Author active in New Mexico history, art

By Don McAclavy: Local columnist

I am a native of New Mexico, having been born in 1930 in Clovis, reared on a small farm in Claud, some 35 miles south of the Caprock Amphitheater.

I was overseas in the U.S. Army for two years and attended a year of college in the humanities in California and art classes at Eastern New Mexico University, while pursuing the trade of a printer.

Semi-retired, yet still very active in printing, I completed 43 years, nearly all at City Printing, Inc. in Clovis.

I had volunteered as general manager up until 1994, limiting my work to mostly promotions, parades, painting pictures and putting on the walls, shoe repairs, etc. I was one of the three original members of the “Save the Old Lyceum Theatre” in Clovis restoration project.

Yes, I have pursued creative endeavors, such as drawing, painting, writing, cowboy poetry, researcher/historian, publisher, author, and actor. I served five years on the governor-appointed New Mexico Arts Commission.

I founded the High Plains Historical Foundation, Inc. and was co-editor of two massive volumes of area history.

For 10 years I wrote a popular historical column for the papers in Clovis. I recently published a novel of area interest, “Red is My Color” written by the late Eula Mae Edwards, founder of the Indian artifact museum in San Jon (Her collection was donated to the Clovis Community College).

Eula Mae Edwards was also a supporter of the amphitheater project.

I have served on the New Mexico Outdoor Drama Association board of directors since 1978 and served two terms as president, stepping down when I was chosen as playwright for the drama.

Since 1972, I have written half a dozen or more “mellerdrammers” and in 1981, was asked to write a play based on Billy the Kid’s last days in Old Fort Sumner, celebrating the centennial of Billy’s death. The play was well received and was the basis for this outdoor historical drama.

With my wife, Kathy, a school teacher, dancer, actress, we share six children and twelve grand-children. I retired from the amphitheater board at end of the season in 1994 and devoted my time to couple of books, plus being with my family full time.

(P.S. My wife had wanted me to do some history on myself to show to the 35 or more of descendants we have had up to 2009.)

Don McAlavy is Curry County’s historian. He can be contacted at: