Book Review for Once Upon A While…

Submitted October 2017
By cynthia

A few days ago I had the opportunity to meet Forrest at the Collected Works Book Store in Santa Fe. He popped into the store occasionally, unannounced, this week so he could pre-sign all the new books before they were shipped out to the readers. I sat at the table quietly watching as Forrest signed book after book after book. It was a truly organized event between him and the guy who worked there. A carton of 20 books would be carried to the chair beside Forrest where the guy would open the box, set a stack of books on the table to Forrest’s rightside where he could easily slide them one at a time in front of him. Then the signed books would be placed neatly inside the same carton and moved to the back of the store to get ready to be shipped out. Before I knew it, Forrest looked at me and said he was done. I was impressed… he had signed 80 books in what seemed like just a few minutes.

He asked me if I’d like to chat over cups of hot chocolate… yes, I said. From there we drove to Downtown Subscription where they serve the best mugs of hot chocolate in Santa Fe. It was crowded but we found a small empty table in the midst of the mob. During the course of our conversation Forrest suggested I write a review of his new book and send it to Dal to post. I was flattered he asked me and I agreed to do it.

Remember this story, originally titled “Eunice, LA” and posted on Dal’s blog as Scrapbook One Hundred Sixty Nine in March 2017? Many of us know it as the Bingo story. Like many other stories in this new book, slight changes have been made between the original scrapbooks posted on the blog and the revised stories in Once Upon A While. This one really caught my eye…

If you notice, the text / title on this page says RAINY NIGHT BLESSINGS but the chapter title at the top of each page of this chapter says RAINY DAY BLESSINGS. Is this difference in words (between NIGHT and DAY) an accidental mistake or an intentional hint to us searchers? Is this why Forrest told me to mention this picture? I don’t know…

I am not the naturally gifted writer that Forrest is, or Douglas Preston, or Jenny Kile, or Dal. My review of this book is the way I talk… fragmented thoughts along the line of Fenn treasure searchers, not like the prose of the literary masters. There are 184 scrapbooks, 27 Vignettes, and 3 Passages written by Forrest and posted on Dal’s blog. 39 of these were included in this new book Once Upon A While. Even if you’ve read and memorized most of these, I highly recommend you buy or borrow a copy of this book and revisit each of these 39 stories. Forrest added “MY TWO SENSE” at the end of each chapter (with a post mark stamp), often punctuating the story with his wit, humor, and anecdotes, as well as a few updates.

One of those updates is on page 171 in The Bullet Comes Home. I don’t want to spoil the ending so won’t reveal the additional text included in this chapter. But it made me sad… I had the privilege of sitting in The Bullet a couple years ago while Forrest sat in the driver’s seat and explained the details of the mechanics of the car, or lack of mechanics, I should say. Now it’s just a bittersweet moment in my memory. As Forrest so wisely puts it “Once you leave home you can never move back.”

If I still haven’t piqued your interest in this new book, I gotta mention the drawings… all by Forrest and mostly stick figures. He thinks he’s not a good artist.. I think he’s exceptional and each drawing adds to the stories. Notice his turquoise belt buckle on each of the stick figures that are him throughout the book. I thought that alone was clever..

And lastly, in my opinion, this book is visually stunning. I love color… color pictures, color stick drawings, and color backgrounds with the bleeds to the edges. Just leafing through the pages should make a person want to look at each page and eventually read the text. And whoever came up with the idea of putting the page numbers in large font in the center of the margins? For any of you who have ever written a book, or magazine, or maybe a yearbook years ago, you have to appreciate the creative style Susan, Lou, and Forrest captured here. This is one of his best!

cynthia meachum

136 thoughts on “Book Review for Once Upon A While…

  1. This is the first time I heard that Forrest was the illustrator of his new book!

    Beautiful write-up Cynthia—you got my attention (and jealousy)!

    • Allen, I sure don’t want to get it wrong about the drawings. On one of the first couple pages it says ” Sketches by Forrest Fenn”. I believe this means ALL the STICK figures were drawn by him. At the end of the book on the colophon page, it gives credits to various folks under “Illustrations By”. And on the inside of the back flap, Forrest says “Now I’m going to read all of the stories again and laugh at my stick figures.” Lou and Susan wrote a couple paragraphs where they say “That’s right, Forrest drew all of the drawings in this book.” I don’t want to confuse readers about who drew what.

