Born and raised in New Mexico but a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, for almost two decades now, longtime subscriber Rachel Alarid went to a local federal office in 2008 to renew her passport. While reviewing the documents, the passport agent told Alarid, “I need proof of US citizenship before we proceed.” The New Mexico native told the federal worker she’d already provided her birth certificate and expired passport. “Yes,” the agent told her, “but I need your naturalization papers.” After Alarid assured the agent of her US citizenship, the latter replied, “Your birth certificate says you were born in New Mexico.” “New Mexico is a US state,” Alarid countered, which was met with a “Since when?” “Since 1912,” Alarid told her. “Wow, you really do learn something new every day!” the agent exclaimed.

For a recent business trip, Santa Fe resident Bill Gould booked a hotel near John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California. Since he was on a tight schedule, he called the concierge to inquire about shuttle service, telling him what time he’d be arriving from Albuquerque. “As soon as you clear customs,” the concierge replied, “go directly to the kiosk and call us; we’ll send the shuttle right over.” “A rather strange ‘custom,’ in my opinion!” Gould laughs.

Reader Amy Mathis passes along an article on therichest.com that begins, puzzlingly, “American businessman Peyton Yates has an estimated net worth of $760 million and is the richest person in Mexico.” Lest billionaire Mexican magnate Carlos Slim Helú feel slighted, Mathis notes that “Mr. Yates is a resident of Artesia”—where Mathis, too, enjoys American citizenship.

In about 2002, while traveling through Richmond, Indiana, Bob Foster of Las Cruces stopped his motor home at the Cracker Barrel restaurant. While paying the bill, he asked the cashier if he could buy two rocking chairs and have them shipped to his RV park in Lakewood, New Mexico. “We can sell and ship them, but do you have a friend in Texas where we can ship them?” she asked. “Why?” Her answer: “Sorry, we can’t ship out of the country.”


Send your anecdotes to fifty@nmmagazine.com 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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