Scrapbook Two Hundred Forty Seven…

scrapbook

December, 2019

 

Wherever the Bugle Blows

On the 24th of August, 1968, I was shot down in south Vietnam. One-hundred and nineteen days later, I was shot down again, that time in the jungle of Laos.

Thirty minutes after I ejected from my crippled fighter, it was dark. There could be no rescue attempt at night. No one knew where I was.

But the next morning, at first light, a recovery plan was in operation. A C-130, full of search and rescue experts, was circling high, directing my rescue. A forward air controller (FAC) spotter plane had found me and pinpointed my position on the ground. It was Lt. James Swisher.

Four Sandy airplanes whose duty it was to strafe all around my position to keep enemy heads down, were doing their job. Four F-100 fighters, flying low and fast, and pulling Gs, were ready to roll in on any enemy position the FAC could find. Several other fighters, including a Misty, were close by, sauntering just out of the way, and ready to come in if needed.

A Jolly Green Giant helicopter (the Candy Ann) came in low and dropped 240 feet of cable with a heavy jungle penetrator attached. Airman Bob Sully, and M/Sgt. Lee Maples, were watching from the chopper. When they saw me unfold the penetrator’s legs and strap on, they activated the hoist that reeled me 175 feet up through the tangle of trees and an additional 65 feet above that canopy to the relative safety of the helicopter.

Meanwhile, a spare Jolly Green circled 1000’ above my position and was ready to assist if the Candy Ann started taking battle damage.

Looking back at that incident, which occurred almost exactly fifty-one years ago, I am still humbled, and proud. And honored that all of that effort was expended in harm’s way just to save my life. I wish I could express myself more eloquently.

I wanted to say those things now, at a time when our military seems to be taking heat from every radial. Are we ready to handle a homeland assault from a foreign power, especially one who possess gigantic weapons? We were not on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Could that happen again? We must keep our military strong.

Forrest’s collage painting

This old flag flies to warn anyone who sees her weak. Long after they have gone, she will wave, still at her peak, daring all of those who call her out to test her wrath and act as foes. Her strong stripes still proudly there, her resolve still strong, her teeth still bare, ready to charge again…wherever the bugle blows. f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

119 thoughts on “Scrapbook Two Hundred Forty Seven…

  1. Forrest so glad you survived such an ordeal!
    Thank you so much for being born on this great earth and the amazing service you have given to our country.!
    Peaceful wishes for you and yours this season!
    Much respect and warm regards to you!
    Lou Lee

  2. Thank you for sharing such a prolific story. I’m sure it’s some what hard to rehash such a personal and intimate situtation. I’m proud of you and your comrades for their service and bravery.

  3. This scrapbook touches home to me in a big way. My son was involved in the recent Pearl Harbor shooting and his sub was on lockdown. I did not hear from him but I knew he was on watch in the same dock , at the same time as the shooter. I was at work and had to go through the entire day not knowing anything. It was horrible. All I could do was replay our conversation the day before in my head. “I will be on watch tomorrow, get some rest – I love you Mom”When I finally got the word that he was ok, I broke into tears. I can only imagine what Ms Peggy and your family were going through not knowing if you were ok. It’s because of the brave men and women in our armed forces that we can sleep well at night knowing that we are protected. Bless you Forrest , for your bravery and all that you gave and give your bride a Boa hug from me.

  4. On my flight out West yesterday, I was sitting next to soldiers coming back from the Middle East. I needed to make the effort to thank them all because I know they have a hard road ahead. I’m so thankful for their sacrifice. I pray for them and their transition back into society. May God strengthen them. Their welcome party was big at the airport, something Vietnam Vets didn’t receive. To me, they are all hero’s. Thank You Forrest, I love our flag and the Liberty it stands for… now it’s time for some Hot Cider.

  5. As Ronald Reagan told us, “Peace through strength.” In this season of Peace, let us keep that phrase in mind. Merry Christmas!

  6. A few stanzas of a ” Ragged Old Flag” by Johnny Cash

    She waved from our ships upon the Briny foam
    And now they’ve about quit waving her back here at home
    In her own good land here she’s been abused
    She’s been burned, dishonored, denied, and refused
    And the government for which she stands
    Is scandalized throughout the land
    And she’s getting threadbare and wearing thin
    But she’s in good shape for the shape she’s in
    ‘Cause she’s been through the fire before
    And I believe she can take a whole lot more
    So we raise her up every morning
    We take her down every night
    We don’t let her touch the ground and we fold her up right
    On second thought, I do like to brag
    ‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that ragged old flag

  7. We the people American proud of having our freedom and what we work hard to protect . The backbone and courage to try to give our children a better life than we have had. Will Always be represented by our allegiance to our Flag.

