March 1st, 2014
by Chipper Smith-
Harry Mayo passed away yesterday…pancreatic cancer. God damn it! Years of being a hypochondriac finally paid off for you Harry.
A passion for fly fishing brought Harry to West Yellowstone from Connecticut in the 70s. I could say that Harry was a best friend of mine for many years but realize many people could say exactly the same. That is the kind of person Harry was, a friend to many.
Harry had a great smile, a great sense of humor and great respect for wildlife, conservation, and people…pretty much in that order.
I spent many years bow hunting and fishing with Harry. Hobbies were a science and obsession with Harry. He taught me the intricacies of stalking trophy fish in clear shallow waters. Harry would explain how these guys were so smart and had to be stalked with care and that you could not cause the slightest vibration or cast a shadow on any part of the water. The cast had to be absolutely perfect so the line and fly lit ever so softly.
My passion for hunting waned and I was never able to land that fly quite soft enough. For no particular reason we spent less and less time together. Harry married his sweet wife Joanne and eventually moved to Arizona. We lost contact.
I didn’t hear from Harry for months and months then out of the blue He calls about 7 months ago. He was anxious to tell me a story of hidden treasure he had stumbled across while surfing the Internet. A gentleman from Santa Fe named Forrest Fenn had buried a chest worth millions and Harry knew just where it was.
Harry was excited to know that I had been searching for the treasure a few years ahead of him. I have suffered a few injuries that I credit Harry for – minor cuts, abrasions and a severely sprained wrist. Harry’s hunches seemed to always lead me to the very roughest terrain. I also saw some amazing country.
When a friend called and told me of Harry’s death this morning I realized that Harry helped me find Forrest Fenn’s treasure. The treasure was a renewed connection with an old friend. How grateful I am to have talked and emailed with Harry these last 7 months. Thank you Forrest and thank you Harry Mayo. Rest in peace and God bless Joanne.