What is the story of HAM, his connection to Alamogordo New Mexico and how did he become one of the most famous chimps in history? – 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News Celebrating The Positives of Alamogordo

On January 31, 1961, a three-year-old chimpanzee and resident of Alamogordo New Mexico’s Holloman Air Force based named HAM, made history in the U.S. space program and history for world space travel in Mercury Capsule No. 5.

Photographed as seen in the online blog and accompanied video Ham listens to his doctors heart with a stethoscope (2ndLifeMedia NASA Archives Alamogordo Town News)

What is the story of HAM, his connection to Alamogordo New Mexico and how did he become one of the most famous chimps in history?

By the end of January 1961, the technical outlook for Project Mercury America’s Space Program was improving. The end of the qualification flight tests was in sight, if only the Little Joe, Redstone, and Atlas boosters would cooperate. The highest priority at the time was to make sure the Mercury-Redstone combination was prepared for the first manned suborbital flights. Now, according to the plan, the reliability of the system required demonstration by the second Mercury-Redstone (MR-2) flight, with a chimpanzee aboard, as a final check to man-rate the capsule and launch vehicle.

Preparations for the MR-2 mission with a chimpanzee aboard had begun long before the actual flight. Between manufacturing the capsule and flight readiness certification, many months of testing and reworking were all necessary at the McDonnell plant, at Marshall Space Flight Center, and at Cape Canaveral.

Capsule No. 5, designated for the MR-2 flight, had been near the end of its manufacturing phase in May 1960. When it was completed, inspectors from the Navy Bureau of Weapons stationed at St. Louis, in cooperation with STG’s liaison personnel at McDonnell, watched it go through a specified series of tests, and the contractor corrected all detected deficiencies.

After capsule systems tests and factory acceptance tests, capsule No. 5 was loaded into an Air Force cargo plane and shipped to Marshall Space Flight Center. In Huntsville, Alabama Wernher von Braun’s team hurried through its checkouts of the compatibility of capsule No. 5 with Redstone booster No.2.

On October 11, 1960, the capsule arrived by air at the Cape, where the first checkout inspections, under the direction of F. M. Crichton, uncovered more discrepancies, raising to 150 the total of minor rework jobs to be done. Because of the complexities of the stacked and interlaced seven miles of wiring and plumbing systems in the Mercury capsule, however, each minor discrepancy became a major cost in the time necessary for its correction.

Capsule No. 5 contained several significant innovations. There were five new systems or components that had not been qualified in previous flights: the environmental control system, the attitude stabilization control system, the live retrorockets, the voice communications system, and the “closed loop” abort sensing system. Capsule No. 5 also was the first in the flight series to be fitted with a pneumatic landing bag. This plasticized fabric, accordion-like device was attached to the heatshield and the lower pressure bulkhead; after reentry and before landing the heatshield and porous bag were to drop down about four feet, filling with air to help cushion the impact. Once in the water, the bag and heatshield should act as a sort of sea anchor, helping the spacecraft to remain upright in the water.

On big fear from space travel was heat at re-entry. Since the anticipated re-entry temperature would reach 1000 degrees F. Temperatures on the conical portion of the spacecraft might approach 250 to 300 degrees F, but, compared with about 1,000 to 2,000 degrees for an orbital mission, the ballistic flights should be cool in comparison. But can a living soul be protected from those high levels of heat?

And here steps in HAM, our historic Chimpanzee. Publicity once again focused on the biological subject in the MR-2 experiment. The living being chosen to validate the environmental control system before committing a man to flight was a trained chimpanzee about 44 months old. Intelligent and normally docile, the chimpanzee is a primate of sufficient size and sapience to provide a reasonable facsimile of human behavior. Its average response time to a given physical stimulus is .7 of a second, compared with man’s average .5 second. Having the same organ placement and internal suspension as man, plus a long medical research background, the chimpanzee chosen to ride the Redstone and perform a lever-pulling chore throughout the mission should not only test out the life-support systems but prove that levers could be pulled during launch, weightlessness, and re-entry.

