Scrapbook Two Hundred Thirty…


November, 2019

And Then There Was This Rhondo Guy

His name is probably descriptive enough to tell you something about his personality. It was for me. He had a little one-room shop in a nowhere location, and was known best for trying to sell antiques that no one wanted to buy. 

I didn’t know the guy but when I accidentally happened in his place one day, he recognized me and said, “Hey dude, I’ll flip you one time for a C note.” 

I said “What?”

He repeated, “You know, we flip a coin one time and the winner takes home a picture of Benjamin Franklin.”

I figured this guy was way too kool for me, but I was intrigued. The odds were 50/50 so what did I have to lose? “Okay,” I said, “but only one flip.” So he flipped a dime and I lost $100. Now I was mad, and departed his place trying to figure out how the guy had cheated me. Maybe his nose ring had something to do with it. 

Revenge was festering inside of me when I came up with a plan. I was going to rearrange his karma, and I was going to do it by being positive and making him be negative. I had never tried this idea before but since our personalities were so diabolically opposed, maybe it would work. 

The next day I went back, and he saw me coming. His toothy mouth said something like, “Hey dudie, not had enough yet, ugh? Hope you brought another picture with you?” 

I was ready for him.

“Sure,” I said, here’s a quarter, you flip it.” (That’s #1, it was my quarter so I was making the rules. #2, I instructed him to flip it so again I was the positive one, so he had to be negative.)

“But wait a minute,” I said, “I’m not ready yet,” (That’s #3, I was making him follow my instructions, He was subservient to me).

I closed my eyes and told myself it was going to be heads, it was going to be heads. (That’s #4. I was using the power of positive thinking against him). 

“Okay, flip it and I’ll call it,” (That’s #5 & 6. I was totally in charge of what was happening). 

He flipped it and I yelled “heads.” (That’s #7, heads is positive and tails is negative). It fell heads and I went home with his picture of Franklin. I was feeling good. 

These quick flipping episodes became rituals, and they continued every several days for a few months with me having a small edge. (I was keeping notes at home). I wasn’t really happy with the way it was going. I needed a little something more. 

IMG 6976

Then I found a buffalo nickel in one of Rhondo’s parking spots “Wow,” I thought. This could not be an aberration, the fates were helping me. The Indian whose image is on the buffalo nickel is Iron Tail, one of my favorite Oglalas. I have some photos of him. The buffalo on the obverse is my favorite animal, and it was my birthdate nickel, dated 1930. It was a triple whammy. I was now going to show that Rhondo guy which one of us was a dudie, and which one of us wasn’t one. 

I had him continue to flip, but with my new birthday nickel. I now had a distinct positive advantage. The contest continued, but now it wasn’t just about money. In 68 flips I won 45 times, and that’s 67%. Don’t talk to me about odds when karma enters the picture. 

The last time I went to see Rhondo he was gone. His sign was down and the windows were boarded up. I don’t know what happened to him, and I don’t even know his last name. If he ever calls me and needs a C note, I’ll be happy to give him a presidential portrait. 

My birthyear buffalo nickel is now retired to a special place. It’s resting beside the golf ball with which I made a hole in one on the 4th hole with a 7 iron. Sometimes you have to give credit where it’s due. And it helps keep my karma on straight. f








167 thoughts on “Scrapbook Two Hundred Thirty…

    • what a awesome story i think a nickel like that is on a keyboard some where as well ty for that entertaining story . good stuff

  1. Wow, Forrest a Hole in one! Congrats… 4th hole again…??? Is there a 4th fishing spot someplace you like?
    I also think I read somewhere that those old Buffalo nickles were heavier on the bottom or top and were good to use in a coin flip because of this. I might be imagining this though… 🙂

  2. Another good one! Enjoyed reading it. Have to flip the switch on to the Vortex mind for this won. IMO .

  3. Forrest,

    $2200 to the positive is a lot of good karma. Looks like Rhondo had the same fate as the Buffalo chip when it came to the flip. I agree it is always right to look out for the positive side of fates turn. On that note we will C what unfolds in the next flip of your typed out tip. Odds are better than 67% that more than half will positively like it.

  4. Somewhere between the Big Chiefs and the Buffalo lies the answer.
    But where have they both gone?

  5. The poor guy lost $2,200 to Forrest. I bet Forrest read a book about coin flipping bidding when you call it first before cleaning this guy. I do not want to play any bidding games with Mr. Fenn. He is a master planner. We all know that by now…

    • I agree. And this is just my opinion and thought, but I feel like even though Forrest has said (and I’m paraphrasing ) it basically doesn’t matter to him when it’s found, I think he would love nothing more then to be here to see which hard working, dedicated, deserving searcher matches his wits in the end. I can think of many who fit this description, some maybe more then others.

      But then again, maybe I’m looking at this whole thing thru my eyes and not the person who conceived it. I just know that for me, I would want to know the ending. It’s like watching a great mystery movie unfold, and then the cable goes out! What happens!

      Forrest, if you really are indifferent, then you are a better person then I.

    • Definitely an aberration. Ben Franklin – Philadelphia. I just learned that there is a museum in Philly called Please Touch Museum. Liberty bell is there too. I’m thinking that Philly is one of the things that F is trying to get us to think about.

  6. Thanks a lot Forrest…I’ll be tossing over and over all night in bed dreaming about having to flip you for the treasure chest! LOL

    Is it worth $100 if I can correctly guess what Golf course you shot a Hole in One on the 4th hole?
    I want 2 guesses.

