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Thread: Story on Rusful's finder

  1. #1
    shirleylock's Avatar
    shirleylock is offline Twelever Silver shirleylock is on a distinguished road
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    Default Story on Rusful's finder


    Treasure hunters unravel book's mysteries
    By Monique Beeler, STAFF WRITER

    Bill Keller and Amy Stiles Keller revisit the tree in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park where they found the golden token.
    HOW MANY hours a day did it take Amy Stiles Keller to solve the final puzzle hidden in the pages of the best-selling fantasy book, "A Treasure's Trove?"

    "Three," says Stiles Keller a little too quickly.

    That's her initial claim in the presence of husband Bill, with whom she runs a family business installing window coverings.

    Pressed for a more truthful account, she smiles sheepishly then admits: "I'd do it whenever nobody was looking."

    As soon as her husband headed out the door of their rural Blackhawk area home each morning, Stiles Keller pulled out her dog-eared copy of "A Treasure's Trove," phoned up her sister Carol Stultz in Livermore and the two would set to work unraveling the book's mysteries.

    As soon as Bill Keller's truck pulled onto the gravel of their driveway later in the day, his wife immediately stowed away her colored pencils and piles of notes.

    "This is what you'd hear when I walked in the door," says Keller, playfully sliding open and shut several drawers in their kitchen.

    Published in 2004, the book's complete title is "A Treasure's Trove: A Fairy Tale about Real Treasure for Parents and Children of All Ages." Author Michael Stadther wrote his fairy tale studded with hidden clues as a vehicle for sparking a national treasure hunt. Those who untangled the coded hints in the book would find 14 tokens redeemable for jewels totaling about $1 million.

    Stiles Keller will exchange her token, etched with an image of the book's bad guy, Rusful, for an uncut black diamond worth $20,000.

    The challenge obsessed born problem-solvers such as Stiles Keller, who has been tackling crossword puzzles, Jumble and Wheel of Fortune-style games since childhood.

    "When I was young, my mother got involved in a treasure hunt in the Redwood City Tribune," Stiles Keller says. "The clues were really cryptic. My mother got totally absorbed."

    Unfortunately, the $1,500 prize went to another contestant when Stiles Keller's mother made it to the correct park but failed to find the exact location of the treasure — a knothole in a tree. Her mother died a short time later from breast cancer.

    Stiles Keller and Stultz eagerly studied their copies of "A Treasure's
    Trove," scouring every page and image over and over. Between them, they have read the 102-page story 13 times.

    "We were junkies," says Stiles Keller, 51, seated on an oversized sofa in her living room alongside Stultz, 37. "We were going to go for it all the way."

    In Stadther's tale a dark dust falls on the Great Forest crystallizing the mates of 12 forest creatures. The survivors enlist the help of a man, Zac, and his half-elf, half-human wife, Ana, along with their half-dog, half-moth "doth" to save their mates and the dying forest.

    "It wasn't even about reading the book once it was advertised that this knucklehead's throwing out millions of dollars in jewelry across the U.S.," Stiles Keller says.

    The dogged determination of the sisters to solve the book's puzzles, hidden within a poem and coded messages buried in the story's text and illustrations, led to success in late January.

    After following clues buried on page 66 of "A Treasure's Trove," Stiles Keller stuck her hand into the knothole of a tree in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and drew out a coin-shaped, 18-karat gold token.

    Since Stadther published "A Treasure's Trove" in December 2004, all 14 tokens have been discovered tucked away in public parks from Badlands National Park in South Dakota to Moab, Utah. Each was redeemable for a gemstone or a jeweled critter

    Stiles Keller's magical journey, however, didn't end when she found the token. In the moments following the discovery in Golden Gate Park, Keller lifted his wife and swung her around in celebration.

    Two bicyclists approached the couple to ask why they were so excited. Keller shared the good news and in his joyous mood offered to mail the cyclists, a redheaded young man and his dark-haired Slovenian girlfriend, a $100 check for a bottle of champagne. They exchanged names and addresses and went their separate ways.

    Hours later, an excited Stiles Keller hopped out of bed hollering, "Zac and Ana!" when it dawned on her that the cyclists they had met in the park shared the same names as the main characters in "A Treasure's Trove." They also shared hair color and in Zac's case, professions. The Zac in the book is a carpenter, as is the man the Kellers met in Golden Gate Park.

    Publicists for Stadther and his book were so skeptical about the eerie coincidence they required copies of the couple's driver's licenses and signed affidavits to confirm their names truly are Zac and Ana.

    "The book concept is second to the real life stuff," Stiles Keller says. "What a crazy, crazy story this has turned out to be."
    Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

  2. #2
    suelough's Avatar
    suelough is offline Master Twelever TwelevePlus
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    Have we been able to confirm whether the real-life Ana is half-human, half-elf?

    Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!

  3. #3
    jrrag is offline Good Twelever Platinum jrrag is on a distinguished road
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    I love the stories of victory!

    Zac and Ana? C'mon, that's a set up for the movie...

  4. #4
    grodney is offline Junior Twelever Copper grodney is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Zac and Ana? C'mon, that's a set up for the movie...
    That *exactly* what I came up with this weekend.

    Let's see:
    - Two people show up.
    - These two people ask what the excitement is.
    - The finders actually tell them.
    - The two people are named Zac and Ana.
    - Zac is a carpenter.
    - Zac and Ana have the same hair as the other Zac and Ana.
    - Zac and Ana have a bottle of champagne with them (at least that's how I read the story).
    - Zac and Ana agree to give the finders the champange, trusting the finders to send a check for $100.

    Yeah, right.

    Oh, but don't forget "Publicists for Stadther and his book were so skeptical about the eerie coincidence they required copies of the couple's driver's licenses and signed affidavits to confirm their names truly are Zac and Ana.".

    One of two things is likely true here:
    1) Amy is delusional (and so is her husband, assuming he was there).
    2) The Zac/Ana thing is an elaborate setup (errr, hoax) that would make even James Frey cringe.

    Okay Stadther, please post copies of the driver's licenses, and we'll do our own research into the authenticity of this event.

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