Scrapbook One Hundred Twenty Five…



Fire Cracker

Skippy never had a plan B because he always expected his plan A to work. He functioned on the periphery where most kids his age didn’t even think to look, me neither. But he couldn’t forever control unexpected outside interferences.

When he was seventeen, he erected a New Year’s firecracker business at the corner of 3rd Street and French in Temple, near the high school and next door to Smith’s Drug Store.  His good friend, Leroy Calhoun, who had a few bucks saved up, became his partner.

School was out for the holidays, but all the kids still were hanging around the social soda fountain at Smith’s, and waving past the firecracker stand.

The second day a couple of giggling girls walked up to flirt with the two enterprising business men. One purchased a fuse bomb, lit it, and tossed it over the counter at Leroy, thinking it would be a fun joke. Except that the dangerous apparatus landed on some Areal Bombettes, which promptly detonated with a furious ricocheting blast that was heard clear down to the cemetery, two miles distant. The entire store inventory of holiday explosives joined in the mighty discharge. A local newspaper reporter noted that a box of dung fuse-lighters landed over by the school gymnasium.

Both Skippy and Leroy, with hairs afire, were blown onto the 3rd Street yellow center stripe. One observer lamented that tires were screeching as speeding cars careened through the burning debris and secondary explosions, trying to dodge human bodies and dangerous burning devices.

The first I knew about it was when my father yelled, “Quick, Bubba, get in the car, Skippy’s been blown up.” When he saw us walk into the hospital room his face lit up with a wide grin. It was easy to see how proud he was. But what a pitiful sight, with a blackened face, and bandages covering his body. Father just shook his head as if to say, “Well, at least he’s still alive.”


After a few minutes, Irene Vance, who was Skippy’s girlfriend, entered the room with her cousin, whom I had not met. Her name was Peggy Jean Proctor.

Irene Vance

Irene Vance

I don’t remember what happened to the two giggling girls, but I suspect they stopped giggling at the first flash. Skippy recovered and married Irene. Peggy and I started dating and were married eight years later. That was sixty-one years ago and almost nothing has changed, except Peggy has gotten prettier and I’ve gotten older, which must be one of Madam Nature’s major design deficiencies.

Forrest, Peggy, Irene, Skippy in back, Donnie and June

Forrest, Peggy, Irene, Skippy in back, Donnie and June

Poor Leroy Calhoun was classified 4F as a result of the firecracker episode, and it prevented him from being drafted during the Korean War.

I’ve jammed a lot of oral history in these 515   words, but I’ve also left out a few things. Skippy trampled the grass around some pretty interesting events during his fifty years, and I was a tag-along observer with him for my share. I don’t know who decided that we can’t go back and do it all over again, but I don’t subscribe to it. Can anyone help me?


Skippy on Silver














328 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Twenty Five…

  1. Well just goes to show that in the end you both ended up with the ladies 🙂
    Kinda of ironic Enh?

    • LOL! Ladies can be a real blast…in every sense of that word…”for better or for worse” they say. Put me down for a heapin’ helpin’ of “better” and put the “worse” on the side…in a separate bag. 🙂

  2. Forrest,

    By telling the story and feeling it all rise up again, you pretty much have lived it all over again; only from a different perspective.

    But if it makes you feel any better, there are quite a number of physicists and cosmologists who believe in a block universe, in which the entirety of what we call time has always and will always be there, like a sequence of snapshots all sandwiched together to eternity. Our sense of movement and the passage of time is our consciousness perceiving movement through the block.

    So everything you just told us about is still, right, there, and hasn’t gone anywhere. The six of you are still sitting on that porch.

    All you have to do is figure out a clever way to get back to a different part of the pile…


  3. Very engaging story, Forrest. I think you’ve made up for lost time and trampled a lot of grass yourself, since then. I do agree with you though, that people ought to be able to go back and do it all over again.

  4. Stories like this put a smile on my face!
    They remind me of my growing years with my brother and friends in the little Pa. town of Three Springs.


  5. As Captain America once said…

    —I believe in an idea, an idea that a single individual who has the right heart and the right mind that is consumed with a single purpose, that one man can win a war. Give that one man a group of soldiers with the same conviction, and you can change the world.—

    Well I guess all of us searchers are your soldiers Cap, and we’ll do our best to help 😛

    And on a weird note that I just thought of…
    Captain America was Forrest’s favorite super hero. Look who Steve Rogers fell in love with? …. Agent Peggy Carter. 🙂 I won’t even comment as to my last name because that’s just not right! 😯

  6. Forrest, you are a romantic! I really liked your statement that after 61 years, Peggy has gotten prettier. That’s what makes marriages last a long time.

    I feel like we don’t need to go back and do things over again, just enjoy the memories and look with anticipation to the adventures ahead.

  7. Mr Fenn, I really enjoy reading the stories of your life. How fascinating the way you construct words to convey your message. I’m not alone in this, but I want to personally thank you for this opportunity of a life time. I’ll be telling stories of my Chase to the Children and Grand Kids for years to come. I hope my words will serve this experience the justice it deserves.

    Be well Mr Fenn,


  8. WOW. That was awesome, Forrest. You sure did cram a lot in there. Thanks for allowing me/us to share that.

    You CAN go back! As often as you wish. Just click your heels together and …….oh my. Works best for me in the netherworld of dreams. Dreams and memories have much in common.

    Sleep tight.

  9. I loved this story as well as that picture of the 6 of you on the porch. Sounds like Skippy always was a character with a happy disposition, no matter what happened to him! 🙂

  10. Skippy 🙂 if it didn’t have any thrill why bother. One thing you can’t say about Skippy is that he wasn’t living life. Evel Knievel said some people are not living, they’re existing. Skippy had two kids? Crayton and a girl he’s throwing up in the picture.

  11. Funny story.Thanks for sharing…I will keep your stem cells safe in my freezer next to the two tostinos pizzas i have in there, until medical advancements come along to bring you back.

