Scrapbook One Hundred Four…




I forgot where I left my memories

It’s not fair to suggest I’m eccentric because of a few things I do that are different. Being ordinary or predictable is no fun. Let’s talk about stretching the norms, and I’ll use literature as an example.

A book doesn’t have to be just another inanimate object that’s bored and forgotten on a sagging shelf? Why not give it some personality? Let me illustrate my point.

On page 114 of Ken Tankersley’s book, In Search of Ice Age Americans, he wrote about the Crook County Clovis artifacts that were found buried in red ochre. A few of us went to the remote site in Wyoming and I collected some of the pigment. To get to the exact spot we received permission to take a fence down, drive cross-country through gullies, dales, and a few sage-brush flats, so we did.


I smudged some of the ocher on page 114 adjacent to where Ken speaks of a Clovis fluted knife. Scholars might say it was a stupid waste of time and I was just weird for doing it. And to reinforce their point, twenty-two pages later I did it again



But think about how educational it will be a hundred years from now when someone reads my copy of the book. Who says we can’t influence the future?

I always make a few unique copies of the books I write.


They’re just something distinctive for me to keep for myself. This is one of them.


This is my first biography of Joseph Henry Sharp, who was born two years before the Civil War started and lived until the year Peggy and I were married. That won’t reveal my age but may explain why I don’t remember things like I used to. The book has hand marbled end-papers, and an original oil painting blatantly emblazoned upon its cover. “Smooth idea Forrest, but don’t you think it’s a little curious?”

 Hand marbled end papers

Hand marbled end paper

Nicolai Fechin is one of my favorite artists. I wrote a book about him and published another. When celebrities came in our gallery or stayed in one of our guest houses I asked them to sign my Fechin book. I always wanted to schmooze, maybe go to lunch with them, or dinner, hoping some of their mojo would rub off on me. It never did, but at least I got 8 pages of autographs:



Ginger Rogers, Karen Allen, Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Shari Lewis & Lamb Chops, Suzanne Somers, Lillian Gish, Ray Bolger & the Scarecrow, Johnathan Winters, Joe Foss, David Rockefeller, John Connelly, Greer Garson, Gene Hackman, Georgia O’Keeffe, Martha Hyer, Hal Wallace, Steven Spielberg & ET, Jackie Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine, Tab Hunter, Cesar Romero, Sam Elliot, Katherine Ross,  Byron Nelson, Steve Martin, E. G. Marshall, Dick Van Dyke, Cher, Roger Miller, Sandy Duncan, Jane Russell, Ellsworth Bunker, Larry Hagman & JR, Dinah Shore, Richard Avedon, Whitey Ford, Robin Olds, President Gerald Ford, H. R. Haldeman, Doc Severson, and a host of others, especially artists. Fun stuff.

Roaming through my book shelves is a favorite pastime on snowy days and nights, especially when I look through a book that has original documents or drawings bound in.


To assist my memory I sometimes tip mementos in a book to remind me of business deals that didn’t work, and also make silly notes that help me remember whose book it is.


OK, I’ll admit to having a few abstract philosophies, and sometimes I’m weird, but my fear is that someone might say I’m typical.




123 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Four…

  1. Du bist nicht tupisch!! My point is, you are far from typical, and that’s why you fascinate others. I could give a rip about the famous autographs, but marvel at the quality and beauty of the hand made books you’ve created. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    (And how about Haynes speechless description of your piloting skills.)

  2. i wish i could take my last rolls of 16mm film and spend an afternoon with this man. But the times and places do not not meet. Instead I’ll settle in for winter and ask myself rhetorical questions about possibilities, architecture and wonder; i’ll make a different film and always remember the fantastical road trip me and my family had treasure hunting.

    • Life can be disappointing that way Leigh. I used up my extra time and budget last summer hoping to search with a friend in Montana. She canceled leaving at the last minute leaving me on my own without a partner. I’m settling in for the winter too hoping next year she’ll make it happen. Good luck with meeting Mr. Fenn.

      • lia, I had a similar experience with regards to my last planned search, but I try to always look forward, work harder and find good out of bad in most cases.

        I guess that most of us are settling in for a ” long winter’s night” and, who knows, maybe I’ll see you (keep positive) on the trail in Montana next year. I’ve already booked most of my trip for late Spring.