A colony of chimpanzees including Ham were key to mission success. Ham’s name is an acronym for the laboratory that prepared him for his historic mission—the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, located at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, southwest of Alamogordo. His name was also in honor of the commander of Holloman Aeromedical Laboratory, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton “Ham” Blackshear.

Ham was born in July 1957 in French Cameroon (now Cameroon), captured by animal trappers and sent to Rare Bird Farm in Miami, Florida. He was purchased by the United States Air Force and brought to Holloman Air Force Base in July 1959. There were originally 40 chimpanzee flight candidates at Holloman. After evaluation, the number of candidates was reduced to 18, then to six, including Ham. Officially, Ham was known as No. 65 before his flight, and only renamed “Ham” upon his successful return to Earth. This was reportedly because officials did not want the bad press that would come from the death of a “named” chimpanzee if the mission were a failure. Among his handlers, No. 65 had been known as “Chop Chop Chang.”

Beginning in July 1959, the two-year-old chimpanzee was trained under the direction of neuroscientist Joseph V. Brady at Holloman Air Force Base Aero Medical Field Laboratory to do simple, timed tasks in response to electric lights and sounds. During his pre-flight training, Ham was taught to push a lever within five seconds of seeing a flashing blue light; failure to do so resulted in an application of a light electric shock to the soles of his feet, while a correct response earned him a banana pellet.

Ham and the group of “Astro-chimps” were transferred from Holloman as the flight neared and were re-stationed and further trained, in a building behind Hangar S on January 2, 1961. There the animals became acclimatized to the change from the 5,000-feet altitude in New Mexico to their sea level surroundings at the Cape.

Separated into two groups as a precaution against the spread of any contagion among the whole colony, the animals were led through exercises by their handlers.

Mercury capsule mockups were installed in each of the compounds. In these, the animals worked daily at their psychomotor performance tasks. By the third week in January, 29 training sessions had made each of the six chimps a bored but well-fed expert at the job of lever-pulling.

On January 31, 1961, Ham was secured in a Project Mercury mission designated MR-2 and launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a suborbital flight. Ham’s vital signs and tasks were monitored by sensors and computers on Earth. The capsule suffered a partial loss of pressure during the flight, but Ham’s space suit prevented him from suffering any harm. Ham’s lever-pushing performance in space was only a fraction of a second slower than on Earth, demonstrating that tasks could be performed in space. Ham’s capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was recovered by the USS Donner later that day.

The capsule containing Ham was recovered via splashdown and a “hand-shake” welcome after his flight on a Mercury-Redstone rocket, was his greeting by the commander of the recovery ship, USS Donner.

His only physical injury was a bruised nose. His flight was 16 minutes and 39 seconds long.

The results from his test flight led directly to the mission Alan Shepard made on May 5, 1961, aboard Freedom 7.

The space program continued and of course we eventually did indeed make it to a moon landing.

As for Ham. He eventually retired. On April 5, 1963, Ham was transferred to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. where he lived for 17 years before joining a small group of captive chimps at North Carolina Zoo on September 25, 1980.

After his death on January 19, 1983, Ham’s body was given to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for necropsy. Following the necropsy, the plan was to have him stuffed and placed on display at the Smithsonian Institution, following Soviet precedent with pioneering space dogs Belka and Strelka.

However, this plan was abandoned after a negative public reaction.  Ham’s remains, minus the skeleton, were buried at the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Colonel John Stapp gave the eulogy at the memorial service. The skeleton is held in the collection of the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Details of Ham’s story more photos and of course his grave is visible to all to see on the grounds of the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo and is a must see for animal lovers and space and history buffs alike.

In final follow-up to Ham’s story. Ham’s backup, Minnie, was the only female chimpanzee trained for the Mercury program. After her role in the Mercury program ended, Minnie became part of an Air Force chimpanzee breeding program, producing nine off-spring and helping to raise the offspring of several other members of the chimpanzee colony. She was the last surviving Astro-chimpanzee and died at age 41 on March 14, 1998.

