Archive for March, 2014

Head Fakes

It’s March; and everybody knows what that means. Is it that I am a year older? I am, but that is not it. Is it the month that Julius Caesar died? It is, but that’s not it either.

No, this is the month that my lovely wife commandeers the T.V. remote because it is the time of the year for “March Madness”—that part of early spring when the 68 “best” college basketball teams in the country, each with a couple of seven foot tall players from Eastern Europe plus Spain and a shooting guard from Canada, are whittled down to 32 and then to 16 and then eight and then four and then two and then to one. That last team will be the one that has the best discipline, the best conditioning, the best strategies, the best talent, the best teamwork and the best motivation and all of that together guarantees two things: one, a really heavy trophy and two, at least half of that team’s players will soon become instant NBA millionaires.

If you are keeping track, all that besting comes out to be something like exactly 67 games played over a three week period all of it filled with head fakes, slam-dunks, ally-oops, lay-ups, turn-overs, three-pointers, rebounds, fouls, flips, slips, missed free-throws, more missed free-throws (I’m talking Arizona here), overtimes, upsets and tears from grown men.

I know what you are thinking.

You are thinking that my wife hides the remote so that I can get the breakfast dishes done with time left over to work on the income tax before it’s fast approaching deadline arrives but you would be wrong. Not only did she finish the income tax last January, the dishes are put away before I even get to the morning Sudoku. More importantly, my beautiful wife was a college cheerleader back when they wore anklets, mid-calf dresses and had chaperones. But did she just sit there in her little uniform with pleats, yell “Yea” from time to time and smack the palms of her hands on the floor every now and then in a strange rhythm known only to cheerleaders and rock drummers?” No! She soaked up every strategy, every nuance, and every rule of the game and now she is a FAN and that, as you know, is short for “FANATIC!” She is such a fanatic that she knows the difference between a “high-post” and a “low-post,” and not only does she know what “RPI” stands for, she can calculate it as well as tell you the hometown of Gonzaga.

But that is not why I am here. I am here to tell you of my discovery that Forrest Fenn is a champion “head faker” himself; perhaps the best “head faker” of all “head fakers” –even those from Duke, and we fall for them all.

How do I know this? I know this because we are still not even sure if the treasure is buried and, a couple of posts ago, I used a head fake of my own. And, as the evidence shows, you fell for it. Here it is:

You “put in” below this “Home of Brown” via totally legal access, and a short float of 25-30 yards brings you to an island in the middle of that river that is owned by neither the folk on the left bank nor the folk on the right bank nor by the USFS, NPS, BLM, SCS, nor any other of the feds including the United States Air Force Academy and the IRS. It is, however, managed by the state Department of Game and Fish, but they only seem to care if the willows are growing.

Now, a head fake is not lying; it’s more like a little hint at something that might be true in the aggregate but has no meaning in the specific. I’ll let you reread the paragraph quoted above from “A String of Pearls from Black Friday” to see if those of you who thought “Colorado!” can figure it out.

We will need a whole lot of discipline and all that other stuff if we are to let the head fakes of Forrest Fenn slide by and not end up face down on the floor with a sprained ankle.

Bear Down,


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It’s spring-cleaning time at our house. Of course, it’s not really spring and most people not my wife cringe at the thought of starting it early; but this one is turning into something special. We keep finding notes from Edie.

Edie came by to see us last November.  She is the granddaughter of some old, old friends and the last time I saw Edie’s mother she was about ten and showing off some really smooth ballerina moves and now she has a family of her own. They were driving across the country heading home and spent a couple of days with us.

Edie is four going on forty-five and from the looks of it she and her red cowboy boots are inseparable. The morning after a late arrival she was in the kitchen. I said “Hi, I’m Richard” and she said “Hi, I’m Edie” and shook my hand.

Edie collects rocks so I dug out my collection of the thumb-size shiny ones I’ve collected from every place I have ever been for her to check out. She went through them all looking over each one and then put them back in the gourd I store them in. Ellery, her younger brother, age one, wanted to see them also. He carefully took them out of the gourd, tasted each one, and set them aside. Edie put them back when he was through with his taste test.

Collecting rocks is about as good a hobby as a body can have. Each one carries with it the memory of a place and a time and it is an inexpensive thing to do except when you start hauling them around the country. Problem is that we are at the age where we are thinking about “down-sizing” as well as “spring-cleaning” and the only things I really want to keep are my rocks. My wife prefers her coffee pot thingies so a day of reckoning is fast approaching.

I try to convince myself that collecting rocks is as good as keeping a journal but I secretly know that not keeping a journal is one of my great failings. Of course, a taste test does help with that memory thing but I hope that Edie and Ellery keep a journal and that they start when they get to be, say, about twelve.

Edie also likes to play “hide and seek” but it’s not the game we played when we were kids. Like someone else I know who collects everything from bottle caps to gold, she enjoys hiding things that everyone else has to find. So Edie and her mother wrote out just about everything Edie likes and then made us all close our eyes as she hid them just so we could learn about something called “thrill of the chase.” Each find brought a smile and a giggle to Edie. Now we find the really well hidden ones during spring-cleaning, and we smile, and it makes moving furniture something special.

When they were leaving I gave Edie a rock with a fossil in it. I said, “Bye Edie” and she said “Bye” and then I got a hug.  Now that is a treasure worth waiting for.

And so I’ve been thinking.  Forrest Fenn, with his habit of collecting things and then hiding them for others to find is in very, very good company – and the world is a better place because of it.

I think he knows that.


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