Does Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Really Exist?
I met Forest Fenn one day in the early 1970’s while visiting family in Lubbock, Texas. I was around 10 years old and with my dad who had an interest in everything and anything art. It’s all a blur now. I had no real idea of where we were or what we were doing at the warehouse in what seemed to be an industrial side of town.
My dad had learned of a foundry and a caster of bronze who was moving to Santa Fe to set up a foundry. We found him and he made time for us. Dad asked Mr. Fenn many questions that day about the lost wax method of casting bronze sculptures. I was fascinated by the discussion and was even more interested when Mr. Fenn handed me a small piece of dark brown casting wax and told me that if I sculpted something out of it he would cast it for me.
I naively took this man at his word. I lost no time and quickly sculpted a rather crude horse figure, placed it in a box and sent it back to Lubbock. Several months past and the horse crossed my mind a number of times. But back in those “no internet’, “no over-night shipping” days we had a healthy patience about expectations and waiting.
Sometime later a small box bearing weight arrived by mail and I recognized the name on the return address – Forrest Fenn – Santa Fe, New Mexico. I hurriedly open the box and unwrapped the packaging and there it was, my little wax horse exactly as I had sculpted it, only now it was in solid bronze. I was amazed. A sculpture that I had created with my hands now was in a form that was as permanent as it could possibly be. I felt like a real artist!
Looking back on all of this, there was no gain in it for Mr. Fenn. He had to fabricate a mold, and then melt the wax out of the mold followed by sweat and the extremely high temperature of a foundry. He took on the risk of pouring the molten bronze into the mold, followed by the finishing work and a patina applied perfectly – even to an insignificant piece of “art”. He did all of this while keeping up with the address of a boy he would probably never see again. And, Mr. Fenn never asked for anything in return.
The horse is almost comical looking and it sits today in my living room. And although very few people notice it, when I do, I think of a young boy and a man who did not know each other but made a promise with each other. And that promise was kept.
Many people are searching for the famous treasure. I feel a responsibility to tell all, that, I already found the real Forrest Fenn treasure -over 45 years ago!
By the way, Mr. Fenn, Thank you.