  8. Thanks Forrest
    Here on the other side of the planet we appreciate the stability the USA brings to the world and the sacrifices made to achieve it..
    I feel uncomfortable in the wake of such sentiment to discuss the chase but it is the one thing that has brought us together.
    Early days but what I see here is…
    Hoist = Winch
    Tangle of trees = ester

    Rest assured I have mine under my bed for that homeland assault

    I’m hoping the Pearl Harbour reference was a wink to me

    Love Pearl

  9. Liberty is ALWAYS worth fighting for.

    Thank you, Forrest…and to all those who fought…and to all those who continue to fight for Liberty.

    I’d wager that Christmas Eve in 1968 was the most cherished day of his life…and certainly his most memorable Christmas.

    He had (has) three Priceless Presents waiting for him. Still does…and many more since…

    Priceless Treasure .

  10. Thanks Forrest. I know that war changed your mind on whether we (USA) should have been involved in Vietnam. That doesn’t change the fact that you are a hero and went in harms way to protect the principles of Freedom.

    When the time comes, USA will rise with great people such as yourself to protect those principles. Freedom may always be tested, but it will never die.

  11. I am in total agreement with you there Forrest.
    No potential enemy will dare to set foot on these shores in numbers.
    Being an ole Marine well lets just say I believe in gun control, ” hold it firmly and hit what I am aiming at “. So from behind every blade of grass it would rain lead.

    Aside from that I believe we are doing good as a nation, our economy is rolling along at a decent pace. I expect that money for the military will soon be allocated for improved equipment.

    HDD

  12. Forrest, What a fitting tribute and important message. I’m thankful you are among the lucky ones who returned.

    May we never forget the cost of freedom won, or ignore the physical & emotional needs of soldiers who have bravely defended our land.

  13. Salute.
    I have one nephew in Kuwait at this time. Another nephew served in Iraq, where he was among those that invaded Baghdad and pulled down the statue of Saddam. And another nephew that was injured in training, and spent months in hospital. All fine men.
    My family has a long history of military service in all wars and conflicts since early colonial times. Including men with names that you would recognize. But I consider myself fortunate that I came of age in times of peace and prosperity thanks to their service.
    If America were invaded I have no doubt that that the people will rise to meet the enemy. As a small hint of that fact: ..thirty million people got a hunting license this year. That is more armed people than all of the worlds major armies combined. My greatest fear is the enemy within the technocratic elite and the unwarranted influence with the military industrial complex as Eisenhower had warned. Americans will rise to meet that occasion also by the power of God.

  14. I was hoping for horses Forrest but I love your painting and scrapbook!

    “Sometimes I dream freedom comes to those who do what is right.”

    Hey… Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee 🙂

  15. I want to say thank you for the reminder, not only for the courageous souls who work so hard to keep us safe in our homes, but also for the specialized search and rescue operations. May we be(come) worthy of such selflessness.

  16. Forrest,

    Thank you for your service. The Vietnam war, from my point of view, is Chase based.

    IMO, if you want a realistic view of what those kids went through then you must watch the movie called

    We Were Soldiers

    Based on the book…
    We Were Soldiers Once… and Young

    We Were Soldiers Once… and Young is a 1992 book by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and war journalist Joseph L. Galloway about the Vietnam War. Wikipedia

    Use closed captioning and just think about it. You will see a rainbow, a bracelet, a marvel gaze, a creek, a Colonel Brown, a ton of blood, sweat, tears, bugles, Custer, trains, Gary Owen, and a storyline that mirrors just a portion of this journey Forrest has us on.

    Pay attention to every detail and if you can make it through the movie without being moved to tears, or even having a different outlook on that war and how it affected BOTH sides. They stood their ground, just like we would do here…

    Closed captioning! The battle of La Drang. The French were slaughtered there a few years before.

    Just put yourself in each and every person’s shoes in this movie, and think, about, it.

    IMO The search for Canasta 404, POW/MIA movement is reflected in the Montana state outline. It’s a mirrored image of the face.

