Scrapbook Fifty Six…



MARCH 2014

Last Saturday Shiloh rented a plane and flew me to a party at Suzanne Somers’ home in Palm Springs. The weather departing Santa Fe was terrible and for the first 100 miles I kept my eyes closed, deferring to Shiloh to keep me alive. How can you fly under clouds that are kissing the ground? I didn’t want to know.

photo 1

Suzanne’s house doesn’t have an address so we received email directions and pulled up to a huge green gate, and rang the bell. After convincing the security staff we were not terrorists the gate opened and we drove a few narrow winding blocks to a secluded parking area surrounded by 10’ high oleanders and palo verde trees. It was like a jungle.

Strangely, there are no roads within 300′ of the house, (all of the building materials were carried up by burros). So the “walkers” put us in a small open-air tram and pushed a button. Two minutes later we were half way up the side of a rocky mountain that’s full of mountain sheep, bob cats and rattle snakes. Suzanne doesn’t like rattlesnakes.

Our greeters at the top were George Hamilton, (He made 57 movies) and a lady with an unforgettable face who lived with Elvis for seven years. (Sorry, I forgot her name) George wanted to know about the hidden treasure and couldn’t stop asking questions about it. Shiloh was impressed and I tried to appear indifferent.

Then Suzanne introduced us to a few of her friends: a dashing shipping magnate who wore a white hat and a matching white tie. He owned three, 300’ long ocean freighters; a slight, soft-spoken man who recently stepped down from a job making $200.000.000 a year running Occidental Petroleum; and a guy who sold Google one of the three city blocks he owned in downtown Seattle.

I decided to back into a corner and make notes while Shiloh, who was thirty-years younger than anyone else at the party, flirted with Suzanne’s divorced daughter, Leslie, and a billionairess widow lady who financed many of the civic organizations around Palm Springs.

Barry Manilow, who remembered me from my gallery days, wanted to talk about the treasure. He said that if he could get out of a contract he would go looking for it.

A ten-piece orchestra played Cuban music non-stop in a natural stone amphitheater that abutted the house. The singer moved to the music, and I swear, her body shook in places that I didn’t even know existed. She had to take frequent breaks. You know how Cuban music is.

photo 2 (7)

Suzanne’s favorite bathtub, a gift from her husband who is an avid photographer

At dinner I sat next to Suzanne and she HAD to introduce me to everyone who came up to chat, about a hundred in all. I felt like a dime at a dollar bill convention.

When the candles burned low Shiloh took me to our motel. Then he went back to the party and stayed until the candles died of old age. He denied it but Leslie told me.

At breakfast the next morning eight of us sat around Suzanne’s kitchen table while her husband, Alan Hamel, cooked eggs over-easy on corn pone cakes and grits that were decorated with bitelets of bacon. Suzanne served healthy glasses of a severely green liquescent she described and “a blend.” It was made of eight different fruits whose names were foreign to me, except bananas, and I didn’t taste them in the mix. I drank it like it was good and I’m sure it was because Suz is a health nut.

I didn’t know the man sitting on my right but when he was introduced as Arnold Kopelson, I said “Oh,” pretending to understand. Suz knew I didn’t, so she whispered that he had produced 29 movies and received an Oscar for Platoon. I smiled and sat up straighter in my chair.

At 10:30 Shiloh and I jumped in the Cessna and pointed it 060 degrees for Santa Fe. The strong headwind didn’t help so we stopped at Sedona for fuel and a buffalo burger with grilled onions and a small fries. With the time change and an hour lost, it got dark fast and Shiloh couldn’t see the flight instruments. After fumbling with the switches he got the lights working just in time for us to land at a very dark airport. No one was around anywhere. It was nice.

In my car driving home Shiloh noticed we were almost out of gas and there were no stations close. But a few minutes later we coasted into my garage and closed the door. It had been a good trip.

For an aged kid from a small town in Texas, the Palm Springs experience was both ego shrinking and mind expanding. It was fun to see how some people lived. But it was nice to be at my computer again with a little pinon smoke coming from my fireplace. There is no place like home.



81 thoughts on “Scrapbook Fifty Six…

  1. There he goes with the 300’s hmmm The treasure could be 300 ft from were you can drive.

    • FF likes to mention 300 feet (for example, the trees where
      he was shot down). I think it’s a reference to football, and
      a hint. And yeah, I know I’m responding to a very old
      posting. It’s not easy to solve the poem, but I believe the
      “prize” is worth some effort beyond what most searchers
      are willing to expend.

  2. If 300 is an important number, then 900 or 90 is much more important.

    Page 51 and the circled “141 postmark”….. ??

    What are the odds of all the other postmarks being on even #’s? A million to one? billion to one?…. That is important clue in “Thrill of the Chase”.