  12. Nice story Mr. Fenn…I also expect plan A to work as I have no plan B…I too am out there on the periphery where many would not think to look…Will be watching for the unexpected…

    What I REALLY want to know is how does an ex fighter jockey misspell the word “Aerial” as in “Areal Bombettes” and spell the word “ricocheting” correctly, HMMMM?…Inquiring minds want to know you know… 🙂

    • Yes Sir…I’m sitting at home right now with nothing but “fun” on my mind 🙁 ……. 😛

    • My wife and I went to Topeka Kansas once. Since English is her 3rd or 4th language, I sometimes take advantage of her. But the time we arrived, I had her convinced that Topeka being an Indian word is mispronounced by most people not familiar with it. She still will occasionally pronounce it the way I told her it is correctly pronounced, “Tapioca”.

    • HAHAHAHA…Guess I’m just an ol’ fuddey-duddey then…Sorry Sir, must be the 10+ years of AFTAC training in data analysis…Precision was paramount…It never really goes away…

      Just sits there in the recesses waiting for a puzzle to come along such as your poem…Couldn’t resist your challenge…Appreciate the opportunity…A most admirable job of keeping your secret, Sir…

      Heading to Wyoming when summer comes…Wanta go fishing?…Or maybe just a cup’o’joe?…I’d consider it an honor to share a few minutes…I may just have an artifact or two you might be interested in seeing as well… 😀

    • Life’s no fun if you always have a ” plan B ” . I like
      Skippy’s way of living , reminds me of myself ………” you only live once , be happy ” 🙂

    • Forrest,
      You want to know how to do it all over again – You are doing it right now by going through your memories. You are making them come alive, not only for you, but for all those who read your scrapbooks and for everyone in the future. You are accomplishing what you intended, so that when someone types your name into Google they will see an interesting man. I don’t mean to say only Google but lots of other places as well – authoring books, gold, treasures, etcetera. Memories never die.

  13. Sam if you dont find it don’t give it up. I would like to work with you on your plan b. It would make me happy.

    • Like me…I don’t think Sam predicts a Plan B. However, I have a strong hunch that Sam has not planned for plan A.5 or A.7. I have blasted through A and A.5 and now am on A.7. If someone is stuck on Plan A…they will not find the treasure.

      • My plan A is singular Iron…There can be only one…Not stuck, just confident in the location… 🙂

        Thanks Cherry for the offer…But if I show you plan A, there won’t be a need for a plan B… 🙂

        This is a one trip solution…Win or lose, I’m done…Won’t be taking a second shot… 🙂

        The all or nothing recklessness of a maverick…But with a smile… 🙂

        • I went with confidence the last two times, but sometimes you just cannot beat the effects of Mother Nature. I can say that those panicked trips helped me to solve the nine clues in the poem….. oh wait….. two and nine! It’s 11 !

          😛 Just giving out mad respect to sydncharley’s solve. IMO the number 11 does hold merit and he is onto something.

          • Buddy Will I like the way you think. I too know some people are going to go down in flames and it’s going to hurt pretty bad but you can’t stop them. When you have numbers on your side it’s really not a matter of moving to Plan B it’s just fully understanding plan A. There are failed solves then there are correct solves that are only partially understood. I’m pretty much an emotionless machine when it comes to the poem…people tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. I just laugh if they only knew 🙂 and you’re right about mother nature she has a mind of her own.

          • You know Ed I’ve been worried about you when I see your comments and try to understand what you might know. And after this reply…. I’m starting to worry a little more 😯

          • Another thing though Will is you got to stay focused it Isn’t just about having the chest. What really matters in life is love and truth. Maybe we’ll run into each other on the trail. Be happy that’s my plan B 🙂

  14. Nice story, Forrest. Skippy was always doing A lot of things. Turning Alpha, never needed the B plan cause his A plan always worked, except when everything went off like a Chinese Fire Drill…I mean firecrackers.

    I can see how you looked up to Skippy, though. He truly was an Alpha male. So were you, but you hadn’t realized it yet. 🙂

    • Nicely put Mindy! I agree!
      I know Skippy must be terribly missed.. And hey, whos to say we cant go back and do it all over again Forrest?
      Has anyone ever come back and said we dont?

  15. Mr. Fenn,

    What a pleasure to finally see all six of you’ll together! I know now that you had the best seat in the house for a firework display when Mrs. Peggy entered the room. You truly heard the bells, rockets and bombs going off telling you “She’s the One”. I am also glad to see your nickname Bubba come up. I wonder how Skippy got his nickname?? I love your stories…keep up the great work!

  16. …see blondes really do have more fun. As far as the ‘local newspaper’ comment, I’ll take your word for it this time

  17. That’s a great story…….Just goes to show when sliding down the banister of life there’s going to be a few splinters.

    I was wondering if dung fuse-lighters were standard fare for firecracker stands in those days or are they an invention of our explosive entrepreneurs Skippy and Leroy.

  18. Well, now you went and did it. Suddenly we’re hearing complaints from the ‘movie stars’ themselves, how no one’s making movies, they’re just plain out of material. ( no surprise that you have to hide in your closet occasionally ) Then you come along; write, produce, star in and distribute your life story. Why do you have to be so self- centered, telling it like it is and in your own words? You know it cost a lot of money these days for Hollywood types to stay relevant, what with all the Botox, plastic surgeries, trainers, teeth whiteners, personal assistants, etc. No Forrest, I think you’re lacking the sell-out gene

  19. Oh.Mr. forrest,I’m sorry what happened to skippy,but you made me laugh so much,you brought tears to my eyes.firecrackers,helicopters,planes, yes he got stuck a lot .I just love your family stories.and yes ms. peggy is still very pretty.your daughters are beautiful,now you have goodlooking grandchildren.good family stock of genes.gosh,your so funny

  20. 515 Here’s that number 11 again.. lol

    Forrest ,
    Sometimes life just isn’t what you want it to be. You learned that when Skippy dropped you off when you wanted to Drive that car and he wouldn’t let ya. You sat for a while out there in your socks in the cold for that, I’m sure there’s more to the story but, I’m sure you wanted to steer …. Like ya said you two didn’t have to talk. I really liked the picture of your brother acting like a griz with that fish in his mouth , funny business… I guess what I’m saying Mr. F….. I won’t forget you Sir as you never forgot your Brother or the rest of your family…. . You served your Country , you have been friends with most folks and by what I can see treated them with kindness and respect. I’ve learned from ya and I thank you for fishing around my stream. I hope this helps. Thanks again … But Now it’s time for me to take a break on this hunt … and get well so I can check my spot some day… Who know’s …. Take care

    • M or M,
      I for one will certainly miss your posts 🙁
      Please don’t take too long of a break. I wish you well, and good luck in everything you do.
      “515 and that 11 again… Those numbers have done a number on me also.” When one pours their heart, soul and much of their time into something for so long, and then feel as if they aren’t getting anywhere… it can really wear a person down. I know, I’m there myself. Take care M.

