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After cancer, survivor pursued flintknapping hobby

Hannah Grover
hgrover@daily-times.com
Bruce Burks, left, talks with Benny Valencia and Berniece Etcitty about various types of arrowheads during a flintknapping workshop on Thursday at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center in Farmington.

 

FARMINGTON — Six years ago, doctors diagnosed Bruce Burks with cancer and told him he had two weeks to live. After that thankfully false deadline passed, he decided to pursue his childhood dream of making a stone knife blade.

Today Burks shared his knowledge with people at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center during a flintknapping demonstration.

Burks moves around and doesn't have one place he calls home. Currently he is house sitting in the Farmington area and will move up to Denver in the summer to house sit a place there. He plans on leading another flintknapping demonstration at noon Thursday at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center, 109 E. La Plata St.

Bruce Burks shows off the various blades he made during a flintknapping workshop on Thursday at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center in Farmington.

He said his interest in flintknapping began as a child when he found arrowheads in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming.

The demonstration brought a sense of nostalgia to the people who watched him work. One woman spoke about finding arrowheads while exploring in the area of the La Plata Highway as a child.

Steven Gore said he found arrowheads in Colorado when he was young.

"I always wanted to know how they did it," he said.

Gore watched a video on flintknapping and then made his own tools out of deer antlers and exotic woods.

"Yesterday I did my very first arrowhead out of glass," he said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

Bruce Burks demonstrates flintknapping by using an antler to chip off a flake of obsidian to create an arrowhead or a blade on Thursday during a workshop at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center in Farmington.