So Irene was calling to tell me about another book written by a friend of her's named Forrest Fenn. This book is a memoir of Mr. Fenn's life and it's called "The Thrill of the Chase." Irene suggested that I might consider writing a song using that title, and so she had Mr. Fenn send me a copy of his book. What an enjoyable read it was! He's a good writer, among his many other talents.
Basically, "The Thrill of the Chase" is the story of Mr. Fenn's life, told more or less accurately according to his recollections. He grew up in Texas in the 1930's and '40's, spent his youthful summers with his family up in Yellowstone, then went to Viet Nam as a fighter pilot and got shot down a couple times, but lived to tell about it.
After the war he started an art gallery in Santa Fe, NM, with hardly any knowledge about art or business. Despite that, he quickly gained a reputation as a source of high-quality artworks, selling to the monied elite of the world. As his reputation grew, so did his business and he is now a multi-millionaire living comfortably retired in Santa Fe.
Mr. Fenn has led an amazing life, as documented in his memoir. A decorated war hero, successful art dealer, archaeoligist, writer - you name it, he's done it. He's amassed an impressive fortune and someone once admonished him saying, "You can't take it with you." To which he replied, "Then I'm not goin'!" But now at age 80, he's decided to leave something on this planet as a legacy. So he hatched an idea to hide a million-dollar treasure (actually 1.2 to 1.4 million, he told me)for someone to find someday. He bought a beautiful antique box, filled it with gold nuggets (some as big as your fist!), coins, silver ingots, Indian artifacts and jewelry and hid this treasure chest somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe. In his book he gives a number of clues as to where to find his treasure and there are several people out hunting for it right now. Meri and I are toying with the idea of taking a couple weeks to pack our camping gear and go on a "chase" for this prize ourselves.
Fascinated with this story and the man behind it, I penned my song, "The Thrill of the Chase." As I was constructing the lyric I would send Mr. Fenn my ideas, verse by verse, and he wrote back with a few ideas of his own. I decided to use most of them and I've credited him with co-writing the lyrics.
This past weekend (Feb. 25 - 27), at Mr. Fenn's invitation, Meri and I drove down to Santa Fe to participate in a book signing event featuring Mr. Fenn and two other authors, Douglas Preston and Michael McGarrity. The theme of the night was "treasures", as all three authors have written books about the subject. It was fascinating to hear these gentlemen discuss their books, their writing techniques and the different treasures they've written about. I closed the evening with a live rendition of "The Thrill of the Chase".
Mr. Fenn is donating all the proceeds from his book sales to a young cancer patient, yet to be named. I'm hoping to soon have my song, "The Thrill of the Chase", available for download here at bobhaworth.com and I'll also be donating the proceeds from my sales to Mr. Fenn's charity fund. In the meantime, you can purchase Mr. Fenn's book at http://www.collectedworksbookstore.com/.
I'll be back with some more stories about our fascinating weekend with Mr. Fenn and his family down in Santa Fe. I'm hoping to be able to upload some photos of our trip as well. Stay tuned...