      • You too WiseOne … my mind has looked at so many solves, so many books, so many of F’s videos and pictures over and over again ad all the posts here… so many different codes… my brain needs some down time. I’ll say hello at least on occasion , and see how everyone is doing, and thanks for your comment on my posts challenging me to think twice… lol… I wish you well also .

        • Mike or Mr.D

          I too will miss your posts.

          Downtime is a good thing. You may be surprised at what comes to you.

          I take short downtimes – I usually go to the kitchen and cook. Many times something has become crystal clear to me there. 🙂

          Best of luck to you in all your endeavors.

  21. First thing that went through my mind, when reading this story, were the numerous similar (and scary) experiences we had, growing up as kids.

    Second thought, Who was the more clever in getting the girl, The one who had the close call and ended up in the hospital, or the brother? Then, seeing that Donnie had a big grin on his face… well, memories like that can be cherished for a lifetime.

    Forrest, I guess your close calls came later, riding that even bigger firecracker,

  22. .
    I had to check.

    The 515 words (517 including the title 🙂 ) include those not written yet. Well planned.

    Maybe life’s like that.

      • Hey Astree()!!! The good old Polybius Cipher… That brings back a lot of memories for me from A Treasure Trove and Alchemist Dar. I never found anything but I sure had a lot of fun….

      • Amy ….

        It could mean X marks the spot of the treasure route.


        Overt Route meaning with the poem out there it is an “open route” not hidden.


        Crazy treasure (erotu being basque for “Mad or Crazy”)


        “I see (X marks the spot) of a sure treasure route.”

        could mean alot of things. final interpertations are always reserved to the mind of its creator

      • Hi, I remember the days (was it that long ago?) of “A Treasure’sTrove”, too . (that’s where I got the anagram “astreeturover”). Spallies, that puzzle seemed impossible, until the Polybius was found. (I recall some people were claiming there was no treasure, up to that point, and even saying some pretty mean things about the author). By the way, if you follow “Fandango, The Key to the Wind” there are several Polybius set-ups, one is on p. 47 (the border).

        All kinds of things in the avatar 5×5, I think. The plaintext, read in wrap-around, is that ICE holds the treasure now, with a play on I C E, since E is the 5th letter. As already mentioned by Iron Will, the “erotu” is an anagram of “route”.

        But, too, the “ero tu” looks like “arrow to” (and do you think Forrest might give some “pointers”?), and in Latin means “you will be”, while the Finnish is “stand out”. The corner letters are “IF EA”, where “EA” is the Old English for “waterway” ( this is like saying, “go in pEAce”). There’s more, but okay for now.

        Speaking of “go in peace”…

        if you take the “5 1 5” that Forrest mentions, and count off letters sequentially in the poem..5th letter is “asih. A. ve” = “A”, 1 letter after that “V”, 5 letters after that “gon E”= “E” ( unless the coffee’s not working yet). Not only is “AVE” a roadway (“route”), but it is also a good-bye that the priests use (latin, of course) to mean “go in peace” ( similar to the Ave Maria ).

        Amy, I probably like the EROTU without the “O” (leaving that for TROVE), then ER-TU = TRUE  🙂

        Be Well,

        • I am glad that you found an alternate meaning to 515. I thought that FF had given it away by posting a road number to a well searched area. But since he put the numbers at the end of his story, AVE makes a good Fin.

        • .
          Same 5 1 5 scheme also applies to words in the poem, resulting in


          ( fixing my gaze intently on parts of that word )


  23. It’s funny that he had a smile in the hospital. I’m sure Skippy had very few regrets because it sounds like he was always giving it a shot – whether the result was a success or not. It’s also very interesting that both of the Fenn boys had such an aggressive approach to business; you would have thought Mr. Fenn was a tycoon instead of a High School principal. Interesting story – sounds like there was always something going on there in the big city.

    • Maybe they inherited their abilities from their mother. In her picture she appears to be a strong, confident woman.

  24. Taking Halogetter’s comments as a segue… There is a perspective which says that all things that have, and will, happen are stored at a place beyond Time. Much like picking up a movie reel, and going to any part of the story you want, when you want to. I guess memory would be the closest thing we would relate to it, as a familiar experience.

  25. “The past will always be contradictory when told by one person at a time.I feel my life has been a rough draft of the place just ahead where the past will come alive again and all of my experiences and friends through the years will meet with me at the great banquet table of history.Then there will be no past.”
    Here is the Answer to that Question Mr Fenn.
    Best Regards
    Matt and Tonya

  26. Just going to throw a couple things out there, maybe means something to someone maybe not.

    Looks to me that they are on the front porch of the temple tx home. Front windows are the same upper 3 panel windows as the picture on page 3 of TFTW. That picture (from the book) has the wooden porch stairs, so the picture must have been old (before forrest turned three) since that house burned down when he was two and was then rebuild with concrete stairs. What is strange about that is that the windows are the same as the picture above….. maybe the house did not burn completely to the ground, and the windows were reused.

    Also from the picture it looks like both Irene and June are wearing some kind of ring on their ring finger. Was June married very young or is this picture from a later date then I was thinking?

    All of the above IMO.

    Fred Y.

    • Interesting thoughts.

      It was a disaster whenever one of my toys fell off the porch and was gobbled up by the never-never land of undergrowth.

      • My brother, Skippy, tried to call me “brother”. It came out as “Bubba”, and the name stuck.

  27. Too bad they didn’t have video games back then.Skippy could have blown up things on it and stayed out of the hospital…those were days of freedom though and that thrills me.

  28. Skippy and my oldest son would have gotten along great. I can only imagine now how much money in attorney’s fees they could rack up.

  29. Hello, Forrest. I like reading about your experiences with Skippy. I can tell you still love him and miss him…along with the other members of your family who have moved on to the next stage. You may not know this, but my wife is from Brazil. We have been married for 10 years now and I still don’t speak Portuguese…but I learned one word early on because I heard it so frequently around her family that I had to look it up. The word is “saudade”. In Brazilian Portuguese it is pronounced like sow-dah-jee and there is no direct translation into English. It’s a beautiful word and conveys many of the perceptions I feel when you speak of your beloved brother.

    Here the word saudade is “translated” into English:

    I hope that “helps”. 🙂

    • I have heard my Brazilian friends using this word. Thanks so much for sharing that! So interesting to me. Learning everyday..

    • It is a very beautiful word. It’s odd that you mention that word…
      I came across it a few weeks ago.
      Thank you JC.

  30. After reading this post, I question several things.
    1. The title… Why is Fire Cracker spelled as two words and not one?
    2. The obvious misspelling of ” Areal”… bombettes…
    3. “Hairs afire”… “hairs?” Seems odd to me. “Kinda reminds me of an EWF song”.
    4. “Being blown onto the 3rd St. yellow center line”… Maybe a no passing zone?”
    5. And then the “515 ” with that additional space after the last 5…
    These are the things that stand out as being odd to me… Anyone have any thoughts about these they’d like to share?

    • I took an english class once and was assigned to write a paper that was a review of a movie. The professor sat down with me to review the reason I received a bad grade. She said, “Mark, you have some of the most beautiful fragmented sentences I have ever seen”. I replied “If you like them so much, why did I get a bad grade. She said that “You can only write like that and get away with it after you are published”.

      Forrest is published, he can write however he wants now.

      That is my thoughts on it.

    • Thank goodness nobody critics my stuff at work. I thought Fire Cracker was 2 words, and I use spaces after my numbers because some fonts squeeze that space (especially if it’s a 1), and I still can’t figure out you, your, and you’re.
      My only goal in life was to find a job where I didn’t have to know how to spell well or use grammar correctly. After that everything else would be a bonus.

    • It is my guess that Forrest had an extra space after the 515 because he left a blank space to be filled in after he finished writing this post and then counted his words. After filling in the 515, he didn’t notice or take the time to delete the space.


  32. Hey F , I don’t what it is about you and these puzzles I like so much … Maybe we can sit some time for a Mean slice of Pi , and ponder over the periphery that is that brain of yours. I wont forget my tooth brush.

    I know I said I was gonna take some time off.. But , I’m not one to stop in the middle of something .. So I wanted to post my thoughts on this one… Except,
    my fingers forget what I’m saying some time and I lose my train of thought . But I will tell you , F is one smart Fella. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Can ff still be found at the bookstore from time to time? I’d hate to make the trip and not be able to say hi. Guess I could leave him a friendly note.

  34. 4F and Oral. clever. 4F was a designation in the civil war for rejecting recruits that didn’t have their front 4 teeth for opening gun powder bags.

  35. Am I seeing things? Compare the photo of Skippy on Silver in this Scrapbook post with the photo of Skippy on Silver in TTOTC on page 39……..

    It appears as if Skippy is missing an eyebrow in the “Skippy on Silver” photo in this Scrapbook post……. but in TTOTC, his eyebrow is there…….

    Also, there is a white splotch on Silver’s leg in TTOTC, but here in this Scrapbook, the fur is not missing……

    Skippy’s right elbow is different in the two photos as well……….

    What is going on here?

    • Just a little quick and dirty Photoshop editing to somewhat repair the image. It looks like the photo may have been stuck to another one and some of the image was damaged when they were pulled apart. I have no idea why it wasn’t repaired for the book.

    • IMO, It looks as if there has been some Photoshop work done on that image. Maybe the photo became damaged during printing/production and someone touched it up. I wouldn’t worry about it. These photos are old and probably pretty fragile.
      But now that you brought up photos… What’s with the Skippy/hospital photo? That’s the one that bothers me. He looks like he’s still smoldering… “Poor Skippy”, I feel bad for him.

      • 😀 Forrest didn’t put a caption on that picture that is supposed to be Skippy so it may not really be Skippy at all. It could be a picture of some stranger just used to illustrate what Skippy night have looked like after that disastrous episode with the fireworks. 🙂

    • Jason, if you’re smart enough to ask that question then you are smart enough to see more than most.

    • Jason, very observant – I was a little more intrigued by the face that appears to Skippy’s right as he lays in bed.

  36. On my facebook time line I have a tribute to Robin Williams but this could easily apply to someone like ff:

    ff you will see Skippy again when it is time I feel sure, I would like to share something that was written by a distant relative just before she passed away.
    You and anyone are entitled to share it, just give little Linda the credit.

    Now I’m tired. I need to come home. I am nearly ready to begin my journey although leaving isn’t easy.
    “Many things I love must remain behind: Friends, dreams, memories, many songs I never got to sing.
    “But there will be other dreams and perhaps I’ll write a new song
    “But I must return to you,
    “Gain your strength, feel your arms around me, make my home among you once more.
    “So, look out your window some morning when dawn is breaking,
    “An afternoon when autumn leaves are falling, or perhaps in the red-gold haze of a twilight sunset,
    “You’ll see me running, arms outstretched, tears of joy in my eyes, and my heart overflowing with happiness and love.
    “I’ll be home soon, and this time, I’ll be home to stay.”
    Linda Evelyn Brannan

  37. Don’t know if anyone’s noticed..but what’s up with Donni,s arm…
    Forrest ,what a stunning photo. Beautiful people.

