Shelley and I visited Forrest at his home in Santa Fe on Friday, February 17, 2017. This is our review of that visit. We also discuss plans for the evolution of “A Gypsy’s Kiss.”
I have often said of this treasure hunt, “While the clues are in the poem, and the hints are in the book, the key is in the man.”
You can quote me.
Thus, it is highly likely I spend more time reviewing videos of Fenn’s various interviews than I do reading the poem (which I have already memorized anyway), or scrounging through Fenn’s “The Thrill of the Chase” with a magnifying glass and eye loupe.
I found this gem in the video produced by HDNet and hosted by one of their digital correspondents, Jennifer London. (You can find it here.)
In the video, beginning at the 4:15 mark, Fenn is showing London around his archeological dig, the San Lazaro ancient pueblo, the ruin on property he purchased from the Pueblo Tribes, and has been excavating since the 1980s.
(Note: I own a signed first edition of his book entitled “The Secrets of San Lazaro Pueblo.” If you had told me, prior to buying this book, I would have read, cover-to-cover, any book on an excavation of a single ancient pueblo in New Mexico, I would have laughed. Not at you, but at the thought of it.
Yet, I did. I read it cover-to-cover.
Because, it is easily read. And, it is written in the same down-home style of his other books. In it you can see his love for the project, and his pride at the discoveries he’s made.)
The clip starts with London’s voiceover background on the project.
Then, we see the two of them and hear this conversation (As usual, my comments are in italics.):
Fenn: Look here what I just found. I started to pick it up, but I thought you might wanna get a shot of it.
London: Oh, this?
London: Is this an arrowhead? (You can hear Fenn’s excitement in the short breaths he’s taking before his response.)
Fenn: See…the wind has uncovered that. It’s an arrowhead.
London: Wow…look at that!
London (in voiceover): Fenn bought the land in the early eighties and has been excavating the pueblo ever since. Unearthing treasures isn’t simply a pastime for Fenn…it’s a passion.
Fenn (on camera, but in voiceover): Y’know…there are millions of treasures out here. (Emphasis because he’s referring to San Lazaro.)
(Audio cut) Fenn (continuing): And..y’know…it’s…it’s part of my demeanor, I think. I mean, I live for things like this…a good fishing hole…an Indian ruin. (In B-roll, he’s picked up part of animal’s jaw bone.)
(Video cut to two-up) Fenn (continuing): When I found my first arrowhead when I was nine years old I told myself “That thing has been right in that very spot for thousands of years waiting for me to come along.” That’s a thrill to me.
London (in voiceover): Which leads us back to Fenn’s book, “The Thrill of the Chase,” and the hidden treasure. You see, everything with Fenn is an intricately laced story.
Fenn has said, on more than one occasion, that he hid the treasure in a place that was special to him.
It sits there, waiting for you to come along, and I’ll bet there’s a good fishing hole and an Indian ruin nearby.
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