Searcher Could Use a Little Help….

JULY 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 12.05.41 AM
A searcher and regular commentator on this blog, Michael Hendrickson started a GoFundMe page to help him raise money for a prosthetic leg.

If you have a spare buck and a free moment maybe you can help out.

Michael is a good guy who’s had some bad luck..

You can visit his GoFundMe site here.



Scrapbook One Hundred Forty Two…


JUNE 2015


What About You?

65638Whitey Ford won 236 games pitching for the NY Yankees. I once asked what made him better than most other baseball pitchers. He said, “I could always throw a strike when I needed one.” What a great response!

Having been shot down twice during the Vietnam War, and surviving both times, I can now look back and say, “Yeah, I too threw a couple of strikes when I needed them.”

a_byron_iByron Nelson, as a professional golfer, won 18 tournaments in 1945, and 11 were consecutive. When he came into my gallery I asked him a similar question. “What separates a good golfer from a great one?” His answer also was interesting. “A good golfer can hit a great shot from the fairway, but a great golfer can hit a good shot from heather.” Wow! And yeah, I made a great stroke from the heather, so to speak, when I had cancer and recovered from unlikely odds.

Now, as my candle burns ever lower, I like to compare my accomplishments with those of some great men I’ve met. Sure, I can arbitrarily declare myself successful in some areas. I just have to remember that I’m in a different league from those other guys. But certainly my way of thinking makes me feel good when I need it. f


Santa Fe Proclamation….

MAY 2015


Santa Fe Mayor’s Proclamation to Forrest

As most of you heard, the Mayor of Santa Fe proclaimed Friday, May 29th to be “The Thrill of the Chase” Day in Santa Fe. He and the city officially recognized Forrest for his contributions to their community through his philanthropic endeavors and increased tourism due to The Thrill of the Chase. The formal presentation of this Proclamation took place Wednesday afternoon, May 27th, at the Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe.  I was fortunate to be able to attend…here are a few pictures from the event…

01 collected works bookstore (800x533) (2)

02 the stage (800x533)

03 the proclamation(800x533) (18)

A few searchers showed up for the event…it was like a mini-Fennboree as we huddled in groups and discussed Fenn’s poem and our ideas as we waited for Forrest and the mayor to arrive…

Here are Lana, Bajaau, and Radcrad (Roger) with new-searcher-from-Chicago Karen in the background

04 Lana,baja,radcrad (800x533)

Below photo: Bajaau, Lowi, Lana, and Radcrad … (Lowi told us her search area…I needn’t worry!)

05 lowi group (800x533)

Below photo:  Local Santa Fean Elizabeth and her son Josh…Elizabeth also took pictures which I hope she will share with Dal to post…

06 elizabeth and josh (800x533)

Below photo:  New to the search, Karen and her son Garrett who arrived from the Chicago area to spend a few days searching for the treasure…they were refreshing and fun to talk to…so much enthusiasm …and they confirmed a few of my previous search areas that the treasure chest is NOT there…or is it and we missed finding it? Hmmm…

07 karen and garrett (800x533)

Below photo: The man and woman talking to Forrest are CBS News Senior Correspondent Barry Peterson and his wife Mary Nell who are in town for the CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood segment that is currently being filmed at Forrest’s home. I asked when it would air and the fellow said probably in a couple weeks…look for it on your TV next month. (Is FF drinking milk?)

08 CBS and ff (800x533)

Forrest was kind enough to pose with most of us searchers/fans individually for pictures…he’s such a rock star…

09 ff and cynthia (800x533)

Below picture: Forrest and Bajaau … I believe ff just told Bajaau where the chest is hidden…Bajaau’s gesture  reads “I don’t think so because I’ve already looked there…”

10 ff and bajaau(800x533)

Below picture: Radcrad (Roger) shaking hands with Forrest after ff told him “something”…

11 ff and radcrad (800x533)

The Mayor of Santa Fe finally arrived and greeted Forrest near the stage…I believe that’s ff’s granddaughter Noah in the background  holding ff’s great-grandchild (different mom, the little girl would be Noah’s niece.)

