Scrapbook Seventeen…



Forrest often has said that he was born a few hundred years too late. Although he uses a computer to write, he thinks he’s not ready for the 21st Century and all of the fancy gadgets that it brought along. Family members are moving apart, he laments, “because children today have so many distractions. They never use the telephone because there are faster and better ways to communicate. When he told me that his two daughters, both older than fifty years, don’t know who Clark Gable is, I suggested that it was more a reflection of who he is than who they are.

This picture of Forrest, leaning against a 600 year old wall at the privately owned San Lazaro Pueblo, reveals a man who is contented. He says it comes with being in a serenely remote place, alone or in the company of a special friend. His hand rests on a stone threshold, worn smooth over the centuries by the bare feet of countless humans, all of which are unknown to us now. The following words are taken from his book, The Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo.

“When I was just a kid, more than seventy-five years ago, my father and I often walked the wooded hills and along the creek bottoms in Texas, searching for signs of ancient man. We loved doing that together. The thrill of finding my first arrowhead ranks among my fondest memories. It was not the arrowhead alone that marked the event. It was also that my father was there to share it with me. I have long remembered the expression on his face as he watched mine. A few years before he died, he sent me this poem. Some words can be worth a thousand pictures.”


O’er fields of new turned sod
Communing with my God,
I tramped alone.

And in a furrow bed
I found an arrowhead
Chiseled from stone.

Then fancy fled on wings
Back to primeval things
Seeking the light.

What warrior drew the bow,
Sighted and let it go
On its last flight.

How oft this flinten head
On deadly errand sped
I do not know.

Nor will the silent flint
Reveal the slightest hint
How long ago.

Were its grim story told
What tales would it unfold,
Tales that would chill!

I know but this one thing
Beyond all questioning,
“Twas meant to kill”.

Ages have worn away,
Warriors have gone their way,
Their bones are dust.

Proof of a craftsman’s skill
Survives the ages still
Left in my trust.









32 thoughts on “Scrapbook Seventeen…

  1. See dal, I’m here *waving*
    I’m 45 and had a crush on Clark Gable. It’s the reason I always chose Miss Scarlet when playing the game Clue.

    I’m one who loves technology, but I’d give it all up to stop the clock.

    • I had a business partner ten years ago who swore that the day he turned 75 they would invent a way to stop the aging process. “Just my luck!”, he’d say, “Everyone else gets to be 25 forever and I get to be 75 forever.”

      • LOL….well, there is a way to reverse the aging process. Go treasure hunting;-) The act makes one think like an eight year old again.

    • If you can stop all clocks, the entire universe will be “frozen in time”. Ain’t gonna
      happen. Time “marches on”, like it or not. I think we should accept this fact with
      a generous amount of grace, if we can.

      It looks like you are about 52 these days. That’s a good age to be, as it tends to indicate experience and the wisdom accompanying it. Quantifying these things may not always be easy, but they are definitely appreciated. As always, IMO.

  2. This has always been my favorite photo and only I know why. I woke up today with the Chase on mind and I thought, Marvin Fenn would have liked me if he had met me. And I only know of the Fenn’s through the book just as Forrest knows of the warrior through the stones of age.

  3. Dal, you should have poured that business partner another half glass of water.

    I like that….”Some words can be worth a thousand pictures.”

    I’ve read his Dad’s poem a few times now. I wish I could grasp how a mind can come up with words that don’t go together normally, but when put together entertain the soul like that. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how poets and songwriters have that ability. It’s neat to see where Forrest acquired his talent from.

  4. Poetry is a part of the American West culture.

    Would be neat to see a picture of Forrest’s first arrowhead. We hear so much of this artifact.

  5. The poem, a twist of words that melt into the mind and merge that feeling of unexplainable, while still digging deeper, speaking a truth only understood by those who venture into life without bounds!

  6. fairly obvious, but will mention all the same..
    this type of symbolic verse resonates with forrest. the reasons why are secondary.
    but would certainly put this into a poem i wanted to be remembered for. each part having multiple meanings, and poetic liscence. spending time to get just “right”. (the box is completely secondary to having the written word poem being his “signpost”/”artifact” of rememberance long hence.
    the chosen photo, is -a house of Brown- in couple possible ways, though too easy to be THE -house of Brown-
    furrows are similarly, on a mans face, in farmers fields, -past and present-, also natural channels into the landscape by nature. a conduit of time and place.
    the final spot, and the riddle of clues, would best be a combo of several uses of each word, and make sense from that place.

