Scrapbook Two Hundred Forty Four…

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December, 2019

 

Eric’s Humor

More than 40 years ago, when Eric Sloane was building his home in Santa Fe, I gave him a painting by Leon Gaspard. It was a house warming gift depicting two Taos Indians on horseback, up close, and riding directly toward the viewer. They were wearing shirts with broad, brightly colored vertical stripes. And they each had on pauncho hats, one with a feather sticking up and out at a rakish angle. 

Eric decided to put it on the left side of a fireplace, and it looked great hanging there, except that he didn’t have anything to offset it on the other side of the fireplace. That problem was quickly solved when he painted the same Indians wearing the same clothing, up close, and riding directly away from the viewer. Another typically looking Leon Gaspard painting with Eric Sloane martini-style humor. I told him how much I liked it, and we both had a good laugh. Eric was pleased to see that I recognized the subtle humor in what he had done. 

The next day he came into my gallery and presented me with a still-wet Gaspard-looking painting depicting two Taos Indians on horseback wearing shirts with broad, brightly colored vertical stripes. And they each had on pauncho hats, one with a feather sticking up and out at a rakish angle. He titled it Gaspard Memories and here it is: 

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How can you not love a guy like Eric Sloane? f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook Two Hundred Forty Three…

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November, 2019

 

I had seen the movie, A River runs Through it, but had not read the book. “You should,” my friend said, and she gave me a copy. After only 8 pages a mood came over me and I put the book aside to write this story. It is something I had to do. The book will be there later. 

I Remember Bip

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Our hair is beginning to turn white

He was as close to me as anything could be, my arm for instance. His real name was Bippy, but I can’t imagine why. Perhaps it was given to him when he was just a pup and any flippant designation, applied with a laugh, would fit. You know how humans are around babies. 

As he matured, my little brown dachshund moved off of his pad and into my heart, and even closer if there was such a place. He started sleeping on our bed, and then under the covers. It was nice to awaken in the middle of the night and feel his warmth at my feet. 

Bippy became Bip, and then The Bip, as if the crown jewels had been injected into the name. In my work place he was always under the desk. If I moved an inch, he knew it. When I rose to walk, The Bip was always trotting, 3’ in my trail. 

Once, in Lubbock where we lived, at the time, my wife and I had the occasion to drive from the Red Barn (the name of our art foundry) to visit Glenna Goodacre at her home. We drove about 3 miles through downtown to get there. My little dog was in his usual car-riding spot on the top of my driver’s seat, and behind my neck. 

After a visit with Glenna we were ready to go, but The Bip wasn’t hanging with me, and he was nowhere around that we could see. He had never been to Glenna’s before and it was not like him to wander off into in a strange neighborhood. For three hours we searched, up this street and down that one, all about. He just wasn’t there, and I was sure someone had stolen him, or that he had been hit by a car. I was rife with despair. 

After more hours of circling and looking, we drove back to the Red Barn. And there he was, The Bip, sitting by the front door and wagging his tail if to say, “Where have you guys been?” 

How did he get from there to here, 3 miles through heavy traffic, and red lights, and big trucks? Those are the things that souls are made of. 

Peggy and I were going up the Amazon River when we received a frantic phone call from Santa Fe. A vicious dog had attacked Bip, and he was having trouble. We charted a small pontoon plane, which I think was held together with bailing wire and duct tape, (it had no heading indicator or altimeter) to come land beside our boat, and carry us to Manaus, Brazil, which was 250 miles across the unmapped Amazon jungle where we could catch a flight home.. The Bip saw us and wagged his tail. He quickly recovered. Reunions following near disasters, are wonderful.IMG 7507

In 1981, a friend assisted Bip in writing his autobiography. It’s called Bip, and has his signature on the leather cover. It’s a 30-page fictionalized account of Bip as an artist, and Eric Sloane illustrated it with 7 drawings.

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The book was published at Northland Press in Flagstaff, AZ, in one copy. 

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The book starts out:

I never wanted to tell my story. I think that should be stated at the start. I find most autobiographies rather self-serving. I hated “Doggie Dearest,” which I found highly exploitive, “For Whom the Dog Barks, “Memoirs of a Schnauzer of Pleasure,” “Cheaper by the Litter,” and all of the other volumes I have read over the years have left me cold. I always assumed that my art, not my printed word, would make the world aware that I have been one of the most colorful artists of the American West, Throughout all the years I have been painting, I have naively assumed that somehow my reputation would be discovered through the gallery we operate. But now that I am getting old, I think it is time that I tell the whole story.

At about 13 years, Bip’s muzzle turned white, and he got a cancer on his right fore-arm. It was an ugly balloon looking thing, the size of a cue ball. Our vet just shook his head, a gesture I wasn’t ready to accept. The 2nd vet, a wonderful man named Clint Hughes, said he could operate and fix it. 

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He operated for an hour and he did fix it, and he allowed me to sleep the night in his operating room on the floor beside my little dog. I knew he would be stressed. At about 15 years the terrible malignancy returned, and Clint fixed it again. We were on a roll. 

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Then at 17 years or so, The Bip began to fall apart. His liver failed and he had other problems. His eyes told me he was ready. Clint came out of retirement to help us, and as The Bip went limp in my arms, all of us cried. 