12 ff and mayor greeting (800x533)

Below picture: The mayor is handing his TTOTC book to Forrest to sign while someone hands him a drink…may be water, may be vodka.

13 major handed drink (800x533)

Below picture: Peggy (ff’s wife who secretly whispered to me she wishes I would find the treasure so this fiasco would end!), Zoe ff’s oldest daughter holding the little one, Noah ff’s granddaughter and daughter of Zoe, the mayor Javier Gonzales, and the back of ff’s head.  (Holy moly, I need ff’s family tree to figure out all these people…hopefully I got it right…not sure, though.)

14 mayor and family (800x533)

Below picture: Mayor Javier Gonzales smiling as he watches ff sign his book…he thinks just because he’s mayor, ff will give him a clue…

15 signing 1 (800x533)

Mayor Gonzales squinting to see what that circle, omega looking drawing is above the inscription……holy moly, I think ff drew a picture of where the treasure chest is hidden…and it looks like my primary search area…not to worry, though, as the mayor probably doesn’t have time to go look…but I do!

16 signing close (800x533)

Below picture:  The mayor conducting the official ceremony with Forrest standing at his side to accept the Proclamation

17 mayor speaking (800x533)

Below:  Forrest and Mayor Javier Gonzales exchanging a handshake after the mayor’s speech

18 handshake (800x533)

Below:  Forrest speaking… thanking the mayor and the city for their recognition.

19 ff speaking (800x533)

Below:  The official ceremony comes to a close…Forrest is whispering to the mayor (facing away from us searchers so we can’t read his lips) … hmmm, did ff just give him another clue?

20 almost over (800x533)

Below:  The ceremony is over… Forrest is holding his Proclamation…both guys are really smiling…Forrest is happy because he can go sit down or go home now…the Mayor is smiling because he thinks ff gave him some clues today…

21 the end (800x533)

I hope this little document and pictures help bring some of you along as yesterday’s event took place…it was a wonderful ceremony to attend in person, and I am fortunate to live close enough to attend such happenings…my intent was to both inform and entertain you. My words are “in my opinion”…whatever  words Forrest exchanged between individual searchers and the mayor are between them, although I like to speculate and stir the pot, so to speak…

To Forrest and Dal: Thanks for informing us of this event…I feel privileged to have been able to attend …



Scrapbook One Hundred Forty One…


MAY 2015


Today Forrest got this in the mail. Pretty cool!!!

Last summer the motel occupancy rate in Santa Fe was up 10% over the previous summer and no one knows why, except maybe the Chamber of Commerce, and the stores that sell metal detectors.

You can click on the image to make it larger



Scrapbook One Hundred Forty…


MAY 2015

This story illustrates once again that old age came to me at a really bad time.

The last day of skiing on the Santa Fe hill was Easter Sunday, so the day before was fun time, as hundreds who like to ski, gawk, or gasp came to join in the fracas.

My grandson Shiloh and his little sister Noah, whose face has many flattering angles, posing in her new ski ensemble.

My grandson Shiloh and his little sister Noah, whose face has many flattering angles, posing in her new ski ensemble.

Cass and Shiloh, the dreaded duo of the mountain.

Cass and Shiloh, the dreaded duo of the mountain.

Cass and friends.

Cass and friends.


Here’s Shiloh coming down the chute and across a 3 foot deep pond that was built for anyone who was willing to test the cold water gods at an elevation of 10,300 feet.

Shiloh-On-The-Water movie


Many tried, and about half made it across. The others were wiser for the trying. One intrepid lady said it was hard to smile when her lips and eyes were frozen shut.


