Buried Sunk‘n Treasure
Skyrocketed Dirt Poor Vagabond to Instant Riches!

Matthew Scott Harris

© Copyright 2022 by Matthew Scott Harris


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Rumor persisted and fanned up into the present moment courtesy - fuel of exaggeration by yours truly, who did his part to kindle kickstarted fictionalized tidbit of fact. Word of mouth thru generations fostered immense wealth secreted under this tract of real estate once trumpeted barren open space. An overactive imagination whet the fancy of an even number of oddballs yours truly included. One after another (sir ran) rapt listener unwittingly elaborated, vis a vis masterly fabricating, charging, adding... slight embellishment here and there. Within figurative wiggle (without fingers finagling fleshy freaky visible feature of aural organ) of earlobe initial story materialized into mouth watering, eye opening, nose twitching, et cetera mythic legend. Analogous feverish frenzy analogous to rumpus over California Gold Rush, a gold rush that began on January 24, 1848, when gold found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. Everybody and his/her aunt, cousin, uncle, et cetera made bee line so as not to fall behind golden opportunity instant wealth up for grabs. Fantastical rumors spread like wildfire where nobody wanted to miss out. Even ordinarily pokey man got buttucks in high gear. Cheeky, jowly, stinky, et cetera old farts fast tracked their flabby posteriors. One after another countless squishy squashy high née (quite a gas) moved at identical speed to keep in lockstep with latest grandiose loot. Nobody wanted to pull up the rear fabulous, exaggerated courtesy buzzfeeding original flash in the pan message. Think whisper down the alley, the process to repeat verbatim (rather talk using hush puppy tones) highly subject to (accidental and purposeful) misinterpretation, distortion, perhaps even as iterated deliberate modification) woke zealistic fabulists get rich quick believers, and desperados immediately grasping at castles in the air. Yea, I too got suckered into immediate riches, and joined the quickly growing bandwagon, particularly because prospective booty supposedly stashed somewhere amidst the premises of 724 West Railroad Avenue.

As kapellmeister of local (Thomas Paine) Unitarian boys choir, yours lived about three doors down and unwittingly groomed aforementioned lads. The young youth suddenly bristled, exhibited, jumpstarted, et cetera demeanors with marked intensity, perspicacity, vivacity, et cetera, especially perked up regarding potential untold immediate money, and/or including tantalizing precious jewels.

After Meetup group (linkedin with shared interest unearthing undiscovered, reputed, purported, et cetera storied booty) members secretly alerted (thank anonymous Hippogriffs), they squarely, stealthily and surreptitiously met at nondescript (abandoned) building housed some half dozen scant miles distant from supposed fabled riches. The gathering place (shush don't tell anyone) at 1148 Greentree Lane appeared as a rather debt heavy, derelict, decrepit unwelcoming money pit slated for wrecking ball manned by none other than Miley Cyrus. Once there, the coordinator huddled with adventurers, bummers, crew cut, diehard, effing flotsam grabbing hallucinations.

As voluntary (unanimously designated) leader of the rat pack, I alluded to secret, (albeit helpful) information that linkedin the two aforementioned sites for sore eyes. Just by chance, yours truly accidentally unearthed, while gathering belongings for estate sale (regarding the latter) lucky documents indicating locale quartering treasure. I inexplicably happened upon a hand drawn rather primitive, (yet clearly delineated) aged map. No matter weatherbeaten sketch considerably faded, the key “X” marked the spot still visible, where (within 724 West Railroad Avenue) lucky finders keepers commenced the search (think Holy Grail multiplied bajillion times). Before embarking upon promising adventure all participants signed plagiarized, notarized, legalized... non binding contract predicating any "discovery" by one person would automatically necessitate commensurate fair distribution of loot among all the foo fighting village people. 

Now... momentarily flashback thru countless XL acreas and a mule intact heirlooms faux laryngeal pipelines, (viz yule eyes circa late seventeen/ early eighteen hundreds, when hotspot got settled by explorers) incorporated inimitable kickass minor fitbit players. Over time the moderately traversed dirt trails got packed down by traveling covered wagons. Gung ho interlopers quickly got familiarized to wooded lands constituting Penn Valley including what comprised the hamlet of Bryn Mawr. These
pioneers gingerly found their way amidst virgin forests minus the aid of Global Positioning Satellite systems, MapQuest, or Travelocity.