Mankind owes a debt of gratitude to Ham and to all the pioneering chimps that were part of the NASA space program that lifted man from earth to the stars above.

Watch our quick video on Ham on You tube and on our written blog with photos of Ham, his rocket, his handlers and more.

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History and A Spotlight on Women’s Entrepreneurship – New Mexico Leads the Nation-Author & Positivity Coach Chris Edwards

A spotlight on women’s entrepreneurship and the changes in business over the last several decades nationally, in New Mexico and in Alamogordo.

Per Wendy Diamond who is CEO and Founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization“Today, women account for 85 percent of consumer purchases and control $20 trillion in global spending. At the same time, they perform 66 percent of the world’s work (both paid and unpaid) yet only earn 10 percent of the world’s income. In the U.S., there are approximately 10 M woman-owned businesses, generating $1.3T in revenue and employing 7.8 M people. This number is expected to increase by 90 percent in the next five years, with 500,000 new businesses being created each year in the U.S. alone. At the same time, 1 in 3 women in America lives in poverty and of the 1.3M people living in severe poverty globally, 70 percent are women and girls.

Women in developed and developing nations alike are becoming increasingly active participants in local and global economies at a rapid rate. Today, in the United States, 38% of new businesses are founded by women, but only between 2-6% of them receive VC funding. One recent survey of 350 woman-owned tech startups revealed that 80% of founders used their own savings to launch their businesses. At the same time, an increase of women in leadership positions from zero to just 30% is associated with a 15% increase in profitability. Women are the world’s most responsible borrowers, paying back microloans worldwide today at a 97% rate of return. 90% of the money they earn is used to educate their children and to provide for their families.”

Terry Powell ofForbes Coaches Council reports, “In 1972, women-owned businesses represented just 4.6% of all businesses, but today, that number has skyrocketed to 42%, according to a 2019 American Express report.”

With the world of Covid-19 small businesses and female owned businesses took a huge hit. However research is showing female owned businesses are bouncing back and were quicker to adapt to the changes in the market.

Today more than 11.6 million businesses are owned by American women. That’s according to the National Association of Women Business Owners. Those firms employ almost 9 million people and, generate around $1.7 trillion in sales.

In 2019, 1,817 new women-owned businesses were created every day in America. While we don’t yet know how many women-owned businesses were formed during the Covid-19 pandemic yet, it seems likely that the numbers continued to increase. Some evidence suggests that far more startups were created than usual; applications for employer identification numbers, a sign that new people are starting companies, also increased.

Women are increasingly turning to franchises as a way to start a business. It has become commonplace for women to be interested in buying a franchise. Women own or co-own about 265,000 franchises, which is about 35% of all U.S. franchises. That’s about a 24% rise from ten years ago.

Female Entrepreneurship and empowerment is not just limited to business in New Mexico it began in government and led to leadership in business.

In New Mexico, women have broken glass ceilings throughout history. Women have served in elected office since before statehood: The first Hispanic female legislators in the United States served in New Mexico’s territorial legislature in 1895. Soledad Chávez Chacón was elected secretary of state in 1922 and was the first woman to serve as acting governor in the United States. Following statehood in 1912, Fedelina Gallegos and Porfirria Hidalgo Saiz, who both served in the New Mexico Legislature from 1931 to 1932, were the first Hispanic women state legislators in the United States.

New Mexican women continue to be history makers and influencers. According to Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics, two of the three women of color who have been elected governor are from New Mexico, including our current governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham. U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., is one of two Native women to ever be elected to Congress and is now the first Native American to be named to the Cabinet Post as the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

There have been recent leaps in women’s representation in the Legislature — 35 percent of the state legislators are women and nearly 50 percent of the New Mexico House members are women.

New Mexican women have held commanding roles in other sectors, too. New Mexico ranks first in the nation for female-owned businesses, with nearly 52 percent of New Mexico businesses owned or co-owned by women, in comparison to the national rate of 42 percent.

