Scrapbook One Hundred Seventeen Point Five…


Posted by Dal-

You might be wondering what to do with your mammoth tusk fragment from Forrest. Chuck and Terry made a really attractive shadow box for theirs with text from the original Scrapbook entry by Forrest, the fragment and the note that came with the piece of tusk.


The text in the shadow box reads:
“Mammoths roamed all over the Americas, and if you get way out into the countryside you might find one. That’s what we did, and we were many miles from a road on a friend’s ranch in northeastern New Mexico. We first found a large mammoth tooth. The enamel plates had broken apart and the wear patterns said it belonged to a very old animal. A mile or so farther, as we walked along a softly flowing stream of water, I discovered a tusk. It had been exposed to the elements for a long time because the ivory had dried and layers were popping off in fragments. I guessed it was a mammoth because mastodons are not commonly found in the Southwest. I started excavating in the cement-like clay that engulfed the tusk. It was a hot summer day, and the bursitis-inducing work with a small handpick progressed slowly. Meanwhile my ranch friend scavenged the surrounding area, searching for artifacts. Suddenly he discovered a knife eroding from the bank. It was of useful size and made of Edwards Plateau flint. Heavy damage on both blade edges indicated that it may have been used to cut meat from bone. We knew that tool could not be associated with the mammoth because the flake patterns were not Clovis technology, and Clovis man was the only human known to kill the great beasts. I continued working as the sun burned low in the sky. Finally the tusk was completely uncovered and I took this photo. The mammoth tusk weighed 70 pounds when we lifted it into the bed of the pickup. Over the years it has dried and crumbled into a sad semblance of what it used to be. If one should grasp a chunk of an ancient mammoth in one’s hand and close one’s eyes, who knows what thoughts might flow into one’s fertile mind? I always intended to go back to my friend’s ranch and dig out the mammoth skull. But it’s been thirty years since I walked along that softly flowing stream of water, and now, at age 84 …  it’s just too much for me. ”

This is the note from Forrest that came with the tusk specimen.


The text under the note in the shadow box reads:
“Look quickly down, there is a chunk below you are welcome to touch.”



34 thoughts on “Scrapbook One Hundred Seventeen Point Five…

    • Would I be the first (?) to offer to go and dig the remainder of that skull, etc.? I would be honored to do that with the help of my two teenagers, if I only knew (approximately) where to look.

      PS. Would be an honor to go trout fishing too, real soon!

  1. Wow,that looks great! I love the way you left a piece of the tusk outside of the display, and included the text of the story with it.I may copy this idea if thats ok.When i recieved my tusk and arrowhead i was so excited.(glorious mail day)The two items quickly became my favorite pieces in the lil collection of things i collect.Problem is, in my excitement i did not send forrest any money for these great pieces and feel a little bad about this. :(I was thinking about sending him some money for atleast a nice dinner or something.What do you guys think a nice dinner runs in his region?

    • Well, Geronimo’s is at the top of everyone’s list. As are their prices (but worth it). I’ll just damn betcha Forrest would be just as happy at the San Marcos Cafe and Feed Store.

  2. Great idea Chuck and Terry! I have been pondering what to do with my tusk piece as well. It is a very special piece and needs a very special place for all to enjoy (in my possession of course) and this may be the way. Receiving the tusk and arrowhead in the mail reminded me of how I felt as a child when I would get mail, which wasn’t often. Forrest is my new pen pal, but he doesn’t know it :).

  3. What grand beasts they were. Too bad they are all gone. I can relate to bursitis. I have one in my elbow from carrying your books everywhere Forrest.

  4. I think today is a good day to go and see the chiropractor, I’m feeling like 100,000 years old lol

  5. That is a way cool idea. Now I’m jealous many times over. I sent a SASE inside another envelope just before the deadline. Then, wouldn’t you know it, I got the SASE from the INSIDE of the other envelope in my mailbox on the day of the deadline…of course, it was addressed to me with about 4 times the necessary postage. I’m thinking that the cold affected the self-adhevise on the envelopes and they didn’t close securely. I’d like to think that’s what happened, anyway. It’s a mystery.

    • JC, didnt you win the grand prize? If its that important to you I will trade you my tusk and arrowhead for your grand prize. So is it a deal?

      • True, Deb. That one of the reasons I decided to let it go. 🙂 There’s that…and rules are rules. It’s my fault that I procrastinated sending the letter in the first place. And I’ll say it again…The grand prize is WAY NICE!!!

        Thanks again, Forrest!!!

  6. Nice display! I just received my fragment – thanks Forrest! I’m still waiting for my note though – it must be coming separately. 🙂

  7. Excellent presentation, cudos Terry and Chuck.
    I like the way you followed some of the ideals Forrest presented to us.
    Namely history should be touched or held on ones hand. Hanging the tusk fragment from a string was sheer genius.

    Sadly I was confined to my chair and was unable to get to the post office.
    Often the weather here in Mi does not treat my ole bones nicely.

    Best wishes to all

    • Chad, I’ll share my tusk with you. I received a beautiful arrowhead and am content with one piece if Forrest’s collection. If you would like the tusk, post your address here to my attention or send it Confidentially to Dal and I will send you my piece if 100,000 year old mammoth tusk. Pretty amazing to hold it!

  8. When my wife and I shared this with Forrest I told him we felt very special. I mean how many people have some mammoth tusk on display in their home they can grasp? I know we didn’t do a professional job on this sorta shadow box but we are very proud of it and great full for the samples you sent us. Who’d ever thought it would end up on Dal’s blog. Thank you Dal and all of you for your kind comments.

    Chuck & Terry

  9. Good job and great way to preserve the bones. I received my fragment and point. I think I will do something like this also.

  10. Great idea!! Is there a pinterest for us treasure hunters !? I have a shelf in my living room
    decorated TTOTC…haha really though, awesome !

  11. Chuck and Terry – I’m not sure if you still keep up with this blog. If you do, I must say that your idea was priceless! I love how you allow others to touch history just like f has allowed so many to do. Thanks for sharing and thanks Dal for posting this.

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