      • Thanks for the wonderful write-up, Cynthia.

        It was really nice to read a review while simultaneously reading the book.

        I picked up the book yesterday, and am nearly finished. I must admit that I’m a bit disappointed; disappointed that there isn’t more, of the book I mean.

        –Fennatical

        • Was the dither scrapbook in it? Or what about the one where he doesnr want to talk about reading his bible? Those are 2 of the ones i thought for sure would be in there…. Along with the one about the post with the bell on it

  2. Thanks, Cynthia. Can’t wait for the book to arrive! And I think you have a wonderful writing style….enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with you and Forrest…and Dal, is on my bucket list!

    • Thank you… don’t wait too long to scratch this one off your bucket list. I’m not getting any younger… and then there’s Dal…whew! LOL! (Just kidding, Dal!)

  3. Thanks for the review, Cynthia! Can’t wait for the book to arrive (earlier this week Collected Works let me know it was on its way — I love their customer service!) I do indeed know the Scrapbooks, Vignettes and other Forrest missives by heart, so looking forward to scrutinizing what might have changed!

  4. You did a wonderful job, Cynthia. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. The photos are great. I can’t wait for my books to arrive.

  5. Nice write-up Cynthia.
    Could you tell us what day Mr Fenn was signing at the store?
    And does the new book have the “double omegas” at the end?
    Thanks!

    -Randawg.

    • Randawg, the new book does NOT have the double omegas at the end. I saw him there Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon. He never “schedules” a time… he goes when he goes. In fact he just reminded me of the adage he often uses “Planning is antagonistic to freedom.” He’s still the free spirit he’s been since he left the womb. Gotta love his outlook on life still after 87 years.

  6. Is there a story in there about getting kicked by a horse or run over by a Bull coming out of the woods?

    Great Job..Thanks

  7. Cynthia– I can’t sleep because “the boys” we brought back with us keep drinkin and dancing and playing that Rattling Bog song by David Craig. When I told them you had seen f’s new book they quieted down. They asked me to write to you and ask if the were any stories about Hippies, Whiskey, silverware, spices, or apples that grow on pine trees ? What in the blazes for ??? but.. I said I’d ask. Then they must be hungry because they asked me to go KFC to get a bucket of chicken, no…. 2 buckets of chicken, and then the leader of them said a mountain of chicken, the spicey kind. Then they had a really good laugh between themselves……. I have the feeling the’re laughing at my expense. I think I’ll start telling short people jokes. ….Does anyone want to bail them out????? As much scotch as they drink, my local liquor store thinks I have become an alcoholic. I’d rather be struck by lightening…..I have a tough job, where’s my Deputy?

        • Hay Sherif and Ronnie – so those Naughton fellows raided the border one too many times and got the whole clan exiled to the Island. One of them managed to get himself beknighted. Later down the line one of his found out they liked tequila better!

  8. Cynthia thanks so much for doing this for us! Can’t wait to get my book, which should be any day now. Thank you Forrest for signing them; it means a lot to me!

    • Sourdough, Did we meet at Fennboree? Please introduce yourself to me at the book-signing. I know a bunch of the regulars like Tom Terrific and Michael H and Focused from Fennboree but can’t remember all the faces that go with the various blog names. See you there.

  9. Cynthia, Forrest recognizes talent even if you don’t, you have done a superb job in expressing how we all feel about the “Thrill” and do not sell your self short on writing skill, or any thing you attempt to accomplish, like organizing Fennboree.

    I for one have so much respect for you after wearing me and James/ other searchers out down in the Rio Grande Gorge, no place for the meek, lookin for signs of Randy, those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end, sounds like a song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3KEhWTnWvE

    Alas, all days shall end
    Let us sing and dance forever and a day
    For Once Upon a While, we may fish upon a star,
    May fame and good fortune come our way!

    TT

    PS did you view this latest video yet?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-GD4vhA3No&feature=em-share_video_user

    • TT, Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I watched your Toltec train video. It was splendid. I’m kicking myself for not making a point to visit that area when the aspens were at their peak. It’s one of the most beautiful areas of the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe. Seems like a perfect spot to hide a cache of gold!