Within Alamogordo in 1997 only 29.1% of the businesses registered were female owned, more recently that number of female owned verses male owned or public companies has elevated to 41.4%. Still lagging the state average and more inline with the national average. The number shows progress but also shows the city, county and state can do better in partnering and fostering growth and support of female entrepreneurship.

Alamogordo is in a transitional state. There are 1000s of square feet of retail space that is vacant, yet there was a recent upgrade to White Sands National Monument to National Park Status. Now is the opportunity as the city and region comes out of a Covid-19 dark winter to bring some light, to work with women, POC and the minorities communities to expand the business community and bring about a huge economic turnaround to the city, state, region and nation.

Our congressional leaders, state, county and city government leaders must partner with the business community to nurture women into business within Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico.

The goal of the women entrepreneurship education and training should be to:
• Empower women through entrepreneurship to enable them achieve economic self –
sufficiency;
• To help women gain strong business and life management skills that will enable
them to become leaders in their work and personal lives, and become strong role
models;
• To spur the growth of locally controlled business and create new jobs within
neighborhood;
• To provide business experience;
• To promote entrepreneurship by emphasizing the importance of small business as
the creator of jobs, leading to prosperity;
• To enable to potential entrepreneurs to emerge by assisting them in evaluating
their training program;
• To encourage business start-ups by offering a comprehensive entrepreneurship their
training program;
• To develop new markets and help mobilize the capital resources needed; and
• To introduce new technology, industries and products and to create new
employment opportunities.

Entrepreneurship among women, no doubt improves the wealth of the city, state and nation in
general and of the family in particular. Women today are more willing to take up activities
that were once considered the preserve of men, and have proved that they are second to
no one with respect to contribution to the growth of the economy. November 19th is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day; today, as we begin the Spring and awaken from the Covid-19 Winter, let’s each in a position of responsibility commit to mentor, encourage, support and empower more females into business leadership and business ownership and then on November 19th reflect on the good opportunities this partnership led to and the prosperity that will soon follow.

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A History Lesson for Southern New Mexico – The creation of Interscholastic (Organized High School Sports) in the US and New Mexico and Alamogordo High School 1916


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How did High School Sports get started in the US, Southern New Mexico and Alamogordo and when?

Interscholastic Sports at the High School level via organized physical education programs did not begin in the US until around 1903 but had roots dating to the 1880s. Organized sports began with economically challenged or lower-class children competing under non-parental adult supervision, while their upper- class counterparts participated in non- competitive activities like dancing and music lessons, often in their homes. Children’s tournaments, especially athletic ones, came first to economically challenged children, most often immigrants living in large urban areas or the larger US cities.

Massachusetts was the first state to make schooling compulsory in 1852. It was not until 1917 that the final state of the union at the time, Mississippi, passed a similar law.

While on the east coast the focus was on social progress, education and organized school sports programs; the wild west was playing catch up.

New cities like Alamogordo, New Mexico founded 1898 were creating new opportunities for Americans and America’s youth. January 6, 1912, New Mexico was admitted into the United States union as the 47th state. With that our history of interscholastic High School Athletics Track & Field in Alamogordo soon begins. New Mexico, even while a territory, took a progressive view to public education and made public education compulsory in urban areas in 1891. It became compulsory everywhere by the time New Mexico became a state in 1912.

With the institution of mandatory schooling in New Mexico and in most states, children and families experienced a profound shift in the structure of their daily lives, especially in the social organization of their time. This change in social view resulted in thinking about how to challenge a child and occupy his day especially in urban areas.

The answer lay partly in competitive sports leagues, which started to evolve to hold the interest of children. Urban reformers were particularly preoccupied with poor low skilled economically and socially challenged immigrants who, because of overcrowding in tenements or inner cities, were often on the streets. Initial organization efforts focused on the establishment of city parks and playgrounds. Powerful, organized playground movements developed in New York City and Boston. But because adults did not trust boys, especially immigrant boys, to play unsupervised without significant issues, attention soon shifted to organized sports. Sports were important in teaching immigrants and those economically challenged and from rural areas; the “American values of cooperation, hard work, and respect for authority.”