  38. Well told story – short yet detailed and positive with suspense and a happy ending. An oral story omits some things on purpose depending on the audience and was always available in the mind to be released when needed. Pictures are important to show the characters. It is amazing what oral stories we tend to keep “at the ready” and upon opening our wallets we tend to find pictures that happen to be of the time or event! Your story and family are great. I do not know about doing things over again – the temptation to change and mess up natural events is too strong. My late friend once said that memories and love were all that she would be able to take with her – it is all that I had left as well. You and Skippy (two alphas) had great times; you still have great times that are just different in memories; some day you will be the two omegas – like the end of TTOTC. Continue forward with confidence and make memories for others while sharing your adventures. Skippy always seemed to point the way for adventure – I just have a time picturing you as the “tag along”.

  39. I don’t see how this can end soon, if he keeps hiding words like “A real Bomb”
    here and there.
    I think he’s a great upstanding guy, but I’m not running off to open any strange lids.

    • LOL I saw that too when I first read it. He might mean that this treasure is a real bomb, as in when it’s found it will create an explosion of media interest around the nation. I sure hope its not what you alluded to…..I’m too young to get blown up 😯

      • Maybe that’s what we need the ball of string for, to tie onto the latch and pull it from a safe distance. 😉
        No one will know until..

      • I highly doubt that the bronze chest is a bomb, but when/if it’s ever found of course it will cause a media explosion. That goes without saying…assuming the finder ever comes forward…which won’t happen if they were blown up. I sure hope not. I have a wife and small children. I remember hearing Forrest say in a video that the finder will be the kind of person to come forward…which is difficult if not impossible if the treasure is a bomb.

        • I don’t want to think it is, but F himself said he always knew it was (a bomb). I can’t ignore that.

          My other ponderment is regarding weight and what’s in the chest.
          21 lbs of gold is about 30 cubic inches.
          The inside volume of the box is about 325 cubic inches.
          Either it weighs more than he says, or there is something in there that’s not gold, taking up a lot of volume.

          IMO and stuff

          • There was a discussion about this earlier. I believe the consensus was that it’s not a given that the chest is completely filled up. I know, I know, the picture of it shows it filled, but it could have had some fluff in the bottom to make a good picture, or any other number of cool Fenn trinkets could be underneath when that picture was taken..

            At one time, there was a pile of cash (including rare $500/$1000 bills) that Forrest was going to include, but declined at the last second for fear of water damage. I would think that if you found it and visited with Forrest, you might receive that cash in person.

          • There are some really optimistic people hanging out here. That’s why I enjoy hanging out with you fine people. It makes The Chase so much more fun. 🙂

        • JC Thanks for the quote from Forrest…

          “Forrest say in a video that the finder will be the kind of person to come forward”…

          That makes me feel a lot better about it not being a bomb… Not that I ever really did think it was a bomb… I’m pretty confident Forrest would not blow any body up…

          • All this stuff cracks me up . There are no bombs or boobytraps or stealing your soul . JUst someone hiking around in the Mountains looking for a bronze box. Plain and simple, This ain’t HollyWood… Yea just maybe In the wood IS HOLLYWOOD ” LOL”

          • To be clear, Woody: Forrest said bomb. Jay said soul stealing. No one said booby trap.

            Spallies, he sure did during the war.
            Orders, yes I get it.

        • I’ll try to find it, but I think he said the finder wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret..
          different from “come forward”.

      • I can imagine the headlines “Fenn treasure located on Farmers property” or “Million dollar treasure found in New Mexico badlands” that may be just the thing f doesn’t want. He said it was difficult but not impossible. However tantalizingly close a searcher may be, it may ultimately never be found.

    • Wow you did just exactly what he expected people to do. How many ways can people come up with to assume the treasure is something somehow dangerous? Lets play that to our advantage! Be afraid, be very afraid! 🙂

      • Yeah, Deb. I imagine Whiterock7 will have his (her?) nose in the wind and show up here soon. Speak of the devil and all. LOL! (No, Whiterock…I’m not calling you a devil…just that you somehow think that Forrest is. I completely disagree with you, btw. Did I say COMPLETELY DISAGREE? Ok. Good. Because I completely disagree.)

      • How do you know what he expects people to do?
        As far as I can tell, he wants us to use his words, which is what I am doing.
        Like “Do not touch”.

      • That’s cute Deb. I hope it works–

        It must be working, or why else would you waste time on cubic capacities and such?
        Coins are only 90% gold, most jewelry even less. Who knows about the nuggets, countless rubies, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires, rings bracelets, frogs, and many other things, including the special surprise, just for her.

        Be afraid, very afraid-

        • Be afraid very afraid . Of what? It reminds me of a time when I was deer hunting. I was back in the khuns wildlife refuge riding my horse. I hadn’t shaved for a few days and looked pretty rugged. and I was back in the mountains riding a paint mustang horse I had an old leather jacket on my hat was beat up and stained and I had strung a bullet belt over my shoulder I had my 44 mag blackhawk revolver arond my waist and the belt was loaded with bullets along with that I had a long bladed hunting knife hangin off one side. On the saddle was a rifle scabbard with a 44 mag rife Across the saddle horn in front of me I had my hunting rifle . I must of been a site to see . When I came down a trail there were two women sitting on their horses both of them had the look on their face that they couldn’t believe what they were seeing and they were scared. I tried to say hi to them but they turned their horses straight away from me and took off. I laughed as I was riding back to the house. They probably still talk about me today. I’m completely harmless but they were afraid. LOL

  40. Don’t forget the olive bottle with Fenn’s story, as well the jewelry and other artifacts besides the gold.

    • I imagine the jar to be about 20 cubic inches.
      The jewelry is gold, aside from the silver bracelet.

      What other artifacts are you referring to?

      Everything (that we know of) is gold except for gemstones, necklace string, stainless hinge, ziploc bag, the jar, the paper in the jar, the wax on the jar.