      • Cynthia, If you do go to this spot email me first, I have taken my grand kids in and it is the easiest walk in the Rockies if you know where to park your sedan. 1.29 miles and no human trail but easy to get lost or misguided….

        TT

  10. Cynthia, thanks so much for the excellent write-up and sharing of one of your life’s scrapbook pages. How exciting and fun it must have been for the two of you! Take care.

  11. Super review. Thank you, Cynthia. And don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a writer. You did a SUPER write-up–just the kind of review I love to read. I can hardly wait until I get my own copy next week–at the signing. Should be lots of fun. All best, Irene

  12. Yes, everyone’s waiting to see all that the book holds. I’m sure Forrest has put some interesting thoughts in it. Of course there are some of us who know about Bullet and Peggy, and it should be sadly interesting for all who read that chapter. Thanks Forrest for adding a new chapter- book to “The Thrill of The Chase”, imagine the discussions ahead. Bur

  13. Great write-up Cynthia,
    You were lucky to be in the presence of great hot chocolate and great company. May your day be filled with smiles 🙂 and your sunset be your reward….

    Until next time…. see ya in Santa Fe ….

  14. Cindy your review is excellent!
    I have always enjoyed you style of writing.
    I am sorry that we will not be able to attend the book signing. Please tell all of our friends that we said hello.

    Tom

  15. Good afternoon to everyone! I’ve been one of the “lurkers” on the blogs for a few months. I feel as if I know some of the searchers, and here I am in the shadows. I appreciated Cynthia’s write-up regarding Forrest’s new book. There are some excellent writers among the searchers/bloggers and she holds her own just fine. I was excited to learn that Forrest was signing “all the new books before they were shipped out to the readers.” I was even more excited when my copy of the book arrived in the mail today. It was a little disappointing, however, when I could not find a signature anywhere. Did I miss something? Do you have to specifically ask for a signature? I’m confused, and it will probably turn out to be something that I messed up! Maybe this negative is really a positive. Maybe the signature in some of the books is hidden among the pages and text, and those who find it will also find an important clue as to the location of the tc – kind of like finding the blaze and then finding the tc. (In my very humble opinion, of course.) It looks like a great book. Happy reading, everyone, and great job, Cynthia!

    • JonesToo: Just had to remind me, didn’t ya? Seriously, got my box of books earlier today and didn’t even think to look for ff signature til you just mentioned. I’m in similar boat. When I placed my order, I jested and told Bruno I’d even pay $2 more per signed copy. Wonder if my wife would understand / agree this is reason enough for me to fly in for Nov book signing!

    • Welcome to the Chase, JonesToo! Glad you finally stepped out of the shadows! I can’t speak to the process for getting a signed copy of Forrest’s new book, but if you received an unsigned copy and would like to get a signature from Forrest, then I think you have a good excuse for attending Fennborree 2018!

    • @JonesToo et al, re signed book, I think the deal was for a signed book it meant you intended to show up at the book signing and you were to receive a ticket to get in to the signing, others who simply ordered a book were not to expect a signing, the fact that FF went down and pre signed a bunch was for this upcoming event, (I think, IMO) my guess. I ordered but nothing in the PO Box as of today, maybe tomorrow. Meanwhile, who is the big winner of the stick man contest????

      • Cholly: bit of duplication on my part, but here goes:
        What you posted makes a lota sense – signed books at a book signing. I didn’t expect signed ones with my order – just a ticket for each if I show up in Santa Fe. Maybe I’ll do just that. Course, would bring just one copy and buy a bunch more signed ones. Ah, the art of selling art albeit printed – that’s one of the stories in the new book. Let me know when you read it. Thanks for makin’ sense.

  16. The postman rang the doorbell and I thought, “My books are here!” Opened the door and saw the box and opened it, only to find it was a Christmas gift I ordered for one of my sons. Bummer! The anticipation is a thrill in itself. 🙂

    • Earlier today I yelled Yahoo! The FedEx man had just delivered my box of books. So now I’ve crossed-off a number of folks on my Christmas shopping list. Hope they find treasure in this gift. Just occurred to me, a number of them might have bought a book to gift me! I better let them know I already got one (or not?).