Now fast forward to second decade into twenty first century. Despite the dramatic industrialization throughout hundreds of years destiny found palpable hint of lucre squirreled away at latter day locale.

Courtesy sweat equity by figuratively and literally pressing my nose to the grindstone would (the optimist within me) trip series of fortunate events Lemony Snicket be damned! Most arduous task mainly entailed the countless hours of grunt work among all eager participants. The majority of these gregarious, extemporaneously carousing adventurers (mostly men and boys with rugged individualistic gals) got bit by feverishly incurable gadfly bite envisioning oodles of wealth (precious jewels and jems) awaiting game plunderers. Deep within the terrestrial bowels good n plenti mesmerizing bajillion dollars worth of goodies would be unearthed. As iterated exhumation pinpointed by amateurish hodgepodge sketch amazingly gracefully intact. Such shred information based on said tattered crude (drawing signed by captain my captain Kidd) pointed to someplace within the coordinates 40.0230° North, 75.3152° West.

These well seasoned scrappy, rapscallion true Jetblue uber hard to lyft landlubbers sought to MineCraft every potential willow o’ the wisp clue to track down supposed fabled riches accidentally discovered by a Philadelphian aristocrat (none other than... yepper, mine storied paternal great, great, great... grandfather) went by the pseudonym Rumpelstiltskin. First barely a trickle than subsequent flood of early colonists, sons and daughters (and kindred folk) of Revolutionary, thence Civil War flew out fast as greased lightning. One could and did confuse mayhem with Pandora unplugged, unboxed, unadulterated,... qua loosed banshees mortgaging Lex Lucifer. Their persons and possessions raced (pell mell, helter skelter, higgledy-piggledy... on their Marxist get set get ready...) as Das capital one yahoos. 

Not surprisingly, each jabbering, retelling (retooling), and yawping down the figurative lane magnified the fact or faction, which even if paraded as a tall tale, would thence only generate increased suspicion that such locked haven merited greater zeal. The undiscovered pile of loot only assumed grander proportions exceeding all the then known consolidated wealth. If possible, no doubt Midas would thrillingly dare emerge from his grave to snag a potion of this purportedly outrageous trove of glittering precious metal.

One persistently stubborn prevarication hinted that even captain Kidd (as averred) dumped his spoils within a deep crevasse on the premises, which exact location (from this point forward along the story) might be best kept withheld of and simply referred to as xyz West Railroad Avenue. Please keep on the QT (from any family, friend or foe) any knowledge gleaned from reading this missive, or share at yar own pearl. The ossified sig nature Deva of this domain would stomp similar to an SS Stormtrooper across the short distance between our respective duplexes, and then march down the stairs of this pretend fallout shelter generating a horde of huzzahs heard clear across to Compton. Hence, the specifically named municipality, and keystone state county deliberately omitted (as an IdentityGuard) against army of gold diggers. 

Aye kin do without those nosey buggars!” Thus (spake Zarathustra from Plato’s closet), who bespoke said epithet to mortal men, boiled down for simplicity sake asper offering a commendable retort per the bedeviled, daring-do foo fighters, goo goo dolls... who (with an ear to ear grinch like leering grin) gleefully encapsulated the sobriquet employed by the coterie of each self-made one-man expeditionary force. As a vulnerable, susceptible, unquenchable skeptic such tall tails, I half-heartedly listened with one ear. If this bloke swallowed such an embellished do zee of a whopper, he may as well believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and The Great Pumpkin. Yet, do not argue with this amateur astronomer that the moon iz not made of cheese. 