  41. I recently watched a utube video that said the chest contained the shell of an egyptian man who god had perserved for a thousand ages, and when you open the chest he’ll steal your soul.I think its a valid claim and am warning searchers to stay far far away from the chest.Bad ju ju.Im immune to curses, and vodoo so i’ll keep searching,Im just worried about you ppl’s safety.

    • Voodoo works off the magical concept of controlling or stealing one’s soul or will.

      Mr. Voodoo can try and go…
      for the kill,
      but one thing he doesn’t know…
      I’m Iron Will.

    • That is so funny. A friend told me the same thing. He goes that chest has bad ju ju. I laughed because some people really are scared.

    • I read that the chest contains a shamans necklace. His spirit follows the necklace and inhabits the body of of those that would dare to wear it. He calls it “My Precious”. If you find the chest you must go on a quest to leave it in the ‘Nostril of the Crocodile’…

      • I have a feeling that the piece of himself Forrest put in the chest is nothing more than the kidney the doctors removed from him.

          • That IS gross, Lowi. I’m not even going to thing about making a joke that has to do with fava beans and a nice chianti. 🙂

          • Think about reliquaries. By the way, a definition of chase is reliquary.
            LOTS of people request souvenirs of their surgery. It’s extremely common.
            I can totally picture Forrest telling the surgeon he wanted that kidney back. I can totally see him fighting cancer to the point where he would not let it take it totally away from him.
            And I can totally see him preserving it in a glass, wax-sealed jar to remind future generations that cancer didn’t beat him.

          • Oh, and some people think snakes and spiders and spaghetti is gross.
            Once removed, I would rather hold a kidney in my hand than a spider. Lol. 🙂

        • ROFL. This whole line of comment is just like a comedy of errors. Now Forrest might enclose a little vial of prehistoric goat poop, or one of his hairs with folicle attached for dna but even he would draw a line at his kidney!

          The necklace has animal fetishes with two gold talismans one is a jaguar claw and the other a frog both out of gold. Nowhere does it mention curses or shamans.

          Fetish necklaces are common in native tribes in NM, not sure about other states. Anyone can own one and they have nothing to do with soul or bosy stealing. 🙂

          • “bosy stealing”?
            You probably meant to type “body stealing”… It’s difficult to type accurately when you’re rolling on the floor laughing… 🙂

          • Deb,
            I don’t think he would draw a line at his kidney.
            It could be preserved in a wax sealed jar. He’s talked about reliquaries, containers that held physical body parts of important historical people.
            He talks about keeping parts of mammoth tusks, bird feathers, zebra hide, etc.
            Lots of people who have surgery to remove cancer want to keep what’s been removed. People even want to keep their kidney stones.
            I could see him putting his kidney in there to show with pride that although cancer took that kidney, he survived, and that even cancer couldn’t totally take it away, because it’s in the chest as part of his legacy.
            I can totally see him telling the surgeon he wanted that kidney back. 🙂

  42. That twist of fate might have saved somebody’s life. I guess the fire cracker business was not all it was cracked up to be…lesson learned… in my opinion.

  43. “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

    – Morpheus to Neo in the Matrix

    I’m taking the REDpill, whose with me?

  44. Yippee! I love a good fireworks show! Well this one may have been a little over the top though

  45. Its amazing to think how fast time
    Flies when you are having fun.. How friends come and go, and how special moments or events are burned into our memories forever.. Some good and bad ones, that happen decades ago and feel like yesterday… Like flipping thru the pages of a book and re-reading chapters. There’s always something new to learn.

    Forrest gave me a new “awareness” on the important things in life… And I’m grateful for that.

  46. Marvel gaze.
    One of the most distinguishing features of dragonflies are its eyes. Because of their large, multifaceted eyes, the adult dragonfly can see 360 degrees around it at all times.


    of, relating to, or situated on the edge or periphery of something.
    “the peripheral areas of Europe”
    synonyms: outlying, outer, on the edge/outskirts, surrounding
    “the city’s peripheral subdivisions”

  47. Did you guys see my pet dragonfly {now dead} in my ornament? in the contest. I have a story about it. Michael, Tell me more about the Native American meaning of the dragonfly. I know its special.

      • Wow Deb. Thanks so much! I thought many were much better than mine. My dragonfly story is true and very special to me. The story of her is unique.After spending many days circling around me in my yard every time I came out. Her short life was soon coming to an end. She came back to me and sat next to me on my porch. She looked tattered. He wings were ripped and tired. I put my finger down and she crawled on to it. I took her to a cool place in the back yard on a flowering green plant and she grabbed on to the stem….She stayed there and died. The next day I put her in a small box. I took her out and placed her in the bird nest. To take the picture. It was a amazing time. Two and a half years ago. She still looks good. She comforted and entertained me during a difficult time in my life.
        Thanks for letting me tell the story.

        • Aww… I like that story Lou Lee. It’s a special occasion to be able interact with wildlife/nature in a positive way like that. Most people probably wouldn’t notice or even care…
          I love dragonflies also. Did you see my dragonfly ornament on page 3?

  48. Funny …. A break I want to take but a riddle I love to take….

    You know … A lot of things have come to me in two days… Looking at this , there could be a code here for sure … A couple reasons…. For 1 I don’t give the 11 man the credit he wants , only because I already did it ………..I posted in the past how to break the Stanza Down into consecutive order. Like a List ABCDEFG ect 123456789 ect… Funny you don’t need to build a grid to see them … And the rectangle that was found means nothing to me ….. other than it is with in 11…

    Let me explain my self…..

    Fire Cracker is not together because it refers to two numbers…. 4+7=11
    11 is a power number and incites Powerful logic vibrations.. You can find this information when looking up the meaning of numbers used in numerology…..
    Next we have January 2015 the 1st month 7 letters….. 1+7=8 now add the date
    8+2+0+1+5 1+6=7

    So far he incites the number 11 and 7 , continue forward and he uses a term
    periphery which by definition is the edge of a circle, which is the earliest term for Circumference , which is the distance around the edge of the circle. He uses the sentence that Skippy landed on the third street double line… Well again the number 3 is used by the color yellow when using Circular math .