    If we have a deal, I’ll post my guesses here within 4 days for all to see. If my 2 guesses are wrong, of course I will send you $100.

    I think we both have equally good Karma, but the odds are certainly in your favor.

  7. That two-headed nickel reminds me of a story I once heard about two men who had a chat in 1930. I’m pretty sure it was in early November. I was told it was a Thursday, but maybe I was just dreaming. Either way, that seems like a good place to start. Each day we get one foot closer to the treasure, if you catch my drift.

  8. The picture of a president was on the dime, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
    The guy on the C note was NOT a president, Benjamin Franklin.
    So, if you see Rhondo again, give him his dime back.

    • @rr “what is a dudie”
      In the old days a dude was An inexperienced city slicker – all dressed up. Just guessing dudie is either: 1. a play on words meaning doodie/cow pie or 2. the diminutive of dude, meaning even less experienced than an inexperienced city slicker.

  9. From the Wikipedia article for Iron Tail:

    In a ceremony at Buffalo Bill’s grave on Lookout Mountain, west of Denver, Colorado, Chief Flying Hawk laid his war staff of eagle feathers on the grave. Each of the veteran Wild Westers placed a Buffalo nickel on the imposing stone as a symbol of the Indian, the buffalo, and the scout, figures since the 1880s that were symbolic of the early history of the American West.

  10. Well we now know that hole #4 is a long par 3 and that if you eat a bran muffin with your coffee before the first tee, you will dudie your pants by the 7 hole. Something like that… I prefer the poppie seed muffins.

  11. Well if I didn’t know better I would think you were lost in my notes Forrest.

    “ (I was keeping notes at home). I wasn’t really happy with the way it was going. I needed a little something.
    This could not be an aberration, the fates were helping me……….”

    You sure are flipping the coin Forrest, maybe more then you should be.

    Thanks for this Scrapbook and “the answers I already know.”

    Your friend,

  12. Here Forrest is explaining the reason nickels are mentioned so often in TTOTC.
    reason #1 buffalo. as in Buffalo Bill center of the West.
    reason #2 Iron Tail. the rusty old IRON slide that marked the TAIL of his britches.

    i think.

  13. .
    Great story. I was just showing a friend buffalo nickels the other day. Iron Tail on the heads side… never knew that before. And the buffalo shows head and tail, too. Its like two heads and two tails. Maybe thats how you got both sides of the coin in the same picture.

    • Looks like the buffalo is posing on VETS, the Iron Tail is looking at TY.

      And this scrapbook is dated 11/11, Veterans Day.

  14. Wow. The biggest takeaway has to #5 and #6 where together connected by an “and.” Seems way too blatant to be a reference to the poem clues, but still….

    • Sakar – Yeah, I was thinking along those lines too. I was anticipating Forrest’s positive-thinking tips to be numbered up to 9 to correspond with the 9 clues of the poem, but he stopped at 7. Perhaps that means that only 7 of the 9 clues are followed in sequential order while the remaining two are more general standalone clues?

      • And thinking a bit further about the hole-in-one on the 4th hole with his 7-iron and plugging that into the same line of thinking…. we know that the first clue is BIWWWH (because Forrest said that outright). If hoB is clue #4 and the blaze is clue #7, those would be the 3 navigation points in following the clues. Assuming this, then we could take it further to identify TIITCD and NFBTFTW as clues #2 & #3 (the only possible clues that will fit between #1 & #4. There are a few more possibilities for what clues #5 & #6 could be before the blaze #7, but I would guess TBNPUYC and HLAWH myself. This is pretty much what I’ve been thinking already so maybe this is all just a load of confirmation bias on my part, but I do like how all that seemingly falls into place.

  15. Each flip of the coin still gives odds of 50:50. Glad you have good karma and positive thinking, Mr. Fenn.

    • Pdenver – I have heard that in a coin flip, the odds are slightly more in favor of the coin flipping to the same face that was facing up at the start of the flip (Any by slightly, I mean only a small fraction of a percent).

  16. Please excuse the length of this post, as I am doing a lot of thinking out loud.

    It’s interesting that a rondo without the h can be defined as
    “a musical form with a recurring leading theme, often found in the final movement of a sonata or concerto” (Google dictionary). When Forrest was asked what he regretted the most in life on MW, he said, I regret I am not a cello player, so maybe he thinks in musical terms sometimes?

    So if we were are in the final stage of the Chase (which I like to think because it makes me warm and fuzzy inside), how do the odds play out?

    Most of us think a coin toss is a fair way to settle an issue, but it turns out it’s not. Slick tossers can learn to control the coin to better their odds. The coin toss is not about probability at all, it’s actually about physics. The majority of times, if a coin is heads-up when it is flipped, it will remain heads-up when it lands. Some people can even train themselves to flip a coin and make it come up heads 10 out of 10 times. Forrest’s buffalo nickel is another example of tilting the odds, and did you know that guy on the nickel, Iron Tail, was Buffalo Bill’s best friend?

    So if the message of this scrapbook is not about beating the odds, what is it about? To me, it seems to be about positive thinking and having faith, so our good karma will be strong, and our bad karma kept to a minimum so we have a better chance to take advantage of positive opportunities in life, like the Chase, and avoid those that tend to derail us, like excessive gossip.

    When and where are we tempting our fate? Sometimes, I think, its best to just stay quiet and lay low. Maybe soon that hole in one will be the final note in the haunting concerto of the Chase.