    Also Franklin minus Hamilon is also $100 -10 equals $90 chapter 45 in “Too far to Walk” ps 45 plus 45?? nm treasure com

    • Anything numbers related to or referenced in his books is not a clue and can never be a clue.

      Forrest said himself any of the “hints” were not placed there intentionally. Any number placement would be intentional.

    • Yea Skippy hated the hat etc…postmark on the right Mindy mentioned this too BUT don’t forget the 5.

  3. The phrase ‘rocky mountains’ certainly stands out.
    Commence celebrity ID’ing. …Was the owner of 3 Seattle blocks Martin Selig?

    • Yeah! “rocky mountains full of sheep”. I wonder where there are rocky mountains full of sheep? How ’bout Manby Hot Springs? There are wild sheep, and very rocky mountains, and is north of Santa Fe. Check out and type Manby Hot Springs on the google search. I’ll bet you guys you if you see closely you can see clues given by Mr. Fenn.

    • “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute!” – That’s a line by Cher in “Moonstruck”…a favorite movie. But what I want to ask is did I really misspell “you’re”? Maybe that was the pot talking. p.s. I’ve heard that the rattlers in AZ will walk right inside given half a chance…ouchy possibilities what. Thas all for now folks…..

  4. Also, interesting to known we’re up against the likes of George Hamilton, Suzanne Somers and Barry Manilow in this Chase. 😉

    • Don’t forget Shiloh. With his resourcefulness hopefully he’s not looking yet and will give the rest of us a bit longer. 🙂

  5. Wow! What a small world, and amazing coincidence! I recently sent Suzanne a note telling her that I’d like to meet her, especially since we were both friends of Forrest’s, and how I was helping him write his children’s book. I also told her about how I got to sing with her other friend Barry Manilow back in 1984 at the Salt Palace. I haven’t heard back from her yet. I can’t wait to tell Suzanne, Forrest, and Barry that I’ve composed much of my music on my autographed Barry Manilow piano. I wish I could have been there with Forrest! It sounds fabulous!

  6. So how come no one is talking about a bathtub clue?…where warm waters halt..
    and of course burros that Forrest used to haul the chest far into his hiding place..
    and 060 degrees…that’s huge…
    You guys crack me up…

  7. I saw Barry Manilow in concert once. All I remember was that he dropped about 300 F-bombs. I think he was trying to compensate for something.

    The mountain was full of sheep, bob cats and rattle snakes. But the house was full of egos.

  8. I always wonder what movie stars would think of how we live esp me had to chase john Wayne out of house a few minutes ago. 😉 and I wish I had a enough hot water to fill a bath tub up lol

    • What they think wouldn’t matter. I think a pet rooster is super cool, almost as cool as a pet goat. Chasing him out of the house is really a good story. Sorry about the hot water tho- anyhow you seem 10X more interesting than the movie stars.

      Any ideas on the 300s?

      • Hahah you right lowi Flapping rooster feathers is real excitement Even tho that bathtub at Suzanne’s made me jealouse I bet she has never ending hot water My brother had one that set on a fishing cabin porch over looking the chipola river One day he was in it and it fell thru into the river where it still sits today Lordy the life of rednecks I don’t think there is any clues in these stories just a good time post 🙂

      • Yes, I believe Forrest was just being Forrest and letting us know he had a great time and felt out of place also. Talking about animals, My Granny on My Mamma’s side, had a pet goat and a pet owl. She used to close them up at night in a pen and call it a Hoot’n Nanny. Sally the Goat used to get through the screen porch that was loose and come waltzing into the house like it was hers. The Owl was named ChopChop because it used to grind it’s beak and make a chopping sound during the day while it slept!! Granny also had a pet crow named Joker that would fly down and take things and fly back up on the roof!! She had a salesman come by and he left his car window down on a hot summers day,My Granny told him not to leave his keys in the ignition he said it was fine. She told him she had an old crow that loved to take things and might get into his car. He shrugged it off and sure enough, Joker flew into this car and stole his keys!! My Granny said I told you so and the man had to climb up high to reach the roof and barter with a shiny pen to get this keys back. My Granny did not by from the salesman but left him with a story to tell. I miss My grandmother, Sally ChopChop and Joker. Now that is what Forrest needs to hear about stories like that. It really happened and it is right up his alley.Just a cool childhood and lots of other stories I could tell. No movie stars and swimming pools just plain old fun and country tales simple and to the point…..Hey Dal, Make sure Forrest reads this one. Maybe he can have a story about an old Crow or an Owl Maybe even Sally the Goat running through the house with about 3 or 4 grandkids trying to shew her out of the house. Still in the chase!! JMW Ms. Girl

  9. 060 magnetic heading departing palm springs makes sense to me because it would point them towards Santa Fe which is about 73 degrees true course (using the magnetic declination in Palm Springs of about 13 degrees East). Therefore, I see no clue there

  10. Thanks for sharing that, Forrest. I have to wonder if Suzanne has to wear snake boots to get to the water high???

    Also, maybe you’d better keep an eye on Shiloh. Looks like he might be “having too much fun”. He’s got that Fenn grin and he’s flying with ‘confidence’.