    My comment about a Mean Slice of PI that no one saw , was that F is using a form of Mean math and mixed with the circular math … Or geometry “Treasures bold of his mind” Oh course this is only my opinion of this part of his puzzle . But it make one think… The numbers he uses 11 , 3, 5,6 ,7 13,15 , 515 ect are forms of the Master numbers… Look one other funny thing is , draw a circle using a protractor set at 3 which is the center number which shares in 17 in Mean math ,
    place the 3 in the center take your half circle ruler and lay it over the the circle … WOW it fit perfect…. It Is possible it is in line with Astrology , by use of geo physical shapes. Any way now I’m taking the break … No more posts for a little while. Now that leaves a question , why? What’s F’s number…? 11 of course , but that don’t mean that he hide his chest under 11 but could be between it…

    Good luck Only My Opinion but F loves Nature and by his words it’s his Church. … Time for me to rest.

    • M or M,
      I caught your Mean slice of Pi comment… And i believe also that astrology is involved. Thanks for posting your findings.
      Rest up and give this some more thought… I enjoy your comments.

    • Mr.D

      I saw your comment about the mean slice, naturally I thought big slice. Anyway you bring up a good point, it’s really hard to be sure of what F is talking about when he talks about pie and circles they might be two different things. The book is loaded with references to circles and pies. A lot of talk about middle too which makes no sense…more than likely refers to a specific area. Middle doesn’t mean a whole lot without a point of refrence. My current thinking is that he is talking about a specific geographic land area that has to be searched around a reference point that the poem leads you too.

      • My thinking may change but currently I’m of the opinion that the poem leads you to a very specific spot and even gives you information about what to look for. Then it’s up to you to search the area for “as I have gone alone in there.” I think it’s interesting that he says I can keep my secrut where? Why where instead of spot. Well now i’m reading it like this. I can keep my secret W.

        • I “can” “keep” my sec r etw “here”= my sec r wet. my seconds are “wet” (w+e+t)
          and the next line. imo. Lines 3&4 equal seconds, imo.

        • Ed…Interesting line, #3 of 1st stanza…Here’s what I read…

          [ I ]…speaker is Fenn or the chest w/treasure (you choose)….

          [ can keep ]…think “castle keep”, a hidden place within….sorta like a crossword clue…

          [ my secret ]…Fenn’s special place, the location of the chest….

          [ where ]…in the poem….

          Translation or interpretation (paraphrasing mine)…

          “I have hidden the location of the treasure within the poem”…

          Like I said, I read differently…

          Good luck and good hunting…

        • One day back in El Paso, I had Texan friend who was my Long Track mechanic. One day I was talking about circles. I said in order to find the circumference of a circle just use the formula 2 pi-r-square. He looks at me with a serious eye. He says boy, pi are round, cornbread are square.

          Good night all. You all are getting close.

          • Gyke…..If they are using your math maybe not……At the risk of sounding persnickety you’ve got your formulas mixed up.

            Area equals Pi times r squared

            Circumference is: C=2πr

          • Thanks Goofy , By George your right …
            What I used was Circumference=pi times diameter. Never the less , I’m right.

            When you divide the Circumference by the diameter you get PI , So if the Diameter is 1 the circumference is 3.14
            So , Circumference=PI x Diameter.

            Walk around a circle which has a diameter of 100m , How far have you walked? Function is AS FOLLOWS not because I say so but by Function …
            C=π x 100 So , π x 100m = C
            314m to the nearest meter.
            Note that the Diameter = 2 x the Radius
            then also true is C=2 x π x R

            A circle is a Plane
            Definition of a Circle is The set of Points
            on a plane that are a fixed distance from the Center.
            I’m not relating to C=πR√

            Thanks Goofy for catching that ….
            Always can use another pair of eyes!

            PS … I do not believe F used this information to hide his chest, nor am I suggesting it… But for the Fire Cracker I AM.

            Hint 3 yellow line… Circular Math.

          • There is 3 elements to my statement goof. What do you see in Forrest statement? Thanks Forrest for clearing it up. Just being dimensional.

      • Hi Mindy ,

        Cool glad you are looking into this… Remember the Blaze I sent you … Well It is the reference of not only in a “Secret trail Sign ” Which is Gone Home ” It is the 7th Sun also , Which aligns with the diagram you find when you list all the numbers above in proper order. Oh and it is at 8 degrees on the circle. Hope this is helpful.. Maybe something maybe not. Have fun….

    • I second that 🙂 Thank you Forrest and Peggy for all the adventures that have created memories that will never be forgotten..

      • I’m wondering what Mindy is cooking up…she’s awful quiet since her earlier revelation! 🙂

        • You never know with Mindy , she must be working on it… one thing I know for sure………. ” Amy is smiling “

          • Focused

            Your right I’m always smiling.
            Can’t wait to hear Mindys new idea 🙂
            Hope she will share she seems smart 🙂

          • Thanks, Amy. This one I can’t share yet. But if I begin to have doubts or get stuck, I’ll post to see if anyone can take it further, or shoot it out of the water. 🙂

          • Ya never know…although I think the first clue is in NM, I’m not sure where the last one is. Could be CO. I don’t really think so, but it could be.

        • Jdiggins,

          It’s a little complicated but also simple. It’s something I found that focuses on every key word in the poem, has 9 lines of 3 strings each. It also references for every single “verifying word” in TTOTC.

          I just need some spare time to put the right strings to each clue. I think I have the first one, and I can see how people have started at this spot then missed the rest.
          All of this is pure speculation at this point, but is so convincing I have to keep quiet.

          If I posted any part, anyone could figure it out, even a kid who knows simple math. It just takes a little time to get the right strings in the right places.

          I hope it leads me somewhere, but like everyone else, until I have the chest, my theory is wrong.

          I will say that I believe it could be in NM. And if I posted what I’ve found, I bet I could convince even the most die hard Colorado, Wyoming and Montana people.

