IMPORTANT NEW Info on November 2nd Book Signing…

Please, for the moment and until we get through this book event just put the following information on your blog.. Do not have any other information about book sales up, please.
Thanks for understanding! Lou
Just this for the time being, please..

 

Anyone wanting a seat at the event must send a request for ticket/s either by:

  • Email to CWBookEvents@gmail.com with your name and phone number, requests will be processed in the order received and confirmed by return telephone call.
  • Or you may call the store at (505) 988-4226 and talk to Dorothy or Darrell between 9am-5pm daily. If not available, they will return your call promptly.

Meet Up With Forrest on November 2nd….

September 2017

 

 

Forrest will shortly have a new book out. It’s titled “Once Upon a While”. It will be a paperback and sell for $24.95.

Author, and Forrest’s friend, Doug Preston wrote the following Forward for the new book. (republished here with permission from Forrest and Doug)

———————————–

Treasure of Another Kind
By Douglas Preston

I first met Forrest Fenn in the Dragon Room of the Pink Adobe in the late 1980s, where he habitually occupied a table in the corner, which featured a rotating cast of eclectic Santa Feans, including John Ehrlichman, Larry Hagman, Clifford Irving, Ali MacGraw, and Rosalea Murphy. I joined the table as a young, unknown, and struggling writer, wondering how the mistake had been made inviting me among all these famous people. But Forrest Fenn was an outstanding lunch companion, telling story after story that kept the table enthralled, and we instantly hit it off. That was the beginning of my friendship with Forrest, who is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. Here is a man who came from a small town in Texas, barely graduated from high school, spent 20 years in the Air Force as a fighter pilot, flew 328 combat missions in Vietnam over a period of 348 days, survived being shot down twice, and was awarded a raft of medals; he then retired, moved to Santa Fe, and built a world-famous gallery that put Santa Fe on the art-world map; he ran the gallery for 18 years with his wife Peggy and together they raised a wonderful family. Along the way he also published 10 books (this is the 11th), acquired and partially excavated a 5,000 room prehistoric Indian pueblo, and amassed a peerless collection of Native American antiquities and art.

I knew I was a friend of Forrest’s when, in the early 1990s, he invited me into his vault. This walk-in fortified room, hidden in the back of a closet, was filled with extraordinary treasures—Pre-Columbian gold artifacts, Indian peace medals, a Ghost Dance shirt, the greatest collection of Clovis points in existence, and (later) Sitting Bull’s celebrated peace pipe. Forrest had been a dealer in art and antiquities for years, with many superb objects passing through his hands. These were the things he had kept, the best of the best. Forrest liked artifacts that told stories, and each one had a rich and fabulous history.

In that first visit to the vault, Forrest wanted to show me something quite specific. He explained that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Although it was in remission, the prognosis was not good. He did not, he said, wish to linger in weakness and pain, and he especially did not want to put his family through a long and difficult ordeal as he wasted away from cancer. The honorable and dignified solution for all concerned, he told me, was to end it quickly and cleanly, by suicide.

But Forrest is a complicated human being, and with him nothing is simple. He had worked out a plan to end his life that would, he hoped, give something back to the world and encourage people to explore the outdoors he loved, while at the same time generating high interest, if not consternation. Forrest was never one to shy away from causing a stir.

On the right side of the vault, on a sturdy shelf, sat a bronze casket of ancient workmanship that he had recently acquired. Gene Thaw, the noted collector, had identified it as a rare Romanesque lock-box dating back to 1150 A.D. He opened the lid to reveal a dazzling heap of gold—monstrous nuggets, gold coins, Pre-Columbian gold objects—along with loose gemstones, carved necklaces, and a packet of thousand and five hundred dollar bills.

“Go ahead,” he said, “pick up a nugget.”

I reached in and picked up a massive raw nugget the size of a hen’s egg, cold and heavy. There is something atavistic about gold that thrills the imagination, and as I hefted it I felt my pulse quicken.

“That’s from the Yukon,” he said. “Nuggets that large are rare, worth three to four times their bullion value.”

He reached in and removed the bills.

“What are those? Funny money?”

