Angela Hynes of Albuquerque spent last summer in Great Plains, Manitoba, Canada. She noticed that one of her neighbors eyed her and her New Mexico license plate quite frequently. “One day he approached me and asked me if I really was from Mexico. I had to explain that it was one of the 50 U.S. states.” He apologized and claimed, “No one in the USA has ever heard of Manitoba, either!”

Ted Thrasher of Ocate was motivated to place an order with a national sporting goods retailer after he saw that they offered free shipping. He was understandably chagrined when a shipping charge appeared on his checkout screen. He called the customer service number and the friendly agent verified the shipping address, then advised him that shipping was not free outside the U.S.

Thrasher inquired where she was located and she replied “Katy, Texas.” He said, “Do you know the state between Texas and Arizona?” and she said, “No, I have not studied geography that much.” He told her that it was New Mexico, and had been a state for 102 years. She put him back on hold. When she got back on the line, she repeated that she could not extend free shipping to him. “Can you tell me which state is to the west of Texas?” he asked. “No clue,” she said. “It’s New Mexico, the fifth-largest state in the U.S.” Amazed, she asked him to hold again before coming back on the line. The payoff? “Finally, free shipping.”

Years ago, when Charles Oliver Wolff applied to Cornell University after graduating from UNM, he was told by a Cornell admissions associate over the phone, “You might have a problem transferring credits from a foreign school.” “I reminded her that I was a U.S. citizen, living on U.S. soil in the state of New Mexico, and jokingly suggested that she consult a map of her country.” She argued, and Wolff asked to speak with a supervisor, who laughed, said he understood, and informed him that an application would be mailed to Wolff’s home in Santa Fe. When the packet arrived, it included a notice that his foreign transcripts would need special review, a notice that foreign nationals might not qualify for certain types of financial aid, and an application for a U.S. student visa.

Send your “Missing” anecdotes to fifty@nmmagazine. com or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, home-town, and state. Thanks!