Tarry Scant…

tarryscant

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path. 

Khalil Gibran

 

So I thought I’d try and look at one of the phrases Forrest wrote in his poem which seems to be a source of confusion for some searchers…”tarry scant”.
This is found in the fourth stanza of the six stanza poem.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But
tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

The entire stanza appears to be a set of directions based upon the searcher having found the blaze…

“Tarry” could be either a noun, adjective or verb, depending on it’s use in the sentence.
As an adjective, tarry is spelled the same but pronounced differently and has a completely different meaning. We’ll explore that meaning a little further on. I believe Forrest is using the word as either a noun or a verb and it wouldn’t matter much which it is because the meaning of the line would not change.

To me, in non-poetic English, the stanza reads one of two ways:

Once you’ve found the blaze,
Look directly down and you’ll see what you’ve been searching for,
Don’t be tempted to linger there and stare at the marvelous chest,
Just take it and go with my blessings.

or

Once you’ve found the blaze,
Look directly down and you’ll see what you’ve been searching for,
Don’t be tempted to linger there and stare at the marvelous view,
Just take it and go with my blessings.

In either case the basic message is the same:
Don’t be mesmerized by what you see. Just grab the chest and go.

So for me, “tarry scant” simply means to “move on quickly”.

But to others it has meant different things. This is particularly true when Tarry is used as an adjective. In this case it is pronounced differently and comes from the root, “tar”…that thick, black sticky stuff. If you google “tarry” you will find a number of interesting and occasionally disgusting uses for the word. “Tarry”, is a physicians term for blood in your stool. As in. “You have a tarry stool.” In this case “tarry” comes from the root “tar” and means “black colored”, as a stool might be if it had dark blood in it. Which, of course brings to mind “tarry scat”…looking a great deal like “tarry scant”…But enough of the word’s use as an adjective.

For me, the words “tarry scant” were not unusual principally because of my parent’s influence…or more precisely, my mother’s. I was born of parents only a very few years younger than Forrest’s. My mother, being my main influence through childhood, was a native midwesterner and had a vocabulary of words that included “tarry” and “scant”. She would often tell me things like “don’t tarry after school today”, or “you can stay there til four o’clock but don’t tarry on your way home. I never had to look that word up. I knew what it meant and I knew I better go home directly after school or I’d be punished. My mother was not a great collaborator. Her parents were German and Pennsylvania Dutch and mediation was a word probably not in her vocabulary.

Scant was also a word she used often enough and that I felt immediately comfortable with when I read it in Forrest’s poem. My mother would say things to me like, “There will be scant dessert for you  young man until you eat all those beets.” There was little room for negotiation in a warning like that. Scant meant small…as in “next to none”. With dessert it meant exactly “none”.

A few years later I would learn about “scanties”. They being the scandalous, brief underwear a brave catholic schoolgirl would occasionally “show off” to a small admiring society of altar boys after Sister Mary Linus’s 7th grade class.

But I tarry…

“Move on quickly”, it’s just my interpretation..or taking after my mother I might say..”the only correct interpretation” 🙂

Would anyone care to comment with a counter-argument?

dal…

No Place For The Meek…Part One

meekbanner

Posted in APRIL 2016

 

This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the discussion please go to the newest Meek page.

 

What kind of place are we looking for with ” ..no place for the meek.”

 

Tarry Scant…Part One

tarryscant

This page is now closed to new comments. To continue the discussion please go to the newest Tarry Scant page.

 

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path. 

Khalil Gibran

 

So I thought I’d try and look at one of the phrases Forrest wrote in his poem which seems to be a source of confusion for some searchers…”tarry scant”.
This is found in the fourth stanza of the six stanza poem.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But
tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

The entire stanza appears to be a set of directions based upon the searcher having found the blaze…

“Tarry” could be either a noun, adjective or verb, depending on it’s use in the sentence.
As an adjective, tarry is spelled the same but pronounced differently and has a completely different meaning. We’ll explore that meaning a little further on. I believe Forrest is using the word as either a noun or a verb and it wouldn’t matter much which it is because the meaning of the line would not change.

To me, in non-poetic English, the stanza reads one of two ways:

Once you’ve found the blaze,
Look directly down and you’ll see what you’ve been searching for,
Don’t be tempted to linger there and stare at the marvelous chest,
Just take it and go with my blessings.

or

Once you’ve found the blaze,
Look directly down and you’ll see what you’ve been searching for,
Don’t be tempted to linger there and stare at the marvelous view,
Just take it and go with my blessings.

In either case the basic message is the same:
Don’t be mesmerized by what you see. Just grab the chest and go.

So for me, “tarry scant” simply means to “move on quickly”.

But to others it has meant different things. This is particularly true when Tarry is used as an adjective. In this case it is pronounced differently and comes from the root, “tar”…that thick, black sticky stuff. If you google “tarry” you will find a number of interesting and occasionally disgusting uses for the word. “Tarry”, is a physicians term for blood in your stool. As in. “You have a tarry stool.” In this case “tarry” comes from the root “tar” and means “black colored”, as a stool might be if it had dark blood in it. Which, of course brings to mind “tarry scat”…looking a great deal like “tarry scant”…But enough of the word’s use as an adjective.