    Thanks, Forrest, for all you have taught us. Now, if we can just learn to be as kool as you!

  17. That’s so funny Forrest, I too have a hole in one using a 7 iron on the 4th hole. What a hugh coincidence!

  18. Rhondo sounds like a kool guy!

    And hmmm…. the logo for Kool cigarettes has its 2 O’s overlapping in what appears to be a venn diagram. That reminds me of something….

  19. I wrote that Rhondo story many years ago, soon after I acquired a computer. It is posted here as it was originally written. Rhondo closed his store and moved to Dallas where he became a successful realtor. Not too many years ago he introduced himself to me at an event in Santa Fe. I didn’t recognize him because he had gained a full face of hair. He had a foreign last name that was difficult for me then, and still is. My story is a little misleading because on occasion we paid our flipping debts with pictures of Grant, Jackson, Hamilton, Lincoln, and George Washington. f

    • Love the SB Forrest. Keep them coming! And I understand the “inconveniences” of having a foreign last name. It’s normal to me but no one pronounces it right

    • Glad you got to see Rhondo again. I had wondered which Presidential denomination you spoke of towards the end of your story which you would offer Rhondo.

    • The word HONDO, without the R’s rrrr is to me something special, it is deep and profound, one of my favorite fishing holes is just above the RIO GRANDE gorge bridge, and it was near “Arroyo Hondo’s John Dunn Bridge” where my greatest catch of time occurred, a 26 inch Brown Trout, from 1987, such a fight to land that fish at a place on the volcanic rocks, so slick they remind me of obsidian, that access to the Rio Grand is near the spot where in 1977 I flipped my kayak at “Power Line Falls” and once again at the “Rock Garden” ff some days are just bad karma man, but thank God for Stern’s life vest it worked like ff’s parachute like it was designed too do.

      The Arroyo Hondo creek starts at the Taos Ski Run on Wheeler/Kachina Bowl area and gently flows merely along to the gorge at John Dunn Bridge, I have followed the “Bull of the Woods Trail” to the top of the world in New Mexico several times because I just cannot get enough of the view, I hope to do it again at 80, just 7 and half years from now I wonder if we need to be brave to face “Bull of the Woods Trail”?

      Well the good news is I get to ski free now, but it is an adventure that reminds me of my golf game, I am sure I can shoot my age…someday maybe not now.

      FF, what was the Name of of the course and 4th hole where you aced it? Escondido, Oculto, or encubierto all come to mind? My only ace was at UNM’s old course, hole #2, 7 iron and the greens had just been top dressed and it slowed the ball down with the sands and timing was perfect. That is how good karma works, that is why I do not drink or go with girls that do.

      Seems like Grover Cleveland was on a bill that you left out of the chest…what bill was Garfield on?


    • Forrest – Another great story!

      Did you pay with Presidential banknotes or coins?:

      I used to keep a ‘Grant’ in my wallet, when I went to YNP on The Chase, this past Summer. But, then I needed to buy food. Because:

      “He who dies with more that fifty dollers in his wallet is a failure.”

      Love that you replaced the ‘a’ with an ‘e’. My illustrious ancestor, Julius Caesar, would probably have done that, also.

    • I loved the story Forrest and the follow up note! My wife says I always grasp onto the positive side of any situation even if it can’t be seen by anyone else. For me, I believe good things are everywhere for those with the right mindset. Perhaps we have that in common. It was nice to hear good things happened for Rhondo.

    • With all due respect Mr. Fenn, in my opinion being so upset about losing and assuming you were cheated somehow is not really all that healthy. There is no evidence he cheated you and you were free to decline his offer to flip. You entered the agreement willingly and without being pressured. To call this a case of Karma ‘evening the score’ is dubious at best. You focused your resolve and perhaps used supernatural means to defeat him afterwards, the whole time thinking that you were getting even and teaching him a lesson, when in fact he had only beaten you once – fair and square, and you clobbered him afterwards.

      It’s true that he entered all of those flip contracts willingly as well, so I’m not saying what you did was unfair, just petty. Next time, don’t assume you’re being cheated just becasue you didn’t get your way. There are other people on this Earth, and Mother Nature loves them as much as she loves you.

      On the other hand, maybe it was a loaded coin and he got what he deserved. Who knows? Good story though. I hope you weren’t offended by my critique, sometimes after getting clobbered for a minor offense I can get testy. That’s not abnormal, it made you money in this story at least. Anyway, I just forgive and I have, becasue life’s too short to stay upset over little stuff. I got enough problems without steaming up over things that aren’t really important.

      I’ll see you next summer. I’m going to the Santa fe where it meets the Interstate. Right between where the highway splits and watertown. I might do some fishing while I’m there. Maybe you can go with me. But have patience with me, I don’t drive over 55 on the highway, but I always get where I’m going that way. My grandma only drives 15 MPH. Can you believe it? Anyway, I’m done til then. Gotta do thanksgiving and cook the Christmas bird first. Much Love, R.R.

    • Mr. Fenn,
      Your last paragraph had me thinking about a site called Credit Karma. This lead me to for unclaimed and abandoned property. Your father’s name is listed so you may want to look into it. It says it’s over $100. I put my name and my deceased father’s name in years ago and found some missing money of my own. You’d be surprised how many people have money out there that they didn’t know existed. No BOTG necessary to find this kind of treasure.
      All my best,

      • Neo* – Awesome! Any great stories she may have known about Buffalo Bill to share?