    Hmmm, Dal. Burros. 060 degrees. I need to get back to clue-solving.

  11. You are right Dal; so many clues in this story… name just a few more.

    no address
    huge green gate
    rang the bell
    It was like a jungle
    no roads within 300 feet
    half way up the side of a rocky mountain
    land at a very dark airport. No one was around anywhere. It was nice.
    pinon smoke
    There is no place like home.

    I can’t believe he just gave away the chest. Do you want to go get it or should I?

  12. And don’t overlook the “billionairess widow lady”, just has to be related to ‘alone in there and with my treasures bold’!!! 🙂

  13. Too late Goof. I’m in the jungle, 300 feet from a huge green gate on the side of a rocky mountain walking 060 degrees, just passed a bell, and I’m looking down. AWWHH HELL! I JUST FELL OFF A CLIFF

  14. Well one of you get it. Im a bit slow on the uptake, it might register about tomorrow sometime. lol

  15. How does it make you feel, Forrest?
    All you have to say is, “Good morning, everybody!”, and a bunch of people start seeking to interpret a clue.

    I enjoy your story! 🙂

  16. Tell George to quit tanning and get in shape for a spring hike. He can ride along with me when I pick up the treasure.

  17. Mr. Fenn, Wow! Great adventure and thank you for sharing. I like the balls of string sprinkled in the story! Confimed a lot! ¥Peace¥

  18. I don’t usually comment on the blogs; I just like to read them. However, my boss has been to Suzanne’s place for a couple of parties and Suzanne has been to where I work a few times, but I treat her and Alan as I do everyone else. She has her own huge garden where they grow the vegetables that are in their food. What I would like Forrest to answer is why does Suzanne get to go and dig at San Lazaro Pueblo and I can’t?

  19. Thanks for sharing your trip to Suzanne Somer’s place Forrest. I’ll have to live vicariously through you as you mingle with the other rich and famous individuals as it’s the closest I’ll ever get to meeting those people! 🙂 It sounds like you had a good time too but I hope you didn’t give George or Barry any extra hints! 🙂

    Now it’s time to minutely examine every word to look for hidden clues. 🙂

  20. I’d say Forrest is still brave! Even if he prefers his piñon smoke fireplace and home comforts he took the flight with Shiloh for the adventure. Great read…

  21. I agree, there is no place like home. 🙂
    Thank you Forrest, for a little glimpse of how the other half lives. It confirms how old I am

  22. Hi Forrest, Nice story! You have a blessed life! And Hi everyone! I do believe there is at least a little tid bit of a clue in there. Forrest knows what WE LIKE!
    I can’t wait to meet Mr. Fenn, when I bring the bracelett to him! Soon I hope!
    Lou Lee Belle-Chased by Bears in Jellystone Park.

  23. I took my son to Manby Hot Springs about 3 weeks ago, and while I was driving my son noticed a sign that said, “watch for walkers, and horses”. My son immediately turned to me and told me, “Look dad there are zombies on this road”.

  24. I don’t comment much either. But I really enjoyed this story. I am simple and humble. I like my home here in NM and the thought of living in a place full of rich , famous people does not do a whole lot for me. I’d rather watch them on TV and let them live the way they do.

    As for myself, I love the mountains . I worked in them for 26 years.

  25. I agree give me a tent in the mnts and a half tub of hot water once in a blue moon and I’m
    A ll good 🙂

  26. Great story Mr. Fenn. I love the way you write, your style is awesome. It just makes sense.

  27. Forrest, I can’t believe you are 80! You Look Younger than many of my friends in their sixties!!! For Sure, I am sure many will agree with me on this. You look so young! You should live to be 104 like my great Uncle! Lou Lee Belle, Chased by Brown Bears in Jellystone Park!

  28. Heard the main course was fresh Thorne River Alaskan Coho. Wonder what Mr. Fenn’s choice was? The crosscut steaks or the whole dressed or maybe some of both?

    • Oh, mi, almost forgot about Gravelly Creek. Must park that means of transport somewhere.

  29. Dal, I finally got one of my kids excited enough with the chase to want to take a trip with me.

    There is so much useful information on your web site it’s hard to remember everything. The “Cheat Sheet” is very helpful.