For me, the words “tarry scant” were not unusual principally because of my parent’s influence…or more precisely, my mother’s. I was born of parents only a very few years younger than Forrest’s. My mother, being my main influence through childhood, was a native midwesterner and had a vocabulary of words that included “tarry” and “scant”. She would often tell me things like “don’t tarry after school today”, or “you can stay there til four o’clock but don’t tarry on your way home. I never had to look that word up. I knew what it meant and I knew I better go home directly after school or I’d be punished. My mother was not a great collaborator. Her parents were German and Pennsylvania Dutch and mediation was a word probably not in her vocabulary.

Scant was also a word she used often enough and that I felt immediately comfortable with when I read it in Forrest’s poem. My mother would say things to me like, “There will be scant dessert for you  young man until you eat all those beets.” There was little room for negotiation in a warning like that. Scant meant small…as in “next to none”. With dessert it meant exactly “none”.

A few years later I would learn about “scanties”. They being the scandalous, brief underwear a brave catholic schoolgirl would occasionally “show off” to a small admiring society of altar boys after Sister Mary Linus’s 7th grade class.

But I tarry…

“Move on quickly”, it’s just my interpretation..or taking after my mother I might say..”the only correct interpretation” 🙂

Would anyone care to comment with a counter-argument?

dal…

A New Book…

madbanner

Posted in September 2013

I think everyone who reads this blog is well aware of Forrest’s hidden chest of gold and his, The Thrill of the Chase memoir where his beguiling poem was originally published. Further, by now, we have all struggled over this line in his poem-

Not far, but too far to walk.

What does it mean?

It’s been three long years between the release of that work and his newest work, Too Far to Walk. His beautifully illustrated, latest title should be in reader’s hands by mid-September and I think it’s fair to say it is highly anticipated by the folks who believe it’s about time for  new clues from Forrest. The Today Show pledge of monthly clues from Mr. Fenn has become just one more hollow promise in a decade of empty promises. Forrest however is not a hollow man. Four months ago he told us he was going to cut back on email responses so he could devote more time to his new book. He promised he would have it finished by his birthday. It was finished early and is now in the bindery. He is a man who believes his word is still important in a world where words, entire constitutions can become meaningless overnight.

Three years after Forrest’s poem and book were published, he says that his chest is still resting quietly in the “mountains north of Santa Fe”. On this blog, at Stephanie’s chat room, in Richard Sauntier’s thoughtful writings and on dozens of other locations on the web, in the press and in bars and kitchens across this world from Santa Fe to Shanghai the poem and even Mr. Fenn himself are constantly undergoing surgical-like analysis and endless reinterpretation. Someone, some day will find that chest and once again, prove Forrest’s word.

In that regard, the hope of course, is that this new book will provide additional clues to interpreting the puzzle of the poem. It does seem likely there are connections between the new book and the hiding place of the treasure. After all, there is a stunningly detailed map of the search area nested inside, and the new book takes it’s title from a line in the poem itself, “Not far, but too far to walk.”  Forrest, always circumspect about the treasure’s hiding spot, has not denied that hints may be found within the new book’s covers. This is an encouraging message for those of us hopeful for any morsel of a clue.

The potential for clues is not the only reward this creative story collection offers. For those looking for more splendidly crafted tales about Forrest, Peggy, Skippy, June, Marvin and Lillie, this collection serves them up like fresh baked, buttery cinnamon rolls on a crispy saturday morning. Comfort reading. Stories to make your heart relax and your mouth turn upward. There are 48 delicious dollops to warm you right down to your phalanges. The grand majority have never seen ink before. A few saw the light of day on Forrest’s blog before they were enhanced and added to the book. One appeared on another website many years ago and has been rewritten to include the latest ideas. So although every single story is not brand spankin new, by far, the majority are and the others have all been improved since they were first published.

It takes more than words these days to share a good story and Forrest knows that. Each of his stories is embellished with photos or drawings, or both. In fact the book is generously peppered with germane illustrations. My personal favorite is a photo of baby Lana Sue being tossed far into the sky by her dad Skippy. She displays an oscar winning joyful grin on her face. Even as she is ten feet in the air Lana has no sense of peril. She trusts her dad implicitly. Forrest’s caption is “Lana Sue plays with her dad, Skippy Fenn”. There is also the illustration of Peggy in “The Bullet”, Forrest’s first car. All you can see of Peggy is the very tippy-top of her head because the passenger seat was missing from the car and Peggy is sitting on an apple box for the long, uncomfortable ride home. The illustrations provide a very important sense of place to Forrest’s cast of characters.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Yellowstone country after just finishing up with the BBC film crew. I received an urgent email from Forrest. He and Susan and Lou were working on the cover for Too Far to Walk and wanted a very specific photo as quickly as possible. I was in the right place at the right time. Forrest sent a photo like the one they wanted. It had to be of a gravelly stream bed. It had to include some grassy shoreline. The water needed to be clear and pristine. The aggregate colorful and scoured clean. The image had to be framed vertical. The light would need to reflect gingerly off the cool trout sustaining liquid. Forrest directed me to an area he liked on the Madison. A place he remembered from his youth and a place he wished he might return to, but figured he could not. I walked up and down that beautiful stretch of trout stream for most of a day, looking to capture what they had asked for. I probably took a hundred photos. I edited them down to the best 5 and sent them off to Forrest’s design team. I am very proud to say that one of them was chosen and appears on the cover of Too Far to Walk. Here is what Forrest wrote about a three day hike in that lovely scenery, fishing and camping along that special place on the Madison River where this photo was taken-