According to historian Robert Halpern, “progressive reformers thought athletic activities could prepare children especially boys for the new industrial society that was emerging, which would require them to be physical laborers.” There was a distinct business interest in organized youth sports early on, to ensure a robust and healthy workforce for an economy changing from, rural based to urban based, in the decades to follow.

Organized youth groups backed by the influence of business interests took on the responsibility of providing children with sports activities. In 1903, New York City’s Public-School Athletic League for Boys was established by Luther Gulick, and formal contests between children, organized by adults, emerged to keep the boys coming back to school. Formal competition ensured the boys’ continued participation since they wanted to defend their school team’s record and honor. The purpose per the PSLA was to encourage a healthy, strong body and mind through competitive exercises.

The PSAL initially conducted “class athletics” in grades five through eight at specific times each year, not interschool competition as it is known today. Class athletics included seasonal track and field events. PSAL’s also emphasized swimming, popular sports of the times (baseball, football, basketball), and several minor games.

Concurrent with the activities on the east coast; the first recorded games involving High School, school sponsored teams in the Dallas Texas area occurred in 1900. St. Matthew’s grammar school of Dallas played the Wall School of Honey Grove, found in Fannin County just south of the Texas-Oklahoma border, on Oct. 12, 1900, as a prelude to the intercollegiate level Texas-Vanderbilt game the same day. Honey Grove won 5-0. The event was a milestone in Texas history: the first recorded interscholastic football game between two high-school teams.

The Wall school was founded in 1898 by Simon Venable Wall, who moved to Honey Grove from Franklin, Tenn. Accounts of the school’s history noted its football team frequently played two games a day and that it was not uncommon for the team to catch a train on weekends and play in area towns. Austin College, in nearby Sherman, was a frequent opponent for the Wall boys.

Until the formation of interscholastic programs and games such as the one in Dallas Texas, most American boys had played football in the haphazard way of boys the world over: ambling onto fields and into alleys for pickup games or challenging other loosely affiliated groups of students to a match. Cheating was rampant, and games looked more like brawls than organized contests.

By 1910, 17 other cities across the United States had formed their own competitive athletic leagues modeled after New York City’s PSAL. Physical education reformers in the high schools followed the colleges in taking over sports programs with the catchphrase “Athletics are educational.” Their reform was tied to the overall reform in American education and overall reform in American society during the Progressive Era.

The establishment of leagues and state associations by educators in the years after 1900 bringing about institutional control over interscholastic sports was neither seamless nor uniform across the nation nor the western region of the US to include Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

In most areas of the country, educator-sponsored high school leagues were formed in most big cities and in many rural areas, usually two ways, from whole cloth or by taking over existing student-run or joint student-faculty-run leagues. In many areas, especially rural areas like most of Texas and New Mexico there were few leagues, and only gradually did league formation spread nationwide.

Settlement houses and ethnic clubs soon followed suit. The number of these boys’ clubs grew rapidly through the 1920s, working in parallel with school leagues.

In 1914 the first organized events for school children were held and 2040 boys competed for the City Championships Track and Field held at Madison Square Gardens. Events at this event included standing long jump, chinning the bar, running sprints, disc throwing, relays and hurdles. (Today competing at Madison Square Garden in Track & Field is considered hallowed grounds by many a Track & Field athlete.) By 1915 177 school systems around the country had formed competitive leagues.

By 1916, the United States was starting to educate its children for more years than most other countries, even while admitting a surge of immigrants. The ruling elite feared that all this schooling would make Anglo-Saxon boys soft and weak, in contrast to their brawny, newly immigrated peers. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. warned that cities were being overrun with “stiff-jointed, soft-muscled, paste-complexioned youth.”

Sports, the thinking went, would both protect boys’ masculinity and distract them from vices like gambling and prostitution. “Muscular Christianity,” fashionable during the Victorian era, prescribed sports as a sort of moral vaccine against the tumult of rapid economic growth. “In life, as in a football game,” Theodore Roosevelt wrote in an essay on “The American Boy” in 1900, “the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard!”