        And I like the Star* in your blog handle. And the handle itself. I have wondered if The Chase is akin to being in “The Matrix”. Which pill will you take, Red or Blue?

        • Neo* – Forrest likes Escher and Lewis Carroll:

          Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979) Edit
          Douglas Hofstadter’s book Gödel, Escher, Bach features a pair of characters who “push-into” and “pop-out of” the two-dimensional world of Escher prints. The way they do this is to drink from a blue or a red phial. A further reference could be taken later in the story when the pair encounter a paradox during which “The System crashed”. Hofstadter cites Lewis Carroll as a strong influence on the book (the front cover of the book has a line that says that the book is “in the spirit of Lewis Carroll”.) The “push-into” and “pop-out of” phials are reminiscent of the Alice in Wonderland “drink me” and “eat me” potion and cake, which cause Alice to shrink and grow.

          YNP was formerly aka “Wonderland” in a Union Pacific ad campaign. I choose the red pill, also, Neo*. They are not just entertaining scrapbooks, right Morpheus? IMO.

      • Was just thinking of Neo the other night… I followed the white rabbit and on my way to revelations was thinking with an open mind through his eyes.

        Running along frantically, I hurry to the the sound of bells ringing. I open the door to a muffled tone and a flash of light. I stop and think, this can’t be real, or is it? I stagger back, unwilling to accept this. I fight to stay up, but I’m going down. Is this it, is it all over? I hear an angelic voice in the darkness, giving me the much needed breath of life. I stand up, and clearly see everything now. After a marvel gaze and a tarry scant, I’m back in her loving arms.

        My unedited & unrevised first thoughts of comparing Fenn’s story, to the poem, to the matrix.

        Also consider two crazy possibilities:

        Had FF been to this unknown area before, and then during or after his being shot down, find the similarities in the 2 areas, and then create the poem?

        And lastly, the odds would be high for a combat pilot to have with him some sort of emergency kit… an MRE with utensils… so yeah…
        There is a spoon.

  20. I made a water color computer drawing of the Iron Tail Indian head nickle image some years ago as part of a collection of drawings illustrating a children’s book for a friend of mine, who is half Indian herself. She wrote a book based on the best aspects to the American Indian culture as a children’s story. She was very close to Princess Red Wing, both she and Princess Redwing were – are part Narragansett and Pauquunaukit Wampanoag (anglicized as Pokanoket). Unfortunately I never could figure out how to illustrate the last few pages of the story, so the book never got finished. Maybe there in lies the treasure I seek, how to not only finish illustrating that story, but find that most awesome treasure that lies deep within us all.

    Princess Redwing many decades ago was a speaker at the UN. There is a picture of her in a small Museum in Exeter Rhode Island, not far from where I lived when I was in my teens, that has a photo of Princess Redwing from the early part of the Twentieth Century, she was very beautiful. When I knew here in grade school, she was much older. She came to our schools to teach the kids about native American culture. I remember her as a very kind wise lady.

    The word “karma” means an action without a reaction. Any action of ours limits the action that is to take place next. Any action that takes place at the conscious level of our thinking existence is a reaction.

  21. Dear Forrest:

    This reads to me as a Scrapbook allegory about how we should present ourselves in the chase community, and the benefits it brings to be positive.

    Rhondo wasn’t there this last time because he was home trying not to email FF and getting ready for church. The store probably just looked closed down because he didn’t put the plate under the flower pot on the deck, but in his plate cabinet instead.

    The person who finds the treasure needs an Iron Chin like Chuck Wepner, an Iron Tail like Don Beebe, and a positive outlook like Nelson Mandela. (can take a shot, can take a paddling but still keep coming, and can maintain hope and respect for others even in the darkest hours)

    Take care,
    RJ Sharp

    • Chuck Wepner the Bayonne Bleeder, what a great fighter. I have met a few fighters in my day, Foreman , Pazienza, Cooney, Alexis Argüello , Camacho and many more… all of these guys were great fighters. The main thing is to keep getting up and never give up. It’s over there by the tail. That’s what I take away from this SB.

  22. Treasure new and old is clearly buffalo.
    Specifically a buffalo named Hondo.
    So I just find Hondo and get permission to find out where his pen was ten years ago. Obviously he must have dropped the treasure with Hondo’s warm waters expelling. Tail went up, we all know what that means, Forrest saw that tail and must have lost the bet with hondo. home of brown is cow pies.

    • Hondo means “deep” in Spanish. Rhondo could be Rio Hondo = Deep River.
      FF once said: ” Why don’t you ask me how deep is a hole?”
      Related? Who knows!

      • In reference to Forrest’s question: “Why don’t you ask me how deep is a hole?” That reminds me of an awakening revelation my father had many moons ago right after awakening from some vivid dream. He said: “The digger you deep it, the wholer it gets.”

  23. Great story as always….but if my thinking towards a solve is close, then there is one BIG clue here! And I think there are other searchers catching on based on some previous comments above. All IMO. Of course as it has been stated many times before on this forum, I don’t want to say any more until I have BOTG come this spring/summer. If I’m correct, ( laughing to myself as we all know how that goes!) I think the general area will be crowed this year. And if I’m wrong (most likely scenario) It’s still always a hell of a good time out there exploring and dreaming!

    You are a clever one Forrest.

