and, of course, thought of the Thrill of the Chase treasure poem.

Is the poem a map?

 

Old barn in a valley

Synchronicity.

 

stone barn

Some things are built to last, like the poem—

—or the treasure’s resting spot, good for thousands of years.

 

Some things come crashing down—

—like your hopes if/when someone else finds the bronze chest.

 

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(Unless you’ve stored your treasures where they will not rust or be stolen.)

Don’t Miss Your Turn

Wrong turn?  Road not taken?

Wrong turn?  Road not taken?

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

― Hunter S. Thompson

 

 

 

 

66,000 Links

 

Stair rail “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
– Henry Miller

Dinkelsbühl_stadsmuur_stadtmauerDinkelsbühl_stadsmuur_stadtmauer (Photo credit: duitsland-reisgids.nl)

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ― Frances Burnett, The Secret Garden

This was once carved in stone above a fireplace in Wisconsin.  I only remember the first stanza—

It may be never, it may be soon, 

But I hope that it will be some afternoon.

I’ll hear a step on the creaking stair.

I’ll open the door and you’ll be there.

 

Keats's Grave, by William Bell ScottKeats’s Grave, by William Bell Scott (Photo credit: Martin Beek)

 

 

 

Kindness is the golden chain by which society ...

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together. JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE ( 1749-1832 ) (Photo credit: frank carman)

Image taken from page 288 of 'Goethe's Italien...Image taken from page 288 of ‘Goethe’s Italienische Reise. Mit 318 Illustrationen … von J. von Kahle. Eingeleitet von … H. Düntzer’ (Photo credit: The British Library)

“Every day one should at least hear one little song, read one good poem, see one fine painting and — if at all possible — speak a few sensible words.” ― Goethe

 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Whatever you can do...Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Whatever you can do or dream you can do … Begin it now (Photo credit: symphony of love)

[I’ve been in the garden, waxing poetic, and not having any luck solving the clues in THE Poem…..]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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