  7. Dal, I want to travel and take my family to the hot springs where Forrest swam and where is that located?

    • That place is called Ojo Caliente. Its a boiling hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Head into the park from West Yellowstone. Take that road all the way up to the Loop Rd. at Madison Junction (about 15miles). At the Loop Rd. take a right. If you have not visited the Firehole Canyon Drive you should do that. There is also a swimming area near the end of that drive. It will bring you back out on the Loop Rd. If you want to avoid the canyon just stay on the Loop Rd. Either way is good. Once your past the canyon on the Loop rd. you are following the Firehole River. Just stay on the Loop Rd. for about 7 (a guess) miles and on the right you will see a road that is called the Fountain Flats Rd. It is right at the place where the Nez Perce Creek runs into the Firehole. So take a left on the Fountain Flats Rd and take it to the very end. It stops in a parking lot about a mile up. Park there and take the old Freight Rd Trail. Its a nice wide trail that was once a gravel road and can still be employed as a road in an emergency…fire, etc.
      So start walking on that trail. You go through a burn from the ’88 inferno that is still recovering. About a quarter mile up you will see a bridge that crosses the FireHole. Before you get to the bridge you may see an old wooden sign that says “Ojo Caliente” on the right and a narrow trail leading off to the right. This trail goes to the spring Forrest used as a bathing spot. It’s right on the Firehole and is a beautiful hot spring. If you miss that old wooden sign..don’t sweat it because when you get on the bridge just turn to your right and the spring is about a hundred feet down the river…
      When you are in that area YOU MUST take a walk around. Its a magnificent area with hundreds of thermals, hot pools, springs, mud pots and fountains. There is no boardwalk here so you must be very alert and very cautious…no place for children. The water in those thermals is hot enough to kill someone. Each one is different and it’s a fantastic display of Yellowstone nature. My fav area is on the other side of the bridge. Take a left and follow the little trail…then just work your way over toward the Firehole and walk amongst the most fascinating display of hot springs you can imagine…the colors..the steam…all very exotic…I can spend hours there…See my boring video about that area here:
      Turn the volume up..listen to nature…lower your blood pressure…


  8. Just thought I would look back at some of the older scrapbooks. I always think about the poem Forrest’s dad wrote about his first arrow head … some words are worth a thousand pictures

    • I agree, Joe Sparrow. Clearly, we can see penning beautiful poetry runs in the family. Like father, like son, and I truly feel like grandson/child, too.

  9. Here I am again…checking out all of the old scrapbooks. For some reason I am always drawn to this one. That arrowhead means a lot to Forrest. The poem above is simple and tells a deep story…on to the next.

  10. Nice poem Mr Fenn. I’m a little old-fashioned and I still think a telephone is the best way to communicate. If Alexander Graham Bell were alive today, I don’t think he would be very impressed (and he might even be a little insulted) with the concept of texting. 😉

  11. I’m curious what kind of beverage Mr. Fenn is drinking. I’ve tried zooming in and can’t tell. Can’t tell if it’s beer or a soft drink.

  12. The mix and match choice of words in this piece creates a halting type cadence that puts emphasis on the elapsed time between past and present. Without this touch, the message would be different….

  13. I would say that “It’s okay to kill if you eat what you kill”, but that would sound too much like a
    Lecter. IMO.

  14. is he drinking an old Olympia? haha I found some old beer cans that looked somewhat similar to the ones he’s drinking, by an wooden, old gold panning structure.

  15. IMO, the hint in this photo is that FF is drinking a bottle of water while leaning against a 600 year old rock wall. Im looking at this pic on my phone. Will have to look on my laptop. But is that “Arrowhead” brand water?

    • I’m on my phone right now too… But I think it’s been said before its “Blue Sky” soda and in a bigger picture you can kinda see it….

  16. For some reason I stumbled upon this scrapbook entry again today and decided to do a bit of digging. The poem that Forrest shares here was not written by Marvin Fenn, but by a man named Enos B. Comstock (1879-1945) who was an artist, writer, illustrator, and of course a poet. Marvin sent the poem to Forrest, but was not its author. The poem sometimes shows up as written by “anonymous”, however I have found enough information to convince me at least that Comstock was the original author.

    This poem apparently first showed up in the 1927 Boy Scout Handbook, but apparently gained popularity and made the rounds. I see the poem appearing on the cover of a newsletter for the Houston Archaeological Society from 1966: (Note that the editor does not reference the author directly, but says that it was written by a close friend.) It also shows up in the “Authentic Artifact Collectors Association Magazine” volume 9, issue 2, page 7, as well as in a Sierra Club Article dated September 7th, 2015 in which the poem appears on an old commemorative plaque. A quick Google-search will take you to all of these documents. I also noted that some searchers on Chasechat discovered some of this information as well.

    What I haven’t seen anyone mention anywhere regarding the Chase is that this poem also appears in a song by Johnny Cash from his 1968 album “From Sea to Shining Sea” titled “The Flint Arrowhead”. The lyrics have been added to and changed slightly from the Comstock poem, but it is mostly intact within. A couple of things interesting about this one: 1.) The “song” itself is really more of spoken word recitation with instrumental background music, and 2.) All lyrics for all songs are attributed to being authored by Johnny Cash himself. Take a listen for yourself:
    (Skip to 1:05 into the video link to hear the portion that follows the Comstock poem.)

    I am not sure if there is any significance to any of this regarding the Chase, but it has been a fun rabbit hole for me to jump down into and explore and see what sort of connections popped up. Maybe this poem holds a history that not even Forrest fully knows, but Marvin had some more intimate knowledge of. Collect enough shiny bits and eventually you’ll have a masterpiece, incomplete though it may be!

  17. Wow Blex! Thanks for sharing.

    So much of what you wrote made me think of Longfellow and “The Arrow and the Song”

    • No problem, Argillite! I never realized that was a Longfellow poem, so you taught me something new today too! 🙂

  18. It looks like there is a letter F in the upper left. Who titled the image slforcoke?

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