    We Were Soldiers…

    Thank you for your service Forrest. Bip is looking good hanging out with his old friend. Absolutely amazing! I can’t wait for the snow to melt. So I can see it all again…

    ByGeorge

  17. This is a good story. The best stories of war are of peaceful, humane treatment of people when under adversarial fire. It is this kind of action that is just aimed to help people survive, rather than the act of aggression. Good fellowship is what is needed more than actions of aggression in retaliation from our adversaries. It takes more courage to act on humane treatment of each other peacefully when we are under fire and when we least want to only act peacefully, compassionately.

  18. Forrest, that was one heck of a rescue. All that was there to make sure you had a safe return.
    You should be proud of all those service guys who made it possible for you to become the person you are today.

    I know I’m Proud to be a American, because of the freedoms we have, and that our military helps to insure we keep them.

    Thanks for sharing Forrest.

    Bur

  19. The bugle has resonated with this declaration; we see in your art, (a purple heart Veterans creed); worked into the Flag; & unto, a Nation,; (maverick enough to help a World ; (in desperate need of a Union of Stars, & Stripes of their own); and people like forrest fenn. Thank you for your service to all humanity. Joyous Holy days, & God bless you, & fam!

  20. Thank you Mr. Fenn, America should be proud with a fighter like you. I too belive that we are facing great dangour from the Islamic republic of Iran, they mean what they say. Be blessed.

  21. We are strong and will stand tall when called. We are woven in the Grand Old Flag and bleed red, white, and blue.

    I enjoyed this scrapbook and so happy you were able to enter the threshold of your home nearly 51 years ago. Your painting is proud and patriotic and I like it.

  22. Forrest,
    Your collage painting is awesome!
    It reminds me of why I’m proud to be an American.
    Did you bring the flag back from Vietnam?
    I like how you represented yourself in the middle of your collage. Like I said, Awesome 🙂

  23. Wonderful Scrapbook!
    Americans must always be vigilant against foreign intrusion and also domestic internal subversion. We play a bit of a gamble if we don’t pay attention and protect Old Glory from being taken off the mast forever.
    We must never forget to teach the youth of the struggles of the past or they will have to repeat them sadly.
    Salute!

  24. Deciding a war is the hardest thing.
    Of course justice and human rights; The right to freedom and security and defense is vital and indispensable for any society.
    Every sincere war that fights to protect nature and humanity and keep it in peace is sacred.
    And the spirited soldiers of such wars will always be at the forefront and respected.
    Deciding a war is the hardest thing.
    It would be a sign of our gratitude and appreciation for them to avoid damaging their civilly, respectable and meaningful position.
    Greetings,
    The Heroes Who Endanger Their Lives For Good And Justice.
    -alce doc

  25. Hi Mr. Fenn, I’m not giving up on the idea that some day people will figure out how to settle there differences without killing each other. A legacy of never ending wars, seems a poor inheritance.

  26. The bugle, horns and stripes (Green Grass and SB 240), TAPS and drawing nigh. Where in the Rockies does she bare her teeth I wonder. The painting resembles a blood chit and at the center, Forrest’s heart.

  27. Good morning, Forrest. You seem to be having the same fears that run through my dreams on occasion. Once upon a nighttime, I have seen the troops invading in full color on the screen of my sleeping mind. I hope our leaders and military are truly prepared for any scenario. I found some advice on how to survive if this should occur at https://secretsofsurvival.com/russian-invasion/ (not that it would necessarily be the Russians, but somehow they have been on my radar since my military service in Germany in the early 80s before the wall came down. While they patrolled their border with Germany, we patrolled ours with tanks loaded with TOW (tube-launched, optically guided wire) missiles. It seems that one of the safest places to be is in the forest, so Fenn searchers who are “brave and in the wood” will already have an advantage.

    For those not familiar with the Misty Experiment in Vietnam, aka Commando Operation Sabre, you can find info here at http://www.themistyexperiment.com/. Basically, these pilots flew low to interrupt the transport of military supplies along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In addition, this all-volunteer squadron’s mission was to find downed aircrew and act as on-scene commanders until additional rescue forces arrived.

    Now how does any of this apply to the Chase? I believe this question is key when reading the scrapbooks for possible hints. Are you preparing Indulgence (and the search community) for a possible invasion this summer? Although, as you made clear, no one has bragging rights as a “lead searcher” until the treasure (the target objective) is rescued from her cold, wet resting place, I noticed that your flag has a repeated pattern of 8 stars. Is Indulgence eagerly awaiting her rescue with the dawn of a new search season?

