Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of my dear friend and colleague Sam Adelo. Sam was born in 1923 in the village of Pecos, seventeen miles from Santa Fe. For more than thirty years he worked with the Santa Fe judicial system as a Spanish interpreter. Adelo graduated in 1940 from St. Michael’s High School as the class valedictorian and editor of the school newspaper, the San Miguel News. From 1938 through 1940 he was also the drum major for the school’s band. At the time of his death he was the oldest-living graduate of St. Michael’s High School.
After graduating from St. Michael’s High School, Adelo who was fluent in Spanish, Italian and Arabic spent the better part of the next three decades traveling the globe working for Gulf Oil. In 1976, he returned to New Mexico with his wife, Lauretta, and worked in Gulf’s coal and uranium business in western New Mexico. Adelo was a contributing writer for legal and cultural publications in the region and nationally. He was the Spanish editor of my publication, La Herencia, from 1995 through 2009. Sam also taught law and Spanish at Notre Dame and the University of Arizona.