“No. It’s legal United States tender”—not normally used in circulation, he said, but sometimes these large denomination notes were exchanged between banks to keep their accounts in balance. It wasn’t hard to obtain one; he simply called his bank and ordered it, and a week later it arrived. He tucked the packet back in the chest. The chest also included a vital piece of paper which he showed me: an IOU for $100,000 drawn on his bank, so that he would know the chest was found when the discoverer collected the IOU. He rummaged around in the chest and brought out a handful of gold coins—beautiful old St. Gaudens double eagle gold pieces, along with dazzling gemstones, a 17th century Spanish emerald, and a gold Inca frog.

“Lift the chest. See how heavy it is.”

I grasped it by the sides and could lift it only with difficulty. The total weight of gold and chest was more than forty pounds.

Forrest then explained what it was all about. After his cancer diagnosis, he had begun thinking of his own mortality. The doctors told him there was an eighty percent chance the cancer would return and kill him. So he had worked out a plan: when the cancer came back, he would travel to a secret place he had identified and bring with him the treasure chest. In that place he would conceal himself and the treasure, and then and there end his life. He would leave behind a poem containing clues to where he was interred with the chest. Whoever was clever enough to figure out the poem and find his grave was welcome to rob it and take the treasure for themselves.

The final clue, he said, would be where they found his car: in the parking lot of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

He had worked out all the logistics but one: how he could pull this off by himself, without help. He did not feel he could entrust anyone else to assist him. “Two people can keep a secret,” he said, “only if one of them is dead.” He had already written the poem, and he now brought it out and read it to me. It was similar to the poem he later published in his book, The Thrill of the Chase, but not, if I recollect, exactly the same. He tweaked it many times over the years, making it harder.

I said that there were a lot of smart people out there and I feared the poem would be deciphered quickly and the treasure found in a week. But he assured me that the poem, while absolutely reliable if the nine clues were followed in order, was extremely difficult to interpret—so tricky that he wouldn’t be surprised if it took nine hundred years before someone cracked it.

When first I heard his plan, I was astonished and amazed. I didn’t really believe it. But the more time I spent with Forrest, the more I realized he was dead serious—no pun intended. I also realized it would make a marvelous movie: the story of a wealthy man who did take it with him. I pitched the idea to Lynda Obst, a classmate of mine from Pomona College, who had become a hugely successful Hollywood producer (Flashdance, Contact, Sleepless in Seattle). She loved the idea and asked me to write a treatment. When I called Forrest to make sure this was okay and offered to share the proceeds, he gave me his blessing, generously and firmly refused to accept any money, and made me promise only to invite him to the premiere—and the Oscars, if it got that far. I wrote a treatment and sold it to Lynda Obst Productions and 20th Century Fox. While the movie was never made (option available!) I did write a novel based on the idea, called The Codex, which featured a wealthy Santa Fe art dealer and collector who is dying of cancer and decides to take his fortune with him. He buries himself and his fabulous wealth in a secret tomb at the farthest ends of the earth, and he issues a challenge to his three lazy, no-good sons: if they want their inheritance, they have to find his tomb—and rob it.

As the years went by, I visited Forrest many times and saw the treasure in his vault. He often took things out and put other things in; he removed the currency, fearing it might rot; and he swapped out some of the gems for more gold coins and ancient Chinese jade faces. He also took out the IOU, he said, “because I thought my bank might not still be there when the chest was found.” He had worked out a better way, he told me, to know when the treasure is discovered, but he has not shared that secret with me.

And then finally, one lovely summer day in August 2010, I visited him and he brought me into the vault. The chest was gone! “I finally hid it,” he said. He was about to turn eighty years old and still in excellent health with no sign of cancer, and he decided to stop waiting and hide the chest now. This way was better, because he would be around to appreciate and enjoy the ensuing hunt.

And that, as everyone knows, was the beginning of what has developed into possibly the greatest treasure hunt of the 21st century. As I write this, seven of those nine hundred years have passed, a hundred thousand people have looked for the treasure, and three have lost their lives in the search—and yet it still remains out there somewhere, secreted in a dark and wild place, waiting to be found.