And here’s Cass, everyone’s friend, who was so busy tossing Easter eggs to the crowd as he screamed down the slope, that his balance was not ready for what was about to happen. His sense of adventure suddenly dwindled, then vanished as the laws of physics and gravity took charge. Two seconds after this photo was taken, Cass found himself racing the half mile to the lodge for an ice pick, dry clothes, and a gallon of hot chocolate.


Evidently Noah was not prone to tempt such a transient pleasure, but at the end of the day, fun was crowned the winner, and many memories made on the hill that day will last longer than any ordinary person’s reach. f


Scrapbook Eighty Eight…




Hello Mr. Fenn,

My name is Pat and I live in Denver, Colorado.  I had not known of your story until I heard a morning news cast about Yellowstone Rangers rescuing a person (people) in one of their rivers and your name was mentioned.  I looked into it further and read different websites and blogs……very interesting.  I must admit, I tried to figure out the poem, too.  My family and I already made reservations to Yellowstone before ever hearing of your story…….we LOVE going there.  My husband and I have 6 children……the oldest will be 30 and the youngest will be 16……she’ll be the only one able to make it this trip.  We’ve gone ever since they were little and all the pictures and memories are quite the treasure.  We had always wanted to see the Perseid Meteor Shower there and this year we’ll get the chance to do that, as long as the weather cooperates.  We hope to experience different things, but memories are what’s important.


Forrest’s Wooly Worm (aka wooly bug)

I have a story I’d like to share with you in regards to the Wooly Bug fly…….I saw a video of you making one!  Many years ago, my husband’s family would travel on vacation and many times gone to Yellowstone.  They had fished in different areas, Fishing Bridge (which you can’t fish now, but was extremely popular as you know), Yellowstone Lake, rivers/creeks, etc.  My husband was given a Wooly Bug by his father when he was a kid and he kept it throughout the years.  His father passed away nearly 21 years ago and when he travels there, I can see his heart is still there with his dad.  He walks through where the Fishing Bridge campground use to be, now belongs back to the bears, and searches for the rock he use to climb when they camped there.  Several years ago in particular while in Yellowstone, we decided to fish at Yellowstone Lake.  My husband cast his line, with Wooly Bug and bobber in tow, out into the water.  After a few bites or the Wooly Bug coming to shore, he reeled in his line and made a cast and it happened………..the line broke and his Wooly Bug his father had given him went into the water and was caught in the waves!  I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face when that happened.  It was as if he had totally lost all the connections he had with his father…….the last bit of physical memory he had of him.  It was a very sullen day for him.  The following day we returned to the spot we fished and I could see it still bothered my husband.  While throwing his line into the lake with a different fly, I chose to walk the shore.  Yes, I found his Wooly Bug!  My husband Ray was extremely happy… if I had brought back his life!  He hugged and thanked me and I could tell it came from deep within his soul.  Ray placed the Wooly Bug back into his tackle box and swore he’d never use it again.  About three years or so ago, I took the Wooly Bug, with a picture of a trout Ray caught with it the very last time he used it before he lost it in Yellowstone Lake and placed it in a shadow box for display.  I’m attaching a picture of the Wooly Bug and trout for you to see.  We plan on doing some fishing this coming week…….vacation is Aug. 9-16.  A quote my husband loves to say is, ‘A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.’

Mr. Fenn, in regards to the Wooly Bug, do you sell any of the ones you make?  I would LOVE to present one to my husband rather than finding one at the store…..they’re a bit hard to come by here.  Any information is greatly appreciated.

Mr. Fenn, I wish you continued success in unearthing history and telling their stories, not wanting history to go silent.


From dal-
You can watch Forrest make a wooly worm and talk about them on the “Gone Fishing” videos:


Scrapbook Eighty Six…


JULY 2014


brushFun is where you find it.
I just put my tooth brush in the dish washer so I have a few minutes to talk about how I’ve learned stay happy in today’s gloomy world.

