Marc Simmons was called by another writer “one remarkable caballero.” He certainly is. He has been a Wyoming ranch hand, a movie extra with Warner Brothers, a Peace Corps training officer, a horseshoer, and has taught history at the University of New Mexico. Simmons is probably the only professional farrier in the Southwest with a Ph.D. He now lives in Cerrillos, New Mexico in an adobe house he built himself, and concentrates on horses, mules, research, and writing. He is at work on his next book, Trailing the Long-Ears: An Informal History of Mules and Burros in the Southwest.
Manuel Antonio Chaves’ life straddled three eras of New Mexican history: he was born (1818) at the tag end of the Spanish colonial period, he grew to manhood in the rough and heady days of the Santa Fe trade during the quarter century of Mexican rule (1821-1846), and he spent his mature years under the territorial regime established by the United States.