Fate tends to reflect irony, mockery, and travesty (smack dab as a sucker Judy ish hiss punch right where one is most susceptible), the more so when circumstance seems predetermined to make a laughing stock of an apostate in oral recitations that become pushed to the tipping point with outright falsehoods i.e. fake news. Such would cause President Donald Trump to blush (like a zebra) with each retelling. You guessed correct, that any resemblance between the above statement, and this scrivener birthing a doozy (contrived around a thread of truth) most likely right on the money honey. Den, aye made a little plan Stan. The above commentary cited as a generalization apropos per this doubting Thomas in regard to far-fetched yarns, which merely tease the appetite. Figurative wool pulled over these eyes, especially when the top notch insatiable craving for hunger games delude even the most rational primate to be deceived by such outrageous morsels. These outlandish (pot of gold at the end of a rainbow) feed some doggone stray cat a tonic bestial pipe dream. Gasps became particularly exasperating when she or he fell prey to getting sand trapped, qua being hoodwinked, gullibly taken live via knick knack paddy whack Yik Yak zingers on par with what one reads while waiting in the checkout aisle, where The National Enquirer or other Rag Magazines assail believability, derail gullibility, and logical reasonability. How easily one can become a motley fool (blithely swallowing
hook, line and sinker), especially when the paucity of facts disproportionally outweigh plethora of self-evident fiction. Try as one might, the charlatans finagling information loaded ornately in the guise of priceless handful of riches socked away by some marauder. More often than not, gallimaufry sugar coated with the pretense of believability, which resultant destiny never teaches those whose bulb doth not burn bright within the maws (of a fools paradise), wherefore her or him lays claim to the contrived, feigned, imagined stolen glittering gold. Thus my aforementioned immediate hesitation, indecision, and trepidation, whence a paradise of untold wealth tripped the figurative wire loosing a series of fortunate events (Take that Lemony Snicket!) inexplicably expunged long impressed tell tale signs, (that would provide dead reckoning, point out blank range, and pin interest ting credence against questionable 
profuse swirling millennial supposedly make believe falsehoods), here in plain view upon the cellar floor at this duplex within a tony mainline community within high income Lower Merion (whoops, I lied earlier, who cares. I dare you to sue me), Pennsylvania.

The horn of good and plenti bedazzled thine myopic eyes, when a fluke of circumstance, this predilection to tidy up a space allocated as mine de facto man cave ephemerally reversed penurious hand to mouth existence. Such fluff and stuff the ethereal materiel of a childish fairy tale!
This every now and again yen to don the role of milch maid (attired in the apron and kerchief garb) subsequently imbues this older male with undertaking the whim to spruce up, cuz basement serves as the next best solution to a deserted island. Upon padded posterior, heavy duty gloved hands and cushioned knees with ample old rags, scrub brushes and buckets of hot soapy steamy water, a darn bugged task itches mass elf with ambition to receive the good housekeeping seal of approval. Attention slowly but surely became attuned (envision a splashing threnody) to completing a thorough (A plus) job, where no house cleaner would even tackle such tedious chore with gusto. Plus, a great satisfaction of accomplishment ensues when energy and time expended tending to a mission that rarely invites enthusiasm. Along thee merry way this pseudo faux missus Doubtfire busily chore tilled, dove frenziedly humming, judiciously, and lovingly neatening plethora re: slab a tat for humanity and Sean Hannity. Though an occupant in this nook and cranny for what seemed a lifetime, I confess to be unsure if sizable squares of stone constitute granite, or some other mineral. A thought arose, that whatever the rock hard materiel, a set of burly, bronzed and beefy strapped young Beatle browed quarry men accessed a local long fostered back to flora and fauna of natural habitat with the exception humanity turn swords to plowshares. The topography of these once deep gouges within Penn Valley (eye sores
slowly healing from being abandoned, when the majority of accessible sought after blocky corked deposits exhausted) soundlessly crept back to a haven for bountiful great and small creatures of nature. Though only moments before commencing this light maintenance endeavor (sans sweeping avast collection of ferocious dust bunnies, and mopping the cement like floor akin to a hired hand), a helter skelter and welter of concatenating dog gone hallucinations brought a halt to this arduous yet physically challenging undertaking. Overzealousness, senselessness, and eagerness conspired to disembark domestic job and leap pell mell toward appeasing an internal nagging voice to get a jump-start upon leaving no stone (well…in this case maybe one hundred pound cement grid) unturned enterprise. While scouring one sectional inch of the foursquare times seven, (or approximate estimate qua floor space thereof) mousy, pesky, whispery, and Petsmart notion needled, prodded and wedged
well power to cave. Weakness to stave off fanciful hokum wielded ma self and not rapidly surrender to chase mirage, which wrought Wunderground puzzle pieces (pitch perfect patchwork) as a source for generosity, monetary, and salutary salvation. Mine myopic eyes got drawn to faded etchings engraved into at least one hefty fitted topface boxy cornerstone. Riddled with intrigue, one would be fain to deduce (perchance guessing far afield of rationality) thine current rapture to be jetting myself to (the Atheist version) of seventh heaven. An understatement to describe acquiesce toward this sudden curious state possessed me like a demon. No idea what secret might be hidden in a subterranean chamber, which might prove a daunting, daring and dangerous task. The one smoothed linkedin grooved cement like tile that drew my attention (and subsequently boosted a giddiness with countless visions of opulence dancing on
par with sugar plums within ma noggin) showed the vague and faint traces of the letter “X”.

