After a 45-year career as a museologist, archaeologist, paleontologist and historian, Calvin B. Smith recently published his first fiction novel – about time travel. He retired the first time after a 20-year tenure at Baylor University as founder and Chair of the Department of Museum Studies, Director of the Strecker Museum Complex and the Waco Mammoth Site that has recently been designated as a National Monument. He took on another job in New Mexico, retired again, then came to Trinidad State’s Freudenthal Library. Now on the far side of 80, Smith is currently Scholar in Residence at Trinidad State College. Smith grew up in the oil fields near Hobbs, New Mexico and lived in a company camp until he went to college. Since those humble beginnings he has traveled the world trying to unlock the mysteries that have faded over time and understand the people who came before us.
Although he has written dozens of articles, monographs and chapters in texts, this is his first work of fiction. The Mammoth Quest: An Epic Expedition into the Past is an action-adventure story about the first person to be transported back in time to 13,000 years ago in an attempt to discover the origin, culture and livelihood of the Clovis people who are known to have hunted and killed mammoths with stone tipped darts thrown with atlatls in what is now northern New Mexico.
The main character, equal in skills and knowledge to Smith, arrives buck naked in the past, and encounters several bands of these early Americans and interacts with them for a year. He experiences many adventures, joining in hunts, including participating in a mammoth kill and is given a widow who accompanies him on the last leg of his trip.
In Part II of the book, he takes a second trip back the Folsom Period, 11,500 years ago. He decides to make a 600-mile trek from a known lithic resource, the Alibates Flint Quarry, in north Texas to the largest recorded Folsom campsite, Lindenmeier, in northern Colorado, passing close to modern day Trinidad on the way.
Smith will hold a book signing on Saturday, April 8 at 1 p.m. at the Trinidad Public Library.