All I can say is; if you weren’t there, you really missed out!
The meeting took place in a historic building in Marlow, OK. The turn out was fantastic, doubling what we had last year. A total of 43 people showed up for this year's get together and I think everyone had a good time and maybe even learned a few things.
As usual, Jamie (a.k.a. James) and his lovely wife Amy did a wonderful job as hosts. We were in an air conditioned building with plenty of room, arrangements were made for the Marlow museum to be opened just for our group and there were plenty of things to see at the meeting.
Ray Pack was gracious enough to bring the watch recovered from a Jesse James treasure back in the 1930’s and he donated some Civil War relics and books as door prizes. Jamie made sure that everyone walked away with something, even me! The door prizes this year ranged from books autographed by the author to silver coins including an 1889 Morgan silver dollar and an authentic Spanish silver coin. The latter was donated by a very generous and anonymous donor.
As a side note, seeing the watch that was recovered from the James treasure is a real treat. I have said it before and I will continue to say it, this is a real piece of history, something you won’t see everyday and having that opportunity is rare. Thank you Ray!
Some special awards were given out this year to a few people in the group. We were lucky enough to have on hand a few seasoned treasure hunters that have spent most, if not all of their lives, looking for treasure and on occasion, helping some of us with the things we don’t understand. In my case that would be a lot! Jamie had special plaques made up to honor their work and dedication to our hobby. I guess it would be the equivalent to the treasure hunters Academy Awards.
Being the wise man that he is, a very special award was given to Amy this year. For putting up with all of Jamie’s treasure hunting activities Jamie gave her a bouquet of flowers. I know how Jamie treasure hunts and Amy probably deserves an entire botanical garden!
As it was last year, the award for the treasure hunter who traveled the farthest to get to the meeting goes to “Mr. Hawaii”, coming all of the way from Oahu, Hawaii. He actually didn’t get an award but he does get the admiration of myself and other treasure hunters for his dedication and determination!
This year Jamie arranged for a couple of authors to be present to discuss their books and autograph copies if you had them. Steve Wilson, the author of Oklahoma Treasures and Treasure Tales and a book on the Spider Rock treasures was on hand and was constantly busy talking to everyone there. I think we probably wore him out. Kristin Porter, the author of Outlaw Land was there and autographing her books also. She seemed to be a very big hit among the treasure hunters. Both authors are working on new books that we will hopefully see very soon.
Lunch this year was at a restaurant just across the street called Giuseppe’s. This was some really good Italian food! It was even better than some of the fancy Italian restaurants I have been to. If you are ever in Marlow, OK and are hungry, I would definitely recommend this place.
Information was flowing freely at this meeting. Jamie had several handouts for anyone who wanted them. There were copies of old newspaper articles about Jesse James, J. Frank Dalton and other treasure related stuff, the kinds of things that take a long time to research and find if you did it yourself. There were copies of maps showing the locations of ghost towns, old trails, Civil War battles, camps, missions and forts in Oklahoma. And if that wasn’t enough for you, there was also an authentic Jesse James map for everyone to see.
Although you couldn’t take these with you, there were also color photographs of the copper bucket found in the Wichita Mountains with the inscription carved into it by Frank and Jesse James. These photos were fantastic and a real treat to see. You won’t see them anywhere else. There were also many rare books to look at, several autographed, including one by Orvus Lee Howk. That’s Jesse Lee James III to you KGC guys.
All in all it was a very good meeting and it was good to see everyone there.
I would personally like to thank Jamie and Amy for the time and expense they put into hosting this meeting. To put this on every year and absorb the brunt of the expense and take time away from your family and jobs isn't an easy thing to do.
I think we are all looking forward to next year's meeting! For those of you interested, "Homer" has a friendly little poker game the night before. He was proud to remind me that he left with more than he came with this year. Of course he plays some very strange kinds of poker games. I need to buy a book of poker games just to know what the heck he is talking about half the time!