Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where the Heck is Abo?

Outside of Cerrillos Are you curious about New Mexico? Wondering about that little town you once drove through on your way to somewhere else? Do YOU know where Abo, New Mexico is?

F. Stanley was, and did. He is the man responsible for the run of New Mexico pamphlets we have here at the Santa Fe Public Library, which until recently were uncataloged and hiding in the Southwest room. Written in the sixties, these little booklets run about twenty to forty or so pages each and have information about every little town you could possibly think of in New Mexico, and some you couldn’t possibly (have you heard of Koehler? Causey? Tiptonville?). And the ones you’ve heard of may surprise you.

Ghost Town outside of PecosFor instance, we all know of Pojoaque, but did you know that in 1909, there were forty-four variations of that name? Or that familiar Bernalillo was “as wild as Dodge or Tombstone” and home to all manner of ruffians such as “Cyprians, gold-brickers, con men, horse thieves, and boot-hill tenants”? Okay, maybe you did, but I didn’t! And how can you resist a book that starts out: “Abiquiu is to New Mexico what Salem is to Massachusetts. A witch lurked behind every adobe wall, and a wizard was doling out love potions that kept husbands home at night.” Or, “Alma is no more. Only the name remains.” Intriguing!

These babies do not have a series statement, but if you search the catalog by author: Stanley, F, you will pull up all of them, freshly cataloged, and we have made sure they sit all together on the shelf, at 978.9 Sta. They all share the same title, too – The Mora, New Mexico Story, The Chilili, New Mexico Story, etc., except for the ominously named The Dawson, New Mexico Tragedies and the grandly titled Mescalero Epic. They’re all shelved alphabetically though, so even if a story is tragic or fabulous, it can easily be located. None of the series can be checked out of the library, since only 400 to 500 copies exist in the world, but at twenty pages, you could read each one twice just hanging out in the library. And after that, you are sure to start itching to take a road trip all around the state to see whether Carbonateville still exists.

And I’m sorry to report that there is no The Clines Corners, New Mexico Story. You know you were wondering.

by AA @ Main

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