        We have so much to thank Forrest for by giving us this special journey in our life. Also, an early Veterans Day thought and thank you to Forrest and all the others who have served.

        Have to also say – like Forrest, I was fortunate to meet Shari Lewis’s puppet Lamb Chop in 1954 when she performed in my elementary school in Queens NY – that thought continues to bring memories that my sister and I can share!

  3. Most curious indeed, maybe the notations are a confirmation of life? Or denoting the importance of that particular book to you…

    Considering the dust cover for the J.H Sharp book to me it does not feel right.
    Something along the lines of indians on horseback pursuing buffalo, Possibility a representation of the artist himself in the style of Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) would be more attractive?

    Dog gone it Forrest I get this feeling you are giving me an education in works of art 🙂

  4. Well Fenn like you said, the difference between being wacko and eccentric is money. I especially like the saber tooth guarding the booze. I had no idea what hand marbled end paper was so I looked it up; interesting process.

    I don’t think you have to worry about being typical. Unless there is such a thing as a typical eccentric.

    Giving this some more thought……..Many people consider anyone running around the Rocky mountains looking for a box of gold hidden by an eccentric art dealer to be wacko. I don’t want to hurt your feelings but around here you may be considered fairly normal; you just have some really cool stuff.

    One of us, after finding the chest, will be able to elevate our social standing from wacko to eccentric. That will be very cool.

    • “Giving this some more thought……..Many people consider anyone running around the Rocky mountains looking for a box of gold hidden by an eccentric art dealer to be wacko. ”

      It is wacko, until someone find it, then they too will be eccentric 🙂

      • My dreams and imagination often land me in the ‘unrealistic wacko’ category – each successive search for hidden treasure makes it exponentially worse with my family. But I’m getting better at smugly holding my thoughts and tongue, or just agreeing!

        Learning lots from you Mr. Fenn.

      • I’ll tell you like it is: I am always running away from from myself, who I am or maybe what I have not done for the betterment of my sole, the lies I told GOD, the promises I broke to him, so I hit the road to be nearer to God and wallow in his mercy’s.,yes wallow for I am less than a worm when I come in the presence of the awesomeness of his greatness as he did make the whale and the spider and the worm who is me. I hit the road with my dogs so you don’t stay long enough in one place so as to wear out your welcome; I hate it that they don’t have the guts to tell you, YOU SCARE ME AND I HONESTLY DON”T KNOW WHY” They look away from you and you think to yourself, YOU LOOK AWAY FROM ME BECAUSE YOU ARE ASHAMED and try to hide from GOD.

  5. I love books Forrest, many would be obsessive over your artifacts but it would be the books I would browse endlessly. Your book is a work of art, without the signatures. 🙂

    I am not really a person who cares about celebrity but you saw a way to make your book invaluable.

    I agree you have the best stuff! 🙂

  6. A smudge of dirt on a page is like collecting a souvenir and saves space. Something about the sense of feeling that brings back different memories. Like collecting jars of sand or pebbles just to remember you were there. The samples of dirt on the page could probably be used for research in the future? Seems like a better way of saving samples then in a jar ten feet from the book.
    Looks like it will be a busy day of reading.
    I cannot imagine what my comments would look like if I kept my booze that close to my bookshelf—My spelling might be better.

  7. I like what you have done, it makes each item special. The idea of the celebrities signing your book is more interesting then having them sign a register.

  8. I just noticed Whitey Ford–EverLast—What its Like—One of my favorites. I usually listen to the song over and over to keep me grounded. I would like to read about that visit.

  9. To be called wacko or eccentric depends on who is doing the calling. I say you are normal……this coming from someone who put on her grandmother’s dress and went to work barefoot or who painted her face yellow and dressed as Bart Simpson’s mom and went to work… wasn’t even Halloween. My brother calls me Weezer without the money.

    • Well Michael, I like to go with the saying : Its none of our business what other people think about us.

      Whatever they think is their problem. 🙂

  10. In the last picture of the shelves, what are those little yellow dots under the books?

    And which book do you pull to open up the secret passageway?

    • LOL, Secret Passageway… That’s where the chest lays in wait, Right?

      Look for the book titled “Comprehensive Knowledge of Geography”…

    • Jason, you had to point it out huh? LOL Now my overworked brain will be wondering.