This treasure story is emblematic of who Forrest is—a war hero, a man of great generosity, and a truly original human being who lives life to the fullest, does things his own way, and doesn’t worry too much about what others might think. Forrest is, above all, a creator and a teller of amazing stories. In this book he tells thirty nine of the best of those stories, all true, with a note of commentary at the end of each one. They run the gamut from the inspiring and philosophical to the amusing and fabulous. These stories are a treasure of another kind, and some of them—who knows?— may contain more clues to the location of the real treasure.

I have read these stories with enormous pleasure, interest and enlightenment, and I hope you will enjoy them too.


On November 2nd Forrest and Doug will have a book signing at Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe.

Lou Bruno and Susan Caldwell who designed Forrest’s last 6 books, and made them happen are the owners and designers of the new book.

I expect there will be an ordering page soon…but in the meantime the book can be ordered from lou@brunoadvertising.com

Those Three Words……

July 2017

by Dodo Bird

 

 

I had resigned myself to the fact that I will go to my grave without ever hearing those three words that mean so much. It is not in the cards for me, nor the stars. I was born with all the necessary parts and pieces…its a matter of inadequacy i guess. Some things are not meant to be. Its easy for me to blame my creator or gravity and everyone around me, but deep down I know I need to change. I dated an ostrich for a time. Her parents refused to accept us as a couple.
So I visit here at Dal’s blog to read others thoughts and stories of Fenn treasure hoping to find inspiration. I do believe the man hid a treasure and I’m going to find it. And with this new found wealth, I CAN change. The fact that two searchers have died looking for Fenn treasure does not phase me one bit. They believed him and so do I. After all, people dying over a belief that may or may not be true is nothing new. Many have died over the course of history believing in religions, governments and charismatic individuals. But im not going to die. Im going to be rich.And im going to buy lots of things with the money- a gym membership to lose weight, I’ll get a pedicure, a nose job. I’ll have my wings fixed and then, most importantly i’ll take flying lessons.
Sometimes I go to the airport just to watch the planes. I sit at the airport bar and meet people from all over the world. And even though im not going anywhere  I take an empty suitcase along to make it look like I am. One time my suitcase fell over and a lady picked it up for me. Realizing it was empty, she knew my game. As she stood up, righting my fallen case, a small tear pooled in her lower eyelid. I just mouthed a thank you and she paid for my next drink. Sometimes I can hear people behind me mocking…”hey look! ha ha it’s a dodo bird…at an airport! ”  im so happy they are entertained by this fact.
I just ignore them. it aint easy being a bird that cant fly.
But after I find fenn’s treasure, I’ll show em all. I’m going back to that airport. I’ll strut proudly out on the tarmac. And everyone who laughed at me will watch in amazement as I get in line with the jumbo jets on the taxiway. I’ll wait my turn, flexing my new wings with deep powerful strokes warming up creating just as much jetwash as the jumbos. and when my turn comes, I’ll stand on my tippy toes at the end of the runway with the wind in my face, nose high in the air and over the control tower loudspeaker everyone will hear those three words that mean so much…..
dodo bird!
CLEAR FOR TAKEOFF!!!

The Totem Cafe……

July 2017

by JR Richardson

 

I thought with the discussion I see from time to time on the Totem Café in West Yellowstone when hunting the treasure, it may be of interest to seekers to know a bit more history on this business – many people have walked through its doors and perhaps something about it does hold a clue to the blaze… ☺

The Totem Café is no more, but the building still stands and parts of the original building are still in place. It is now Bullwinkle’s at 115 Canyon Street. The metal sign at the apex of the roof is the original sign from the Totem, it has just been repainted to say Bullwinkle’s. Jackie and Dennis LaFever purchased the building from Jim and Marcia Gray in 2006, it had been with the Grays since about 1976. Marcia originally acquired the Totem in 1972, when she was married to Jack Tremaine. Jack was killed in an accident in 1974 on Denny Creek Road and Marcia married Jim Gray a few years later.

When purchased in 1972, there were cabins next to the cafe’ that lined the alley (known as “B Pkwy” on maps) but Marcia used those for crew housing instead of rentals. They were eventually sold or torn down, with the exception of one that became a Rock Shop for Ken and Ione Guyse on the Totem property. The original Totem building at that time had attached living quarters behind it. Around 1973 or ’74 the living room of those quarters was turned into a game room for playing live poker and an entryway was cut out to allow access to it from the Totem Lounge at the rear of the building. Jack and Marcia had poker chips made with “Totem Club” embossed above the denominations. The rear outside access was changed also, with entry from the parking lot into the “Game room” via what used to be the entry to the living quarters. Because this door was not easily visible to the bartender in the lounge, a set of ‘jingle bells’ was attached so people entering the building could be heard. If you visited the Totem anytime from the mid-70’s for the next 30 years, and you came in through the back door, you probably came in through the “Jingle Bell door”.

