Do you save things? I do. When I’m walking along a creek bed or a forest path I find things. Odd things. Pretty things. Curious things. Sometimes I put them in my pocket. Momentos…
When I return home I put these things on the window sill in my cabin, or my bookshelves, or anyplace I can find to tuck them in. They remind me, sometimes decades later, of trips I took, vacations Kathy and I shared, people I’ve met or moments I am glad I can still recall.
The items are certainly meaningless and practically valueless to anyone beyond me. My descendants will be left scratching their cumulative heads wondering why on earth I kept this stuff. If they only knew the sacred memories they served up.
Below are some of Forrest’s interesting saves…
In Jenny’s recent “6 questions” to me she mentioned a piece of chamisa root that she picked up and saved. She said it was special to her. It reminded me of a few things that are in my box of saves. They are part of my biography in a real sense because they indicate who I am and who I want to be. Of the hundreds of such objects that have punctuated my passage thus far, here are five.
In the 1940s I had a really great fishing hole on the Madison River. It was a long cast to reach the big fish and I had to place my fly precisely. A big ponderosa in my back cast was bent on seeing me fail. Over the years I had 20 flies or more snag in its limbs.
On my last visit to that spot I was saddened to see the tree had fallen. The pimento cheese sandwich I consumed while leaning against that tree didn’t seem as tasty as I remembered, and my can of Coke up righted and spilled on the ground.
A cursory search revealed one of my wooly worms still caught on a limb where it had found sanctuary for maybe sixty-five years. I snapped this twig as a tribute to that great tree and a remembrance of those special times. I don’t know why I keep these things. You tell me.
My hair, collected from a number of barber shop clippings. My plan is to make a cloth doll for my great granddaughter Arden, and stuff it with these trimmings. OK, bad idea.
Bomb shrapnel from the war in Vietnam. I wrote on the side. “Picked up in my right wing Jan 31, 1968.” Instant fuse bombs usually detonate few feet above the ground, and the blast sends fragments in all directions, including up. This piece of iron is from a bomb I dropped myself, although I was several miles from the blast when I felt it impact my wing. It’s as a souvenir to remind me of why I don’t want to do those things anymore, and why no one else should either.
This 3 ½“ seed pod belonged to a beautiful big tree that grew next to the First Baptist Church in Temple where my wife and I were married 63 years ago. The church burned to the ground due to a deed perpetrated by some deranged arsonist fiend. The pod is full of seeds and I don’t know what to do with them. They won’t grow in Santa Fe because it is 6281’ above where their mother died in the fire. I’d like to know the name of the tree, and what to do with these special seeds. Can anyone help me with these problems, please?
I made this guitar pick for Roger Miller (the King of the Road). He and Don Meredith were with me at San Lazaro Pueblo when I picked up the little obsidian knife from which it is fashioned. The two of them graced several hours singing country songs between beers, and laughing at each other. I was looking for arrowheads and picking cactus spines out of my guess what.
I reshaped and polished this graceful little thing. Roger said he used it on stage at the Grand Ole Opry, but returned it to me just before he died because, he said, it was “out of tune.” I don’t know why I keep these things. Maybe I should send it to the Guitar Pick Hall of Fame.