But I wasn’t ready for all of that to happen, and I told Clint I wanted my little dog to spend one last night on my bed, like he had done so many times over the years. “He’s no longer there, his spirit has gone.” Clint said. It was a kick in the gut to me, And I quickly reacted. “Who says he isn’t still there, where is your evidence, please show me your evidence?” Why do we arbitrarily believe things that we’ve been told? Just because someone said it doesn’t make it true.  Throughout the night me and Bip were together in spirit. It was a warm sleep for me. 

The next morning, I wrote The Bip’s biography and placed it in a fruit jar that had a rust-proof lid. My words said what I needed to say, so I signed it with my name and date. 

Then I made small wooden box. The boards were new and the nails were applied with loving care. Then I wrapped Bip in some warm covers and buried him under the big plum tree just outside my office at the gallery. 

Many years later, when we sold our gallery, I moved Bip to a place just outside the bedroom at our new home on the Old Santa Fe Trail.

Chiseled on a flat sandstone slab, and placed atop his little space, are these words, Bip, so long old friend, for now. I just went out and brushed the snow away to see if there was a date. There wasn’t, and I’m glad, because I don’t want to know when he passed away. I just want to remember that, in a real way, he is still with me. fContactThat story is full of reminiscing words and I feel better for having said them. 

Now it’s back to A River Runs Through it, page 9. Thank you S. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook Seventy Two…

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MAY 2014

Once in a while I get an email that I have to read several times. I am constantly amazed at the strength and resilience of women who come nose-to-nose with tough choices. I think Ann is one woman who doesn’t need an Equal Rights Amendment. What do you think about this exchange? f

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Hi Forrest,
    It’s been a while since I bugged you with something.  I was wondering if you could send my sister Ann an email.  Cutting to the chase, she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She and her doctors are confident that everything will be okay. However, a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery are in order.  One of the first things she said to me after her diagnosis was that she won’t be able to search for your treasure this summer.  She’s afraid that she will be in no shape to do any serious hiking and is bummed out about the whole situation.  A short, “Hang in there” type note would lift her spirits and make her very happy if you have a minute to send one.
Thanks, Chris

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From: Forrest
To: Ann
Chris gave me your address and said you were going out of the chase for a few weeks. Bummer. You may not know that I had cancer, lost a kidney, and was given a 20 percent chance to live. That was 26 years ago and medicines are so much better today. I should have waited.
Hope you can get out in the trees again soon and look for the treasure. You are young and beautiful and have a lot going for you. Please keep me in the loop on your progress. Maybe we can meet sometime and jabber about hidden treasures. Let me know if there is something I can do for you because I’m in your corner. f

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From: Ann
To: Forrest
Mr. Fenn, 
Oh My Goodness!!  Thank you SO much for your kind words of encouragement!!   I feel honored you emailed me!   I think you and my brother, Chris, would be best friends if you lived near each other.     From reading your books, I can tell he is a lot like you.  

I got the book Thrill of the Chase for his son Daniel’s birthday last year….. and I told Daniel  “if anyone can figure this out it will be your Dad…..  and if you two go treasure hunting, you have to take me along.”   Well Daniel didn’t come with us but Chris, my husband Tom and I went and we had a  BLAST!   It was a little disappointing when the treasure wasn’t where it was supposed to be, &#9786 , but we had a great time and I have to say, Chris and I are closer and talk more than we used to.     

I am very disappointed this breast cancer junk is getting in my way of treasure hunting this summer.  Maybe I will be able to go along, out West, but a am not very confident that I will be back to “my healthy self” enough to be able participate in “the hiking” part this summer.   We will just have to see.  

I did find an arrowhead on May 2nd, my biggest and best one yet.  I attached a picture.  It measures 5 and 1/4 inches long.  I found it down in the creek behind our house.  We had 2 big “Gully Washers” in the week prior, so I knew the creek would be “turned over” from all that rain.

Thanks again for the email, it made me smile and giggle.

 One of your Treasure Hunting fans,   Ann

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Scrapbook Sixty Five…

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APRIL 2014

This was posted by Dal not by Forrest

Fellow searcher and friend of this blog, Renelle Jacobsen is the subject of a story about her fight against cancer in “A Woman’s Health” magazine.

renelle01You might remember that last winter the searchers on this blog contributed over $23,000 for fellow searcher and cancer victim, Renelle Jacobsen. The fund raising took place in the form of a raffle for one of Forrest’s handmade bronze jars. In the jar, Forrest placed goodies he collected like arrowheads and beads and bones and also a beautiful handmade necklace he crafted from objects in his collection. In the end Forrest not only donated the prize but also wrote a check for $5,000 to Renelle upping the total sent to $28,000 and some change. Money to help her through her expensive and prolonged battle against cancer.

Renelle is one of a growing number of people who are living longer-term with metastatic cancer—cancer that has spread from the original site to one or more distant sites in the body. Metastatic cancer is generally considered incurable; but, as cancer treatment continues to evolve, more and more patients are living longer with metastatic disease.

“You have to figure out what keeps you going,” she explains. “It is important to have as much of a life as you can. If you can’t have it outside your house, then figure out how to have it inside your house.”

Renelle’s hunt for Fenn’s treasure has been one way she has continued to live a full life—sifting through clues and trying to deduce where to look next for the bounty. The thrill of the hunt keeps her going, especially on hard days.

If you’d like to know more about the raffle look here:

If you’d like to know more about Renelle, click here:

If you’d like to read the entire story from “A Woman’s Health” magazine, click here: