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Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing anecdotes that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from there. Submissions will be edited for style and space. Please include your name, hometown, and state. E-mail to, or mail to Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

When Bernie Crum’s school-age daughter was assigned to write a report about a U.S. state, she picked New Mexico. She wrote about foods common to New Mexico that are different than those in her home state of Missouri. Along with the wide use of chiles, she also mentioned that she loved sopaipillas. When the teacher returned her paper to her, she had crossed out sopaipillas and wrote in soup and peas. Are teachers using auto-correct these days, or what?

Kenneth Robertson of Clovis learned something new when trying to order trees for his new orchard business over the phone. “We are not allowed to ship some kinds of trees to foreign countries,” the person said. Robertson tried to explain that New Mexico is part of the United States, but eventually just asked her to ship the trees 10 miles away to his coworker, who
lived in Farwell, Texas. She was happy to oblige.

This Olympics year reminded Don Bishop of Silver Cliff, Colorado, of his thwarted quest to buy tickets to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. When he called to order them, the woman on the phone asked where he was born. He said, “Logan, New Mexico.” She informed Bishop that he would need to contact the Mexican embassy.

Martha Siegling Luke of Citrus Heights, California, likes to bring gifts back whenever she visits her home state of New Mexico. She gave a jar of salsa from Chimayó to her coworker, and told her a little bit about the history of Chimayó’s Santuario and the state. “I asked if she had ever been to visit New Mexico. She said no, but she wanted to someday. She then asked if I had to pay in pesos.” Martha told her, “I didn’t go to Mexico, I went to New Mexico … next to Arizona.” Her coworker said, “I know, but did you have to pay in pesos?”

Niranjan Khalsa, formerly a corporate purchaser for a large security firm in Española, ran into trouble when attempting to place a sizable equipment order from a New York vendor. When she gave the clerk her address, the woman said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, ma’am, but I’ll have to cancel your order. We don’t ship overseas.” Khalsa said, “I then explained that the large expanse of land between Texas and Arizona is actually a state called New Mexico, and would qualify as domestic for shipping purposes.”

Paul Garson, of Garson’s Religious Goods in the Duke City, received a referral recently from one of his British church-goods suppliers. The agent requested that a Honduran church “Try the shop in Mexico, they should be able to help,” and then listed the Albuquerque address of Garson’s store. “This is not the first time we’ve been confused with Arizona and Mexico,” Garson said.