  28. “Star-Spangled Banner” by Forrest Fenn

    The rule is this: When two or more words are put together to form an adjective and placed in front of a noun, connect them with a hyphen. Hyphens are adventurous.

  29. I can’t remember reading before a description of this level of detail about all the different support aircraft that were involved in Forrest’s rescue. So many levels of support and redundancy in place just to make sure that everyone was doing everything possible to ensure the rescue of one man. I can certainly understand why Forrest feels humbled, and this story is a great testament to the fact that in addition to all of the craziness involved with that war, there were just as many good & responsible people just doing their job to the best of their abilities.

  30. A fitting tribute to the greatest nation on earth, one brave soul willing to make personal sacrifice to advance freedom, and a time that ALL life was valued in that great nation. It only took 5 years for that culture of valuing and protecting life to slide into a national culture of death (1973 Rv.W) and eventually abandonment (2012 Benghazi).

    Your words, “I wanted to say those things now, at a time when our military seems to be taking heat from every radial. Are we ready to handle a homeland assault from a foreign power, especially one who possess gigantic weapons? We were not on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Could that happen again? We must keep our military strong,” are words of experienced wisdom. Yet, our biggest threat in this new millennium may well come from -within- and that threat will fester in an atmosphere of complacency until the very goals of “protecting freedom” that took a nation of America’s finest to Vietnam will be lost in Valdosta (GA).

    “Thank you for your sacrifice and service,” seems so trite in a growing atmosphere of censorship and much, much worse. Maybe it is more fitting to promise you that – WE WILL continue the battle on the home-front and may that serve as a, “…shining city upon a hill…!”

  31. Thank you Forrest for telling the story of how we never give up on helping our Brothers in Arms. As one Vet to another it would seem self serving to thank you for your service. But it is not in this instance. For you gave a significant portion of your life to that endeavor. You showed Bravery, concern for your rescuers, and uncommon valor. As an enlisted man I most respectfully Salute an Officer of the highest quality and standards of the Corp, and a mustang to boot.

  32. Hi Forrest;

    The title of this piece intrigues me – “Wherever the Bugle Blows:” A bugle can blow “Reveille”, “Charge”, “Retreat” , “Assembly”,”Taps” – or a host of other calls. No matter the call, it draws our attention, whether we are veterans or not. Some how, we all pay attention, no matter where the call is heard, or when. So, I like your title – It says so much, and yet leaves so much unsaid. Thanks for the post Forrest.

    Glad that your bugle call was heard, and many rushed in to save you. I Salute You Sir! – JDA

  33. You are Humble, Forrest. Everything we do matters, every action we take, every word that we speak. It’s called the “Butterfly Effect” Perhaps this Chase changes the world in greater ways than just giving us adventure and fun. One thing is the development of a community of very diverse people who would ordinarily avoid each other :
    Atheists and people who are deeply Religious
    Conservatives and Liberals
    Many different ethnicities
    Yet, they have found common values and give respect and support for each other. Love changes the world. Every Time. The clothes and candy you brought to the children in Vietnam, the children you bring on Archaeological digs, and all the families who are discovering nature in the wilderness because of the chase, are just the beginning…. Where will it all end?

  34. Here’s a toast to the Host of those who love the vastness of the sky.

    To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.

    We drink to those who gave their all of old.

    Then down we roar to score the rainbow’s pot of gold.

    A toast to the Host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force.

    -Stanza IV , U.S.A.F. Song-

    Thanx Major

    • Mr. Fenn

      The fealty between soldiers is ineffable. It is inspiring. It is sacred. Thank you for your service. And your mirth and your trailblazing. And your miscreance, too. Live well and prosper.

      Jomo
      Poet

  35. Excuse me but I have to step out of character for just this once.

    My gratitude goes out to Mr. Fenn and all military personnel that fought in the Vietnam War. The war ended just months before I was to be drafted. I had a very low draft number and I was probably not really prepared for military life much less combat. I finished college eventually and within a couple years went to work for the US DoD. After that I worked for military contractors until I retired. I had no difficulty offering up a lifetime of the gifts God gave me, to serve the people that put their lives on the line every day. And they willingly do this for an entire country full of people they’ve never even met. You have to honor that.