    • Hi Geysergirl,
      many searchers think that Forrest includes at least one hint or clue in each SB. So, we should have now around 230 hints/clues only in published SBs. It’s very unlikely.
      But it’s true that each searcher that have solution will try to search each new SB for “hints” that well aligned with his/her solution. It’s psychology trick. A couple of years ago Forrest said that he stopped the releasing of any additional hints/clues. SBs are just stories from his life. They definitely help searchers to understand Forrest as a person so these stories can indirectly help to find correct general area.


      • Hi Andy: re: “A couple of years ago Forrest said that he stopped the releasing of any additional hints/clues” — this statement is not true. Forrest has only said he wouldn’t be giving out any more clues of the variety he has given out in the past, e.g. above 5000 feet, below 10,200 feet, not in Idaho, not in Utah, not underwater. He’s made no comment about whether there are hints in Scrapbooks.

        • Can either of you give me a link to where either of your statements were made? I think there is truth to both of them but speculation also. I think everyone reads into the SB’s what they would like to think are clues, hints, but whether they truly are remains to be seen. If something fits even slightly with one’s “solve” of course they are going to consider it a hint. But IMO I could write a story about my childhood growing up, with no relationship whatsoever with TTOTC, and many searchers would be able to make it fit in some way with their solve and consider it a hint if it was posted as a SB. IMHO only.

        • Isn’t it kind of interesting how the WWWH line and TFTW lines kind of relate to one another?
          warm: (especially in children’s games) close to discovering something or guessing the correct answer. (Not Far)
          halt: (Archaic) walk with a limp.
          game: (Dated) (of a person’s leg) permanently injured; lame. (But too far to walk)
          That seems like it might be a clue, of course, IMHO.

        • Hi BroStevo: I can give a few sources that address the “no more clues” half of what you’re asking.

          Huff Post Live (3/5/2016): HOST: “What would it take to get you to give a clue? Maybe not live right now, but maybe on the phone with me after?”
          FF: “A hundred million! A hundred million dollars would do it I’m pretty sure.”

          Inside Edition (6/22/2017): Peter Kasetas: “You had talked about giving more clues, providing more clues to help people better find your treasure, and again, I call for you to pull it.”
          FF: “I’m not going to give a clue to help people find the treasure. I’m going to give a clue to try to keep them out of trouble. … To make them safer.”

          On this blog, under “Safety First” (6/29/2017): “When I said the treasure was not hidden in Utah or Idaho it was my plan not to narrow the search area further. But in light of a recent accident, and in the interest of safety, I feel it necessary to alter that plan. It is not necessary to move large rocks or climb up or down a steep precipice, and it is not under a man-made object. Please remember that I was about 80 when I made two trips from my vehicle to where I hid the treasure. Please be cautious and don’t take risks. My guess is that in the last 7 years more than 250,000 people have searched for the treasure without suffering any serious injuries. I invite you to add your name to that list. The search is supposed to be fun. f”

          On the specific subject of hints in the Scrapbooks, I would point you to SB 70 (5/19/2014) where Forrest wrote: “I wrote this poem in 5 minutes to counter Dal’s malicious Garmin malplacement of the treasure. There are as many hints in this poem as there are dents in Esmeralda, who still glides the tartop after 294,000 miles.”

          Perhaps Dal can confirm, but at that time with that much mileage, I think it’s safe to say that Dal’s Esmeralda was unlikely to be dent-free.

          • Yep, locolobo, I know what Dal wrote in the comments underneath. But I’m satisfied there is one rather important hint/clue in that little poem by Forrest because it is a recurring thing that shows up in the treasure poem multiple times, TTOTC, TFTW, OUAW, and many other Scrapbooks.

          • Fenn’s sharp as a tack… He plans what he says quite cleverly. Beware the hint and clue gremlins….
            The poem is where it’s at.

          • Zap-
            Good logic…but-
            I know it’s hard to believe…to some I am fanatical about keeping Ezmeralda in showcase condition. I take care of every dent and scratch quickly. Rust keeps me awake at night. I keep a map of small towns in the RMs north of Santa Fe where there are good car washes. I like to take care of my vehicles. In the past 35 years I have purchased two vehicles.One I had for 15 and I’ve had Ezy for 20.

            Ezmerelda has had many dents over 20 years of highway experience but none exist today.

            The reason Forrest was picking on Ezy at that time is because two days before heading out on that trip to NM Ezy was smacked by a sedan at an intersection. Her left rear quarter panel was in a drivable but wretched and embarrassing state. We were scheduled to depart on our way to NM to do a story with Nick from Australia and Ezy refused to have her picture taken in that condition.

            Forrest was giving us grief that we had to get Ezy repaired before we could leave WA state for NM. Days later when I arrived at Forrest’s house he inspected Ezy and found no scratches or dents to reflect her mileage or condition just a few days previous. He was surprised. Hence his remark that you quoted above…In truth…there were NO dents or scratches on Ezy…pristine as the day she left the new car lot…

            No dents in Ezy suggesting no hints in that story.

            Further when Nick (the reporter) and I arrived in Santa Fe Forrest asked where we had been searching. When I told him he just laughed and said something to the effect of that being the worst solution he ever heard. You can read that solution and find the links to Nick’s story here:

            It’s a fun place to clomp around in…but based on Forrest’s response I don’t see any value in searching there and have never returned. I mean the material that led to me searching in that area is hardly easy to access, related to the poem or mentioned in the book…further…it has not a wit to do with geography and is completely based on historical and prehistorical legend. It was a harebrained idea.

            I have a much better search area now. I will be searching there as soon as I can find someone to take me:

          • Hi Dal: I am impressed that you have kept Ezzy in such tiptop shape for so long — apparently to include door-dings from careless parking lot neighbors.

