A Condensed History of AA in New Mexico

 

The AA message in New Mexico started out in clay – clay soil, that is, found in the south-central portion of the state. Rowland Hazard, who carried the message to Ebby T., who carried the message to Bill W., managed several properties and businesses in southern New Mexico. The headquarters was a ranch in La Luz; a village near Alamogordo (in District 5) and 90 miles north of El Paso, Texas. Records reflect that Rowland left New Mexico for the last time by train in August 1936. The associated properties and businesses were dissolved by 1950. The “La Luz Clay Pottery Factory” was listed on the National Register Of Historic Places in 1979. It is currently used as a private residence.

About 200 miles to the north, in early 1944, meetings and eventually groups started forming in Albuquerque. Within the next three years, groups had formed in the following New Mexico towns: Santa Fe (the state capital), Las Cruces, Clovis, Roswell, and Tucumcari. Of note, the Clovis group’s founders included Dr. Bob’s son’s father-in-law, Pete A.

The Santa Fe Group, later joined by Las Vegas (NM) AA members, played a key role in two areas of AA service work: Corrections and Literature translation (English to Spanish). An AA member named Arthur S. spearheaded this work. Joe A. of Los Angeles assisted him. A large collection of letters and related documents in our repository tell a fascinating story of this seminal Corrections and Translation work. Arthur S. eventually became the first Executive Director of the New Mexico Council on Alcoholism and established a working relationship with Marty Mann who served as the director of a similar nation-wide organization.

Regarding the translation work, we read in the February 1947 issue of the AA Grapevine, the following account: “A second booklet in the Spanish language, based principally on Akron No. 1 Group’s Manual for A.A., has just been made ready for the press by the Santa Fe, N. M., Group. The first booklet, ? Ha De Ser Esto Nuestro Sino? was a translation into Spanish of the Salt Lake No. 1 Group’s Who? Me? and portions of Akron’s Guide to the 12 Steps.”

During the ensuing decades, the AA message has spread like wildfire throughout “the Land of Enchantment”. As of this writing (March 2008), there are approximately 350 groups in Area 46. There are over 450 meetings a week in Albuquerque, the state’s largest city (pop.: about 800,000).