      Note to self, “Its in the mountains north of Santa Fe.”

  11. Original and unfiltered is much better than the alternative.

    I agree with the sociologist Joan Huber when she said “A person who maintains self-definition with no social support is mad; with minimum support, a pioneer; and with broad support, a lemming. Most of us are lemmings. We accept or change our ideas of our own rights and duties only when we perceive social support for doing so.” – 1950

    I thank the flying spaghetti monster everyday that Forrest is here to share his life with us.

    • Original is always better! But in my case, unfiltered leads to my bad posts where I didn’t pay close enough attention to what I linked to. Ha! Messed that up just yesterday.

      I like that Mr. Fenn speaks his mind and makes up his own rules. Always love the mavericks in life. Hope by his example I will just be me, and not try so hard to please everyone else. It’s a fine line between being a ‘human doing’ and a ‘human being.’

      • Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tommorrow illustrates you have to remember which decisions you need to make everyday to live your purpose or you will struggle.

        Try this philosophy on if you dare.

        I think Forrest has perfected living his true purpose which is seekers admire his flare for life.

    • That’s funny, 23kachinas. “A person who maintains self-definition with no social support is mad”. Oh, but it’s much worse than that. A mad person can only stay mad for so long before they graduate to permanently pissed! …I reckon. LOL!

      I kid. I kid. Except I’m not really sure these days which I would choose…the bottle in front of me…or a frontal lobotomy…which is really weird because I don’t drink…any more…but I don’t drink any less, either! No, really, I don’t drink…anymore. 🙂

  12. I never was a book reader. I bought books just to satisfy my curiosity. I can count on one hand the amount of books I have read in its entirety and the Chase was one of them. The words many of the bloggers use on this site always sends me back to school.

    I see you have a fascination for Fenn spirits.

          • Have a great week. I married on June 7 of this year. I have been blessed with a wonderful person in my life. A learning experience each and everyday. I have missed out on so much. She is a cancer survivor and last week she played her cards. She won. It will be a month or so where she will back in teaching me more.

          • Congratulations my dear Husband has taught me a lot as well. Maybe I should ask him where the Treasure is? He is pretty smart:)

          • Geydelkon – Sounds like she won the lotto. Don’t forget to celebrate together, when she’s back.
            It’s important not to forget life’s victories. And Gey, let her buy something, some spouses ruin the fun by saving everything.

  13. Hey Forrest!

    I love the pun! “Let me illustrate my point.” and then you show us an illustration of points. That right there is some clever stuff.

    Thanks for the laughs.

    – Adam

  14. This is coincidentally funny.
    When I first heard of the chase and Forrest, I thought of William J Hypperbone character and his Noble Game of USA.

    Jules Verne – The Will of an Eccentric .
    By the way, Forrest thinks of himself as the one that plays monopoly 🙂

  15. Mr. Fenn,

    All I can say is Wow! I love all your books and I love how you look at life! I think about losing ones marbles instead of memories but I guess the two are the same. Also writing down on the book is like tying a string to your finger trying to remember something. I am curious why you haven’t displayed your marble collection yet or explain why you collected string?

    • Swaing88 – that’s a great idea!

      Would really enjoy seeing FF’s top ten reading list. History, Journal of a Trapper, poetry, philosophy, Eric Sloane’s books, kids literature ??? Who knows, maybe some great surprises! (I love to read)

  16. Mesoamerica….very interesting. Now if I could get permission to drive through a fence over gullys and dales and through some sage brush flats,I would be able to carry 42 lbs easily back to my car.

  17. So on another scrapbook I asked whats the difference between a warm water lake and a cold water lake….so I just called French Creek State Park near my home and found out that warm water lakes are stocked with bass fishes and cold water lakes are stocked with trout…so says the nice lady I talked to from the park…..

    • So I am thinking WWWH is a warm water lake for bass and you end up near a cold water lake for trout (your effort will be worth the cold)….

      • Dal, thanks for the Amazon tip on The Beat of the Drum and Whoop of the Dance. Ordered today at $65 – more affordable than the collectors editions. Looking forward to reading it. THX

        • Used is a good deal..
          I think there are at least three different editions of that book..
          The cheap one is under two hundred
          Next is a cloth bound in a slip case that costs a couple thousand
          and then there is Forrest’s…which will be astronomical…

          I keep waiting for the Cliff Notes version at $4 and available at Walmart…

          • Dal,

            My wife got me the book this last Christmas. It is a very fascinating book. I love the pictures. Anyway, the one I have was published in 1983 first edition. Has Forrest signature. Also, has Fenn Galleries label on the inside. I need to finish reading it. I might as well start at the beginning like everything else.