coverone

The river experience cemented my connection to that special country and I promised myself that some day I would make the trip again. That day never came for me, and my disappointment still casts a lonesome shadow across the Madison River. For me now, it’s just too far to walk.

Whether you are a reader of richly plaited stories or a searcher cropping for new clues, Too Far to Walk is sure to please.

Find out more about the book, read an excerpt and consider buying a copy here.

 

Idaho and Utah, Kaput!…

saltflats

 

Posted in June 2013

What on Gaia’s green earth does Forrest have against Idaho and Utah?

When I first heard that he had completely eliminated these two fine examples of mountain states from the list of probable places where one might find the treasure, I was absolutely dumbfounded. I mean, think about it. As if these states are not already in the doldrums from an economic slowdown since 2008. This has got to be the Coup de Grace.

The citizens of Idaho and Utah were surely counting on the Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt to move along the end of this recession/depression. Just as Idaho politicians were licking their lips in anticipation of the tourism dollars headed their way; Just as Utahans from Salt Lake City to Kanab were bracing for the rush of searchers; Forrest has snatched the prize out from under their noses. As the snow melts in the Rockies so goes the fortunes of two pleasant little innocent kingdoms.

“The treasure is not hidden in Utah or Idaho.”

Nine little words and two states now face economic doom.  (nine words-nine clues…coincidence?)

In the previous Today Show clue Forrest simply said that the treasure was not associated with any structure. A pleasant little clue that hurts no one. But this most recent clue is bound to send Wall Street to the dugout, hat in hand, looking for a new republic savior.

You might think that I have crossed the line with my accusations. But this is certainly no exaggeration. There is more to this loss than airfare, gas, water bottles and national disgrace…much more! Let me explain:

Shovels!

Do you have any idea how much a shovel costs? Do you know what the mark-up on a shovel is?

Let’s start with America’s most popular long handled, forward turned, step, tempered, round shovel…the Acme, tall wood. Made right here in the US of A and sold in ACE Hardware stores all across the country and certainly in Idaho and Utah.

Retail Price $26.99

Wholesale Price $12.50

Manufacturing Cost $2.14

Generates about $2.00 in sales tax

Now the thing about a shovel is you need one to dig for buried treasure. And if you are traveling by air to your destination you don’t want to take a shovel. It doesn’t fit under your seat and there is never room in the overhead because that’s where everyone who got a seat before you put their extra heavy duty foldable luggage dollies. So, you have to buy a shovel when you get off the plane at a local ACE Hardware store.

But Dal…come on..how many searchers are there anyway?

Thousands and thousands is my answer. In May, over spring break, Santa Fe had an additional 6,000 searchers fly, drive and bus in. And as anyone who knows anything knows, the treasure isn’t even in Santa Fe. So imagine the kind of searcher tourism some place like Salt Lake City (where warm waters halt) could have gotten.

Someone like Stephanie who has flown out to Colorado umteen times, buys a shovel every single time she gets off the plane. The Ace Hardware folks love her. She has her own reserved parking spot at Ace Hardware stores all across the country. “Non-Employee of the Month” they call her. That’s 4,017 stores with a parking space just for Stephanie.

But that’s not all. Searchers need other things too; arch supports, Gatorade, band-aids, inhalers, beer, dry socks, liniment, aspirin, maps, bear spray, ammo, beer, mask and snorkel, poisonous plant ID books, portable espresso machines, compass, beer…the list is endless.

In my humble opinion the states of Idaho and Utah have generous cause to sue Fenn for “breach of hospitality and denying suitable income”. In the words of my friend Mort, “You mean he knew all along that it wasn’t in Idaho?”.

And that’s not all. What about the hundreds…perhaps thousands of searchers who have already looked needlessly in Utah and Idaho. Perhaps a class action lawsuit against Fenn for not telling us sooner is in order.

The whole thing is willfully unfair. Fenn has now unilaterally denied Idaho and Utah untold income from treasure seekers not only from Americans but also from Canadians, French, English, Mexican and Lithuanian searchers. And he has knowingly hoaxed thousands of us into traveling needlessly to these near-do-well states to look for Fenn’s treasure. This is no meaningless, small breach of the constitution.

Gird your loins Mr. Fenn…

dal…