      • Thanks for the art Forrest.
        A bit more conceptual than I had expected and I think your influences shine through, but not bad for a first!
        It encouraged me to make some suggestions about inspiration for future works:

        Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
        William Temple Hornaday
        Yellowstone Jack
        Stephen Meek

        Eric Sloane’s board in Scrapbook 245 made me pick up an old, put aside work with ties to all of the above.
        Being a painter myself, you don’t happen to know the top angle and height of Eric’s easel?

        • “Easel” size? Sorry: I know a good thing when I see it, and I just couldn’t resist.

          I bought some “art supplies” as stocking-stuffers the other day, but shipping is slow. It’s a 12-pack (when they eventually arrive). Now I have that Melissa Auf der Maur song, “I’ll Be Anything You Want” ringing in my head. Because, well, y’know…

          Anyway, I think you’ll find the real answer you’re looking for in SB 107.

          • Thanks, it’s always difficult to determine the exact angle but it was close to what I expected.

            Oh yes, stocking-stuffers. Christmas and a new year is approaching fast.
            Next year will probably bring travels, perhaps snowshoeing or skiing, most likely hiking and other adventures.
            I hope to draw inspiration from Longfellow and friends in upcoming weeks to get ready for 2020.

  36. By the way, you have my utmost respect for your Military service. Risking your life lke that is something that I would not do. However, a nation needs men and women who are willing to take the risk. My comments above are related to my solve and how I think this scrapbook post relates to my solve. If anyone thinks it sounds like gibberish, then that’s becasue I don’t want to give away what I’m saying to anyone who isn’t already as far along in the solve as I am according to my solve. I might be wrong. Maybe the treasure is in the lobby at the Denver Mint and I’m spinning my wheels. Who knows?

  37. It looks like seven heavenly white voices of angels shooting up through backgrounds of fire and stars, like an honor guard putting that tattered flag and campaign to rest.

    Cheers to Candy Ann and all the servicemen and servicewomen!

  38. You’re a grand old flag
    You’re a high-flying flag
    And forever in peace may you wave
    You’re the emblem of
    The land I love
    The home of the free and the brave
    Ev’ry heart beats true
    Under red, white and blue
    Where there’s never a boast or brag
    But should old acquaintance be forgot
    Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

  39. Forrest, Thank you for serving our great nation, and keeping us safe. My eyes pour a black (mascara) river down cheeks everytime I hear your story. I’m thankful you made it home to your family. Hugs and kisses to you during this month of memories. Dawn

    Your collage is beautiful, and there you are, in the middle, again. Not divided. Not alone.

  40. Dear Forrest:

    I am still amazed at the fortitude it took to go out, get shot down, and yet get right back up to do it again, despite what had to have been a traumatic experience. It puts life’s other “problems” in perspective. We owe a debt to those who make that kind of sacrifice.

    I found the FAC’s background (including the operators) fascinating- such precision and observational skills, including an innate sense of where they should look. The rescue was certainly a coordinated, precise effort by front line, and rear guard. I often wonder how one could begin to thank someone who’d done that for them.

    On a lighter note, I have been doing a bunch of scrapbook math lately, and it’s working out A-OK. Sums and differences. I guess they’re really the same, depending on your perspective. Either way, they’re always easier on paper. It’s also easier on mirrors!

    The collage was very cool. It reminded me of the Betsy Ross exhibit that went through the Smithsonian a few years back. Simple, unique, and powerful.

    Thank you for your bravery, and the bravery of those who served with you. There are no doubt many other heroes out there whose stories remain untold.

    Take care,

    • RJ Sharp – That design:

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Ross_flag

      Read the Continental Congress quote. Gonna go watch that video Dal made of Forrest’s book collection. Loved that one book he happened upon, with all the original, signed letters and documents inserted.

      And I loved how Forrest’s F-100 Supersabre bridges the Stars & Stripes, in the purple heart of his beautiful, meaningful collage painting. Courage and Bravery; paramount to our freedom. And, yes, Forrest: I meant to capitalize that ‘B’.

  41. Why do you think they would risk other lives to save your own?

    Thank you for your service and all you’ve done, Forrest.

    Blessings. 🙂

  42. Where will your noble work hang
    Near those who our dear soldiers mend?
    Like music from the bell you rang
    May its notes stir our hearts and loyalty commend.

    • Indeed Jasonhall. What does it mean? I think nothing more then how clever Forrest is at disguising things right in front of our eyes! Took me a few reads to see it though. LOL!

      • At face value it appears to be an ode to the American Flag and all it symbolizes.

        But what if we apply this to the Chase? That is what I always ask when looking for deeper meanings in the SBs.

        Do you think Forrest is telling us as searchers, or some searcher in particular, to be bold and ready to charge when he sounds the bugle for the new search season? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

        • It’s possible…
          I think it’s an example of how (in America), stars such as president for example, can be threatened by stripes for no other reason than another’s person’s being opposed. for the stripes I’ve worn, I’m still not sure how I made it; and the stars I seen… They’ve been the ones at night falling that I dream on when looking for freedom.

          • I especially like that last line where Forrest says, “her resolve still strong, her teeth still bare, ready to charge again…wherever the bugle blows” (Forrest Fenn, Dec. 2019, SB 247)

          • I think Congress Shou be forced to listen to stuff related to civics. Not chase related other than Forrest is old enough he can yell at Congress and not worry about catching heat.

          • Not certain of a solve, but many of the countries monument came from marble Colorado, in the Rocky mountain. Not a fun hiking place, although very scenic.

  43. Forrest.
    This scrap book (mention of pearl harbor) made me think of my grandad, He was a royal engineer, He lost a leg and was horribly tortured as a P.O.W. in japan. Wish I had got to know him. Sadly he passed when I was only a year old. Rest peacefully grandad.
    Together we stand. Long live peace.
    Thank you Forrest.
    -Jay

  44. Every time you write about being shot down in the jungle of Laos, I feel my heart skip a beat as you take us all along on that incredible mission of bravery and rescue. I think I would have fainted out of shear fear of the unknown!

    What amazes me the most, besides how you kept your cool thru it all, was the “dance” that had to happen to make it all work. Each person focused on their specific job, yet still being part of the greater whole. Like a beautiful Waltz taking part in a horrific thunderstorm. Dedication, skill, and cooperation got the job done!

    I am so glad you are here to continue to tell your stories Forrest. Thank God for people like you and all the other brave souls in this world that keep us safe. No words can express how grateful we all are.

  45. Forrest, it’s great to see you’re still So full of vim and vigor(or is it PNV?:)! I have no doubt you have enough to carry on through SB #949.

    I hope I didn’t cross the lines, or maybe… I DO…

  46. The Jolly Green reminds me of the Vietnam Memorial in Angel Fire. I’m always moved when visiting there to pay respects to those fallen or affected. I have several friends whose name I find in the library books – always makes me sad not knowing what their lives cut short may have been like. Forest did you get a chance to go visit there? Some like to leave the past in the past. I’ve donated a brick for each of my friends that should last well into the next millennium

    • Have you got the books? Look through all three clue related books again. The thrill of the Chase, Too Far to walk, and Once Upon a While. Then go back to the memorial and have another look around. There’s at least one thing there that will make you smile.

        • Trying to squeeze a clue out of me regarding my solve? LOL There’s something outside, but the smile I like is inside. Inside the museum and inside the book. Don’t mention it if you see it please. Let’s not get too many people onto it in case it relates to the chase. It’s easy to find. Has to do with war. In the book and in the museum. You can walk around til you’re tired at that place. That’s all I’ll say. No more. Good Luck.

          • You actually confirmed my thinking. Yes it made me smile. I love that entire area for several reasons.

    • That’s a first stop. The donation jar on the desk should be bigger, though, as they really could do with some additional materials that provide a comprehensive history of the war from all perspectives. The enormity of it can take some time to learn & recognize, and they probably still don’t teach much about it in school. Sacred ground there.

      • I agree. I love that place. My Sister was with me when I went there and by the time we were done looking at everything she had tears in her eyes.

  47. Thank you dal, Mr. Fenn and all those through out history who have so unselfishly sacrificed themselves for our country and freedom. A beautiful reminder and scrapebook.

  48. I fell down another rabbit hole. Started thinking, maybe that’s not a butterfly, it’s a US map…
    but I need points.. . But tarry scant with marvel gaze… and voila!

    Kinda looks more like a huey than a sabre, but what is more interesting is where
    the X is located.

  49. I’m going to to sit by my heater and dream about chasing giant Yellow tail butterflies. and How the huckleberries that are ripe off the bush that time of year taste. It sure is cold outside!

