One of Our 50 Is Missing - March 2012

After more than two decades, thousands of you have shared their experiences of lost New Mexico in the "One of Our 50 is Missing" humor column. Tell us your experiences at fifty@nmmagazine.com.

Diagnosis: Missing: Every so often, Suzanne Schutze, a registered nurse living in Taos, takes continuing-education courses online to maintain her nursing certification. She had just spent several hours on such a program, passed the test, and was attempting to print out her newly earned credits. As she filled out her demographic information, she came to the section to click on her state. New Mexico, however, was missing. Schutze e-mailed the company, but didn’t receive a response. “Ultimately, I had to abandon the work I’d done because I couldn’t get credit without entering the state name,” she says. “This was a onetime opportunity, and I didn’t go back to redo all the work, so I never found out if New Mexico was permanently missing.”

Soldier Swap: Several years ago, army soldier Ignacio Quiroz, originally of Las Cruces, was stationed at a military base in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He mentioned his hometown to a colleague, to which the other man replied: “I didn’t know we had a soldier-exchange program with Mexico.” Quiroz explained that New Mexico is actually part of the United States.

Local Libations: Gerald and Julie Davis, of Angel Fire, had heard good things about the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso, so they decided to drive almost six hours south from their home to experience the hotel for themselves. “We toured the facility and enjoyed ourselves tremendously,” Gerald remembers. “Everything about the area was perfect, until we decided to have dinner in the upscale restaurant.” The service and food were both excellent, but there was something wrong with the wine list: the first foreign wine listed was from New Mexico. “Being assured the error would be taken care of, we proceeded to thoroughly enjoy our evening,” Gerald says. “We look forward to a return visit to examine the wine list again.” Apparently, New Mexico isn’t misplaced only outside our state lines—
it happens within them too!

Currency Converter: Many years ago, Chris Pardington worked behind the desk of a popular Santa Fe hotel. “One evening, a portly and boisterous guest sauntered up, threw down a $20 bill, and asked for some of our local currency,” Pardington writes via Facebook. “I returned a ten, a five, and five ones—with a smile.”

Sister City: As Jim and Karen Havlena, of Fort Bragg, California, observe that usually this column describes experiences in which people believe New Mexico is not part of the U.S. or misplace a New Mexico city—usually in Arizona. The December 2011 issue of Sunset magazine, however, had a different problem altogether. In the advertising directory, under a listing for New Mexico, the magazine offered information for the Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Havlenas write, “Wow! Someone must have felt sorry for all the previous errors regarding New Mexico, because in this instance they have placed Tucson, an Arizona city, in New Mexico!”