Doug Swift of Albuquerque recently tried to send a comment to a California-based seafood company, using its website’s form. When Swift filled in his address, a message popped up that stated, “New Mexico is not a valid state.” He changed the city and state to Albuquerque, Arizona; it was accepted.


Dave Phillips, the curator of archaeology at UNM’s Maxwell Museum, requested that a colleague in Calgary send him a manuscript. The colleague went to her local post office and told the clerk that she wished to use Canada Post’s priority mail to send the package to Albuquerque, New Mexico, as it had to get there before an upcoming deadline. The clerk told her that priority was not available. She said, “I‘ve sent similar envelopes to the same address, and they have indeed gone priority post.” “No,” he said. “That can’t be. It’s just not an option for Mexico.”


After living most of his 57 years in New Mexico, Gordon Keyler recently moved to Joplin, Missouri. During a shopping trip to Sears, he handed the cashier his Sandia Labs Credit Union credit card. She asked for ID. Keyler was still using his NM driver’s license, in part because of an earlier “50” moment, when the Missouri MVD clerk told him that she couldn’t give him a local driver’s license without seeing his passport.

The Sears cashier asked Keyler if his NM license was a green card. Keyler explained that NM was the 47th state, and thus part of the USA. Her reply? “I heard we were going to take them over. When did that happen?”


Maria Montez-Skolnik sent in a fondly remembered “50” about her father, Ramón Montes (a Santa Fe Living Treasure), who was a heavy machine gunner on the front lines in Germany during World War II. While in Germany, he became lifelong friends with Scully, a fellow soldier from New York City. After the war was over, Scully mailed The New York Times to his buddy once a month, so that Montes “would know what was happening in the USA.” “He did this for several years,” says Montez-Skolnik. “My dad sure enjoyed getting the paper!”


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!