  50. Forrest,

    Thank you for your heart felt words that could not be heard any clearer.

    I read your message for the third time today, while the television utters absurdities.

    If I could, I would yield back to you, the balance of my time, as you would certainly use it more wisely than me.

    As I sat with my 93 year old father on Thanksgiving, I told him that I loved him and I couldn’t have asked for a better father and mother and thanked him for giving me my life. I am sure millions of other sons and daughters did the same thing.

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

    s.

  51. Dear Forrest:

    This has become my favorite scrapbook. I think it is your unadorned telling of the story which makes it have so much impact. Ordinary people risking everything for other ordinary people— becomes extraordinary. Training becomes reality. 51 years later we see what a difference we all can make as we ripple through each other’s lives.

    Take care,

  52. In 1976 I was in grade school and we had a grand bicentennial celebration with plays, music, and speakers. It was the time I became aware that there where people out there that I had never meet that were protecting me and my way of living. It also somehow made me aware that I had all of the basics a human needs in this country and not just by chance. It is all about like minded people having each others backs. It is my hope that the gigantic weapons and strong forces will be a deterrent to major conflict long enough for word to get out. In this world of instant global communication It will be learned that most people do not hate just for the sake of hating or power. When all with good intentions realize it is a select few in charge that push for more than they need. We as a country will be there for the good and the just, if those in need would just ask instead of push. We as children sat together in that gym looking up at a huge 76 flag and knew we were all Americans and knew what that meant and why. Freedom. g

  53. I love your collage Mr. Fenn.
    All of the stars and the stripes must have so much meaning to the time you spent flying combat missions in Vietnam. It almost looks like the Purple Heart ribbon spans the river of no return after your plane was crippled and abandoned.
    Thank you for the post Mr. Fenn.

  54. Forrest, It took me a while to understand your painting. I have been thinking about it since it was posted. Now, I suppose nothing is fenced behind true colors. It is a win win situation.

    • Forrest, It took me a while to understand your collage, busy painting the house with Mr, Pearl.
      That plane looks suspiciously like a Convair 880
      Under the ribbon from the purple heart.
      Washington 1880
      Mr.Fenn , you are making this way to easy,
      Take care, Pearl

  55. Dear Forrest:

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for giving us all something to chase. No matter what the spring holds, that part will remain with me forever. As we get older, it is easy to forget how to have fun- we lose touch with what wonder, mystery, and a good quest feels like. Thanks for bringing that back.

    If it’s possible to make a friend you’ve never met, I feel like I have, and I sincerely hope I’ve done so.

    Take care,

  56. Dear Forrest:

    I love the collage painting, and all of your works. Fabric, poetry, prose, time, beer, labels, novels, doodles. They all have a distinct style and voice, and raise important thoughts. The importance of relatives, who couldn’t choose when and where they were born. The smells of our childhood, past places, mother and father.

    Are memory and imagination the same thing, possibly?

    Some have said art is a kind of prayer. I agree. It has inspired me to try my hand at it- it’s one thing I’ve never really done. It’s good for the soul.

    My 9-year old daughter did a project this week whereby she had to get a relative to provide a sketch to her as part of talking about art. I did one on the place I’ve been twice, and where I will return to again soon. Sketching it was one of the few things that made me forget about time or my age. (Fishing is the other). It seems that some soft covered changes are coming 4/21.

    Maybe we can take different roads, and remain one traveler.

    Right now snowpack is the enemy, but I aim to persist. I think I have everything I need. It would be nice to know, you know, what I know, but I know it can’t be known, you know, if you know what I mean. I am going to be a trouper and hope for good luck or good news soon. Maybe someone will bring out Zamboni fetish and ramp down the snow!

    Take care,

  57. Dear Forrest:

    I had a chance to look more closely and I really like the stars and bars “style” of this work- and the combination of red (fire, motivation) and blue (calm, depth). I interpret it as combining to create purple in the middle via the Purple Heart. The fire to be brave, and the calm to survive. Both vital.

    With this in mind I have done some more figuring and found out something I didn’t know before. That the chances of chaos can be very, very small like .012345 and sew on, seams like. It’s been awhile since that one but that was the right 1/4 me. In hindsight, maybe I needed an eye exam, but they’ve always been good. They were blurry afterward but after drying my eyes they were sharper. Time waits for no man, so maybe it’s good that I’m a kid.

    Hope you’re having a good news year!

    Take care,

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