“He loved families and he loved the idea of getting them out in the mountains and the open air, and his great joy was talking to the families that were seeking the treasure,” mentioned Dorothy Massey, the proprietor of Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe, who known as Mr. Fenn a good friend and a mentor. “That was the important thing to him.”
Ms. Massey mentioned Mr. Fenn had given her retailer the publishing rights to “The Thrill of the Chase,” which drew so many explorers to Santa Fe that it had “quite an effect on the general economy of the city.”
Forrest Burke Fenn was born on Aug. 22, 1930, in Temple, Texas. He spent idyllic summers fishing round Yellowstone National Park, and looking for arrowheads along with his father, a schoolteacher, and his soccer coach, each avid collectors. He discovered his first arrowhead when he was 9 and instructed The New York Times in 2017 that it was nonetheless “the most prized possession in my collection.”
“My father taught me to not dwell on the center line, but to go out to the edge and see what was there,” he mentioned. “That thought manifested itself in many ways in my later life.”
Mr. Fenn graduated from Temple High School in 1947 however struggled academically and joined the Air Force in 1950 after finding out for a number of years at Temple Junior College, in accordance to the Super Sabre Society, a company devoted to the historical past of the F-100 Super Sabre and the pilots who flew the plane.
As a pilot within the Vietnam War, he flew 328 fight missions in 348 days and was shot down twice, in Vietnam and Laos, he mentioned.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Santa Fe artwork gallery he opened attracted big-name patrons. A 1986 profile in People journal reported that former President Gerald R. Ford, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Robert Redford, Cher and Steve Martin had been among the many patrons paying excessive costs for oil work and Native American artwork and artifacts.