The State Plates Project, based in Atlanta, is proposing that license plates throughout the country be revamped “to better capture the character of each of the 50 states.” (Never mind that our Zia plates are already the best-looking license plates in the country.) Their suggested New Mexico design, which shows the iconic saguaro cactus—a species that does not grow in our state—elicited protest from folks who’ve had it up to here with Arizona’s saguaro finding its way into New Mexico imagery. “And the geologic formations in the scene are distinctly Arizonan as well, not New Mexican,” says Bill Johnston, of Organ. “Do they really think that a scene from Arizona ‘better captures the character of New Mexico’?”


A number of years ago, while on a business trip, John Keesing of Santa Fe stopped at FAO Schwarz, in New York City, to get some gifts for his children. Upon checkout, he opted to have them delivered. After taking Keesing’s address, the clerk informed him, “I’m sorry, sir, but we do not ship outside the continental USA.” After several minutes of unsuccessful explaining and even map-drawing, Keesing asked to speak to a supervisor. “Four levels of supervisors later, and still unconvinced, they agreed to ship!”


Yolanda Baca was vacationing in Mazatlán, Mexico, when a man struck up a conversation with her by the hotel swimming pool. “We chatted for a while about various topics. At one point, he asked me where I was from. When I told him that I was from Las Cruces, New Mexico, he exclaimed, ‘Wow, you speak good English for being from Mexico!’ ”She was stunned, “especially since he was from California!”


The State of Pennsylvania once returned a check from the State of New Mexico to our Groundwater Bureau because “it needed to be in U.S. Funds.”
Karen Loretta Thomas.

I was corresponding with a pet food company in the Pacific Northwest, trying to acquire food donations for a pet photo contest I was organizing for the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce. They were happy to contribute, until I gave them the New Mexico shipping address. The representative backpedaled, saying she didn’t think they could ship across the border. Explanations were made, and all ended well.
Jennifer Polle

My mother was very worried when her passport expired before she was scheduled to visit me. She had been here several times before that visit, and travels a lot, and still thought New Mexico didn’t count as a regular old state in the U. S. of A.
Kimberly Corbitt


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

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