      • Hello KidUtah. With Cynthia’s review, I believe those whom will receive the books from you will be happy. I wish my other family members were into the Chase, because I think the book would have made a nice gift. Today’s delivery was a pair of hiking boots for my oldest son. He knows he’ll be doing some hiking in Yellowstone next year.

        • pddenver: Makes a lota sense – signed books at a book signing. I didn’t expect signed ones with my order – just my name on a ticket for each one if I show up in Santa Fe. Maybe I’ll do just that. Course, would bring just one copy and buy a bunch more signed ones. Ah, the art of selling art albeit printed – that’s one of the stories in the new book. Let me know when you read it.

          Over the years, I’ve usually made practical choices in my gift giving – boring is what my wife might say cause she makes or buys “fun” gifts to give. I think FF’s books are definitely fun and practical in the sense of reading and learning some lessons on life. In your case, those hiking boots are sure to be both, as well. Don’t forget to break’m in a bit before your YP chase. Stay safe – have fun!

          • Hello KidUtah. I’ll look forward to reading the one you suggested, as well as, the others.

          • (Second try.) I’ll look forward to reading the one you suggested, as well as, the others.

  17. Cynthia,
    Great Review!
    Looking forward to seeing Forrest, you and friends.
    I will be in Montana this Sunday for one more trip into the mountains before the winter snow sets in. As soon as I have completed my24th search I am quite excited to drive to Santa Fe to see all my new friends that I hope will be at Collected Works after my trip. Do they serve beer or wine at the book store?
    I will be staying at LaFonda and if you and some of the gang are up for it after the signing I will buy ( a few rounds ) or someplace in the area.
    I will likely be quite parched from my long trip and if I am lucky plumb wore out from carrying all that treasure!

    Doug

    • Hi Cynthia,
      wow, nice review. Can I get you to review a book I may one day end up writing. I’ve got a few ideas I’ve been kicking around….

    • Doug, may I suggest the Taos Mesa Brewery. And if your heading from Santa Fe to the La Fonda in Taos, do a little Fats Domino tribute and cut across Blue Berry Hill to the blinking light. I dragged Cynthia there last spring and she said she enjoyed it. She sure burned rubber out of there though…..hmmm. Try the 3 Peaks.

      • seattle sullivan,
        I don’t believe I have bumped into you but thanks for the
        suggestions. I am a Fenner Hunter and I am quite fond of a number of fellow Fenners. If you make it to the book signing I would like to meet you.
        Take care.
        Doug

    • Doug, So happy to hear you will attend the book-signing. I think there are other searchers attending who would like to gather somewhere afterwards. If you buy a few rounds at La Fonda, you better have found Fenn’s loot… I suggest a handful of the double eagles or maybe the gold nuggets. See you next week! cynthia

  18. Hi Cynthia,
    wow, nice review. Can I get you to review a book I may one day end up writing. I’ve got a few ideas I’ve been kicking around….

  19. Finished reading the book today. First time ever that I have read a book in 1 day. Best $27.02 I’ve spent in a long time (signed copy made it a bit more special).

    I found a few “clues” of interest, but more importantly, the book was just downright enjoyable to read, even though I had already 2/3 of it here on HoD. Some of the differences between the HoD and book versions were of special interest.

    I’ll wait for everyone to get and read the book before commenting further.

    –Best regards

  20. Cynthia, Good Job. It must have been a blast with Forrest. I wonder which scrapbooks it covers. May be new hints. Can’t wait for my copy to get here.

  21. Well after seeing “Forrest book signing live” I really didn’t hear anything in details about stories or of comments that Forrest made in “Once Upon a While.” He didn’t talk about the hunt in referencing any hints or clue solves but I think his grandson block those question some. Mostly just repeats of things he has said in the past. Now Doug Preston did say that Forrest didn’t want him to say that there are “clues” in this book and Forrest did not say anything to disclaim that. So for those who have the book dig deep and maybe the “big picture” will pop out at you.

    Is there anything anyone else heard in the book signing that stood out to them?
    I think Forrest belt buckle is a little expensive but look who owns it, might be worth it.