I best cut to the chase to retain any stalwart steadfast sticktoitiveness readers.

Ever so gently, the application of a manual sandpaper contrivance cleared the mere shadow of what resembled “X”, but might designate something else altogether. That something else showed an “O.” Further excited vigorous rubbing revealed aha eureka momentary surprise. Lo and behold, I'll be damned. Applying delicate gentler number brush strokes, the markings (etched, grooved, and sketched) revealed themselves more clear. Hash tagged slightly visible cross marks (overlapping) bore distinct
outlines of older overwritten archaic faintly, nonetheless recognizable symbols. Thus offered the first and only contrived golden opportunity to incorporate the word palimpsest. Huh, believe me you, an antiquated game of tic-tac-toe (not yet begun) begged completion. An automatic reflex arose. After I got with the assigned times, an instantaneous letter “O” appeared. The game completed fast as short order can cook without yours truly not the victor. The huge formerly immense immovable nebulously shaped rock solid material, (a cinch Atlas shrugged, and Sisyphus managed, neither one breaking a sweat) imperceptibly than noticeably forged a path bobbing and weaving through thee ozone layer. A yellow brick road opened up before us. Burr… absolute zero temperature, the humongous (big as Rhode Island) hid ancient booty for who knows how long? While staring into the black hole, I felt pushed (courtesy unseen force – hmm... maybe Casper the friendly ghost) and pitched head over heels. The plunge seemed to last for infinity, and this crash test dummy only experienced a lightness of being when getting softly plummeted to…. antiquities, lavish a plenti and riches galore. Bright city like neon lights from the
shimmering geodes, jewels, and magnificent prodigious storehouse of blinding scintillation (even though eyelids shut tight) from precious metals found no temptation to violate the encapsulated complex edifice that also exuded a life force, which hypnotized me into a trancelike state.

      Matthew Scott Harris (the second offspring and only son of Boyce and the late Harriet Harris) made his unheralded tithing debut on January xiii, mcmlix, a brutally cold winter day back when snow used to fall heavily out the sky.
     His father - (deceased these last sixteen plus months) employed as a mechanical engineer with General Electric heard the powerful lungs of this gangly newborn prior to being permitted to cradle said infant.
     Born in sin - Cincinnati, Ohio, this sole son spent the majority of his orbital LXXII existence within southeastern Montgomery County Pennsylvania.
     Extreme shyness in tandem with a congenital speech defect (submucous cleft palate - i.e. split uvula), whereby nasal twang issued from nose seemed to alienate him from other classmates, but fretful banjo pickers excluded. 
     As an outside neutral observer, I watched like angry birds tweeting and twittering gut wrenching agony how he seemed socially detached and rarely invited to join in any reindeer games, rather mean kids balled their fists and swung faux pas judicious sucker punches.
     Yes, a gross degree of taunting left him without friends even when he matriculated at Antioch. 
     Lack of confidence and ultra reticence offered huge manna to bullies. Matter of fact, this vulnerability, and susceptibility per receiving verbal slings as a scapegoat de jure continued thru public education even upon advent (as a Warrior versus his transformation into a worrier) of his graduation from Methacton High School.
     Yours truly (doggone fella) even got hounded in his afterlife.

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