Athletics succeeded in entertaining not just students, but entire communities and local school teams became a sense of pride. As athletic fields became the cultural centers of towns across America, educators became coaches and parents became boosters. Organized sports allowed small towns to compete against large cities in Track & Field, Football and Basketball putting small town schools on the map so to speak with large reputations of athletic excellence.

As the organized school sports programs evolved so did organized fee-based clubs which were more exclusive and not for the poor. Fee-based groups, such as the YMCA, began, but usually only middle-class kids could afford to take part. National pay-to-play organizations, such as Pop Warner Football came into being in 1929.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association had appeared by this time, as a means of reforming the increasingly brutal sport of college football. As the NCAA appeared it began collaboration efforts and recruiting efforts from High Schools for its track & field, football and basketball programs around the country. This partnership ultimately led to scholarship programs and further engrained organized high school sports into the American Experience.

In New Mexico and specifically Alamogordo, following the lead of the nationwide reform of governance in interscholastic sports with the imposition of adult-sponsored leagues and state associations students acquiesced to the new faculty control and passively accepted the new order of things. In many areas, however, educators faced persistent student resistance, stiffened by rebellious high school

Greek-letter societies and continued abuses in the decade leading up to World War I. In Chicago student resistance to control and reform was especially acute.

New Mexico, towns such as Alamogordo and the western states; less resistance existed, as the school systems were newer institutions and did not have the history or mindset of those on the east coast. Progressive politics towards education and athletics prevailed without institutional histories, politics and interests fighting for dominance.

Alamogordo, New Mexico An Early Interscholastic Sport Program Adoptee

Alamogordo High School began an organized sports program in 1912 for Caucasian boys offering PE, Track & Field and Basketball and Football.

In 1913, the authorities of the University of New Mexico believing that one of the great needs of the High Schools of the state was an opportunity to meet, at least once a year in athletic and other contests, organized the University of New Mexico Track Athletic Association. A track meet was held in the spring of that year at Albuquerque, and two high schools, Santa Fe and Albuquerque contested for the banner.

Although the beginning was small, a great deal of interest from across the state was aroused.

Alamogordo High School won its first state medals in 1916/17 School Year and they were in Track and Field via the High Jump and the Triple Jump.

Excerpt from Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 – part of a 3 part book series on Alamogordo Athletics and its history. Available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico or on Amazon. 

More historical stories from 1916 and more early history of Alamogordo High will appear in future stores.

To keep the historical sports archives of Alamogordo alive, support local small businesses and  join us as an independent source for positive News and History from Southern New Mexico. Sign up for our Daily News Brief and our blog or advertise with us. To learn more visit

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Photo is of Alamogordo High School 1917

ALAMOGORDO HIGH SCHOOL – ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO In 1917, the architectural firm of Trost & Trost was awarded the contract for the Alamogordo High School. The plans called for the school to be constructed of brick and stone, 90 x 104 feet. The two-story building was to have 13 classrooms and an auditorium. The cost was estimated at $50,000.

The school was completed in 1919 and located on Tenth street (between Michigan and Indiana St.) 

In 1942, the Alamogordo Army Air Field was built 10 miles west of town. The addition of the base caused school enrollment to climb steadily over the next several years. New school buildings were being erected to keep up with the enrollment of new students. The Alamogordo Army Air Field eventually became Holloman Air Force Base and test development center for many government contracts.

In 1970, George Stith and Tom Macklin presented a petition bearing more that 200 names of residents to the Alamogordo City Commission. The petition asked that a study be made on the feasibility of refurbishing the old Alamogordo High School building on Tenth Street and putting it to use as a civic auditorium. The old Alamogordo High School was demolished sometime between 1973 to 1975.

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2nd Life Media & Boutique Winter Wonderland in Lights Window Display Roadrunner Emporium Wins 1st Place in Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Competition by Author & Artist Chris Edwards & Artist & Coach Rene Sepulveda

Thank you Alamogordo Chamber Of Commerce. Our Winter in Lights Window Display representing the natural environment of the area desert and Forest won the Christmas Winter in Lights contest in the business category. We appreciate the community support.

