Texas 42 in New Mexico
(42 is a four-player card game with bidding and trumps, played with domino tiles)
New Mexico is one of four states that shares a border with Texas. Polling results indicate New Mexico and Oklahoma respondents comprise 71% of the active 42 players in those four states, with the majority in New Mexico. Texas, recognized as the birthplace of 42, had 76% of all the active players who participated in the survey.
I first became aware that New Mexico was strong in 42 when Jerry Whitney (Clovis, NM) and his partner won the Hallettsville Texas State 42 Championship Tournament in 2009. Prior to that, there were six other New Mexico residents who had won second place in Hallettsville dating back to the year 2000. As of April 2014, all Hallettsville first and second place winners were from Texas and New Mexico. (The first Hallettsville 42 championship tournament was in 1981.)
There have been numerous 42 tournaments in New Mexico that have been sanctioned by the National 42 Players Association (N42PA). Some of them have become annual events. The fourth annual New Mexico State 42 Championship Tournament, organized by Whitney, was held in Clovis in August 2011.
(Whitney also organized the first annual Tri-State 42 Championship Tournament in Amarillo.) Other NM tournament locations include Grady, Portales, Roswell, and Texico.
How did 42 make its way from Texas into New Mexico? In all probability, the early railways carried the game into New Mexico when the Santa Fe Railroad reached Curry County more than 100 years ago, before automobiles and highways became widespread in either state. (All the Hallettsville winners from New Mexico were from Texico and Clovis in Curry County. Two other winners were from Farwell, adjacent to Texico, on the Texas Panhandle side of the New Mexico border.)
If anyone has more information about 42 in New Mexico, or when and how 42 was first introduced there, please send me an e-mail. Thanks.
Added 17 Apr 2018: "Beerdaddy42's grandfather was a railroad man in eastern New Mexico and west Texas. He traveled more of Texas than most folks did in his day. He picked up the game of 42 prior to 1920 when it was still a fairly new phenomenon." Source (2004)