When I was in junior high I hated washing the dishes, especially after supper, which was our family’s big meal. So sometimes my father would assign those duties to me alone, thinking it’d be a satisfactory supplemental punishment for doing one of what he called my “personal inconsiderations,” like putting itching powder in Skippy’s shorts.

There were five in our family plus a dog, so when you threw in a skillet, rolling pin, cleaver, and potato masher, the dish washing and drying task became monumental.
But I developed an antidote that I recommend to anyone who feels down and wants to acquire a more positive attitude.

While standing on a stool in front of the kitchen sink, I’d break into song as if I were on a national stage and performing before the great kings and queens and Tsars and Tsarinas of the world. What my voice lacked in quality it made up with in quantity, and the flourish of scrubbing a pressure cooker only enhanced the drama. As the crescendo built so did my motivation and our neighbors could probably enjoy me clear down the block. Even my father had to admit that I could perform Oh Sole Mia with unusual aplomb?

Often the dirty dishes disappeared before I was ready to take my bows. Sometimes I wasn’t finished with my aria, and I’d look around, desperate for something else to wash. Finally, that done, I would step down from my stage happy, having forgotten that I’d washed and dried the dreaded dirty dishes.

That subterfuge was a great life lesson for me and over the years it has manifested itself in ways that have allowed me to stay positive – at least some of the time.

Oops, the dishwasher just stopped, gotta go.

Scrapbook Eighty Five…


JULY 2014


To everyone out there on Dal’s blog, let me introduce you to someone we can all admire and whose life practices each of us might aspire to emulate.  Her name is Donna Karan, who is one of the most influential fashion designers in America.


Donna wanted to go through my antique Indian clothing collection and talk about some ideas. She thought maybe I could help. Ha! We used up a wonderful afternoon laughing at each other.
In this photo Donna models an Indian legging that was made by a Kiowa woman in Oklahoma about 1875. It’s fringed and covered with green and yellow ocher. Donna thought that design idea might not be too popular with her Manhattan staff.

She was born in Forrest Hills, NY, in 1948, and at an early age began selling women’s clothing at a local boutique. That’s when she discovered herself. After attending several design schools she started moving up the fashion ladder. At age 35 she married Stephen Weiss, who became CEO of the Donna Karan design company. She wanted to manufacture “modern clothes for modern people” and was known for being, what her envious competitors called, “practical.” Around New York she was popularly nicknamed “The Queen of Seventh Avenue.” Donna was a success in the tough New York fashion market where next to nothing can endure.

At age 44 Donna launched her first perfume line and sold a fragrance that she said smelled like “Casablanca lilies, red suede and the back of Stephen’s neck.”

In 2001 Stephen died of lung cancer and Donna started wearing her wedding ring with the diamond turned in, she told me, “so I could hold it,” and that’s when she decided to start giving back.

She sold her publicly traded company for about $650,000,000, and gave personal belongings and vintage company design samples to benefit the Urban Zen Initiative, a charity she co-founded. A foundation she ran donated $850,000 to New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center.

Not bad for a little Jewish girl who dropped out of school at age 14 to chase a dream, doncha think?

Scrapbook Eighty Four…


JULY 2014


Since my eulogy for Mike Kammerer appeared as Scrapbook eighty-three on Dal’s blog several folks have asked me to say something more about the man and his home. This is going to be fun.

I went through the house construction with MK and it took me three years. For two of those years it was the biggest mess I ever saw, with workers lumbering around carrying objects that looked too heavy to carry. I told MK his debacle would never come together. He just laughed at me, and it did.

The kitchen ceiling was made of Mexican bricks that were cemented in on a slant so their edges would stick out. The effect was wonderful but I couldn’t understand how they did it.

The master bathroom had a shower that was 300 square-feet in size. It had a fireplace in one corner and an 8 foot-wide waterfall decorating the back wall. I guess MK wanted to be comfortable while he cleaned up. And the same shower contained another smaller shower over there in another corner. It was glassed-in and his wife preferred that one, saying “I didn’t feel comfortable standing naked in the middle of a large room with no clothes on.” She had a quaint way with words.

