An August “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” cartoon shared the incredible news that “Thousands of tumbleweeds trapped residents in their homes in Clovis, Mexico, in January 2014.”


This past March, Bob and Gail Videm of Glassboro, New Jersey, flew to Albuquerque before driving to Ratón. When they arrived at their hotel, they found that one of their suitcases had been damaged. After their vacation, they flew back home via the Philadelphia airport. Bob reported the damaged suitcase at the airline’s baggage claim counter.

“Where did you fly in from?” the clerk asked. Bob told her that their route had originated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, stopped in Dallas, and finished up in Philly.

“Where did you go through customs?” she asked. Bob told her that he had not gone through customs. She repeated the question twice more, using different wordings, and he reiterated that he had come from Albuquerque, New Mexico. “If you came in from New Mexico, you had to go through customs,” she insisted.

“Now where did you go through customs?” “At that point,” Bob writes, “I picked

up my bag and left.”


Linda Cecil traveled to northwestern Indiana from Albuquerque to get her daughter settled in at college in August. “We went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a few last-minute things. The checkout lady asked where we were from. I said, ‘New Mexico.’ She said, ‘Oh! My parents have a time-share there and go once a year!’ So I said, ‘Where? Santa Fe? Albuquerque?’ She said, ‘No, Puerto Vallarta.’”


Texas native Abe Nayfa was transferred to Carlsbad from Austin in 1988, and moved there with his family. When Abe’s parents told friends about his move, many folks piped up to say that they couldn’t believe that he would move his family out of the U.S. In 1991, when Abe was transferred to Denton, Texas, several people called to tell him that they were happy he had come to his senses and gotten his family out of harm’s way in that foreign country.


Ratón resident Marlene Jenkins’ granddaughter, who lives in northern California, went to her local post office to mail Marlene’s birthday gift. When the postmaster looked at the address, he said, “This needs to go via international post.” He gave her a form to fill out and charged her the higher rate. Marlene’s granddaughter “didn’t want to cause a fuss” and filled out the form. “My package arrived one month later in damaged condition, and my gift was broken. Sad, right?”


Fred and Carol Parker had just closed on their new home in Albuquerque and were preparing for a long-distance move from Baltimore when Carol received a jury duty summons. She dutifully called the court clerk and told her that the Parkers would be living in their new state by then. The clerk informed Carol that she could not be excused from jury duty just because she was going to a foreign country. Carol reminded the clerk that New Mexico is a U.S. state, adjacent to Arizona. The clerk angrily replied that she knew perfectly well that, as she put it, “New Mexico is an island country on its own continent.”

At that point, Carol insisted on talking to a supervisor. Upon hearing her story, the boss simply sighed, apologized, and instructed Carol to mail them a copy of her New Mexico driver’s license after she received it. She plans to do so, and perhaps send along a postcard from landlocked New Mexico, addressed to the geographically challenged clerk.


While watching ESPN’s Mike & Mike, Lawrence Blank of Corrales was surprised to hear the following gem in a discussion about daylight saving time. “Yeah, places like Arizona and Albuquerque don’t do it.”

“I’m not sure if they thought Albuquerque was a state, or that it was in Arizona,” Blank concludes, “but we sure do participate in daylight savings.”


Sandra Haak has lived in Utah for more than 40 years, but she was born and raised in Los Alamos. One summer during college she worked in a hospital in New Jersey, a state that’s no stranger to interesting ways of expressing the English language. A colleague at the hospital complimented Sandra one day.

“You have such a cute accent. Where are you from?”

“I’m from New Mexico,” she replied.

“Oh, isn’t that near Missouri?” said the colleague.


Send your “Missing” and “Found” anecdotes to or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, hometown, and state. Thanks!