Letters to Forrest…

Hello Mr. Fenn,

My dad and I have been looking for your treasure for 5 years. I’m 10 years old so when we started it was really just my dad. We have been to Western Colorado, Northern New Mexico and Wyoming. We are not giving up and hope to one day find this. It has been fun trying and I will never forget the time spent with my dad but it would be even better to find the treasure.

Thanks

Emilee from Denver


Hi Mr. Fenn,

I hope you and your family are enjoying this beautiful spring.

My, you have been very productive!  I have read your latest Scrapbooks and enjoyed them very much.  But a few have begged a response so here I go.  This will be a long email so I realize you will probably skip over it.  I appreciate your honesty about that, so I am forewarned.  But that won’t stop me, which brings me to my first response.

In Scrapbook One Hundred Seventy Nine, you wrote about Peggy, “Everyone knew she was too good for me, but tenacity was never one of my shortcomings.”  That line is one that I have hung my hat on more than a few times.  I am sometimes greatly motivated and accomplish things with precision and excellence.  However, the majority of the time I am kind of a bumbling plodder, taking one step forward and two steps sideways.  But through it all, I am goal-oriented.  That’s a nice way of saying I’m determined in a very stubborn sort of way.  Tenacity, it seems, was also never one of my shortcomings.  I just liked seeing it in writing.  It somehow makes it more true.

Which leads me to my next item.  In Scrapbook One Hundred Seventy, you wrote about your experience in the judicial system.  You were duly sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Well, when I wrote to you about falling in the lake and hitting my head that wasn’t the whole truth.  I mean, it did happen, but it wasn’t the whole story.  So here is the whole truth:

Every year my brother, Kurt, has a fishing contest at a pond in Fleming, Colorado.  Fleming is a small town on the eastern plains.  He strongly believes in encouraging kids to learn to fish as a lifelong skill and enjoyment.  So once a year, during Fleming Days, he puts on his competition.  While it is open to anyone, kids are welcome, and especially those who have never fished before.  He has me come out and help those kids bait hooks, cast lines, untangle crossed lines and everything else involved in the process.  It is enormous fun.

The tournament was drawing to a close and I was with my granddaughter, Neevie.  She had already caught a small bass which she enjoyed, but it had not put her in the prize categories.  Kurt shouted out, “TWO MINUTES!” when Neevie’s pole bent with a solid bite.  I had her hold the pole and with the next bite she set the hook.  She reeled as fast as she could and there, about seven feet off shore, I saw a bullhead on her line.  It was small, but it might put her over to get a prize.  All of a sudden I heard the drag.  That dadgum fish had snagged itself on the rocks.  I told Neevie to just let it swim for a minute and it would free itself.  But after all of the fight it must have decided to take a breather, it didn’t move more than an inch or two.  “FORTY SECONDS!!!” my brother yelled.  Well, I knew it was do or die.  If I could get that fish on shore in 39 seconds it would count.  So I went in and unsnagged the line and fell in dramatic fashion (like a cow on ice).  At the same time, Neevie decided to pull her pole straight back so the fish went flying out of the water like it was shot from a slingshot and bounced onto the shore.  As I am lying there, half in the water and half out, I could hear a voice yelling, “DID YOU GET THE FISH??????” and then, almost as an afterthought, “Are you OK?”.  Neevie finished just out of money, I think she lost by a half of an inch, but I couldn’t swear to it in a court of law.

Lastly, we have Graciella.  The painting did not appeal to me at first, but as I really looked at Graciella I began to warm up to her.  Now I have created a nebulous backstory and find myself rather protective of her.  I hope she is being appreciated wherever she is.

While your Chase has created an amazing adventure, I really love your writing (no matter where you put your commas).

Thank you,

Rita