          And it’s nowhere near as complex as my last theory. Not to say it’s not difficult, but it’s simple once you’ve got the right strings in the right places. 🙂

          • Mindy, imo you have what it takes to persevere here! I wish you and your son all the best! 🙂

          • Answers only come if they are sought, theorized, analyzed and researched. Throw in a little imagination, and who knows? All I know is that me and another searcher are going to be very silent from now on. 🙂 🙂

      • I third that. Thanks Forrest and Peggy for the great examples you have both set. When I think of you both I envision this final scene where Forrest is walking down the aisle to receive a victory medal from Peggy. I guess you’ll just have to imagine that other guy isn’t there…or pretend it’s Dal.

        • Oops! I forgot to mention the fact that Tesuque walked down the aisle with Forrest, too. 🙂

  49. Yes you are Amy 🙂 Mindy has good Ideas , yes , but so do you… alot of people on here are creative with ideas… but me ? I seem to be slowing down…. letting my brain rest some, then I will try new things.

    • Being straight forward…it’s up to you focused. I’ve heard new ideas can help change the atmosphere in social situations, but I’ve also heard that some good rest can always help mental fatigue and frustration.

    • Focused,
      Yes, lots of people with good ideas. When I slow down, I move on to another interest for a few days or weeks, then when I come back, my mind is fresh again.
      It’s WAY too easy to be distracted by ideas discussed here.
      The vagueness of the poem can make almost every theory, place or state seem plausible, and even probable.
      So, lately, that’s what I try to focus on–the poem. 🙂

  50. Hi , F…… YOU ASKED FOR HELP.

    That is a big task you are asking some one to do …..
    Life is but a circle , You live and Die , and your energy carries on … See in physics ……. Matter can Be destroyed, but the motion cannot … So kinetic energy is Forever, and who says you can’t do it again…


  51. Forrest,

    I feel the same way, wishing I could go back to some of the emotions earlier in life. I can’t access parts of my emotions anymore. Life is dull and mundane now…wish I could help. I really dunno.

  52. Mindy, nice find – commonality of chase and reliquary. I love the definitions so thanks for sharing. Maybe f hid the chest inside a kidney shaped space or hole.
    I recall seeing a diseased lung – cancerous from a smoker in a doctors office. Disgusting but because of it, I’ve never smoked.

  53. Hi Guys,
    I’m 38 years old, and it feels strange to think I am “middle aged”. I read thru the blog..and see one thing. Most of us are soul searching. Every decade that passes I always look back and say to myself… Where am I? Where did I go? and where am I going? I kind of like the feeling of not knowing how I am going to feel in the next decade or two..

    No one ever comments how awkward it is to be “middle aged”…. Raising kids, and seeing your parents age.. and POW! that thought creeps into your mind, you are “middle aged”. Its the stress of both worlds and being right in the middle worrying about how your kids or your parents are always doing….

    One important thing… Don’t forget about yourself!!!!! You are important too… and we all need to remember to treat ourselves once in a while and stop and smell our roses along the way..

    Now.. I am going to get back to this Chase… I have more trips to plan and budget for. 🙂 Adventure here I come…

    Have a Great and Safe year everyone here…

  54. Dal and Goofy, are some of us guys going to have to find old, 30 maybe 40 year old photos of ourselves to post.

    There seems to be so many more good looking young women showing up all the time on these posts. 😉

  55. No offense intended, Mr. Fenn, but I think that June was the fairest maiden in Temple, TX. She was a natural beauty and a mountain girl. You just can’t beat that combination. I outta know, I married one and I’m raising one.

  56. Hi Forrest. Saw your post about Irene Vance, being married to Skippy. Not saying I’m related but my maiden name is Vance, as well. My Dad, Billy C. Vance, (born,1927) and my Mom, were both in the Air Force. My Dad, was in the 810 Air Division, a part of the 336 Bombardment Squadron Division back in the 50’s. Although, I heard he lied about his (age 17), Retired 20 years later. My Mom, not that long, had 4 little babies…) My Dad, passed away, (sad) and my Mom (thankfully) is still with us. I have all his “orders” since he was in the Air Force and was wondering if you recall His name. Not important if you remember, but if you do, it would be nice to hear. Just weird that I would be drawn to this chase. Born in El Paso, TX, raised now in MA. Love how you speak to me, as well. Thank you.

  57. Fact Checking – for what it is worth.

    I have been going back and re-reading the scrapbooks. I try to determine if any of the names are “real” or fictional as it pertains to the story. I figure if I can’t associate the name given, then it might be a clue and I dig deeper.

    So I researched Leroy. I was hoping not to find him in any archives because it would strengthen my solve if he were not there. He was there though – bummer!.

    I found him listed on right there with Skippy and Forrest.

    Skippy graduated in 1947, according to the website. Leroy had no graduation date listed.

    It appears Leroy might still be alive and living in Beaumont. He is listed at 85 years. Right age anyway, assuming he was the same age as Skippy.

    Scott W

  58. Yeh, I’m raking the coals too…. looking up secret…. sub-rosa ….. rosetta stone … a guy named Gardiner (just like Capt. Kidds island) & his hieroglyphs catalog ,,,standing man w/ staff glyph, etc. or maybe secret is a Cerro de Jara type reference (Valle Caldera). But I thought you had a profound insight of some sort. Yes? Or have I mixed you up with someone else? These threads are getting unmanageable to locate /follow stuff. POG had the right idea, its time for me to lurk too.

    • No – I’m the “profound” guy. 🙂

      Just trying to find something that invalidates my solve. I’m trying to break it before I head out this time, rather than after I come home empty handed.

      Kind of like checking the answers on a test before you turn it in.

      And yes, I am raking the coals looking for anything I may have missed.

      Scott W

  59. I’ve been reading through the scrapbooks, not really in any order. This one is my favorite. As they say in the movies, what a “cute meet.” I still have a children’s book that was given as a gift to my kids when they were little. It’s called Zen Shorts, by Jon J. Muth; and there is a tale in there about bad luck/good luck. That day Skippy had “bad luck” sure was a good luck day for you and Peggy.

  60. You and Peggy look amazing and beautiful roses! Hope your 75th Valentines together next year is also amazing!

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