            “In the past 35 years I have purchased two vehicles.One I had for 15 and I’ve had Ezy for 20.”

            I drive my cars as long as they remain reliable (and remain unstollen). I had my 2001 Pathfinder until 2018. I finally replaced it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee because it would no longer pass smog without replacing two catalytic converters, which run over $1200 a piece — REFURBISHED. When the repair costs exceed the vehicle value, it’s time for a new ride. That Pathfinder still had its original clutch and close to 200,000 miles.

            “Forrest was giving us grief that we had to get Ezy repaired before we could leave WA state for NM. Days later when I arrived at Forrest’s house he inspected Ezy and found no scratches or dents to reflect her mileage or condition just a few days previous. He was surprised. Hence his remark that you quoted above…In truth…there were NO dents or scratches on Ezy…pristine as the day she left the new car lot…”

            Thanks for the detailed backstory. Apparently Forrest isn’t as much a stickler on car maintenance, as his passenger-side mirror attests. 😉

        • These SB’s just might be the hints of riches new and old. He hasn’t said anything about being hints or no hints about in his SB’s. Glad he never has. That’s freedom to write as he pleases. IMO . If there are hints in these, one has to figure out the hints and what are the hints hinting at. In some? In all? Looks like a whole bunch of riddles to me .

          It’s fun trying , anyways.

          IMO .

        • Andy I appreciate your insight, and I agree we all try to find clues to “justify” our solve, but I have to agree with Zap. I do believe there are little hints in at least some of the stories if you can “see” them. And of course those hints will be different to each person because just like the poem, there are so many ways to go. IMO

          And sorry for the delay, I have such a hard time keeping up with it all! LOL!

          • Thanks for your response, Geysergirl.
            Maybe Forrest decided to release some “hidden hints/clues” in his SBs instead of publish them officially. In this case these little hints will be visible only for searchers that are very close to correct solve. Maybe he wants to accelerate the chase and see the final in 2020 i.e. 10 years after the chase started?
            I plan to visit my hoB next spring and find next clues. I hope next SBs will give me more hints that consistent with solution 🙂
            Good luck with your solution!

  24. Just so you know. The F below the date is the initial of the designer of the nickels last name. All coins have it regardless of the mint from where it came from. In this case it stands for James Earl Fraser.

  25. It sounds like this Rhondo guy was a pretty smooth player, until he met you Mr. Fenn.
    You thought him a good lesson. I bet, prior to meeting you, he got couple of other people at his play. Silly me, I was wondering, because of your status, was the Benjamin picture, your initial donation, the lowest what he asked for?

  26. I feel like we are being nickled and dimed. This info will probably only help if you have it figured out already. Or will this scrapbook create a flipping stampede… lol

    • Andy,
      You are, “ in my eyes”, somewhat correct. If you have most of the clues solved you can see hints in most of these scrapbooks, but what good are they for the ones the do have most the clues solved? To me they are just confirmation, but for other searchers they are a way of evening that playing field if they are willing to do the research.
      I’m going to take this winter opportunity to review all the recents SB’s, and see if there is something I can see to research that might help in finding out just what the “blaze” could possibly be.

      Good luck,

  27. I can relate to this story Mr Fenn. I hate losing. And unlike you, I’m a very poor sport, especially on the golf course. Congrats on the hole-in-one. They are rare indeed. Fore.

  28. Loved the story Forrest – Thanks for sharing. So, Rhondo quit trying to sell antiques, and decided to sell real estate. If he made money on 67% of his possible client sales, he did well for himself. Wonder if he ever made a hole in one like you did? 4th hole, seven iron, hole in “1” – must be something here – All I get is bogies – 🙂 JDA

    • JDA said- “4th hole, seven iron, hole in “1” – must be something here”

      JDA, I see something there. What if you knew where this Par 3 hole is? Just maybe the place name could help with a hint to get you started to a area you should be considering for your “begin” point.

      Just thinking out loud,

      • Bur – Still imagining Forrest and Donnie hitting golf balls, with a 7 iron, across the Madison River, out to my hidey spot area at Baker’S Hole. Maybe on the 4th of July, one Summer, in the 1940’s?

        Giving credit where credit is due?? Really, Forrest? Or, did I perhaps get the Sun Valley Golf Course as the correct location, circa 1949, in one of my previous posts?

        The day I posted that, I walked over to the Sun Valley Clubhouse, and almost took a pic of the 9th hole on the White Clouds Course to post here. But, I had too little memory on my phone left to take that pic. Bummer.

        • Well Lisa, the 4th hole is a Par 3 at Sun Valley, so if Forrest was there swinging it’s a possibility. The course i’m referring to, he has most likely played with another friend, that relates to the chase is not near either area you mention.

          Thanks for your comment Lisa.

          • Bur – Thank you for your response, and for exploring this topic.

            Perhaps if Sun Valley is the course, it is a reference to the ‘fourth hole’ as the ‘fourth clue’ in the Poem?:

            “Put in below the home of Brown.”

            In my solve, that’s Barns Hole #1. Is That the ‘hole in one’?

            And is the 7 iron a reference to the 7th clue in the Poem? If the 7th clue is the blaze?

            Sun Valley. The Sun. Eye of RA. The Circumpunct. The Alchemical symbol for GOLD. And a Star blaze (made up of golden triangles?). Does the Sun have Fe (Iron) in it? The White Star is the Air Force symbol, also.

