I have a confession. It’s embarrassing, I know. I joined the mass hysteria this past Monday. @HiddenCash, Jason Buzi, was in Fresno! Can you believe it? He was in Fresno!
In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, check this little video out:
8 Things I Learned About Fresno From @HiddenCash:
Fresno Loves Treasure Hunts
We’re all just like big kids. We love the mystery. We love the adrenaline and the excitement. I wouldn’t be surprised if a major TV network made a reality show out of the shenanigans of @HiddenCash. I for one, would watch it. Just a behind-the-scenes look at why he does it and how he does it as he travels from place to place. For example, Tuesday, the day after #HiddenCashFresno, he tweeted about a drop in the UK! I’m curious about the @HiddenCash “movement” and I can’t stop thinking about how much fun it was to go running around in the dark with a flashlight with hundreds, maybe over 1,000, other Fresnans.
Fresno Will Embrace an Outsider
A long-held belief in our community is that we’re skeptical of outsiders. We don’t like outsiders coming into our community and disrupting the natural flow of life. And to some degree, many Fresnans, who had no idea what was happening, were caught off guard on their commute home. They met tons of traffic. Traffic like Fresno has never experienced… ever. The traffic was worse than if the President were in town. That is not an exaggeration. And for what? Well, for Free money, but also in support of @HiddenCash… a complete stranger, an outsider. Hey that’s good news for Fresno. We’re not closed off to the rest of civilization, as we once thought we were.
Fresno Can Be Civil
When @HiddenCash asked his social media followers if he should do a night drop, you have to admit that for a moment you weighed the cost of venturing out into the night in Fresno. Am I right? That’s because the murder rate, home invasions and other violent-crime is up in our great city. So, naturally, we waited to see where @HiddenCash was going to hide his cash, or cache, after dark. There were people from every corner of Fresno at the night drop and for the most part, people were friendly.
Fresno Can Come Together
We don’t often come together for a big event. We stay fairly segregated in our areas of town and we may all descend on the Big Fresno Fair, once-a-year, but that’s about it. Last night, people from every faith, race, education level, and income-level were out in full force. Having fun, hunting for some hidden cash.
Fresno Believes the Loudest Voice
A man, and I’m not even sure if he was @HiddenCash or not, stood atop a play structure yelling out riddles and clues. At one point he even used my friend, Paul Haugen, as a clue. Paul was in his pajamas, like a lot of Fresno at that park, wearing a Superman t-shirt. The man said something about “Superman’s cape” and people immediately started digging in the dirt and wood chips at Paul’s feet. He spoke loud and people listened… they didn’t even question him.
Fresno is Competitive
I knew this about Fresno, like many of these, but last night it was reinforced. Every news outlet was there live. Police were present and there were tons of flashlights in a space that would normally be pitch black. Everyone was in-it-to-win-it. My wife was making fun of me when I got home. “So, how much money did you win?” Well, I didn’t find any hidden cash. She then followed up with, “How do you feel about your hunting skills now?” I may have been a little overconfident as I left the house… like many of you other Fresnans. That’s because we are a competitive bunch. Everything is a competition and if there’s no prize in participating in something, we often don’t give it the time of day.
Fresno Still Uses Twitter
When Twitter came out, I was one of the first 100 people in Fresno to adopt Twitter. I had a Blackberry Pearl at the time and I remember being in meetings at work and my phone would buzz with a text. I had no apps, twitter was through their website and text messaging at the time. But now, years later, I’ve wondered if Fresno was on the twitter-decline. I’ve used it less and less and instead have had an increased presence on other social media networks like Instagram and Facebook. But yesterday reinvigorated Fresno’s twitter use. I’ve even noticed people tweeting about @HiddenCash who just joined yesterday. So, maybe Fresno still likes twitter. We’ll see.
Fresno Needs Hope
As I arrived on the scene at Keith Tice Park, there were already hundreds of people scanning the area with flashlights. One woman, with a baby on her hip and other kids in tow, ran by me yelling back at her family. “You’ve gotta keep up! I CAN NOT LOSE THIS!” There was desperation in her voice. In my estimation, half of the people searching for the free cash needed it now and the other half were there to have fun and participate in something bigger than themselves. But no matter the reason, all of Fresno needs some glimmer of hope. I’m not talking about politically-charged Change and Hope, but actual, life changing, personally-impacting hope. Between the job market, the drought, Obamacare, and the summer heat, people are losing hope.
So, there you have it. Eight things I learned or re-discovered about Fresno from @HiddenCash. What’s really cool is that on Tuesday @HiddenCash tweeted that the response in Fresno was amazing, one of the biggest responses he’s had so far, and he’ll definitely be back. We’re looking forward to it.