    Enjoy your books,
    Bur

    • Hello Bur. I enjoyed watching the book signing. I believe Mr. Preston spoke of what many of us would have wanted to know as to whether or not there are hints/clues in the new book. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Fenn tell his stories from some of his memories, and thought he was quite funny while mentioning selling his belt buckle.

      • Hello Bur. I’m listening to the video once more as I type, and there is something that just caught my attention. Mr. Fenn spoke of how people were looking into old Farmer’s Almanac to see what the weather was like at Borders Bookstore “15 years ago”. This would bring the year to 2002. There’s been plenty of discussions as to the year of when the treasure was hidden. I believe it really doesn’t matter what year it was, but we have also heard about “15” in other mentions, such as not doing anything longer than 15 years (paraphrasing). It may be just a figure of speech of how he spoke in regards to the question and answer of that evening.

    • Well I guess I have to look more into Ernest Hemingway since he is Forrest favorite novelist according to his comment at the book signing. I always admired Hemingway, maybe because he once live here in Florida, in Key West (and hung out at Sloppy Joe’s Bar there). Guess he was said to do winters here and summers in Wyoming. Maybe Ernest had more of a influence on Forrest that just his novels?? Well more research, but I have some much on this already. Let’s see fishing- he wrote Trout Fishing in Europe hum… guess Ernest love to fish too.
      Ok let’s see what discussions happen now.
      How about some post on his books?
      Bur

      • More research – Just what I needed. Fishing???
        Wyoming/Hemmingway??? Where to begin – maybe at the beginning. When was Indulgence hid? 2010 or 2011???
        That’s a L O N G ways back. JDA

        • JDA & Lisa,
          JDA , I was kidding about doing more research on Hemingway, I might just go through his bio again, just for the heck of it, to see if anything kind of sticks out other then past research I’ve done. I’m just looking for maybe a coincidence in anything anymore.

          Lisa, yes that is most likely true what you said about Forrest influence” (Hemingway) in writing his book.
          Hemingway did a lot of fishing, just not sure about fly fishing. That was just a title, Trout fishing in Europe, he wrote about that pop out to me. Thanks for the info. Bur

      • Bur and JDA – I think Forrest was being extremely facetious, when he said that Hemingway influenced his writing. Except that he knew exactly how he did NOT want to write. Forrest is clearly not a fan, and I have yet to read one of Ernest Hemingway’s books. But I have learned a lot about him through our local library. Here is a great link. Read the sentence that begins , “Contrary to popular belief, Hemingway was not a fly fisherman…” His son, Jack, wrote the forward in one of Forrest’s favorite books, “Flywater”, and was an avid fly fisherman, though. And I have connected with Jack’s daughter, Mariel, several times here in our Sun Valley community

        https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/idaho/placesweprotect/hemingway-preserve.xml

      • Mr. Bur—-

        What was the name of Mr. Hemmingway’s boat?

        That Deputy has put out a Wanted Dead or Alive poster for me. I guess I’ll have to bunk with the horses.

        Billy

      • Bur – During the Q&A at the book signing, someone made a comment about how he collects rocks and wants his family to return them to where he found them. He asked Forrest about inspiration he might have found similarly out in nature, and for a location that was special to Forest in that regard. Forrest then began to tell stories about objects he found in special places, and the experiences he had finding those objects. That’s when I heard him say he was laying next to a rotting log when he crash landed his plane, and was subjected to the B-52 bombs that were deafeningly loud, that exploded above the ground, dropping rocks on top of him. He kept a rock that landed on his leg.

        When I look at and think about my hiding spot, I think about how Forrest was finally rescued when his plane went down, and how thankful he was to be alive. And I personally feel he commemorated that experience somehow by choosing his potential final resting place and the hiding place for the bronze chest. There is a well seasoned fallen Lodgepole Pine lying on a perfect diagonal across my squarish potential final resting place. And Forrest did say we should turn over a log, didn’t he?

      • Bur – And Jake guided me back to this link, in which Forrest said he climbed under a dinghy lying across that log.

        https://supersabresociety.com/caterpillar-club/forrest-fenn-caterpillar-club/

        And on another new thread at Dal’s, Rob is hypothesizing about Fathers Day being June 20, 2010, as the date Forrest may have hidden the bronze chest. Could that June 20th date, 6 months from December 20th, the day Forrest’s plane went down, be accurate? Forrest certainly doesn’t advocate going alone in there in December, so maybe so.