            Just a theory…

            Imagining a Baker, rolling out dough, using a star-shaped cookie cutter, to make Christmas cookies. The hole left behind would be a ‘Baker’s Hole’, wouldn’t it?


            Par for the course: 3. Looks like TFTW to me!


          • Bur – Yessss!:

            “Iron’s abundance in rocky planets like Earth is due to its abundant production by fusion in high-mass stars, where it is the last element to be produced with release of energy before the violent collapse of a supernova, which scatters the iron into space.”

            Now THAT’S a blaze!

    • Well JDA, you get bogies and is see bunnies .lol . If I were to put on snorkel gear I’d see something interesting from a distance. But this may require some scuba gear!

      How about this: C-note means ‘see note’
      PS- in writing means ‘personal note’, which also means ‘ Post Script’. Is this SB scripted with a ‘Personal Note’ at the end?

      “You hit the ‘hole in one’ ….for(4)…the win ( rolling a 7) ?

      Do you get ‘the picture’ here, from FF? Whom will sent a ‘president portrait’. Is it a ‘Precedent’ as in ‘C-note’.

      What is he ‘portraying’ here?

      Is this really about Golf? How deep is a hole?

      Difference between a rabbit and a hare-Is Bugs Bunny a rabbit, or a hare? Did someone not see the chest ( rabbits are born blind and burrow) and missed it by a hair? ( the chest is not buried) Hares nest above ground.

      Wholly cotton tails! What’s up Doc? Lol.

      I see the note and accept the offer freely 🙂

      IMO .

      • Good Alsetenash, ‘see note’ could also be the “asterisk”. Maybe page 15 of ttotc…
        (4)th hole, (7) iron
        par (3)
        113, 113th word of page 15? okay, that’s a stretch, lol. (bias thought).
        (but “few” would be in tight focus with “that”).lol, tangents are flying everywhere. Still with us JDA?……..

        • @Poisonivey. Nice! I don’t have the book Nor have I read it. But you could be 100%,( C-Note) correct 🙂

          IMO .

        • Hi Charlie – Still here – Just don’t have much to say – Cat got my tongue I guess 🙂 Thanks for asking – JDA

  29. The lunch at my Junior High school back in the early seventies cost 55 cents. My mom would hand me the two quarters and a nickel each morning before the school bus arrived. Little did she know, those coins would be used for “flipping” with the other boys before school opened and on breaks from classes. I quickly learned which kids could be scalped of their lunch money. Some kids were so slow that When they flipped the coin I could see what side was up when it landed in their hand before they turned it over on their arm. We’d play a game called “odd or even,” where we’d both flip a coin. I learned how to flip mine where I could get heads or tails as desired 90% of the time. Since I could see what they flipped and I knew what I flipped, the pickings’ was easy. At the end of the day, I had some extra jingle in my pocket. It was funny and sad how the suckers wanted revenge and would just keep losing and they never could figure out how I took their money.

  30. Fraser’s Indian head is a composite of at least 3
    Native American chiefs meant as a tribute to all
    tribes and nations.
    Iron Tail, an Oglala
    Two Moons, a Cheyenne, and
    Big Tree, a Kiowa, also called Addoeette.
    John Big Tree, a Seneca, who later was an actor,
    also claimed to be Big Tree, but this was refuted by
    Fraser himself. (2 Big Trees ??)
    The buffalo was either a bull called Black Diamond,
    at the Central Park Zoo, or a bull called Bronx,
    at the Bronx Zoo. (2 bison ??), history is uncertain
    which. Needless to say, things ended poorly for
    them. Black Diamond ended up as steaks, a nice
    head mount, and an automobile coat.

    • I think there were four Native American Chiefs Noted on the Frazer design of the Buffalo Nickle. You forgot ‘Chief Wild Eagle’ of the Hekawi Tribe. If you want to know how to get too their camp in Wyoming “Make right turn at big rock that look like bear, then make left turn at big bear that look like rock”.

  31. I never seem to be able to say coin toss without it coming out as toin coss. That doesn’t happen for any other phrase I speak, so I think it is a warning to me that I shouldn’t gamble.

    Once when I was driving through Las Vegas towards Palm Desert with my buddy Bailey we stopped for a rest and ended up standing at two nickel slot machines. I played one nickel at a time but Bailey figured there was greater reward by playing five at a time and he was quickly out of nickels and wandered away to find a beer and more nickels.

    Ten seconds later a guy walked up to the vacated machine and put in five nickels. All the bells and whistles went off and the machine started spitting out nickels so long and fast that he needed a few 20 oz beer cups to haul it all away.

    Bailey missed the whole thing and returned with his beer and a small cup of nickels. I told him not to bother playing that machine anymore.

  32. Iron Tail reminds me of the backside of Forrest’s pants as he slid down the escape chute to get away from Ms. Ford.

  33. Forrest, I am trying to figure out if you had 2 nickels or what? How did you get a reverse image so precisely of the same nickel in reverse? Or did you just impose the images on the photo of a table? Very well done in any case.

  34. Let’s see … we gots music, we gots notes, we gots bills, we gots money, … flip side? … Rhondo, … ok I got it!

    “Help me Rhondo, help help me Rhondo … “. You know. Duh! The Beach Boys. 🙂 The odds are the TC is in really in California. You’re welcome.

    • This was my thought – at first blush – Rajon Rondo – played for the C’s and is now a Laker.