The eleven bathrooms in the house had sinks that were hand-shaped from solid rock, and each one was a different style. The gym was just off the master shower and a stone bathtub was in there somewhere. The huge his-and-hers closets looked like something right out of Imelda Marcus with clothes and shoes lined up like they had been measured in.

The outside on the north side of the house looked like a small Mexican village from the 1880s. MK’s custom built stagecoach was there by the carriage house, as was a store fully stocked with mercantile goods of the period. Guest facilities that continued the country feeling seemed to be everywhere. MK could sleep 56 people. Goats, sheep, peacocks, and other petting animals were there just for fun.

The church, a replica of the cathedral in Santa Fe, stood stately in its place on the far end of the plaza by the gate. He built it to get married in, and gave $25,000 for the wooden 17th century Spanish, hand-carved door.

MK and Susan on a sneakaway in Aspen.

MK and Susan on a sneakaway in Aspen.

The outside on the south side of the house was inhabited by the swimming pool, hot tub, bathhouse, and about fifteen large sit-on rocks that had their underneaths carved out to house speakers for the audio system. One never knew they were there until one strolled by and the stones started playing music. When the well pump shorted out MK trucked water in from sixty-miles away to fill the swimming pool. Flower gardens, fruit trees, grape vines, and large western bronzes abounded the pool area.

MK was a calf roper who aspired to the rodeo, and he was pretty good. His collection of horses and longhorn steers was housed in what I called the Kammerer Hilton. It was located on the fenced-in west end of his 175 acres.

When entering the property from a county road, two blocks from the Eaves Ranch movie set where John Wayne made movies, you passed MK’s five bedroom house that was built many years ago by the Underwood typewriter family. Then another 500 feet, and adjacent to a lushly lilypadded pond, was the front entrance to the villa. A larger-than-life-size bronze (MK bought the entire edition of fifteen) stood like a sentinel beside a small stream that fed the pond, which I stocked with damsel and dragonfly eggs, game fish, crawfish, snakes, frogs and turtles. MK gave Peggy and me a smaller version of the bronze. Ours weighs only 65 pounds. The tacked-on plaque reads, “Code of the West by Herb Mignery, dedicated to Forrest and Peggy Fenn, keepers of the code and folks to ride the river with.”


Code of the West

When Mike divorced his second wife he was suffering from several maladies, one of which eventually took his life. I “made” him hire Susan Bodelson who was a very special woman, and coincidentally, a registered nurse. She came from a family of ten children, seven of whom worked for me at one time or another. Her brother Danny made the illustrations for my TFTW book.

Susan wears her working face as she peers out of a “secret” chamber in Kiva A at San Lazaro Pueblo. She and her daughter, Perry, helped us with the excavations.

Susan wears her working face as she peers out of a “secret” chamber in Kiva A at San Lazaro Pueblo. She and her daughter, Perry, helped us with the excavations.

While Susan was pampering Mike back to health they had a whirlwind romance and eloped without telling anyone – not even me. He loved camping with her in the Pecos wilderness on rainy days and nights, and then more rainy days and nights. Many dinners under the stars were private to them alone and when they surfaced to enjoy a libation at Vanessie’s Piano Bar they sat close, and probably wondered why they were there at all.

But their life together was short lived, an account I spoke to in my eulogy. When Mike died I fabricated two ½ inch hearts in wax, cast them in silver, linked them forever together, and strung them on a chain for Susan. One had her name on it and the other, his. Inside a hollow in her silver heart I placed one of Mike’s small cremated bone fragments, and sweated it over with a silver plate. That was seven years ago and Susan has not moved on like she should have. Her heart remains with Mike and she still wears the little necklace I made for her. I think she likes it. ff