        And I am also going to go back and look in the wood at the spot on the Madison, next to Hwy 191, where I took that picture at the end of this past September. I am pretty sure that is where Forrest had his dinghy in the preface of Too Far to Walk.

        • Bur – and I think that the Father’s Day June 20th date and the December 20th date Forrest’s plane went down could tie in with that Q&A question asked about whether the Poem could be read from the perspective of a fly fisherman and a fighter pilot at the same time. The stanza Rob found the Father’s Day date in could also apply to Forrest’s experience while waiting for the Candy Ann to arrive to rescue him;

          From there it’s no place for the meek,
          The end is ever drawing nigh.
          There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
          Just heavy loads and water high.

          I believe there are aspects at my location that correspond to commemorating Forrest’s fly fishing trips at his favorite spot with his father, as well as the place his plane went down in Laos.

    • Bur – Doug Preston talking about Forrest’s famous hat at his house, and Forrest mentioning Doug’s great book, Cities of Gold, was relevant to me. I had just been discussing Forrest’s Scrapbook 126 with a friend, who just traveled through the Great Basin in Nevada earlier that day, coincidentally. We were looking at that picture of Stella Lake there, with the grizzly swimming and Forrest’s hat and the stone stela. And I am currently reading Lost City of the Monkey God by Doug Preston, and thinking about the stelae pictures I saw in another book I read about the same area, called Jungles of Stone. And weirdly, this video appeared on a shelf of staff pics at the library yesterday, as I approached the fireplace to read Doug’s book there:

      https://youtu.be/-mAfvH7q_Kw

      • Lisa,

        Yes I had seen ” The Lost City of the Monkey God” around the time it came out. Love adventures like that. I made a trip out to “Manchu Picchu” in Peru to see their ancient culture – civilizations a few years back.
        Could there be info in some of Doug Prestons books? I don’t see why not. Since Doug and Forrest became good friends I’m sure they have had many conversations throughout the years especially about Forrest plan to “take it with him”.

        I see you do a lot of research, I can understand that. I have a lot myself.
        Enjoy your post.
        Bur

        • Bur – Yes. I have not yet read The Codex, but I am sure they are going to make a movie of that someday….

          Timing is everything in Hollywood…

          I loved Doug’s description of the timeline of how all that happened with the producer involved, during the book signing presentation. And I look forward to seeing both Doug and Forest at the Oscars.

      • Lisa,

        Don’t get me started about the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum now the Center of the West. I have investigated the McCracken library through and through. As you might know Forrest has donated many things Photo’s, papers, artifacts from years gone by. Once you get started investigating it leads you in all kinds of directions and many can be potential hints. This is why I have gotten away from that part of Fenn. His history is always something to consider because people need to understand him. In fact in one email I sent him I told him that I seem to know so much about him that I consider him a good friend, and I told him where I live and said he is always welcome in my home if he is ever in my area.

        Lisa, not truly sure just how long you have been in the chase but in my opinion you can never get enough info about Forrst, and this is why I try to keep up with things searchers post. Most comments posted are repeats of conversations past throughout the blogs but sometimes there’s a new twist on how others see that information.

        You keep on keeping on and who knows you just might find that certain something that makes it all fit.
        Good Luck with your travels.
        Bur

  22. I just completed a read of Once Upon a Time. It is surely intriguing – I believe now that it contains clues, but we all have off season to ponder them…

    The book signing and getting to see Forrest was worth the trip to Santa Fe; the highlight was brunch him and some of the searchers. The man who created the chase is a gem – a rare one of a kind!

    • Once upon a time…..hmm……rainy day blessings— rainy night blessings…what TIME were those blessings? Your typo has got me thinking…..

    • Covert One ,
      The brunch was also my favorite part of my trip to Santa Fe. It as a very relaxed atmosphere, one I’ll never forget…..
      It was nice to meet you and others of the chase. Have a great night Covert One ….. until next time… see ya

  23. I just received my signed copy of Once Upon A While. I was just thumbing through it and there are a lot of graphics on about every other page. Some pages do have date stamps. The layout is very good.