      Flip Saunders – Minnesota T wolves coach – k Garnett played for him and then joined Rondo in B town to win a championship. Boston. IMO. It’s all connected.

      • Ray Allen and Paul P were also two great scorers/sharp shooters on that team.

        Maybe F put a signed Bird Jersey in the TC? I intend to find out.

  35. I probably shouldn’t share this but what the heck: as someone already posted rondo is main theme, the theme here is profile on coin. Dust cover has bowled treasures, yep, FLIP the cover to see it. There’s yr profile also. Fits my solve plus all the John’s but as Fenn pointed out nobody buys my “antiques/solve” anymore lol. LS out.

    • Deeepthnkr,

      There is a theme relationship for this chase, and yes it’s under the cover of the TTOTC book. So you have something halfway right. But to understand what I’m saying you need to find the two hints posted in the book that help point to the theme.

      Good luck,

      • I am done with solve, just waiting till I can go but always appreciate comments. Some of what I found isn’t under the cover but on the cover. Yes there is one in dust cover also.

  36. Forrest, this one has my head spinning, pun intended.

    Golfing, gambling, Presidents, a great inventor, a little trash, a PC, another hotdog kind of, body hardware, accounting, a curb, etc.

    So this story reminds me of a trick my mom and dad pulled on when I was very young and gullible. One day we were debating something, I can’t remember what, and so he looked at me with a Cheshire Cat grin and said, “let’s toss a coin to see who wins. Heads I win, tails you lose”. Mom got out giant purse, dug around a little and handed dad a nice big shinny 50 cent piece. I took that bet, he tossed the coin and tails came up. Yep, I lost, but I learned a very important lesson that day……..listen very carefully to every word. And of course it applies to reading too.

    We found that purse of mom’s after she passed and to this day we’re not sure why she kept it, but it was very special to her For some reason and so we kept it.

    It will probably be eons before I have enough wisdom in my head to figure all this out and when I do, God knows I’ll be ringing that bell loud and clear just for you Forrest.

    And before I forget, your math is off a little.


  37. When I saw the name Rhondo, I couldn’t help but think about BLOOD. RH positive, and RH negative and D are all antigens and O is a blood type. OD+. Sooo, who flips for blood? The Red Cross, Phlebotomist, Vampires, Hospitals. Iron is in blood and copper too. Then I was thinking FLIPS and how Rhondo is a real estate agent and how Fenn owned a Real estate company and then F’s P & L’s and nickels adding up and pictures also. Some place nowhere known, he didn’t know , nose ring… hmmmm, Just one more bloody tale.

  38. This was a very informative SB full of confirmative hints. The most important is his use again of the # symbol, 7 times! This symbol is at the heart of the final search area, IMO. Also he uses the pronoun “I” many more times than normal professional writers would use. “I”, as he uses it, is referring to an “eye.” The # symbol is mostly in the “eye,” but off-centered to the right. Parts of the # symbol form “F”s, one of which faces to the right and another to the left (a mirror image). They flipped a coin (the eye) from one side to the other.

    The right facing F appears as a lip, with the lower arm of the F protruding further out than the upper arm, looking like Rhondo’s “toothy mouth.”

    Inside the right side of the eye, is the # symbol, which appears as two pluses, or positive ++ symbols. Inside the left side of the eye is just a horizontal line, which is a negative symbol.

    Fenn said heads is always positive and tails is negative. So the right side of the eye is heads and the left side is tails. This fits with Fenn’s photos of the Indian head nickel, where the Indian is actually on the left where the tails should be. The Indian’s name was Iron “Tail”, making the Indian the tails and the buffalo the heads.

    He talks about C notes. A C note on a musical sheet can look like a “d”. There are several forward and reverse “d”s in the eye image and pound symbol.

    Rhondo = round O. There’s much more.

    All my opinion, no one else’s. Forrest knows.

  39. The numbers in recent scrapbooks stuck in my head.
    First all of the fours. Then the C note plus the dime.
    I figured the fours were a latitude and the Benjamin plus a dime equaled 110’s longitude….
    The combo covered a wide part of Yellowstone National Park.
    So, I pinned it at Ojo Caliente Spring, WWWsH.
    Maybe now I can sleep.

  40. .
    I see that Tom terrific had started a discussion about Hondo. Out of curiosity has anyone here read Louis l’Amour‘s book titled Hondo? I don’t know why yet but somehow I am reminded of that and I think there are watered down version’s of it floating around on Amazon.

    Louis l’Amour mostly wrote about the old west and featured a family called Sackett. But he did have one book called “The Last of the Breed” about a jet fighter pilot who crashed somewhere around Siberia and had to trek out of that icy place while being pursued by hostiles. I enjoyed l’amour’s writings.

  41. That is a Lucky Nickel , hang onto it .


    ” Throw a Nickel on the Grass… Save a Fighter Pilot`s Ass ” – O. Brand

    • Heads ,
      I closed my eyes and told myself it was going to be heads, it was going to be heads. (That’s #4. I was using the power of positive thinking against him).
      He flipped it and I yelled “heads.” (That’s #7, heads is positive and tails is negative). It fell heads and I went home with his picture of Franklin. I was feeling good.

      He got a hole in one on the 4th hole with a seven iron….so it was heads, look at the coin, both sides has heads facing each other. Me in the Middle again.

      You need to be in the right spot to figure that out.

  42. This sounds fairly straight forward to me, advantage Mr. Fenn. Now if he were to call it a condor then I might guess he’s hedging his grapes.

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