Prior to 1972, the owners were Bill and Eulah Gray. Jim Gray, who married Marcia after Jack’s death, was their son. So it was still ‘in the Gray family’ so to speak after 1976.

Now I will do my best to recall what I can, but this history was before my time so might have some errors; I believe Bill and Eulah bought the Totem from Frosty and Ramona (Jochimsen) Tornes (maybe the same Frosty in Forrest story). I don’t know who they bought it from, or if they were the original builders. I understand the original building was constructed in 1937.

At some point in the late 40’s or early 50’s the building was moved to its current location from further South on Canyon St., I believe south of Madison Avenue. I have always thought it was located about mid-block on the same side of the street as it is now, in the vicinity of alley “A Pkwy” on West Yellowstone maps (that’s a guess).

Totem Cafe circa 1940- Photo by Chris Schlechten from the Museum of the Rockies Collection

There are 2 old photographs posted with Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive Online http://www.morphotoarchive.org/), you can do a search by location (on the left under Image Database Searches, By Location), select West Yellowstone and find the photographs there. The cabins, which I assumed moved with the building, can be made out in these photos. My hunch is this is how the Totem looked, and this was the location, that Forrest worked at, although I do not know that for sure.

I lived in West Yellowstone from the 1960’s to 1983, my mother was Marcia Gray. We lived for years behind the Totem, it was my second home literally. I went back in 2002 to 2005 and ran the business when my mother was living in Helena, MT. When TTOTC was published, I was stunned that Forrest had worked at the Totem, but so many of the stories Forrest told were up close and personal to me having lived in West Yellowstone for so many years.

The Totem changed names from time to time (not necessarily officially) over the years as new areas were added to the business. It started as Totem Café, had a game room later as the Totem Club. Then was known as Totem Restaurant and Lounge. You will also see Totem Restaurant and Deli, sometimes with “Liquor Store” added in. Later it was Totem Restaurant and Casino Bar. I have noted there are matchbook covers for sale from time to time on the internet from the Totem. While they all look very similar (my mother kept the original cover design pretty much the same as it was when she purchased the business), I can tell what “Totem era” the book was printed in by the words on the cover. If it says “Cabins” or has a 4 digit phone number, it’s old.

I have read some stories sent to Dal from searchers who feel the Totem is a key in the hunt for the treasure. Indeed, the streets of West Yellowstone have mystery names – there is a Canyon, a Madison, a Firehole, and other names that may lead a seeker to find a path to the blaze. If you are in West Yellowstone, and are curious about the Totem, stop in at Bullwinkle’s and have a beer or coke in the small lounge at the back of the restaurant in the original ‘A’ frame building. The wooden bar is one of the original parts left from the Totem. There is also a salad bar made of white rock against one wall – this was built by Jack around 1973 and hasn’t changed from its original construction that I know of. I haven’t been in there recently but would like to go this summer and see what a wonderful refurbishing that Jackie has done.

If you want some fun, tell Jackie you are curious about the ‘Spiderman room’. When I was living in the attached quarters around 1975, my room was a windowless square that adjoined the bathroom. I loved Spiderman (what teenager doesn’t), and to dispel the gloom of no window, I painted a life-sized caricature of him on my cinderblock wall. Every day was a good day to wake up and see Spidey slinging a web across the room. This picture was still remaining when Jackie bought the Totem. Sometime, (I am thinking about 2011), he had to be covered up finally to make way for renovations. She sent a picture to my mother just before he was painted over, with the painters hanging out next to him. He had been slinging the same web for over 35 years. His presence is only known to a few, as he was tucked away in a secret spot, like the treasure we all seek.

Good hunting, hope this was interesting for a few readers!

JR Richardson

 

Jonsey sent along these images from an early Totem Cafe menu in her vast collection of Forrest related artifacts.

Thanks Jonsey-