I've always loved listening to old people telling their stories, but it's been a long time since I found an old person to talk with, until tonight.
Tonight I was off down the rabbit hole of YouTube which happens to be the reason that I love YouTube - you just never know where you will end up. A bit like Alice in Wonderland.
This evening my discovery was Forrest Fenn.
As I am relatively new to New Mexico and not born in the USA, I had never heard of him.
I watched a number of YouTubes where he was launching different books he had written - I listened and learned some of his perspectives and enjoyed anecdotes from his life's library. I felt like I had spent an evening with Forrest Fenn and it was delightful.
Forrest Fenn is not your average author or art dealer. He became most famous [and controversial] for the treasure hunt he instigated in 2010.
He claims that his goal was to inspire people to 'get off their couches' and into nature and while that may be so (and I like to think that it was) you can't escape the fact that it created a huge incentive for people to buy his book.
At first I thought that the million dollar treasure would be a hard cost to cover, however, in 2018 (the latest numbers I can find on Google) 40,500 copies had been sold and used copies were then selling for over $100. Marketing genius.
This proved (yet again) that the most effective way to incentivize people is to trigger their avarice and that the most effective way to bring out the worst in people is to trigger their avarice.
Thankfully the scales were somewhat balanced as there were also great stories from people who did find and appreciate the benefits of getting out in nature.
As I was Googling more information about him, I discovered that the bronze chest with all that gold and precious stones was actually found in June 2020.
that Forrest Fenn died at age 90 on the 7th September - just five days ago.
What a life!
As we say in Australia - "he had a great innings" (it's a reference to the game of cricket).
I am sad that I will never have the opportunity to meet him but I had a really enjoyable Saturday night learning all about him and his impact.
Rest in Peace Mr Fenn.
PS The price of a used copy of "The Thrill Of The Chase" on Amazon is now down to 'just' $30