We will keep the display up a few more weeks, so the community can come by and enjoy if you’ve not seen it in person.

Thank you Roadrunner Emporium owner Debra Reyes for allowing Rene Sepulveda and myself via 2nd Life Media and Boutique the opportunity to showcase our appreciation for the region’s beauty.

Again, thank everyone, for your support. Please support small business and stop by with a mask, To see Debra and the team of over 40 artist at 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo.

#Shoplocal#ShopNewYorkAvenue#SupportSmallBusiness#localartist#AlamogordoArts#OpenforBusiness#AlamogordoMainStreet#2ndLifeMedia#2ndLifeBoutique#RoadrunnerEmporium#ArtistReneSepulveda#AuthorChrisEdwards#ChristmasinLights#AlamogordoChristmasInLights#AlamogordoChamberofCommerce#Maskup#covidsafebusiness#windowdisplay#Christmaswindowdisplay#NewMexicoWinter#ShopNewMexico#AlamogordoNews#OrteroCounty0:00 / 1:530:04 / 0:09+17

Winter in Lights Window Display Christmas Window Display Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo New Mexico by Author Chris Edwards & Artist Rene Sepulveda 2nd Life Media & Boutique Featuring Cholla Art (Cholla Cactus Art by Rene Sepulveda)
Winter in Lights Window Display Christmas Window Display Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo New Mexico by Author Chris Edwards & Artist Rene Sepulveda 2nd Life Media & Boutique Featuring Cholla Art (Cholla Cactus Art by Rene Sepulveda)

Merry Christmas with a Tularosa New Mexico Luminaria Christmas Celebration 2020 Festival of Lights

This Christmas Eve 2020 we wish all of our family, friends, business partners, associates and followers a Very Merry Christmas. Tonight we showcase the luminaria or “farolito” of Tularosa New Mexico and end our Christmas Greeting with our window display at our location of 2nd Life Boutique at the Roadrunner Emporium in the historic Main Street Area of 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo. The Village of Tularosa sets out thousands of small paper lanterns (a candle set in some sand inside a paper bag) which is of significance to the state of New Mexico at Christmas time, especially on Christmas Eve. Typically used in Hispanic culture, the paper lanterns have to some extent replaced the older tradition of the vigil fire luminaria with which they became confused. There are sometimes conflicting opinions about the correct use of the term “luminaria.”

Most of us refer to the paper bag lantern in this way, but some traditionalists insist the correct term is “farolitos.” Historically, a true luminaria is a series of small bonfires lining the road. Originally, small bonfires were used to guide people to Christmas mass. Often, they are associated with the final night of Las Posadas, which is the symbolic representation of when Mary and Joseph were seeking shelter in Bethlehem, walking from home to home for a place to rest.

In that honor every Christmas Eve thousands of luminarias are displayed throughout the Village of Tularosa. This tradition is decades old. We then end our video Christmas Greeting with a view of a Christmas in Lights Winter Wonderland Window Display at Roadrunner Emporium and a wish from our 18 year old 4 legged friend Sammy. To each of you we wish a safe, healthy and peaceful holiday!

Christmas Window Display Alamogordo Christmas in Light Alamogordo Main Street 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo New Mexico designed by Artist Rene Sepulveda and Display Artist & Author Chris Edwards

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Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lights Contest Video featuring Roadrunner Emporium -Video created by Chris Edwards & Rene Sepulveda-authors, artists, coaching

Check out a few of the Alamogordo Christmas Lights contest entrants. From Cuba road to McKinley Avenue and beyond and the Winter in the Desert window display at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo. All are officially entered in the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce Christmas lights contest. 

Come check out each vía the attached video or do a Covid SAFE drive by. Locations for each are found 

Trail of Lights Holiday Contest Participants https://goo.gl/maps/TogBGmiYZQLk8o6N8

Come see our window display at 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, comment and like us on our and the Chambers Facebook page. Thanks and enjoy a natural Alamogordo lights and our Natural Desert Winter Holiday display..

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