    Questions keep coming up about the timeline of what dates we can know. Is there a timeline showing Mr. Fenn’s birth, when he found out about his illness, when the poem was written, when his books were written, when the chest was hidden, etc., etc., etc.?

    It would be nice if someone could piece this info together and maybe post it on the Cheat Sheet or… thanks so much!

    • special-
      The Cheat Sheet, found on the tabs at the top of every page, are Goofy’s, not mine. I think I did add something once when he wasn’t looking but I didn’t get any white powdery substance in the mail so I guess it was okay…

  30. Today is Sunday, March 16th and Forrest is in Tucson where he is receiving the “True Westerner Award” from Bob Bose Bell, editor and publisher of True West Magazine..
    Shiloh said he would send along some pics…

  31. With the True Westerner Award’s backing I guess we have to believe ff when he says the chest is still out there in waiting…..Hope he gives us a write up. I get a thrill from anything FORREST. 🙂

  32. Help! Does anyone know the names of the shipping magnate, rich Seattle guy, or billion heiress? Is he hinting of riches new and old?


    There’s no toilet in that picture, is there?

    • the treasure most likely is with-in 300 feet of road kill, say anyone got a map of most popular spots to see road kill of any thing in the rockys Montana, Colorado, newmexico.

      • @Duck – Montana has such a high rate of road kill that a law was enacted making road kill edibly legal. Highway 83 is one I drive often and sadly kills over 3000 animals per annum. Colorado constructs fences high enough near major freeways to prevent the slaughter. If I were picking a state based on road kill, it would be MT. Each state will have a similar site to Montana’s I’ve linked here:

  33. X

    A ten-piece orchestra played Cuban music non-stop

    At 10:30 Shiloh and I jumped in the Cessna and pointed it 060 degrees for Santa Fe.

    I felt like a dime at a dollar bill convention.

    surrounded by 10’ high oleanders and palo verde trees. It was like a jungle.

  34. In today’s (February 11, 2017) L.A. Times real estate section, Suzanne and Alan have put their Palm Springs place back on the market:

    “Actress-entrepreneur Suzanne Somers and her husband, producer Alan Hamel, have put their European-inspired retreat in the hills of Palm Springs back on the market for $14.5 million.

    “Owned by the couple since 1977, the 70-acre estate sits among boulders and native outcrops and is reached by a private funicular railway system.

    “The estate includes eight bedrooms, nine full bathrooms and two half bathrooms spread across various structures, among them a stacked-stone house designed by architect Albert Frey that rests against the hillside.

    “The main house, designed in the French villa style, included the master suite, office space and an outdoor shower. Other amenities include a two-room kitchen and a 5,000-bottle wine cellar with tasting room.

    “Stone-lined steps wind through the various guest villas, outdoor dining areas and an amphitheater. A lap swimming pool, a carousel and a waterfall-fed pond also lie within the grounds. Views take in the Coachella Valley.

    “Somers, 70, gained fame in the 1973 film “American Graffiti,” and later the sitcoms “Three’s Company” and “Step by Step.” She became the face of the Thighmaster exercise machine during its height in the 1990s.

    “Hamel, 80, hosted such ’60s television game shows as “Wedding Party” and “Anniversary Game.” He later produced a number of Somers’ TV and video specials.

    “Scott Lyle of Teles Properties holds the listing.”

    No mention whether Suzanne’s favorite outdoor bathtub is included in the listing. (grin)

  35. Hi,I check your new stuff named “Scrapbook Fifty Six… | Thrill Of The Chase” regularly.Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up! And you can look our website about تحميل اغاني.

  36. This story sounds so familiar to me..
    It’s like Scrabble tiles..
    The tiles don’t change.. only the stories told by them do..
    Different story.. same tiles.. hmmm..

    Slitely different..
    Just a little..

    Inspector Clouseau

  37. “Stone-lined steps wind through the various guest villas”…and yet, Forrest, who flew hundreds of miles to be there, slept in a motel?

  38. “a dime at a dollar bill convention” that’s good stuff. Did Barry ever make it out of that contract? It sure is cold outside.

  39. I love this photo of Forrest & Shiloh.
    New and old!
    I cannot work out if his Lordship is tired or scared!
    Shiloh’s smile is infectious. Lets hope it spreads right around the globe like this virus. Bringing some balance to our Earth!

  40. Somers is in a video with ff where they comment that she wanted ff to find for her a painting by a famous woman painter whom they referred to as “our lady…” but this is an incomplete reference, which in the original caused me to think about “our Lady of Guadalupe church” which is somewhere in the Rockies;and Forrest has said his church is in the mountains…. For me there have been a zillion different takes It has been a fascinating ride, Forrest, and not over yet.

Comments are closed.