    Now, down to the business of reading it.

    • Hey Charlie. Have yet to receive my copy. May take a while as I live overseas. Are there any new stories that have not appeared in the first two books or on Dal’s site?
      Cheers and happy reading.

        • Charlie, I mostly used the TTOTC book & poem, but since computers may be more accessible to some than $50 books, I think an author who thinks of everything might try to level the playing field by putting some hints/clues in his web-site stories. I’d check those closely.

          The Concy story stuck with me — as myths are meant to do. (I’m not calling FF a liar, Goofy) Myths are truths that resinate in a dimension that reveals our soul and defines us as humans. (see the Philadelphia Story in MWFM, and Teachers with Ropes)

          We rejoiced in the boy’s flat-tire revenge. It was a minor crime, a blow for justice between unequal forces. Like Huck Finn’s lies to protect Jim. And ‘’tired and weak’ sounds like flat tires to me. Good Luck.

  24. What stands out to me is what Mr Preston said: “Forrest doesn’t want me to say this, …he asked me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway (sorry) you know there are clues in this book. He said don’t say that because it’s going to make it sound like I’m trying to sell another book. But there are vital clues in this book. Just going to leave it at that.”

    Now how would Preston know there are clues unless Fenn told him? And why would Preston be so adamant to mention there were clues in the book if it were not true? (Especially if Mr Fenn supposedly didn’t want him to talk about it). And also not just clues, but “vital” clues(?)
    Very intriguing.

    -Randawg.

    • Randawg,
      I wouldn’t worry to much about what Douglas says. When I mentioned High School to him at the signing he had no clue what I was talking about and just blushed. Both our dates were confused at the response as well. It was a fantastic introduction to a great event with many friendships revitalized. The book is a fantastic read and if you don’t see any hints your focusing on the wrong place, IMO.

  25. My book is still somewhere between here and there. I have seen the chapter titles and only one of the 4 search states made a chapter title. It seems logical that this is a possibly a big hint for the correct state. Hmmmm. I may be biased because of what I see in the poem though.

    • Hello, Hear me all.

      Whereas that may be a possibility…that the only state mentioned in the chapter titles is the location of the treasure…it is also a possibility that it was mentioned because it’s the furthest state AWAY from the actual location.

      It’s certainly a possibility…which would amount to classic subterfuge from the Puzzle Master. I wouldn’t put it past him…ever.

      I don’t plan to stop looking in New Mexico any time soon.

      Where in New Mexico? It’s a secret.

  26. Once Upon a While – a few moments and thoughts later…

    I ordered twice, first in haste & oversight for a box of unsigned books. They arrived the morning of the Santa Fe book signing event. Second order was focused for signed copies and they arrived about 4 days later. I plan to pair-up and gift each OUAW book (except mine of course) along with a copy of Eric Sloane’s book Once Upon a Time: The Way America Was.

    On this discussion thread and others, much chat about possibility of hints in OUAW and about what was said and unsaid at the Santa Fe signing event. And afterwards, all them IMOs about what it all means and doesn’t.

    When I bought the new book I gave little-to-no thought to read it for finding any hints about his secret place. And I’ve since given no thought to any ATF statements / quotes. Geez…can’t a guy or gal just read an FF book purely for enjoyment (exception noted for TTOTC)? Lately for me, it’s become a bit of a quandary or metaphoric paradox likened to my venturing into the mountains just for the thrill of it with no pretense to chase any hidden indulgence. Yes – I can do it.

    I’m old-fashioned and prefer real, hardcover books to hold in my hands. I have most all of FF’s books and some of his other writings. I have Eric Sloane books, Edward Abbey books and ones by John Muir, Robert Redford, Osborne Russel, Jack Hemmingway, John Wesley Powell. I have many other authors’ books about history, geology, frontier / pioneer men & women and certain tribes of America’s indigenous peoples. Many others are light on words and heavy on photos, paintings, sketches / drawings and the like. The vast majority of my entire library has been acquired long before I ever heard of FF and Indulgence.

    FF wants us to unplug more from our virtual, techno worlds. Just posting this seems to contradict that. Think it’s time for me Once Upon this While to go away and visit some old places and friends again, perhaps to know them for the first time.
    Chase well…Stay safe…

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