          • Dal, maybe we could team up. I have several of Forrest’s key books and 4 of Eric Sloane’s which I found helpful in looking differently at definitions.

            “TOTC Cliff notes”

            Just Kidding! I wouldn’t dream of capitalizing on such a generous gift on Forrest’s part, and appreciate that the key websites don’t either.

  18. Mr. Fenn,

    Are you sure you don’t have a smidgen of autism in you?

    Growing up, I arranged my bookshelves nearly the same way you do, and my favorite books of all were “my books”–the ones with blank pages that I would fill with thoughts, poems, and drawings. I still have them, and still look through them on rainy days (no snowy days here).

    Although mine don’t feature any autographs, except for Michael Stipe from REM that I got while on an impulsive road trip to Athens, GA with my best friend.

    This post is your best yet, in my opinion. And, in my opinion, has a mine-full of hints.

    I bet you sing silly songs to your grandkids when no one else is around, don’t you? 🙂

    • Athens GA is one hell of a place… my sister went to school there at UGA and I went down there a couple times….wish I would have done well enough in school to go there, that place is magical….

      • Gey, what’s a guy thing? Singing silly songs? I would have to disagree, especially if your name is Mindy <– have made up about 2,424 lyrics sung to the tune of SpongeBob. 🙂

        Clues, it was a neat place. Driving my little Eggplant Toyota toward Denny's, we saw Michael Stipe walking (yes, walking!) along the side of the road. We followed him to his studio and met most of the band. Very nice guy, very down to Earth.

  19. Yes, it is scary looking Amy… I think someone said it’s guarding the Fenn Vodka. Never heard of that before but I don’t drink vodka. Might have to go look it up.. Also it’s kinda cool that it has all the “Famous” autographs but did you see that it also has ET’s!!! Now that I would like to see!

  20. So far from typical Mr. Fenn. I Love the way you smudged the ocher on the pages. Makes it more interesting. The autographs are cool. My favorite is the page where you keep reminding yourself that the book is yours. <3

  21. Soooo…I’m gonna just throw it out there…has anyone figured out what the big DEAL is?
    I can almost guarantee that the line above the check originally ended at “money.”
    I do have a theory…

    • Mindy, I enjoy hearing your thoughts; what’s your theory on the DEAL?

      (Given Forrest’s love of trading, I’m guessing there was a trade along with the check/piper transaction, or he wouldnt have called it a deal.)

      • Thanks, Lia. The sentence says, “And the deal is done.”

        How about “Lead is due NE (do NE)?”

        Also in SB 107, he says he was honking his horn and bringing cops to his location. Then says, “Big deal. You’d have thought I’d robbed a bank or something.” (Paraphrased)
        Translated, could it be…the bank of Lead Creek?

  22. Forrest,

    Very nice collection. I like the red ochre being added the book. It does add character. The spot goes with the story.
    Many of your books have a aged look showing they are most likely old. Old books are the best.
    Your library is like a nice cozy spot surrounded by an old weathered tree…..since most paper is made from wood. The only thing that is missing is the river’s gentle song.

  23. Forrest,

    Based on the registration # and the S/N listed on the check, found a picture of your old plane here.

    Looks in good shape; seems to have made quite a few rounds…South Carolina, Vermont , Arkansas… since it left your hands.

    I bet you have lots of good memories in that plane besides the few you’ve told us of.

  24. Dal, thanks for hosting a great site, it’s invaluable. So many great tips to glean from other searchers. Lots of useful info being tossed around by really brilliant search community. I would like to say this is not the typical blog experience. Most of the time it’s a bunch of amateurs swearing. Look at Utube comments. Great job moderating!

  25. Forrest, du bist nicht tupich! Far from typical, and that’s why we’re all lost in solving your poem.

    How many languages does anyone think Forrest is able to understand and perhaps speak? Just guessing he has a working knowledge of Latin, Spanish, French, German Russian, Tewa, and a few other NA tongues.

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